Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

So that the waving of his plumes would be
High as the berries of a wild ash tree,
Or as the winged cap of Mercury.
His armour was so dexterously wrought
In shape, that sure no living man had thought
It hard, and heavy steel: but that indeed
It was some glorious form, some splendid weed,
In which a spirit new come from the skies
Might live, and show itself to human eyes.
'Tis the far-famed, the brave Sir Gondibert,
Said the good man to Calidore alert;
While the young warrior with a step of grace
Came up,- a courtly smile upon his face,
And mailed hand held out, ready to greet
The large-eyed wonder and ambitious heat
Of the aspiring boy; who as he led
Those smiling ladies, often turn’d his head
To admire the visor arch'd so gracefully
Over a knightly brow; while they went by,
The lamps that from the high roof'd wall were

pendent, And gave the steel a shining quite transcendent.

[ocr errors]

Soon in a pleasant chamber they are seated, The sweet-lipp'd ladies have already greeted All the green leaves that round the window clamber, To show their purple stars, and bells of amber. Sir Gondibert has doff'd his shining steel, Gladdening in the free and airy feel Of a light mantle; and while Clerimond Is looking round about him with a fond And placid eye, young Calidore is burning To hear of knightly deeds, and gallant spurning

Of all unworthiness; and how the strong of arm
Kept off dismay, and terror, and alarm
From lovely woman: while brimful of this,
He gave each damsel's hand so warm a kiss,
And had such manly ardour in his eye,
That each at other look'd half-staringly:
And then their features started into smiles,
Sweet as blue heavens o'er enchanted isles.
Softly the breezes from the forest came,
Softly they blew aside the taper's flame;
Clear was the song from Philomel's far bower;
Grateful the incense from the lime-tree flower;
Mysterious, wild, the far-heard trumpet's tone;
Lovely the moon in ether, all alone:
Sweet too the converse of these happy mortals,
As that of busy spirits when the portals
Are closing in the West; or that soft humming
We hear around when Hesperus is coming.
Sweet be their sleep.

W

[ocr errors]

OMAN! when I behold thee flippant, vain,
Inconstant, childish, proud, and full of

fancies; Without that modest softening that enhances ' The downcast eye, repentant of the pain That its mild light creates to heal again;

E'en then, elate, my spirit leaps and prances,

E'en then my soul with exultation dances, For that to love, so long, I've dormant lain : But when I see thee meek, and kind, and tender,

Heavens! how desperately do I adore

Thy winning graces ;- to be thy defender

I hotly burn - to be a Calidore — A very Red Cross Knight - a stout Leander

Might I be loved by thee like these of yore.

Light feet, dark violet eyes, and parted hair;

Soft dimpled hands, white neck, and creamy breast;

Are things on which the dazzled senses rest Till the fond, fixed eyes forget they stare. From such fine pictures, Heavens! I cannot dare

To turn my admiration, though unpossess'd

They be of what is worthy, though not drest In lovely modesty, and virtues rare. Yet these I leave as thoughtless as a lark;

These lures I straight forget,-e'en ere I dine, Or thrice my palate moisten : but when I mark

Such charms with mild intelligences shine, My ear is open like a greedy shark,

To catch the tunings of a voice divine.

Ah! who can e'er forget so fair a being ?

Who can forget her half-retiring sweets ?

God! she is like a milk-white lamb that bleats For man's protection. Surely the All-seeing, Who joys to see us with his gifts agreeing,

Will never give him pinions, who intreats

Such innocence to ruin - who vilely cheats A dove-like bosom. In truth there is no freeing One's thoughts from such a beauty; when I hear

A lay that once I saw her hand awake, Her form seems floating palpable, and near:

Had I e'er seen her from an arbour take A dewy flower, oft would that hand appear,

And o'er my eyes the trembling moisture shake.

[This poem was suggested to Keats by a delightful summer's-day, as he stood beside the gate that leads from the pathway on Hampstead Heath into a field by Caen Wood: he told his friend Clarke that when he wrote “ Linger awhile upon some bending planks,” etc., he had in his mind the rail of a foot-bridge that spanned a little brook in the last field upon entering Edmonton, and over which they had often walked together.]

Places of nestling green for poets made.

Story of Rimini.

I

STOOD tiptoe upon a little hill,

The air was cooling, and so very still, That the sweet buds which with a modest pride Pull droopingly, in slanting curve aside, Their scanty-leaved, and finely-tapering stems, Had not yet lost their starry diadems Caught from the early sobbing of the morn. The clouds were pure and white as flocks new-shorn, And fresh from the clear brook; sweetly they slept On the blue fields of heaven, and then there crept A little noiseless noise among the leaves, Born of the very sigh that silence heaves; For not the faintest motion could be seen Of all the shades that slanted o'er the green. There was wide wandering for the greediest eye, To peer about upon variety; Far round the horizon's crystal air to skim, And trace the dwindled edgings of its brim; To picture out the quaint and curious bending Of a fresh woodland alley never-ending: Or by the bowery clefts, and leafy shelves, Guess where the jaunty streams refresh themselves. I gazed awhile, and felt as light and free

As though the fanning wings of Mercury
Had play'd upon my heels: I was light-hearted,
And many pleasures to my vision started;
So I straightway began to pluck a posy
Of luxuries bright, milky, soft, and rosy.
A bush of May-flowers with the bees about them;
Ah, sure no tasteful nook could be without them!
And let a lush laburnum oversweep them,
And let long grass grow round the roots, to keep them
Moist, cool, and green ; and shade the violets,
That they may bind the moss in leafy nets.

A filbert hedge with wildbriar overtwined, And clumps of woodbine taking the soft wind Upon their summer thrones; there too should be The frequent chequer of a youngling tree, That with a score of light green brethren shoots From the quaint mossiness of aged roots : Round which is heard a spring-head of clear waters, Babbling so wildly of its lovely daughters, The spreading blue-bells: it may haply mourn That such fair clusters should be rudely torn From their fresh beds, and scatter'd thoughtlessly By infant hands, left on the path to die.

Open afresh your round of starry folds, Ye ardent marigolds ! Dry up the moisture from your golden lids, For great Apollo bids That in these days your praises should be sung On many harps, which he has lately strung; And when again your dewiness he kisses, Tell him, I have you in my world of blisses : VOL. II.

4

« ZurückWeiter »