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As thou exceedest all things in thy shine,
So every tale, does this sweet tale of thine.
O for three words of honey, that I might
Tell but one wonder of thy bridal night!

Where distant ships do seem to show their keels, Phoebus awhile delay'd his mighty wheels, And turn'd to smile upon thy bashful eyes, Ere he his unseen pomp would solemnise. The evening weather was so bright, and clear, That men of health were of unusual cheer; Stepping like Homer at the trumpet's call, Or young Apollo on the pedestal : And lovely women were as fair and warm As Venus looking sideways in alarm. The breezes were ethereal, and pure, And crept through half-closed lattices to cure The languid sick; it coold their fever'd sleep, And soothed them into slumbers full and deep. Soon they awoke clear-eyed: nor burn’d with

thirsting, Nor with hot fingers, nor with temples bursting: And springing up, they met the wondering sight Of their dear friends, nigh foolish with delight; Who feel their arms, and breasts, and kiss, and stare, And on their placid foreheads part the hair. Young men and maidens at each other gazed, With hands held back, and motionless, amazed To see the brightness in each other's eyes; And so they stood, fill'd with a sweet surprise, Until their tongues were loosed in poesy. Therefore no lover did of anguish die: But the soft numbers, in that moment spoken, Made silken ties, that never may be broken.

Cynthia! I cannot tell the greater blisses
That follow'd thine, and thy dear shepherd's kisses:
Was there a poet born?— But now no more
My wandering spirit must no farther soar.

SLEEP AND POETRY.1

As I lay in my bed slepe full unmete
Was unto me, but why that I ne might
Rest I ne wist, for there n'as erthly wight
(As I suppose) had more of hertis ese
Than I, for I n'ad sicknesse nor disese.

CHAUCER.

W

HAT is more gentle than a wind of

summer ? What is more soothing than the pretty hummer That stays one moment in an open flower, And buzzes cheerily from bower to bower ? What is more tranquil than a musk-rose blowing In a green island, far from all men's knowing ? More healthful than the leafiness of dales ? More secret than a nest of nightingales ? More serene than Cordelia's countenance ? More full of visions than a high romance ? What, but thee, Sleep? Soft closer of our eyes! Low murmurer of tender lullabies ! Light hoverer around our happy pillows !

I“ It was in the library of framework and many lines of Keats's cottage,” writes Mr. this poem, the last sixty or Cowden Clarke, “ where an seventy being an inventory extempore bed had been of the art-garniture of the made up for Keats on the room.” sofa, that he composed the

Wreather of poppy buds, and weeping willows !
Silent entangler of a beauty's tresses!
Most happy listener! when the morning blesses
Thee for enlivening all the cheerful eyes
That glance so brightly at the new sun-rise.

But what is higher beyond thought than thee? Fresher than berries of a mountain-tree? More strange, more beautiful, more smooth, more

regal, Than wings of swans, than doves, than dim-seen

eagle? What is it? And to what shall I compare it? It has a glory, and nought else can share it: The thought thereof is awful, sweet, and holy, Chasing away all worldliness and folly : Coming sometimes like fearful claps of thunder; Or the low rumblings earth's regions under; And sometimes like a gentle whispering Of all the secrets of some wondrous thing That breathes about us in the vacant air ; So hat we look around with prying stare, Perhaps to see shapes of light, aërial limning; And catch soft floatings from a faint-heard hymning; To see the laurel-wreath, on high suspended, That is to crown our name when life is ended. Sometimes it gives a glory to the voice, And from the heart up-springs, rejoice ! rejoice! Sounds which will reach the Framer of all things, And die away in ardent mutterings.

No one who once the glorious sun has seen, And all the clouds, and felt his bosom clean VOL. II.

5

For his great Maker's presence, but must know
What 'tis I mean, and feel his being glow :
Therefore no insult will I give his spirit,
By telling what he sees from native merit.

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O Poesy! for thee I hold my pen,
That am not yet a glorious denizen
Of thy wide heaven — should I rather kneel
Upon some mountain-top until I feel
A glowing splendour round about me hung,
And echo back the voice of thine own tongue ?
O Poesy! for thee I grasp my pen,
That am not yet a glorious denizen
Of thy wide heaven; yet, to my ardent prayer,
Yield from thy sanctuary some clear air,
Smoothed for intoxication by the breath
Of flowering bays, that I may die a death
Of luxury, and my young spirit follow
The morning sunbeams to the great Apollo,
Like a fresh sacrifice; or, if I can bear
The o'erwhelming sweets, 'twill bring me to the fair
Visions of all places: a bowery nook
Will be elysium an eternal book
Whence I may copy many a lovely saying
About the leaves, and flowers - about the playing
Of nymphs in woods and fountains; and the shade
Keeping a silence round a sleeping maid;
And many a verse from so strange influence
That we must ever wonder how, and whence
It came.

Also imaginings will hover
Round my fire-side, and haply there discover
Vistas of solemn beauty, where I'd wander
In happy silence, like the clear Meander

Through its lone vales; and where I found a spot
Of awfuller shade, or an enchanted grot,
Or a green hill o'erspread with chequer'd dress
Of flowers, and fearful from its loveliness,
Write on my tablets all that was permitted,
All that was for our human senses fitted.
Then the events of this wide world I'd seize
Like a strong giant, and my spirit tease,
Till at its shoulders it should proudly see
Wings to find out an immortality.

Stop and consider ! life is but a day; A fragile dewdrop on its perilous way From a tree's summit; a poor Indian's sleep While his boat hastens to the monstrous steep Of Montmorenci. Why so sad a moan? Life is the rose's hope while yet unblown; The reading of an ever-changing tale; The light uplifting of a maiden's veil; A pigeon tumbling in clear summer air; A laughing school-boy, without grief or care, Riding the springy branches of an elm.

O for ten years, that I may overwhelm Myself in poesy! so I may do the deed That my own soul has to itself decreed. Then I will pass the countries that I see In long perspective, and continually Taste their pure fountains. First the realm I'll pass Of Flora, and old Pan, sleep in the grass, Feed upon apples red, and strawberries, And choose each pleasure that my fancy sees; Catch the white-handed nymphs in shady places,

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