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EvE's lingering clouds extend in solid bars
Through the grey west; and lo! these waters, steeled
By breezeless air to smoothest polish, yield
A vivid repetition of the stars ;
Jove — Venus — and the ruddy crest of Mars,
Amid his fellows, beauteously revealed
At happy distance from earth's groaning field,
Where ruthless mortals wage incessant wars.
Is it a mirror ? or the nether sphere
Opening its vast abyss, while fancy feeds
On the rich show! - But list! a voice is near ;
Great Pan himself low-whispering through the reeds,
“ Be thankful thou ; for, if unholy deeds
Ravage the world, tranquillity is here !"
Ye sacred Nurseries of blooming Youth!
In whose collegiate shelter England's Flowers
Expand - enjoying through their vernal hours
The air of liberty, the light of truth;
Much have ye suffered from Time's gnawing tooth,
Yet, Oye Spires of Oxford ! Domes and Towers !
Gardens and Groves ! your presence overpowers
The soberness of Reason; 'till, in sooth,
Transformed, and rushing on a bold exchange,
I slight my own beloved Cam, to range
Where silver Isis leads my stripling feet;
Pace the long avenue, or glide adown
The stream-like windings of that glorious street,
- An eager Novice robed in fluttering gown!
SHAME on this faithless heart! that could allow
Such transport - though but for a moment's space ;
Not while – to aid the spirit of the place –
The crescent moon cleaves with its glittering prow
The clouds, or night-bird sings from shady bough;
But in plain day-light:- She, too, at my side,
Who, with her heart's experience satisfied,
Maintains inviolate its slightest vow.
Sweet Fancy! other gifts must I receive ;
Proofs of a higher sovereignty I claim;
Take from her brow the withering flowers of Eve,
And to that brow Life's morning wreath restore ;
Let her be comprehended in the frame
Of these illusions, or they please no more.
ON THE DEATH OF HIS LATE MAJESTY
WARD of the LAW!- dread Shadow of a King!
Whose Realm had dwindled to one stately room;
Whose universe was gloom immersed in gloom,
Darkness as thick as Life o'er Life could fling,
Yet haply cheered with some faint glimmering
Of Faith and Hope; if thou, by nature's doom,
Gently hast sunk into the quiet tomb,
Why should we bend in grief, to sorrow cling,
When thankfulness were best?- Fresh-flowing tears,
Or, where tears flow not, sigh succeeding sigh,
Yield to such after-thought the sole reply
Which justly it can claim. The Nation hears
In this deep knell — silent for threescore years,
An unexampled voice of awful memory!
FAME tells of Groves — from England far away -
* Groves that inspire the Nightingale to trill
And modulate, with subtle reach of skill
Elsewhere unmatched, her ever-varying lay;
Such bold report I venture to gainsay :
For I have heard the choir of Richmond hill
Chaunting with indefatigable bill;
While I bethought me of a distant day;
When, haply under shade of that same wood,
And scarcely conscious of the dashing oars
Plied steadily between those willowy shores,
The sweet-souled Poet of the Seasons stood
Listening, and listening long, in rapturous mood,
Ye heavenly Birds ! to your Progenitors.