O! were I one of the Olympian twelve,
Their godships should pass this into law,–
That when a man doth set himself in toil
After some beauty veiled far away,
Each step he took should make his lady’s hand
More soft, more white, and her fair cheek more fair;
And for each briar-berry he might eat,
A kiss should bud upon the tree of love,
And pulp and ripen richer every hour,
To melt away upon the traveller’s
Shed no tear! oh, shed no tear!
The flower will bloom another year.
Weep no more! oh, weep no more!
Young buds sleep in the root’s white core.
Dry your eyes! oh, dry your eyes!
For I was taught in Paradise
To ease my breast of melodies,–
Shed no tear.
Overhead! look overhead!
‘Mong the blossoms white and red–
Look up, look up! I flutter now
On this fresh pomegranate bough.
See me! ’tis this silvery bill
Ever cures the good man’s
Ever let the Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home:
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
Like to bubbles when rain pelteth;
Then let winged Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
Open wide the mind’s cage-door,
She’ll dart forth, and cloudward soar.
O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
Summer’s joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the Spring
Fades as does its blossoming;
Autumn’s red-lipp’d fruitage too,
Blushing through the mist and dew,
Cloys with tasting: What do
For there’s Bishop’s teign
And King’s teign
And Coomb at the clear Teign head–
Where close by the stream
You may have your cream
All spread upon barley bread.
There’s Arch Brook
And there’s Larch Brook
Both turning many a mill,
And cooling the drouth
Of the salmon’s mouth
And fattening his silver gill.
There is Wild Wood,
A mild hood
To the sheep on the lea o’ the down,
Where the golden furze,
With its green, thin spurs,
Doth catch at the maiden’s gown.
To-night I’ll have my friar – let me think
About my room, – I’ll have it in the pink;
It should be rich and sombre, and the moon,
Just in its mid-life in the midst of June,
Should look thro’ four large windows and display
Clear, but for gold-fish vases in the way,
Their glassy diamonding on Turkish floor;
The tapers keep aside, an hour and more,
To see what else the moon alone can show;
Mother of Hermes! and still youthful Maia!
May I sing to thee
As thou wast hymned on the shores of Baia?
Or may I woo thee
In earlier Sicilian? or thy smiles
Seek as they once were sought, in Grecian isles,
By bards who died content on pleasant sward,
Leaving great verse unto a little clan?
O give me their old vigour! and unheard
Save of the quiet primrose, and the span
Of heaven, and few ears,
Rounded by thee,
God of the meridian!
And of the east and west!
To thee my soul is flown,
And my body is earthward press’d:
It is an awful mission,
A terrible division,
And leaves a gulf austere
To be fill’d with worldly fear.
Aye, when the soul is fled
Too high above our head,
Affrighted do we gaze
After its airy maze –
As doth a mother wild
When her young infant child
Is in an eagle’s claws.
And is not this the cause
Of madness? –
HAPPY is England! I could be content
To see no other verdure than its own;
To feel no other breezes than are blown
Through its tall woods with high romances blent:
Yet do I sometimes feel a languishment
For skies Italian, and an inward groan
To sit upon an Alp as on a throne,
And half forget what world or worldling meant.
Happy is England, sweet her artless daughters;
Enough their simple loveliness for me,
Enough their whitest arms
Hence burgundy, claret, and port,
Away with old hock and madeira!
Too earthly ye are for my sport;
There’s a beverage brighter and clearer!
Instead of a pitiful rummer,
My wine overbrims a whole summer;
My bowl is the sky,
And I drink at my eye,
Till I feel in the brain
A Delphian pain –
Then follow, my Caius, then follow!
On the green of the hill,
We will drink our fill
Of golden sunshine,
Till our brains intertwine
With the glory and
Hither hither, love-
‘Tis a shady mead-
Hither, hither, love!
Let us feed and feed!
Hither, hither, sweet-
‘Tis a cowslip bed-
Hither, hither, sweet!
‘Tis with dew bespread!
Hither, hither, dear
By the breath of life,
Hither, hither, dear!–
Be the summer’s wife!
Though one moment’s pleasure
In one moment flies-
Though the passion’s treasure
In one moment dies;-
Yet it has not passed-
Think how near, how near!-
And while it doth last,
Think how dear, how dear!
Hither, hither, hither
Love its boon has sent-
If I die
HOW many bards gild the lapses of time!
A few of them have ever been the food
Of my delighted fancy,-I could brood
Over their beauties, earthly, or sublime:
And often, when I sit me down to rhyme,
These will in throngs before my mind intrude:
But no confusion, no disturbance rude
Do they occasion; ’tis a pleasing chime.
So the unnumber’d sounds that evening store;
The songs of birds-the whisp’ring of the leaves–
The voice of waters-the great
God of the golden bow,
And of the golden lyre,
And of the golden hair,
And of the golden fire,
Of the patient year,
Where-where slept thine ire,
When like a blank idiot I put on thy wreath,
Thy laurel, thy glory,
The light of thy story,
Or was I a worm-too low crawling for death?
O Delphic Apollo!
The Thunderer grasp’d and grasp’d,
The Thunderer frown’d and frown’d;
The eagle’s feathery mane
For wrath became stiffen’d-the sound
Of breeding thunder
Went drowsily under,
DEEP in the shady sadness of a vale
Far sunken from the healthy breath of morn,
Far from the fiery noon, and eve’s one star,
Sat gray-hair’d Saturn, quiet as a stone,
Still as the silence round about his lair; 5
Forest on forest hung about his head
Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there,
Not so much life as on a summer’s day
Robs not one light seed from the feather’d grass,
JUST at the self-same beat of Time’s wide wings
Hyperion slid into the rustled air,
And Saturn gain’d with Thea that sad place
Where Cybele and the bruised Titans mourn’d.
It was a den where no insulting light 5
Could glimmer on their tears; where their own groans
They felt, but heard not, for the solid roar
Of thunderous waterfalls and torrents hoarse,
Pouring a constant bulk, uncertain where.
Crag jutting forth to crag, and rocks that
THUS in alternate uproar and sad peace,
Amazed were those Titans utterly.
O leave them, Muse! O leave them to their woes;
For thou art weak to sing such tumults dire:
A solitary sorrow best befits 5
Thy lips, and antheming a lonely grief.
Leave them, O Muse! for thou anon wilt find
Many a fallen old Divinity
Wandering in vain about bewildered shores.
Meantime touch piously the Delphic harp, 10
And not a wind of heaven
I STOOD tip-toe 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 scantly leaved, and finely tapering stems, 5
Had not yet lost those 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
I am as brisk
As a bottle of wisk–
Ey and as nimble
As a milliner’s thimble.
I cry your mercy-pity-love!-ay, love!
Merciful love that tantalises not
One-thoughted, never-wandering, guileless love,
Unmask’d, and being seen—without a blot!
O! let me have thee whole,—all—all—be mine!
That shape, that fairness, that sweet minor zest
Of love, your kiss,—those hands, those eyes divine,
That warm, white, lucent, million-pleasured breast,–
Yourself—your soul—in pity give me all,
Withhold no atom’s atom or I die,
Or living on, perhaps, your wretched thrall,
Forget, in the mist of idle misery,
Life’s purposes,—the palate of
If by dull rhymes our English must be chain’d,
And, like Andromeda, the Sonnet sweet
Fetter’d, in spite of pained loveliness;
Let us find out, if we must be constrain’d,
Sandals more interwoven and complete
To fit the naked foot of poesy;
Let us inspect the lyre, and weigh the stress
Of every chord, and see what may be gain’d
By ear industrious, and attention meet:
Misers of sound and syllable, no less
Than Midas of his coinage, let
I had a dove, and the sweet dove died
And I have thought it died of grieving;
O what could it grieve for? Its feet were tied
With a silken thread of my own hand’s weaving:
Sweet little red feet! why would you die?
Why would you leave me, sweet bird, why?
You liv’d alone on the forest tree,
Why, pretty thing, could you not live with me?
I kiss’d you oft, and gave you white pease;
* * * * * * *
NOW Morning from her orient chamber came,
And her first footsteps touch’d a verdant hill;
Crowning its lawny crest with amber flame,
Silv’ring the untainted gushes of its rill;
Which, pure from mossy beds, did down distill, 5
And after parting beds of simple flowers,
By many streams a little lake did fill,
Which round its marge reflected woven bowers,
And, in its middle space, a sky that never lowers.
In after-time, a sage of mickle lore
Y-cleped Typographus, the Giant took,
And did refit his limbs as heretofore,
And made him read in many a learned book,
And into many a lively legend look;
Thereby in goodly themes so training him,
That all his brutishness he quite forsook,
When, meeting Artegall and Talus grim,
One he struck stone-blind, the other’s eyes wox dim.
IN a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy tree,
Thy branches ne’er remember
Their green felicity:
The north cannot undo them, 5
With a sleety whistle through them;
Nor frozen thawings glue them
From budding at the prime.
In a drear-nighted December,
Too happy, happy brook, 10
Thy bubblings ne’er remember
Apollo’s summer look;
But with a sweet forgetting,
They stay their crystal fretting,
Never, never petting 15
About the frozen time.
Ah! would ’t were so with many
A gentle girl and boy!
A Story from Boccaccio
FAIR Isabel, poor simple Isabel!
Lorenzo, a young palmer in Love’s eye!
They could not in the self-same mansion dwell
Without some stir of heart, some malady;
They could not sit at meals but feel how well 5
It soothed each to be the other by;
They could not, sure, beneath the same roof sleep
But to each other dream, and nightly weep.
With every morn their love grew tenderer,
With every eve deeper
KEEN, fitful gusts are whisp’ring here and there
Among the bushes half leafless, and dry;
The stars look very cold about the sky,
And I have many miles on foot to fare.
Yet feel I little of the cool bleak air, 5
Or of the dead leaves rustling drearily,
Or of those silver lamps that burn on high,
Or of the distance from home’s pleasant lair:
For I am brimfull of the friendliness
That in a little