Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

deserves more attention from the public than she is now likely to obtain. She is not to be compared to the Lady Minstrels of the present day, (to the powerful Joanna Baillie, the fanciful L. E. L., the tender and pathetic Caroline Bowles*, or the refined and spirited Hemans,) but her poems may, nevertheless, be occasionally referred to with pleasure as the effusions of a chaste and cultivated mind.

EVENING CLOUDS.

[A FRAGMENT.]

A GLORIOUS sight! The sun is in the sea,
But o'er its liquid cell yon cloud-arch gleams
With lambent fire-fit bridge for forms of air !
On either side, like green paths dropped with gold,
Or cowslip-covered fields in dewy light,
The glittering vapours lie.-But ah ! how vain
To breathe this feeble language o’er a scene,
So like a gorgeous vision ! Every tint
And shadowy form that charms the poet's eye
Now mocks his failing art !

Now Mrs. Southey.

RETROSPECTIONS.

[WRITTEN IN INDIA.]

I.

'Tis sweet on this far strand, When memory charms the fond reverted eye,

To view that hallowed land Where early dreams like sun-touched shadows lie!

II.

The dear familiar forms,
That caught the fairest hues of happier hours,

Flash forth through after storms,
As bursts of light between autumnal showers.

III.

The green-wood's loveliest spot-
The summer walk-the cheerful winter fire

The calm domestic cot-
The village church with ivy-covered spire-

IV.

Each scene we loved so well-
With faithful force the mind's true mirror shows;

As Painting's mighty spell
Recals the past, and lengthened life bestows.

V.

But though so brightly beam,
These distant views, they make the present drear ;

By Youth's departed dream,
Life's onward paths but desolate appear.

VI.

We may not therefore dwell
Too long and deeply on the dearer past,

Nor sound, for aye, the knell
Of pleasures gone and glories overcast.

VII.

Whate'er our lot may be,
Whatever tints life's varied prospects wear,

The temper'd breast is free
From sullen apathy or fierce despair.

VIII.

In fortune's cloudiest hours,
Within the dreariest regions of the earth,

Are found both beams and flowers,
Unless the wanderer's soul betrays a dearth.

IX.

For still, where'er we range,
Are traced the sweet results of virtue's reign ;

Though forms and features change,
Fair thoughts and fine humanities remain.

X.

And he, whose spirit glows
At Nature's charms, shall own in every land

Her glorious aspect shows
The same bright marks of God's creating hand !

SONNET-TO ENGLAND, Fair England ! thine untravell’d sons may bear A tranquil sense of thy surpassing worth, As those who ne'er have parted from their birth In faith serene their social comforts share ; But he, alone, doth feel how deeply dear The charms of home, who wildly wandering forth To distant realms, finds dreariness and dearth E'en where kind Nature's lavish blooms appear. Around his path bright scenes unheeded lie, For these are tinged not with his early dreamsHis heart is far away ! Thy varied sky Dappling the silent hills with clouds and gleamsThy nest-like cottages and silver streamsAre all that catch the wanderer's dreaming eye !

SONNET_FREEDOM*. There is exulting pride, and holy mirth, In Freedom's kindling eye! Her radiant smile Profoundly thrills this fair imperial isle, The Queen of nations ! Glory of the earth ! Impassioned orisons are breathing forth, And lofty aspirations. Phantoms vile That chill the feeble spirit, and defile The springs of thought and feeling in their birth, Fade like the mists of morn, and lose the power That made us willing slaves. For reason's light Is bursting through the clouds that darkly lower, And hide the face of Heaven! O'er the night Of slumbering millions-oh ! transcendent hour ! The sun of liberty is rising bright !

* Written in England.

CHRISTMAS.

(WRITTEN IN INDIA ON CHRISTMAS DAY.] Here is CHRISTMAS Day again! There is something as animating in the mere announcement as in the sound of a merry bell. It is the season of cheerful piety, of the renewal of old customs that keep the heart alive and tender, and of pure and child-like enjoyment. In our native land it is a time when the dreariness of out-of-doors nature heightens and concentrates the social pleasures and affections within the sheltered home. The hard ground and the frozen sheets of water remain unthawed by the pale and sickly sun ; but the heart of man melts within him, and the fountain of love is unlocked. The huge Christmas fire is the blazing sun that now warms and illumines each domestic circle. How beautifully its red light tinges every object in the snug apartment, and flashes on cheerful faces that glow as beneath the fervour of summer skies! There is no winter within domestic walls.

Now do the most busy and bustling of men of business pause for a few pleasant hours in their quick career, and casting off all feverish anxiety for the future, abandon themselves wholly to present pleasure, or dwell with a serene and grateful tenderness on the joys of the long-vanished past. The stern pride of philosophy and the zeal of the worshipper of Mammon are suspended for a day. The heart has an undivided reign over the kindlier and purer elements of our nature. Now friends long separated, and scattered over different corners of the kingdom, are re-called to one common centre, and surround the hearth that once echoed to the peals of their boyish laughter. The happy patriarch of the family gathers again around him the forms that he cherished from

« ZurückWeiter »