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Gush ever and anon with silent creep,
Lured by the innocent dimples. To sweet rest
Shall the dear babe, upon its mother's breast,
Be lull'd with songs of mine. Fair world, adieu !
Thy dales and bills are fading from my view :
Swiftly I mount, upon wide-spreading pinions,
Far from the narrow bounds of thy dominions.
Full joy I feel, while thus I cleave the air,
That my soft verse will charm thy daughters fair,
And warm thy sons !" Ah, my dear friend and

Could I, at once, my ambition smother,
For tasting jays like these, sure I should be
Happier, and dearer to society.
At times, 'tis true, I've felt relief from pain
When some bright thought has darted through my

brain : Through all that day I've felt a greater pleasure Than if I had brought to light a hidden treasure. As to my sonnets, though none else should heed

them, I feel delighted, still, that you should read them. Of late, too, I have had much calm enjoyment, Stretch'd on the grass at my best-loved employment Of scribbling lines for you. These things I thought While, in my face, the freshest breeze I caught. E’en now I am pillow'd on a bed of flowers That crowns a lofty cliff, which proudly towers Above the ocean waves. The stalks and blades Chequer my tablet with their quivering shades. On one side is a field of drooping oats, Through which the poppies show their scarlet coats, So pert and useless, that they bring to mind The scarlet-coats that pester humankind. And on the other side, outspread, is seen Ocean's bluemantle,streak'd with purple and green! Now, 'tis I see a canvass'd ship, and now

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Mark the bright silver curling round her prow;
I see the lark down-dropping to his nest,
And the broad-wing'd sea-gull never at rest;
For when no more he spreads his feathers free,
His breast is dancing on the restless sea.
Now I direct my eyes into the west,
Which at this moment is in sun-beams drest :
Why westward turn ? 'Twas but to say adieu !
'Twas but to kiss my hand, dear George, to you !

August, 1816.


FT have you seen a swan superbly

frowning, And with proud breast his own white

shadow crowning ; He slants his neck beneath the waters bright So silently, it seems a beam of light Come from the galaxy : anon he sports, With outspread wings the Naiad Zephyr courts Or rufies all the surface of the lake In striving from its crystal face to take Some diamond water-drops, and them to treasure In milky nest, and sip them off at leisure. But not a moment can he there ensure them, Nor to such downy rest can he allure them ; For down they rush as though they would be free, And drop like hours into eternity. Just like that bird am I in loss of time, Whene’er I venture on the stream of rhyne ; With shatter'd boat, oar snapt, and canvas rent, I slowly sail, scarce knowing my intent; Stili scooping up the water with my fingers, In which a trembling diamond never lingers.

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By this, friend Charles, you may full plainly see Why I have never penn'd a line to thee : Because my thoughts were never free and clear, And little fit to please a classic ear ; Because my wine was of too poor a savour For one whose palate gladdens in the flavour Of sparkling Helicon :-small good it were 'To take him to a desert rude and bare, Who had on Baiæ's shore reclined at ease, While Tasso's page was floating in a breeze That gave soft music from Armida’s bowers, Mingled with fragrance from her rarest flowers : Small good to one who had by Mulla's stream Fondled the maidens with the breasts of cream ; Who had beheld Belphobe in a brook, And lovely Una in a leafy nook, And Archimago leaning o'er his book : Who had of all that's sweet tasted, and seen, From silvery ripple, up to beauty's queen ; From the sequester'd haunts of gay Titania, To the blue dwelling of divine Urania : One who of late had ta'en sweet forest walks With him who elegantly chats and talksThe wrong'd Libertas—who has told you stories Of laurel chaplets, and Apollo's glories; Of troops chivalrous prancing through a city, And tearful ladies, made for love and pity : With many else which I have never known. Thus have I thought; and days on days have flown Slowly, or rapidly-unwilling still For you to try my dull, unlearned quill. Nor should I now, but that I've known you long; That

you first taught me all the sweets of song: The grand, the sweet, the terse, the free, the fine: What swell'd with pathos, and what right divine: Spenserian vowels that elope with ease, And float along like birds o'er summer seas:

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Miltonian storms, and more, Miltonian tenderness, Michael in arms, and more, meek Eve's fair slender.


Who read for me the sonnet swelling loudly
Up to its climax, and then dying proudly ?
Who found for me the grandeur of the ode,
Growing, like Atlas, stronger from its load ?
Who let me taste that more than cordial dram,
The sharp, the rapier-pointed epigram ?
Show'd me that epic was of all the king,
Round, vast, and spanning all, like Saturn's ring?
You too up-held the veil from Clio's beauty,
And pointed out the patriot's stern duty;
The might of Alfred, and the shaft of Tell ;
The hand of Brutus, that so grandly fell
Upon a tyrant's head. Ah ! had I never seen
Or known your kindness, what might I have been ?
What my enjoyments in my youthful years.
Bereft of all that now my life endears ?
And can I e'er these benefits forget?
And can I e'er repay the friendly debt ?
No, doubly no ;-yet should these rhymings please,
I shall roll on the grass with two-fold ease ;
For I have long time been my fancy feeding
With hopes that you would one day think the

Of my rough verses not an hour mispent;
Should it e'er be so, what a rich content !
Some weeks have pass'd since last I saw the spires
In lucent Thames reflected :—warm desires
To see the sun o'er-peep the eastern dimness,
And morning-shadows streaking into slimness
Across the lawny fields, and pebbly water ;
To mark the time as they grow broad and shorter ;
To feel the air that plays about the hills,
And sips its freshness from the little rills ;
To see high, golden corn wave in the light



When Cynthia smiles upon a summer's night,
And peers among the cloudlets, jet and white,
As though she were reclining in a bed
Of bean-blossoms, in heaven freshly shed.
No sooner had I stepp'd into these pleasures,
Than I began to think of rhymes and measures ;
The air that floated by me seem’d to say,
“ Write! thou wilt never have a better day.”
And so I did. When many lines I'd written,
Though with their grace I was not oversmitteu,
Yet, as my hand was warm, I thought I'd better
Trust to my feelings, and write you a letter.
Such an attempt required an inspiration
Of a peculiar sort,—a consummation ;-
Which, had I felt, these scribblings might have

Verses from which the soul would never wean;
But many days have past since last my heart
Was warm'd luxuriously by divine Mozart;
By Arne delighted, or by Handel madden'd;
Or by the song of Erin pierced and sadden'd:
What timo you were before the music sitting,
And the rich notes to each sensation fitting.
Since I have walk'd with you through shady lanes
That freshly terminate in open plains,
And revell'd in a chat that ceased not,
When, at night-fall, among your books we got:
No, nor when supper came, nor after that,-
Nor when reluctantly I took my hat;
No, nor till cordially you shook my

hand Mid-way between our homes :-your accents bland Still sounded in my ears, when I no more Could hear your footsteps touch the gravelly floor, Sometimes I lost them, and then found again; You changed the foot-path for the grassy plain. In those still moments I have wish'd you joys That well you know to honour :-"Life's very toys.

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