>> / Washington Allston

. Poems of Washington Allston



/ Washington Allston, (5 1779 9 1843 ) .


A Fragment

But most they wondered at the charm she gave
To common things, that seemed as from the grave
Of mouldering custom suddenly to rise
To fresh and fairer life; a life so new,
And yet so real, to the heart so true,
They gazed upon the world as if a thousand ties,
Till now to all unknown, between them daily grew.

The life was hers, from that mysterious cell
Whence sends the soul her self-diffusing spell,
Whose once embodied breath for ever is:
Though ruthless Time, with whom no creature strives,
At every step treads out a thousand lives,
Yet brings his wasting march no doom to this,
Like heritage with air, that aye for all survives.


A Smile

A smile!-Alas, how oft the lips that bear
This floweret of the soul but give to air,
Like flowering graves, the growth of buried care!
Then drear indeed that miserable heart
Where this last human boon is aye denied!
If such there be, it claims in man no part,
Whose deepest grief has yet a mirthful bride.
For whose so many as the sad man's face?
His joy, though brief, is yet reprieve from woe;
The waters of his life in darkness flow;
Yet, when the accidents of time displace
The cares that vault their channel, and let in
A gleam of day, with what a joyous din
The stream jets out to catch the sunny grace!


America to Great Britain

All hail! thou noble land,
Our Fathers native soil!
Oh, stretch thy mighty hand,
Gigantic grown by toil,
Oer the vast Atlantic wave to our shore!
For thou with magic might
Canst reach to where the light
Of Ph?bus travels bright
The world oer!

The Genius of our clime,
From his pine-embattled steep,
Shall hail the guest sublime;
While the Tritons of the deep
With their conchs the kindred league shall proclaim.
Then let the world combine,
Oer the main our naval line
Like the milky-way shall shine
Bright in fame!

Though ages long have past
Since our Fathers left their home,
Their pilot in the blast,
Oer untravelled seas to roam,
Yet lives the blood of England in our veins!
And shall we not proclaim
That blood of honest fame
Which no tyranny can tame
By its chains?

While the language free and bold
Which the bard of Avon sung,
In which our Milton told
How the vault of heaven rung
When Satan, blasted, fell with his host;
While this, with reverence meet,
Ten thousand echoes greet,
From rock to rock repeat
Round our coast;

While the manners, while the arts,
That mould a nations soul,
Still cling around our hearts,
Between let Ocean roll,
Our joint communion breaking with the Sun:
Yet still from either beach
The voice of blood shall reach,
More audible than speech,
We are One.


And Now In Accents Deep And Low

And now, in accents deep and low,
Like voice of fondly-cherish'd woe,
The Sylph of Autumn sad:
Though I may not of raptures sing,
That grac'd the gentle song of Spring,
Like Summer, playful pleasures bring,
Thy youthful heart to glad;

Yet still may I in hope aspire
Thy heart to touch with chaster fire,
And purifying love:
For I with vision high and holy,
And spell of quick'ning melancholy,
Thy soul from sublunary folly
First rais'd to worlds above.

What though be mine the treasures fair
Of purple grape and yellow pear,
And fruits of various hue,
And harvests rich of golden grain,
That dance in waves along the plain
To merry song of reaping swain,
Beneath the welkin blue;

With these I may not urge my suit,
Of Summer's patient toil the fruit,
For mortal purpose given:
Nor may it fit my sober mood
To sing of sweetly murmuring flood,
Or dies of many-colour'd wood,
That mock the bow of heaven.

But, know, 'twas mine the secret power
That wak'd thee at the midnight hour,
In bleak November's reign:
'Twas I the spell around thee cast,
When thou didst hear the hollow blast
In murmurs tell of pleasures past,
That ne'er would come again:

And led thee, when the storm was o'er,
To hear the sullen ocean roar,
By dreadful calm opprest;
Which still, though not a breeze was there,
Its mountain-billows heav'd in air,
As if a living thing it were,
That strove in vain for rest.

'Twas I, when thou, subdued by woe,
Didst watch the leaves descending slow,
To each a moral gave;
And as they mov'd in mournful train,
With rustling sound, along the plain,
Taught them to sing a seraph's strain
Of peace within the grave.

And then uprais'd thy streaming eye,
I met thee in the western sky
In pomp of evening cloud;
That, while with varying form it roll'd,
Some wizard's castle seem'd of gold,
And now a crimson'd knight of old,
Or king in purple proud.

And last, as sunk the setting sun,
And Evening with her shadows dun,
The gorgeous pageant past,
'Twas then of life a mimic shew,
Of human grandeur here below,
Which thus beneath the fatal blow
Of Death must fall at last.

Oh, then with what aspiring gaze
Didst thou thy tranced vision raise
To yonder orbs on high,
And think how wondrous, how sublime
'Twere upwards to their spheres to climb,
And live, beyond the reach of Time,
Child of Eternity!

And last the Sylph of Winter spake;
The while her piercing voice did shake
The castle-vaults below.
Oh, youth, if thou, with soul refin'd,
Hast felt the triumph pure of mind,
And learnt a secret joy to find
In deepest scenes of woe;

If e'er with fearful ear at eve
Hast heard the wailing tempest grieve
Through chink of shatter'd wall;
The while it conjur'd o'er thy brain
Of wandering ghosts a mournful train,
That low in fitful sobs complain,
Of Death's untimely call:

Or feeling, as the storm increas'd,
The love of terror nerve thy breast,
Didst venture to the coast;
To see the mighty war-ship leap
From wave to wave upon the deep,
Like chamoise goat from steep to steep,
'Till low in valleys lost;

Then, glancing to the angry sky,
Behold the clouds with fury fly
The lurid moon athwart;
Like armies huge in battle, throng,
And pour in vollying ranks along,
While piping winds in martial song
To rushing war exhort:

Oh, then to me thy heart be given,
To me, ordain'd by Him in heaven
Thy nobler powers to wake.
And oh! if thou with poet's soul,
High brooding o'er the frozen pole,
Hast felt beneath my stern control
The desert region quake;

Or from old Hecla's cloudy height,
When o'er the dismal, half-year's night
He pours his sulph'rous breath,
Hast known my petrifying wind
Wild ocean's curling billows bind,
Like bending sheaves by harvest hind,
Erect in icy death;

Or heard adown the mountain's steep
The northern blast with furious sweep
Some cliff dissever'd dash;
And seen it spring with dreadful bound
From rock to rock, to gulph profound,
While echoes fierce from caves resound
The never-ending crash:

If thus, with terror's mighty spell
Thy soul inspir'd, was wont to swell,
Thy heaving frame expand;
Oh, then to me thy heart incline;
For know, the wondrous charm was mine
That fear and joy did thus combine
In magick union bland.

Nor think confin'd my native sphere
To horrors gaunt, or ghastly fear,
Or desolation wild:
For I of pleasures fair could sing,
That steal from life its sharpest sting,
And man have made around it cling,
Like mother to her child.

When thou, beneath the clear blue sky,
So calm no cloud was seen to fly,
Hast gaz'd on snowy plain,
Where Nature slept so pure and sweet,
She seem'd a corse in winding-sheet,
Whose happy soul had gone to meet
The blest Angelic train;

Or mark'd the sun's declining ray
In thousand varying colours play
O'er ice-incrusted heath,
In gleams of orange now, and green,
And now in red and azure sheen,
Like hues on dying dolphins seen,
Most lovely when in death;

Or seen at dawn of eastern light
The frosty toil of Fays by night
On pane of casement clear,
Where bright the mimic glaciers shine,
And Alps, with many a mountain pine,
And armed knights from Palestine
In winding march appear:

'Twas I on each enchanting scene
The charm bestow'd that banish'd spleen
Thy bosom pure and light.
But still a nobler power I claim;
That power allied to poets' fame,
Which language vain has dar'd to name-
The soul's creative might.

Though Autumn grave, and Summer fair,
And joyous Spring demand a share
Of Fancy's hallow'd power,
Yet these I hold of humbler kind,
To grosser means of earth confin'd,
Through mortal sense to reach the mind,
By mountain, stream, or flower.

But mine, of purer nature still,
Is that which to thy secret will
Did minister unseen,
Unfelt, unheard; when every sense
Did sleep in drowsy indolence,
And Silence deep and Night intense
Enshrowded every scene;

That o'er thy teeming brain did raise
The spirits of departed days
Through all the varying year;
And images of things remote,
And sounds that long had ceas'd to float,
With every hue, and every note,
As living now they were:

And taught thee from the motley mass
Each harmonizing part to class,
(Like Nature's self employ'd
And then, as work'd thy wayward will,
From these with rare combining skill,
With new-created worlds to fill
Of space the mighty void.

Oh then to me thy heart incline;
To me whose plastick powers combine
The harvest of the mind;
To me, whose magic coffers bear
The spoils of all the toiling year,
That still in mental vision wear
A lustre more refin'd.

She ceas'd-And now in doubtful mood,
All motionless and mute I stood,
Like one by charm opprest:
By turns from each to each I rov'd,
And each by turns again I lov'd;
For ages ne'er could one have prov'd
More lovely than the rest.

'Oh blessed band, of birth divine,
What mortal task is like to mine!'-
And further had I spoke,
When, lo! there pour'd a flood of light
So fiercely on my aching sight,
I fell beneath the vision bright,
And with the pain I woke.



O Art, high gift of Heaven! how oft defamed
When seeming praised! To most a craft that fits,
By dead, prescriptive Rule, the scattered bits
Of gathered knowledge; even so misnamed
By some who would invoke thee; but not so
By him,-the noble Tuscan,-who gave birth
To forms unseen of man, unknown to Earth,
Now living habitants; he felt the glow
Of thy revealing touch, that brought to view
The invisible Idea; and he knew,
E'en by his inward sense, its form was true:
'T was life to life responding, - highest truth!
So, through Elisha's faith, the Hebrew Youth
Beheld the thin blue air to fiery chariots grow.



Ah, then how sweetly closed those crowded days!
The minutes parting one by one like rays,
That fade upon a summer's eve.
But O, what charm or magic numbers
Can give me back the gentle slumbers
Those weary, happy days did leave?
When by my bed I saw my mother kneel,
And with her blessing took her nightly kiss;
Whatever Time destroys, he cannot this;-
E'en now that nameless kiss I feel.


First Love

Ah me! how hard the task to bear
The weight of ills we know!
But harder still to dry the tear,
That mourns a nameless we.

If by the side of Lucy's wheel
I sit to see her spin,
My head around begins to reel,
My heart to beat within.

Or when on harvest holliday
I lead the dance along,
If Lucy chance to cross my way,
So sure she leads me wrong,

If I attempt the pipe to play,
And catch my Lucy's eye,
The trembling musick dies away,
And melts into a sigh.

Where'er I go, where'er I turn,
If Lucy there be found,
I seem to shiver, yet I burn,
My head goes swimming round.

I cannot bear to see her smile,
Unless she smile on me;
And if she frown, I sigh the while,
But know not whence it be.

Ah, what have I to Lucy done
To cause me so much stir?
From rising to the setting sun
I sigh, and think of her.

In vain I strive to join the throng
In social mirth and ease;
Now lonely woods I stray among,
For only woods can please.

Ah, me! this restless heart I fear
Will never be at rest,
'Till Lucy cease to live, or tear
Her image from my breast.



'Ah me! how sad,' Myrtilla cried,
'To waste alone my years!'
While o'er a streamlet's flow'ry side
She pensive hung, and watch'd the tide
That dimpled with her tears.

'The world, though oft to merit blind,
Alas, I cannot blame;
For they have oft the knee inclined.
And pour'd the sigh-but, like the wind
Of winter, cold it came.

'Ah no! neglect I cannot rue.'
Then o'er the limpid stream
She cast her eyes of ether blue;
Her wat'ry eyes look'd up to view
Their lovelier parent's beam.

And ever as the sad lament
Would thus her lips divide,
Her lips, like sister roses bent
By passing gales, elastick sent
Their blushes from the tide.

While mournful o'er her pictur'd face
Did then her glances steal,
She seem'd she thought a marble Grace,
T' enslave with love the human race,
But ne'er that love to feel.

'Ah, what avail those eyes replete
With charms without a name!
Alas, no kindred rays they meet,
To kindle by collision sweet
Of mutual love the flame!

'Oh, 'tis the worst of cruel things,
This solitary state!
Yon bird that trims his purple wings,
As on the bending bow he swings.
Prepares to join his mate.

'The little glow-worm sheds her light,
Nor sheds her light in vain-
That still her tiny lover's sight
Amid the darkness of the night
May trace her o'er the plain.

'All living nature seems to move
By sympathy divine-
The sea, the earth, the air above;
As if one universal love
Did all their hearts entwine!

'My heart alone of all my kind
No love can ever warm:
That only can resemblance find
With waste Arabia, where the wind
Ne'er breathes on human form;

'A blank, embodied space, that knows
No changes in its reign,
Save when the fierce tornado throws
Its barren sands, like drifted snows,
In ridges o'er the plain.'

Thus plain'd the maid; and now her eyes
Slow-lifting from the tide,
Their liquid orbs with sweet surprise
A youth beheld in extacies,
Mute standing by her side.

'Forbear, oh, lovely maid, forbear,'
The youth enamour'd cried,
'Nor with Arabia's waste compare
The heart of one so young and fair,
To every charm allied.

'Or, if Arabia-rather say,
Where some delicious spring
Remurmurs to the leaves that play
Mid palm and date and flow'ret gay,
On zephyr's frolick wing.

'And now, methinks, I cannot deem
The picture else but true;
For I a wand'ring trav'ller seem
O'er life's drear waste, without a gleam
Of hope-if not in you.'

Thus spake the youth; and then his tongue
Such converse sweet distill'd,
It seem'd, as on his words she hung,
As though a heavenly spirit sung,
And all her soul he fill'd.

He told her of his cruel fate,
Condemn'd along to rove,
From infancy to man's estate,
Though courted by the fair and great,
Yet never once to love.

And then from many a poet's page
The blest reverse he proved:
How sweet to pass life's pilgrimage,
From purple youth to sere old age,
Aye loving and beloved!

Here ceased the youth; but still his words
Did o'er her fancy play;
They seem'd the matin song of birds,
Or like the distant low of herds
That welcomes in the day.

The sympathetick chord she feels
Soft thrilling in her soul;
And, as the sweet vibration steals
Through every vein, in tender peals
She seems to hear it roll.

Her alter'd heart, of late so drear,
Then seem'd a faery land,
Where nymphs and rosy loves appear
On margin green of fountain clear,
And frolick hand in hand.

But who shall paint her crimson blush,
Nor think his hand of stone,
As now the secret with a flush
Did o'er her aching senses rush-

Her heart was not her own!

The happy Lindor, with a look
That every hope confessed,
Her glowing hand exulting took,
And press'd it, as she fearful shook,
In silence to his breast.

Myrtilla felt the spreading flame,
Yet knew not how to chide;
So sweet it mantled o'er her frame,
That, with a smile of pride and shame,
She own'd herself his bride.

No longer then, ye fair, complain,
And call the fates unkind;
The high, the low, the meek, the vain,
Shall each a sympathetick swain,
Another self shall find.


On A Falling Group In The Last Judgment Of Michael Angelo, In The Cappella Sistina

How vast, how dread, o'erwhelming, is the thought
Of space interminable! to the soul
A circling weight that crushes into naught
Her mighty faculties! a wondrous whole,
Without or parts, beginning, or an end!
How fearful, then, on desperate wings to send
The fancy e'en amid the waste profound!
Yet, born as if all daring to astound,
Thy giant hand, O Angelo, hath hurled
E'en human forms, with all their mortal weight,
Down the dread void,-fall endless as their fate!
Already now they seem from world to world
For ages thrown; yet doomed, another past,
Another still to reach, nor e'er to reach the last!


On Rembrandt; Occasioned By His Picture Of Jacob's Dream

As in that twilight, superstitious age
When all beyond the narrow grasp of mind
Seemed fraught with meanings of supernal kind,
When e'en the learned, philosophic sage,
Wont with the stars through boundless space to range,
Listened with reverence to the changeling's tale;-
E'en so, thou strangest of all beings strange!
E'en so thy visionary scenes I hail;
That, like the rambling of an idiot's speech,
No image giving of a thing on earth,
Nor thought significant in Reason's reach,
Yet in their random shadowings give birth
To thoughts and things from other worlds that come,
And fill the soul, and strike the reason dumb.

There is a charm no vulgar mind can reach,
No critic thwart, no mighty master teach;
A charm how mingled of the good and ill!
Yet still so mingled that the mystic whole
Shall captive hold the struggling gazer's will,
Till vanquished reason own its full control.
And such, O Rubens, thy mysterious art,
The charm that vexes, yet enslaves the heart!
Thy lawless style, from timid systems free,
Impetuous rolling like a troubled sea,
High o'er the rocks of reason's lofty verge
Impending hangs; yet, ere the foaming surge
Breaks o'er the bound, the refluent ebb of taste
Back from the shore impels the watery waste.


On The Late S. T. Coleridge

And thou art gone, most loved, most honoured friend!
No, never more thy gentle voice shall blend
With air of Earth its pure ideal tones,
Binding in one, as with harmonious zones,
The heart and intellect. And I no more
Shall with thee gaze on that unfathomed deep,
The Human Soul,-as when, pushed off the shore,
Thy mystic bark would through the darkness sweep,
Itself the while so bright! For oft we seemed
As on some starless sea,-all dark above,
All dark below,-yet, onward as we drove,
To plough up light that ever round us streamed.
But he who mourns is not as one bereft
Of all he loved: thy living Truths are left.


On The Luxembourg Gallery

There is a Charm no vulgar mind can reach.
No critick thwart, no mighty master teach;
A Charm how mingled of the good and ill!
Yet still so mingled that the mystick whole
Shall captive hold the struggling Gazer's will,
'Till vanquish'd reason own its full control.
And such, oh Rubens, thy mysterious art,
The charm that vexes, yet enslaves the heart!
Thy lawless style, from timid systems free,
Impetuous rolling like a troubled sea,
High o'er the rocks of reason's lofty verge
Impending hangs; yet, ere the foaming surge
Breaks o'er the bound, the refluent ebb of taste
Back from the shore impels the wat'ry waste.



O pour upon my soul again
That sad, unearthly strain,
That seems from other worlds to plain;
Thus falling, falling from afar,
As if some melancholy star
Had mingled with her light her sighs,
And dropped them from the skies!

No,never came from aught below
This melody of woe,
That makes my heart to overflow,
As from a thousand gushing springs
Unknown before; that with it brings
This nameless light,if light it be,
That veils the world I see.

For all I see around me wears
The hue of other spheres;
And something blent of smiles and tears
Comes from the very air I breathe.
O, nothing, sure, the stars beneath
Can mould a sadness like to this,
So like angelic bliss.

So, at that dreamy hour of day,
When the last lingering ray
Stops on the highest cloud to play,
So thought the gentle Rosalie,
As on her maiden reverie
First fell the strain of him who stole
In music to her soul.


The Complaint

'Oh, had I Colin's winning ease,'
Said Lindor with a sigh,
'So carelessly ordained to please,
I'd every care defy.

'If Colin but for Daphne's hair
A simple garland weave,
He gives it with so sweet an air
He seems a crown to give.

'But, though I cull the fairest flower
That decks the breast of spring,
And posies from the woodland bower
For Daphne's bosom bring,

'When I attempt to give the fair,
With many a speech in store,
My half-form'd words dissolve in air,
I blush and dare no more.

'And shall I then expect a smile
From Daphne on my love,
When every word and look the while
My clownish weakness prove?

'Oft at the close of summer day,
When Daphne wander'd by,
I've left my little flock astray,
And follow'd with a sigh.

'Yet, fearing to approach too near,
I lingered far behind:
And, lest my step should reach her ear,
I shook at every wind.

'How happy then must Colin be
Who never knew this fear,
Whose sweet address at liberty
Commands the fair-one's ear!

'A smile, a tear, a word, a sigh,
Stand ready at his call;
In me unknown they live and die,
Who have and feel them all.'

Ah, simple swain, how little knows
The love-sick mind to scan
Those gifts which real love bestows
To mark the favoured man.

Secure, let fluent parrots feign
The musick of the dove;
'Tis only in the eye may reign
The eloquence of love.


The French Revolution

The Earth has had her visitation. Like to this
She hath not known, save when the mounting waters
Made of her orb one universal ocean.
For now the Tree that grew in Paradise,
The deadly Tree that first gave Evil motion,
And sent its poison through Earth's sons and daughters,
Had struck again its root in every land;
And now its fruit was ripe,-about to fall,-
And now a mighty Kingdom raised the hand,
To pluck and eat. Then from his throne stepped forth
The King of Hell, and stood upon the Earth:
But not, as once, upon the Earth to crawl.
A Nation's congregated form he took,
Till, drunk with sin and blood, Earth to her centre shook.


The Mad Lover

At the Grave of his Mistress

Stay, gentle Stranger, softly tread!
Oh, trouble not this hallow'd heap.
Vile Envy says my Julia's dead;
But Envy thus Will never sleep.

Ye creeping Zephyrs, hist you, pray,
Nor press so hard yon wither'd leaves;
For Julia sleeps beneath this clay-
Nay, feel it, how her bosom heaves!

Oh, she was purer than the stream
That saw the first created morn;
Her words were like a sick man's dream
That nerves with health a heart forlorn.

And who their lot would hapless deem
Those lovely, speaking lips to view;
That light between like rays that beam
Through sister clouds of rosy hue?

Yet these were to her fairer soul
But, as yon op'ning clouds on high
To glorious worlds that o'er them roll,
The portals to a brighter sky.

And shall the glutton worm defile
This spotless tenement of love,
That like a playful infant's smile
Seem'd born of purest light above?

And yet I saw the sable pall
Dark-trailing o'er the broken ground-
The earth did on her coffin fall-
I heard the heavy, hollow sound

Avaunt, thou Fiend! nor tempt my brain
With thoughts of madness brought from Hell!
No wo like this of all her train
Has Mem'ry in her blackest cell.

'Tis all a tale of fiendish art-
Thou com'st, my love, to prove it so!
I'll press thy hand upon my heart-
It chills me like a hand of snow!

Thine eyes are glaz'd, thy cheeks are pale,
Thy lips are livid, and thy breath
Too truly tells the dreadful tale--
Thou comest from the house of death!

Oh, speak, Beloved! lest I rave;
The fatal truth I'll bravely meet,
And I will follow to the grave,
And wrap me in thy winding sheet.



What master-voice shall from the dim profound
Of Thought evoke its fearful, mighty Powers?-
Those dread enchanters, whose terrific call
May never be gainsaid; whose wondrous thrall
Alone the Infinite, the Uncreate, may bound;
In whose dark presence e'en the Reason cowers,
Lost in their mystery, e'en while her slaves,
Doing her proud behests. Ay, who to sense
Shall bring them forth?-those subtile Powers that wear
No shape their own, yet to the mind dispense
All shapes that be. Or who in deepest graves
Seal down the crime which they shall not uptear?-
Those fierce avengers, whom the murdered dead
Shall hear, and follow to the murderer's bed.


To A Lady Who Spoke Slightingly Of Poets

Oh, censure not the Poet's art,
Nor think it chills the feeling heart
To love the gentle Muses.
Can that which in a stone or flower,
As if by transmigrating power,
His gen'rous soul infuses;

Can that for social joys impair
The heart that like the lib'ral air
All Nature's self embraces;
That in the cold Norwegian main,
Or mid the tropic hurricane
Her varied beauty traces;

That in her meanest work can find
A fitness and a grace combin'd
In blest harmonious union,
That even with the cricket holds,
As if by sympathy of souls,
Mysterious communion;

Can that with sordid selfishness
His wide-expanded heart impress,
Whose consciousness is loving;
Who, giving life to all he spies,
His joyous being multiplies,
In youthfulness improving?

Oh, Lady, then, fair queen of Earth,
Thou loveliest of mortal birth,
Spurn not thy truest lover;
Nor censure him
whose keener sense
Can feel thy magic influence
Where nought the world discover;

Whose eye on that bewitching face
Can every source unnumber'd trace
Of germinating blisses;
See Sylphids o'er thy forehead weave
The lily-fibred film, and leave
It fix'd with honied kisses;

While some within thy liquid eyes,
Like minnows of a thousand dies
Through lucid waters glancing,
In busy motion to and fro,
The gems of diamond-beetles sow,
Their lustre thus enhancing;

Here some, their little vases fill'd
With blushes for thy cheek distill'd
From roses newly blowing,
Each tiny thirsting pore supply;
And some in quick succession by
The down of peaches strewing;

There others who from hanging bell
Of cowslip caught the dew that fell
While yet the day was breaking,
And o'er thy pouting lips diffuse
The tincture-still its glowing hues
Of purple morn partaking:

Here some, that in the petals prest
Of humid honeysuckles, rest
From nightly fog defended,
Flutter their fragrant wings between,
Like humming-birds that scarce are seen,
They seem with air so blended!

While some, in equal clusters knit.
On either side in circles flit,
Like bees in April swarming,
Their tiny weight each other lend,
And force the yielding cheek to bend,
Thy laughing dimples forming.

Nor, Lady, think the Poet's eye
Can only outward charms espy,
Thy form alone adoring-
Ah, Lady, no: though fair they be.
Yet he a fairer sight may see,
Thy lovely soul exploring:

And while from part to part it flies
The gentle Spirit he descries,
Through every line pursuing;
And feels upon his nature shower
That pure, that humanizing power,
Which raises by subduing.


To My Venerable Friend, The President Of The Royal Academy

From one unused in pomp of words to raise
A courtly monument of empty praise,
Where self, transpiring through the flimsy pile,
Betrays the builder's ostentatious guile,
Accept, O West, these unaffected lays,
Which genius claims and grateful justice pays.
Still green in age, thy vigorous powers impart
The youthful freshness of a blameless heart:
For thine, unaided by another's pain,
The wiles of envy, or the sordid train
Of selfishness, has been the manly race
Of one who felt the purifying grace
Of honest fame; nor found the effort vain
E'en for itself to love thy soul-ennobling art.



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