Page images

What objects are the fountains

Of thy happy strain ?
What fields, or waves, or mountains ?

What shapes of sky or plain ?
What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of

pain ?

With thy clear keen joyance

Languor cannot be :
Shadow of annoyance

Never came near thee :
Thou lovest; but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.

Waking or asleep,

Thou of death must deem
Things more true and deep

Than we mortals dream,
Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal

We look before and after,

And pine for what is not:
Our sincerest laughter

With some pain is fraught :
Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest

Yet if we could scorn

Hate and pride and fear;
If we were things born

Not to shed a tear,
I know not how thy joy we ever could come near.

Better than all measures

Of delightful sound,
Better than all treasures

That in books are found,
Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground.

Teach me half the gladness

That thy brain must know;
Such harmonious madness

From my lips would flow,
The world should listen then, as I am listening now.


TO A BEE.—(Robert Southey.) Thou wert out betimes, thou busy, busy bee !

As abroad I took my early way,
Before the cow, from her resting-place,
Had risen up and left her trace

On the meadow, with dew so grey,
Saw I thee, thou busy, busy bee !
Thou wert working late, thou busy, busy bee !

After the fall of the cistus flower ;
When the primrose of evening was ready to burst,
I heard thee last, as I saw thee first.

In the silence of the evening hour
Heard I thee, thou busy, busy bee !
Thou art a miser, thou busy, busy bee!

Late and early at employ;
Still on thy golden stores intent,
Thy summer in keeping and hoarding is spent

What thy winter will never enjoy.
Wise lesson this for me, thou busy, busy bee !
Little dost thou think, thou busy, busy bee,

What is the end of thy toil!
When the latest flowers of the ivy are gone,
And all thy work for the year is done,

Thy master comes for the spoil ;
Woe, then, for thee, thou busy, busy bee !


ATTEND, all ye who list to hear our noble Eng

land's praise ; I tell of the thrice famous deeds she wrought in

ancient days, When that great fleet invincible against her bore in

vain The richest spoils of Mexico, the stoutest hearts

of Spain. It was about the lovely close of a warm summer

day, There came a gallant merchant-ship full sail to

Plymouth Bay; Her crew hath seen Castile's black fleet, beyond

Aurigny's isle, At earliest twilight, on the waves lie heaving many

a mile; At sunrise she escaped their van, by God's especial

grace ; And the tall Pinta, till the noon, had held her close

in chase. Forthwith a guard at every gun was placed along

the wall; The beacon blazed upon the roof of Edgecumbe's

lofty hall; Many a light fishing-bark put out to pry along the

coast, And with loose rein and bloody spur rode inland

many a post. With his white hair unbonneted, the stout old

sheriff comes ; Behind him march the halberdiers ; before him

sound the drums;

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

His yeomen, round the market-cross, make clear

an ample space,
For there behoves him to set up the standard of

Her Grace.
And haughtily the trumpets peal, and gaily dance

the bells,
As slow upon the labouring wind the royal blazon

swells. Look how the Lion of the sea lifts up his ancient

crown, And underneath his deadly paw treads the gay lilies

down. So stalked he when he turned to flight, on that

famed Picard field, Bohemia's plume, and Genoa's bow, and Cæsar's

eagle shield; So glared he when at Agincourt in wrath he turned

to bay, And crushed and torn beneath his claws the

princely hunters lay. Ho! strike the Aag-staff deep, sir Knight : ho!

scatter flowers, fair maids : Ho! gunners, fire a loud salute : ho! gallants,

draw your blades: Thou sun, shine on her joyously—ye breezes, waft

her wide : Our glorious SEMPER EADEM—the banner of our

pride. The freshening breeze of eve unfurled that banner's

massy fold, The parting gleam of sunshine kissed that haughty

scroll of gold; Night sank upon the dusky beach, and on the

purple sea, Such night in England ne'er had been, nor e'er

again shall be.

From Eddystone to Berwick bounds, from Lynn to

Milford Bay, That time of slumber was as bright and busy as

the day; For swift to east and swift to west the ghastly war

flame spread, High on St. Michael's Mount it shone : it shone on

Beachy Head. Far on the deep the Spaniards saw, along each

southern shire, Cape beyond cape, in endless range, those twink

ling points of fire. The fisher left his skiff to rock on Tamar's glitter

ing waves ; The rugged miners poured to war from Mendip's

sunless caves : O'er Longleat's towers, o'er Cranbourne's oaks, the

fiery herald flew, He roused the shepherds of Stonehenge, the rang

ers of Beaulieu. Right sharp and quick the bells all night rang out

from Bristol town, And ere the day three hundred horse had met on

Clifton Down ; The sentinel on Whitehall gate looked forth into

the night, And saw o'erhanging Richmond Hill the streak of

blood-red light. Then bugle's note and cannon's roar the death-like

silence broke, And with one start, and with one cry, the royal

city woke. At once on all her stately gates arose the answer

ing fires; At once the wild alarum clashed from all her

reeling spires;

« PreviousContinue »