(Written on May-Day, 1818)
MOTHER of Hermes! and still youthful Maia!
May I sing to thee
As thou wast hymnàd on the
shores of Baiæ?
Or may I woo thee
In earlier Sicilian? or thy smiles
Seek as they once were sought, in
By bards who died content on pleasant sward,
Leaving great verse unto a little clan?
me their old vigour! and unheard
Save of the quiet primrose, and the span
Of heaven, and few ears,
by thee, my song should die away
Content as theirs,
Rich in the simple worship of a day.
Written on the Blank Page before Beaumont and Fletchers
Tragi-Comedy The Fair Maid of the
BARDS of Passion and of Mirth,
Ye have left your souls on earth!
Have ye souls in heaven
Doubled-lived in regions new?
Yes, and those of heaven commune
With the spheres of sun and moon;
the noise of fountains wondrous,
And the parle of voices thundrous;
With the whisper of heavens trees
one another, in soft ease
Seated on Elysian lawns
Browsed by none but Dians fawns;
Where the daisies are rose-scented,
And the rose herself has got
Perfume which on
earth is not;
Where the nightingale doth sing
Not a senseless, trancàd thing,
But divine melodious truth;
Tales and golden histories
Of heaven and its mysteries.
Thus ye live on high, and then
On the earth ye live again;
And the souls ye left behind you
us, here, the way to find you,
Where your other souls are joying,
Never slumberd, never cloying.
your earth-born souls still speak
To mortals, of their little week;
Of their sorrows and delights;
Of their passions
and their spites;
Of their glory and their shame;
What doth strengthen and what maim.
Thus ye teach
us, every day,
Wisdom, though fled far away.
Bards of Passion and of Mirth,
Ye have left your souls on
Ye have souls in heaven too,
Double-lived in regions new!
EVER let the Fancy roam,
Pleasure never is at home:
At a touch sweet Pleasure melteth,
to bubbles when rain pelteth;
Then let wingàd Fancy wander
Through the thought still spread beyond her:
wide the minds cage-door,
Shell dart forth, and cloudward soar.
O sweet Fancy! let her loose;
joys are spoilt by use,
And the enjoying of the Spring
Fades as does its blossoming:
Blushing through the mist and dew,
Cloys with tasting: What do then?
Sit thee by the ingle,
The sear faggot blazes bright,
Spirit of a winters night;
When the soundless earth is muffled,
cakàd snow is shuffled
From the ploughboys heavy shoon;
When the Night doth meet the Noon
In a dark
To banish Even from her sky.
Sit thee there, and send abroad,
With a mind self-overawed,
She has vassals to attend her:
She will bring, in spite of frost,
Beauties that the earth hath lost;
will bring thee, all together,
All delights of summer weather;
All the buds and bells of May,
sward or thorny spray;
All the heapàd Autumns wealth,
With a still, mysterious stealth:
She will mix these
Like three fit wines in a cup,
And thou shalt quaff it:thou shalt hear
Rustle of the reapàd corn;
Sweet birds antheming the morn:
And, in the same momenthark!
the early April lark,
Or the rooks, with busy caw,
Foraging for sticks and straw.
Thou shalt, at one glance
The daisy and the marigold;
White-plumed lilies, and the first
Hedge-grown primrose that hath
Shaded hyacinth, alway
Sapphire queen of the mid-May;
And every leaf, and every flower
with the self-same shower.
Thou shalt see the fieldmouse peep
Meagre from its cellàd sleep;
And the snake
Cast on sunny bank its skin;
Freckled nest-eggs thou shalt see
Hatching in the hawthorn-
When the hen-birds wing doth rest
Quiet on her mossy nest;
Then the hurry and alarm
beehive casts its swarm;
Acorns ripe down-pattering
While the autumn breezes sing.