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Higher still and higher,

From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire ;

The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.

In the golden lightning

Of the sunken sun,
O'er which clouds are brightning,

Thou dost float and run,
Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.

The pale purple even

Melts around thy fight;
Like a star of heaven

In the broad daylight,
Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight.

Keen as are the arrows

Of that silver sphere,
Whose intense lamp narrows

In the white dawn clear,
Until we hardly see, we feel that it is there.

was born in 1792, and received his education at Eton and Oxford. From the university he was expelled, perhaps harshly, for atheistical doubts, which a milder treatment might have eradicated. His subsequent life was passed chiefly in Italy, where he met with an early death. He was drowned by the upsetting of his sailing boat during a sudden storm. Gorgeous in imagination and instinct with beauty as his works are, it is to be regretted that many of them have not been suppressed. The subject of the “Cenci,” his great tragedy, is revolting in its horror.]

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All the earth and air

With thy voice is loud,
As, when night is bare,

From one lonely cloud
The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.

What thou art, we know not ;

What is most like thee;
From rainbow clouds there flow not

Drops so bright to see,
As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.

Like a poet hidden

In the light of thought,
Singing hymns unbidden,

Till the world is wrought
To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not.

Like a high-born maiden

In a palace tower,
Soothing her love-laden

Soul in secret hour
With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower.

Like a glowworm golden

In a dell of dew,
Scattering unbeholden

Its aërial hue
Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the

view.

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Like a rose embowered

In its own green leaves,
By warm winds deflowered,

Till the scent it gives
Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged

thieves.

Sound of vernal showers

On the twinkling grass,
Rain-awakened flowers,

All that ever was
Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.

Teach us, sprite, or bird,

What sweet thoughts are thine :
I have never heard

Praise of love or wine
That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.

Chorus hymeneal,

Or triumphal chaunt,
Matched with thine would be all

But an empty vaunt-
A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.

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 ?

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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 stream ?

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 thought.

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 should 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 !

64

THE FAIRY QUEEV'S CHARIOT.

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.

SHELLEY.

The Fairy Queen's Chariot.

H

ER chariot ready strait is made,

Each thing therein is fitting laid,
That she by nothing might be stayed ;

For nought must be her letting.
Four nimble gnats the horses were,
Their harnesses of gossamere,
Fly Cranion, her charioteer,

Upon the coach-box getting.

[MICHAEL DRAYTON, a voluminous writer of the Elizabethan era, is far less known than he deserves to be, perhaps because he fell into the dangerous error of writing too much, and thus producing chronicles where sketches would have been preferred. Thus his principal work, the “Poly-olbion,” contains above twenty-eight thousand verses—a formidable array, such as might daunt the most persevering reader of verse. In the “ Baron's Wars," one of his best poems, there are many noble descriptions. The description of Queen Mab's chariot, given above, is taken from his “Nymphidia : the Court of Fairy.” The lines might have been spoken by Mercutio himself. Drayton's genius did not result in placing him in independent circumstances. After a long life of toil and discomfort, he expired, in 1631, at the age of sixty-eight years.

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