Table of Contents   Previous Chapter   Next Chapter



648                                              The Phoenix

O FAST her amber blood doth flow
 From the heart-wounded Incense Tree,
Fast as earth’s deep-embosom’d woe
 In silent rivulets to the sea!
Beauty may weep her fair first-born,
 Perchance in as resplendent tears,
Such golden dewdrops bow the corn
 When the stern sickleman appears:
But O! such perfume to a bower
 Never allured sweet-seeking bee,
As to sip fast that nectarous shower
 A thirstier minstrel drew in me!

649                                            The Solitary Lyre

WHEREFORE, unlaurell’d Boy,
   Whom the contemptuous Muse will not inspire,
With a sad kind of joy
   Still sing’st thou to thy solitary lyre?
The melancholy winds
   Pour through unnumber’d reeds their idle woes,
And every Naiad finds
   A stream to weep her sorrow as it flows.
Her sighs unto the air
   The Wood-maid’s native oak doth broadly tell,
And Echo’s fond despair
   Intelligible rocks re-syllable.
Wherefore then should not I,
   Albeit no haughty Muse my heart inspire,
Fated of grief to die,
   Impart it to my solitary lyre?

650                                                 Song

SWEET in her green dell the flower of beauty slumbers,
   Lull’d by the faint breezes sighing through her hair;
Sleeps she and hears not the melancholy numbers
   Breathed to my sad lute ’mid the lonely air.

Down from the high cliffs the rivulet is teeming
   To wind round the willow banks that lure him from above:
O that in tears, from my rocky prison streaming,
   I too could glide to the bower of my love!

Ah! where the woodbines with sleepy arms have wound her,
   Opes she her eyelids at the dream of my lay,
Listening, like the dove, while the fountains echo round her,
   To her lost mate’s call in the forests far away.

Come then, my bird! For the peace thou ever bearest,
   Still Heaven’s messenger of comfort to me—
Come—this fond bosom, O faithfullest and fairest,
   Bleeds with its death-wound, its wound of love for thee!

651                                            The Fallen Star

A STAR is gone! a star is gone!
   There is a blank in Heaven;
One of the cherub choir has done
   His airy course this even.
He sat upon the orb of fire
   That hung for ages there,
And lent his music to the choir
   That haunts the nightly air.
But when his thousand years are pass’d,
   With a cherubic sigh
He vanish’d with his car at last,
   For even cherubs die!
Hear how his angel-brothers mourn—
   The minstrels of the spheres—
Each chiming sadly in his turn
   And dropping splendid tears.
The planetary sisters all
   Join in the fatal song,
And weep this hapless brother’s fall,
   Who sang with them so long.
But deepest of the choral band
   The Lunar Spirit sings,
And with a bass-according hand
   Sweeps all her sullen strings.
From the deep chambers of the dome
   Where sleepless Uriel lies,
His rude harmonic thunders come
   Mingled with mighty sighs.

The thousand car-borne cherubim,
   The wandering eleven,
All join to chant the dirge of him
   Who fell just now from Heaven.


Table of Contents   Previous Chapter   Next Chapter