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All that's reveal'd from that far seat of blisses,
Is, the clear fountains' interchanging kisses,
As gracefully descending, light and thin,
Like silver streaks across a dolphin's fin,
When he upswimmeth from the coral caves,
And sports with half his tail above the waves.

50

These wonders strange he sees, and many more,
Whose head is pregnant with poetic lore.
Should he upon an evening ramble fare

55
With forehead to the soothing breezes bare,
Would he naught see but the dark, silent blue
With all its diamonds trembling through and through?
Or the coy moon, when in the waviness
Of whitest clouds she does her beauty dress,
And staidly paces higher up, and higher,
Like a sweet nun in holy-day attire?
Ah, yes! much more would start into his sight-
The revelries, and mysteries of night:
And should I ever see them, I will tell you

65 Such tales as needs must with amazement spell you.

60

These are the living pleasures of the bard :
But richer far posterity's award.
What does he murmur with his latest breath,
While his proud eye looks through the film of death ? 70

(48) In the transcript,

Is, the clear fountains, interchanging kisses, perhaps the right reading.

(51) When he upspringeth, in the transcript.
(60) The transcript reads doth instead of does.
(65-6) The transcript reads-

And should I ever view them, I will tell ye

Such Tales, as needs must with amazement spell ye. VOL. I.

E

75

So

85

“ What though I leave this dull, and earthly mould,
“Yet shall my spirit lofty converse hold
"With after times. The patriot shall feel
“My stern alarum, and unsheath his steel;
“Or, in the senate thunder out my numbers
“To startle princes from their easy slumbers.
“The sage will mingle with each moral theme
"My happy thoughts sententious; he will teem
“With lofty periods when my verses fire him,
And then I'll stoop from heaven to inspire him.
“ Lays have I left of such a dear delight
“That maids will sing them on their bridal night.

Gay villagers, upon a morn of May,
“When they have tir'd their gentle limbs with play,
“And form'd a snowy circle on the grass,
“And plac'd in midst of all that lovely lass
“Who chosen is their queen-with her fine head
“ Crowned with flowers purple, white, and red :
“For there the lilly, and the musk-rose, sighing,

Are emblems true of hapless lovers dying: “Between her breasts, that never yet felt trouble, “A bunch of violets full blown, and double,

Serenely sleep :she from a casket takes

A little book,—and then a joy awakes “ About each youthful heart,—with stifled cries, “And rubbing of white hands, and sparkling eyes : “For she's to read a tale of hopes, and fears; “One that I foster'd in my youthful years : “The pearls, that on each glist'ning circlet sleep, “Gush ever and anon with silent creep,

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(77) In the transcript, the moral theme.
(86) The transcript reads-

Placing in midst thereof, that happy lass.

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“Lur'd by the innocent dimples. To sweet rest
“ Shall the dear babe, upon its mother's breast,
“Be lull'd with songs of mine. Fair world, adieu !
“Thy dales, and hills, are fading from my view :

Swiftly I mount, upon wide spreading pinions, 105
“Far from the narrow bounds of thy dominions.
"Full joy I feel, while thus I cleave the air,
“That my soft verse will charm thy daughters fair,
“And warm thy sons!” Ah, my dear friend and brother,
Could I, at once, my mad ambition smother,
For tasting joys like these, sure I should be
Happier, and dearer to society.
At times, 'tis true, I've felt relief from pain
When some bright thought has darted through my brain:
Through all that day I've felt a greater pleasure 115
Than if I'd brought to light a hidden treasure.
As to my sonnets, though none else should heed them,
I feel delighted, still, that you should read them.
Of late, too, I have had much calm enjoyment,
Stretch'd on the grass at my best lov'd employment 120
Of scribbling lines for you. These things I thought
While, in my face, the freshest breeze I caught.
E'en now I'm pillow'd on a bed of flowers
That crowns a lofty clift, which proudly towers
Above the ocean-waves. The stalks, and blades, 125
Chequer my tablet with their quivering shades.
On one side is a field of drooping oats,
Through which the poppies show their scarlet coats;
So pert and useless, that they bring to mind
The scarlet coats that pester human-kind.

130

(118) The transcript reads will for should.
(125) The transcript reads, ocean's wares.

135

And on the other side, outspread, is seen
Ocean's blue mantle streak'd with purple, and green.
Now 'tis I see a canvass'd ship, and now
Mark the bright silver curling round her prow.
I see the lark down-dropping to his nest,
And the broad winged sea-gull never at rest;
For when no more he spreads his feathers free,
His breast is dancing on the restless sea.
Now I direct my eyes into the west,
Which at this moment is in sunbeams drest:
Why westward turn? 'Twas but to say adieu !
'Twas but to kiss my hand, dear George, to you !

140

August, 1816.

(139) The transcript reads towards the west.

TO

CHARLES COWDEN CLARKE.

Oft have you seen a swan superbly frowning,
And with proud breast his own white shadow crowning;
He slants his neck beneath the waters bright
So silently, it seems a beam of light
Come from the galaxy: anon he sports,-

5
With outspread wings the Naiad Zephyr courts,
Or ruffles all the surface of the lake
In striving from its crystal face to take
Some diamond water drops, and them to treasure
In milky nest, and sip them off at leisure.
But not a moment can he there insure them,
Nor to such downy rest can he allure them;
For down they rush as though they would be free,
And drop like hours into eternity.
Just like that bird am I in loss of time,

15 Whene'er I venture on the stream of rhyme; With shatter'd boat, oar snapt, and canvass rent, I slowly sail, scarce knowing my intent; Still scooping up the water with my fingers,

IO

Charles Cowden Clarke was born at Enfield on the 15th of December 1787 ; so that he was in his twenty-ninth year when the young poet addressed this epistle to him. He died at Villa Novello, Genoa, on the 13th of March 1877, in his ninetieth year.

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