H. C. (Henry Charles) Beeching.

A paradise of English poetry online

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LOSS OF THE ROYAL GEORGE

Toll for the Brave I
The brave that are no more !
All sunk beneath the wave
Fast by their native shore I



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340 PATRIOTISM

Eight bundred of the brave
Whose courage well was tried,
Had made the vessel bed
And laid her on her side.

A land-hreeze shook the shrouds
And she was overset ;
Down went the Rojal Gaorge,
With all her crew complete.

Toll for the brave I
Brave Kempenfelt is gone ;
His last sea-fight is fought,
His work of glory done.

It was not in the battle ;
No tempest gave the shock ;
She sprang no fatal leak,
She ran upon no rock.

His sword was in its sheath.
His fingers held the pen.
When Kempenfelt went down
With twice four hundred men.

Weigh the vessel up
Once dreaded by our foes I
And mingle with our cup
The tear that England owes.

Her timbers yet are sound,

And she may float again

Full charged with England's thunder,

And plough the distant maift •,



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LOSS OP THE R07AL GEORGE £49

But Kempenfelt is gone.
His victories are o'er ;
And he and his eight hundred
Shall plough the wave no more.

COWPBR



BATTLE SONG

Day, like our souls, is fiercely dark ;

What then? 'Tis day !
We sleep no more ; the cock crows— hark I

To arms 1 away!
They come! they come! the knell is rung

Of us or them ;
Wide o'er their march the pomp is flung

Ofgoldandgem.
What collared hound of lawless sway.

To famine dear —
What pensioned slave of Attila,.

Leads in the rear?
Come th^y from Scythian wilds afar,

Our blood to spill ?
Wear they the livery of the Czar?

They do his will.
Nor tasselled silk, nor epaulette.

Nor plume, nor torse-
No splendour gilds, all sternly met.

Our foot and horse.
But dark and still, we inly glow.

Condensed in ire !
Strike, tawdry slaves, and ye shall know

Our gloom is fire.
In vain your pomp, ye evil powers.

Insults the land ;



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9(50 PATRIOTISM

Wrongs, vengcftnce, and the causi are ours,

And God's right hand I
Madmen! they trample into snakes

The wormy dod !
Like fire beneath their feet awakes

TbeswcMxlofGod!
Bdiind, before, above, belMr.

Thif iiiwf the brave ;
Where'er they go, they make a foe,

Or find a grave.

BLLIOTT



How sleep the brave who sink to rest,
By all their country's wishes blest !
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold.
Returns to deck their hallowed mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fanc/s feet have ever trod.
By lairy hands their knell is rung,
By forms unseen their dirge is sung ;
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray.
To bless the turf that wraps their clay.
And Freedom shall a while repair.
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there !

COLUNS



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ART



y Google



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A thing tfhutuiy it a joy far evtr :
lU IcvtUtuu tMcrttUf* ; it. win tttver
Pan into notkingnouf but »tiU wiU kti^
A hewer quiit for i», mnd a tUtp
Full ^tweii drtamt, mnd healthy mnd quiet drtmiMtn^r'

Ktait



S/iti er cormorant devouring Tinu
The endewoour ^tkit present breath may buy
That honour which shall bate hit scythe's heen edge.

Shakeepeart



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ODB ON A GRECIAN URN

Thou still unravished bride of quietness,

Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express

A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme :
What leaf-fringed legend haunts about thy shape

Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady ?
What men or gods are these ? What maidens loth ?

What mad pursuit ? What struggle to escape ?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy ?

Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard

Are sweeter ; therefore, ye soft pipes, play on :
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endeared,

Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone t
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave

Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare ;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss.
Though winning near the goal — ^yet, do not grieve ;

She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bb'ss.
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair !

Ah, happy, happy boughs ! that cannot shed
Your leaves, nor ever bid the spring adieu ;

And, happy melodist, unwearied.
For ever piping songs for ever new ;



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as4 ART

More happf love I more happy, happjr love 1
For ever warm and still to be enjoyed,
For ever panting, and for ever young ;
All breathing human passion fax above.
That leaves a heart high-sorrowful and cloyed,
A burning forehead, and a parching tongue.

Who are these coming to the sacrifice?

To what green altar, O mysterious priest,
Leadest thou that heifer lowing at the skies,

And all her silken flanks with garlands drest?
What little town by river or sea-shore,

Or mountain-built with peaceful citadel.
Is emptied of this folk, this pious mom ?
And, little town, thy streets for evermore

Will silent be ; and not a soul to tell
Why thou art desolate, can e'er return.

O Attic shape I Fair attitude ! with brede

Of marble men and maidens overwrought.
With forest branches and the trodden weed ;

Thou, silent form, dost tease us out of thought
As doth eternity : Cold Pastoral !

When old age shall this generation waste.
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayest,

' Beauty is truth, truth beauty '—that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

KEATS

THE POWER OF MUSIC
I
OmPHSUS with his lute made trees
And the mountain-tops that freeze
Bow themselves when he did sing :



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THE POWER OF MUSIC 855

To his music, plants and flowers
Ever sprung; as sun and showers
There had made a lasting spring.

Every thing that heard him play,
Even the billows of the sea,

Hung their heads, and then lay, by.
In sweet music is such art :
Killing care and grief of heart

Fall asleep, or, hearing, die.

FLETCHER



Lorenxo^—Hovf sweet the moonlight sleeps upon
this bank!
Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music
Creep in our ears ; soft stillness, and the night.
Become the touches of sweet harmony.
Sit, Jessica. Look how the floor of heaven
Is thick inlaid with patines of bright gold.
There 's not the smallest orb which thou behold'st
But in his motion like an angel sings,
Still quiring to the young-eyed cherubins :
Such harmony is in immortal souls ;
But whilst this muddy vesture of decay
Doth grossly dose it in, we cannot hear it-
Come, ho, and wake Diana Mdth a hymn.
Jessica,— I am never merry when I hear sweet music
Lortnto. — ^The reason is your spirits are attentive :
For do but note a wild and wanton herd.
Or race of youthful and unhandled colts,
Fetching mad bounds, bellowing, and neighing loud,
Which is the hot condition of their blood ;
If they but hear perchance a trumpet sound.



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856 ART

Or any air of music touch their ears,

You shall perceive them make a mutual stand,

Their savage eyes turned to a modest gaze,

By the sweet power of music : Therefore the poet

Did feign that Orpheus drew trees, stones, and

floods;
Sinoe nought so stockish, hard, and full of rage,
But music for the time doth change his nature :
The man that hath no music in himself, *

Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds.
Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils ;
The motions of his spirit are dull as night,
And his affections dark as Erebus :
Let no such man be trusted. — Mark the music.

SHAKESPBAKB



At last a soft and solemn-breathing sound
Rose like a steam of rich distilled perfumes
And stole upon the air, that even silence
Was took ere she was ware, and wish't she might
Deny her nature, and be never more
Still to be so displac't. I was all ear.
And took in strains that might create a soul
Under the ribs of Death.
*

Comus. — Can any mortal mixture of earth's mould
Breathe such divine enchanting ravishment ?
Sure something holy lodges in that breast.
And with these raptures moves the vocal air
To testify his hidden residence.
How sweetly did they float upon the wings



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I ir I



THE POWER OP MUSIC 257

Of silence, through the empty-vaulted night,

At every fall smoothing the raven down

Of Darkness till it smiled ! I have oft heard

My mother Circe Mdth the Sirens three.

Amidst the flowery-kirtled Naiades,

Culling their potent herbs, and baleful drugs ;

Who as they sung, would take the prisoned soul

And lap it in Elysium : Scylla wept.

And chid her barking waves into attention,

And fell Charybdis murmured soft applause :

Yet they in pleasing slumber lull'd the sense.

And in sweet madness robb'd it of itself;

But such a sacred and home-felt delight.

Such sober certainty of waking bliss,

I never heard till now.

MILTO



Awake, awake, my Lyre I
And tell thy silent master's humble tale

In sounds that may prevail ;
Sounds that gentle thoughts inspire :

Though so exalted she

And I so lowly be
Tell her, such different notes make all thy harmony.

Hark 1 how the strings awake :
And, though the moving hand approach not near.

Themselves with awful fear
A kind of numerous trembling make.

Now all thy forces try ;

Now all thy charms apply ;
Revenge upon her ear the conquests of her eye.

R



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358



ART



Weak Lyre I thy yirtne sure
Is uteWis here, since thoa art only found

To cure, but not to wound.
And she to wound, but not to cure.

Too weak too wflt thou proir4

My passion to remove ;
Physic to other ilh, thou 'rt nourishment to kive.

Sleep, sleep again, my Lyre !
For thou canst never tell my humble tale

In sounds that will prevail,
Nor gentle thoughts in her inspire ;

All thy vain mirth lay by.

Bid thy strings silent lie,
Sleepi sleep again, my Lyre, and let thy master die.

C0WLB7



TWO SONGS FOR SAINT CECILIA'S DAY



From Harmony, from heavenly Harmony

This universal frame began :
When Nature underneath a heap

Of jarring atoms lay
And could not heave her head.
The tuneful voice was heard from high

Arise, ^e more than dead I
Then cold, and hot, and moist, and dry
In order to their stations leap.

And music's power obey.



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FOR SAINT CECILIA'S DAT 259

From harmony, from heavenly harmony

This universal frame began :

From harmony to harmony
Through all the compass of the notes it ran»
The diapason closing full in Man.

What Passion cannot Music raise and quell I
When Jubal struck the chorded shell
His listening brethren stood around,
And, wondering, on their faces fell
To worship that celestial sound.
Less than a God they thought there could not dwell
Within the hollow of that shell
That spoke so sweetly and so well.
What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

The trumpet's loud clangor

Excites us to arms,
V/lth shrill notes of anger

And mortal alarms.
The double double double beat
Of the thundering drum
Cries ' Hark I the foes come ;
Charge, charge, 'tis too late to retreat 1 '

The soft complaining flute
In d3ring notes discovers
The woes of helpless lovers,
Whose dirge is whispered by the warbling lute.

Sharp violins proclaim
Their jealous pangs, and desperation,
Fury, frantic indignation,
Depth of pains, and height of passion,

For the fair, disdainful dame.



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96o ART

But oh I what art can teach,

What human voice can reach,

The sacred organ's praise?

Notes inspiring holy love,

Notes that wing their heavenly ways
To mend the choirs above.



ALEXANDER'S FEAST

'TwAS at the royal feast for Persia won

By Philip's warlike son :

Aloft in awful state

The godlike hero sate

On his imperial throne ;

His valiant peers were placed around.

Their brows with roses and with myrtles bound

(So should desert in arms be crowned) ; ^

The lovely Thais by his side

Sate like a blooming eastern bride

In flower of youth and beauty's pride :-—

Happy, happy, happy pair !

None but the brave

None but the brave

None but the brave deserves the fair I

Timotheus placed on high
Amid the tuneful quire
With flying fingers touched the lyre :
The trembling notes ascend the sky
And heavenly Joys inspire.
The song began from Jove



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ALEXANDER'S FEAST 86x

Who left his blissful seats above,

Such is the power of mighty love 1

A dragon's fiery form belied the god ;

Sublime on radiant spires he rode

When he to fair Olympia prest,

And while he sought her snowy breast ;

Then round her slender waist he curled,

And stamped an image of himself, a sovereign

of the world.
— The listening crowd admire the lofty sound 1
A present deity 1 they shout around :
A present deity 1 the vaulted roofs rebound !
With ravished ears
The monarch hears.
Assumes the god,
Affects to nod,
And seems to shake the spheres.

The praise of Bacchus then the sweet musician
sung:
Of Bacchus ever fair and ever young :
The jolly god in triumph comes !
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums t
Flashed with a purple grace
He shows his honest face :
Now give the hautboys breath ; he comes, he

comes 1
Bacchus, ever liBur and young.
Drinking joys did first ordain ;
Bacchus' blessings are a treasure,
Drinking is the soldier's pleasure :
Rich the treasure
Sweet the pleasure.
Sweet is pleasure after pain.



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263 ART

Soothed with the sound, the king grew vain ;
Fought all his battles o'er again,
And thrice he routed all his foes, and thrioe he

slew the slain.
The master saw the madness rise,
His glowing cheeks, his ardent eyes ;
And while he Heaven and Earth defied
Changed his hand and checked his pride.
He chose a mournful Muse
Soft pity to infuse :
He sung Darius great and good,
By too severe a fate
Fallen, follen, fallen, fJEdlen,
Fallen fix>m his high estate,
And welt'ring in his blood ;
Deserted, at his utmost need,
By those his former bounty fed ;
On the bare earth exposed he lies
With not a friend to close his eyes.
— ^With downcast looks the joyless victor sate.
Revolving in his altered soul
The various turns of chance bdow ;
And now and then a sigh he stole.
And tears began to flow.

The mighty master smiled to see
That love was in the next degree ;
'Twas but a kindred sound to move,
For pity melts the mind to love.
Softly sweet, in Lydian measures
Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures.
War, he simg, is toil and trouble.
Honour but an empty bubble.
Never ending, still beginning ;
Fighting still, and still destroying ;



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ALEXANDER'S FEAST 963

If the wc»-ld be worth thy winning,

Think, O think, it worth enjoying :

Lovely Thais sits beside thee,

Take the good the gods provide thee t

— ^The many rend the skies with loud applause ;

So Love was crowned, but Music won the cause.

The prince, unable to conceal his pain,

Gazed on the fair

Who caused his care.

And sighed and looked, sighed and looked.

Sighed and looked, and sighed again :

At length with love and wine at once opprest

The vanquished victor sunk upon her breast.

Now strike the golden lyre again :
A louder yet, and yet a loader strain 1
Break his bands of sleep asunder
And rouse him like a rattling peal of thunder.
Hark, hark 1 the horrid sound
Has raised up his head :
As awaked from the dead
And amazed he stares around.
Revenge, revenge, Timotheus cries,
See the Furies arise 1
See the snakes that they rear
How they hiss in their hair,.
And the sparkles that flash from their eyes !
Behold a ghastly band
Each a torch in his hand !
Those are Grecian ghosts, that in battle were slain
And unburied remain
Inglorious on the plain :
Give the vengeance due
To the valiant crew I
Behold how they toss their torches on high.



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964 AST

How they point to the Persi«ii abodes
And glittering temples of their hostile gods.
—The princes applaud with a forioos Jojr :
And the King seized a flambean with zeal to

destroy;
Thais led the way
To light him to his prey,
And like another Helen, fired another T^ t

—Thus, long ago,

Ere heaving bellows learned to blow,

While organs yet were mute ;

Timotheus, to his breathing flute

And sounding lyre.

Could swell the soul to rage, or kindle soft desire.

At last divine Cecilia came,

Inventress of the vocal frame ;

The sweet enthusiast from her sacred store

Enlarged the former narrow bounds,

And added length to solemn sounds,

With Nature's mother-wit, and arts unknown

before.
—Let old Timotheus yield the prize
Or both divide the crown ;
He raised a mortal to the skies ;
She drew an angel down 1

DSTDBN



THB PASSIONS

When Music, heavenly maid, was young.
While yet in early Greece she sung,
The Passions oft, to hear her shell.
Thronged around her magic cell,



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THE PASSIONS 865

Exulting, trembling, raging, fSiunting,
Possessed beyond the muse's painting.
By turns they felt the glowing mind
Disturbed, delighted, raised, refined ;
Till once, 'tis said, when all were fired,
Filled with fiiry, rapt, inspired.
From the supporting myrtles round
They snatched her instruments of sound ;
And, as they oft had heard apart
Sweet lessons of her forceful art,
Each, for Madness ruled the hour,
Would prove his own expressive power.

First Fear his hand, iu skill to try,

Amid the chords bewildered laid,
And back recoiled, he knew not why.

Even at the sound himself had made.
Next Anger rushed ; his eyes on fire.

In lightnings owned his secret stings ;
In one rude clash he struck the lyre,

And swept with hurried hand the strings.

With woeful measures wan Despair,

Low sullen sounds, his grief beguiled ;
A solemn, strange and mingled air

'Twas sad by fits, by starts 'twas wild.
But thou, O Hope, with eyes so fair.

What was thy delighted measure ?

Still it whispered promised pleasure.
And bode the lovely scenes at distance hail I
Still would her touch the strain prolong.

And from the rocks, the woods, the vale.
She called on Echo still through all the song ;

And, where her sweetest theme she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every dose ;



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S66 ART

And Hope eacfaanted smiled, and waired her golden

hair.
And longer had she song ;— but, with a froim.

Revenge impatient roee ;
He threw his bkKxI-stained sword in thunder down«
And, with a withering look.
The war-denouncing trumpet took.
And blew a blast so loud and dread.
Were ne'er prophetic soonds so full of woe I
And ever and anon, he beat
The douUing drum with furious heat ;
And thom^ sometimes, each dreary pause between,
Dejected Pity at his side,
Her soul-subduing yoice applied,
Yet still he kept his wild imaltered mien.
While each strained ball of sight seemed bursting
from his head.
Thy numbers, Jealousy, to nought were fixed ;
Sad proof of thy distressful state 1

Of differing themes the veering song was mixed ;
And now it courted Love, now raving called on
Hate.

With eyes upraised, as one inspired,

Pale Melancholy sat retired.

And, from her wild sequestered seat.

In notes by distance made more sweet.

Poured through the mellow horn her pensive soul.

And dashing soft from rocks around,

Bubbling runnels joined the sound ;
Through glades and glooms the mingled measure stole ;
Or o'er some haunted stream, with fond delay,

Round a holy calm diffusing.

Love of peace, and lonely musing,
In hollow murmurs died away.



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THE PASSIONS 96f

But oh ! how altered was its sprightlier tbne,
When Clieerluhiess, a nymph of healthiest hue,

Her bow across her shoulder flung,

Her buskins gemmed with morning dew.
Blew an inspiring air, that dale and thicket rung.

The hunter's call, to Faun and Dr3rad known t
The oak-crowned sisters, and their chaste^yed

queen.
Satyrs and sylvan boys, were seen

Peeping from forth their alleys green ;
Brown Exercise rejoiced to hear ;

And Sport leaped up, and seised his beechen
spear.

Last came Joy's ecstatic trial ;
He, with viny crown advancing.

First to the lively pipe his hand addressed ;
But soon he saw the brisk-awakening viol,

Whose sweet entrancing voice he loved the best ;

They would have thought who heard the strain.

They saw in Tempe's vale her native maids.

Amidst the £estal sounding shades.
To some miwearied minstrel dancing.

While, as his flying fingers kissed the strings,
Love framed with Mirth a gay fantastic round ;

Loose were her tresses seen, her zone unbound ;

And he, amidst his frolic play.
As if he would the charming air repay.

Shook thousand odours from his dewy wings.

O Music 1 sphere-descended maid.
Friend of Pleasure, Wisdom's aid !
Why, goddess, why, to us denied,
Lay'st thou thy ancient lyre aside ?



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966



ART



As in that lo^ed Athenian bower
You learned an all-commanding power.
Thy mimic soul, O nymph endeared 1
Can well recall what then it heard.
Where is thy native simple heart
Devote to "N^rtue, Fancy. Art ?
Arise, as in that elder time,
Warm, energic, chaste, sublime t
Thy wonders, in that god-like age,
Fill thy recording Sister's page ; —
'Tis said, and I believe the tale.
Thy humblest reed could more prevail
Had more of strength, diviner rage,
Than all which charms this laggard age.
E'en all at once together found,
Cecilia's mingled world of sound : —
O bid our vain endeavours cease ;
Revive the just designs of Greece ;
Return in all thy simple state 1
Confirm the tales her sons relate !

GOLLINS



TO A LADY
WITH A GUITAR

Ariel to Miranda :— Take
This slave of music, for the sake
Of him, who is the slave of thee ;
And teach it all the harmony
In which thou canst, and only thou.
Make the delighted spirit glow,
Till joy denies itself again.
And, too intense, is turned to pain.




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TO A LADY 269

For by permission and command

Of thine own Prince Ferdinand,

Poor Ariel sends this silent token

Of more than ever can be spoken ;

Your guardian spirit, Ariel, who

From life to life must still pursue

Your happiness, for thus alone

Can Ariel ever find his own ;

From Prospero's enchanted cell,

As the mighty verses tell,

To the throne of Naples he

Lift you o'er the trackless sea,

Flitting on, your prow before,

Like a living meteor.

When you die, the silent Moon

In her interlunar swoon

Is not sadder in her cell

Than deserted Ariel ;

When you live again on earth,

Like an unseen Star of birth

Ariel guides you o'er the sea

Of life from your nativity :

Many changes have been run

Since Ferdinand and you begun

Your course of love, and Ariel still.

Has tracked your steps and served yoxir will.

Now in humbler, happier lot.

This is all remembered not ;

And now, alas 1 the poor sprite is

Imprisoned for some fault of his

In a body like a grave—

From you he only dares to crave

For his service and his sorrow

A smile to-day, a song to-morrow.



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•TO ART

Th« artist who this viol wrought
To echo all barmonious thought,
Felled a tree, while on the steep
The woods were in their winter sleep,
Rodced in that repose divine
On the wind-swept Apennine ;
And dreaming, some of autumn past,
And some of spring approac hing fast.
And some of April buds and showers,
And some of songs in July bowers,
* And all of love ; and so this tree, —
O that such our death may be I— >
Died in sleep, and felt no pain,
To live in happier form again :
From which, beneath Heaven's fairest star,
The artist wrought this loved Guitar ;
And taught it justly to reply
To all who question skilfully
In language gentle as thine own ;
Whispering in enamoured tone
Sweet oracles of woods and dells.
And summer winds in sylvan cells ;
—For it had learnt all harmonies
Of the plains and of the skies,
Of the forests and the mountains,
And the many-voicM fountains ;
The clearest echoes of the hills,
The softest notes of falling rills,
The melodies of birds and bees.
The murmuring of summer seas.
And pattering rain, and breathing dew.
And airs of evening; and it knew
That seklom-heard mysterious sound
Which, driven on iu diurnal ronnd,



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THE POET TO THE NIGHTINGALE 97I

As it floats through boundless day,
Our world enkindles on its way :
—All this it knows, but will not tell
To those who cannot question well
The spirit that inhabits it ;
It talks according to the wit
Of its companions ; and no more
Is heard than has been felt before
By those who tempt it to betray
These -secrets of an elder day.
But, sweetly as its answers will
Flatter hands of perfect skill,


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Online LibraryH. C. (Henry Charles) BeechingA paradise of English poetry → online text (page 12 of 15)