Norman Harold Hepple.

Lyrical forms in English; online

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To earn his cream-bowl duly set;
When in one night, ere glimpse of morn,
His shadowy flail hath thresh'd the corn
That ten day-labourers could not end;
Then lies him down the lubber fiend, uo

And, stretch'd out all the chimney's length,
Basks at the fire his hairy strength;
And crop-full out of doors he flings,
Ere the first cock his matin rings.
Thus done the tales, to bed they creep,
By whispering winds soon lull'd asleep.



Tower'd cities please us then,
And the busy hum of men,
Where throngs of knights and barons bold,
In weeds of peace, high triumphs hold, no

With store of ladies, whose bright eyes
Rain influence, and judge the prize
Of wit or arms, while both contend
To win her grace whom all commend.
There let Hymen oft appear
In saffron robe, with taper clear,
And pomp, and feast, and revelry,
With mask, and antique pageantry;
Such sights as youthful poets dream
On summer eves by haunted stream. 130

Then to the well-trod stage anon,
If Jonson's learned sock be on,
Or sweetest Shakespeare, Fancy's child,
Warble his native wood-notes wild.

And ever, against eating cares,
Lap me in soft Lydian airs
Married to immortal verse,
Such as the meeting soul may pierce
In notes, with many a winding bout
Of linked sweetness long drawn out; 140

With wanton heed and giddy cunning,
The melting voice through mazes running,
Untwisting all the chains that tie
The hidden soul of harmony;
That Orpheus' self may heave his head
From golden slumber on a bed
Of heap'd Elysian flow'rs, and hear
Such strains as would have won the ear
Of Pluto, to have quite set free
His half-regain'd Eurydice. 150

These delights if thou canst give,
Mirth, with thee I mean to live.




151. Thoughts in a Garden


How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their incessant labours see
Crown'd from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow-verged shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid ;
While all the flowers and trees do close
To weave the garlands of Repose.


Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence, thy sister dear ?
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men :
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow :
Society is all but rude
To this delicious solitude.


No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green.
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress' name :
Little, alas! they know or heed
How far these beauties hers exceed !
Fair trees ! wheresVer your barks I wound,
No name shall but your own be found.


When we have run our passion's heat,
Love hither makes his best retreat :
The gods, who mortal beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race :
Apollo hunted Daphne so
Only that she might laurel grow :
And Pan did after Syrinx speed
Not as a nymph, but for a reed.



What wondrous life is this I lead !
Ripe apples drop about my head ;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine ;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach ;
Stumbling on melons, as I pass,
Ensnared with flowers, I fall on grass.

Meanwhile the mind from pleasure less

Withdraws into its happiness ;

The mind, that ocean where each kind

Does straight its own resemblance find ;

Yet it creates, transcending these,

Far other worlds, and other seas ;

Annihilating all that's made

To a green thought in a green shade.


Here at the fountain's sliding foot
Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside
My soul into the boughs does glide ;
There, like a bird, it sits and sings,
Then whets and claps its silver wings,
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.


Such was that happy Garden-state
While man there walk'd without a mate ;
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet !
But 'twas beyond a mortal's share
To wander solitary there :
Two paradises 'twere in one,
To live in Paradise alone.

H. M 177



How well the skilful gardener drew
Of flowers and herbs this dial new !
Where, from above, the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run :
And, as it works, th' industrious bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckoned, but with herbs and flowers ?


152. The Emigrants in the Bermudas

Where the remote Bermudas ride
In the Ocean's bosom unespied,
From a small boat that rowed along
The listening winds received this song :

"What should we do but sing His praise
That led us through the watery maze,
Where He the huge sea-monsters wracks,
That lift the deep upon their backs,
Unto an isle so long unknown,
And yet far kinder than our own ?
He lands us on a grassy stage,
Safe from the storms' and prelates' rage :
He gave us this eternal spring
Which here enamels everything,
And sends the fowls to us in care
On daily visits through the air.
He hangs in shades the orange bright
Like golden lamps in a green night,
And does in the pomegranates close
Jewels more rich than Ormus shows :
He makes the figs our mouths to meet,
And throws the melons at our feet ;

, 7 8


But apples plants of such a price,
No tree could ever bear them twice.
With cedars chosen by His hand
From Lebanon He stores the land ;
And makes the hollow seas that roar
Proclaim the ambergris on shore.
He cast (of which we rather boast)
The Gospel's pearl upon our coast,
And in these rocks for us did frame
A temple where to sound His name.
O let our voice his praise exalt
Till it arrive at heaven's vault,
Which, thence (perhaps) rebounding, may
Echo beyond the Mexique Bay ! "

Thus sung they in the English boat
A holy and a cheerful note :
And all the way^ to guide their chime,
With falling oars they kept the time.


153. A Nocturnal Reverie

In such a night, when every louder wind

Is to its distant cavern safe confined,

And only gentle Zephyr fans his wings,

And lonely Philomel, still waking, sings;

Or from some tree, framed for the owl's delight,

She, holloing clear, directs the wanderer right,

In such a night, when passing clouds give place,

Or thinly veil the heavens' mysterious face,

When in some river overhung with green,

The waving moon and trembling leaves are seen ; 10

When freshened grass now bears itself upright,

And makes cool banks to pleasing rest invite,

Whence spring the woodbine and the bramble-rose,

And where the sleepy cowslip sheltered grows;

M 2 179


Whilst now a paler hue the foxglove takes,

Yet chequers still with red the dusky brakes,

Where scattered glow-worms, but in twilight fine,

Shew trivial beauties, watch their hour to shine;

While Salisbury stands the test of every light,

In perfect charms and perfect beauty bright; 20

When odours, which declined repelling day,

Through temperate air uninterrupted stray;

When darkened groves their softest shadows wear,

And falling waters we distinctly hear;

When through the gloom more venerable shews

Some ancient fabric awful in repose;

While sunburnt hills their swarthy looks conceal,

And swelling haycocks thicken up the vale;

When the loosed horse now, as his pasture leads,

Comes slowly grazing through the adjoining meads, 30

Whose stealing pace and lengthened shade we fear,

Till torn-up forage in his teeth we hear;

When nibbling sheep at large pursue their food,

And unmolested kine rechew the cud;

When curlews cry beneath the village-walls,

And to her straggling brood the partridge calls;

Their short-lived jubilee the creatures keep,

Which but endures whilst tyrant Man doth sleep;

When a sedate content the spirit feels,

And no fierce light disturbs, whilst it reveals; 40

But silent musings urge the mind to seek

Something too high for syllables to speak;

Till the free soul to a compos'dness charmed,

Finding the elements of rage disarmed,

O'er all below a solemn quiet grown,

Joys in the inferior world, and thinks it like her own:

In such a night let me abroad remain,

Till morning breaks and all's confused again;

Our cares, our toils, our clamours are renewed,

Our pleasures, seldom reached, again pursued. 50




154. Grongar Hill

Silent Nymph, with curious eye!

Who, the purple evening, lie

On the mountain's lonely van,

Beyond the noise of busy man,

Painting fair the form of things,

While the yellow linnet sings;

Or the tuneful nightingale

Charms the forest with her tale;

Come with all thy various hues,

Come, and aid thy sister Muse, 10

Now while Phoebus, riding high,

Gives lustre to the land and sky!

Grongar Hill invites my song;

Draw the landskip bright and strong;

Grongar, in whose mossy cells,

Sweetly musing, Quiet dwells;

Grongar, in whose silent shade,

For the modest Muses made,

So oft I have, the evening still,

At the fountain of a rill, ao

Sate upon a flowery bed,

With my hand beneath my head;

While strayed my eyes o'er Towy's flood,

Over mead, and over wood,

From house to house, from hill to hill,

Till Contemplation had her fill.

About his chequered sides I wind,
And leave his brooks and meads behind,
And groves, and grottoes where I lay,
And vistoes shooting beams of day: 30

Wide and wider spreads the vale,
As circles on a smooth canal:
The mountains round, unhappy fate !
Sooner or later, of all height,
Withdraw their summits from the skies,
And lessen as the others rise:
Still the prospect wider spreads,
Adds a thousand woods and meads,
Still it widens, widens still,
And sinks the newly-risen hill. 4 o



Now, I gain the mountain's brow,
What a landskip lies below !
No clouds, no vapours intervene,
But the gay, the open scene
Does the face of nature show,
In all the hues of heaven's bow!
And, swelling to embrace the light,
Spreads around beneath the sight.

Old castles on the cliffs arise,

Proudly towering in the skies; 50

Rushing from the woods, the spires
Seem from hence ascending fires;
Half his beams Apollo sheds
On the yellow mountain-heads,
Gilds the fleeces of the flocks,
And glitters on the broken rocks.

Below me trees unnumbered rise,
Beautiful in various dyes:
The gloomy pine, the poplar blue,
The yellow beech, the sable yew, 60

The slender fir that taper grows,
The sturdy oak with broad-spread boughs;
And beyond the purple grove,
Haunt of Phillis, queen of love,
Gaudy as the opening dawn,
Lies a long and level lawn
On which a dark hill, steep and high,
Holds and charms the wandering eye.
Deep are his feet in Towy's flood,
His sides are cloth'd with waving wood, 70

And ancient towers crown his brow,
That cast an awful look below;
Whose ragged walls the ivy creeps,
And with her arms from falling keeps;
So both a safety from the wind
On mutual dependence find.

'Tis now the raven's bleak abode;
'Tis now th' apartment of the toad;
And there the fox securely feeds;
And there the poisonous adder breeds, 80

Conceal'd in ruins, moss, and weeds;



While, ever and anon, there falls

Huge heaps of hoary mouldered walls.

Yet time has seen, that lifts the low,

And level lays the lofty brow,

Has seen this broken pile compleat,

Big with the vanity of state;

But transient is the smile of fate!

A little rule, a little sway,

A sunbeam in a winter's day, 90

Is all the proud and mighty have

Between the cradle and the grave.

And see the rivers how they run
Thro* woods and meads, in shade and sun;
Sometimes swift, sometimes slow,
Wave succeeding wave, they go
A various journey to the deep,
Like human life to endless sleep!
Thus is nature's vesture wrought,
To instruct our wandering thought; 100

Thus she dresses green and gay,
To disperse our cares away.

Ever charming, ever new,
When will the landskip tire the view!
The fountain's fall, the river's flow,
The woody valleys, warm and low;
The windy summit, wild and high,
Roughly rushing on the sky;
The pleasant seat, the ruined tower,
The naked rock, the shady bower; no

The town and village, dome and farm,
Each give each a double charm,
As pearls upon an j^thiop's arm.

See, on the mountain's southern side,
Where the prospect opens wide,
Where the evening gilds the tide,
How close and small the hedges lie!
What streaks of meadows cross the eye!
A step, methinks, may pass the stream,
So little distant dangers seem; 120

So we mistake the future's face,



Eyed thro' Hope's deluding glass;
As yon summits soft and fair,
Clad in colours of the air,
Which to those who journey near,
Barren, brown, and rough appear;
Still we tread the same coarse way;
The present's still a cloudy day.

O may I with myself agree,

And never covet what I see ! 130

Content me with an humble shade,
My passions tamed, my wishes laid;
For while our wishes wildly roll,
We banish quiet from the soul;
'Tis thus the busy beat the air,
And misers gather wealth and care.

Now, ev'n now, my joys run high,
As on the mountain-turf I lie;
While the wanton Zephyr sings,
And in the vale perfumes his wings; 140

While the waters murmur deep,
While the shepherd charms his sheep,
While the birds unbounded fly,
And with musick fill the sky,
Now, ev'n now, my joys run high.

Be full, ye courts ; be great who will ;
Search for peace with all your skill:
Open wide the lofty door,
Seek her on the marble floor:

In vain ye search, she is not there; 150

In vain ye search the domes of care!
Grass and flowers Quiet treads,
On the meads and mountain-heads,
Along with Pleasure, close allied,
Ever by each other's side:
And often, by the murmuring rill,
Hears the thrush, while all is still,
Within the groves of Grongar Hill.



155. The Home Prepared

My banks they are furnish'd with bees,

Whose murmur invites one to sleep;
My grottos are shaded with trees,

And my hills are white over with sheep.
I seldom have met with a loss,

Such health do my fountains bestow,
My fountains all border J d with moss,

Where the hare-bells and violets grow.

Not a pine in my grove is there seen,

But with tendrils of woodbine is bound;
Not a beech's more beautiful green

But a sweet-brier entwines it around.
Not my fields, in the prime of the year,

More charms than my cattle unfold;
Not a brook that is limpid and clear,

But it glitters with fishes of gold.

One would think she might like to retire

To the bower I have laboured to rear;
Not a shrub that I heard her admire,

But I hasted and planted it there.
O, how sudden the jessamine strove

With the lilac to render it gay!
Already it calls for my love,

To prune the wild branches away.

From the plains, from the woodlands and groves,

What strains of wild melody flow !
How the nightingales warble their loves

From thickets of roses that blow !
And when her bright form shall appear,

Each bird shall harmoniously join
In a concert so soft and so clear,

As she may not be fond to resign.




156.- A Wish

Mine be a cot beside the hill;

A bee-hive's hum shall soothe my ear;
A willowy brook, that turns a mill,

With many a fall, shall linger near.

The swallow oft, beneath my thatch,
Shall twitter near her clay-built nest;

Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch,

And share my meal, a welcome guest.

Around my ivied porch shall spring

Each fragrant flower that drinks the dew;

And Lucy, at her wheel, shall sing
In russet gown and apron blue.

The village church beneath the trees,

Where first our marriage-vows were given,

With merry peals shall swell the breeze
And point with taper spire to heaven.


157. Lines written in March

The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,

The green field sleeps in the sun ;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising;

There are forty feeding like one !

1 86


Like an army defeated

The snow hath retreated,

And now doth fare ill ^ \

On the top of the bare hill;
The plough-boy is whooping anon anon

There's joy in the mountains;

There's life in the fountains;

Small clouds are sailing,

Blue sky prevailing;
The rain is over and gone !


158. The Solitary Reaper

Behold her, single in the field,

Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;

Stop here, or gently pass !
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
Oh, listen ! for the vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.

No nightingale did ever chaunt

More welcome notes to weary bands

Of travellers in some shady haunt
Among Arabian sands:

A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard

In spring-time from the cuckoo-bird,

Breaking the silence of the seas

Among the farthest Hebrides.

Will no one tell me what she sings?
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow

For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:



Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?

Whatever the theme, the Maiden sang
As if her song could have no ending:

I saw her singing at her work,
And o'er the sickle bending:

I listen'd, motionless and still;

And, as I mounted up the hill,

The music in my heart I bore,

Long after it was heard no more.


159. Kubla Khan

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan

A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man

Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills

Where blossom'd many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

But oh, that deep romantic chasm which slanted

Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
A savage place ! as holy and enchanted
As e'er beneath a waning moon was haunted

By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
A mighty fountain momently was forced;



Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher's flail:
And 'mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
It flung up momently the sacred river.
Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
Then reach'd the caverns measureless to man,
And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
And 'mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
Ancestral voices prophesying war!

The shadow of the dome of pleasure

Floated midway on the waves;
Where was heard the mingled measure

From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

A damsel with a dulcimer

In a vision once I saw:
It was an Abyssinian maid,
And on her dulcimer she play'd,

Singing of Mount Abora.

Could I revive within me

Her symphony and song,
To such a deep delight 'twould win me,

That with music loud and long

I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !

And all who heard should see them there,

And all should cry, Beware! Beware!

His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
Weave a circle round him thrice,

And close your eyes with holy dread,

For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.




160. Ruth

She stood breast-high amid the corn,
Clasp'd by the golden light of morn,
Like the sweetheart of the sun,
Who many a glowing kiss had won.

On her cheek an autumn flush,
Deeply ripen'd; such a blush
In the midst of brown was born,
Like red poppies grown with corn.

Round her eyes her tresses fell,
Which were blackest none could tell,
But long lashes veiPd a light
That had else been all too bright.

And her hat, with shady brim,
Made her tressy forehead dim;
Thus she stood amid the stocks,
Praising God with sweetest looks:

Sure, I said, Heav'n did not mean,
Where I reap thou shouldst but glean.
Lay thy sheaf adown and come,
Share my harvest and my home.


161. The Three Fishers

Three fishers went sailing away to the West,
Away to the West as the sun went down;

Each thought on the woman who loved him the best,
And the children stood watching them out of the town ;

For men must work, and women must weep,

And there's little to earn, and many to keep,
Though the harbour-bar be moaning.



Three wives sat up in the lighthouse tower,

And they trimmed the lamps as the sun went down;

They looked at the squall, and they looked at the shower,
And the night-rack came rolling up ragged and brown;

But men must work, and women must weep,

Though storms be sudden, and waters deep,
And the harbour-bar be moaning.

Three corpses lay out on the shining sands,

In the morning gleam, as the tide went down,

And the women are weeping and wringing their hands,
For those who will never come home to the town.

For men must work, and women must weep,

And the sooner it's over, the sooner to sleep,
And good-bye to the bar and its moaning.


162. The Village Blacksmith

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;

The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;

And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

His hair is crisp, and black, and long;

His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat;

He earns whatever he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,

For he owes not any man.




Week in, week out, from morn till night,

You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,

With measured beat and slow,
Like a sexton ringing the village bell,

When the evening sun is low :

And children coming home from school

Look in at the open door;
They love to see the flaming forge,

And hear the bellows roar,
And catch the burning sparks that fly

Like chaff from the threshing-floor.

He goes on Sunday to the church,

And sits among his boys;
He hears the parson pray and preach,

He hears his daughter's voice,
Singing in the village choir,

And it makes his heart rejoice:


It sounds to him like her mother's voice,

Singing in Paradise !
He needs must think of her once more,

How in the grave she lies;
And with his hard, rough hand he wipes

A tear out of his eyes.

Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing,

Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,

Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,

Has earned a night's repose.




Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,

For the lesson thou hast taught !
Thus at the flaming forge of life

Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped

Each burning deed and thought.


163. "A Small Sweet Idyl"

Come down, O maid, from yonder mountain height:

What pleasure lives in height (the shepherd sang)

In height and cold, the splendour of the hills?

But cease to move so near the Heavens, and cease

To glide a sunbeam by the blasted Pine,

To sit a star upon the sparkling spire;

And come, for Love is of the valley, come,

For Love is of the valley, come thou down

And find him; by the happy threshold, he,

Or hand in hand with Plenty in the maize,

Or red with spirted purple of the vats,

Or foxlike in the vine; nor cares to walk

With Death and Morning on the Silver Horns,

Nor wilt thou snare him in the white ravine,

Nor find him dropt upon the firths of ice,

That huddling slant in furrow-cloven falls

To roll the torrent out of dusky doors:

But follow; let the torrent dance thee down

To find him in the valley; let the wild

Lean-headed Eagles yelp alone, and leave

The monstrous ledges there to slope, and spill

Their thousand wreaths of dangling water-smoke,

That like a broken purpose waste in air:

So waste not thou; but come; for all the vales

H. N 193


Await thee; azure pillars of the hearth
Arise to thee; the children call, and I
Thy shepherd pipe, and sweet is every sound,
Sweeter thy voice, but every sound is sweet;
Myriads of rivulets hurrying thro* the lawn,

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Online LibraryNorman Harold HeppleLyrical forms in English; → online text (page 11 of 17)