Norman Harold Hepple.

Lyrical forms in English; online

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He gained from Heaven ('twas all he wished) a friend.

No farther seek his merits to disclose,

Or draw his frailties from their dread abode,

(There they alike in trembling hope repose],
The bosom of his Father and his God.


176. On the Receipt of my Mother's Picture

Oh that those lips had language ! Life has passed
With me but roughly since I heard thee last.
Those lips are thine thy own sweet smiles I see,
The same that oft in childhood solaced me ;
Voice only fails, else, how distinct they say,
u Grieve not, my child, chase all thy fears away ! "
The meek intelligence of those dear eyes



(Blest be the art that can immortalise,

The art that baffles time's tyrannic claim

To quench it !) here shines on me still the same. 10

Faithful remembrancer of one so dear,
Oh welcome guest, though unexpected, here !
Who bidd'st me honour with an artless song,
Affectionate, a mother lost so long,
I will obey, not willingly alone,
But gladly, as the precept were her own ;
And, while that face renews my filial grief,
Fancy shall weave a charm for my relief
Shall steep me in Elysian reverie,
A momentary dream that thou art she. 20

My mother ! when I learned that thou wast dead,
Say, wast thou conscious of the tears I shed ?
Hovered thy spirit o'er thy sorrowing son,
Wretch even then, life's journey just begun ?
Perhaps thou gavest me, though unseen, a kiss ?
Perhaps a tear, if souls can weep in bliss ?
Ah, that maternal smile ! it answers, " Yes."
I heard the bell tolled on thy burial day,
I saw the hearse that bore thee slow away,
And, turning from my nursery window, drew 30

A long, long sigh, and wept a last adieu !
But was it such ? It was. Where thou art gone
Adieus and farewells are a sound unknown.
May I but meet thee on that peaceful shore,
The parting sound shall pass my lips no more !
Thy maidens grieved themselves at my concern,
Oft gave me promise of a quick return.
What ardently I wished, I long believed ;
And, disappointed still, was still deceived,
By disappointment every day beguiled, 40

Dupe of to-morrow even from a child.
Thus many a sad to-morrow came and went,
Till, all my stock of infant sorrow spent,
I learned at last submission to my lot ;
But though I less deplored thee, ne'er forgot.

Where once we dwelt our name is heard no more,
Children not thine have trod my nursery floor ;



And where the gardener, Robin, day by day,

Drew me to school along the public way,

Delighted with my bauble coach, and wrapt 50

In scarlet mantle warm, and velvet-capt,

'Tis now become a history little known,

That once we called the pastoral house our own.

Short-lived possession ! but the record fair

That memory keeps of all thy kindness there,

Still outlives many a storm that has effaced

A thousand other themes less deeply traced.

Thy nightly visits to my chamber made,

That thou mightest know me safe and warmly laid ;

Thy morning bounties ere I left my home, 60

The biscuit, or confectionery plum ;

The fragrant waters on my cheeks bestowed

By thy own hand, till fresh they shone and glowed ;

All this, and more endearing still than all,

Thy constant flow of love, that knew no fall,

Ne'er roughened by those cataracts and breaks

That humour interposed too often makes ;

All this still legible in memory's page,

And still to be so, to my latest age,

Adds joy to duty, makes me glad to pay 70

Such honours to thee as my numbers may ;

Perhaps a frail memorial, but sincere,

Not scorned in heaven, though unnoticed here.

Could Time, his flight reversed, restore the hours,
When, playing with thy vesture's tissued flowers,
The violet, the pink, the jessamine,
I pricked them into paper with a pin,
(And thou wast happier than myself the while,
Would'st softly speak, and stroke my head and smile)
Could those few pleasant hours again appear, 80

Might one wish bring them, would I wish them here ?
I would not trust my heart the dear delight
Seems so to be desired, perhaps I might.
But no what here we call our life is such,
So little to be loved, and thou so much,
That I should ill requite thee to constrain
Thy unbound spirit into bonds again.



Thou as a gallant bark from Albion's coast

(The storms all weathered and the ocean crossed)

Shoots into port at some well-haven'd isle, 90

Where spices breathe and brighter seasons smile,

There sits quiescent on the floods that show

Her beauteous form reflected clear below,

While airs impregnated with incense play

Around her, fanning light her streamers gay ;

So thou, with sails how swift ! hast reached the shore

" Where tempests never beat nor billows roar,"

And thy loved consort on the dangerous tide

Of life, long since has anchored at thy side.

But me, scarce hoping to attain that rest, 100

Always from port withheld, always distressed

Me howling winds drive devious, tempest-tost,

Sails ript, seams opening wide, and compass lost ;

And day by day some current's thwarting force

Sets me more distant from a prosperous course.

But oh, the thought that thou art safe and he !

That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.

My boast is not that I deduce my birth

From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth ;

But higher far my proud pretensions rise no

The son of parents passed into the skies.

And now, farewell ! Time, unrevoked, has run
His wonted course, yet what I wished is done.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
I seem to have lived my childhood o'er again ;
To have renewed the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine :
And, while the wings of fancy still are free,
And I can view this mimic shew of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft T2 o

Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.




177. "She dwelt among the untrodden ways"

She dwelt among the untrodden ways

Beside the springs of Dove,
A Maid whom there were none to praise

And very few to love:

A Violet by a mossy stone

Half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star, when only one

Is shining in the sky.

She lived unknown, and few could know

When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,

The difference to me.


178. "Loud is the Vale"

Composed at Grasmere, during a walk one evening, after a stormy
day, the author having just read in a newspaper that the dissolution of
Mr. Fox was hourly expected.

Loud is the vale ! the voice is up

With which she speaks when storms are gone;
A mighty unison of streams !

Of all her voices, one!

Loud is the vale; this inland depth

In peace is roaring like the sea;
Yon star upon the mountain-top

Is listening quietly.

Sad was I, even to pain deprest,

Importunate and heavy load!
The Comforter hath found me here,

Upon this lonely road;



And many thousands now are sad
Wait the fulfilment of their fear;

For he must die who is their stay,
Their glory disappear.

A Power is passing from the earth
To breathless Nature's dark abyss;

But when the mighty pass away
What is it more than this,

That Man, who is from God sent forth,
Doth yet again to God return ?

Such ebb and flow must ever be,
Then wherefore should we mourn?


179. Elegiac Stanzas

Suggested by a picture of Peele Castle in a storm, painted by
Sir George Beaumont.

I was thy neighbour once, thou rugged Pile !

Four summer weeks I dwelt in sight of thee:
I saw thee every day; and all the while

Thy Form was sleeping on a glassy sea.

So pure the sky, so quiet was the air!

So like, so very like, was day to day !
Whene'er I looked thy Image still was there;

It trembled, but it never passed away.

How perfect was the calm! it seemed no sleep;

No mood, which season takes away, or brings
I could have fancied that the mighty Deep

Was even the gentlest of all gentle things.



Ah ! then, if mine had been the Painter's hand,

To express what then I saw ; and add the gleam,
The light that never was on sea or land,

The consecration and the poet's dream;

I would have planted thee, thou hoary Pile,

Amid a world how different from this !
Beside a sea that could not cease to smile;

On tranquil land, beneath a sky of bliss.

A Picture had it been of lasting ease,

Elysian quiet, without toil or strife;
No motion but the moving tide, a breeze,

Or merely silent Nature's breathing life.

Such in the fond illusion of my heart,

Such Picture would I at that time have made;
And seen the soul of truth in every part,

A steadfast peace that might not be betrayed.

So once it would have been, 'tis so no more;

I have submitted to a new control:
A power is gone, which nothing can restore;

A deep distress hath humanised my Soul.

Not for a moment could I now behold

A smiling sea, and be what I have been :
The feeling of my loss will ne'er be old;

This, which I know, I speak with mind serene.

Then, Beaumont, Friend! who would have been the


If he had lived, of him whom I deplore,
This work of thine I blame not, but commend;
This sea in anger, and that dismal shore.




O 'tis a passionate Work yet wise and well,

Well chosen is the spirit that is here;
That Hulk which labours in the deadly swell,

This rueful sky, this pageantry of fear !


And this huge Castle, standing here sublime,
I love to see the look with which it braves,

Cased in the unfeeling armour of old time,

The lightning, the fierce wind, and trampling waves,


Farewell, farewell the heart that lives alone,

Housed in a dream, at distance from the Kind!

Such happiness, wherever it be known,
Is to be pitied; for 'tis surely blind.


But welcome fortitude, and patient cheer,
And frequent sights of what is to be borne !

Such sights, or worse, as are before me here:
Not without hope we suffer and we mourn.


180. Hester

When maidens such as Hester die,
Their place ye may not well supply,
Though ye among a thousand try,

With vain endeavour.
A month or more hath she been dead,
Yet cannot I by force be led
To think upon the wormy bed

And her, together.



A springy motion in her gait,

A rising step, did indicate

Of pride and joy no common rate,

That flush'd her spirit.
I know not by what name beside
I shall it call: if 'twas not pride,
It was a joy to that allied,

She did inherit.

Her parents held the Quaker rule,
Which doth the human feeling cool,
But she was train'd in Nature's school,

Nature had blest her.
A waking eye, a prying mind,
A heart that stirs, is hard to bind,
A hawk's keen sight ye cannot blind:

Ye could not Hester.

My sprightly neighbour, gone before
To that unknown and silent shore,
Shall we not meet, as heretofore,

Some summer morning,
When from thy cheerful eyes a ray
Hath struck a bliss upon the day,
A bliss that would not go away,

A sweet forewarning?


181. Elegy on Thyrza

And thou art dead, as young and fair

As aught of mortal birth;
And forms so soft and charms so rare

Too soon return'd to Earth !
Though Earth received them in her bed,
And o'er the spot the crowd may tread

In carelessness or mirth,
There is an eye which could not brook
A moment on that grave to look.



I will not ask where thou liest low

Nor gaze upon the spot;
There flowers or weeds at will may grow

So I behold them not:
It is enough for me to prove
That what I loved and long must love

Like common earth can rot ;
To me there needs no stone to tell

J Tis Nothing that I loved so well.


Yet did I love thee to the last,

As fervently as thou
Who didst not change through all the past

And canst not alter now.
The love where Death has set his seal
Nor age can chill, nor rival steal,

Nor falsehood disavow:
And, what were worse, thou canst not see
Or wrong, or change, or fault in me.


The better days of life were ours;

The worst can be but mine:
The sun that cheers, the storm that lours,

Shall never more be thine.
The silence of that dreamless sleep
I envy now too much to weep;

Nor need I to repine
That all those charms have pass'd away
I might have watch'd through long decay.


The flower in ripen 'd bloom unmatch'd
Must fall the earliest prey;

Though by no hand untimely snatch'd
The leaves must drop away.



And yet it were a greater grief
To watch it withering, leaf by leaf,

Than see it pluck'd to-day;
Since earthly eye but ill can bear
To trace the change to foul from fair.


I know not if I could have borne

To see thy beauties fade;
The night that follow'd such a morn

Had worn a deeper shade:
Thy day without a cloud hath past,
And thou wert lovely to the last,

Extinguished, not decay'd;
As stars that shoot along the sky
Shine brightest as they fall from high.

As once I wept, if I could weep,

My tears might well be shed
To think I was not near, to keep

One vigil o'er thy bed:
To gaze, how fondly! on thy face,
To fold thee in a faint embrace,

Uphold thy drooping head;
And show that love, however vain,
Nor thou nor I can feel again.


Yet how much less it were to gain,

Though thou hast left me free,
The loveliest things that still remain

Than thus remember thee!
The all of thine that cannot die
Through dark and dread Eternity

Returns again to me,
And more thy buried love endears
Than aught except its living years.

H. Q 241


182. To the Sister of Elia

Comfort thee, O thou mourner, yet awhile !

Again shall Elia's smile
Refresh thy heart, where heart can ache no more.

What is it we deplore ?

He leaves behind him, freed from griefs and years,

Far worthier things than tears,
The love of friends without a single foe:

Unequalled lot below!

His gentle soul, his genius, these are thine;

For these dost thou repine?
He may have left the lowly walks of men;

Left them he has; what then?

Are not his footsteps followed by the eyes

Of all the good and wise?
Tho* the warm day is over, yet they seek

Upon the lofty peak

Of his pure mind the roseate light that glows

O'er death's perennial snows.
Behold him ! from the region of the blest

He speaks: he bids thee rest.


183." Break, break, break ! "

Break, break, break,

On thy cold gray stones, O Sea!
And I would that my tongue could utter

The thoughts that arise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy,

That he shouts with his sister at play!

O well for the sailor lad,

That he sings in his boat on the bay !



And the stately ships go on

To their haven under the hill;
But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand,

And the sound of a voice that is still!

Break, break, break,

At the foot of thy crags, O Sea !
But the tender grace of a day that is dead

Will never come back to me.


184. A Southern Night

The sandy spits, the shore-lock'd lakes,

Melt into open, moonlit sea;
The soft Mediterranean breaks
At my feet, free.

Dotting the fields of corn and vine,

Like ghosts, the huge, gnarl'd olives stand.
Behind, that lovely mountain-line!
While, by the strand,


Cette, with its glistening houses white,
Curves with the curving beach away
To where the lighthouse beacons bright
Far in the bay.


Ah ! such a night, so soft, so lone,
So moonlit, saw me once of yore
Wander, unquiet, and my own
Vext heart deplore.

Q2 243



But now that trouble is forgot;

Thy memory, thy pain, to-night,
My brother! and thine early lot,
Possess me quite.

The murmur of this Midland deep

Is heard to-night around thy grave,
There, where Gibraltar's cannon'd steep
O'erfrowns the wave.


For there, with bodily anguish keen,
With Indian heats at last fordone,
With public toil and private teen
Thou sank'st, alone.


Slow to a stop, at morning grey,

I see the smoke-crown'd vessel come;
Slow round her paddles dies away
The seething foam.

A boat is lower'd from her side;

Ah, gently place him on the bench !
That spirit if all have not yet died
A breath might quench.

Is this the eye, the footstep fast,

The mien of youth we used to see,
Poor, gallant boy! for such thou wast,
Still art, to me.


The limbs their wonted tasks refuse;

The eyes are glazed, thou canst not speak;
And whiter than thy white burnous
That wasted cheek!




Enough! The boat with quiet shock,

Unto its haven coming nigh,
Touches, and on Gibraltar's rock
Lands thee to die.


Ah me! Gibraltar's strand is far,
But farther yet across the brine
Thy dear wife's ashes buried are,
Remote from thine.

For there, where morning's sacred fount

Its golden rain on earth confers,
The snowy Himalayan Mount
O'ershadows hers.


Strange irony of fate, alas,

Which, for two jaded English, saves,
When from their dusty life they pass,
Such peaceful graves!


In cities should we English lie,

Where cries are rising ever new,
And men's incessant stream goes by
We who pursue


Our business with unslackening stride,

Traverse in troops, with care-fill'd breast,
The soft Mediterranean side,
The Nile, the East,

And see all sights from Pole to Pole,

And glance, and nod, and bustle by,
And never once possess our soul
Before we die.



Not by those hoary Indian hills,

Not by this gracious Midland sea
Whose floor to-night sweet moonshine fills,
Should our graves be.


Some sage, to whom the world was dead,
And men were specks, and life a play;
Who made the roots of trees his bed,
And once a day

With staflf and gourd his way did bend

To villages and homes of men,
For food to keep him till he end
His mortal span

And the pure goal of being reach;

Hoar-headed, wrinkled, clad in white,
Without companion, without speech,
By day and night

Pondering God's mysteries untold,

And tranquil as the glacier-snows,
He by those Indian mountains old
Might well repose.


Some grey crusading knight austere,
Who bore Saint Louis company,
And came home hurt to death, and here
Landed to die;


Some youthful troubadour, whose tongue
Fill'd Europe once with his love-pain,
Who here outworn had sunk, and sung
His dying strain;



Some girl who here from castle-bower,

With furtive step and cheek of flame,
'Twixt myrtle hedges all in flower
By moonlight came

To meet her pirate-lover's ship;

And from the wave-kiss'd marble stair
Beckon'd him on, with quivering lip
And floating hair;

And lived some moons in happy trance,

Then learnt his death and pined away
Such by these waters of romance
'Twas meet to lay.


But you a grave for knight or sage,
Romantic, solitary, still,

spent ones of a work-day age !

Befits you ill.

So sang I; but the midnight breeze,

Down to the brimm'd, moon-charm6d main,
Comes softly through the olive trees,
And checks my strain.

3 1

1 think of her, whose gentle tongue

All plaint in her own cause controlled;
Of thee I think, my brother! young
In heart, high-souPd


That comely face, that clustered brow,
That cordial hand, that bearing free,
I see them still, I see them now,
Shall always see !




And what but gentleness untired,

And what but noble feeling warm,
Wherever shown, howe'er inspired,
Is grace, is charm?


What else is all these waters are,

What else is steep'd in lucid sheen,
What else is bright, what else is fair,
What else serene?


Mild o'er her grave, ye mountains, shine!

Gently by his, ye waters glide!
To that in you which is divine
They were allied.





No. i. This is the earliest English song of which a manuscript exists,
and it dates from the thirteenth century. The tune to which it was sung has
also been recorded and both words and tune are products of a degree of skill
which must have been rather uncommon at the time when the song was
composed. The motive of the poem is, of course, the singing of the cuckoo
and the last two lines form the "third part" of the lyric. (See "The Structure
of the Lyric " in the Introduction.)

Verteth = turns to the woods.

No. 2. Stokkes : stocks were kept by the Lord of Misrule at Christmas
parties, for the punishment of those who did not join in the pleasures of the

No. 4. The short lines and musical metre suggest the light-hearted dance
which probably accompanied the song, which is taken from Thomas Morley's
First Book of Ballets (1595). Compare this poem with No. 3.

No. 5. From Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost.

Blows his nail blows his finger-nails to keep them warm ; &;/=keep cool
by stirring ; crabs = crab-apples.

No. 6. From Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Nos. 7 and n. It is interesting to gather from these songs particulars
of the habits and powers generally attributed to fairies in Shakespeare's day.
From The Tempest and A Midsummer Night's Dream especially, much
information can be gleaned on these points.

No. 8. A madrigal is an elaborate vocal composition written for several
voices, sometimes five or six. Note that the second poem contains many
examples of contrast a figure of speech technically known as antithesis.
Find other examples in the book.

No. 9. Mary-buds marigolds. From Shakespeare's Cymbeline.

No. 10. From Shakespeare's As You Like It. If analysed as regards
structure, each stanza of this song will be found a complete lyric, the two
stanzas being unified by their common subject, ingratitude.

No. ii. The burthen bearsmg the refrain.

No. 15. From Dowland's Third Book of Songs or Airs. Many such song-
books were published during Elizabethan times and serve as mines to the
collector of songs. Notice carefully the smooth and even flow of the rhythm,
a feature of all the good slumber-songs in the language.

No. 16. Observe in the last four lines the courtly and ingenious exaggeration,
common to the love-poems of the period.



No. 18. In what other way might this poem have been arranged in lines?
What is the effect of the short rhyming lines ?

Nos. 21, 22. Milton has left us few songs, and beautiful as these two
numbers are, his genius was, of course, greater in epic than in lyric.

No. 23. This most graceful lyric is structurally perfect and exquisitely dainty.

No. 27. The motive here is a situation, as in No. 89.

No. 32. Note the sudden change of tense in the last line. What is its

No. 33 comes to us out of a time when lyrical poetry was in abeyance.

No. 37. Frae = from ; dight = adorn ; skaith = harm.

No. 38. The text is from that of Mr. Watts-Dunton in Ward's English
Poets, two stanzas being omitted.

No. 39. Many of our merriest songs are written about life in the open air
and sunlight.

No. 40. Note the refrain in this elegiac lyric : it is sometimes given as a
title. A description of the battle is given in Canto 6 of Marmion. It was
fought in 1513, James IV being killed.

Lilting singing merrily; ilka = every; loaning^, broad lane; wede
withered; bughts = sheep-pens ; dowie=sa.d; wo<?=woful; daffirf = jesting ;
gabbin 1 = gossiping; leglin = milk-pail ; bandsters those who bind sheaves;
lyart grizzled ; runkled= wrinkled ; fleeching=. coaxing ; bogle = ghost; dool

No. 41 commemorates the defeat of "Bonnie Prince Charlie" by the
Duke of Cumberland.

Aye the saut tear blin's her ee = always the salt tear blinds her eye ;
Drumossie Highland name for Culloden ; trow believe ; jaz>=sore.

Nos. 42, 43. Notice the change which has passed over the love-song in
its passage from the Elizabethan Age to Burns. State exactly its nature.
Note the large number of open vowels employed in these two songs.

Ilka = every; staw = stole.

No. 44. J/a#w = must ; stoureAv&i ; bidd shelter ; histie stibble-field=
dry stubble-field.

No. 45. This very beautiful song was written by Lady Nairn to a melody
already in existence the same to which Burns set " Scots Wha Hae."

Leal= loyal, faithful ; fain = happy.

No. 46. Dibdin's sea-songs give him a very high place among English
song-writers. They were not without influence upon our sea-faring enterprise
and in recognition of this, Pitt granted the poet a pension. His total song
production exceeded thirteen hundred.

Notice in this song also the preponderance of open vowels.

Nos. 47, 48. The former is from Songs of Innocence, the latter from

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Online LibraryNorman Harold HeppleLyrical forms in English; → online text (page 14 of 17)