William Chambers.

Chambers's miscellany of useful and entertaining tracts (Volume v.5-6) online

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And is of sense forlorn :
A sadder and a wiser man
He rose the morrow morn.


And ever and anon
throughout his future
life an agony con-
straineth him to tra-
vel from land to land.

And to teach, by his
own example, love
and reverence to all
things that God made
and loveth.



All tlioug-hts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
Are all but ministers of love,
And feed his sacred flame.

Oft in my waking dreams do I
Live o'er again that happy hour,
When midway on the mount I lay
Beside the ruined tower.

The moonshine, stealing o'er the scene,
Had blended with the lights of eve ;
And she was there, my hope, my joy.
My own dear Genevieve !

She leaned against the armed man.
The statue of the armed knight ;
She stood and listened to my lay
Amid the lingering light.


Samuel Taylor Coleridge was a native of Devonsliire, being bom on
tbe 20th of October 1772, at Ottery St Mary, of which his father was
vicar. He received the principal part of his education at Christ's hospi-
tal, London, and distinguished himself as a scholar. Being of an ima-
ginative and irregular turn of mind, he was ill adapted to the ordinary
struggles of life, and in youth encountered various misfortunes. About
the beginning of the present century, he became acquainted with Southey
and Wordsworth ; and at Stowey, near the residence of the latter, he
wrote his Ancient IMariner, and various other pieces ; in which may be
seen the richness of his imagination and depth of his poetical and meta-
physical temperament. The versification of the Ancient Mariner is irre-
gular, in the style of the old ballads, and most of the action of the piece
is unnatural ; yet the poem is full of vivid and original sentiment, and it
possesses touches of exquisite tenderness. " There is nothing else like it,"
says a critic, " it is a poem by itself ; between it and other compositions
there is a chasm which you cannot overpass. The sensitive reader feels him-
self insulated, and a sea of wonder and mystery flows roimd him as round
the spell-stricken ship itself." This lamented poet died at Highgate in
1834. In the present tract, we offer a few of his earliest pieces, trusting to
make them favourably known in quarters from which, by their price, they
have hitherto been excluded. May every reader be able to say with the
author — " Poetry has been to me an exceeding great reward ; it has
soothed my affliction ; it has multiplied and refined my enjoyments ; it
has endeared my solitude ; and it has given me the habit of wishing to
discover the good and the beautiful in all that meets and surrounds




Few sorrows hath slie of her own,
My hope, my joy, my Genevieve !
She loves me best whene'er I sing*
The song-s that make her grieve.

I played a soft and doleful air,
I sang- an old and moving- story — >
An old rude song that suited well
That ruin wild and hoary.

She listened with a flitting blush,
"With downcast eyes and modest grace ;
For well she knew I could not choose
But gaze upon her face.

I told her of the knight that wore
Upon his shield a burning brand ;
And that for ten long years he wooed
The lady of the land.

I told her how he pined ; and ah !
The deep, the low, the pleading tone
With which I sang another's love,
Interpreted my own.

She listened with a flitting blush,
With downcast eyes and modest grace ;
And she forgave me that I gazed
Too fondly on her face.

But when I told the cruel scorn
Which crazed this bold and lovely knight,
And that he crossed the mountain-woods,
Nor rested day nor night ;

But sometimes from the savage den,
And sometimes from the darksome shade.
And sometimes starting up at once,
In green and suimy glade,

There came and looked him in the face
An angel beautiful and bright ;
And that he knew it was a fiend,
This miserable knight !

And that, unknowing what he did,
He leaped amid a murderous band,
And saved from outrage worse than death
The lady of the land ;



And how she wept and clasped his knees,
And how she tended him in vain —
And ever strove to expiate

The scorn that crazed his brain.

And that she nursed him in a cave ;
And how his madness went away,
"When on the yellow forest leaves
A dying- man he lay ;

His dying" words — ^hut when I reached
That tenderest strain of all the ditty,
My faltering- voice and pausing- harp
Disturbed her soul with pity !

All impulses of soul and sense
Had thrilled my guileless Genevieve —
The music and the doleful tale,
The rich and balmy eve ;

And hopes, and fears that kindle hope,
An undistinguishable throng ;
And gentle wishes long subdued,
Subdued and cherished long !

She wept with pity and delig-ht,
She blushed with love and virg-in shame ;
And like the murmur of a dream
I heard her breathe my name.

Her bosom heaved, she stept aside ;
As conscious of my look she stept — •
Then suddenly, with timorous eye,
She fled to me and wept.

She half enclosed me with her arms.
She pressed me with a meek embrace.
And bending back her head, looked up
And gazed upon my face.

'Twas partly love, and partly fear,
And pai'tly 'twas a bashful art,
That I might rather feel than see
The s\velling of her heart.

I calmed her fears ; and she was calm,
And told her love with virgin pride ;
And so I won my Genevieve,

My bright and beauteous bride !





[from the unfinished poem of christabel.]

Alas ! they had Leen friends in youth ;
But whispering tong-ues can poison truth ;
And constancy lives in realms above ;

And life is thorny ; and youth is vain :
And to be wroth with one we love,
• Doth work like madness in the brain.
And thus it chanced, as I divine,
V/ith Roland and Sir Leoline.
Each spake words of hig-h disdain

And insult to his heart's best brother ;
They parted — ne'er to meet ag-ain !

But never either found another
To free the hollow heart from paining ;
They stood aloof, the scars remaining",
Like cliffs which had been rent asunder :

A dreary sea now flows between.
But neither heat, nor frost, nor thunder,

Shall wholly do away, I ween,

The marks of that which once hath been.


[from the tragedy of remorse.]

And this place our forefathers made for man !

This is the process of our love and wisdom

To each poor brother who olfends against us — •

IMost innocent, perhaps — and what if guilty ?

Is this the only cure 1 Merciful God !

Each pore and natural outlet shrivelled up

By ignorance and parching poverty,

His energ'ies roll back upon his heart.

And stagnate and corrupt, till, changed to poison,

They break on him like a loathsome plague-spot !

Then we call in our pampered mountebanks — •

And this is their best cure ! uncomforted

And friendless solitude, groaning and tears,

And savage faces at the clanking hour

Seen through the steam and vapours of his dungeon

By the lamp's dismal twilight ! So he lies

'Circled with evil, till his very soul

Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deformed

By sights of evermore deformity !

"With other ministrations, thou, O Nature,


Healest thy wandering" and distempered child:

Thou pourest on him thy soft influences,

Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets ;

Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters ;

Till he relent, and can no more endure

To be a jarring: and a dissonant thing*

Amid this general dance and minstrelsy ;

But, bursting into tears, wins back his way,

His angry spirit healed and harmonised

By the benignant touch of love and beauty.


"VYhex Youth his fairy reign began.
Ere Sorrow had proclaimed me man ;
While Peace the present hour beguiled,
And all the lovely prospect smiled ;
Then, Mary ! 'mid my lightsome glee,
I heaved the painless sigh for thee.

And when as tossed on waves of wo,
My harassed heart was doomed to know
The frantic burst, the outrage keen.
And the slow pang that gnaws unseen ;
Then shipwrecked on life's stormy sea,
I heaved an anguished sisrh for thee.

But soon Reflection's power impressed
A stiller sadness on my breast ;
And sickly Hope, with waning' eye,
"Was well content to droop and die :
I yielded to the stern decree.
Yet heaved a languid sigh for thee !

And though in distant climes to roam,
A wanderer from my native home,
I fiiin would soothe the sense of care.
And lull to sleep the joys that were ;
Thy imag-e may not banished be —
Still, Mary ! still I sigh for thee.



O THOU wild Fancy, check thy wing ! No more
Those thin white flakes, those purple clouds explore ;
Nor there with happy spirits speed thy flight.
Bathed in rich amber-oiowing floods of lio-ht :



Nor in yon gleam, where slow descends the day,
With western peasants hail the morning rayj
Ah ! rather bid the perished pleasures move,
A shadowy train, across the soul of love.
O'er disappointment's wintry desert fling-
Each flower, that wreathed the dewy locks of Spring
When blushing like a bride, from hope's trim bower
She leaped, awakened by the pattering shower.

Now sheds the sinking sun a deeper gleam ;

Aid, lovely sorceress, aid thy poet's dream

With fairy wand ; oh, bid the maid arise,

Chaste joy ance dancing in her bright blue eyes ■

As erst when from the Muse's calm abode

I came, with learning's meed not unbestowed .

When as she twined a laurel round my brow,

And met my kiss, and half returned my vow,

O'er all my frame shot rapid my thrilled heart,

And every nerve confessed the electric dart.

Oh, dear deceit ! I see the maiden rise,

Chaste joyance dancing- in her bright blue eyes ;

When £rst the lark high-soaring, swells his throat,

Mocks the tired eye, and scatters the loud note,

I trace her footsteps on the accustomed lawn,

I mark her glancing 'mid the gleams of dawn ;

When the bent flower beneath the night-dew weeps,

And on the lake the silver lustre sleeps.

Amid the paly radiance, soft and sad,

She meets my lonely path in moonbeams clad.

With her along the streamlet's brink I rove ;

With her I list the warblings of the grove ;

And seems in each low wind her voice to float,

Lone-whispering pity in each soothing* note.

Spirits of love ! ye heard her name ! Obey
The powerful spell, and to my haunt repair ;
Whether on clustering pinions ye are there,
Where rich snows blossom on the myi*tle trees.
Or with fond languishment, around my fair
Sigh in the loose luxuriance of her hair :
Oh, heed the spell, and hither wing your way.
Like far-off music, voyaging the breeze !
Spirits, to you the infant maid was given.
Formed by the wondrous alchemy of heaven.
No fairer maid does love's wide empire know.
No fairer maid e'er heaved the bosom's snow.
A thousand loves around her forehead fly ;
A thousand loves sit melting in her eye ;
Love lights her smile — in Joy's bright nectar dips
The flamy rose, and plants it on her lips !



Tender, serene, and all devoid of gruile.

Soft is her sou], as sleeping- infant's smile :

She speaks ! and hark that passion-warbled song —

Still, fancy still, those mazy notes prolong'.

Sweet as the angelic harps, whose rapturous falls

Awake the softened echoes of heaven's halls.

Oh (have I sighed) were mine the wizard's rod,

Or mine the power of Proteus, changeful god,

A flower-entang'led arbour I would seem,

To shield my love from noontide's sultry beam ;

Or bloom a myrtle, from whose odorous boug'hs

My love might weave gay garlands for her brows.

When twilight stole across the fading vale,

To fan my love, I'd be the evening gale :

Mourn in the soft folds of her swelling- vest,

And flutter my faint pinions on her breast.

On seraph wing I'd float a dream by night.

To soothe my love with shadows of delight ;

Or soar aloft, to be the spang-led skies.

And gaze upon her with a thousand eyes.

As when the savage, who his drowsy frame
Had basked beneath the sun's unclouded flame,
Awakes amid the troubles of the air.
The skiey deluge, and white lightning-'s glare —
Ag-hast he scours before the tempest's sweep,
And sad recalls the sunny hour of sleep :
So tossed by storms along life's wildering- way,
Mine eye reverted, views that cloudless day,
"When by my native brook I wont to rove.
While hope with kisses nursed the infant love.
Dear native brook ! like peace, so placidly
Smoothing through fertile fields thy current meek !
Dear native brook ! where first young Poesy
Stared wildly eager in her noontide dream.
Where blameless pleasures dimple Quiet's cheek,
As water-lilies ripple a slow stream.
Dear native haunts ! where Virtue still is gay ;
Where Friendship's fixed star sheds a mellowed ray j
Where Love a crown of thornless roses wears ;
Where softened Sorrow smiles within her tears ;
And Memory, with a vestal's chaste employ,
Unceasing feeds the lambent flame of joy —
No more your skylarks, melting- from the sight.
Shall thrill the attuned heart-string with delight ;
No more shall deck your pensive pleasm'es sweet
With wreaths of sober hue my evenuig- seat.
Yet dear to fancy's eye your varied scene
Of wood, hill, dale, and sparkling brook between ;



Yet sweet to fancy's ear tlie warbled song-,

That soars on morning's wing- your vales among'.

Scenes of my hope ! the aching eye ye leave
Like yon bright hues that paint the clouds of eve.
Tearful and saddening with the saddened blaze,
Mine eye the gleam pursues with wistful gaze ;
Sees shades on shades with deeper tint impend,
Till chill and damp, the moonless night descend.



Spirit who svreepest the wild harp of time!

It is most hard, with an untroubled ear

Thy dark inwoven harmonies to hear !
Yet, mine eye fixed on heaven's unchanging clime
Long when I listened, free from mortal fear.

With inward stillness, and submitted mind ;

AVhen lo ! its folds far waving on the wind,
I saw the train of the departing year !
Starting from my silent sadness,
Then with no unholy madness.
Ere yet the entered cloud foreclosed my sight,
I raised the impetuous song, and solemnised his flight.


Hither, from the recent tomb.
From the prison's direr gloom.
From Distemper's midnight anguish ;
And thence, where Poverty doth waste and languish ;
Or where, his two bright torches blending,

Love illumines manhood's maze ;
Or where, o'er cradled infants bending,
Hope has fixed her wishful gaze.
Hither, in perplexed dance,
Ye Woes ! ye j^oung-eyed Joys ! advance !
By Time's wild harp, and by the hand
Whose indefatigable sweep
Raises its fateful strings from sleep,
I bid you haste, a mixed tumultuous band I
From every private bower.

And each domestic hearth,
Haste for one solemn hour ;
And with a loud and yet a louder voice,
O'er Nature struggling in portentous birth
AVeep and rejoice !



Still echoes the dread name that o'er the earth
Let slip the storm, and woke the brood of hell :

And now advance in saintly jubilee
Justice and Truth ! They, too, have heard thy spell ;
They, too, obey thy name, divinest Liberty !


I marked Ambition in his war-array !

I heard the mailed monarch's troubles cry —
" Ah ! wherefore does the northern conqueress stay!
Groans not her chariot on its onward way ?"
Fly, mailed monarch, fly !
Stunned by Death's twice mortal mace,
No more on Murder's lurid face
The insatiate hag- shall gloat with drunken eye !
Manes of the unnumbered slain !
Ye that g-asped on Warsaw's plain !
Ye that erst at Ismail's tower.
When human ruin choked the streams,

Fell in conquest's glutted hour,
'Mid women's shrieks and infants' screams !
Spirits of the uncofSned slain.

Sudden blasts of triumph swelling",
Oft at night, in misty train.

Rush around her narrow dwelling !
The exterminating fiend is fled —

(Foul her life, and dark her doom)
Mighty armies of the dead

Dance like death-fires round her tomb !
Then with prophetic song relate
Each some tyrant-murderer's fate !


Departing year ! 'twas on no earthly shore
My soul beheld thy vision ! Where alone,
Voiceless and stern, before the cloudy throne,
Aye Memory sits : thy robe inscribed with gore,
With many an unimaginable groan

Thou storied'st thy sad hours ! Silence ensued,
Deep silence o'er the ethereal multitude.
Whose locks with wreaths, whose wreaths with glories
Then, his eye wild ardours glancing,
From the choired gods advancing.
The Spirit of the earth made reverence meet,
And stood up, beautiful, before the cloudy seat.



Throughout the blissful throng
Hushed were harp and song* :
Till wheeling' round the throne the Lampads seven
(The mystic words of Heaven)
Permissive signal make :
The fervent Spirit bowed, then spread his wings and spake ;
" Thou in stormy blackness throning

Love and uncreated Light,
By the Earth's unsolaced groaning,
Seize thy terrors, Arm of might !
By Peace with proffered insult scared.
Masked Hate and envying Scorn !
By years of havoc yet unborn !
And Hunger's bosom to the frost-winds bared !
But chief by Afric's wrongs,

Strange, horrible, and foul !
By what deep guilt belongs
To the deaf Sjrnod, ' full of gifts and lies !'
By Wealth's insensate laugh ! by Torture's howl !
Avenger, rise !
For ever shall the thankless island scowl.
Her quiver full, and with unbroken bow ?
Speak ! from thy storm-black heaven, O speak aloud !

And on the darkling foe
Open thine eye of fire from some uncertain cloud !

O dart the flash ! O rise and deal the blow !
The past to thee, to thee the future cries !
Hark ! how wide Nature joins her groans below !
Rise, God of Nature ! rise."


The voice had ceased, the vision fled ;
Yet still I gasped and reeled with dread.
And ever, when the dream of night
Renews the phantom to my sight.
Cold sweat-drops gather on my limbs ;

My ears throb hot ; my eyeballs start ;
My brain with horrid tumult swims ;
Wild is the tempest of my heart ;
And my thick and struggling breath
Imitates the toil of death !
No stranger agony confounds

The soldier on the war-field spread,
When all foredone with toil and wounds,

Death-like he dozes among heaps of dead !


(The strife is o'er, the daylight fled,

And the nig-ht-wind clamours hoarse !
See ! the starting- wretch's head

Lies pillowed on a brother's corse !)


Not yet enslaved, not wholly vile,
O Albion ! O my mother isle I
Thy valleys, fair as Eden's bowers,
Glitter green with sunny showers ;
Thy g'rassy uplands' gentle swells

Echo to the bleat of flocks.
(Those grassy hills, those glittering* dells

Proudly ramparted with rocks) ;
And Ocean, 'mid his uproar wild,
Speaks safety to his island-child !

Hence, for many a fearless age

Has social Quiet loved thy shore !
Nor ever proud invader's rage
Or sacked thy towers, or stained thy fields with gore.


Abandoned of Heaven ! mad Avarice thy guide,

At cowardly distance, yet kindling with pride —

'Mid thy herds and thy corn-fields secure thou hast stood,

And joined the wild yelling of Famine and Blood!

The nations curse thee ! They with eager wondering

Shall hear Destruction, like a vulture, scream !

Strange-eyed Destruction ! who with many a dream
Of central fires through nether seas upthundering

Soothes her fierce solitude ; yet as she lies
By livid fount or red volcanic stream,

If ever to her lidless dragon-eyes,

O Albion ! thy predestined ruins rise,
The fiend-hag on her perilous couch doth leap,
Muttering distempered triumph in her charmed sleep.


Away, my soul, away !
In vain, in vain the birds of warning sing —
And hark ! I hear the famished brood of prey
Flap their lank pennons on the groaning wind !
Away, my soul, away !
I, unpartaking of the evil thing,
With daily prayer and daily toil
Soliciting* for food my scanty soil,


Have wailed my country with a loud lament.
Now I recentre my immortal mind

In the deep sabbath of meek self-content ;
Cleansed from the vaporous passions that bedim
God's imag-e, sister of the seraphim.



Sweet flower ! that peeping from thy russet stem,
Unfoldest timidly (for in strange sort
This dark, freeze-coated, hoarse, teeth-chattering" month,
Hath borrowed zephyr's voice, and gazed upon thee
With " blue voluptuous eye") ; alas, poor flower !
These are but flatteries of the faithless year.
Perchance escaped its unknown polar cave.
Even now the keen north-east is on its way.
Flower, that must perish ! shall I liken thee
To some sweet girl of too, too rapid growth,
Nipped by consumption 'mid untimely charms ?
Or to Bristowa's bard,* the wondrous boy ?
An amaranth, which earth scarce seemed to own,
Blooming 'mid poverty's drear wintry waste,
Till disappointment came, and pelting wrong-
Beat it to earth ? Or, with indignant grief,
Shall I compare thee to poor Poland's hope.
Bright flower of hope killed in the opening bud ?
Farewell, sweet blossom ! Better fate be thine,
And mock my boding ! Dim similitudes
Weaving- in moral strains, I've stolen one hour
From black anxiety that gnaws my heart
For her who droops far off on a sick-bed :
And the warm wooings of this sunny day
Tremble along my frame, and harmonise
The attempered brain, that even the saddest thoughts
Mix with some sweet sensations, like harsh tunes
Played deftly on a soft-toned instrument.



A MOUNT, not wearisome and bare and steep,
But a green mountain variously up-piled.
Where o'er the jutting rocks soft mosses creep.
Or coloured lichens with slow oozing- weep ;

* Cliatterton.


Where cyi^ress and the darker yew start wild ;
And, 'mid the summer torrent's g-entle dash,
Dance brig-htened the red clusters of the ash ;
Beneath whose boug-hs, by stillest sounds beguiled,
Calm Pensiveness mig-ht muse herself to sleep ;
Till haply startled by some fleecy dam,
That, rustling" on the bushy cliff above,
With melancholy bleat of anxious love
Made meek inquiry for her wandering" lamb :
Such a green mountain 'twere most sweet to climb,
E'en while the bosom ached with loneliness —
How heavenly sweet, if some dear friend should bless
The adventurous toil, and up the path sublime
Now lead, now follow ; the glad landscape round.
Wide and more wide, increasing- without bound !

O then 'twere loveliest sympathy to mark
The berries of the half-uprooted ash
Dripping* and bright ; and list the torrent's dash —
Beneath the cypress or the yew more dark.
Seated at ease, on some smooth mossy rock ;
In social silence now, and now to unlock
The treasured heart ; arm linked in friendly arm,
Save if the one, his Muse's witching charm.
Muttering- brow-bent, at unwatched distance lag" ;
Till high o'erhead his beckoning" friend appears.
And from the forehead of the topmost crag*
Shouts eagerly : for haply there uprears
That shadowing- pine its old romantic limbs,
Which latest shall detain the enamoured sight
Seen from below, when eve the valley dims,
Tinged yellow with the rich departing- light ;
And haply, basined in some unsunned cleft,
A beauteous spring-, the rock's collected tears.
Sleeps sheltered there, scarce wrinkled by the g'ale !
Together thus, the world's vain turmoil left.
Stretched on the crag", and shadowed by the pine.
And bending" o'er the clear delicious fount,
Ah, dearest Charles ! it were a lot divine
To cheat our noons in moralising' mood.
While west winds fanned our temples toil-bedewed ;
Then downwards slope, oft-pausing-, from the mount,
To some low mansion in some woody dale,
Where, smiling with blue eye. Domestic Bliss
Gives this the husband's, that the brother's kiss !

Thus rudely versed in alleg-oric lore,
The hill of knowledge I essayed to trace ;
That verdurous hill, with many a resting'-place,
And many a stream, whose warbling" waters pour


To g-lad and fertilise the subject plains ;

That hill with secret springs, and nooks untrod,

And many a fancy-blest and holy sod,

Where Inspiration, his diviner strains

Low-murmurin<^, lay ; and, starting- from the rocks^

Online LibraryWilliam ChambersChambers's miscellany of useful and entertaining tracts (Volume v.5-6) → online text (page 58 of 59)