Poems by William Lisle Bowles

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Oh, hadst thou fall'n, brave youth! on that proud day,[1]
Oh, no; I would not leave thee, my sweet home,
Stranger! mark this lovely scene,
To him, who, many a night upon the main,
I climb the highest cliff; I hear the sound
How shall I cheat the heavy hours, of thee
There is strange music in the stirring wind,
As slow I climb the cliff's ascending side,
Age, thou the loss of health and friends shalt mourn!
How shall I meet thee, Summer, wont to fill
As o'er these hills I take my silent rounds,
Thou, whose stern spirit loves the storm,
I shall behold far off thy towering crest,
Bereave me not of Fancy's shadowy dreams,
How soothing sound the gentle airs that move
Ye holy Towers that shade the wave-worn steep,
The tide of fate rolls on! heart-pierced and pale,
Whose was that gentle voice, that, whispering sweet,
With mirth unfeigned the cottage chimney rings,
If ever sea-maid, from her coral cave,
Call the strange spirit that abides unseen
When anxious Spain, along her rocky shore,
Turn to Britannia's triumphs on the main:
Toll Nelson's knell! a soul more brave
Yes! from mine eyes the tears unbidden start,
On these white cliffs, that calm above the flood
Shouts, and the noise of war!
When I lie musing on my bed alone,
Oh! they shall ne'er forget thee, they who knew
Evening! as slow thy placid shades descend,
There was a morrice on the moonlight plain,
He left us; we, the hour of parting come,
When the famed Argo now secure had passed
Where were ye, nymphs, when Daphnis drooped with love?
Pan, Pan, oh mighty hunter! whether now,
Mark, where the beetling precipice appears,
Come to these peaceful seats, and think no more
Oh! hide those tempting eyes, that faultless form,
As one who, long by wasting sickness worn,
But thou, O Hope! with eyes so fair,
Look, Christian, on thy Bible, and that glass
God of the battle, hear our prayer!
And art thou he, now "fall'n on evil days,"
Stranger! a while beneath this aged tree
How blessed with thee the path could I have trod
Milton, our noblest poet, in the grace
O Time! who know'st a lenient hand to lay
The morning wakes in shadowy mantle gray,
Come, and where these runnels fall,
How shall I praise thee, Beaumont, whose nice skill
I stood upon the stone where ELA lay,
How clear a strife of light and shade is spread!
Through the wood's maze our eyes delighted stray,
To every gentle Muse in vain allied,
Oh! I should ill thy generous cares requite
Matlock! amid thy hoary-hanging views,
Up! for the morning shines with welcome ray,
O harmony! thou tenderest nurse of pain,
O Music! if thou hast a charm
Fall'n pile! I ask not what has been thy fate;
From the vast and desert deeps,
Beautiful landscape! I could look on thee
Fountain, that sparklest through the shady place,
Nay, let us gaze, ev'n till the sense is full,
When last we parted, thou wert young and fair
Oh, Mary, when distress and anguish came,
Languid, and sad, and slow, from day to day
Oh, stay, harmonious and sweet sounds, that die
The orient beam illumes the parting oar;
If I could bid thee, pleasant shade, farewell
Clysdale! as thy romantic vales I leave,
The spring shall visit thee again,
Mortal! who, armed with holy fortitude,
Farewell! a long farewell! O Poverty,
Thou camest with kind looks, when on the brink
When will the grave shelter thy few gray hairs,
I never hear the sound of thy glad bells,
When I was sitting, sad, and all alone,
Old man, I saw thee in thy garden chair
[Greek: Ady ti to psthyrisma], etc.
I turn these leaves with thronging thoughts, and say,
Artist, I own thy genius; but the touch
O sovereign Master! who with lonely state
How cheering are thy prospects, airy hill,
What various objects strike with various force,
Oh, shout for Lautaro, the young and the brave!
Stranger, stay, nor wish to climb
By thy habitation dread,
The moonlight is without; and I could lose
Smooth went our boat upon the summer seas,
While summer airs scarce breathe along the tide,
I trust the happy hour will come,
Come, lovely Evening! with thy smile of peace
So passes silent o'er the dead thy shade,
Oh, cast every care to the wind,
Shout! for the Lord hath triumphed gloriously!
How sweet the tuneful bells' responsive peal!
Frown ever opposite, the angel cried,
If chance some pensive stranger, hither led,
Faint-gazing on the burning orb of day,
Spirit of Death! whose outstretched pennons dread
It was a high and holy sight,
High on the hill, with moss o'ergrown,
Sweet bard, whose tones great Milton might approve,
The morning shone on Tagus' rocky side,
When o'er the Atlantic wild, rocked by the blast,
The Missionary.
When Want, with wasted mien and haggard eye,
'Twas morn, and beauteous on the mountain's brow
Why mourns the ingenuous Moralist, whose mind
Cherwell! how pleased along thy willowed edge
While slowly wanders thy sequestered stream,
Book The First.
I need not perhaps inform the reader, that I had before written a Canto on the subject of this poem; but I was dissatisfied with the metre, and felt the necessity of some connecting idea that might give it a degree of unity and coherence.
Such are thy views, DISCOVERY! The great world
Awake a louder and a loftier strain!
Stand on the gleaming Pharos,[1] and aloud
Oh for a view, as from that cloudless height
My heart has sighed in secret, when I thought
Stern Father of the storm! who dost abide
God said, Let there be light, and there was light!
O Tweed! a stranger, that with wandering feet
Oh! lend that lute, sweet Archimage, to me!
When dark November bade the leaves adieu,
When dark November bade the leaves adieu,
More sweet thy pipe's enchanting melody
Go, then, and join the murmuring city's throng!
Since last I saw that countenance so mild,
Itchin! when I behold thy banks again,
Oh thou, that prattling on thy pebbled way
If rich designs of sumptuous art may please,
I thought 'twas a toy of the fancy, a dream
Fair Moon, that at the chilly day's decline
Spirit of unwearied wing,
These walls were built by men who did a deed