IMITATION OF AN ITALIAN SONNET [Footnote]
Love, under Friendship’s vesture white,
Laughs, his little limbs concealing;
And oft in sport, and oft in spite,
Like Pity meets the dazzled sight,
Smiles thro’ his tears revealing.
But now as Rage the God appears!
He frowns, and tempests shake his frame!—
Frowning, or smiling, or in tears,
’Tis Love; and Love is still the same.
[Footnote: See Gray’s Mem. sect. II. lett. 30.]
Sleep on, and dream of Heav’n awhile.
Tho’ shut so close thy laughing eyes,
Thy rosy lips still seem to smile,
And move, and breathe delicious sighs!—
Ah, now soft blushes tinge her cheeks,
And mantle o’er her neck of snow.
Ah, now she murmurs, now she speaks
What most I wish—and fear to know.
She starts, she trembles, and she weeps!
Her fair hands folded on her breast.
—And now, how like a saint she sleeps!
A seraph in the realms of rest!
Sleep on secure! Above controul,
Thy thoughts belong to Heav’n and thee!
And may the secret of thy soul
Repose within its sanctuary!
Ah! why with tell-tale tongue reveal [Footnote]
What most her blushes would conceal?
Why lift that modest veil to trace
The seraph-sweetness of her face?
Some fairer, better sport prefer;
And feel for us, if not for her.
For this presumption, soon or late,
Know thine shall be a kindred fate.
Another shall in vengeance rise—
Sing Harriet’s cheeks, and Harriet’s eyes;
And, echoing back her wood-notes wild,
—Trace all the mother in the child!
[Footnote: Alluding to some verses which she had written on an elder sister.]
ON A ROBIN REDBREAST.
Tread lightly here, for here, ’tis said,
When piping winds are hush’d around,
A small note wakes from underground,
Where now his tiny bones are laid.
No more in lone and leafless groves,
With ruffled wing and faded breast,
His friendless, homeless spirit roves;
—Gone to the world where birds are blest!
Where never cat glides o’er the green,
Or school-boy’s giant form is seen;
But Love, and Joy, and smiling Spring
Inspire their little souls to sing!
[Footnote: Inscribed on an urn in the flower-garden at Hafod.]
Mine be a cot beside the hill,
A bee-hive’s hum shall sooth my ear;
A willowy brook, that turns a mill,
With many a fall shall linger near.
The swallow, oft, beneath my thatch,
Shall twitter from her clay-built nest;
Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch,
And share my meal, a welcome guest.