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Posts Tagged ‘sonnet’

Thou are not lovelier than lilacs, – no,
Nor honeysuckle; thou art not more fair
Than small white single poppies, – I can bear
Thy beauty; though I bend before thee, though
From left to right, not knowing where to go,
I turn my troubled eyes, nor here nor there
Find any refuge from thee, yet I swear
So has it been with mist, – with moonlight so.
Like him who day by day unto his draught
Of delicate poison adds him one drop more
Till he may drink unharmed the death of ten,
Even so, inured to beauty, who have quaffed
Each hour more deeply than the hour before,
I drink – and live – what has destroyed some men.

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Thine eyes shall see the light of distant skies:
Yet, Cole! thy heart shall bear to Europe’s strand
A living image of thy native land,
Such as on thy own glorious canvass lies
Lone lakes – savannahs where the bison roves –
Rocks rich with summer garland – solemn streams –
Skies, where the desert eagle wheels and screams –
Spring bloom and autumn blaze of boundless groves,
Fair scenes shall greet thee where thou goest – fair,
But different – every where the trace of men,
Paths, homes, graves, ruins, from the lowest glen
To where life shrinks from the fierce Alpine air.
Gaze on them, till the tears shall dim thy sight,
But keep that earlier, wilder image bright.

 

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As in that twilight, superstitious age
When all beyond the narrow grasp of mind
Seem’d fraught with meanings of supernal kind,
When e’en the learned philosophic sage,
Wont with the stars thro’ boundless space to range,
Listen’d with rev’rence to the changeling’s tale;
E’en so, thou strangest of all beings strange!
E’en so thy visionary scenes I hail;
That like the ramblings of an idiot’s speech,
No image giving of a thing on earth,
Nor thought significant in Reason’s reach,
Yet in their random shadowings give birth
To thoughts and things from other worlds that come,
And fill the soul, and strike the reason dumb.

 

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As graceful as the Babylonian willow
Bending, at noontide, over some clear stream
In Palestine, in beauty did she seem
Upon the cygnet-down of her soft pillow;
And now her breast heaved like some gentle billow
Swayed by the presence of the full round moon –
Voluptuous as the summer South at noon –
Her cheeks as rosy as the radiant dawn,
When heaven is cloudless! When she breathed, the air
Around was perfume! Timid as the fawn,
And meeker than the dove, her soft words were
Like gentle music heard at night, when all
Around is still – until the soul of care
Was soothed, as noontide by some waterfall.

 

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Slow toiling upward from the misty vale,
I leave the bright enamelled zones below;
No more for me their beauteous bloom shall glow,
Their lingering sweetness load the morning gale;
Few are the slender flowerets, scentless, pale,
That on their ice-clad stems all trembling blow
Along the margin of unmelting snow;
Yet with unsaddened voice thy verge I hail,
White realm of peace above the flowering line;
Welcome thy frozen domes, thy rocky spires!
O’er thee undimmed the moon-girt planets shine,
On thy majestic altars fade the fires
That filled the air with smoke of vain desires,
And all the unclouded blue of heaven is thine!

 

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Thou silent herald of Time’s silent flight!
Say, could’st thou speak, what warning voice were thine?
Shade, who canst only show how others shine!
Dark, sullen witness of resplendent light
In day’s broad glare, and when the noontide bright
Of laughing fortune sheds the ray divine,
Thy ready favors cheer us – but decline
The clouds of morning and the gloom of night.
Yet are thy counsels faithful, just, and wise;
They bid us seize the moments as they pass –
Snatch the retrieveless sunbeam as it flies,
Nor lose one sand of life’s revolving glass –
Aspiring still, with energy sublime,
By virtuous deeds to give eternity to Time.

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Dear native Brook! wild Streamlet of the West!
How many various-fated years have passed,
What happy and what mournful hours, since last
I skimm’d the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
Numbering its light leaps! yet so deep imprest
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes
I never shut amid the sunny ray,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,
Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows grey,
And bedded sand that vein’d with various dyes
Gleam’d through thy bright transparence! On my way,
Visions of Childhood! oft have ye beguil’d
Lone manhood’s cares, yet waking fondest sights:
Ah! that once more I were a careless Child!

 

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There is naught for thee by thy haste to gain;
‘Tis not the swift with Me that win the race;
Through long endurance of delaying pain,
Thine opened eye shall see thy Father’s face;
Nor here nor there, where now thy feet would turn,
Thou wilt find Him who ever seeks for thee;
But let obedience quench desires that burn,
And where thou art, thy Father, too, will be.
Behold! as day by day the spirit grows,
Thou see’st by inward light things hid before,
Till what God is, thyself, his image shows;
And thou dost wear the robe that first thou wore,
When bright with radiance from his forming hand,
He saw thee Lord of all his creatures stand.

 

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…………………..Redemption

Having been tenant long to a rich lord,
Not thriving, I resolved to be bold,
And make a suit unto him, to afford
A new small-rented lease, and cancel th’ old. 

In heaven at his manor I him sought:
They told me there that he was lately gone
About some land which he had dearly bought
Long since on earth, to take possession. 

I straight returned, and knowing his great birth,
Sought him accordingly in great resorts –
In cities, theaters, gardens, parks, and courts:
At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth 

Of thieves and murders; there I him espied,
Who straight, “Your suit is granted,” said, and died.

 

 

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………………..Sonnet – Silence

There are some qualities – some incorporate things,
That have a double life, which thus is made
A type of that twin entity which springs
From matter and light, evinced in solid and shade.
There is a two-fold Silence – sea and shore –
Body and soul.  One dwells in lonely places,
Newly with grass o’ergrown; some solemn graces,
Some human memories and tearful lore,
Render him terrorless, his name’s “No More.”
He is the corporate Silence: dread him not!
No power hath he of evil in himself;
But should some urgent fate (untimely lot!)
Bring thee to meet his shadow (nameless elf,
That haunteth the lone regions where hath trod
No foot of man), commend thyself to God!

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