Composed at Clevedon, Somersetshire
My pensive Sara! thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on my
arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our Cot, our Cot o'ergrown
With white-flowered Jasmin, and the broad-leaved Myrtle,
(Meet emblems they of
Innocence and Love!)
And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light,
saddening round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should Wisdom
Shine opposite! How exquisite the scents
Snatched from yon bean-field! and
the world so hushed!
The stilly murmur of the distant Sea
Tells us of
And that simplest Lute,
Placed length-ways in the clasping casement, hark!
How by the desultory breeze caressed,
Like some coy maid half yielding to her
It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs
Tempt to repeat the wrong!
And now, its strings
Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
surges sink and rise,
Such a soft floating witchery of sound
As twilight Elfins
make, when they at eve
Voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-Land,
round honey-dropping flowers,
Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,
pause, nor perch, hovering on untamed wing!
O! the one Life within us and
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
A light in sound, a
sound-like power in light,
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance everywhere--
Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a world so filled;
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
Is Music slumbering on
And thus, my Love! as on the midway slope
Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon,
Whilst through my half-closed eye-lids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
And tranquil muse upon tranquility;
Full many a thought uncalled and undetained,
And many idle flitting phantasies,
Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
As wild and various as the random gales
That swell and flutter on the subject Lute!
And what if all of animated nature
Be but organic Harps diversely framed,
That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps
Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
At once the Soul of each, and God of all?
But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, O beloved Woman! nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallowed dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
Meek Daughter in the family of Christ!
Well hast thou said and holily dispraised
These shapings of the unregenerate mind;
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
For never guiltless may I speak of him,
The Incomprehensible! save when with awe
I praise him, and with Faith that only feels;
Who with his saving mercies healed me,
A sinful and most miserable man,
Wildered and dark, and gave me to possess
Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honoured Maid!