Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Books 1832-39
Letitia Landon's Editorship
Letitia Elizabeth Landon was editor of this annual gift book from 1832 until her death in 1838, at which time the 1839 volume had already been prepared. These were essentially multi-media productions that presented around forty engraved plates to which Miss Landon provided the majority of what she termed ‘poetical illustrations’, a form in which she had already considerable experience in other gift books. This allowed her considerable freedom and enabled her to continue to express her subversive themes within poetry that appears to conform with acceptable ideology. Further poems already prepared were published in the 1840 and 1841 Scrapbooks and a final entry appeared in the 1849 volume, entitled ‘Homes of Splendour’ completed by Caroline Norton. Together, these volumes comprise one of the finest achievements in English literature of the first half of the eighteenth century.
Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1832
- But now thou wilt fill a weary throne,
What with rights of the people, and rights of thy own :
An ear-trumpet now thy sceptre should be,
Eternal debate is the future for thee.
Lord Brougham will make a six-hours’ oration,
On the progress of knowledge, the mind of the nation ;
Lord Grey one yet longer, to state that his place
Is perhaps less dear to himself than his race ;
O’Connell will tell Ireland’s griefs and her wrongs,
In speech, the mac-adamized prose of Moore’s songs :
- The Princess Victoria
- That feminine fancy, a will of your own,
Is a luxury wholly denied to a throne ;
- The Princess Victoria
- Then many a stately castle stood
O’er dungeons dark and deep ;
Then many a noble robber wont
The king’s highway to keep.
Ah ! these were not the times to praise,
Thank God, we know more peaceful days.
- The Pile of Fouldrey Castle
- Where temples stood, the tamarinds grow ;
Broken columns are mouldering below.
No steps are heard in the ruined hall.
Such is man’s pride, and such is its fall.
- The Palace of Seven Stories
- He cannot hear the skylark sing,
The music of the wild bee’s wing;
The murmur of the plaining bough ;
A gentle whisper fairy low;
The noise of falling waters near—
All these have left his mournful ear.
- The Deaf Schoolmaster
- Our prize is won, our chase is o’er,
Turn the vessel to the shore.
Place yon rock, so that the wind,
Like a prisoner, howl behind ;
Which is darkest—wave, or cloud ?
One a grave, and one a shroud.
- The Pirates Song off the Tiger Island
- Good springs alike from penitence and praise,
From aught that can the mortal spirit raise:
- Hurdwar - A Place of Hindoo Pilgrimage
- "Aye, build it on these banks," the monarch said,
"That when the autumn winds have swept the sea,
They may come hither with their falling rains,
A voice of mighty weeping o'er her grave."
- The Taj-Mahal, at Agra - The Tomb of Muntaza Zemani
- An ebbing tide of fire, the evil powers
In fear and anger here are paramount,
Rending the bosom of the fertile earth,
And spreading desolation. Black as night,
And terrible, as if the grave had sent
Its own dark atmosphere to upper air,
The heavy vapours rise ; from out the smoke
Break the red volumes of the central flame,
And lava floods and burning showers descend,
Parching the soil to barrenness.
- The Volcano of Ki-rau-e-a
- But this sweet palace was for peace,
Built by the water-side,
When Zerid sheathed the sword and won
The Persian for his bride.
- The Water Palace, Mandoo
- I'd rather have such stirring life as theirs,
Who make their own way, and delight to make,
Win wealth and honour by their own bright mind,
Whose destiny is in itself—than bear
The noblest name that ever belted Earl
Left honoured to his son—
- Lines on Curran’s Picture
- He comes from Kilas, earth and sky,
Bright before the deity;
The sun shines, as he shone when first
His glory over ocean burst.
The vales put forth a thousand flowers,
Mingling the spring and summer hours;
The Suras fill with songs the air.
The Genii and their lutes are there;
By gladness stirred, the mighty sea
Flings up its waves rejoicingly;
And Music wanders o'er its tide,
For Siva comes to meet his bride.
- Skeleton Group in the Ramedwur, Caves of Ellora - Supposed to represent the nuptials of Siva and Parvati.
- I would that the cloister's quiet were mine;
In the silent depths of some holy shrine.
I would tell my blessed beads, and would weep away
From my inmost soul every stain of clay:
My heart's young hopes they have left me now,
And I sigh for the days of the veil and the vow.
- Furness Abbey - In the Vale of Nightshade, Lancashire
- City of idol temples, and of shrines,
Where folly kneels to falsehood—how the pride
Of our humanity is here rebuked !
- It was a king in Africa,
He had an only son ;
And none of Europe's crowned kings
Could have a dearer one.
. . . . .
Alas ! it was an evil day,
When such a thing could be;
When strangers, pale and terrible,
Came o'er the distant sea.
. . . . .
They bound him in a narrow hold,
With others of his kind ;
For weeks did that accursed ship
Sail on before the wind.
. . . . .
At length a lovely island rose
From out the ocean wave,
They took him to the market-place,
And sold him for a slave.
- The African
- Summer, shining summer,
Art thou bringing now
Colours to the red rose,
Green leaves to the bough,
Music to the singing birds,
And honey to the bee ;
Summer, shining summer,
Oh, welcome unto thee.
- Curraghmore : A Seat of the Marquis of Waterford.
- They met beside the stormy sea, those giant kings of old,
And on each awful brow was set, a crown of burning gold.
No ray the yet unrisen stars, or the wan moonbeams, gave,
But far and bright, the meteor light shone over cloud and wave.
- The Giant’s Causeway
Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1833
- A strain of music like the rushing wind,
But deep and sweet
As when the waters meet,
In one mysterious harmony combined.
So swells the mighty organ, rich and full,
As if it were the soul
Which raised the glorious whole,
Of that fair building vast and wonderful.
- Collegiate Church, Manchester
- He died, and by his death-bed stood
The wife, the child, the friend,
And saw pale cheek and anxious eye
O’er him in fondness bend.
Oh, agony !—how could they, King,
Call thine a happy end ?
- Tomb of Mahomed Shah
- For time is vanquished by discovery,
By arts which triumph over common wants,
By knowledge, which bequeaths the following age
All that its predecessor sought and won.
- Sarnat, a Boodh Monument
- It is a mighty thing to teach mankind
A new idolatry, to bind the weak
In their own fancies, to incite the strong
By high imaginations, future hopes,
Which fill the craving in all noble hearts
For things beyond themselves, beyond their sphere.
- Sarnat, a Boodh Monument
- Such men may live, fulfil their destiny,
Fill a whole land with temples and with tombs,
And yet not leave a record of their fame ;
Forgotten utterly; and of their faith,
No memory, but fallen monuments,
Haunted by dim tradition.—
- Sarnat, a Boodh Monument
- Oh, gloomy quarry! thou dost hide in thee
The tower and shrine.
The city vast and grand and wonderful,
And strong, is thine.
- Boscastle Waterfall and Quarry
- Alas ! the contrast between us, and what
We can create;
That man should be so little in himself,
His works so great.
- Boscastle Waterfall and Quarry
- Oh, likeness of humanity,
’Tis thus that life flows on,
Till every fabric which we built
In early youth is gone.
The sacred and the beautiful,
The mighty and sublime ;
Alas, in vain, the heart would save
One single wreck from time.
- Hindoo Temples at Benares
- Oh ! folly of deeming aught earthly can last,
Life never knew sorrow whose reign has not past.
Oh ! mockery of mockeries, to trust human heart,
Whose grief is a shadow, to come and depart:
- The Princess Charlotte
- Could the past be restored to the present,
Methinks ’twere a union sublime :
The past—dreaming, high and ideal,
The present—keen, selfish and wise,
’Twould be like the glorious old Grecian,
And again steal the fire from the skies.
- The Assar Mahal—Ruins near Agra
- Glittering in the morning beam,
Crystal runs our little stream,
See the flag-flowers bright and blue,
Tinge the small waves with their hue;
Azure, like a maiden's eye,
Surely there the trout will lie:
Shadowy hangs the alder bough
Hush! we must be silent now.
- Langdale Pikes
- One half of our existence is a blank;
A mighty empire hath forgetfulness !
History is but a page in the great past,
So few amid Time’s records are unsealed.
- The Cootub Minar, Delhi
- Morning, and flowers; green grass, and aged trees—
All that can soothe, and calm, and purify,
E’en ’mid a busy wilderness of streets.
- Forbid it, England—by thine own great self,
By thine own yet unviolated hearths,
. . . .
Let not thy minister go forth in vain :
The fate of Poland now is at thy will;
The Autocrat will hear and heed thy voice ;
England, my glorious country, speak, and save!
- The Right Honourable Lord Durham - Now on an Embassy at the Court of Russia
- From drooping leaves, and bending flowers,
Exhaled the midnight dews !
Like love that from its inmost thoughts
Its own sweet life renews,
- Who may deny that on the soul,
The coming hours may cast
Their shadow, till the future seem
As actual as the past.
- Had life no mystery, and no hope,
Oh ! who could bear to live !
- The Tomb of Humaioon, Delhi
- There’s more for thought in one brief hour
In yonder busy street,
Than all that ever leaf or flower
Taught in their green retreat.
- The country is no more left as it was originally created, than Belgrave Square remains its pristine swamp. The forest has been felled, the marsh drained, the enclosures planted, and the field ploughed. All these, begging Mr. Cowper’s pardon, are the works of man’s hands ; and so is the town—the one is not more artificial than the other.
- Change, change, wondrous change,
Mighty is thy power, and strange ;
Summer sleeps beneath the snow,
Fading follows autumn’s glow :
Time, what has its chronicle,
But of thee and thine to tell ?
- Hall i th’ Wood
- I give it up in pure despair;
But well the muse may turn refractory,
When all her inspiration is—
A Chinese Town, and an English Factory.
- Dead !—it was like a thunderbolt
To hear that he was dead ;
Though for long weeks the words of fear
Came from his dying bed ;
Yet hope denied, and would deny
We did not think that he could die.
- Sir Walter Scott
- All things are signs in nature, still there are
Subtle analogies we dimly trace.
Perhaps our moral world has but its day,
Of which the great sun is the glorious type;
And intellect will run its course, and set.
If so, we touch on the extremest verge
Of our horizon ; and our arts, our power,
Our conquests o’er the many realms of mind.
Wealth, painting, sciences, and poetry
Are but that rich magnificence of hues
Which heralds in the closing of our day.
- The Kylas, Caves of Ellora
- Never more, when the day is o’er,
Will the lonely vespers sound ;
No bells are ringing—no monks are singing,
When the moonlight falls around.
- Fountain’s Abbey
- Whene'er a person is a poet,
No matter what the pang may be;
Does not at once the public know it ?
Witness each newspaper we see.
- The Chinese Pagoda
- Rage and revenge, and worldly care,
Have all been calmed and purified,
By memory of the childish prayer
I whispered at my mother's side.
- Church of the Carmelite Friary
- The grave has its vengeance—the dead have their power
In the terrible silence of midnight’s dark hour,
When each shade is a spectre—and winds have a tone,
To the ear of the innocent sleeper unknown ;
When the visions ascend from the depths of the tomb,
And strange shadows flit thro’ the spectral room.
- Futtypore Sicri - The Favourite Residence of the Emperor Ackbar
- It is a glorious thing for man to war
With time, by some great work. Wherefore was skill,
And energy, and industry, bestowed,
If that he use them not ?
- Oh, build tombs for the dead, they're mightier there
Than in their living palaces !
- The Tomb of Aurungzebe
- Methinks it is a glorious thing,
To sail upon the deep ;
A thousand sailors under you,
Their watch and ward to keep :
- He does not know his children’s face,
His wife might pass him by,
He is so altered—did they meet,
With an unconscious eye :
He has been many years at sea,
He’s worn with wind and wave :
He asks a little breathing space,
Between it and his grave:
- Admiral Lord Collingwood
Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1834
- Poetry is youth's language; and the scroll
Whereon is poured the music of its soul,
Is like some long-loved friend, whose image seems
To bring back memory's deepest, dearest dreams.
- Of all soils, a literary one is the soonest exhausted, and a change of subjects is as much needed as a change of crops.
- And the cold justice still awarded
By time, which makes all lots the same.
Slayer or slain, it matters not,
We struggle, perish, are forgot!
- What though our passing day but be
A bubble on eternity;
Small though the circle is, yet still
’Tis ours to colour at our will.
- Mine be that consciousness of life
Which has its energies from strife,
Which lives its utmost, knows its power,
Claims from the mind its utmost dower—
- Ah! never is that cherished face
Banished from its accustomed place—
It shines upon my weariest night
It leads me on in thickest fight:
All that seems most opposed to be
Is yet associate with thee—
Together life and thee depart,
Dream—idol—treasure of my heart.
- Such was the colour—when her cheek
Spoke what the lip might never speak.
The crimson flush which could confess
All that we hoped—but dared not guess.
That blush which through the world is known
To love, and to the rose alone—
- For things it were so hard to say
Are murmured easily in song—
It is for music to impart
The secrets of the burthened heart.
- The heart which on itself hath turned,
Worn out with feelings—slighted—spurned—
Till scarce one throb remained to show
What warm emotions slept below,
Never to be renewed again,
And known but by remembered pain.
- Ah, only those who rarely know
Kind words, can tell how sweet they seem.
Great God, that there are those below
To whom such words are like a dream.
- How fragrant to these dewy hours,
The white magnolia lifts its urn
The very Araby of flowers,
Wherein all precious odours burn.
- All from The Zenana - An Eastern Tale
- And still more hopeless than when last she on their camp looked down,
The foeman’s gathered numbers close round the devoted town:
And daily in that fatal trench her chosen soldiers fall,
And spread themselves, a rampart vain, around that ruined wall.
Her eyes upon her city turn—alas! what can they meet,
But famine, and despair, and death, in every lonely street?
- One word there came from her white lips, one word, she spoke no more;
But that word was for life and death, the young queen named—the Jojr.
- But weep for those the human things, so lovely and so young,
The panting hearts which still to life so passionately clung;
Some bound to this dear earth by hope, and some by love’s strong thrall,
And yet dishonour's high disdain was paramount with all.
- All from The Zenana - An Eastern Tale - The Raki
- There is famine on earth—there is plague in the air,
And all for a woman whose face is too fair.
There was silence like that from the tomb, for no sound
Was heard from the chieftains who darkened around,
When the voice of a woman arose in reply,
‘The daughters of Rajahstan know how to die.’
- Beside is a lake covered over with isles,
As the face of a beauty is varied with smiles:
Some small, just a nest for the heron that springs
From the long grass, and flashes the light from its wings;
Some bearing one palm-tree, the stately and fair,
Alone like a column aloft in the air;
While others have shrubs and sweet plants that extend
Their boughs to the stream o’er whose mirror they bend. . . .
But the isle in the midst was the fairest of all . . . .
- She bounds o’er the soft grass, half woman half child,
As gay as her antelope, almost as wild.
The bloom of her cheek is like that on her years;
She has never known pain, she has never known tears,
And thought has no grief, and no fear to impart;
The shadow of Eden is yet on her heart.
- Proud, beautiful, fierce; while she gazes, the tone
Of those high murky features grows almost her own;
And the blood of her race rushes dark to her brow,
The spirit of heroes has entered her now.
- The haughty eye closes, the white teeth are set,
And the dew-damps of pain on the wrung brow are wet:
The slight frame is writhing—she sinks to the ground;
She yields to no struggle, she utters no sound—
The small hands are clenched—they relax—it is past,
And her aunt kneels beside her—kneels weeping at last.
- All from The Zenana - An Eastern Tale - Kishen Kower
- Oh sun, how glad thy rays are shed;
How canst thou glory o’er the dead?
Ah, folly this of human pride,
What are the dead to one like thee,
Whose mirror is the mighty tide,
Where time flows to eternity?
A single race, a single age,
What are they in thy pilgrimage?
- The Ganges’ quiet waves are rolled
In one broad sheet of molten gold;
And in the tufted brakes beside,
The water-fowls and herons hide.
And the still earth might also seem
The strange creation of a dream.
- The heart it has a weary task
Which unrequited love must keep;
At once a treasure and a curse,
The shadow on its universe.
Alas, for young and wasted years,
For long nights only spent in tears;
For hopes, like lamps in some dim urn,
That but for the departed burn.
- Out upon morning, its hours recall,
Earth to its trouble, man to his thrall;
Out upon morning, it chases the night,
With all the sweet dreams that on slumber alight;
Out upon morning, which wakes us to life,
With its toil, its repining, its sorrow and strife.
- All from The Zenana - An Eastern Tale
- O ! glorious triumph, thus to sway at will
All feelings in our nature ; thus to work
The springs of sympathy, the mines of thought,
And all the deep emotions of the heart.
- I know not how it acts on other minds,
But this I know, my most enchanted world
Is hidden when the curtain falls, and leaves
Remembrance only of its gorgeous dreams
And beautiful creations.
- John Kemble
- There are very many devices wherewith we delude ourselves — indeed, human life has never seemed to me any thing more than a series of mistakes. It is a mistake to be born — another to live — and a third to die.
- Now, a love match is like that childish toy which consists of various boxes enclosed one within another, and yet contains nothing, after all.
- I wonder where Experience got its reputation ? — it has been very easily obtained — but it does not deserve it : they say, that it teaches fools ; it may teach them, but they do not learn.
- Hope and Love are the passions of the heart; the difference between them is, that Hope does not come to an end, but Love does. Love has two terminations ; it concludes either in profound indifference, or in intense hate. Now, in the general run of human natures, there is not energy enough for hate ; therefore, the usual finale is profound indifference ; the most insipid state of existence that can be devised.
- One goes out visiting for pleasure ; a fallacy belonging to that melancholy mania for change which has recourse to stage-coaches, and steam-boats, as if change of scene were change of self.
- — good news stops to take breath on the road ; bad news never requires it.
- All from Sefton Church
- They were more wise in other days;
Then turn’d the hermit to his cell,
And left a world where all betrays,
Apart with his own thoughts to dwell.
- Airey Force
- Ah ! if this old charm were sooth,
One wish yet might tax its truth
I would ask, however vain,
Never more to wish again.
- The Wishing Gate
- People ought to be grateful : I have done a great deal for the poets ; is there not one among them to do something for me ? I entreat them to recollect that I have read them, which is a great deal ; I have bought them, which is still more ; and I have reduced their theory to practice, which is most of all. They owe me a recompense, and I have a plan in my head. I want one of them to come and commit suicide in my garden, and leave a paper behind requesting to be interred in that very spot. He might assign any reason his imagination suggested, and I would take care that religious attention should be paid to his last wish ; indeed, it is for that I desire his death.
- Alas ! hope is not prophecy,—we dream,
But rarely does the glad fulfilment come :
We leave our land and we return no more;
Or come again, the weary and the worn.
- ’Tis the worst curse, on this our social world,
Fortune’s perpetual presence—wealth, which now
Is like life’s paramount necessity.
- Shuhur, Jeypore
- It is a glorious task to seek,
Where misery droops the patient head :
Where tears are on the widow’s cheek,
Where weeps the mourner o’er the dead.
- The Missionary
- Thou lone and lovely water, would I were
A dweller by thy deepest solitude !
- Coniston Water
Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1835
- I deeply felt that song should make
One universal link,
Uniting, for each other’s sake,
All those who feel and think.
- The poet’s lovely faith creates
The beauty it believes
The light which on his footstep waits
He from himself receives.
- Fair Paris caught the crimson hue —
Well may I call it fair.
With its pure heaven of softest blue.
Its clear and sunny air —
Soft fell the morning o’er each dome
That rises mid the sky ;
And, conscious of the day to come,
Demand their place on high.
- Round the Pantheon’s height was wrought
A web of royal red ;
A glory as if morning brought
Its homage to the dead.
And Notre Dame’s old gothic towers
Were bathed in roseate bloom,
As Time himself had scattered flowers
Over that mighty tomb.
- All from Introduction
- How little is the happiness
That will content a child—
A favourite dog, a sunny fruit,
A blossom growing wild.
A word will fill the little heart
With pleasure and with pride ;
It is a harsh, a cruel thing,
That such can be denied.
- How much they suffer from our faults !
How much from our mistakes !
How often, too, mistaken zeal
An infant’s misery makes !
We overrule, and overteach,
We curb and we confine,
And put the heart to school too soon,
To learn our narrow line.
- Etty’s Rover
- For the East is earth’s first-born,
And hath a glorious dower
As Nature there had lavished
Her beauty and her power.
- The morning waked with carols,
A young and joyous hand
Of small and rosy songsters,
Came tripping hand in hand.
And sang beneath our windows,
Just as the round red sun
Began to melt the hoar-frost,
And the clear cold day begun.
- Sassoor, in the Deccan
- History hath but few pages—soon is told
Man’s ordinary life,
Labour, and care, and strife,
Make up the constant chronicle of old.
- Abel the victim—Cain the homicide,
Were type and prophecy
Of times that were to be,
Thus reddened from the first life’s troubled tide.
- Fall, fall, ye mighty temples to the ground ;
Not in your sculptured rise
In the real exercise
Of human nature's highest power found.
’Tis in the lofty hope, the daily toil,
’Tis in the gifted line,
In each far thought divine,
That brings down heaven to light our common soil.
’Tis in the great, the lovely, and the true,
’Tis in the generous thought,
Of all that man has wrought,
Of all that yet remains for man to do.
- All from Hindoo and Mahommedan Buildings
- We have no home—we have no friends,
They said our home no more was ours ;
Our cottage where the ash tree bends,
The garden we had filled with flowers.
. . . .
Alas, it is a weary thing
To sing our ballads o’er and o’er ;
The songs we used at home to sing—
Alas, we have a home no more !
- The Orphan Ballad Singers
- I have a steed, to leave behind
The wild bird, and the wilder wind :
I have a sword, which does not know
How to waste a second blow :
I have a matchlock, whose red breath
Bears the lightning’s sudden death ;
I have a foot of fiery flight,
I have an eye that cleaves the night.
I win my portion in the land
By my high heart and strong right hand.
- Scene in Kattiawar
- —the past, which is
Imagination’s own gigantic realm.
- Speke Hall
- Filled with the sweet good-night of flowers that sigh themselves to sleep,
- Jahara Baug, Agra - The History of Shah Dara’s Flight and Death
- Is there a spot where Pity’s foot,
Although unsandalled, fears to tread,
A silence where her voice is mute,
Where tears, and only tears, are shed?
It is the desolated home
Where Hope was yet a recent guest,
Where Hope again may never come,
Or come, and only speak of rest.
- To Olinthus Gregory, L.L.D.,F.R.A.S., &c.
- Now, doth not summer’s sunny smile
Sink soft o’er that Ionian isle,
While round the kindling waters sweep
The murmur'd music of the deep,
The many melodies that swell
From breaking wave and red-lipp’d shell ?
- Go through that city, and behold
What intellect can yield,
How it brings forth an hundred-fold
From time’s enduring field.
Those walls are filled with wealth, the spoil
Of industry and thought,
The mighty harvest which man’s toil
Out of the past has wrought.
- The product of that city, now
Far distant lands consume;
The Indian wears around his brow
The white webs of her loom.
Her vessels sweep from East to West ;
Her merchants are like kings ;
While wonders in her walls attest
The power that commerce brings.
- Then sounds arise, the echoes bear along
Through the resounding aisles the choral song.
The billowy music of the organ sweeps,
Like the vast anthem of uplifted deeps ;
The bells ring forth—the long dark night is done,
The sunshine of the Sabbath is begun.
- Cold and obscure, in vain the king and sage
Gave law and learning to the darkened age.
There was no present faith, no future hope,
Earth bounded then the earth-drawn horoscope ;
- Durham Cathedral
- Now, out upon this smiling,
No smile shall meet his sight ;
And a word of gay reviling
Is all he’ll hear to-night,
For he’ll hold my smiles too lightly,
If he always sees me smile ;
He’ll think they shine more brightly
When I have frowned awhile.
- Cottage Courtship
- —O, tranquil earth and heaven—but their repose,
What influence hath it on the mourner there !
Her eye is fix’d in terrible despair,
Her lip is white with pain, and, spectre-like,
Her shape is worn with famine—on her arm
Rests a dead child—she does not weep for it.
Two more are at her side, she’d weep for them,
But that she is too desperate to weep :
- Scene in Bundelkhund
- Black and more black the midnight grew,
Black and more black was the water’s hue ;
Then a ghastly sound on the silence broke,
And I thought of the dead beneath the oak.
- St. Knighton’s Kieve
- Such are the common people of the soul,
Of whom the stars write not in their bright scroll.
These, when the sunshine at the noontide makes
Golden confusion in the forest brakes,
See no sweet shadows gliding o’er the grass,
Which seems to fill with wild flowers as they pass ;
These, from the twilight music of the fount
Ask not its secret and its sweet account ;
These never seek to read the chronicle
Which hides within the hyacinth’s dim-lit bell:
They know not of the poetry which lies
Upon the summer rose’s languid eyes;
They have no spiritual visitings elysian,
They dream no dreamings, and they see no vision.
- Raphael Sanzio
- But decay—the pulses tremble
When its livid signs appear :
When the once-loved lips resemble
All we loathe, and all we fear.
Is it not a ghastly ending
For the body’s godlike form,
Thus to the damp earth descending,
Food and triumph to the worm ?
- Windleshaw Abbey
- What know we of them ? Nothing—there they stand,
Gloomy as night, inscrutible as fate.
- Time—tempest—warfare—ordinary decay,
Is not for these. The memory of man
Has lost their rise—although they are his work.
Two senses here are present ; one of Power,
And one of Nothingness ; doth it not mock
The mighty mind to see the meaner part,
The task it taught its hands, outlast itself?
- The Caves of Elephanta
- Why did she love her mother’s so?
It hath wrought her wondrous wo.
- The stately stranger’s head was bound
With a bright and golden round;
Curiously inlaid, each scale
Shone upon his glittering mail;
- Who has not, when but a child,
Treasured up some vision wild:
Haunting them with nameless fear,
Filling all they see or hear,
In the midnight’s lonely hour,
With a strange mysterious power?
- And the thought of what has been,
And the thought of what might be,
Makes us crave the fancied scene,
And despise reality.
- Easy ’tis advice to give,
Hard it is advice to take
Years that lived—and years to live,
Wide and weary difference make.
- Still illusion’s purple light
Was upon the morning tide,
And there rose before her sight
The loveliness of life untried.
Three sweet genii, —Youth, Love, Hope, —
Drew her future horoscope.
Must such lights themselves consume?
Must she be her own dark tomb?
- Willows by that river grow
With their leaves half green, half snow,
Summer never seems to be
Present all with that sad tree.
With its bending boughs are wrought
Tender and associate thought,
Of the wreaths that maidens wear
In their long neglected hair.
Of the branches that are thrown
On the last, the funeral stone.
- By the love that makes thee mine
I am deeply, dearly thine.
But a spell is on me thrown,
Six days may each deed be shown.
But the seventh day must be
Mine, and only known to me.
Never must thy step intrude
On its silent solitude.
- Then his jealous fancies rose,
(Our Lady keep the mind from those!)
Like a fire within the brain,
Maddens that consuming pain.
Henceforth is no rest by night,
Henceforth day has no delight.
Life hath agonies that tell
Of their late left native hell.
But mid their despair is none
Like that of the jealous one.
- Come what will, of weal or wo,
’Tis the best the worst to know.
- Downwards from that slender waist,
By a golden zone embraced,
Do the many folds escape,
Of the subtle serpent’s shape.—
Bright with many-coloured dyes
All the glittering scales arise,
With a red and purple glow
Colouring the waves below!
At the strange and fearful sight,
Stands in mute despair the knight,—
Soon to feel a worse despair,
Melusina sees him there!
And to see him is to part
With the idol of her heart,
Part as just the setting sun
Tells the fatal day is done.
- All from The Fairy of the Fountains
Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1836
- She leaves it to the sacred stream,
She leaves it to the tide,
Her little child—her darling one,
And she has none beside.
- The Hindoo Mother
- She comes ! So comes the Moon, when has she found
A silvery path wherein through heaven to glide ?
Fling the white veil—a summer cloud—around ;
She is a bride !
- Immolation of a Hindoo Widow
- How wonderful the common street,
Its tumult and its throng,
The hurrying of the thousand feet
That bear life's cares along.
How strongly is the present felt,
With such a scene beside;
All sounds in one vast murmur melt
The thunder of the tide.
- Scenes in London: Piccadilly
- Such must have been his history, who first
Cut this sad hermitage within the rock:
Some spirit-broken and world-weary man,
Whose love was in the grave—whose hope in heaven.
Yet a fine nature must have been his own ;
A sense of beauty—and a strong delight
In the brave seeming of the visible world,
Whose loveliness is like a sympathy.
- Warkworth Hermitage
- Alas ! for our ancient believings,
We have nothing now left to believe ;
The oracle, augur, and omen
No longer dismay and deceive.
- The Astrologer
- Thou beautiful new comer,
With white and maiden brow ;
Thou fairy gift from summer,
Why art thou blooming now ?
This dim and sheltered alley
Is dark with winter green ;
Not such as in the valley
At sweet spring-time is seen.
- The Snowdrop
- Float on—float on—my haunted bark,
Above the midnight tide;
Bear softly o’er the waters dark
The hopes that with thee glide.
- The Hindoo Girl’s Song
- A stranger to her forest home,
That fair young stranger came;
They raised for him the funeral song—
For him the funeral flame.
Love sprang from pity,—and her arms
Around his arms she threw;
She told her father, “If he dies,
Your daughter dieth too.”
For her sweet sake they set him free—
He lingered at her side;
And many a native song yet tells
Of that pale stranger’s bride.
- None watched the lonely Indian girl,—
She passed unmarked of all,
Until they saw her slight canoe
Approach the mighty Fall!
Upright, within that slender boat
They saw the pale girl stand,
Her dark hair streaming far behind—
Uprais’d her desperate hand.
The air is filled with shriek and shout—
They call, but call in vain;
The boat amid the waters dash'd—
’Twas never seen again!
- Horse-Show Fall, Niagara - The Indian Girl
- Summer is come, with her leaves and her flowers—
Summer is come, with the sun on her hours;
The lark in the clouds, and the thrush on the bough,
And the dove in the thicket, make melody now.
The noon is abroad, but the shadows are cool
Where the green rushes grow in the dark forest pool.
- The Rush-Bearing at Ambleside
- The sledge is yoked, away we go,
Amid the firs, o’er the soundless snow.
- The Montmorency Waterfall and Cone
- None heed the wandering boy who sings,
An orphan though so young;
None think how far the singer brings
The songs which he has sung.
- Scenes in London.—The Savoyard in Grosvenor Square
- For years, long years,
Years that make centuries—those dimlit aisles,
Where rainbows play, from coloured windows flung,
Have echoed to the voice of prayer and praise ;
With the last lights of evening flitting round,
Making a rosy atmosphere of hope.
- Beverley Minster
- Few save the poor feel for the poor,
The rich know not how hard
It is to be of needful food
And needful rest debarred.
- The Widow's Mite. Re-used in Ethel Churchill (1837), Vol III Chapter 5
- Mournfully they pass away,
The dearest and the fairest ;
Beauty, thou art common clay,
Common doom thou sharest.
- Ruins about the Taj Mahal
- Sympathy is the softener of death, and memory of the loved and the lost is the earthly shadow of their immortality. But who turns aside amid those crowds that hurry through the thronged and noisy streets?—No one can love London better than I do; but never do I wish to be buried there. It is the best place in the world for a house, and the worst for a grave.
- Scenes in London.—The City Churchyard
- I come from my home in the depth of the sea,
I come that thy dreams may be haunted by me ;
Not as we parted, the rose on my brow,
But shadowy, silent, I visit thee now.
- The Phantom
- Alas, alas ! those ancient towers,
Where never now the vespers ring,
But lonely at the midnight hours,
Flits by the bat on dusky wing.
No more beneath the moonlight dim,
No more beneath the planet ray,
Those arches echo with the hymn
That bears life’s meaner cares away.
- Fountain’s Abbey
- See, he bears the line away,
Round him flies the snowy spray.
I have given him length and line,
One last struggle, he is mine.
Fling the green arbutus bough
On the glowing ashes now ;
Let the cup with red wine foam,—
I have brought the salmon home.
- The Coleraine Salmon Leap
- You must come back, my brother,
For Christmas is so near,
And Christmas is the crowning time,
The purple of the year ;
- Christmas in the Olden Time, 1650
- She comes with the midnight—meet not her cold eye,
It shines but on those who are fated to die.
She comes with the midnight, when spirits have power—
She comes with the midnight, and evil the hour.
- The Queen’s Room: Sizergh Hall, Westmorland
- Little the present careth for the past,
Too little,—’tis not well!
For careless ones we dwell
Beneath the mighty shadow it has cast.
- Hindoo Temples and Palace at Madura
- For the present doth inherit
All the glories of the past ;
We retain what was its spirit,
While its dust to dust is cast,
All good angels guard the sleep
Of the ancient warriors,
The warriors of olden time
- The Aisle of Tombs
- Life in its many shapes was there,
The busy and the gay;
Faces that seemed too young and fair
To ever know decay.
There came a slow and silent band
In sad procession by:
Reversed the musket in each hand,
And downcast every eye.
They bore the soldier to his grave;
The sympathising crowd
Divided like a parted wave
By some dark vessel ploughed.
Again, all filled with light and breath,
I passed the crowded street—
Oh, great extremes of life and death,
How strangely do ye meet!
- Scenes in London: Oxford Street
Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1837
- It is the minstrel’s part to fling
Around the present’s common cope,
The solemn hues on Memory’s wing,
The spiritual light of Hope.
The scene that to a careless eye
Seems nothing but itself to be,
Has charmed earth and haunted sky —
Seen as the minstrel’s eye can see.
Himself is but an instrument
Inspired by that diviner hour,
When first Imagination lent
To earth its passion and its power.
- Thus with some sweet dream’s assistance,
Float they down life’s stream;
Would to heaven our whole existence
Could be such a dream!
- Cafés in Damascus
- ’Twas the deep forest bodied forth that fane,
So rose the arches of the old oak trees,
So wreathed the close set branches at their side,
So through the open spaces gleamed the sun ;
While like an anthem sang the morning birds.
- Lincoln Cathedral
- Hither, famed Ulysses, steer,
Pass not, pride of Greece, along
To our haven come and hear,
Come and hear the Sirens' song.
- Site of the Castle of Ulysses. Song of the Sirens
- Human heart this history
Is thy fated lot,
Even such thy watching
For what cometh not
Till with anxious waiting dull
Round thee fades the beautiful.
- Again I am beside the lake,
The lonely lake which used to be
The wide world of the beating heart,
When I was, love, with thee.
- The Lake of Como
- A little while hast thou to be a child,
Thy lot is all too high ;
Thy face is very fair, thine eyes are mild,
But duties on thine arduous path are piled—
A nation’s hopes and fears blend with thy destiny.
- The Princess Victoria
- They were poor, and by their cabin,
Pale want sat at the door ;
And the summer to their harvest
Brought insufficient store.
- A Dutch Interior
- How many are the lovely lays
That haunt our English tongue,
Defrauded of their poet’s praise
Forgotten he who sung.
- The Unknown Grave
- He cometh from the purple hills,
Where the fight has been to-day;
He bears the standard in his hand—
Shout round the victor’s way.
The sun-set of a battle won,
Is round his steps from Marathon.
- Eucles Announcing the victory of Marathon
- Low it lieth—earth to earth—
And to which that earth gave birth—
Palace, market-street, and fane ;
Dust that never asks in vain,
Hath reclaimed its own again.
Dust, the wide world’s king.
- And such a task it is to steer
A people in their high career,
When old opinions war, and change
Is sudden, violent, and strange ;
And men recall the past, to say,
So shall not be the coming day.
- Lord Melbourne
- It shall never be lowered, the black flag we bear ;
If the sea be denied us, we sweep through the air.
- Bona. The Pirate’s Song
- The prayer for another, to Heaven addrest,
Comes back to the breather thrice blessing and blest.
- The Church at Polignac
- Lay her in the gentle earth,
Where the summer maketh mirth ;
Where young violets have birth ;
Where the lily bendeth.
Lay her there, the lovely one !
With the rose, her funeral stone ;
And for tears, such showers alone
As the rain of April lendeth.
- It is pleasant through the city
In a sunny day to roam ;
And yet my full heart turns to thee,
My own, my greenwood home.
- Strada Reale — Corfu
- Vainly did the augur seek
In its path the will of heaven ;
Not to that fierce eye and beak,
Was the fated future given.
No, the future’s depths were stirred
By the white wings of the dove ;
When the troubled earth first heard
Words of peace and words of love.
- Yet that old chivalric hour
Hath upon the present power
Changed—and softened and refined
It has left its best behind.
What may its bequeathings be ?
Honour, song, and courtesy.
Like the spirit of its clay,
Yesterday redeems to-day.
- Lancaster Castle
- And such is still the recompense appointed for the mind,
That seeketh, with its eyes afar, the glory of its kind.
The poet yields the beautiful that in his being lives :
Unthankful, cold, and careless, are they to whom he gives.
- The Hall of Glennaquoich
- Look to the past—if present there
Be visible one great despair :
Look to the future—if it give
Nothing which charmeth thee to live.
Then come—the present knows its doom,
Thy heart already is a tomb.
- Strada St. Ursula.—Malta
- By another light surrounded
Than our actual sky;
With the purple ocean bounded
Does the island lie,
Like a dream of the old world.
- Still their silent thread entwining
Of our wretched life ;
With their cold pale hands combining
Hate, and fear, and strife.
Hovers the avenging day
O’er the glorious island
Where Ulysses was the king.
- Town and Harbour of Ithaca
- Heavily rung the old church bells,
But no one came to prayer:
The weeds were growing in the street,
Silence and Fate were there.
O’er the first grave by which I stood,
Tears fell, and flowers were thrown,
The last grave held six hundred lives,
And there I stood alone.
- Gibraltar. Scene during the Plague
- A generous inspiration
Is on the outward world ;
It waketh thoughts and feelings
In careless coldness furled.
To love and to admire
Seems natural to the heart ;
Life’s small and selfish interests
From such a scene depart.
- Scale Force, Cumberland
- Trouble and discontent, and hours whose dial
Is in the feverish heart which knows not rest ;
These give the midnight’s sinking sleep denial,
These leave the midnight’s dreaming couch unprest.
- Still let love—song—and hope—make thee their mirror,
Oh, life and earth, what were ye without dreams!
- The Evening Star
Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1838
- The warrior, sage, and poet fill their story
With all the various honours of mankind ; —
May thy young reign achieve yet truer glory,
The pure, enlightened triumphs of the mind !
Too much in this wide world yet needs redressing ;
But with thy reign Hope’s loveliest promise came.
May thy sweet youth be sheltered by the blessing
A nation breathes upon Victoria’s name !
- To the Queen
- He wears the green robe of the Prophet’s high line,
He is sprung from the chieftain of Mecca’s far shrine ;
His horse, on whose bridle the white pearls are sown,
Has a lineage as distant and pure as his own.
- Runjeet-Singh, and his Suwarree of Seiks
- High in the azure heavens, ye ancient mountains,
Do ye uplift your old ancestral snows,
Gathering amid the clouds those icy fountains,
Whence many a sunny stream through India flows.
- ’Tis strange how much of this wide world is lonely,
Earth hath its trackless forests dark and green,
And its wild deserts of the sand, where only
The wind, a weary wanderer, hath been.
- But on the ocean never track remaining
Attests the progress of the human race ;
The ship will pass without a wave retaining
The lovely likeness mirrored on its face.
And thus, O Time, that hast our world in keeping,
So dost thou roll the current of thy years ;
Away, away, in thy dark waters sweeping,
All mortal cares and sorrows, hopes and fears.
- The Village of Kursalee
- Thou hast been round us, like a viewless spirit,
Known only by the music on the air;
The leaf or flowers which thou hast named inherit
A beauty known but from thy breathing there:
For thou didst on them fling thy strong emotion,
The likeness from itself the fond heart gave;
As planets from afar look down on ocean,
And give their own sweet image to the wave.
- A general bond of union is the poet,
By its immortal verse is language known,
And for the sake of song do others know it—
One glorious poet makes the world his own.
- Yet what is mind in woman, but revealing
In sweet clear light the hidden world below,
By quicker fancies and a keener feeling
Than those around, the cold and careless, know?
- The fable of Prometheus and the vulture
Reveals the poet’s and the woman’s heart.
Unkindly are they judged—unkindly treated—
By careless tongues and by ungenerous words;
While cruel sneer, and hard reproach, repeated,
Jar the fine music of the spirit’s chords.
- Felicia Hemans
- Now the monarch must surrender
All his golden state,
Yet the mockeries of splendour
On the pageant wait
That attends him to the tomb.
Music on the air is swelling,
’Tis the funeral song,
As to his ancestral dwelling,
Is he borne along.
They must share life’s common doom.
The kings of fair Golconda,
Golconda’s ancient kings.
- The Kings of Golconda
- What should the fruit of victory be ?
What spoil should it command ?—
Commerce upon the sweeping sea,
And peace upon the land.
- What is the social world thou hast forsaken?—
A scene of wrong and sorrow, guilt and guile ;
Whence Love a long and last farewell has taken,
Where friends can smile, and “murder while they smile.”
- Djouni: The Residence of Lady Hester Stanhope
- Within that lonely garden what happy hours went by,
While we fancied that around us spread foreign sea and sky.
Ah! the dreaming and the distant no longer haunt the mind
We leave, in leaving childhood, life’s fairy-land behind.
- Captain Cook
- Round are the woods of the ancient oak,
And pines that scorn at the woodman’s stroke ;
And yet the axe is on its way,
Those stately trees in the dust to lay.
- They have opened the quarries of lime and stone ;
There is nothing that man will leave alone :
He buildeth the house—he tilleth the soil ;
No place is free from care and toil.
Wo on our wretched and busy race.
That will not leave Nature a resting-place.
We roam over earth, we sail o’er the wave,
Till there is not a quiet spot but the grave.
- The Abbey, near Mussooree. The Seat of J. C. Glen, Esq.
- Of Europe's childhood was the feudal age,
When the world's sceptre was the sword; and power,
Unfit for human weakness, wrong, and rage,
Knew not that curb which waits a wiser hour.
- Our moral progress has a glorious scope,
Much has the past by thought and labour done;
Knowledge and Peace pursue the steps of Hope,
Whose noblest victories are yet unwon.
- The Church of St. John, and the Ruins of Lahneck Castle, formerly belonging to the Templars
- By the aqueduct, of old,
Where the silver river rolled,
Long since laid in ruins low—
But there still the waters flow.
Soon decayeth man's endeavour,
Nature's works endure for ever.
- Death of the Lion among the Ruins of Sbeitlah
- Sadly the captive o'er the flowers is bending,
While her soft eye with sudden sorrow fills;
They are not those that grew beneath her tending
In the green valley of her native hills.
What are the glittering trifles that surround her—
What the rich shawl—and what the golden chain—
Would she could break the fetters that have bound her,
And see her household and her hills again!
- The Ionian Captive
- Will not your giant columns yet behold
The world's old age, enlightened, calm, and free;
More glorious than the glories known of old—
The spirit's placid rule o'er land and sea.
All that the past has taught is not in vain—
Wisdom is garnered up from centuries gone:
Love, Hope, and Mind prepare a nobler reign
Than ye have known—Cedars of Lebanon!
- The Cedars of Lebanon
- His home — our English poet's home —
Amid these hills is made ;
Here, with the morning, hath he come,
There, with the night delayed.
On all things is his memory cast,
For every place wherein he past,
Is with his mind arrayed,
That, wandering in a summer hour,
Asked wisdom of the leaf and flower.
- Until thy hand unlocked its store,
What glorious music slept !
Music that can be hushed no more
Was from our knowledge kept.
- The crowded city in its streets,
The valley, in its green retreats,
Alike thy words retain.
What need hast thou of sculptured stone ?—
Thy temple, is thy name alone.
- Rydal Water and Grasmere Lake, The Residence of Wordsworth
- Yet thou art on thy course majestic keeping,
Unruffled by the breath
Of man's vain life or death,
Calm as the heaven upon thy bosom sleeping.
Still dost thou keep thy calm and onward motion,
Amid the ancient ranks
Of forests on thy banks,
Till thou hast gained thy home—the mighty ocean.
- Already much for man has been effected;
The weak and poor man's cause
Is strengthened by the laws,
The equal right, born with us all, respected.
- The Ganges
- Do you see yon vessel riding,
Anchored in our island bay,
Like a sleeping sea-bird biding
For the morrow’s onward way ?
See her white wings folded round her
As she rocks upon the deep;
Slumber with a spell hath bound her,
With a spell of peace and sleep.
- Kalendria; a Port in Cilicia
- The mother takes her little child—
Its face is like her own ;
The cradle of her choice is wild—
Why is it left alone ?
The trampling of the buffalo
Is heard among the reeds,
And sweeps around the carrion-crow
That amid carnage feeds.
- Pause, ere we blame the savage code
That such strange horror keeps;
Perhaps within her sad abode
The mother sits and weeps,
And thinks how oft those eyelids smiled,
Whose close she may not see,
And says, "Oh, would to God, my child,
I might have died for thee !"
- Look on the crowded prison-gate—
Instructive love and care
In early life had saved the fate
That waits on many there.
Cold, selfish, shunning care and cost,
The poor are left unknown ;
I say, for every soul thus lost,
We answer with our own.
- Infanticide in Madagascar
- In the deep silence of the midnight hours,
I call upon ye, oh ye viewless powers!
Before whose presence mortal daring cowers.
- What of yon stately city, where are shrined
The warrior’s and the poet’s wreath combined—
All the high honours of the human mind!
Her walls are bright with colours, whose fine dyes
Embody shapes that seem from yonder skies,
And in her scrolls the world’s deep wisdom lies.
What of her future?—Through the silvery smoke
I see the distant vision I invoke.
These glorious walls have bowed to time’s dark yoke.
I see a plain of desert sand extend
Scattered with ruins, where the wild flowers bend,
And the green ivy, like a last sad friend.
- Hence, ye dark Spirits! bear the dream away;
To-morrow but repeateth yesterday;
First, toil—then, desolation and decay.
Life has one vast stern likeness in its gloom,
We toil with hopes that must themselves consume—
The wide world round us is one mighty tomb.
- The Prophetess
- I see the bright trout springing,
Where the wave is dark yet clear,
And a myriad flies are winging,
As if to tempt him near.
With the lucid waters blending,
The willow shade yet floats,
From beneath whose quiet bending
I used to launch my boats.
- The River Wear
- O, Lovely isle ! that, like a child,
Art sleeping on the sea,
Amid whose hair the wind is wild,
And on whose cheek the sun has smiled,
As there it loved to be.
Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1839
- It is his hand—it is his words—
Too well I know the scroll,
Whose style, whose order, and whose shape
Are treasured in my soul.
- A fearful thing, the granted wish—
The very shape it takes,
By some strange mockery of our hope,
Another misery makes.
- Time measures many hours ; for me,
He measured long and slow;
I thought the night would never end,
The day would never go.
- They come from the mountains, in thousands they come—
There breatheth no trumpet, there beateth no drum:
They march in such silence as suiteth the dead,
Their herald the thunder that echoes their tread.
The sun is midway in his morning advance,
His beams kindle musket, and sabre, and lance;
While beneath each white turban flows down the long hair;
For the locks of the Druse are, like northern locks, fair.
- The Gathering of the Chieftains at Beteddein. The Palace of the Prince of the Druses
- The falling of fountains—the slight summer rain—
The voice of the dove, were less sweet than thy strain;
Till stirred with delight, would her exquisite wings
Beat time on the west wind, to echo thy strings.
- Thomas Moore, Esq.
- So like they are—as roses grow
Self-same upon the self-same bough,
While just some slight shades intervene,
To mark a change more felt than seen—
As like they are—as nature loth
To make a difference, modelled both
To the same shape—it was so fair
That not a grace was left to spare.
- The Sisters
- It is the past that maketh the ideal,
Kindling the future with its onward ray,
And o’er a world that else would be too real,
Flinging the glory of the moral day.
- Colgong on the Ganges
- On the wind a murmur,
Seems to float along,
Soft as is the music
Of remembered song.
Bringing at the moment
All that dwelt apart
In the lone recesses
Of the haunted heart.
So upon her twilight wings
Memory beareth graceful things,
From the tales Arabian,
From the old Arabian Nights.
- Court of a Turkish Villa - near Damascus
- A thousand nameless years went by,
As silent as their birth;
The clouds that wandered o’er the sky
Beheld no change on earth:
With one unbroken chronicle,
A thousand years left nought to tell.
- But here no tumult ever past,
The wild wind brought no sound,
Saving the mighty music cast
By the dark pine-trees round;
And Nature had one hour’s repose
Amid the silence of the snows.
- Village of Koghera - near the Choor Mountains
- During a considerable part of the year, the Choor is hoary with snow; and when moonlight falls upon the scene, an effect is produced as if floods of molten silver were poured over the surface. Moonlight in these regions assumes a novel charm. The rugged peaks, stern and chilling as they are, lose their awful character, and become brilliant as polished pearl; the trees, covered with icicles, seem formed of some rich spar; and the face of nature becoming wholly changed, presents the features of a world calm and tranquil, but still and deathlike. (Letitia Landon may have her friend Emma Roberts to thank for details of this description)
- ’Tis strange how often early years
Will unexpected rise,
And bring back soft and childlike tears
To cold and world-worn eyes.
Soft voices come upon the wind,
Old songs and early prayers,
And feel how much of good and kind
Our weary life still spares.
- Crossing the Choor Mountains
- The day is yet rosy with wakening from sleep,
The stars have one moment gone down in the deep,
The flowers have not opened that hide in the grass,
And the hares leave their print in the dew as they pass.
- The Sailor’s Bride, or The Bonaventure
- Hope’s fairy arches cross human life’s dark river;
Frail the support—while over it there hastens
All the sweet beliefs that make the morning fair.
- Crossing the River Tonse by a Jhoola
- Oh ! there are moments when the full heart, turning
From this life, insufficient, vexed, and drear,
Looks to the skies with an impatient yearning,
And asks the morning for another sphere.
- The Fair Maid of Perth
- Methinks a pleasant lesson
Is given by the scene—
That age alike and childhood
Delight in what has been.
They will make, those happy children,
The old man’s heart their own—
There never was a pleasure
Could be enjoyed alone.
- A Society of Antiquaries
- What makes the poet? — Nothing but to feel
More keenly than the common sense of feeling;
To have the soul attuned to the appeal
Of the dim music through all nature stealing.
- Life is a fable, with its lesson last ;
Genius, too, has its fable and its moral:
Of all the trees that down their shadows cast,
Choose you a wreath from any but the laurel.
- Lines Suggested on Visiting Newstead Abbey
- Thy angel-nature was not made
For struggle or for care;
Thou wert too gentle and too good
For Heaven long to spare.
Thou wert but sent a little while
To soothe and to sustain;
The angels missed thee from their band
And asked for thee again:
But not till thou hadst given birth
To many a holy thought on earth.
- Matlock - to the memory of a favourite child (the daughter of a friend) who died there
- Years have grown into centuries grey,
The king and his people, where are they?
Where are the temples of carved stone?
Look in the dust—to dust they are gone.
Five or six pillars alone remain
Of the thousands that crowded that marble plain.
The palm-tree that stood by that building of yore
Standeth as green as it did before.
But the dust is heaped o’er the works of men—
And so it hath been, and will be again.
- Ruins at Balbec
- There is a lovely English sound
Upon the English air,
It comes when else had silence found
Its quiet empire there.
- How still it is ! the bee — the bird —
Float by on noiseless wing.
There sounds no step — there comes no word,
There seems no living thing.
But still upon the soft west wind
These bells come sweeping by,
Leaving familiar thoughts behind,
Familiar, and yet high.
- The Village Bells
- Men gathered fast upon the sands
With eager aid—in vain—
What is might of human hands
To struggle with the main?
- Dunstanburgh Castle
Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1940
- Hamooda holds a feast to-night —
Fill ye the lamps with fragrant light ;
Burn, in the twilight's dewy time,
The mastic, rosemary, and thyme;
And scatter round the festal chamber
Oils from the rose, the musk, the amber.
- Interior of a Moorish Palace
- It is a fearful thing to live, yet be
That which is scarcely life — the spirit fled —
Death at the heart — our nobler self is dead —
The reasoning and responsible, while we
Live, like the birds around, unconsciously.
God ! in thy mercy keep us from such doom,
Let not our mind precede us to our tomb !
- Kate is Craz’d
- Too much this weary world of ours
Has fallen since the fall ;
And low desires, and care, and crime.
Hold empire over all.
Yet not the less it is our part
To do the best we can :
A better faith — a better fate
Man yet may work for man.
- The Shrine and Grotto of Santa Rosalia
- Stately rose their city —
Many towns are fair,
None rose like Granada
In the morning air.
There the Moorish princes swayed
Empire which themselves had made.
Like a dream their memory dwells
Where the carved marble tells
Of the Moslem rule in Spain.
- Honoured be each story
Brought from other days,
But for them there were no flowers
On our world-worn ways.
Every land, and every heart,
Turn back to their earlier part.
Let old songs and stories live
While the fanciful they give
To the Moslem rule in Spain.
- The Mosque at Cordova
- Too much by small low interests bound.
We track our selfish way,
Careless if hope to-day still takes
Its tone from yesterday.
We look upon our daily path,
We do not look beyond,
Forgetful of the brotherhood
In nature's mighty bond.
- The future doth avenge the past—
Now, for thy future's sake,
Oh, England ! for the guilty past
A deep atonement make.
The slave is given to thy charge,
He hopes from thee alone ;
And thou, for every soul so given,
Must answer with thine own.
- Thomas Clarkson, Esq. - Inscribed to the Right Honourable Lord Brougham and Vaux
- The winds are stirred with tumult — on the air
Sound drum and trumpet, atabal and gong —
Strong voices loud uplift a barbarous song.
Vast is the gathering — while the priests declare
The seven-headed god is passing there.
On roll his chariot-wheels, while every roll
From prostrate bodies crushes forth a soul :
Rejoicing such last agony to bear.
- The Temple of Juggernaut
Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1941
- It is a little azure bird,
It has a plaintive cry,
It singeth mournful to the eve,
When none beside are nigh.
And for the love it beareth them,
The natives hold it true,
That whosoever kills this bird,
Himself must perish too.
- Neftah in the Jereed
- Of the vacant temple
Little now remains,
Lowly are the statues,
Lowly are the fanes,
Filled with worshippers no more.
Heavily the creeper
Traces its green line
Round the fallen altar,
Now no more divine—
As it was in days of yore,
In the days of stately Carthage,
The ocean’s earliest queen.
Empire still has followed
The revolving sun;
Earth’s great onward progress
In the East begun—
Ruins, deserts, now are there.
Downfall waits on triumph:
Is such fate in store
For our glorious islands?
Will our English shore
Lie as desolate and bare
As the shores of fallen Carthage,
The ocean’s former queen?
- Temple and Fountain at Zagwhan
Fisher's Drawing Room Scrap Book, 1949
- When I see Homes, of Beauty and of Splendour,
I, that am merely rich in being loved,
By one whose wealth is in a heart too tender,
To let me share his poverty unmoved:
Sighing, I marvel, what such chance of fortune,
Can add too happiness, or take away;
And whether all the cloying gifts, importune,
Or bless the wealthy, through the livelong day!
- Homes of Splendour (Title probably courtesy of Caroline Norton)