THE FAIRY MYTHOLOGY

Alexander Selkirk's Dream

Composed One Day When Confined To Bed By A Cold And Unable To Read

O'er the isle of Juan Fernandez
Cooling shades of evening spread,
While upon the peaks of Andes
Still the tints of day were shed.

From the sea-beat shore returning
Homeward hied the lonely man,
O'er his cheerless fortune mourning,
As through past days memory ran.

Soon his brief repast was ended
And he sought his lowly bed;
Balmy slumber there descended,
Shedding influence o'er his head.

Then a vision full of gladness
Came, sent forth by Him supreme,
Who his suffering servants' sadness
Oft dispelleth in a dream.

*

In his view the lively dream sets
Hills and vales in verdure bright;
Where the gaily-prattling streamlets
Sparkle in the morning-light.

Hark! the holy bell is swinging,
Calling to the house of prayer;
Loud resounds the solemn ringing
Through the still and balmy air.

Youths and maids from glen and mountain
Hasten at the hallowed sound,
Old men rest by shady fountain,
Children lay them on the ground.

Now the pious throng is streaming
Through the temple's portal low;
Rapture in each face is beaming
Pure devotion's genuine glow.

Fervently the hoary pastor,
Humbly bent before his God,
Supplicates their heavenly Master
Them to lead on Sion's road;

Owns that all have widely erred
From the true, the narrow way,
That with Him we have no merit,
And no claim of right can lay.

Loud then rise in choral measure
Hymns of gratitude and praise,
As, inspired with solemn pleasure,
Unto Heaven their strains they raise.

Now the grave discourse beginneth,
Which, ungraced by rhetoric's arts,
Quick the rapt attention winneth,
While it glorious truths imparts;

While it tells how kind is Heaven
To the race of him who fell;
How of old the Son was given
To redeem from pains of hell;

How the Holy Spirit abideth
In their hearts that hear his call;
How our God for all provideth,
How His mercy's over all;

How, beyond the grave extending,
Regions lie of endless bliss;
How our thoughts on that world bending,
We should careless be of this.

Once again the raised hymn pealeth
Notes of joy and jubilee,
Praising Him who truth revealeth,
Dweller of Eternity!

*

Night's dim shades were now retreating,
Over Andes rose the day
On the hills the kids' loud bleating
Lingering slumber chased away.

Birds their merry notes were singing,
Joyous at the approach of morn--
Morn that, light and fragrance flinging,
Earth doth cherish and adorn.

Waked by Nature's general chorus
Selkirk quits his lonely couch,
While o'er heaven run colours glorious,
Heralding the sun's approach.

Still the vision hovers o'er him,
Still the heavenly strains he hears,
Setting those bright realms before him
Where are wiped away all tears.

All this vain and transitory
State of mankind here on earth,
Weighed with that exceeding glory,
Now he deems as nothing worth.

Low he bends in adoration,
As the sun ascends the sky;
Doubt and fear and lamentation
With the night's last shadows fly.

A Moonlight Scene

Conceived And Commenced When Passing Over Putney Bridge On A Fine Moonlight Night In Summer

The moonbeams on the lake are glancing,
The nimble bark is now advancing,
That for this grove is bound.
Ye gentle clouds, ah! hear a lover,
And hasten not the moon to cover
And darkness pour around.

Doth fancy sport, or do I hear her,
As nearer still she comes and nearer,
Cutting the billows bright? -.
How still! scarce even a light breeze flying!
Earth, water, air, at peace are lying
Beneath the calm moonlight.

My heart beats high, my soul rejoices,
Methinks I hear their merry voices--
She soon will reach the shore.--
Ah me! my hopes, my hopes are failing,
Yon sable cloud is onwards sailing--
The moon it covers o'er.

Now o'er the lake they dubious wander,
And on some part remote may strand her,
Unless they aid obtain--
I'll wave a signal from the summit
Of you high bank, and haply from it
Some guidance they may gain.

The cloud moves on, the moonlight beameth
And o'er the lovely lady streameth,
Upon her lofty stand.
With joyful shout the boatmen greet her,
Her anxious lover hastes to meet her,
And eager springs to land.

Lines Written In A Lady's Album

In those blest days, when free from care,
And happy as the birds in air,
I roamed the hills and dales,
By purling rills oft passed the day,
Or on green banks recumbent lay,
Listening the shepherds' tales,

My fancy, rising on the wing,
Would visions fair before me bring,
Of castles high, and towers,
With knights in radiant panoply,
And ladies of the beaming eye,
Within their fragrant bowers;

Or lead me thence away to shades
Of woods, and show me, in the glades,
The cottages serene,
Where Peace dwelt with Content, among
The happy, gay Arcadian throng
That tenanted the scene.

But whether cot or tower arose
In vision, at the dawn or close
Of summer-days, to me,
The lovely form of woman still
Shone bright by dale, by mend, by rill,
Amid my extacy.

I saw her robed in every grace
With youth, with loveliness of face,
And virtue's gentle eye;
And from her tongue heard accents fail,
That would the rudest heart enthral,
And raise emotions high.

But like the Eastern prince, who loved
The pictured form of one that moved
In life full many a year
Ere he beheld the light, I deemed
The lovely form of which I dreamed
Would ne'er to me appear.

And years came on, and years went by,
And yet I never found me nigh
My youthful vision bright.
I said,--I might as well, I ween,
Expect to see the Fairy-queen
Descend, to bless my sight.

But often, when we hope it least,
And when our search has well nigh ceased,
Good fortune will befall:
So I one evening saw a maid,
Who every grace and charm displayed
That decked my Ideal.

Her portrait here I need not show,
For, reader, thou must surely know
That peerless, gentle maid:
To her these lines I consecrate;
And if she smiles I'II deem, elate,
My toil far overpaid.

To Amanda

[These are the verses quoted in the Introduction to the "Tales and Popular Fictions." The author was very young when he wrote them; and Amanda was, like Beatrice and Laura, a mere donna di mente, having no real existence.

As when a storm in vernal skies
The face of day doth stain,
And o'er the smiling landscape flies,
With mist and drizzling rain;
If chance the sun look through the shower
O'er flowery hill and dale,
Reviving Nature owns his power,
And softly sighs the gale:

So when, by anxious thoughts oppressed,
My soul sinks in despair,
When smiling hope deserts my breast,
And all is darkness there
If chance Amanda's form appear,
The gloom is chased away,
My soul once more her soft smiles cheer,
And joy resumes his sway.

Then, dear Amanda, since thy smile
Has power all gloom to charm,
Oh! ever thus my cares beguile,
And guard my soul from harm.
Let Hymen's bands our fates unite,
What bliss may then be ours!--
Our days will glide, like streamlets bright,
O'erhung with fragrant flowers.

Lines

Written in Rome in the Spring of 1842.

Fair Tibur, once the Muses' home,
Before us lay; around
Was spread the plain which mighty Rome
Oft saw with victory crowned.

The sun rode high, the sky was clear,
The lark poured forth his strain,
And flowers, the firstlings of the year,
Shed fragrance o'er the plain.

A gentle lady turned on me
Her bright expressive eyes,
And bade the flame of poesy
Within my bosom rise.

'Twas then I felt, I felt, alas!
How Time has dealt with me,
And how the rays of fancy pass,
And vanish utterly.

For time has been when such a view
And mandate of the fair,
With images of brightest hue,
Had fill'd the land and air:

While now I strive, and strive in vain,
To twine poetic flowers,
Since from me Time away has ta'en
Imagination's powers.

Then lady, be thou gentle still,
Let pity sway thy breast;
Accept for deeds the fervent will
To honour thy behest,

A Farewell

Farewell! farewell! the parting hour
Is come, and I must leave thee!
Oh! ne'er may aught approach thy bower
That might of bliss bereave thee!

But ever a perennial rill
Of joy, so brightly flowing,
Keep each fair thought in fragrance still
Within thy pure mind blowing.

For life all charm had lost for me,
My thoughts were only sadness,
When fortune led me unto thee
To taste once more of gladness.--

I've seen the sullen shades of night
Fair nature's face concealing,
And marked how scattered rays of light
Came morn's approach revealing.

The light increased, the orb of day
Clomb to the mountain's summit;
And vale and plain, and stream and bay,
Drew life and lustre from it.

And as it towered in majesty,
Light all around it shedding,
It seemed a monarch, seated high,
Bliss through his realms wide spreading.

All nature joyed; I felt my heart
Distend, and fill with pleasure;
For heavenly light and warmth impart
A bliss we cannot measure.

This glorious sun to me art thou,
Whose light all gloom dispelleth,
Before whose majesty I bow
When he his power revealeth.

Thy golden locks, thine eyes so blue,
Thy smile so sweetly playing,
Were those first shafts of light that flew,
The gloom of night warraying.

But when, more intimately known,
I found not only beauty,
But genius, taste, and truth, thine own,
Combined with filial duty:

Then rose the sun, o'er all my soul
In full effulgence beaming,
And tides of joy began to roll
Beneath his radiance gleaming.--

Time still his noiseless course pursues
With unremitting vigour,
And lovely Spring each year renews
The waste of Winter's rigour.

Were mine the power, thus, like Time,
To wake again life's flowers,
And days recall of youthful prime
Passed in the Muses' bowers;

Then, lovely maiden! fancy-free,
Rich in each mental treasure,
In me thou wouldst a votary see--
Thy will would be my pleasure.

But while such bliss might not be mine,
A friendship pure and holy
I offered at the hallowed shrine,
To which my heart turned solely.--

When distant from thee many a mile,
High waves between us swelling,
I'll think upon thy lovely smile,
Of pure emotion telling.

The sky will show me thy blue eye;
The whispering breeze of even
Recall that voice, whose melody
Oft lapped my soul in heaven!

The sinking sun thy ringlets' gold
Will show; but memory only
The treasures of thy mind unfold
To me when musing lonely.

Oh! may I hope that memory,
That power for ever changing,
Will make thee sometimes think on me,
O'er distant mountains ranging?

Say me not nay; let Fancy cheat
My soul with bland illusion;
And let not Doubt my vision sweet
Dispel by rude intrusion.

Verses

Written At Bath In 1840, For A Little Boy Who Kept An Album, And Was A Great Admirer Of Robin Hood And His Merry Men.

Had the kind Muse, young friend, on me
Her pleasing gifts bestowed,
And taught to tread of poesy
The smooth and flowery road;

Then should the deeds of Robin Hood,
And Little John, so bold,
And of the Friar, stout and good,
In numbers high be told.

The merry greenwood should resound
With feats of archery,
And antlered deer along should bound
So light and gracefully!

But vain the hopes: 'gainst Fate's decrees
To struggle I must cease;
I only can write histories
Of England, Rome, and Greece.

Father Cuddy's Song

In The Legend Of Clough na Cuddy.

Quam pulchra sunt ova,
Cum alba et nova
In stabulo scite leguntur;
Et à Margery bells,
Quae festiva puella!
Pinguis lardi cum frustis coquuntur.

Ut belles in prato
Aprico et lato
Sub sole tam laete renident,
Ova tosta, in mensa
Mappa bene extensa,
Nitidissima lance consident.

Translation.

Oh! 'tis eggs are a treat,
When so white and so sweet
From under the manger they 're taken,
And by fair Margery,
Och! 'tis she's full of glee,
They are fried with fat rashers of bacon.

Just like daisies all spread
O'er a broad sunny mead,
In the sunbeams so beauteously shining,
Are fried eggs fair displayed
On a dish, when we've laid
The cloth and are thinking of dining.

The Praises Of Mazenderan

[The object of this version was to give a correct idea of the animated anapastic measure in which the Shib-Nameh Is written. Our knowledge of Persian was extremely slight; but a friendly Orientalist gave us a faithful line-for-line translation, which we versified, and he and Ram Mohun Roy then compared our version with the original.]

His band from the lute hath its melody drawn,
And thus rose the song of Mazenderân:--
May Mazenderan, the land of my birth,
Its hills and its dales, be e'er famed o'er the earth:
For evermore blooms in its gardens the rose,
On its hills nods the tulip, the hyacinth blows;
Its air ever fragrant, its earth flourishing,
Cold or heat is not felt,--'tis perpetual spring.
The nightingale's lays in the gardens resound;
On the sides of the mountains the stately deer bound,
In search evermore of their pastime and food;
With fragrance and colour each season's bedewed;
Its streams of rose-water unceasingly roll,
Whose perfume doth gladness diffuse o'er the soul
In November, December, and January,
Pull of tulips the ground thou mayest everywhere see;
The springs, unexhausted, flow all through the year;
The hawk at his chase everywhere doth appear.
The region of bliss is adorned all o'er
With dinars, with rich stuffs, and with all costly store;
The idol-adorers with fine gold are crowned,
And girdles of gold gird the heroes renowned.
Whoe'er hath not dwelt in that region so bright,
His soul knows no pleasure, his heart no delight.