call'd me thy Angel in moments of bliss,
And thy Angel I'll be,'mid the horrors of this,--
Through the furnace, unshrinking, thy steps to pursue,
And shield thee, and save thee,--or perish there too!
It has been the fashion of late days to deny Moore Imagination, while
granting him Fancy--a distinction originating with Coleridge--than whom
no man more fully comprehended the great powers of Moore. The fact is,
that the fancy of this poet so far predominates over all his other
faculties, and over the fancy of all other men, as to have induced, very
naturally, the idea that he is fanciful _only._ But never was there a
greater mistake. Never was a grosser wrong done the fame of a true poet.
In the compass of the English language I can call to mind no poem more
profoundly--more weirdly _imaginative,_ in the best sense, than the
lines commencing--"I would I were by that dim lake"--which are the
composition of Thomas Moore. I regret that I am unable to remember them.
One of the noblest--and, speaking of Fancy--one of the most singularly
fanciful of modern poets, was Thomas Hood. His "Fair Ines" had always
for me an inexpressible charm:
O saw ye not fair Ines?
She's gone into the West,
To dazzle when the sun is down
And rob the world of rest
She took our daylight with her,
The smiles that we love best,
With morning blushes on her cheek,
And pearls upon her breast.
O turn again, fair Ines,
Before the fall of night,
For fear the moon should shine alone,
And stars unrivall'd bright;
And blessed will the lover be
That walks beneath their light,
And breathes the love against thy cheek
I dare not even write!
Would I had been, fair Ines,
That gallant cavalier,
Who rode so gaily by thy side,
And whisper'd thee so near!
Were there no bonny dames at home,
Or no true lovers here,
That he should cross the seas to win
The dearest of the dear?
I saw thee, lovely Ines,
Descend along the shore,
With bands of noble gentlemen,
And banners-waved before;
Trust, The Internet Archive and Comic Book Stories.Page 3
Is a groan.Page 4
Now doubt--now Pain Come never again, For her soul gives me sigh for sigh, And all day long Shines, bright and strong, AstartÃ© within the sky, While ever to her dear Eulalie upturns her matron eye-- While ever to her young Eulalie upturns her violet eye.Page 5
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.Page 7
" But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.Page 9
"Wretches! ye loved her for her wealth and hated her for her pride.Page 10
amid its hallowed mirth, Should catch the note as it doth float up from the damnÃ¨d Earth! And I!--to-night my heart is light!--no dirge will I upraise, But waft the angel on her flight with a Paean of old days!" _DREAMS_ Oh! that my young life were a lasting dream! My spirit not awakening, till the beam Of an Eternity should bring the morrow.Page 14
length of tress, And this all solemn silentness! The lady sleeps! Oh, may her sleep, Which is enduring, so be deep! Heaven have her in its sacred keep! This chamber changed for one more holy, This bed for one more melancholy, I pray to God that she may lie For ever with unopened eye, While the pale sheeted ghosts go by! My love, she sleeps! Oh, may her sleep As it is lasting, so be deep! Soft may the worms about her creep! Far in the forest, dim and old, For her may some tall vault unfold-- Some vault that oft has flung its black And wingÃ¨d panels fluttering back, Triumphant, o'er the crested palls, Of her grand family funerals-- Some sepulchre, remote, alone, Against whose portal she hath thrown, In childhood, many an idle stone-- Some tomb from out whose sounding door She ne'er shall force an echo more, Thrilling to think, poor child of sin! It was the dead who groaned within.Page 17
And, as his strength Failed him at length, He met a pilgrim shadow-- "Shadow," said he, "Where can it be-- This land of Eldorado?" [Illustration: Eldorado] "Over the Mountains Of the Moon, Down the Valley of the Shadow, Ride, boldly ride," The shade replied-- "If you seek for Eldorado!" _TO M----_ O! I care not that my earthly lot Hath little of Earth in it, That years of love have been forgot In the fever of a minute: I heed not that the desolate Are happier, sweet, than I, But that you meddle with my fate Who am a passer by.Page 20
And fell on gardens of the unforgiven In Trebizond--and on a sunny flower So like its own above that, to this hour, It still remaineth, torturing the bee With madness, and unwonted reverie: In Heaven, and all its environs, the leaf And blossom of the fairy plant in grief Disconsolate linger--grief that hangs her head, Repenting follies that full long have fled, Heaving her white breast to the balmy air, Like guilty beauty, chasten'd and more fair: Nyctanthes too, as sacred as the light She fears to perfume, perfuming the night: And Clytia, pondering between many a sun, While pettish tears adown her petals run: And that aspiring flower that sprang on Earth, And died, ere scarce exalted into birth, Bursting its odorous heart in spirit to wing Its way to Heaven, from garden of a king: And Valisnerian lotus, thither flown From struggling with the waters of the Rhone: And thy most lovely purple perfume, Zante! Isola d'oro!--Fior di Levante! And the Nelumbo bud that floats for ever With Indian Cupid down the holy river-- Fair flowers, and fairy! to whose care is given To bear the Goddess' song, in odours, up to Heaven "Spirit! thou dwellest where, In the deep sky, The terrible and fair, In beauty vie! Beyond the line of blue-- The boundary of the star Which turneth at the view Of thy barrier and thy bar-- Of the barrier overgone By the comets who were cast From their pride and from their throne To be drudges till the last-- To be carriers of fire (The red fire of their heart) With speed that may not tire And with pain that shall not part-- Who livest--_that_ we know-- In Eternity--we feel-- But the shadow of whose brow What spirit shall reveal? Tho' the beings whom thy Nesace, Thy messenger hath known Have dream'd for thy Infinity A model of.Page 22
head-- Such as the drowsy shepherd on his bed Of giant pasturage lying at his ease, Raising his heavy eyelid, starts and sees With many a mutter'd "hope to be forgiven" What time the moon is quadrated in Heaven-- Of Rosy head that, towering far away Into the sunlight ether, caught the ray Of sunken suns at eve--at noon of night, While the moon danc'd with the fair stranger light Uprear'd upon such height arose a pile Of gorgeous columns on th' unburthen'd air, Flashing from Parian marble that twin smile Far down upon the wave that sparkled there, And nursled the young mountain in its lair.Page 23
gushing music as they fell In many a star-lit grove, or moon-lit dell; Yet silence came upon material things-- Fair flowers, bright waterfalls and angel wings-- And sound alone that from the spirit sprang Bore burthen to the charm the maiden sang: "'Neath the blue-bell or streamer-- Or tufted wild spray That keeps, from the dreamer, The moonbeam away-- Bright beings! that ponder, With half closing eyes, On the stars which your wonder Hath drawn from the skies, Till they glance thro' the shade, and Come down to your brow Like----eyes of the maiden Who calls on you now-- Arise! from your dreaming In violet bowers, To duty beseeming These star-litten hours-- And shake from your tresses Encumber'd with dew The breath of those kisses That cumber them too-- (O! how, without you, Love! Could angels be blest?) Those kisses of true Love That lull'd ye to rest! Up!--shake from your wing Each hindering thing: The dew of the night-- It would weigh down your flight; And true love caresses-- O, leave them apart! They are light on the tresses, But lead on the heart.Page 24
Thou hast bound many eyes In a dreamy sleep-- But the strains still arise Which _thy_ vigilance keep-- The sound of the rain, Which leaps down to the flower-- And dances again In the rhythm of the shower-- The murmur that springs From the growing of grass Are the music of things-- But are modell'd, alas!-- Away, then, my dearest, Oh! hie thee away To the springs that lie clearest Beneath the moon-ray-- To lone lake that smiles, In its dream of deep rest, At the many star-isles That enjewel its breast-- Where wild flowers, creeping, Have mingled their shade, On its margin is sleeping Full many a maid-- Some have left the cool glade, and Have slept with the bee-- Arouse them, my maiden, On moorland and lea-- Go! breathe on their slumber, All softly in ear, Thy musical number They slumbered to hear-- For what can awaken An angel so soon, Whose sleep hath been taken Beneath the cold moon, As the spell which no slumber Of witchery may test, The rhythmical number Which lull'd him to rest?" Spirits in wing, and angels to the view, A thousand seraphs burst th' Empyrean thro' Young dreams still hovering on their drowsy flight-- Seraphs in all but "Knowledge," the keen.Page 28
They weep:--from off their delicate stems Perennial tears descend in gems.Page 29
With thy dear name as text, though bidden by thee, I cannot write--I cannot speak or think-- Alas, I cannot feel; for 'tis not feeling, This standing motionless upon the golden Threshold of the wide-open gate of dreams.Page 30
Be silent in that solitude, Which is not loneliness--for then The spirits of the dead, who stood In life before thee, are again In death around thee, and their will Shall overshadow thee; be still.Page 32
birds, Are lips--and all thy melody Of lip-begotten words-- Thine eyes, in Heaven of heart enshrined, Then desolately fall, O God! on my funereal mind Like starlight on a pall-- Thy heart--_thy_ heart!--I wake and sigh, And sleep to dream till day Of the truth that gold can never buy-- Of the baubles that it may.Page 33
Bottomless vales and boundless floods, And chasms, and caves, and Titan woods, With forms that no man can discover For the tears that drip all over; Mountains toppling evermore Into seas without a shore; Seas that restlessly aspire, Surging, unto skies of fire; Lakes that endlessly outspread Their lone waters--lone and dead,-- Their still waters--still and chilly With the snows of the lolling lily.Page 36
My passions, from that hapless hour, Usurp'd a tyranny which men Have deem'd since I have reach'd to power, My innate nature--be it.Page 37
Young Love's first lesson is--the heart: For 'mid that sunshine, and those smiles, When, from our little cares apart, And laughing at her girlish wiles, I'd throw me on her throbbing breast, And pour my spirit out in tears-- There was no need to speak the rest-- No need to quiet any fears Of her--who ask'd no reason why, But turned on me her quiet eye! Yet _more_ than worthy of the love My spirit struggled with, and strove, When, on the mountain peak, alone, Ambition lent it a new tone-- I had no being--but in thee: The world, and all it did contain In the earth--the air--the sea-- Its joy--its little lot of pain That was new pleasure--the ideal, Dim vanities of dreams by night-- And dimmer nothings which were real-- (Shadows--and a more shadowy light!) Parted upon their misty wings, And, so, confusedly, became Thine image, and--a name--a name! Two separate--yet most intimate things.