To the Chief Musician upon Nabla A Tyndallic Ode

I.

I come from fields of fractured ice,
Whose wounds are cured by squeezing,
Melting they cool, but in a trice,
Get warm again by freezing.
Here, in the frosty air, the sprays
With fernlike hoar-frost bristle,
There, liquid stars their watery rays
Shoot through the solid crystal.


II.

I come from empyrean fires --
From microscopic spaces,
Where molecules with fierce desires,
Shiver in hot embraces.
The atoms clash, the spectra flash,
Projected on the screen,


To Television

Not a "window on the world"
But as we call you,
A box a tube

Terrarium of dreams and wonders.
Coffer of shades, ordained
Cotillion of phosphors
Or liquid crystal

Homey miracle, tub
Of acquiescence, vein of defiance.
Your patron in the pantheon would be Hermes

Raster dance,
Quick one, little thief, escort
Of the dying and comfort of the sick,

In a blue glow my father and little sister sat
Snuggled in one chair watching you
Their wife and mother was sick in the head


To Simplicity

[Inscribed to Lady Duncannon.]


SWEET blushing Nymph, who loves to dwell
In the dark forest's silent gloom;
Who smiles within the Hermit's cell,
And sighs upon the rustic's tomb;
Who, pitying, sees the busy throng,
The slaves of fashion's giddy sway;
Who in a wild and artless song,
Warbles the feath'ry hours away.

Oft have I flown thy steps to trace,
In the low valley's still retreat,
Oft have I view'd thy blooming face,
In the small cottage, proudly neat!


Young Love

I

I cannot heed the words they say,
The lights grow far away and dim,
Amid the laughing men and maids
My eyes unbidden seek for him.

I hope that when he smiles at me
He does not guess my joy and pain,
For if he did, he is too kind
To ever look my way again.

II

I have a secret in my heart
No ears have ever heard,
And still it sings there day by day
Most like a caged bird.

And when it beats against the bars,
I do not set it free,


Young Night-Thought

All night long and every night,
When my mama puts out the light,
I see the people marching by,
As plain as day before my eye.

Armies and emperor and kings,
All carrying different kinds of things,
And marching in so grand a way,
You never saw the like by day.

So fine a show was never seen
At the great circus on the green;
For every kind of beast and man
Is marching in that caravan.

As first they move a little slow,
But still the faster on they go,


Year Of Meteors, 1859 '60


YEAR of meteors! brooding year!
I would bind in words retrospective, some of your deeds and signs;
I would sing your contest for the 19th Presidentiad;
I would sing how an old man, tall, with white hair, mounted the
scaffold in Virginia;
(I was at hand--silent I stood, with teeth shut close--I watch'd;
I stood very near you, old man, when cool and indifferent, but
trembling with age and your unheal'd wounds, you mounted the
scaffold;)


Yarrow Visited

September, 1814

And is this -Yarrow? -This the stream
Of which my fancy cherished
So faithfully, a waking dream,
An image that hath perished?
O that some minstrel's harp were near
To utter notes of gladness
And chase this silence from the air,
That fills my heart with sadness!

Yet why? -a silvery current flows
With uncontrolled meanderings;
Nor have these eyes by greener hills
Been soothed, in all my wanderings.
And, through her depths, Saint Mary's Lake
Is visibly delighted;


Yarrow Revisited

. The gallant Youth, who may have gained,
Or seeks, a "winsome Marrow,"
Was but an Infant in the lap
When first I looked on Yarrow;
Once more, by Newark's Castle-gate
Long left without a warder,
I stood, looked, listened, and with Thee,
Great Minstrel of the Border!
Grave thoughts ruled wide on that sweet day,
Their dignity installing
In gentle bosoms, while sere leaves
Were on the bough, or falling;
But breezes played, and sunshine gleamed-
The forest to embolden;


Ylladmar

Her hair was, oh, so dense a blur
Of darkness, midnight envied her;
And stars grew dimmer in the skies
To see the glory of her eyes;
And all the summer rain of light
That showered from the moon at night
Fell o'er her features as the gloom
Of twilight o'er a lily-bloom.

The crimson fruitage of her lips
Was ripe and lush with sweeter wine
Than burgundy or muscadine
Or vintage that the burgher sips
In some old garden on the Rhine:
And I to taste of it could well
Believe my heart a crucible


You Remember Ellen

You remember Ellen, our hamlet's pride,
How meekly she bless'd her humble lot,
When the stranger, William, had made her his bride,
And love was the light of their lowly cot.
Together they toil'd through winds and rains,
Till William, at length, in sadness said,
"We must seek our fortune on other plains;" --
Then, sighing, she left her lowly shed.

They roam'd a long and a weary way,
Nor much was the maiden's heart at ease,
When now, at close of one stormy day,
They see a proud castle among the trees.


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