To ———.


What is the aim with which the poet glows,1
The recompense of fiction’s fairy line,2
The hope, that o’er the languid spirit throws3
Reviving light, and makes its toils divine ?4
Is it, to see the smile of beauty shine5
Over the fruit of solitary hours,6
When fancy’s wing, weary, would else decline ?7
It is, it is ; like Spring’s life-giving showers,8
That smile awakes the germs of song’s luxuriant flowers.9


Then, because beauty is the soul of song,10
We bring to thee (the beautiful), to thee,11
The tributary lay of many a tongue ;12
Acknowledgment of beauty’s sovereignty :13
And, blended with thy name, prolong’d may be14
The swift decaying echoes of our lyre15
The lyre of many strings, that, wildly free,16
To harmonize in beauty’s praise aspire17
The lyre, that many strike to one whom all admire.18


Unto the beautiful is beauty due ;19
For thee the graver’s art has multiplied20
The forms the painter’s touch reveals to view,21
Array’d in warm imagination’s pride22
Of loveliness (in this to thee allied).23
And well with these accord poetic lays24
(Two several streams from the same urn supplied) ;25
Each to the other lends a winning grace,26
As features speak the soul—the soul informs the face.27


And if this little offering, brought to thee,28
Shall meet thy sight in life’s hereafter hours,29
Perhaps not all unwelcome it may be,30
To wake the sweets of youth’s declining flowers31
Blossoms, as yet unsullied by the showers32
That fall from the pale urn that sorrow rears.—33
Still be it so ; and may Time’s latter stores34
Unfold for thee sweet memories of past years,35
The keepsakes of the soul, to guard thine eyes from