1835 ENGLISH POETRY 1579-1830: SPENSER AND THE TRADITION

Felicia Hemans

Willis Gaylord Clark, "Mrs. Hemans" 1835; Literary Remains of Willis Gaylord Clark (1844) 61-62.



We weep not, when the yellow leaves are gathered,
While Autumn's peace and plenteousness abound;
When from the tinted boughs, like rainbows withered,
The golden fruit drops richly to the ground;
When solemn Nature round her sadness throws
A mellow glory and a warm repose.

We weep not then, amid the fruitage falling,
Whose affluent incense rises to the sky;
Though then we hear soft spirit-voices calling,
That tell how loved and cherished things must die;
For to the fairest blooms a change must come,
That the ripe treasures may be garnered home.

'Twas thus with thee, Beloved! their holy mission
Thy heart and soaring lays at last fulfilled;
Then rolled the cloud beyond the spirit's vision,
Till all the music of thy lyre was stilled;
And like a melting wave, or waning sun,
Passed from this vale of ill the Gifted One!

'Tis well, divinest Soul, with thee! for Heaven
Had filled thine inmost thoughts with sacred dreams;
And to thy reverie and song was given
A world of radiant and immortal gleams;
Yea, gorgeous pictures of a better land
Did ever to thy view their scene expand.

Now, all their fadeless pomp and glow perceiving,
Thou breathest freely, in celestial air
Thy tender heart hath ceased its weary grieving,
And the pure mind is bathed in rapture there;
While, mid fair ways no earthly foot hath trod,
In white thou walkest, present with thy GOD!

Thou hearest melody, whose flowing numbers
Once came but faintly to thy mortal ear,
When ills of time were lost in evening slumbers,
And magic Fancy brought her Eden near;
Thou hast thy yearning hopes' fruition now—
The wreath of Paradise surrounds thy brow!

Thou hearest harps delicious, sweetly ringing,
And sister Spirits fan thee with their wings;
With them thou minglest, and with them art singing,
Where, named of Life, the crystal river springs;
Where, like some changing prism, expand the skies,
And purple hills from vernal vales arise.

Thou art in glory, oh rejoicing Spirit!
Thou look'st on flowers that no pale frost may stain;
And from a changeless Friend thou dost inherit
A lyre triumphant, breathing not of pain;
Thou hast thy Home at last, from sorrow free,
And all is blessedness and peace with thee!