William Lisle Bowles

William Lisle Bowles Poems

  • 101.  
    When I was sitting, sad, and all alone,
    Remembering youth and love for ever fled, And many friends now resting with the dead,
  • 102.  
    Oh for a view, as from that cloudless height
    Where the great Patriarch gazed upon the world, His offspring's future seat, back on the vale
  • 103.  
    No, I never, till life and its shadows shall end,
    Can forget the sweet sound of the bells of Ostend! The day set in darkness, the wind it blew loud,
  • 104.  
    O THOU, whose stern command and precepts pure
    (Tho' agony in every vein should start, And slowly drain the blood-drops from the heart)
  • 105.  
    Bereave me not of Fancy's shadowy dreams,
    Which won my heart, or when the gay career Of life begun, or when at times a tear
  • 106.  
    The second moon had now begun to wane,
    Since bold Valdivia left the southern plain; Goal of his labours, Penco's port and bay,
  • 107.  
    On these white cliffs, that calm above the flood
    Uprear their shadowing heads, and at their feet Hear not the surge that has for ages beat,
  • 108.  
    WRITTEN DURING SICKNESS AT BATH.
    When I lie musing on my bed alone,
  • 109.  
    God of the battle, hear our prayer!
    By the lifted falchion's glare; By the uncouth fane sublime,
  • 110.  
    O, Poverty! though from thy haggard eye,
    Thy cheerless mien, of every charm bereft, Thy brow that Hope's last traces long have left,
  • 111.  
    Oh, no; I would not leave thee, my sweet home,
    Decked with the mantling woodbine and the rose, And slender woods that the still scene inclose,
  • 112.  
    The morn returns, and, reddening, seems to shed
    One ray of glory on the patriot-dead. Round the dark stone, the victor-chiefs behold!
  • 113.  
    When dark November bade the leaves adieu,
    And the gale sung amid the sea-boy's shrouds, Methought I saw four winged forms, that flew,
  • 114.  
    I am the comforter of them that mourn;
    My scenes well shadowed, and my carol sweet, Cheer the poor passengers of life's rude bourne,
  • 115.  
    I turn these leaves with thronging thoughts, and say,
    Alas! how many friends of youth are dead; How many visions of fair hope have fled,
  • 116.  
    How cheering are thy prospects, airy hill,
    To him who, pale and languid, on thy brow Pauses, respiring, and bids hail again
  • 117.  
    Why mourns the ingenuous Moralist, whose mind
    Science has stored, and Piety refined, That fading Chivalry displays no more
  • 118.  
    Oh, Mary, when distress and anguish came,
    And slow disease preyed on thy wasted frame; When every friend, ev'n like thy bloom, was fled,
  • 119.  
    If rich designs of sumptuous art may please,
    Or Nature's loftier views, august and old, Stranger! behold this spreading scene;--behold
  • 120.  
    O Time! who know'st a lenient hand to lay
    Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence (Lulling to sad repose the weary sense)
  • 121.  
    Yes! from mine eyes the tears unbidden start,
    As thee, my country, and the long-lost sight Of thy own cliffs, that lift their summits white
  • 122.  
    IF chance some pensive stranger, hither led,
    His bosom glowing from majestic views, The gorgeous dome, or the proud landscape's hues,
  • 123.  
    It was a high and holy sight,
    When Baldwin and his train, With cross and crosier gleaming bright,
  • 124.  
    I trust the happy hour will come,
    That shall to peace thy breast restore; And that we two, beloved friend,
  • 125.  
    Stranger, stay, nor wish to climb
    The heights of yonder hills sublime; For there strange shapes and spirits dwell,
  • 126.  
    Beneath aerial cliffs, and glittering snows,
    The rush-roof of an aged warrior rose, Chief of the mountain tribes: high overhead,
  • 127.  
    The night was still and clear, when, o'er the snows,
    Andes! thy melancholy Spirit rose,-- A shadow stern and sad: he stood alone,
  • 128.  
    Sweet bard, whose tones great Milton might approve,
    And Shakspeare, from high Fancy's sphere, Turning to the sound his ear,
  • 129.  
    Mortal! who, armed with holy fortitude,
    The path of good right onward hast pursued; May HE, to whose eternal throne on high
  • 130.  
    Smooth went our boat upon the summer seas,
    Leaving, for so it seemed, the world behind, Its sounds of mingled uproar: we, reclined
  • 131.  
    So passes silent o'er the dead thy shade,
    Brief Time; and hour by hour, and day by day, The pleasing pictures of the present fade,
  • 132.  
    God said, Let there be light, and there was light!
    At once the glorious sun, at his command, From space illimitable, void and dark,
  • 133.  
    Awake a louder and a loftier strain!
    Beloved harp, whose tones have oft beguiled My solitary sorrows, when I left
  • 134.  
    'Twas morn, and beauteous on the mountain's brow
    (Hung with the clusters of the bending vine) Shone in the early light, when on the Rhine
  • 135.  
    Look, Christian, on thy Bible, and that glass
    That sheds its sand through minutes, hours, and days, And years; it speaks not, yet, methinks, it says,
  • 136.  
    If I could bid thee, pleasant shade, farewell
    Without a sigh, amidst whose circling bowers My stripling prime was passed, and happiest hours,
  • 137.  
    Oh! I should ill thy generous cares requite
    Thou who didst first inspire my timid Muse, Could I one tuneful tear to thee refuse,
  • 138.  
    How sweet the tuneful bells' responsive peal!
    As when, at opening morn, the fragrant breeze Breathes on the trembling sense of wan disease,
  • 139.  
    O TIME! who know'st a lenient hand to lay
    Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence, (Lulling to sad repose the weary sense)
  • 140.  
    If ever sea-maid, from her coral cave,
    Beneath the hum of the great surge, has loved To pass delighted from her green abode,
  • 141.  
    I never hear the sound of thy glad bells,
    Oxford, and chime harmonious, but I say, Sighing to think how time has worn away,
  • 142.  
    Toll Nelson's knell! a soul more brave
    Ne'er triumphed on the green-sea wave! Sad o'er the hero's honoured grave,
  • 143.  
    IN ALVERSTOKE CHURCH, HANTS.
    Oh! they shall ne'er forget thee, they who knew
  • 144.  
    As o'er these hills I take my silent rounds,
    Still on that vision which is flown I dwell, On images I loved, alas, too well!
  • 145.  
    While slowly wanders thy sequestered stream,
    WAINSBECK, the mossy-scattered rocks among, In fancy's ear making a plaintive song
  • 146.  
    Since last I saw that countenance so mild,
    Slow-stealing age, and a faint line of care, Had gently touched, methought, some features there;
Total 146 poems written by William Lisle Bowles

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Understanding
 by Sara Teasdale

I understood the rest too well,
And all their thoughts have come to be
Clear as grey sea-weed in the swell
Of a sunny shallow sea.

But you I never understood,
Your spirit's secret hides like gold
Sunk in a Spanish galleon
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