Charles Stuart Calverley

(22 December 1831 – 17 February 1884 / Martley, Worchestershire)

Isabel


Now o'er the landscape crowd the deepening shades,
And the shut lily cradles not the bee;
The red deer couches in the forest glades,
And faint the echoes of the slumberous sea:
And ere I rest, one prayer I'll breathe for thee,
The sweet Egeria of my lonely dreams:
Lady, forgive, that ever upon me
Thoughts of thee linger, as the soft starbeams
Linger on Merlin's rock, or dark Sabrina's streams.

On gray Pilatus once we loved to stray,
And watch far off the glimmering roselight break
O'er the dim mountain-peaks, ere yet one ray
Pierced the deep bosom of the mist-clad lake.
Oh! who felt not new life within him wake,
And his pulse quicken, and his spirit burn -
(Save one we wot of, whom the cold DID make
Feel 'shooting pains in every joint in turn,')
When first he saw the sun gild thy green shores, Lucerne?

And years have past, and I have gazed once more
On blue lakes glistening beneath mountains blue;
And all seemed sadder, lovelier than before -
For all awakened memories of you.
Oh! had I had you by my side, in lieu
Of that red matron, whom the flies would worry,
(Flies in those parts unfortunately do,)
Who walked so slowly, talked in such a hurry,
And with such wild contempt for stops and Lindley Murray!

O Isabel, the brightest, heavenliest theme
That ere drew dreamer on to poesy,
Since 'Peggy's locks' made Burns neglect his team,
And Stella's smile lured Johnson from his tea -
I may not tell thee what thou art to me!
But ever dwells the soft voice in my ear,
Whispering of what Time is, what Man might be,
Would he but 'do the duty that lies near,'
And cut clubs, cards, champagne, balls, billiard-rooms, and beer.

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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