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And Now in Accents Deep and Low

By Allston, Washington

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Book Id: WPLBN0000702446
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 138,568 KB.
Reproduction Date: 2007
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Title: And Now in Accents Deep and Low  
Author: Allston, Washington
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Poetry, Verse drama
Collections: Poetry Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Public Library Association


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Allston, W. (n.d.). And Now in Accents Deep and Low. Retrieved from


Excerpt: AND now, in accents deep and low, // Like voice of fondly-cherish'd woe, // The Sylph of Autumn sad: // Though I may not of raptures sing, // That grac'd the gentle song of Spring, // Like Summer, playful pleasures bring, // Thy youthful heart to glad; // Yet still may I in hope aspire // Thy heart to touch with chaster fire, // And purifying love: // For I with vision high and holy, // And spell of quick'ning melancholy, // Thy soul from sublunary folly // First rais'd to worlds above. // What though be mine the treasures fair // Of purple grape and yellow pear, // And fruits of various hue, // And harvests rich of golden grain, // That dance in waves along the plain // To merry song of reaping swain, // Beneath the welkin blue; // With these I may not urge my suit, // Of Summer's patient toil the fruit, // For mortal purpose given: // Nor may it fit my sober mood // To sing of sweetly murmuring flood, // Or dies of many-colour'd wood, // That mock the bow of heaven. // But, know, 'twas mine the secret power // That wak'd thee at the midnight hour, // In bleak November's reign: // 'Twas I the spell around thee cast, // When thou didst hear the hollow blast // In murmurs tell of pleasures past, // That ne'er would come again: // And led thee, when the storm was o'er, // To hear the sullen ocean roar, // By dreadful calm opprest; // Which still, though not a breeze was there, // Its mountain-billows heav'd in air, // As if a living thing it were, // That strove in vain for rest. // 'Twas I, when thou, subdued by woe, // Didst watch the leaves descending slow, // To each a moral gave; // And as they mov'd in mournful train, // With rustling sound, along the plain, // Taught them to sing a seraph's strain // Of peace within the grave. // And then uprais'd thy streaming eye, // I met thee in the western sky // In pomp of evening cloud; // That, while with varying form it roll'd, // Some wizard's castle seem'd of gold, // And now a crimson'd knight of old, // Or king in purple proud. // And last, as sunk the setting sun, // And Evening with her shadows dun, // The gorgeous pageant past, // 'Twas then of life a mimic shew, // Of human grandeur here below, // Which thus beneath the fatal blow // Of Death must fall at last. // Oh, then with what aspiring gaze // Didst thou thy tranced vision raise // To yonder orbs on high, // And think how wondrous, how sublime // 'Twere upwards to their spheres to climb, // And live, beyond the reach of Time, // Child of Eternity! // And last the Sylph of Winter spake; // The while her piercing voice did shake // The castle-vaults below. // Oh, youth, if thou, with soul refin'd, // Hast felt the triumph pure of mind, // And learnt a secret joy to find // In deepest scenes of woe; // If e'er with fearful ear at eve // Hast heard the wailing tempest grieve // Through chink of shatter'd wall; // The while it conjur'd o'er thy brain // Of wandering ghosts a mournful train, // That low in fitful sobs complain, // Of Death's untimely call: // Or feeling, as the storm increas'd, // 2 // The love of terror nerve thy breast, // Didst venture to the coast; // To see the mighty war-ship leap // From wave to wave upon the deep, // Like chamoise goat from steep to steep, // 'Till low in valleys lost; // Then, glancing to the angry sky, // Behold the clouds with fury fly // The lurid moon athwart; // Like armies huge in battle, throng, // And pour in vollying ranks along, // While piping winds in martial song // To rushing war exhort: // Oh, then to me thy heart be given, // To me, ordain'd by Him in heaven // Thy nobler powers to wake. // And oh! if thou with poet's soul, // High brooding o'er the frozen pole, // Hast felt beneath my stern control // The desert region quake; // Or from old Hecla's cloudy height, // When o'er the dismal, half-year's night // He pours his sulph'rous breath, // Hast known my petrifying wind // Wild ocean's curling billows bind, // Like bending sheaves by harvest hind, // Erect in icy death; // Or heard adown the mountain's steep // The northern blast with furious sweep // Some cliff dissever'd dash; // And seen it spring with dreadful bound // From rock to rock, to gulph profound, // While echoes fierce from caves resound // The never-ending crash: // If thus, with terror's mighty spell // Thy soul inspir'd, was wont to swell, // Thy heaving frame expand; // Oh, then to me thy heart incline; // For know, the wondrous charm was mine // That fear and joy did thus combine // In magick union bland. // Nor think confin'd my native sphere // To horrors gaunt, or ghastly fear, // Or desolation wild: // For I of pleasures fair could sing, // That steal from life its sharpest sting, // And man have made around it cling, // Like mother to her child. // When thou, beneath the clear blue sky, // So calm no cloud was seen to fly, // 3 // Hast gaz'd on snowy plain, // Where Nature slept so pure and sweet, // She seem'd a corse in winding-sheet, // Whose happy soul had gone to meet // The blest Angelic train; // Or mark'd the sun's declining ray // In thousand varying colours play // O'er ice-incrusted heath, // In gleams of orange now, and green, // And now in red and azure sheen, // Like hues on dying dolphins seen, // Most lovely when in death; // Or seen at dawn of eastern light // The frosty toil of Fays by night // On pane of casement clear, // Where bright the mimic glaciers shine, // And Alps, with many a mountain pine, // And armed knights from Palestine // In winding march appear: // 'Twas I on each enchanting scene // The charm bestow'd that banish'd spleen // Thy bosom pure and light. // But still a nobler power I claim; // That power allied to poets' fame, // Which language vain has dar'd to name- // The soul's creative might. // Though Autumn grave, and Summer fair, // And joyous Spring demand a share // Of Fancy's hallow'd power, // Yet these I hold of humbler kind, // To grosser means of earth confin'd, // Through mortal sense to reach the mind, // By mountain, stream, or flower. // But mine, of purer nature still, // Is that which to thy secret will // Did minister unseen, // Unfelt, unheard; when every sense // Did sleep in drowsy indolence, // And Silence deep and Night intense // Enshrowded every scene; // That o'er thy teeming brain did raise // The spirits of departed days // Through all the varying year; // And images of things remote, // And sounds that long had ceas'd to float, // With every hue, and every note, // As living now they were: // And taught thee from the motley mass // Each harmonizing part to class, // (Like Nature's self employ'd;) // 4 // And then, as work'd thy wayward will, // From these with rare combining skill, // With new-created worlds to fill // Of space the mighty void. // Oh then to me thy heart incline; // To me whose plastick powers combine // The harvest of the mind; // To me, whose magic coffers bear // The spoils of all the toiling year, // That still in mental vision wear // A lustre more refin'd. // She ceas'd-And now in doubtful mood, // All motionless and mute I stood, // Like one by charm opprest: // By turns from each to each I rov'd, // And each by turns again I lov'd; // For ages ne'er could one have prov'd // More lovely than the rest. // Oh blessed band, of birth divine, // What mortal task is like to mine!- // And further had I spoke, // When, lo! there pour'd a flood of light // So fiercely on my aching sight, // I fell beneath the vision bright, // And with the pain I woke. // Washington Allston // On Rembrant // Occasioned by His Picture of Jacob's Dream // AS in that twilight, superstitious age // When all beyond the narrow grasp of mind // Seem'd fraught with meanings of supernal kind, // When e'en the learned philosophic sage, // Wont with the stars thro' boundless space to range, // Listen'd with rev'rence to the changeling's tale; // E'en so, thou strangest of all beings strange! // E'en so thy visionary scenes I hail; // That like the ramblings of an idiot's speech, // No image giving of a thing on earth, // Nor thought significant in Reason's reach, // Yet in their random shadowings give birth // To thoughts and things from other worlds that come, // And fill the soul, and strike the reason dumb. // Washington Allston // Boyhood // AH, then how sweetly closed those crowded days! // The minutes parting one by one like rays, // That fade upon a summer's eve. // 5 // But O, what charm or magic numbers // Can give me back the gentle slumbers // Those weary, happy days did leave? // When by my bed I saw my mother kneel, // And with her blessing took her nightly kiss; // Whatever Time destroys, he cannot this;- // E'en now that nameless kiss I feel. // Washington Allston...


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