‘My thoughts do harbour with my Silvia nightly,Author and Texts
And slaves they are to me, that send them flying.
O, could their master come and go as lightly,
Himself would lodge where, senseless, they are lying!
My herald thoughts in thy pure bosom rest them,
While I, their king, that thither them importune,
Do curse the grace that with such grace hath blest them,
Because myself do want my servants’ fortune.
I curse myself, for they are sent by me,
That they should harbour where their lord should be.’
From fairest creatures we desire increase,Author and Texts
That thereby beauty’s rose might never die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heir might bear his memory:
But thou contracted to thine own bright eyes,
Feed’st thy light’s flame with self-substantial fuel,
Making a famine where abundance lies,
Thy self thy foe, to thy sweet self too cruel:
Thou that art now the world’s fresh ornament,
And only herald to the gaudy spring,
Within thine own bud buriest thy content,
And, tender churl, mak’st waste in niggarding:
Pity the world, or else this glutton be,
To eat the world’s due, by the grave and thee.
“Look the world’s comforter, with weary gaitAuthor and Texts
His day’s hot task hath ended in the west;
The owl, night’s herald, shrieks, ’tis very late;
The sheep are gone to fold, birds to their nest, 532
And coal-black clouds that shadow heaven’s light
Do summon us to part, and bid good night.
We are sentAuthor and Texts
To give thee from our royal master thanks;
Only to herald thee into his sight,
Not pay thee.
The clock struck nine when I did send the Nurse,Author and Texts
In half an hour she promised to return.
Perchance she cannot meet him. That’s not so.
O, she is lame. Love’s heralds should be thoughts,
Which ten times faster glides than the sun’s beams,
Driving back shadows over lowering hills:
Therefore do nimble-pinion’d doves draw love,
And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.
Now is the sun upon the highmost hill
Of this day’s journey, and from nine till twelve
Is three long hours, yet she is not come.
Now, mild may be thy life!Author and Texts
For a more blustrous birth had never babe:
Quiet and gentle thy conditions! for
Thou art the rudeliest welcome to this world
That ever was prince’s child. Happy what follows!
Thou hast as chiding a nativity
As fire, air, water, earth, and heaven can make,
To herald thee from the womb.
Even at the first thy loss is more than can
Thy portage quit, with all thou canst find here,
Now, the good gods throw their best eyes upon’t!
It was the custom then to bring awayAuthor and Text
The bride from home at blushing shut of day,
Veil’d, in a chariot, heralded along
By strewn flowers, torches, and a marriage song,
With other pageants: but this fair unknown
Had not a friend. So being left alone,
(Lycius was gone to summon all his kin)
And knowing surely she could never win
His foolish heart from its mad pompousness,
She set herself, high-thoughted, how to dress
The misery in fit magnificence.
“It is a tale of Charlemagne,Author and Texts
When like a thunder-cloud, that lowers
And sweeps from mountain-crest to coast,
With lightning flaming through its showers,
He swept across the Lombard plain,
Beleaguering with his warlike train
Pavia, the country’s pride and boast,
The City of the Hundred Towers.”
Thus heralded the tale began,
And thus in sober measure ran.
Friendly was he to behold, and glad as the heralding angelAuthor and Text
Walked he among the crowds, but still a contemplative grandeur
Lay on his forehead as clear as on moss-covered gravestone a sunbeam.
They sat, listening, and afraid to speak, for hours. The untasted meal was removed, with looks which showed that their thoughts were elsewhere, they watched the sun as he sank lower and lower, and, at length, cast over sky and earth those brilliant hues which herald his departure. Their quick ears caught the sound of an approaching footstep. They both involuntarily darted to the door, …Author and Texts
Now suns rose, and set; moons grew, and waned; till, at last, the star that erewhile heralded the dawn, presaged the eve; to us, sad token!– while deep within the deepest heart of Mardi’s circle, we sailed from sea to sea; and isle to isle; and group to group;–vast empires explored, and inland valleys, to their utmost heads; and for every ray in heaven, beheld a king. Needless to recount all that then befell; what tribes and caravans we saw; what vast horizons; boundless plains: and sierras, in their every intervale, a nation nestling.Author and Texts
Three times in the course of my life, events had taught me that these strange accents in the storm–this restless, hopeless cry–denote a coming state of the atmosphere unpropitious to life. Epidemic diseases, I believed, were often heralded by a gasping, sobbing, tormented, long-lamenting east wind. Hence, I inferred, arose the legend of the Banshee. I fancied, too, I had noticed–but was not philosopher enough to know whether there was any connection between the circumstances–that we often at the same time hear of disturbed volcanic action in distant parts of the world; of rivers suddenly rushing above their banks; and of strange high tides flowing furiously in on low sea-coasts. “Our globe,” I had said to myself, “seems at such periods torn and disordered; the feeble amongst us wither in her distempered breath, rushing hot from steaming volcanoes.”Author and Texts
First came the rain, loud, with sonorous lips;Author and Text
A pursuivant who heralded a prince:
And dawn put on a livery of tints,
And dusk bound gold about her hair and hips:
And, all in silver mail, then sunlight came,
A knight, who bade the winter let him pass,
And freed imprisoned beauty, naked as
The Court of Love, in all her wildflower shame.
And so she came, in breeze-borne loveliness,
Across the hills; and heav’n bent down to bless:
Before her face the birds were as a lyre;
And at her feet, like some strong worshiper,
The shouting water pæan’d praise of her,
Who, with blue eyes, set the wild world on fire.
I write this account of the mode of my being transferred here simply that it should be realised how hard it has been for me to get anything out of my punishment but bitterness and despair. I have, however, to do it, andAuthor and Texts
now and then I have moments of submission and acceptance. All the spring may be hidden in the single bud, and the low ground nest of the lark may hold the joy that is to herald the feet of many rose-red dawns. So perhaps whatever beauty of life still remains to me is contained in some moment of surrender, abasement, and humiliation. I can, at any rate, merely proceed on the lines of my own development, and, accepting all that has happened to me, make myself worthy of it.
Her herald winds sang as they passed;Author and Texts
And there her beauty stood at last,
With wild gold locks, a band held fast,
Above blue eyes, as clear as spar;
While from a curved and azure jar
She poured the white moon and a star.