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The Sylphs of the Season with Other Poems   By: (1779-1843)

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[Transcriber's Note: Footnotes have been numbered and moved to the end.]

The Sylphs of the Seasons with Other Poems.


W. Allston.


The Sylphs of the Seasons; a Poet's Dream The Two Pointers; a Tale Eccentricity The Paint King Myrtilla: addressed to a Lady, who lamented that she had never been in love To a Lady who spoke slightingly of Poets Sonnet on a Falling Group in the Last Judgment of Michael Angelo, in the Cappella Sistina Sonnet on the Group of the Three Angels before the Tent of Abraham, by Raffaelle, in the Vatican Sonnet, on seeing the Picture of ├ćolus, by Peligrino Tibaldi, in the Institute at Bologna Sonnet on Rembrant; occasioned by his Picture of Jacob's Dream Sonnet on the Luxembourg Gallery Sonnet to my venerable Friend, the President of the Royal Academy The Mad Lover at the Grave of his Mistress First Love: a Ballad The Complaint Will, the Maniac: a Ballad

The Sylphs of the Seasons;

A Poet's Dream.

Prefatory Note to The Sylphs of the Seasons.

As it may be objected to the following Poem, that some of the images there introduced are not wholly peculiar to the Season described, the Author begs leave to state, that, both in their selection and disposition, he was guided by that, which, in his limited experience, was found to be the Season of their greatest impression: and, though he has not always felt the necessity of pointing out the collateral causes by which the effect was increased, he yet flatters himself that, in general, they are sufficiently implied either by what follows or precedes them. Thus, for instance, the running brook , though by no means peculiar, is appropriated to Spring; as affording by its motion and seeming exultation one of the most lively images of that spirit of renovation which animates the earth after its temporary suspension during the Winter. By the same rule, is assigned to Summer the placid lake , &c. not because that image is never seen, or enjoyed, at any other season; but on account of its affecting us more in Summer, than either in the Spring, or in Autumn; the indolence and languor generally then experienced disposing us to dwell with particular delight on such an object of repose, not to mention the grateful idea of coolness derived from a knowledge of its temperature. Thus also the evening cloud , exhibiting a fleeting representation of successive objects, is, perhaps, justly appropriated to Autumn, as in that Season the general decay of inanimate nature leads the mind to turn upon itself, and without effort to apply almost every image of sense or vision of the imagination, to its own transitory state.

If the above be admitted, it is needless to add more; if it be not, it would be useless.

The Sylphs of the Seasons.

Long has it been my fate to hear The slave of Mammon, with a sneer, My indolence reprove. Ah, little knows he of the care, The toil, the hardship that I bear, While lolling in my elbow chair, And seeming scarce to move:

For, mounted on the Poet's steed, I there my ceaseless journey speed O'er mountain, wood, and stream: And oft within a little day 'Mid comets fierce 'tis mine to stray, And wander o'er the Milky way To catch a Poet's dream.

But would the Man of Lucre know What riches from my labours flow? A DREAM is my reply. And who for wealth has ever pin'd, That had a World within his mind, Where every treasure he may find, And joys that never die!

One night, my task diurnal done, (For I had travell'd with the Sun O'er burning sands, o'er snows) Fatigued, I sought the couch of rest; My wonted pray'r to Heaven address'd; But scarce had I my pillow press'd When thus a vision rose.

Methought within a desert cave, Cold, dark, and solemn as the grave, I suddenly awoke. It seem'd of sable Night the cell, Where, save when from the ceiling fell An oozing drop, her silent spell No sound had ever broke.

There motionless I stood alone, Like some strange monument of stone Upon a barren wild; Or like, (so solid and profound The darkness seem'd that wall'd me round) A man that's buried under ground, Where pyramids are pil'd... Continue reading book >>

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