Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1803-1849)

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To Night

So thou art come again, old black-winged night,
Like an huge bird, between us and the sun,
Hiding with out-stretched form the genial light;
And still beneath thine icy bosom's dun
And cloudy plumage hatching fog-breathed blight
And embryo storms and crabbéd frosts, that shun
Day's warm caress. The owls from ivied loop
Are shrieking homage, as thou towerest high;
Like sable crow pausing in eager stoop
On the dim world thou gluttest thy clouded eye,
Silently waiting latest time's fell whoop,
When thou shalt quit thine eyrie in the sky,
To pounce upon the world with eager claw,
And tomb time, death, and substance in thy maw.

A Rivulet

It is a lovely stream; its wavelets purl
As if they echoed to the fall and rise
Of the capricious breeze; each upward curl
That splashes pearl, mirrors the fairy eyes
Of viewless passer, and the billows hurl
Their sparkles on her lap, as over she flies.
And see, where onward whirls, within a ring
Of smoothest dimples, a dark foxglove bell
Half stifled by the gush encircling;
Perchance some tiny sprite crawled to that shell
To sleep away the noon, and winds did swing
Him into rest; for the warm sun was well
Shaded off by the long and silky down;
So I will save it, lest the elf should drown.

To Tartar, a Terrier Beauty

Snowdrop of dogs with ear of brownest dye
Like the last orphan leaf of naked tree
Which shudders in bleak autumn; though by thee,
Of hearing careless and untutored eye,
Not understood articulate speech of men
Nor marked the artificial mind of books--
The mortal's voice eternized by the pen--
Yet hast thou thought and language all unknown
To Babel's scholars; oft intensest looks,
Long scrutiny over some dark-veined stone
Dost thou bestow, learning dead mysteries
Of the world's birthday, oft in eager tone
With quick-tailed fellows bandiest prompt replies,
Solicitudes canine, four-footed amities.