When latest autumn spreads her evening veil, And the gray mists from these dim waves arise, I love to listen to the hollow sighs Through the half leafless wood that breathes the gale. For at such hours the shadowy phantom pale, Oft seems to fleet before the poet's eyes; Strange sounds are heard, and mournful melodies As of night-wanderers who their woes bewail. Here by his native stream, at such an hour, Pity's own Otway I methinks could meet And hear his deep sighs swell the saddened wind! O Melancholy, such thy magic power That to the soul these dreams are often sweet And soothe the pensive visionary mind.
Sonnet LXX. (On Being Cautioned against Walking on Headland Overlooking the Sea, Because It Was Frequented by a Lunatic.)
Is there a solitary wretch who hies To the tall cliff, with starting pace or slow, And, measuring, views with wild and hollow eyes Its distance from the waves that chide below; Who, as the sea-born gale with frequent sighs Chills with cold bed upon the mountain turf, With hoarse, half-utter’d lamentation, lies Murmuring responses to the dashing surf? In moody sadness, on the giddy brink, I see him more with envy than with fear; He has no nice felicities that shrink From giant horrors; wildly wandering here, He seems (uncursed with reason) not to know The depth or the duration of his woe.