Collected Poems of Henry Derozio: Preface by Manu Samriti Chander; Edited by Amardeep Singh

Poetic Haunts

   Doth not the gifted bard with nature dwell, 
   And Finds he not companionship in hill. 
   And wood, and scented vale, and crystal stream. 
   Reflecting the soft melancholy moon? 
   These weave their charms into a mejti chain 
   And fling it on the heart.

   Where the billow's bosom swells. 
Where the ocean casts its shells. 
Where the wave its white spray flings; 
Where the sea-mew flaps its wings; 
Where the grey rock in the storm 
Rears its proud gigantic form, 
Laughing as the lightnings flash. 
Heedless of the billowy dash. 
Heedless though the clouds may pour, 
Heedless though the thunders roar; 
Where the wind-god rideth by 
Swiftly through the blackening sky. 
Where the spirit of the sea 
Wakes its matchless melody. 
While the Naiads gather round 
Gladdened by the magic sound; — 
Far from human hut, or home 
Let the gifted Poet roam. 

   Or, upon some star-paved lake 
When the south breeze is awake, 
Let him launch his little bark,— 
Love's and Fancy's favored ark! 
When the mellow moonlight falls 
On the distant castle walls ; 
When the white sail is unfurled, 
And the graceful wave is curled : 
When the winds in concert sing 
To the planets listening. 
And the lady-moon rejoices, 
Hearing their melodious voices. 
While she bids her softest beam 
Bear an errand to the stream, 
Which upon its lucid breast 
Wears an island, all at rest, 
Like a gem it flasheth there 
Beziled by the waters fair ; 
Such a spot as fairies love 
When abroad they nightly rove ; 
Where the red deer roams unharmed. 
And the wild dove unalarmed, 
And the minstrel nightingale 
Tells, in plaintive strain, his tale. 
Which the young rose blushing hears 
Like a maid who loves but fears ; — 
Such a sweet, enchanting spot 
Where our griefs might be forgot. 
Where, in youth, one fain would dwell 
With the lady he loved well — 
— Hither let the Poet be 
Dreaming dreams of ecstasy.
   Or, on some bright summer even 
With his eye upraised to heaven, 
Ere the ruby sun hath set. 
Ere the waning day hath met 
On the western mountain's height 
Clad in widow’s weed’s, the night ; 
Let him muse on all around, 
On each soothing sight and sound! 
Let him mark the sun-gilt cliff. 
And the fisher's infant skiff; 
Let him watch the wild waves' play. 
How they glide, like bliss away, 
How they meet, and how they sever — 
Lovers parted, and for ever! 
And when every wind's asleep, 
And the spirit of the deep 
Maketh music on the main. 
When her soft melodious strain 
Charmeth Ocean's heaving breast. 
   How the sun's last rays expire, - 
   How the weary waves retire 
In each other's arms to rest! 
Then upon the golden sky 
Let him cast his gifted eye — 
Such a dazzling, glorious sight, 
Such a scene, so pure, so bright ! 
As if angels in their flight 
With their plumage dipt in light. 
Flung the radiance of their wings 
(As the priest sweet incense flings) 
On the western gate of heaven — 
What a brilliant boon to even! 
Hither let the minstrel be 
Weaving wreaths of Poesy, 
Lays on melody, and fraught 
With th' immortal fire of thought. 
Such as steal upon the soul 
Like sweet spei's beyond control, 
Clinging, whatsoe'er may be. 
Ever to the memory. 
Like the first wild dream of Love! — 

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