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The creeping mists that from the dark stream rise; Now spread into a sea with islets broken,
And woodland points, now poised on the thin air: In the black west the clouds a storm betoken,
And all things seem a spectral gloom to wear. The cautious bat resents the lingering light, And the long-folded sheep wonder it is not night.
Believe, the whole creation does not slumber
When night's dread noon the shadowy zenith sways.
Then, swarming on th’ enthusiast's watchful gaze, Come forms of mirth and beauty without number,
Distinct aerial forms, unknown to day's
More fervid glance, afloat in dusky maze, While toils of sleep all mortal senses cumber.
They hold no sympathy with sunny hours, Wearing night's hues of tissued grey and umber :
“ Things put forth by the moon *,” and on theflowers Nourish'd that she gives birth to. These no light
* Deut. xxxiii. 14.
Endure save hers, or what the glow-worm showers. All wondrous tokens of His sovereign might, Whose word ordain’d the moon to rule the night.
TO THE GLOW-WORM.
Thou fairy flame of wildly beaming light!
When Nature's tints in one unvaried hue
Of misty shadow fade, I love to view Thine emerald blaze that gems the robe of Night. What means the tiny beacon? Say they right,
Who deem it kindled for some winged mate,
Like that fond light (to liken small with great) Which o'er the Hellespont did erst invite Th' heroic lover to his perilous visit?
Or, like a watch-fire, is it for defence
To keep aloof each insect foe? Or is it
Of any other purpose to the wearer, That mail of flame? Or does it warmth dispense?
Or are there fays, and thou their lantern-bearer ?
How lightly, fleetly glide away
The hours that bring no sorrow !
Into the bright to-morrow !
The self-same objects smile,
While motionless the waters seem,
So sweetly they beguile
Flow on, flow on, my quiet hours:
I will not chide
So long as the unwithering flowers
Of Love exhale their sweetness;
While, still unchanged, the imaged scene
To Time's calm current gives
Upon its border lives.
Flow on, and bear me to that clime
Where the free spirit ranges Beyond the niggard laws of time,
Its chances and its changes; Where not a sigh for pleasures past
The present shall alloy,
Nor ev'n a shade of fear o'ercast
The never-palling joy;
IN FOUR SONNE TS.
A GLORIOUS day! The village is afield:
Her pillow'd lace no thrifty housewife weaves,
Nor platters sit beneath the flowery eaves.
hand that can a sickle wield Is busy now. Some stoop to bind the sheaves,
While to the o'erburden'd waggon one upheaves The load, among its streamers half conceald. We heard the ticking of the lonely clock
Plain through each open door-all was so still, For, busily dispersed, near every shock
Their hands with trailing ears the urchins fill. Where all is clear'd, small birds securely flock,
While full on lingering day the moon shines from