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A TOPOGRAPHICAL ODE.

Were I a cloud, o'er thee o Keswic-lake!
Oft would I hover on the summer air,

And in thy calmest nook
Reflect my varying form.

5

Now would I nestle on thy cliffy sides,
Or with yon eagles gage on daring wing

The yet unfathom'd depth
Of ether's shoreless sea;

10

Now floating low between thy opening hills,
Where many a village still Content has built,
Diffuse

my flowing vest
Thy bending banks along :

There when the yellow dawn o'erhangs * Lodore,
(Ere yet the Genius of the sounding flood

With yellow glory crowns
The cataract of his pride,)

15

I'll wring the dew-drops from my golden curls,
Or from my light wings shake bespangled rain,

Thy fields and trembling groves
In livelier green to clothe :

20

There, when the fading Sun draws near the tvale,
From whose blue lap the oozy-pillowed waves

Of sheety Basenthwaite
At hazy distance gleam,)

25

I'll weave the crimson lining of the tent,
Where jealous Evening from the musing eye

Pavilions secretly
His couch of dumb repose.

* Lódore, a mountain noted for the waterfall on its side, lies

to the east of lake Keswic. + Lake Basenthwaite stretches westward from Keswic.

30

Were I a mist, I'd arch a dusky vault
Across the pillaring crags of Borro-dale,

And strew with sullen gloom
Its gray fantastic rocks,

Unbeaming thence the sultry *noon to him,
Whom virgin-beauty's timid eye pursues

As in the tstrife of oars
He plies the fervid arm ;

35

Or on the lonely Ness from chilly urn
Pour vapour, and with dewy fingers hang

A dim-depending veil
About its mossy head,

40

* Borrodale is the southern boundary of the Lake. The peninsulated mountain Borro-ness almost blocks its entrance; within this is a black-lead mine, (see line 126) for the better working of which, a Roman fortress built near the summit of the Ness was pulled down.

+ In August, an annual prize is rowed for on the lake.

Whence the swart fairies of the mine below
Indignant dash'd the work of Roman pride,

A tower tho' thron'd in heaven
Too weak to awe the land.

45

Were I a flame-shaft of the northern * dawn
On Skiddaw's highth I'd take my glittering stand,

And wreathe with flickering fire
His murky brow sublime,

While Darkness still with her broad mantle wraps The giant-limbs of his majestic form,

50 And Silence clasps his foot Save where hoarse torrents rush.

Thence would I stretch my sword cherubic wide
O'er all thy kindling waters, and expand

A ruby sea of fire
Between thy mountains dun.

35

Skiddaw lies to the north of Keswic.

5

Edin., BRAITHWAIT (Richard) 's Rules and Orders for the Government os

28 6d 150 REPRINT.

Then quench the fervent blushes on thy cheek,
And chace the whitening splendor far away

To sparkle thro' the air
In many a fleecy fake.

60

Yet wherefore dream? perchance when life recedes
And woes have rid me of this mortal robe

That tempts my trammeld step
To droil in earthly care,

65

The doom-fulfilling Angel shall conduct
My soul to mansions in the airy halls,

Above thy shining floor
That heave their sapphire roofs;

70

To my delighted spirit shall consign
The rule of every vapour that ascends

Between thy rifted rocks,
Or thro' thy bubbling wave:

Of every breeze that plays along thy breast,
Or shakes the pattering foliage of thy trees,

Of every blast that howls
Thy dark-brown hills among.

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