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My Soul was grateful for delight
That wore a threatening brow;
A veil is lifted—can she slight
The scene that opens now !
Though habitation none appear,
The greenness tells, man must be there ;
The shelter—that the perspective
Is of the clime in which we live;
Where Toil pursues his daily round;
Where Pity sheds sweet tears—and Love,
In soodbine bower or birchen grove,
Infiicts his tender wound.
- Who comes not hither ne'er shall know
How beautiful the world below;
Nor can he guess how lightly leaps
The brook adown the rocky steeps.
Farewell, thou desolate Domain !
Hope, pointing to the cultured plain,
Carols like a shepherd-boy ;
And who is she !--Can that be Joy !
Who, with a sunbeam for her guide,
Sinoothly skims the meadows wide ;
While Faith, from yonder opening cloud,
To hill and vale proclaims aloud,
“ Whate'er the weak may dread, the wicked dare,
Thy lot, O Man, is good, thy portion fair !"
Daughter of Hope ! her favourite Child,
Whom she to young Ambition bore,
When hunter's arrow first defiled
The grove, and stained the turf with gore ;
Thee winged Fancy took, and nursed
On broad Euphrates' palmy shore,
And where the mightier Waters burst
From caves of Indian mountains hoar !
She wrapped thee in a panther's skin ;
And Thou, thy favourite food to win,
The flame-eyed eagle oft wouldst scare
From her rock-fortress in mid air,
With infant shout ; and often sweep,
Paired with the ostrich, o'er the plain ;
Or, tired with sport, wouldst sink asleep
Upon the couchant lion's mane !
With rolling years thy strength increased;
And, far beyond thy native East,
To thee, by varying titles known
As variously thy power was shown,
Did incense-bearing altars rise,
Which caught the blaze of sacrifice,
From suppliants panting for the skies !
KEEP for the Young the impassioned smile
Sbed from thy countenance, as I see thee stand
High on that chalky cliff of Briton's Isle,
A slender volume grasping in thy hand-
(Perchance the pages that relate
The various turns of Crusoe's fate) -
Ah, spare the exulting smile,
And drop thy pointing finger bright
As the first flash of beacon light ;
But neither veil thy head in shadows dim,
Nor turn thy face away
From One who, in the evening of his day,
To thee would offer no presumptuous hymn !
What though this ancient Earth be trod
No more by step of Demi-god
Mounting from glorious deed to deed
As thou from clime to clime didst lead;
Yet still, the bosom beating high,
And the hushed farewell of an eye
Where no procrastinating gaze
A last infirmity betrays,
Prove that thy heaven-descended sway
Shall ne'er submit to cold decay.
By thy divinity impelled,
The Stripling seeks the tented field;
The aspiring Virgin kneels; and, pale
With awe, receives the hallowed veil,
A soft and tender Heroine
Vowed to severer discipline ;
Inflamed by thee, the blooming Boy
Makes of the whistling shrouds a toy,
And of the ocean's dismal breast
A play-ground,—or a couch of rest;
'Mid the blank world of snow and ice,
Thou to his dangers dost enchain
The Chamois-chaser awed in vain
By chasm or dizzy precipice ;
And hast Thou not with triumph seen
How soaring Mortals glide between
Or through the clouds, and brave the light
With bolder than Icarian flight?
Bold Spirit! who art free to rove
Among the starry courts of Jove,
And oft in splendour dost appear ! Embodied to poetic eyes,
While traversing this nether sphere, Where Mortals call thee ENTERPRISE.
How they, in bells of crystal, dive
Where winds and waters cease to strive
For no unholy visitings,
Among the monsters of the Deep;
And all the sad and precious things
Which there in ghastly silence sleep?
Or, adverse tides and currents headed,
And breathless calms no longer dreaded,
In never-slackening voyage go
Straight as an arrow from the bow ;
And, slighting sails and scorning oars,
Keep faith with Time on distant shores?
- Within our fearless reach are placed
The secrets of the burning Waste ;
Egyptian tombs unlock their dead,
Nile trembles at his fountain head;
Thou speak’st—and lo! the polar Seas
Unbosom their last mysteries.
-But oh! what transports, what sublime reward,
Won from the world of mind, dost thou prepare
For philosophic Sage ; or high-souled Bard
Who, for thy service trained in lonely woods,
Hath fed on pageants floating through the air,
Or calentured in depth of limpid floods ;
Nor grieves—tho’ doomed thro' silent night to bear
The domination of his glorious themes,
Or struggle in the net-work of thy dreams !
Back flows the willing current of my Song:
If to provoke such doom the Impious dare,
Why should it daunt a blameless prayer !
-Bold Goddess ! range our Youth among ;
Nor let thy genuine impulse fail to beat
In hearts no longer young ;
Still may a veteran Few have pride
In thoughts whose sternness makes them sweet ;
In fixed resolves by Reason justified ;
That to their object cleave like sleet
Whitening a pine tree's northern side,
When fields are naked far and wide,
And withered leaves, from earth's cold breast
Up-caught in whirlwinds, nowhere can find rest.
But, if such homage thou disdain
As doth with mellowing years agree,
One rarely absent from thy train
More humble favours may obtain
For thy contented Votary.
She, who incites the frolic lambs
In presence of their heedless dams,
And to the solitary fawn
Vouchsafes her lessons, bounteous Nymph
That wakes the breeze, the sparkling lymph
Doth hurry to the lawn ;
She, who inspires that strain of joyance holy
Which the sweet Bird, misnamed the melancholy
Pours forth in shady groves, shall plead for me;
And vernal mornings opening bright
With views of undefined delight,
And cheerful songs, and suns that shine
On busy days, with thankful nights, be mine.
If there be movements in the Patriot's soul,
From source still deeper, and of higher worth,
'Tis thine the quickening impulse to control,
And in due season send the mandate forth;
Thy call a prostrate Nation can restore,
When but a single Mind resolves to crouch no
Dread Minister of wrath !
Who to their destined punishment dost urge But thou, O Goddess ! in thy favourite Isle
The Pharaohs of the earth, the men of hardened (Freedom's impregnable redoubt,
The wide earth's store-house fenced about
Not unassisted by the flattering stars,
With breakers roaring to the gales Thou strew'st temptation o'er the path
That stretch a thousand thousand sails)
When they in pomp depart
Quicken the slothful, and exalt the vile ! -
With trampling horses and refulgent cars- Thy impulse is the life of Fame;
Soon to be swallowed by the briny surge ;
Glad Hope would almost cease to be
Or cast, for lingering death, on unknown strands ; If torn from thy society ;
Or caught amid a whirl of desert sands-
And Love, when worthiest of his name,
An Army now, and now a living hill
Is proud to walk the earth with Thee !
That a brief while heaves with convulsive throes-
Then all is still ;
Or, to forget their madness and their woes,
Wrapt in a winding-sheet of spotless snows !
Maiden ! now take flight ;-inherit Alps or Andes, they are thine ! With the morning's roseate Spirit, Sweep their length of snowy line ;
Or survey their bright dominions
In the gorgeous colours drest
Flung from off the purple pinions,
Evening spreads throughout the west !
Thine are all the coral fountains
Warbling in each sparry vault
Of the untrodden lunar mountains ;
Listen to their songs !--or halt,
WATER-FOWL. • Let me be allowed the aid of verse to describe the evolu
tions which these visitants sometimes perform, on a fine • day towards the close of winter.'—Extract from the Author's Book on the Lakes. Mark how the feathered tenants of the flood, With grace of motion that might scarcely seem Inferior to angelical, prolong Their curious pastime ! shaping in mid air (And sometimes with ambitious wing that soars High as the level of the mountain-tops) A circuit ampler than the lake beneathTheir own domain ; but ever, while intent On tracing and retracing that large round, Their jubilant activity evolves Hundreds of curves and circlets, to and fro, Upward and downward, progress intricate Yet unperplexed, as if one spirit swayed Their indefatigable flight. 'Tis done Ten times, or more, I fancied it had ceased; But lo! the vanished company again Ascending ; they approach—I hear their wings Faint, faint at first; and then an eager sound Past in a moment-and as faint again! They tempt the sun to sport amid their plumes ;
To Niphates' top invited,
Whither spiteful Satan steered ;
Or descend where the ark alighted,
When the green earth re-appeared ;
For the power of hills is on thee, As was witnessed through thine eye Then, when old Helvellyn won thee To confess their majesty!
They tempt the water, or the gleaming ice,
To show them a fair image ; 'tis themselves,
Their own fair forms, upon the glimmering plain,
Painted more soft and fair as they descend
Almost to touch ;-then up again aloft,
THE HAUNTED TREE.
Up with a sally and a flash of speed,
As if they scorned both resting place and rest !
Those silver clouds collected round the sun
His mid-day warmth abate not, seeming less
To overshade than multiply his beams
By soft reflection-grateful to the sky,
To rocks, fields, woods. Nor doth our human
VIEW FROM THE TOP OF BLACK COMB.
Ask, for its pleasure, screen or canopy
Tus Height a ministering Angel might select : More ample than the time-dismantled Oak
For from the summit of Black COMB (dread name Spreads o'er this tuft of heath, which now, attired
Derived from clouds and storms !) the amplest range In the whole fulness of its bloom, affords
Of unobstructed prospect may be seen
Couch beautiful as e'er for earthly use
That British ground commands :- low dusky tracts, Was fashioned; whether by the hand of Art,
Where Trent is nursed, far southward ! Cambrian That eastern Sultan, amid flowers enwrought
On silken tissue, might diffuse his limbs
To the south-west, a multitudinous show;
In languor; or, by Nature, for repose
And, in a line of eye-sight linked with these, Of panting Wood-nymph, wearied with the chase.
The hoary peaks of Scotland that give birth O Lady! fairer in thy Poet's sight
To Tiviot's stream, to Annan, Tweed, and Clyde :- Than fairest spiritual creature of the groves,
Crowding the quarter whence the sun comes forth Approach ;-and, thus invited, crown with rest
Gigantic mountains rough with crags; beneath, The noon-tide hour : though truly some there are
Right at the imperial station's western base Whose footsteps superstitiously avoid
Main ocean, breaking audibly, and stretched This venerable Tree; for, when the wind
Far into silent regions blue and pale ;-
Blows keenly, it sends forth a creaking sound
And visibly engirding Mona's Isle
(Above the general roar of woods and crags) That, as we left the plain, before our sight Distinctly heard from far-a doleful note! Stood like a lofty mount, uplifting slowly
As if (so Grecian shepherds would have deemed) (Above the convex of the watery globe)
The Hamadryad, pent within, bewailed
Into clear view the cultured fields that streak Some bitter wrong. Nor is it unbelieved,
Her habitable shores, but now appears
By ruder fancy, that a troubled ghost
A dwindled object, and submits to lie
Haunts the old trunk; lamenting deeds of which
At the spectator's feet.—Yon azure ridge, The flowery ground is conscious. But no wind
Is it a perishable cloud? Or there
Sweeps now along this elevated ridge;
Do we behold the line of Erin's coast?
Not even a zephyr stirs ;-the obnoxious Tree
Land sometimes by the roving shepherd-swain Is mute; and, in his silence, would look down,
(Like the bright confines of another world) O lovely Wanderer of the trackless hills,
Not doubtfully perceived. — Look homeward now! On thy reclining form with more delight
In depth, in height, in circuit, how serene
Than his coevals in the sheltered vale
The spectacle, how pure !—Of Nature's works, Seem to participate, the whilst they view
In earth, and air, and earth-embracing sea, Their own far-stretching arms and leafy heads
A revelation infinite it seems;
Vividly pictured in some glassy pool,
Display august of man's inheritance,
That, for a brief space, checks the hurrying
Of Britain's calm felicity and power!
Black Comb stands at the southern extremity of Cumberland : its base covers a much greater extent of ground than any other mountain in those parts; and, from its situation, the summit commands a more extensive view than any other point in Britain.
As e'er, on herbage covering earthly mold,
Tempted the bird of Juno to unfold
His richest splendour-when his veering gait
And every motion of his starry train
Seem governed by a strain Saow me the noblest Youth of present time, Of music, audible to him alone. Whose trembling fancy would to love give birth ; Some God or Hero, from the Olympian clime “ O Lady, worthy of earth's proudest throne ! Returned, to seek a Consort upon earth ;
Nor less, by excellence of nature, fit Or, in no doubtful prospect, let me see
Beside an unambitious hearth to sit The brightest star of ages yet to be,
Domestic queen, where grandeur is unknown; And I will mate and match him blissfully. What living man could fear
The worst of Fortune's malice, wert Thou near, I will not fetch a Naiad from a flood
Humbling that lily-stem, thy sceptre meek,
Pure as herself—(song lacks not mightier power) That its fair flowers may from his cheek
Nor leaf-crowned Dryad from a pathless wood, Brush the too happy tear?
Nor Sea-nymph glistening from her coral bower ; -Queen, and handmaid lowly !
Mere Mortals bodied forth in vision still,
Whose skill can speed the day with lively cares, Shall with Mount Ida's triple lustre fill
And banish melancholy The chaster coverts of a British hill.
By all that mind invents or hand prepares ;
O Thou, against whose lip, without its smile “ Appear !-obey my lyre's command !
And in its silence even, no heart is proof; Come, like the Graces, hand in hand !
Whose goodness, sinking deep, would reconcile For ye, though not by birth allied,
The softest Nursling of a gorgeous palace Are Sisters in the bond of love;
To the bare life beneath the hawthorn-roof Nor shall the tongue of envious pride
Of Sherwood's Archer, or in caves of WallacePresume those interweavings to reprove
Who that hath seen thy beauty could content In you, which that fair progeny of Jove,
His soul with but a glimpse of heavenly day? Learned from the tuneful spheres that glide
Who that hath loved thee, but would lay In endless union, earth and sea above."
His strong hand on the wind, if it were bent -I sing in vain ;-the pines have hushed their To take thee in thy majesty away? waving :
-Pass onward (even the glancing deer A peerless Youth expectant at my side,
Till we depart intrude not here ;)
Breathless as they, with unabated craving That mossy slope, o'er which the woodbine throws
Looks to the earth, and to the vacant air;
A canopy, is smoothed for thy repose !”
And, with a wandering eye that seems to chide,
Asks of the clouds what occupants they hide :- Glad moment is it when the throng
But why solicit more than sight could bear,
Of warblers in full concert strong
By casting on a moment all we dare?
Strive, and not vainly strive, to rout Invoke we those bright Beings one by one; The lagging shower, and force coy Phoebus out, And what was boldly promised, truly shall be done. Met by the rainbow's form divine,
Issuing from her cloudy shrine ;“ Fear not a constraining measure !
So may the thrillings of the lyre -Yielding to this gentle spell,
Prevail to further our desire, Lucida ! from domes of pleasure,
While to these shades a sister Nymph I call. Or from cottage-sprinkled dell, Come to regions solitary,
“ Come, if the notes thine ear may pierce, Where the eagle builds her aery,
Come, youngest of the lovely Three, Above the hermit's long-forsaken cell !”
Submissive to the might of verse
-She comes !-behold
And the dear voice of harmony,
That Figure, like a ship with snow-white sail ! By none more deeply felt than Thee !”
Nearer she draws; a breeze uplifts her veil ; -I sang ; and lo! from pastimes virginal
Upon her coming wait
She hastens to the tents
As pure a sunshine and as soft a gale
Of nature, and the lonely elements.