صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

ISLAND ON THE LAKE.

Grateful tafk!. -to me
Pregnant with recollections of the time
When on thy bofom, fpacious Windermere!
A Youth, I practised this delightful art;
Toffed on the waves alone, or 'mid a crew
Of joyous comrades. Now the reedy marge
Cleared, with a ftrenuous arm I dipped the oar
Free from obftruction; and the boat advanced
Through crystal water, smoothly as a hawk,
That, difentangled from the fhady boughs
Of fome thick wood, her place of covert, cleaves
With corresponding wings the abyss of air.
-"Obferve," the Vicar faid, "yon rocky ifle

With birch-trees fringed; my hand shall guide the helm,
While thitherward we bend our course; or while

We seek that other, on the western shore,
Where the bare columns of thofe lofty firs,
Supporting gracefully a maffy dome
Of fombre foliage, feem to imitate
A Grecian temple rifing from the Deep.”

From "The Excurfion," Book IX.

THERE WAS A BOY.

There was a boy; ye knew him well, ye cliffs
And iflands of Winander! Many a time,
At evening, when the earliest stars began
To move along the edges of the hills,
Rifing or fetting, would he ftand alone,
Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake;
And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands
Preff'd closely palm to palm, and to his mouth
Uplifted, he, as through an inftrument,

Blew mimic hootings to the filent owls,

That they might answer him. And they would shout Across the watery vale, and shout again,

Refponfive to his call,—with quivering peals,

And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud
Redoubled and redoubled; concourse wild
Of mirth and jocund din! And, when it chanced
That pauses of deep filence mock'd his skill,
Then, fometimes, in that filence, while he hung
Listening, a gentle fhock of mild surprise
Has carried far into his heart the voice
Of mountain torrents; or the visible scene

Would enter unawares into his mind

With all its folemn imagery, its rocks,
Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, received
Into the bofom of the steady lake.

This boy was taken from his mates, and died

In childhood, ere he was full twelve years old.
Fair are the woods, and beauteous is the spot,
The vale where he was born; the churchyard hangs
Upon a flope above the village school;

And there, along that bank, when I have paff'd

At evening, I believe that oftentimes

A long half hour together I have stood
Mute-looking at the grave in which he lies!

Esthwaite.

N

LINES

Left upon a Seat in a Yew-Tree, which stands near the Lake of Efthwaite, on a defolate part of the fhore commanding a beautiful prospect.

AY, Traveller! reft. This lonely Yew-tree stands
Far from all human dwelling: what if here
No fparkling rivulet spread the verdant herb?
What if these barren boughs the bee not loves?
Yet, if the wind breathe foft, the curling waves
That break against the shore, fhall full thy mind
By one foft impulfe faved from vacancy.

Who he was

That piled these stones, and with the moffy fod
First covered o'er, and taught this aged tree
With its dark arms to form a circling bower,
I well remember.-He was one who owned
No common foul. In youth by science nursed,

And led by Nature into a wild scene
Of lofty hopes, he to the world went forth
A favoured being, knowing no defire
Which genius did not hallow,-'gainst the taint
Of diffolute tongues, and jealousy, and hate,
And fcorn,-against all enemies prepared,
All but neglect. The world, for so it thought,
Owed him no fervice; wherefore he at once
With indignation turned himself away,
And with the food of pride fuftained his foul
In folitude. Stranger! thefe gloomy boughs
Had charms for him; and here he loved to fit,
His only vifitants a ftraggling fheep,

The ftone-chat, or the fand-lark,

And on thefe barren rocks, with juniper,
And heath and thistle, thinly sprinkled o'er,
Fixing his downcaft eye, he many an hour
A morbid pleasure nourished, tracing here
An emblem of his own unfruitful life:
And lifting up his head, he then would gaze
On the more diftant scene,—how lovely 'tis
Thou seeft,—and he would gaze till it became
Far lovelier, and his heart could not sustain
The beauty, ftill more beauteous! Nor, that time,
When Nature had fubdued him to herself,
Would he forget those beings, to whose minds,
Warm from the labours of benevolence,

E

« السابقةمتابعة »