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Of Peace and Love, and they would hallow it
WRITTEN ON CHRISTMAS DAY, 1795.
many hearts are happy at this hour In England! Brightly o'er the cheerful hall Flares the heaped hearth, and friends and kindred
that age has long bedimmed. I do remember, when I was a child, How my young heart, a stranger then to care, With transport leaped upon this holiday, As o'er the house, all gay with evergreens,
From friend to friend with joyful speed I ran,
Here of the friends I think
ween, remember me, and fill The glass of votive friendship. At the name, Will not thy cheek, Beloved, change its hue, And in those gentle eyes uncalled-for tears Tremble? I will not wish thee not to weep; Such tears are free from bitterness, and they Who know not what it is sometimes to wake And weep at midnight are but instruments Of Nature's common work. Yes, think of me, My Edith ! — think that, travelling far away, Thus I beguile the solitary hours With many a day-dream, picturing scenes as fair Of peace and comfort, and domestic bliss, As ever to the youthful poet's eye Creative Fancy fashioned. Think of me. Though absent, thine; and if a sigh will rise,
And tears, unbidden, at the thought steal down, Sure hope will cheer thee, and the happy hour Of meeting soon all sorrow overpay.
WRITTEN AFTER VISITING THE CONVENT
OF ARRABIDA, NEAR SETUBAL,
MARCH 22, 1796.
HAPPY the dwellers in this holy house ;
who tenant such a goodly scene, How should ye be but good where all is fair, And where the mirror of the mind reflects Serenest beauty? O'er these mountain-wilds The insatiate eye with ever-new delight Roams raptured, marking now where to the wind The tall tree bends its many-tinted boughs With soft, accordant sound; and now the sport Of joyous sea-birds o’er the tranquil deep; And now the long-extending stream of light, Where the broad orb of day refulgent sinks Beneath old Ocean's line. To have no cares That eat the heart, no wants that to the earth Chain the reluctant spirit, to be freed From forced communion with the selfish tribe
Who worship Mammon, — yea, emancipate
You never see
I too could love, Ye tenants of this sacred solitude, Here to abide, and, when the sun rides high, Seek some sequestered dingle’s coolest shade; And, at the breezy hour, along the beach Stray with slow step, and gaze upon the deep, And while the breath of evening fanned my brow, And the wild waves with their continuous sound Soothed my accustomed ear, think thankfully That I had from the crowd withdrawn in time, And found a harbor. Yet may yonder deep Suggest a less unprofitable thought, Monastic brethren! Would the mariner, Though storms may sometimes swell the mighty
waves, And o'er the reeling bark with thundering crash Impel the mountainous surge, quit yonder deep, And rather float upon some tranquil sea,
Whose moveless waters never feel the gale,
ON MY OWN MINIATURE PICTURE,
TAKEN AT TWO YEARS OF AGE.
And. I was once like this! that glowing cheek