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Were borne upon the air; and, sailing slow,
The broad-winged stork sought on the church-tower

top
I lis consecrated nest. O lovely scenes !
I gazed upon you with intense delight,
And yet with thoughts that weigh the spirit down.
I was a stranger in a foreign land;
And, knowing that these

eyes

should nevermore Behold that glorious prospect, Earth itself Appeared the place of pilgrimage it is.

BRISTOL, Jan. 15, 1797.

IX.

TO MARGARET HILL.

WRITTEN FROM LONDON, 1798.

MARGARET, my cousin !

nay, you must not smile; I love the homely and familiar phrase; And I will call thee Cousin Margaret, However quaint amid the measured line The good old term appears.

Oh! it looks ill When delicate tongues disclaim old terms of kin, Sir-ing and Madam-ing as civilly As if the road between the heart and lips Were such a weary and Laplandish way, That the poor travellers came to the red gates Half frozen.. Trust me, Cousin Margaret, For many a day my memory hath played

The creditor with me on your account,
And made me shame to think that I should owe
So long the debt of kindness. But in truth,
Like Christian on his pilgrimage, I bear
So heavy a pack of business, that, albeit
I toil on mainly, in our twelve hours' race
Time leaves me distanced. Loath indeed were I
That for a moment you should lay to me
Unkind neglect. Mine, Margaret, is a heart
That smokes not; yet methinks there should be

some

Who know its genuine warmth. I am not one
Who can play off my smiles and courtesies
To every lady, of her lapdog tired,
Who wants a plaything; I am no sworn friend
Of half an hour, as apt to leave as love;
Mine are no mushroom feelings, which spring up
At once without a seed, and take no root,
Wiseliest distrusted. In a narrow sphere,
The little circle of domestic life,
I would be known and loved : the world beyond
Is not for me. But, Margaret, sure I think
That
you

should know me well; for you and I
Grew up together, and, when we look back
Upon old times, our recollections paint
The same familiar faces. Did I wield
The wand of Merlin's magic, I would make
Brave witchcraft. We would have a fairy ship, –
Ay, a new ark, as in that other flood
Which swept the sons of Anak from the earth;

The Sylphs should waft us to some goodly isle,
Like that where whilom old Apollidon,
Retiring wisely from the troublous world,
Built up his blameless spell; and I would bid
The Sea-nymphs pile around their coral bowers,
That we might stand upon the beach, and mark
The far-off breakers shower their silver spray,
And hear the eternal roar, whose pleasant sound
Told us that never mariner should reach
Our quiet coast. In such a blessed isle
We might renew the days of infancy,
And life, like a long childhood, pass away
Without one care. It may be, Margaret,
That I shall yet be gathered to my friends ;
For I am not of those who live estranged
Of choice, till at the last they join their race
In the family vault. If so, if I should lose,
Like my old friend the Pilgrim, this huge pack
So heavy on my shoulders, I and mine
Right pleasantly will end our pilgrimage.
If not, if I should never get beyond
This Vanity-town, there is another world
Where friends will meet. And often, Margaret,
I gaze at night into the boundless sky,
And think that I shall there be born again,
The exalted native of some better star;
And, like the untaught American, I look
To find. in heaven the things I loved on earth.

X.

AUTUMN.

NAY, William, nay, not so! the changeful year,
In all its due successions, to my sight
Presents but varied beauties, transient all,
All in their season good. These fading leaves,
That with their rich variety of hues
Make yonder forest in the slanting sun
So beautiful, in you awake the thought
Of winter, cold, drear winter, when the trees
Each like a fleshless skeleton shall stretch
Its bare, brown boughs; when not a flower shall

spread
Its colors to the day, and not a bird
Carol its joyance; but all nature wear
One sullen aspect, bleak and desolate,
To eye, ear, feeling, comfortless alike.
To me their many-colored beauties speak
Of times of merriment and festival,
The year's best holiday: I call to mind
The schoolboy-days, when in the falling leaves
I saw with eager hope the pleasant sign
Of coming Christmas ; when at morn I took
My wooden calendar, and, counting up
Once more its often-told account, smoothed off
Each day with more delight the daily notch.
To you the beauties of the autumnal year
Make mournful emblems; and

you

think of man

Doomed to the grave's long winter, spirit-broken, Bending beneath the burden of his

years, Sense-dulled and fretful, “full of aches and pains," Yet clinging still to life. To me they show The calm decay of nature when the mind Retains its strength, and in the languid eye Religion's holy hopes kindle a joy That makes old age look lovely. All to you Is dark and cheerless : you in this fair world See some destroying principle abroad, Air, earth, and water full of living things, Each on the other preying; and the ways Of man a strange, perplexing labyrinth, Where crimes and miseries, each producing each, Render life loathsome, and destroy the hope That should in death bring comfort. Oh, my friend, That thy faith were as mine! that thou couldst see Death still producing life, and evil still Working its own destruction! couldst behold The strifes and troubles of this troubled world With the strong eye that sees the promised day Dawn through this night of tempest! All things

then Would minister to joy; then should thine heart Be healed and harmonized, and thou wouldst feel God always, everywhere, and all in all.

WESTBURY, 1798.

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