Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

XVI.

THE BROWNIE.

XIX.

HAMILTON PALACE.

In mind the landscape, as if still in sight;
The river glides, the woods before me wave;

Then why repine that now in vain I crave [Upon a small island not far from the head of Loch Needless renewal of an old delight?

Lomond, are some remains of an ancient building, which Better to thank a dear and long-past day was for several years the abode of a solitary Individual,

For joy its sunny hours were free to give one of the last survivors of the clan of Macfarlane, once

Than blame the present, that our wish hath crost. powerful in that neighbourhood. Passing along the shore opposite this island in the year 1814, the Author Memory, like sleep, hath powers which dreams learned these particulars, and that this person then

obey, living there had acquired the appellation of The Dreams, vivid dreams, that are not fugitive: Brownie.' See “ The Brownie's Cell," p. 231, to which

How little that she cherishes is lost !
the following is a sequel.
"How disappeared he?' Ask the newt and toad;
Ask of his fellow men, and they will tell
How he was found, cold as an icicle,
Under an arch of that forlorn abode ;

PICTURE OF DANIEL IN THE LION'S DEN, at
Where he, unpropp'd, and by the gathering flood
Of years hemm'd round, had dwelt, prepared to try
Privation's worst extremities, and die

AMID a fertile region green with wood
With no one near save the omnipresent God. And fresh with rivers, well did it become
Verily so to live was an awful choice -

The ducal Owner, in his palace-home A choice that wears the aspect of a doom ; To naturalise this tawny Lion brood; But in the mould of mercy all is cast

Children of Art, that claim strange brotherhood For Souls familiar with the eternal Voice;

(Couched in their den) with those that roam at large And this forgotten Taper to the last

Over the burning wilderness, and charge
Drove from itself, we trust, all frightful gloom. The wind with terror while they roar for food.

Satiate are these ; and stilled to eye and ear;
Hence, while we gaze, a more enduring fear!

Yet is the Prophet calm, nor would the cave
TO THE PLANET VENUS, AN EVENING STAR.

Daunt him—if his Companions, now be-drowsed

Outstretched and listless, were by hunger roused : Though joy attend Thee orient at the birth Man placed him here, and God, he knows, can save. Of dawn, it cheers the lofty spirit most To watch thy course when Day-light, fled from earth, In the grey sky hath left his lingering Ghost, Perplexed as if between a splendour lost And splendour slowly mustering. Since the Sun, The absolute, the world-absorbing One,

THE AVON. Relinquished half his empire to the host

(A FEEDER OF THE ANNAN.) Emboldened by thy guidance, holy Star,

Avon—a precious, an immortal name !
Holy as princely, who that looks on thee

Yet is it one that other rivulets bear
Touching, as now, in thy humility
The mountain borders of this seat of care,

Like this unheard-of, and their channels wear

Like this contented, though unknown to Fame: Can question that thy countenance is bright,

For great and sacred is the modest claim Celestial Power, as much with love as light?

Of Streams to Nature's love, where'er they flow;

And ne'er did Genius slight them, as they go,
XVIII.

Tree, flower, and green herb, feeding without blame.
But Praise can waste her voice on work of tears,

Anguish, and death: full oft where innocent blood (PASSED UNSEEN, ON ACCOUNT OF STORMY WEATHER.)

Has mixed its current with the limpid flood, IMMURED in Bothwell's towers, at times the Brave Her heaven-offending trophies Glory rears : (So beautiful is Clyde) forgot to mourn

Never for like distinction may the good The liberty they lost at Bannockburn.

Shrink from thy name, pure Rill, with unpleased Once on those steeps I roamed at large, and have

XVII.

COMPOSED AT LOCH LOMOND.

XX.

W

BOTHWELL CASTLE.

ears.

[blocks in formation]

SUGGESTED BY A VIEW FROM AN EMINENCE IN

INGLEWOOD POREST.

The forest huge of ancient Caledon
Is but a name, no more is Inglewood,
That swept from hill to hill, from flood to flood :
On her last thorn the nightly moon has shone ;
Yet still, though unappropriate Wild be none,
Fair parksspread wide where Adam Bell might deign
With Clym o' the Clough, were they alive again,
To kill for merry feast their venison.
Nor wants the holy Abbot's gliding Shade
His church with monumental wreck bestrown;
The feudal Warrior-chief, a Ghost unlaid,
Hath still his castle, though a skeleton,
That he may watch by night, and lessons con
Of power that perishes, and rights that fade.

[On the roadside between Penrith and Appleby, there stands a pillar with the following inscription :

• This pillar was erected, in the year 1656, by Anne Countess Dowager of Pembroke, &c. for a memorial of her last parting with her pious mother, Margaret Countess Dowager of Cumberland, on the 2d of April, 1616; in memory whereof she hath left an annuity of 41. to be distributed to the poor of the parish of Brougham, every 20 day of April for ever, upon the stone table placed hard

by. Laus Deo!'] While the Poor gather round, till the end of time May this bright flower of Charity display Its bloom, unfolding at the appointed day; Flower than the loveliest of the vernal prime Lovelier-transplanted from heaven's purest clime! *Charity never faileth :' on that creed, More than on written testament or deed, The pious Lady built with hope sublime. Alms on this stone to be dealt out, for ever! • Laus Deo. Many a Stranger passing by Has with that Parting mixed a filial sigh, Blest its humane Memorial's fond endeavour; And, fastening on those lines an eye tear-glazed, Has ended, though no Clerk, with ‘God be praised !'

XXII.

3

XXV.

HART'S-HORN TREE, NEAR PENRITH. HERE stood an Oak, that long had borne affixed To his huge trunk, or, with more subtle art, Among its withering topmost branches mixed, The palmy antlers of a hunted Hart, Whom the Dog Hercules pursued-his part Each desperately sustaining, till at last Both sank and died, the life-veins of the chased And chaser bursting here with one dire smart. Mutual the victory, mutual the defeat ! High was the trophy hung with pitiless pride; Say, rather, with that generous sympathy That wants not, even in rudest breasts, a seat; And, for this feeling's sake, let no one chide Verse that would guard thy memory, Hart's-HORN

TREE!

ROMAN ANTIQUITIES. (FROM THE ROMAN STATION AT OLD PENRITH.) How profitless the relics that we cull, Troubling the last holds of ambitious Rome, Unless they chasten fancies that presume Too high, or idle agitations lull ! Of the world's flatteries if the brain be full, To have no seat for thought were better doom, Like this old helmet, or the eyeless skull Of him who gloried in its nodding plume. Heaven out of view, our wishes what are they! Our fond regrets tenacious in their grasp? The Sage's theory? the Poet's lay!Mere Fibulæ without a robe to clasp; Obsolete lamps, whose light no time recals; Urns without ashes, tearless lacrymals !

XXIII.

FANCY AND TRADITION. The Lovers took within this ancient grove Their last embrace ; beside those crystal springs The Hermit saw the Angel spread his wings For instant flight; the Sage in yon alcove Sate musing; on that hill the Bard would rove, Not mute, where now the linnet only sings: Thus every where to truth Tradition clings, Or Fancy localises Powers we love. Were only History licensed to take note Of things gone by, her meagre monuments Would ill suffice for persons and events : There is an ampler page for man to quote, A readier book of manifold contents, Studied alike in palace and in cot.

XXVI.

APOLOGY,

FOR THE FOREGOING POEMS. No more: the end is sudden and abrupt, Abrupt—as without preconceived design Was the beginning; yet the several Lays Have moved in order, to each other bound

* See Note.

By a continuous and acknowledged tie
Though unapparent-like those Shapes distinct
That yet survive ensculptured on the walls
Of palaces, or temples, ʼmid the wreck
Of famed Persepolis ; each following each,
As might beseem a stately embassy,
In set array; these bearing in their hands
Ensign of civil power, weapon of war,
Or gift to be presented at the throne
Of the Great King; and others, as they go
In priestly vest, with holy offerings charged,
Or leading victims drest for sacrifice.
Nor will the Power we serve, that sacred Power,
The Spirit of humanity, disdain
A ministration humble but sincere,
That from a threshold loved by every Muse
Its impulse took-that sorrow-stricken door,

Whence, as a current from its fountain-head,
Our thoughts have issued, and our feelings flowed,
Receiving, willingly or not, fresh strength
From kindred sources; while around us sighed
(Life's three first seasons having passed away)
Leaf-scattering winds; and hoar-frost sprinklings

fell
(Foretaste of winter) on the moorland heights ;
And every day brought with it tidings new
Of rash change, ominous for the public weal.
Hence, if dejection has too oft encroached
Upon that sweet and tender melancholy
Which may itself be cherished and caressed
More than enough; a fault so natural
(Even with the young, the hopeful, or the gay)
For prompt forgiveness will not sue in vain.

EVENING VOLUNTARIES.

1.

1832.

II.

Wheels and the tread of hoofs are heard no more; Calm is the fragrant air, and loth to lose

One boat there was, but it will touch the shore

With the next dipping of its slackened oar; Day’s grateful warmth, tho' moist with falling dews.

Faint sound, that, for the gayest of the gay, Look for the stars, you 'll say that there are none;

Might give to serious thought a moment's sway,
Look up a second time, and, one by one,
You mark them twinkling out with silvery light,

As a last token of man's toilsome day!
And wonder how they could elude the sight!
The birds, of late so noisy in their bowers,
Warbled a while with faint and fainter powers,
But now are silent as the dim-seen flowers :
Nor does the village Church-clock’s iron tone

ON A HIGH PART OF THE COAST OF CUMBERLAND. The time's and season's influence disown;

Easter Sunday, April 7.
Nine beats distinctly to each other bound
In drowsy sequence—how unlike the sound
That, in rough winter, oft inflicts a fear

The Sun, that seemed so mildly to retire,
On fireside listeners, doubting what they hear ! Flung back from distant climes a streaming fire,
The shepherd, bent on rising with the sun,

Whose blaze is now subdued to tender gleams, Had closed his door before the day was done, Prelude of night's approach with soothing dreams. And now with thankful heart to bed doth creep, Look round ;-of all the clouds not one is moving; And joins his little children in their sleep.

'Tis the still hour of thinking, feeling, loving. The bat, lured forth where trees the lane o'ershade, Silent, and stedfast as the vaulted sky, Flits and reflits along the close arcade ;

The boundless plain of waters seems to lie :The busy dor-hawk chases the white moth Comes that low sound from breezes rustling o'er With burring note, which Industry and Sloth The grass-crowned headland that conceals the Might both be pleased with, for it suits them both. shore? A stream is heard—I see it not, but know

No; 'tis the earth-voice of the mighty sea, By its soft music whence the waters flow:

Whispering how meek and gentle he can be !

THE AUTHOR'S SIXTY-THIRD BIRTH-DAY.

[blocks in formation]

Thou Power supreme! who, arming to rebuke Offenders, dost put off the gracious look, And clothe thyself with terrors like the flood Of ocean roused into his fiercest mood, Whatever discipline thy Will ordain For the brief course that must for me remain ; Teach me with quick-eared spirit to rejoice In admonitions of thy softest voice ! Whate'er the path these mortal feet may trace, Breathe through my soul the blessing of thy grace, Glad, through a perfect love, a faith sincere Drawn from the wisdom that begins with fear, Glad to expand; and, for a season, free From finite cares, to rest absorbed in Thee!

IV.

1833.

III.

Not in the lucid intervals of life
That come but as a curse to party-strife;
Not in some hour when Pleasure with a sigh
Of languor puts his rosy garland by;
Not in the breathing-times of that poor slave
Who daily piles up wealth in Mammon's cave-
Is Nature felt, or can be; nor do words,
Which practised talent readily affords,
Prove that her hand has touched responsive chords ;
Nor has her gentle beauty power to move
With genuine rapture and with fervent love
The soul of Genius, if he dare to take
Life's rule from passion craved for passion's sake;
Untaught that meekness is the cherished bent
Of all the truly great and all the innocent.

(BY THE SEA-SIDE.) The sun is couched, the sea-fowl gone to rest, And the wild storm hath somewhere found a nest; Air slumbers—wave with wave no longer strives, Only a heaving of the deep survives, A tell-tale motion! soon will it be laid, And by the tide alone the water swayed. Stealthy withdrawings, interminglings mild Of light with shade in beauty reconciledSuch is the prospect far as sight can range, The soothing recompence, the welcome change. Where now the ships that drove before the blast, Threatened by angry breakers as they passed ; And by a train of flying clouds bemocked ; Or, in the hollow surge, at anchor rocked As on a bed of death? Some lodge in peace, Saved by His care who bade the tempest cease; And some, too heedless of past danger, court Fresh gales to waft them to the far-off port; But near, or hanging sea and sky between, Not one of all those winged powers is seen, Seen in her course, nor ʼmid this quiet heard ; Yet oh! how gladly would the air be stirred By some acknowledgment of thanks and praise, Soft in its temper as those vesper lays Sung to the Virgin while accordant oars Urge the slow bark along Calabrian shores ; A sea-born service through the mountains felt Till into one loved vision all things melt: Or like those hymns that soothe with graver sound The gulfy coast of Norway iron-bound; And, from the wide and open Baltic, rise With punctual care, Lutherian harmonies. Hush, not a voice is here! but why repine, Now when the star of eve comes forth to shine

But who is innocent ? By grace divine, Not otherwise, 0 Nature! we are thine, Through good and evil thine, in just degree Of rational and manly sympathy. To all that Earth from pensive hearts is stealing, And Heaven is now to gladdened eyes revealing, Add every charm the Universe can show Through every change its aspects undergoCare may be respited, but not repealed; No perfect cure grows on that bounded field. Vain is the pleasure, a false calm the peace, If He, through whom alone our conflicts cease, Our virtuous hopes without relapse advance, Come not to speed the Soul's deliverance; To the distempered Intellect refuse His gracious help, or give what we abuse.

1834.

V.

(BY THE SIDE OF RYDAL MERE.) The linnet's warble, sinking towards a close, Hints to the thrush 'tis time for their repose; The shrill-voiced thrush is heedless, and again The monitor revives his own sweet strain ; But both will soon be mastered, and the copse Be left as silent as the mountain-tops,

Ere some commanding star dismiss to rest And has restored to view its tender green, The throng of rooks, that now, from twig or nest, That, while the sun rode high, was lost beneath (After a steady flight on home-bound wings,

their dazzling sheen. And a last game of mazy hoverings

-An emblem this of what the sober Hour Around their ancient grove) with cawing noise Can do for minds disposed to feel its power ! Disturb the liquid music's equipoise.

Thus oft, when we in vain have wish'd away

The petty pleasures of the garish day,
O Nightingale ! Who ever heard thy song Meek eve shuts up the whole usurping host
Might here be moved, till Fancy grows so strong

(Unbashful dwarfs each glittering at his post)
That listening sense is pardonably cheated And leaves the disencumbered spirit free
Where wood or stream by thee was never greeted. To reassume a staid simplicity.
Surely, from fairest spots of favoured lands,
Were not some gifts withheld by jealous hands, 'Tis well—but what are helps of time and place,
This hour of deepening darkness here would be'

When wisdom stands in need of nature's grace ; As a fresh morning for new harmony ;

Why do good thoughts, invoked or not, descend, And lays as prompt would hail the dawn of Night: Like Angels from their bowers, our virtues to beA dawn she has both beautiful and bright,

friend; When the East kindles with the full moon's light; If yet To-morrow, unbelied, may say, Not like the rising sun's impatient glow

“I come to open out, for fresh display, Dazzling the mountains, but an overflow

The elastic vanities of yesterday?" Of solemn splendour, in mutation slow.

1834.

VII.

Wanderer by spring with gradual progress led,
For sway profoundly felt as widely spread;
To king, to peasant, to rough sailor, dear,
And to the soldier's trumpet-wearied ear;
How welcome wouldst thou be to this green Vale
Fairer than Tempe! Yet, sweet Nightingale !
From the warm breeze that bears thee on, alight
At will, and stay thy migratory flight ;
Build, at thy choice, or sing, by pool or fount,
Who shall complain, or call thee to account?
The wisest, happiest, of our kind are they
That ever walk content with Nature's way,
God's goodness—measuring bounty as it may;
For whom the gravest thought of what they miss,
Chastening the fulness of a present bliss,
Is with that wholesome office satisfied,
While unrepining sadness is allied
In thankful bosoms to a modest pride.

The leaves that rustled on this oak-crowned hill,
And sky that danced among those leaves, are still ;
Rest smooths the way for sleep; in field and bower
Soft shades and dews have shed their blended

power
On drooping eyelid and the closing flower;
Sound is there none at which the faintest heart
Might leap, the weakest nerve of superstition start;
Save when the Owlet's unexpected scream
Pierces the ethereal vault; and (mid the gleam
Of unsubstantial imagery, the dream,
From the hushed vale's realities, transferred
To the still lake) the imaginative Bird
Seems, ʼmid inverted mountains, not unheard.

1834.

VI.

Soft as a cloud is yon blue Ridge—the Mere
Seems firm as solid crystal, breathless, clear,
And motionless ; and, to the gazer's eye,
Deeper than ocean, in the immensity
Of its vague mountains and unreal sky!
But, from the process in that still retreat,
Turn to minuter changes at our feet ;
Observe how dewy Twilight has withdrawn
The crowd of daisies from the shaven lawn,

Grave Creature !—whether, while the moon

shines bright
On thy wings opened wide for smoothest flight,
Thou art discovered in a roofless tower,
Rising from what may once have been a lady's

bower ;
Or spied where thou sitt'st moping in thy mew
At the dim centre of a churchyard yew ;
Or, from a rifted crag or ivy tod
Deep in a forest, thy secure abode,
Thou giv’st, for pastime's sake, by shriek or shout,
A puzzling notice of thy whereabout-
May the night never come, nor day be seen,
When I shall scorn thy voice or mock thy mien !

« AnteriorContinuar »