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That ball, where once in antiquated state,
The chair of justice held the grave debate.
Now stained with dews, with cobwebs darkly hung,
Oft has its roof with peals of rapture rung,
When round the ample board, in due degree,
We sweetened every meal with social glee.
The heart's light laugh pursued the circling jest,
And all was sunshine in each little breast ;
'Twas here we chased the slipper by its sound,
And turned the blindfold hero round and round;
Twas here, at leve, we formed our fairy ring,
And fancy fluttered on her wildest wing:
As o'er the dusky furniture I bend,
Each chair awakes the feelings of a friend ;
The storied arras, source of fond delight,
With old achievement charms the wildered sight ;
And still with heraldry's rich hues imprest,
On the dim window glows the pictured crest.
The screen unfolds its many coloured chart,
The clock still points its moral to the heart :
That faithful monitor 'twas heaven to hear !
When soft it spoke a promised pleasure near ;
And has its sober hand, its simple chime,
Forgot to trace the feathered feet of time ?
That massive beam, with curious carvings wrought,
Whence the caged linnet soothed my pensive thought
Those muskets cased with venerable rust;
Those once loved forms still breathing through their dust,
Still from the frame, in mould gigantic cast,
Starting to life--all whisper of the past !
As through the garden's desert paths I rove,
What fond illusions swarm in
every grove !
How oft, when purple evening tinged the west,
We watched the emmet to her grainy nest ;
Welcomed the wild bee home on wearied wing,
Laden with sweets, the choicest of the spring !
How oft inscribed with friendship’s votive rhyme,
The bark now silvered by the touch of time;
Soared in the spring, half pleased and half afraid,
Thro' sister elms that waved their summer shade';
Or strewed with crumbs yon root-inwoven seat
To lure the redbreast from his lone retreat!
Childhood's loved group re-visits every scene,
The tangled wood-walk, and the tufted green!
Indulgent memory wakes, and lo! they live !
Clothed with far softer hues than light can give.
Thou last, best friend that heaven assigns below,
To soothe and sweeten all the cares we know;
Whose glad suggestions still each vain alarm,
When nature fades and life forgets to charm;
Thee would the muse invoke to thee belong.
The sage's precept, and the poet's song,
What softened views thy magic glass reveals,
When o'er the landscape time's weak twilight steals.
I wish I was where Anna lies
For I am sick of lingering here;
hour affection cries,
Go and partake her humble bier.
I wish I could ! for when she died
I lost my all ; and life has proved
Since that sad hour a dreary void,
A waste unlovely, and unloved.
But who, when I am turned to clay,
Shall duly to her grave repair,
And pluck the ragged moss away,
And weeds that have no business there?
And who with pious hand shall bring
The flowers she cherished, snow-drops cold,
And violets that unheeded spring,
To scatter o'er her hallowed mould ?
And who, while memory loves to dwell
Upon her name for ever dear,
Shall feel his heart with passion swell,
And pour the bitter, bitter tear?
I did it ; and would fate allow,
Should visit still, should still deplore But health and strength have left me now,
And I, alas I can weep no more.
Take then, sweet maid ! this simple strain,
The last I offer at thy shrine ;
Thy grave must then undecked remain,
And all thy memory fade with mine.
And can thy soft persuasive look,
Thy voice that might with music vie, Thy air, that every gazer took,
Thy matchless eloquence of eye.
Thy spirits, frolicksome, as good,
Thy courage, by no ills dismayed,
Thy patience, by no wrongs subdued,
Thy gay good-humour-can they fade ?
Perhaps but sorrow dims my eye :
Cold turf, which I no more must view,
Dear name, which I no more must sigh,
A long, a last, a sad adieu !
I climbed the dark brow of the mighty Helvellyn,
Lakes and mountains beneath me gleamed misty and
All was still, save by fits, when the eagle was yelling,
And starting around me the echoes replied; On the right, Strathen-edge round the Red Tarn was bend
ing, And Catchedecam its left verge was defending, One huge nameless rock on the front was impending, When I marked the sad spot where the wanderer had