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And would thy wearied spirit rise
To commune with its native skies;
Pause for a while, and deem it sweet
To linger in this calm retreat ;
And give thy cares, thy griefs, a short suspense,
Amid wild scenes of lone magnificence.
Unmixed with aught of meaner tone,
Here nature's voice is heard alone :
When the loud storm in wrathful hour,
Is rushing on its wing of power,
And spirits of the deep awake,
And surges foam, and billows break,
And rocks, and ocean-caves around,
Reverberate each awful sound;
That mighty voice, with all its dread control,
To loftiest thought shall wake thy thrilling soul.
But when no more the sea-winds rave,
When peace is brooding on the wave,
And from earth, air, and ocean rise
No sounds but plaintive melodies ;
Soothed by their softly-mingling swell,
As daylight bids the world farewell,
The rustling wood, the dying breeze,
The faint, low rippling of the seas,
A tender calm shall steal upon thy breast,
A gleam reflected from the realms of rest.
Is thine a heart the world hath stung,
Friends have deceived, neglect hath wrung?
Hast thou some grief that none may know,
Some lonely, secret, silent woe ?
Or have thy fond affections fled
From earth, to slumber with the dead ?
Oh! pause awhile the world disown,
And dwell with nature's self alone !
And though no more she bids arise
Thy soul's departed energies,
And though thy joy of life is o'er,
Beyond her magic to restore ;
Yet shall her spells o'er every passion steal,
And sooth the wounded heart they cannot heal.
My untried muse shall no high tune assume,
Nor strut in arms ;-farewell my cap and plume :
Brief be my verse, a task within my power,
I tell my feelings in one happy hour,
But what an hour was that, when from the main
I reached this lovely valley once again ;
A glorious harvest filled my eager sight,
Half shocked, half waving in a flood of light;
On that poor cottage roof where I was born
The sun looked down, as in life's early morn.
I gazed round, but not a soul appeared ;
I listened on the threshold, nothing heard ;
I called my father thrice, but no one came;
It was not fear or grief that shook my frame,
But an o'erpowering sense of peace and home,
Of toils gone by, perhaps of joys to come.
The door invitingly stood open wide,
I shook my dust, and set my staff aside ;
How sweet it was to breathe the cooler air,
And take possession of my father's chair!
Beneath my elbow, on the solid frame,
Appeared the rough initials of my name,
Cut forty years before; the same old clock
Struck the same bell, and
heart a shock
I never can forget. A short breeze sprung,
And while a sigh was trembling on my tongue,
Caught the old dangling almanacks behind,
And up they flew, like banners in the wind;
Then gently, singly, down, down, down, they went,
And told of twenty years that I had spent
Far from my native land ;—that instant came
A robin on the threshold ; though so tame,
At first he looked distrustful, almost shy,
And cast on me his coal-black, stedfast
eye, And seemed to say (past friendship to renew)
Ah, ah! old worn-out soldier, is it you ?' Through the room ranged the imprisoned humble bee, And bombed, and bounced, and struggled to be free, Dashing against the panes with sullen roar, That threw their diamond sunlight on the floor : That floor, clean sanded, where my fancy strayed O’er undulating waves the broom had made, Reminding me of those hideous forms That met us as we passed the Cape of Storms, Where high and loud they break, and peace comes never ; They roll and foam, and roll and foam for ever. But here was peace, that peace which home can yield; The grasshopper, the partridge in the field, And ticking clock, were all at once become The substitutes for clarion, fife and drum. While thus I mused, still gazing, gazing still, On beds of moss that spread the window sill, I deemed no moss my eyes had ever seen Had been so lovely, brilliant, fresh, and
And guessed some infant hand had placed it there,
And prized its hue, so exquisite, so rare.
Feelings on feelings mingling, doubling rose,
My heart felt every thing but calm repose;
I could not reckon minutes, hours, nor years,
But rose at once, and bursted into tears ;
Then, like a fool, confused, sat down again,
And thought upon the past with shame and pain ;
I raved at war and all its horrid cost,
And glory's quagmire, where the brave are lost;
On carnage, fire, and plunder, long I mused,
And curst the murdering weapons I had used.
Two shadows then I saw, two voices heard,
One bespoke age, and one a child's appeared;
In stepped my father, with convulsive, start,
And in an instant clasped me to his heart.
Close by him stood a little blue-eyed maid,
And stooping to the child, the old man said,
• Come hither, Nancy, kiss me once again,
. This is your incle Charles, come back from Spain,'
"The child approached, and with her fingers light,
Stroked my old eyes almost deprived of sight-
But why thus spin my, tale, thus tedious be?
Happy old soldier! what's the world to me!