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NIGHT AT SEA.
'Tis night, when Meditation bids us feel
Death hath but little left him to destroy! [boy? Oh ! happy years ! once more who would not be a
Thus bending o'er the vessel's laving side,
A flashing pang! of which the weary breast Would still, albeit in vain, the heavy heart divest.
A NIGHT SCENE AT THE SIEGE OF CORINTH. 'Tis midnight : on the mountains brown The cold round moon shines deeply down; Blue roll the waters, blue the sky Spreads like an ocean hung on high, Bespangled with those isles of light, So wildly, spiritually bright; Who ever gazed upon them shining, And turned to earth without repining, Nor wished for wings to flee away, And mix with their eternal ray ? The waves on either shore lay there Calm, clear, and azure as the air ;
And scarce their foam the pebbles shook,
To Norman Abbey whirl’d the noble pair,
An old, old monastery once, and now
Still older mansion, of a rich and rare
Mixed Gothic, such as artists all allow
Withal: it lies perhaps a little low,
Crown’d by high woodlands, where the Druid oak Stood, like Caractacus, in act to rally
His host with broad arms 'gainst the thunder-stroke; And from beneath his boughs were seen to sally
The dappled foresters—as day awoke
Broad as transparent, deep and freshly fed
In currents through the calmer water spread Around : the wild fowl nestled in the brake
And sedges, brooding in their liquid bed : The woods sloped downwards to its brink, and stood With their green faces fixed upon the flood. Its outlet dashed into a deep cascade
Sparkling with foam, until again subsiding Its shriller echoes-like an infant made
Quiet-sank into softer ripples, gliding Into a rivulet, and thus allay'd,
Pursued its course, now gleaming, and now hiding Its windings through the woods; now clear, now blue, According as the skies their shadows threw. A glorious remnant of the Gothic pile, (apart
(While yet the church was Rome's) stood half In a grand arch, which once screen'd many an aisle.
These last had disappeared--a loss to Art: The first yet frown'd superbly o’er the soil,
And kindled feelings in the roughest heart, Which mourn'd the power of time's or tempest's In gazing on that venerable arch.
[march, Within a niche, nigh to its pinnacle,
Twelve saints had once stood sanctified in stone; And these had fallen, not when the friars fell,
But in the war which struck Charles from his throne, When each house was a fortalice-as tell
The annals of full many a line undone, The gallant Cavaliers, who fought in vain For those who kriew not to resign or reign. But in a higher niche, alone, but crown'd,
The Virgin Mother of the God-born child, With her son in her blessed arms, look'd round,
Spared by some chance when all beside was spoil'd; She made the earth below seem holy ground.
This may be superstition, weak or wild,
Shorn of its glass of thousand colourings, Through which the deepend glories once could enter,
Streaming from off the sun like seraphs' wings, Now yawns all desolate: now loud, now fainter,
The gale sweeps through its fretwork; and oft sings The owl his anthem where the silenced quire Lie with their hallelujahs quench'd like fire. But in the noontide of the moon, and when
The wind is winged from one point of heaven,
There moans a strange unearthly sound, which then
Is musical-a dying accent driven Through the huge arch, which soars and sinks again.
Some deem it but the distant echo given Back to the night wind by the waterfall, And harmonized by the old choral wall ; Others, that some original shape, or form
Shaped by decay perchance, hath given the power (Though less than that of Memnon's statue, warm
In Egypt's rays, to harp at a fixed hour) To this grey ruin, with a voice to charm.
Sad, but serene, it sweeps o'er tree or tower : The cause I know not, nor can solve ; but such The fact :-_I've heard it,-once perhaps too much. Amidst the court a Gothic fountain play'd,
Symmetrical, but deck'd with carvings quaintStrange faces, like to men in masquerade,
And here perhaps a monster, there a saint: The spring gush'd through grim mouths, of granite
And sparkled into basins, where it spent [made, Its little torrent in a thousand bubbles, Like man's vain glory, and his vainer troubles. The mansion's self was vast and venerable,
With more of the monastic than has been Elsewhere preserved: the cloisters still were stable,
The cells too and refectory, I ween :
Still unimpair'd, to decorate the scene ;
By no quite lawful marriage of the Arts,