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The mountaineer cast glance of pride
Along Benledi's living side,
Then fix'd his eye and sable brow
Full on Fitz-James—“How say'st thou now?
These are Clan-Alpine's warriors true;
And, Saxon,-I am Roderick Dhu!”
Fitz-James was brave !—Though to his heart
The life-blood thrill'd with sudden start;
He mann'd himself with dauntless air,
Return'd the Chief his haughty stare;
His back against a rock he bore,
And firmly placed his foot before :-
“Come one, come all !—this rock shall fly
From its firm base as soon as I.”.
Hail, holy light, offspring of heav'n first-born,
Or of the eternal coeternal beam
May I express thee unblamed? Since God is light,
And never but in unapproach'd light
Dwelt from eternity, dwelt then in thee,
Bright effluence of bright essence increate.
Or hear'st thou rather pure ethereal stream,
Whose fountain who shall tell ? Before the sun,
Before the heav'ns thou wert, and at the voice
Of God, as with a mantle, didst invest
The rising world of waters dark and deep,
Won from the void and formless infinite.
Thee I revisit now with bolder wing,
Escaped the Stygian pool, though long detain'd
In that obscure sojourn, while in my flight
Through utter and through middle darkness borne,
With other notes than to the Orphean lyre,
I sung of chaos and eternal night;
Taught by the heav'nly muse to venture down
The dark descent, and up to re-ascend,
Though hard and rare: thee I revisit safe,
And feel thy sov'reign vital lamp; but thou
Revisit'st not these eyes, that roll in vain
To find thy piercing ray, and find no dawn;
So thick a drop serene hath quench'd their orbs,
Or dim suffusion veild. Thus with the
Seasons return; but not to me returns
Day, or the sweet approach of even or morn,
Or sight of vernal bloom, or summer's rose,
Or flocks, or herds, or human face divine;
But cloud instead, and ever-during dark
Surrounds me, from the cheerful ways of men
Cut off, and for the book of knowledge fair
Presented with a universal blank
Of Nature's works, to me expunged and razed,
And wisdom at one entrance quite shut out.
So much the rather thou, celestial light,
Shine inward, and the mind through all her powers
there plant eyes, all mist from thence Purge and disperse, that I may see and tell Of things invisible to mortal sight.
And forth they pass, with pleasure forward led,
Joying to hear the birds' sweet harmony,
Which, therein shrouded from the tempests dread,
Seem'd in their song to scorn the cruel sky;
Much can they praise, the trees so straight and high,
The sailing pine, the cedar proud and tall,
The vine-prop elm, the poplar never dry,
The builder oak, sole king of forests all;
The aspen good for staves; the cypress funeral.
The laurel, meed of mighty conquerors
And poets sage; the fir that weepeth still;
The willow worn of forlorn paramours;
The yew obedient to the bender's will;
The birch for shafts, the sallow for the mill,
The myrrh sweet bleeding of the bitter wound,
The warlike beech, the ash for nothing ill,
The fruitful olive, and the platane round,
The carver holm, the maple seldom inward sound.
THERE was a roaring in the wind all night;
The rain came heavily, and fell in floods;
But now the sun is rising calm and bright;
The birds are singing in the distant woods;
Over his own sweet voice the stock-dove broods !
The jay makes answer as the magpie chatters;
And all the air is fill’d with pleasant noise of waters.
All things that love the sun are out of doors;
The sky rejoices in the morning's birth;
The grass is bright with rain-drops; on the moors
The hare is running races in her mirth;
And with her feet she from the plashy earth
Raises a mist, that, glittering in the sun,
Runs with her all the way, wherever she doth run.
ELEGY IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd winds slowly o'er the lea, The ploughman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me.
Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds:
Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r,
The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as, wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mouldering heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed.
For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy housewife ply her evening care: No children run to lisp their sire's return,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; How jocund did they drive their team a-field !
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke!
ELEGY IN A COUNTRY CHURCH-YARD.
Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys and destiny obscure: Nor grandeur hear, with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor. Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
If memory o'er their tombs no trophies raise, Where, through the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. Can storied urn, or animated bust,
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath ? Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
Or flattery soothe the dull cold ear of death ?
Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
Or wak'd to ecstacy the living lyre.
But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page,
Rich with the spoils of time, did ne'er unroll;
Chill penury repress'd their noble rage,
And froze the genial current of the soul.
Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear; Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village Hampden, that with dauntless breast,
The little tyrant of his fields withstood; Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
Some Cromwell, guiltless of his country's blood.