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On her breast the sunny beam
Glitters in meridian pride; Yonder as the virgin stream
Hastens to the restless tide :Where the ships by wanton gales
Wafted, o'er the green waves run, Sweet to see their swelling sails
Whiten’d by the laughing sun ! High upon the daisied hill,
Rising from the slope of trees, How the wings of yonder mill
Labour in the busy breeze! Cheerful as a summer's morn
(Bouncing from her loaded pad), Where the maid presents her corn,
Smirking to the miller's lad. O’er the green a festal throng
Gambols in fantastic trim ! As the full cart moves along,
Hearken—'tis their harvest hymn! Linnets on the crowded sprays
Chorus,-and the woodlarks rise, Soaring with a song of praise,
Till the sweet notes reach the skies, Torrents in extended sheets
Down the cliffs, dividing, break: 'Twixt the hills the water meets,
Settling in a silver lake!
By the sunbeams sore oppress'd,
Ploughs it with his glowing breast.
Where the mantling willows nod,
From the green bank's slopy side, Patient, with his well thrown rod,
Many an angler breaks the tide! On the isles, with osiers dress'd,
Many a fair-plumed halcyon breeds! Many a wild bird hides her nest,
Cover'd in yon crackling reeds. Fork-tail'd prattlers as they pass
To their nestlings in the rock, Darting on the liquid glass,
Seem to kiss the mimick'd flock. Where the stone-cross lifts its head,
Many a saint and pilgrim hoar, Up the hill was wont to tread,
Barefoot, in the days of yore. Guardian of a sacred well,
Arch'd beneath yon reverend shades, Whilom, in that shatter'd cell,
Many a hermit told his beads. Sultry mists surround the heath Where the Gothic dome
appears, O'er the trembling groves beneath
Tottering with a load of years. Turn to the contrasted scene,
Where, beyond these hoary piles, Gay, upon the rising green,
Many an attic building smiles ! Painted gardens-grots—and groves,
Intermingling shade and light! Lengthen'd vistas, green alcoves,
Join to give the eye delight.
Hamlets--villages, and spires,
Scatter'd on the landscape lie,
Closing in an azure sky.
ELEGY ON A PILE OF RUINS.
Aspice murorum moles, præruptaque saxa !
JANUS VITALIS. Omnia, tempus edax depascitur, omnia carpit.
In the full prospect yonder hill commands,
O’er barren heaths and cultivated plains, The vestige of an ancient abbey stands,
Close by a ruin'd castle's rude remains. Half buried there lie many a broken bust,
And obelisk, and urn, o'erthrown by Time; And many a cherub, there, descends in dust
From the rent roof, and portico sublime. The rivulets, oft frighted at the sound
Of fragments tumbling from the towers on high, Plunge to their source in secret caves profound,
Leaving their banks and pebbly bottoms dry. Where reverend shrines in Gothic grandeur stood,
The nettle or the noxious nightshade spreads; And ashlings, wafted from the neighbouring wood, Through the worn turrets wave their trembling There Contemplation, to the crowd unknown,
Her attitude composed, and aspect sweet, Sits musing on a monumental stone,
And points to the memento at her feet. Soon as sage Evening check'd Day's sunny pride,
I left the mantling shade in moral mood; And seated by the Maid's sequester'd side,
Sigh'd, as the mouldering monuments I view'd. Inexorably calm, with silent pace [way!
Here Time hath pass'd-What ruin marks bis This pile, now crumbling o'er its hallow'd base,
Turn’d not his step, nor could his course delay. Religion raised her supplicating eyes
In vain; and Melody her song sublime : In vain, Philosophy, with maxims wise,
Would touch the cold unfeeling heart of Time. Yet the hoar tyrant, though not moved to spare,
Relented when he struck its finish'd pride; And partly the rude ravage to repair,
The tottering towers with twisted ivy tied. How solemn is the cell o'ergrown with moss,
That terminates the view, yon cloister'd way! In the crush'd wall, a time-corroded
cross, Religionlike, stands mouldering in decay ! Where the mild sun, through saint-encipher'd glass,
Illumed with mellow light yon dusky aisle, Many rapt hours might Meditation pass,
Slow moving 'twixt the pillars of the pile! And Piety, with mystic-meaning beads,
Bowing to saints on every side inurn’d, Trod oft the solitary path that leads
Where now the sacred altar lies o’erturn'd!
Through the gray grove, between those withering
trees, ’Mongst a rude group of monuments, appears A marble-imaged matron on her knees,
Half wasted, like a Niobe in tears. Low level'd in the dust her darling's laid !
Death pitied not the pride of youthful bloom; Nor could maternal piety dissuade
Or soften the fell tyrant of the tomb. The relics of a mitred saint may rest Where, mouldering in the niche, his statue
stands; Now nameless as the crowd that kiss'd his vest,
And craved the benediction of his hands.
Near the brown arch, redoubling yonder gloom,
The bones of an illustrious chieftain lie; As, traced among the fragments of his tomb,
The trophies of a broken Fame imply. Ah! what avails, that o'er the vassal plain
His rights and rich demesnes extended wide! That Honour and her knights composed his train,
And Chivalry stood marshald by his side! Though to the clouds his castle seem'd to climb,
And frown'd defiance on the desperate foe; Though deem'd invincible, the conqueror Time
Level'd the fabric as the founder low.
Where the light lyre gave many a softening sound,
Ravens and rooks, the birds of discord, dwell; And where Society sat sweetly crown'd,
Eternal Solitude has fix'd her cell.