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Thither the rainbow comes- the cloud-
And mists that spread the flying shroud;
And sunbeams; and the sounding blast,
That, if it could, would hurry past;
But that enormous barrier binds it fast.
Not free from boding thoughts, a while
The Shepherd stood: then makes his way
Towards the Dog, o'er rocks and stones,
As quickly as he may;
Nor far had gone before he found
A human skeleton on the ground;
The appalled Discoverer with a sigh
Looks round, to learn the history.
From those abrupt and perilous rocks
The Man had fallen, that place of fear!
At length upon the Shepherd's mind
It breaks, and all is clear:
He instantly recalled the Name,
And who he was, and whence he came;
Remembered, too, the very day
On which the Traveller passed this way.
But hear a wonder, for whose sake
This lamentable Tale I tell!
A lasting monument of words
This wonder merits well.
The Dog, which still was hovering nigh,
Repeating the same timid cry,
This Dog, had been through three months' space A dweller in that savage place.
Yes, proof was plain that, since the day
When this ill-fated Traveller died,
The Dog had watched about the spot,
Or by his Master's side:
How nourished here through such long time
He knows, who gave that love sublime;
And gave that strength of feeling, great
Above all human estimate.
(SUGGESTED BY A PICTURE.)
THAT happy gleam of vernal eyes,
Those locks from summer's golden skies,
That o'er thy brow are shed;
That cheek-a kindling of the morn,
That lipa rose-bud from the thorn,
I saw; and Fancy sped
To scenes Arcadian, whispering, through soft air,
Of bliss that grows without a care,
Of happiness that never flies-
How can it where love never dies?
Of promise whispering, where no blight
Can reach the innocent delight;
Where pity, to the mind conveyed
In pleasure, is the darkest shade
That Time, unwrinkled Grandsire, flings
From his smoothly-gliding wings.
What mortal form, what earthly face,
Inspired the pencil, lines to trace,
And mingle colours that should breed
Such rapture, nor want power to feed;
For had thy charge been idle flowers,
Fair Damsel, o'er my captive mind,
To truth and sober reason blind,
'Mid that soft air, those long-lost bowers,
The sweet illusion might have hung, for hours
Thanks to this tell-tale sheaf of corn, That touchingly bespeaks thee born Life's daily tasks with them to share Who, whether from their lowly bed They rise, or rest the weary head, Ponder the blessing they entreat From Heaven, and feel what they repeat, While they give utterance to the prayer That asks for daily bread.
THE LABOURER'S NOON-DAY HYMN
Up to the throne of God is borne
The voice of praise at early morn,
And he accepts the punctual hymn
Sung as the light of day grows dim.
Nor will he turn his ear aside From holy offerings at noontide: Then here reposing let us raise A song of gratitude and praise.
What though our burthen be not light
We need not toil from morn to night;
The respite of the mid-day hour
Is in the thankful Creature's power.
Blest are the moments, doubly blest, That, drawn from this one hour of rest, Are with a ready heart bestowed
Upon the service of our God!
Why should we crave a hallowed spot' An altar is in each man's cot,
A Church in every grove that spreads Its living roof above our heads.
Look up to Heaven! the industrious Sun
Already half his race hath run;
He cannot halt nor go astray,
But our immortal Spirits may.
Lord! since his rising in the East,
If we have faltered or transgressed,
Guide, from thy love's abundant source,
What yet remains of this day's course⚫
Then Canute, rising from the invaded Throne,
Said to his servile Courtiers, "Poor the reach,
The undisguised extent, of mortal sway!
He only is a king, and he alone
Deserves the name (this truth the billows preach)
Whose everlasting laws, sea, earth, and heaven obey."
This just reproof the prosperous Dane
Drew, from the influx of the Main,
And Canute (truth more worthy to be known)
From that time forth did for his brows disown
The ostentatious symbol of a Crown;
Esteeming earthly royalty
Contemptible and vain.
Her darling Alfred, might have spoken; To cheer the remnant of his host
Now hear what one of elder days,
Rich theme of England's fondest praise,
When he was driven from coast to coast,
Distressed and harassed, but with mind unbroken:
"My faithful Followers, lo! the tide is spent;
That rose, and steadily advanced to fill
The shores and channels, working Nature's will
Among the mazy streams that backward went,
And in the sluggish pools where ships are pent:
And now, its task performed, the Flood stands still
At the green base of many an inland hill,
In placid beauty and sublime content!
Such the repose that Sage and Hero find;
Such measured rest the sedulous and good
Of humbler name; whose souls do, like the flood
This mournful iteration? For though Time,
The Conqueror, crowns the Conquered, on this brow
Planting his favourite silver diadem,
Nor he, nor minister of his intent
To run before him, hath enrolled me yet,
Though not unmenaced, among those who lean
Upon a living staff, with borrowed sight.
-O my Antigone, beloved child !
Should that day come but hark! the birds salute
The cheerful dawn, brightening for me the east;
For me, thy natural Leader, once again
Impatient to conduct thee, not as erst
A tottering Infant, with compliant stoop
From flower to flower supported; but to curb
Thy nymph-like step swift-bounding o'er the lawn,
Along the loose rocks, or the slippery verge
Of foaming torrent. From thy orisons
Come forth; and, while the morning air is yet
Transparent as the soul of innocent youth,
Let me, thy happy Guide, now point thy way,
And now precede thee, winding to and fro,
Till we by perseverance gain the top
Of some smooth ridge, whose brink precipitous
Kindles intense desire for powers withheld
From this corporeal frame; whereon who stands,
For some whose rugged northern mouths would strain Is seized with strong incitement to push forth
At oriental flattery;
His arms, as swimmers use, and plunge - dread
For pastime plunge into the "abrupt abyss," Where Ravens spread their plumy vans, at ease!
And yet more gladly thee would 1 conduct
Through woods and spacious forests, — to behold
There, how the Original of human art,
Heaven-prompted Nature measures and erects
Her temples, fearless for the stately work, ?
Though waves in every breeze its high-arched roof,
And storms the pillars rock. But we such schools
Of reverential awe will chiefly seek
In the still summer noon, while beams of light,
Reposing here, and in the aisles beyond
Traceably gliding through the dusk, recall
To mind the living presences of Nuns;
A gentle, pensive, white-robed sisterhood,
Whose saintly radiance mitigates the gloom
Of those terrestrial fabrics, where they serve,
To Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, espoused.
Now also shall the page of classic lore,
To these glad eyes from bondage freed, again
Lie open; and the book of Holy Writ,
Again unfolded, passage clear shall yield
To heights more glorious still, and into shades
More awful, where, advancing hand in hand,
We may be taught, O Darling of my care!
To calm the affections, elevate the soul,
And consecrate our lives to truth and love.
THE sylvan slopes with corn-clad fields
Are hung, as if with golden shields,
Bright trophies of the sun!
Like a fair sister of the sky,
Unruffled doth the blue Lake lie,
The Mountains looking on.
And, sooth to say, yon vocal Grove, Albeit uninspired by love,
By love untaught to ring,
May well afford to mortal ear
An impulse more profoundly dear
Than music of the Spring.
For that from turbulence and heat
Proceeds, from some uneasy seat
In Nature's struggling frame,
Some region of impatient life;
And jealousy, and quivering strife,
Therein a portion claim.
This, this is holy; - while I hear
These vespers of another year,
This hymn of thanks and praise,
My spirit seems to mount above
The anxieties of human love,
And earth's precarious days.
But list!-though winter storms be nigh,
Unchecked is that soft harmony:
There lives Who can provide
For all his creatures; and in Him,
Even like the radiant Seraphim,
These Choristers confide,
UPON THE SAME OCCASION. DEPARTING Summer hath assumed An aspect tenderly illumed, The gentlest look of Spring; That calls from yonder leafy shade Unfaded, yet prepared to fade, A timely carolling.
No faint and hesitating trill,
Such tribute as to Winter chill
The lonely Redbreast pays
Clear, loud, and lively is the din,
From social warblers gathering in
Their harvest of sweet lays.
Nor doth the example fail to cheer
Me, conscious that my leaf is scre,
And yellow on the bough:-
Fall, rosy garlands, from my head!
Ye myrtle wreaths, your fragrance shed
Around a younger brow!
Yet will I temperately rejoice;
Wide is the range, and free the choice
Of undiscordant themes;
Which, haply, kindred souls may prize
Not less than vernal ecstasies,
And passion's feverish dreams.
For deathless powers to verse belong, And they like Demi-gods are strong On whom the muses smile;
But some their function have disclaimed, Best pleased with what is aptliest framed To enervate and defile.
Not such the initiatory strains Committed to the silent plains In Britain's earliest dawn
Trembled the groves, the stars grew pale,
While all-too-daringly the veil
Of Nature was withdrawn!
Nor such the spirit-stirring note When the live chords Alcæus smote, Inflamed by sense of wrong;
Woe! woe to Tyrants! from the lyre Broke threateningly, in sparkles dire Of fierce vindictive song.
And not unhallowed was the page
By winged Love inscribed, to assuage
The pangs of vain pursuit;
Love listening while the Lesbian Maid
With finest touch of passion swayed
Her own Eolian lute.