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The girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.
She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn
Or up the mountain springs ;
And hers shall be the breathing balm,
And hers the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.
The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend;
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the storm
Grace that shall mould the maiden's form
By silent sympathy.
The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her, and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.
And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell."
Thus Nature spake-the work was done
How soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.
WRITTEN AT SUNRISE ON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE.
Earth has not any thing to show more fair :
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty :
This city now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning ; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt a calm so deep !
The river glideth at his own sweet will;
Ah, me! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still !
ODE TO DUTY. Stern daughter of the voice of God, O Duty ! if that name thou love, Who art a light to guide, a rod To check the erring, and reprove; Thou, who art victory and law When empty terrors overawe; From vain temptation dost set free; And calm’st the weary strife of frail humanity! There are who ask not if thine eye Be on them; who, in love and truth Where no misgiving is, rely Upon the genial sense of youth: Glad hearts! without reproach or blot; Who do thy work, and know it not: .0, if through confidence misplaced They fail, thy saving arms, dread Power, around them cast ! Serene will be our days and bright, And happy will our nature be, When love is an unerring light, And joy its own security. And they a blissful course may hold Even now, who, not unwisely bold, Live in the spirit of this creed; Yet seek their firm support according to their need.
I, loving freedom, and untried;
No sport of every random gust,
Yet being to myself a guide,
Too blindly have reposed iny trust.
And oft, when in my heart was heard
Thy timely mandate, I deferred
The task, in smoother walks to stray;
But thee I now would serve more strictly, if I may.
Through no disturbance of my soul,
Or strong compunction in me wrought,
I supplicate for thy control;
But in the quietness of thought :
Me this unchartered freedom tires;
I feel the weight of chance desires;
My hopes no more must change their name,
I long for a repose that ever is the same.
Stern lawgiver ! yet thou dost wear
The Godhead's most benignant grace;
Nor know we any thing so fair
As is the smile upon thy face.
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds,
And fragrance in thy footing treads ;
Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong,
And the most ancient heavens, through thee, are fresh and
To humbler functions, awful Power,
I call thee! I myself commend
Unto thy guidance from this hour;
O let my weakness have an end !
Give unto me, made lowly wise,
The spirit of self-sacrifice;
The confidence of reason give,
And in the light of truth thy bondman let me live.
TO A SKYLARK.
Ethereal minstrel, pilgrim of the sky!
Dost thou despise the earth, where cares abound?
Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye,
Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground, -
Thy nest, which thou canst drop into at will,
Those quivering wings composed, that music still ?
Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;
A privacy of glorious light is thine ;
Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood
Of harmony, with instinct more divine.
Type of the wise who soar, but never roam,
True to the kindred points of Heaven and home.
SAXON CLERGY. How beautiful your presence, how benign, Servants of God! who not a thought will share With the vain world; who outwardly, as bare As winter trees, yield no fallacious sign That the firm soul is clothed with fruit divine. Such priest, when service worthy of his care Has called him forth to breathe the common air, Might seem a saintly image from its shrine Descended : happy are the eyes that meet The apparition; evil thoughts are stayed At his approach, and low-bowed necks entreat A benediction from his voice or hand; Whence grace, through which the heart can understand, And vows that bend the will, in silence made.
CANUTE A pleasant music floats along the mere From monks in Ely chanting service here; While-as Canute the king is rowing by, “My oarsmen," quoth the mighty king,“ draw near, That we the sweet song of the monks may hear.” He listens (all past conquests and all schemes Of future vanishing like empty dreams) Heart touched, and haply not without a tear. The royal minstrel, ere the choir is still, While his free barge skims the smooth flood along, Gives to that rapture an accordant rhyme : 0, suffering earth, be thankful; sternest clime And rudest age are subject to the thrill Of heaven-descended piety and song.
CRUSADES. Furl we the sails, and pass with tardy oars Through these bright regions, casting many a glance Upon the dream-like issues, the romance Of many-coloured life that fortune pours Round the Crusaders, till on distant shores Their labours end; or they return to lie, The vow performed, in cross-legged effigy, Devoutly stretched upon their chancel-foors. Am I deceived? Or is their requiem chanted By voices never mute when Heaven unties Her inmost, softest, tenderest harmonies ? Requiem which earth takes up with voice undaunted,
When she would tell how brave, and good, and wise,
For their high guerdon not in vain have panted.
As faith thus sanctified the warrior's crest,
While from the papal unity there came
What feebler means had failed to give, one aim
Diffused through all the regions of the west;
So does her unity its power attest
By works of art, that shed on the outward frame
Of worship glory and grace, which who shall blame
That ever looked to Heaven for final rest?
Hail, countless temples, that so well befit
Your ministry! that, as ye rise and take
Form, spirit, and character from holy writ,
Give to devotion, wheresoe'er awake,
Pinions of high and higher sweep, and make
The unconverted soul with awe submit!
Mother! whose virgin bosom was uncrost
With the least shade of thought to sin allied;
Woman! above all women glorified,
Our tainted nature's solitary boast;
Purer than foam on central ocean tost,
Brighter than eastern skies at daybreak strewn
With fancied roses, than the unblemished moon
Before her vane begins on heaven's blue coast,
Thy image falls to earth. Yet some, I ween,
Not unforgiven, the suppliant knee might bend,
As to a visible power, in which did blend
All that was mixed and reconciled in thee
Of mother's love with maiden purity,
Of high with low, celestial with terrene.
SONG AT THE FEAST OF BROUGHAM CASTLE
UPON THE RESTORATION OF LORD CLIFFORD THE SHEPHERD TO THE ESTATES AND
HONOURS OF HIS ANCESTORS.
High in the breathless hall the minstrel sate,
And Emont's murmur mingled with the song,
The words of ancient time I thus translate,
A festal strain that hath been silent long.
“ From town to town, from tower to tower,
The red rose is a gladsome flower :
Her thirty years of winter past,
The red rose is revived at last;