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Intended more particularly for the Perusal of those who may have happened to be enamoured of some beautiful Place of Retreat, in the Country of the Lakes.
Yes, there is holy pleasure in thine eye! —The lovely Cottage in the guardian nook Hath stirred thee deeply; with its own dear brook, Its own small pasture, almost its own sky!But covet not the Abode—Oh! do not sigh, As many do, repining while they look;Sighing a wish to tear from Nature's Book This blissful leaf with harsh impiety. Think what the home would be if it were thine, Even thine, though few thy wants!—Roof, window, door, The very flowers are sacred to the Poor, The roses to the Porch which they entwine:Yea, all, that now enchants thee, from the day On which it should be touched would melt, and melt away!
"Beloved Vale!" I said," when I shall con
Methought I saw the footsteps of a throne
Which mists and vapours from mine eyes did shroud—
Nor view of who might sit thereon allowed;
But all the steps and ground about were strown
With sights the ruefullest that flesh and bone
Ever put on; a miserable crowd,
Sick, hale, old, young, who cried before that cloud,
"Thou art our king, O Death! to thee we groan."
I seemed to mount those steps; the vapours gave
Smooth way; and I beheld the face of one
Sleeping alone within a mossy cave,
With her face up to heaven; that seemed to have
Pleasing remembrance of a thought foregone;
A lovely Beauty in a summer grave!
Surprized by joy—impatient as the Wind I wished to share the transport—Oh! with whom But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb, That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love recalled thee to my mind— But how could I forget thee?—Through what power, Even for the least division of an hour, Have I been so beguiled as to be blind To my most grievous loss ?—That thought's return Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore, Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn, Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more;That neither present time, nor years unborn Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.
It is a beauteous Evening, calm and free;
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven is on the Sea:
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder—everlastingly.
Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear'st untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest " in Abraham's bosom" all the year;
And worshipp'st at the Temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.