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While every word dropt on my ear
So soft (and yet it seemed to thrill), So sweet that it was a heaven to hear,
And e'en thy pause had music still.
And O, how like a fairy dream
To gaze in silence on the tide, While soft and warm the sunny gleam
Slept on the glassy surface wide !
And many a thought of fancy bred,
Wild, soothing, tender, undefined, Played lightly round the heart, and shed
Delicious languor o'er the mind.
So hours like moments winged their flight,
Till now the boatmen on the shore, Impatient of the waning light,
Recalled us by the dashing oar.
Well, Anna, many days like this
I cannot, must not hope to share; For I have found an hour of bliss
Still followed by an age of care.
Yet oft when mem
YOME to these peaceful seats, and think no more
Of cold, of midnight watchings, or the roar Of Ocean tossing on his restless bed! Come to these peaceful seats, ye who have bled For honor, who have traversed the great flood, Or on the battle's front with stern eye stood, When rolled its thunder, and the billows red Oft closed, with sudden flashings, o'er the dead. O, heavy are the sorrows that beset Old age! and hard it is, - hard to forget The sunshine of our youth, our manhood's pride! But here, O aged men! ye may abide Secure, and see the last light on the wave Of Time, which wafts you silent to your grave; Like the calm evening ray, that smiles serene Upon the tranquil Thames, and cheers the sinking scene.
William Lisle Bowles.
Greta, the River.
TO THE RIVER GRETA, NEAR KESWICK.
Rumble along thy bed, block after block;
The mourner, thy true nature was defamed,
My gentle stream, with constant smile and bright,
Thy murmurous accents glad of yesternight,
HADDON HALL, DERBYSHIRE, JULY, 1836. TOT fond displays of cost, nor pampered train
Of idle menials, me so much delight, Nor mirrored halls, nor roofs with gilding bright, Nor all the foolery of the rich and vain, As these time-honored walls, crowning the plain With their gray battlements; within bedight With ancient trophies of baronial might, And figures dim, inwoven in the grain Of dusky tapestry. I love to muse In present peace, on days of pomp and strife; The daily struggles of our human life, Seen through Time's veil, their selfish coloring lose, As here the glaring beams of outer day Through ivy-shadowed oriels softened play.
The boasted rank, the lordly name,
Ceased like an extinguished flame.
Solemn in the summer noon,
Ghost-like 'neath the midnight moon
By some trailing shadow cleft;
Vacant chamber of the dead,
Through whose gloom fierce passions swept; Mouldering couch whereon, 't is said,
The majesty of England slept ;
Hall of wassail, which has rung
To the unquestioned baron's jest; Dim old chapel, where were hung
Offerings of the o'erfraught breast;
Moss-clad terrace, strangely still,
Broken shaft, and crumbling frieze, Still as lips that used to fill
With bugle-blasts the morning breeze!
Careless river, gliding under,
Ever gliding, lapsing on,
At the ages which have gone;
Thou in thy unconscious flow
Know'st not sorrows which destroy, Yet this truth thou dost not know,
Sorrows give a zest to joy.
Every record of the past
Makes the present more intense, Love's old temple overcast
Wakes to love the living sense.