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Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
In the next valley-glades:
US with imagined wing our swift scene flies,
In motion of no less celerity Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen The well-appointed King at Hampton pier Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet With silken streamers the young Phæbus fanning. Play with your fancies; and in them behold, Upon the hempen tackle, ship-boys climbing, Hear the shrill whistle, which doth order give To sounds confused; behold the threaden sails, Borne with the invisible and creeping wind, Draw the huge bottoms through the furrowed sea, Breasting the lofty surge. O, do but think, You stand upon the rivage, and behold A city on the inconstant billows dancing! For so appears this fleet majestical Holding due course to Harfleur.
WRITTEN BENEATH AN ELM IN THE CHURCHYARD OF HARROW,
YPOT of my youth! whose hoary branches sigh,
Swept by the breeze that fans thy cloudless sky; Where now alone I muse, who oft have trod, With those I loved, thy soft and verdant sod; With those who, scattered far, perchance deplore, Like me, the happy scenes they knew before : O, as I trace again thy winding hill, Mine eyes admire, my heart adores thee still, Thou drooping elm! beneath whose boughs I lay, And frequent mused the twilight hours away; Where, as they once were wont, my limbs recline, But ah! without the thoughts which then were mine : How do thy branches, moaning to the blast, Invite the bosom to recall the past, And seem to whisper, as they gently swell, “Take, while thou canst, a lingering, last farewell !”
When fate shall chill, at length, this fevered breast, And calm its cares and passions into rest, Oft have I thought, 't would soothe my dying hour, If aught may soothe when life resigns her power, To know some humble grave, some narrow cell, Would hide my bosom where it loved to dwell. With this fond dream, methinks, 't were sweet to die
And here it lingered, here my heart might lie;
some good fairy granted me to play A chosen portion of my life again, I would not ask an Oxford hour. The vain Attempt to ape the follies of the day, How soon it palls; while ever fresh and gay Riseth the vision of the school-boy train Who shouted, thoughtless, on dear Harrow's plain, And clomb the hill when eve was growing gray. O for the careless days, the dreamless nights; The broken bounds, the plunge into the pool; The elastic feet that ne'er the leap refuse; The summer games, the winter's mimicked fights: O for the guileless friendships formed at school, The first shy whispers of the natural muse !
John Bruce Norton.
OW wildly sweet, by Hartland Tower,
A seraph, from his cloudy bower,
Might lean to listen there.
For time and place and storied days
To that gray fane have given
Mid scenery of heaven.
With footsteps firm and free;
Beneath, the wide, wide sea. Enter! the arching roofs expand,
Like vessels on the shore, Inverted, when the fisher-band
Might tread their planks no more.
Lest faithless hearts forget
And hauled the early net.
Still weaves the chancel screen;
Suit well this simple scene.
A Saxon font, with baptism bright,
The womb of mystic birth;
Their Lord descends to earth.
Here glides the spirit of the psalm,
Here breathes the soul of prayer; The awful church, so hushed, so calm,
Ah ! surely God is there.
And lives no legend on the wall ?
No theme of former men ?
And sink in graves again ?
Yes! there, through yonder portal stone,
With whispered words they tell, How once the monk with name unknown
Prepared that silent cell.
He came with griefs that shunned the light,
With vows long breathed in vain : Those arches heard, at dead of night,
The lash, the shriek, the pain,
The prayer that rose and fell in tears,
The sob, the bursting sigh: Till woke with agony of years
The exceeding bitter cry.
This lasted long,
as life will wear, E'en though in anguish nursed,