« PreviousContinue »
See, in the rear of the warm sunny shower
The visionary boy from shelter fly;
For now the storm of summer rain is o'er,
And cool, and fresh, and fragrant is the sky.
And, lo! in the dark East, expanded high,
The rainbow brightens to the setting sun!
Fond fool, that deem'st the streaming glory nigh;
How vain the chase thine ardour has begun!
'Tis fled afar, ere half thy purpos'd race be run.
When the long-sounding curfew from afar
Loaded with loud lament the lonely gale,
Young Edwin, lighted by the evening star,
Lingering and listening, wander'd down the vale.
There would he dream of graves and corses pale,
And ghosts that to the charnel-dungeon throng,
And drag a length of clanking chain, and wail,
Till silenc'd by the owl's terrific song,
Or blast that shrieks by fits the shuddering aisles along.
Or, when the setting moon, in crimson dyed,
Hung o'er the dark and melancholy deep,
To haunted streams, remote from man, he hied,
Where fays of yore their revels wont to keep;
And there let Fancy rove at large, till sleep
A vision brought to his entranced sight.
And first, a wildly murmuring wind 'gan creep
Shrill to his ringing ear; then tapers bright,
With instantaneous gleam, illum'd the vault of night.
Anon in view a portal's blazon'd arch
Arose; the trumpet bids the valves unfold;
And forth an host of little warriors march,
Grasping the diamond lance and targe of gold.
Their look was gentle, their demeanour bold,
And green their helms, and green their silk attire ;
And here and there, right venerably old,
The long-rob'd minstrels wake the warbling wire, And some with mellow breath the martial pipe inspire.
With merriment, and song, and timbrels clear,
A troop of dames from myrtle bowers advance ;
The little warriors doff the targe and spear,
And loud enlivening strains provoke the dance.
They meet, they dart away, they wheel askance ;
To right, to left, they thrid the flying maze;
Now bound aloft with vigorous spring, then glance
Rapid along with many-colour'd rays
Of tapers, gems, and gold, the echoing forests blaze.
BUT who the melodies of morn can tell?
The wild brook babbling down the mountain side;
The lowing herd; the sheepfold's simple bell;
The pipe of early shepherd dim descried
In the lone valley; echoing far and wide,
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above;
The hollow murmur of the ocean tide;
The hum of bees, the linnet's lay of love,
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove.
The cottage-curs at early pilgrim bark;
Crown'd with her pail, the tripping milkmaid sings;
The whistling ploughman stalks afield; and, hark!
Down the rough slope the ponderous waggon rings;
Through rustling corn the hare astonish'd springs ;
Slow tolls the village clock the drowsy hour; The partridge bursts away on whirring wings; Deep mourns the turtle in sequester'd bower, And shrill lark carols clear from her aërial tower.
OFT when the winter storm had ceas'd to rave,
He roam'd the snowy waste at even, to view
The cloud stupendous, from th' Atlantic wave
High towering, sail along th' horizon blue:
Where, 'midst the changeful scenery ever new,
Fancy a thousand wondrous forms descries,
More wildly great than ever pencil drew-
Rocks, torrents, gulfs, and shapes of giant size,
And glitt'ring cliffs on cliffs, and fiery ramparts rise.
Thence musing onward to the sounding shore,
The lone enthusiast oft would take his way,
Listening, with pleasing dread, to the deep roar
Of the wide-weltering waves.
In black array
When sulphurous clouds roll'd on th' autumnal day;
E'en then he hasten'd from the haunt of man,
Along the trembling wilderness to stray,
What time the lightning's fierce career began,
And o'er heaven's rending arch the rattling thunder ran.
THITHER he hied, enamour'd of the scene;
For rocks on rocks pil'd, as by magic spell,
Here scorch'd with lightning, there with ivy green,
Fenc'd from the north and east this savage dell.
Southward a mountain rose with easy swell,
Whose long, long groves eternal murmur made:
And toward the western sun a streamlet fell,
Where, through the cliffs, the eye remote survey'd
Blue hills, and glittering waves, and skies in gold array'd.
Along this narrow valley you might see
The wild deer sporting on the level ground,
And, here and there, a solitary tree,
Or mossy stone, or rock with woodbine crown'd.
Oft did the cliffs reverberate the sound
Of parted fragments tumbling from on high;
And from the summit of that craggy mound
The piercing eagle oft was heard to cry,
Or, on resounding wings, to shoot athwart the sky.
One cultivated spot there was, that spread
Its flowery bosom to the noonday beam,
Where many a rosebud rears its blushing head,
And herbs for food with future plenty teem.
Sooth'd by the lulling sound of grove and stream,
Romantic visions swarm on Edwin's soul:
He minded not the sun's last trembling gleam,
Nor heard from far the twilight curfew toll;
When slowly on his ear these moving accents stole:
"Hail, awful scenes, that calm the troubled breast,
And woo the weary to profound repose!
Can passion's wildest uproar lay to rest,
And whisper comfort to the man of woes?
Here Innocence may wander, safe from foes,
And Contemplation soar on seraph wings.
O Solitude! the man who thee foregoes,
When lucre lures him, or ambition stings,
Shall never know the source whence real grandeur springs."