Page images
PDF
EPUB

BOWLES.

RETURN TO OXFORD.

CHERWELL.

CHERWELL! how pleased along thy willow'd edge
Erewhile I stray'd; or when the morn began
To tinge aloft the turret's golden fan,
Or Evening glimmer'd o'er the sighing sedge,
And now, reclin'd upon thy banks once more,
I bid the pipe FAREWELL, and that sad lay
Whose music on my melancholy way
I woo'd, beneath thy willows waving hoar,
Seeking to rest-till the returning sun

Of joy beam out, as when HEAVEN'S humid bow
Shines silent on the passing storm below;
Whate'er betide, yet something have I won
Of solace, that may bear me on serene,
Till Eve's dim hand shall close the sinking scene.

ON THE RHINE.

"TWAS morn, and beautiful the mountains' brow,-
Hung with the clusters of the bending vine-
Shone in the early light, when on the RHINE
We sail'd, and heard the waters round the prow
In murmurs parting; varying as we go,

Rocks after rocks come forward and retire,
As some grey convent-wall, or sunlit spire
Starts up, along the banks, unfolding slow.

[ocr errors]
[graphic]

Here castles, like the prisons of despair,

Frown as we pass!-There, on the vineyard's side, The bursting sunshine pours its streaming tide; While GRIEF, forgetful amid scenes so fair, Counts not the hours of a long summer's day, Nor heeds how fast the prospect winds away.

THE CELL OF THE MISSIONARY.

FRONTING the ocean, but beyond the ken
Of public view, and sounds of murm'ring men,-
Of unhewn roots compos'd, and gnarlèd wood,

A small and rustic Oratory stood:

Upon its roof of reeds appear'd a cross,

The porch within was lin'd with mantling moss;

A crucifix and hour-glass, on each side-

One to admonish seem'd, and One to guide;

This, to impress how soon life's race is o'er;

And that, to lift our hopes where time shall be no more.

O'er the rude porch, with wild and gadding stray,

The clust'ring copu weav'd its trellis gay:
Two mossy pines, high bending, interwove
Their aged and fantastic arms above.

In front, amid the gay surrounding flowers,
A dial counted the departing hours,

On which the sweetest light of summer shone,-

A rude and brief inscription mark'd the stone :-

"To count, with passing shade, the hours,
I plac'd the dial 'mid the flowers,

That, one by one, came forth, and died,
Blooming, and with'ring, round its side.
Mortal, let the sight impart
Its pensive moral to thy heart!"

[ocr errors]

Just heard to trickle through a covert near,
And soothing, with perpetual lapse, the ear,
A fount, like rain-drops, filter'd through the stone,
And, bright as amber, on the shallows shone.
Intent his fairy pastime to pursue,
And, gem-like, hovering o'er the violets blue,

The humming-bird, here, its unceasing song
Heedlessly murmur'd all the summer long,
And when the winter came, retir'd to rest,
And from the myrtles hung its trembling nest,
No sounds of a conflicting world were near;
The noise of ocean faintly met the ear,
That seem'd, as sunk to rest the noon-tide blast,
But dying sounds of passions that were past;
Or closing anthems, when, far off, expire
The lessening echoes of the distant choir.

Here, every human sorrow hush'd to rest,
His pale hands meekly cross'd upon his breast,
ANSELMO Sat: the sun, with west'ring ray,
Just touch'd his temples, and his locks of grey.
There was no worldly feeling in his eye;-
The world to him "was as a thing gone by."

Now, all his features lit, he rais'd his look,
Then bent it thoughtful, and unclasp'd the book;
And whilst the hour-glass shed its silent sand,
A tame opossum lick'd his wither'd hand.
That sweetest light of slow-declining day,
Which through the trellis pour'd its slanting ray,

Resting a moment on his few grey hairs,

Seem'd light from heaven sent down to bless his pray'rs.

When the trump echo'd to the quiet spot,

He thought upon the world, but mourn'd it not;
Enough if his meek wisdom could control,
And bend to mercy, one proud soldier's soul;
Enough, if while these distant scenes he trod,
He led one erring Indian to his God.

THE HOME OF THE OLD INDIAN.

BENEATH aërial cliffs, and glittering snows,
The rush-roof of an aged warrior rose,
Chief of the mountain tribes: high, overhead,
The Andes, wild and desolate, were spread,

Where cold Sierras shot their icy spires,
And CHILLAN trail'd its smoke, and smould'ring fires.
A glen beneath-a lonely spot of rest-
Hung, scarce discover'd, like an eagle's nest.
Summer was in its prime;-the parrot-flocks
Darken'd the passing sunshine on the rocks;
The chrysomel and purple butterfly,

Amid the clear blue light, are wand'ring by;
The humming-bird, along the myrtle bow'rs,
With twinkling wing, is spinning o'er the flow'rs,
The woodpecker is heard with busy bill,
The mock-bird sings-and all beside is still.
And look! the cataract, that bursts so high
As not to mar the deep tranquillity,

The tumult of its dashing fall suspends,
And, stealing drop by drop, in mist descends;
Through whose illumin'd spray and sprinkling dews,
Shine to the adverse sun the broken rainbow hues.

Check'ring, with partial shade, the beams of noon, And arching the grey rock with wild festoon, Here, its gay net-work, and fantastic twine, The purple cogul threads from pine to pine, And oft, as the fresh airs of morning breathe, Dips its long tendrils in the stream beneath. There, through the trunks, with moss and lichens white, The sunshine darts its interrupted light,

« PreviousContinue »