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Or of the church-clock and the chimes
Sing here beneath the shade,
That half-mad thing of witty rhymes
you last April made!
In silence Matthew lay, and eyed
The spring beneath the tree;
And thus the dear old man replied,
The grey-hair'd man of glee:
“No check, no stay, this Streamlet fears;
How merrily it goes !
'T will murmur on a thousand years,
And flow as now it flows.
And here, on this delightful day,
I cannot choose but think
How oft, a vigorous man, I lay
Beside this fountain's brink.
My eyes are dim with childish tears,
My heart is idly stirr’d,
For the same sound is in my ears
Which in those days I heard.
Thus fares it still in our decay:
And yet the wiser mind
Mourns less for what
away Than what it leaves behind.
The blackbird amid leafy trees,
The lark above the hill,
Let loose their carols when they please,
Are quiet when they will.
With Nature never do they wage
A foolish strife; they see
Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower,
Deform'd and sullied, patiently gave up
Their quiet being: and, unless I now
Confound my present feelings with the past;
Ere from the mutilated bower I turn'd
Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings,
I felt a sense of pain when I beheld
The silent trees, and saw the intruding sky.-
Then, dearest Maiden, move along these shades
In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand
55 Touch--for there is a spirit in the woods.
WE walk'd along, while bright and red
Uprose the morning sun;
And Matthew stopp'd, he look’d, and said,
“ The will of God be done !"
A village schoolmaster was he,
With hair of glittering grey;
As blithe a man as you could see
On a spring holiday.
And on that morning, through the grass,
And by the steaming rills,
We travell’d merrily, to pass
A day among the hills.
“Our work,” said I, “was well begun;
Then, from thy breast what thought,
Beneath so beautiful a sun,
So sad a sigh has brought?”
A second time did Matthew stop
And fixing still his eye
Upon the eastern mountain-top
To me he made reply:
“ Yon cloud with that long purple cleft
Brings fresh into
A day like this which I have left
Full thirty years behind.
And just above yon slope of com
Such colours, and no other,
Were in the sky, that April morn,
Of this the
With rod and line I sued the sport
Which that sweet season gave,
And, to the churchyard come, stopp'd short
Beside my daughter's grave.
Nine summers had she scarcely seen,
The pride of all the vale ;
And then she sang;—she would have been
A very nightingale.
Six feet in earth my Emma lay;
And yet I loved her more,
For so it seem'd, than till that day
I e'er had loved before.
And, turning from her grave, I met,
Beside the churchyard yew,
A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet
With points of morning dew.
A basket on her head she bare;
Her brow was smooth and white:
A happy youth, and their old age
Is beautiful and free:
But we are press’d by heavy laws;
And often, glad no more,
We wear a face of joy, because
We have been glad of yore.
If there be one who need bemoan
His kindred laid in earth,
50 The household hearts that were his own; It is the man of mirth. My days, my Friend, are almost gone, My life has been approved, And many
55 but by none Am I enough beloved.” “Now both himself and me he wrongs, The man who thus complains ! I live and sing my
songs Upon these happy plains;
60 And, Matthew, for thy children dead I'll be a son to thee!” At this he grasp'd my hand, and said, “ Alas! that cannot be." We rose up from the fountain-side;
65 And down the smooth descent Of the green sheep-track did we glide; And through the wood we went; And, ere we came to Leonard's rock, He sang those witty rhymes
70 About the crazy old church-clock, And the bewilder'd chimes.
“ WITH sacrifice before the rising morn
Vows have I made by fruitless hope inspired;
And from the infernal Gods, ʼmid shades forlorn
Of night, my slaughter'd Lord have I required:
Celestial pity I again implore ;-
Restore him to my sight-great Jove, restore !”
So speaking, and by fervent love endow'd
With faith, the Suppliant heavenward lifts her hands;
While, like the sun emerging from a cloud,
Her countenance brightens—and her eye expands; 10
Her bosom heaves and spreads, her stature grows;
And she expects the issue in repose.
O terror! what hath she perceived ?_0 joy!
What doth she look on ?-whom doth she behold ?
Her hero slain upon the beach of Troy?
15 His vital presence ? his corporeal mould ? It is—if sense deceive her not-'t is He! And a God leads him, winged Mercury! Mild Hermes spake--and touch'd her with his wand That calms all fear; “Such grace hath crown'd thy Laodamía! that at Jove's command [prayer, 20 Thy Husband walks the paths of upper He comes to tarry with thee three hours' space; Accept the gift, behold him face to face !” Forth sprang the impassion'd Queen her Lord to clasp ; Again that consummation she essay'd;
26 But unsubstantial Form eludes her grasp Aus often as that eager grasp was made. The Phantom parts—but parts to re-unite, And re-assume his place before her sight. 30