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Scatter'd all Britain over, through deep glen,
On airy upland, and by forest rills,
And o'er wide plains cheer'd by the lark that trills
His sky-born warblings,- does aught meet your ken
More fit to animate the Poet's pen,
Aught that more surely by its aspect fills
Pure minds with sinless envy, than th’ Abode
Of the good Priest? who, faithful through all hours
To his high charge, and truly serving God,
Has yet a heart and hand for trees and flowers,
Enjoys the walks his predecessors trod,
Nor covets lineal rights in lands and towers.
COMPOSED IN ROSLIN CHAPEL, DURING A STORM.
The wind is now thy organist;- a clank
(We know not whence) ministers for a bell
To mark some change of service. As the swell
Of music reach'd its height, and even when sank
The notes, in prelude, Roslin! to a blank
Of silence, how it thrill'd thy sumptuous roof,
Pillars, and arches, - not in vain time-proof,
Though Christian rites be wanting! From what bank
Came those live herbs ? by what hand were they sown
Where dew falls not, where rain-drops seem unknown?
Yet in the Temple they a friendly niche
Share with their sculptured fellows, that, green-grown,
Copy their beauty more and more, and preach,
Though mute, of all things blending into one.
SUGGESTED AT TYNDRUM IN A STORM.
ENOUGH of garlands, of th’ Arcadian crook,
And all that Greece and Italy have sung
Of swains reposing myrtle groves among!
Ours couch on naked rocks, — will cross a brook
Swoln with chill rains, nor ever cast a look
This way or that, or give it even a thought
More than by smoothest pathway may be brought
Into a vacant mind. Can written book
Teach what they learn? Up, hardy Mountaineer!
And guide the Bard, ambitious to be One
Of Nature's privy council, as thou art,
On cloud-seqnester'd heights, that see and hear
To what dread Powers le delegates his part
On Earth, who works in th' Heaven of heavens, alone.
THE EARL OF BREADALBANE'S RUINED MANSION, AND FAM
ILY BURIAL-PLACE, NEAR KILLIN.
WELL sang the Bard who call'd the grave, in strains
Thoughtful and sad, the “narrow house." No style
Of fond sepulchral flattery can beguile
Grief of her sting; nor cheat, where he detains
The sleeping dust, stern Death. How reconcile
With truth, or with each other, deck'd remains
Of a once warm Abode, and that new Pile,
For the departed, built with curious pains
And mausolean pomp? Yet here they stand
Together, — 'mid trim walks and artful bowers,
To be look'd down upon by ancient hills,
That, for the living and the dead, demand
And prompt a harmony of genuine powers;
Concord that elevates the mind, and stills.
TO THE PLANET VENUS, AN EVENING STAR.
(Composcd at Loch Lomond.)
THOUGII joy attend Thee orient at the birth
Of dawn, it cheers the lofty spirit most
To watch thy course when Day-light, fled from Earth,
In the grey sky hath left his lingering Ghost,
Perplex'd as if between a splendour lost
And splendour slowly mustering. Since the Sun,
The absolute, the world-absorbing One,
Relinquish'd half his empire to the host
Embolden'd by thy guidance, holy Star,-
Holy as princely, — who that looks on thee
Touching, as now, in thy humility
The mountain borders of this seat of care,
Can question that thy countenance is bright,
Celestial Power, as much with love as light?
(Passed unseen, on account of stormy weather.)
IMMURED in Bothwell's towers, at times the Brave
(So beautiful is Clyde) forgot to mourn
The liberty they lost at Bannockburn.
Once on those steeps I roam'd at large, and have
In mind the landscape, as if still in sight;
The river glides, the woods before me wave:
Then why repine that now in vain I crave
Needless renewal of an old delight?
Better to thank a dear and long-past day
For joy its sunny hours were free to give
Than blame the present, that our wish hath crost.
Memory, like sleep, hath powers which dreams obey,
Dreams, vivid dreams, that are not fugitive:
How little that she cherishes is lost!
“ REST AND BE THANKFUL.”
(At the head of Glencroe.) DOUBLING and donbling with laborious walk, Who, that has gain'd at length the wish’d-for Height, This brief, this simple way-side Call can slight, And rests not thankful? Whether cheer'd by talk With some loved friend, or by the unseen hawk Whistling to clouds and sky-born streams, that shine At the Sun's outbreak, as with light divine, Ere they descend to nourish root and stalk Of valley flowers. Nor, while the limbs repose, Will we forget that, as the fowl can keep Absolute stillness, poised aloft in air, And fishes front, unmoved, the torrent's sweep,So may the Soul, through powers that Faith bestows, Win rest, and ease, and peace, with bliss that Angels share.
HIGHLAND HUT. SEE what gay wild flowers deck this earth-built Cot, Whose smoke, forth-issuing whence and how it may, Shines in the greeting of the Sun's first ray Like wreaths of vapour without stain or blot. The limpid mountain rill avoids it not; And why shouldst thou?- If rightly train'd and bred, Humanity is humble, finds no spot Which her Heaven-guided feet refuse to tread. The walls are crack'a, sunk is the flowery roof, Undress’d the pathway leading to the door; But love, as Nature loves, the lonely Poor; Search, for their worth, some gentle heart wrong-proof, Meck, patient, kind, and, were its trials fewer, Belike less happy. - Stand no more aloof!
LINES COMPOSED A FEW MILES · ABOVE TINTERN ABBEY, ON REVISITING THE BANKS OF THE WYE DURING
A TOUR, JULY 13TH, 1798.
Five years have past; five Summers, with the length
Of five long Winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a soft inland murmur. 6– Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
That on a wild secluded scene impress
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky.
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
'Mid groves and copses. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, — hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms,
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem,
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some Hermit's cave, where by his fire
The Hermit sits alone.
These beauteous forms,
Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ʼmid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration; — feelings too
Of unremember'd pleasure; such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremember'd acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lighten’d; — that serene and blessèd mood
In which the affections gently lead us on,-
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul;
While, with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
Be but a vain belief, yet, O, how oft,-
In darkness and amid the many shapes
Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart,
How oft, in spirit, have I turn’d to thee,
O sylvan Wye! thou wanderer through the woods,
How often has my spirit turn'd to thee!
And now, with gleams of half-extinguish'd thought,
With many recognitions dim and faint,
And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
The picture of the mind revives again;
While here I stand, not only with the sense
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years. And so I dare to hope,
Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came among these hills; when like a roe
I bounded o’er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers and the lonely streams,
Wherever Nature led: more like a man
Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. For Nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,
Ànd their glad animal movements all gone by)
To me was all in all.— I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, nor any interest
Unborrow'd from the eye.— That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,