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On leaving BRISTOL WELLS.
By the Rev. C. H. SHERIVE.
Ye rocks and woods, o'er Avon's winding stream,
Sublimely tow'ring (in whose shadowy caves
Dwells Inspiration, she, that rarely lists
To mortal call, within her wild abode
From vulgar ken retiring;) pensive, now,
To you I turn; with undissembled sighs,
Measuring the dreary space, O! choice retreats
Of all that warms my fancy, or my heart,
The dreary space, that severs me from you!
Life-breathing Gales, and Waters, that revive
Health's roses, when they droop; your genial aid
Now most I need, far distant; honouring thee
Not less, O! sacred Fount, than ancient bards
Their Hippocrene; for spirits, here, sublime,
True sons of Genius, darlings of the Muse
Have lov'd to wander. Such the luckless youth,
That hymn'd the shade of Ella, and that sung
The victor Norman: He, whose master-hand
Call'd from his harp immortal tones; 'till Fate,
Summon'd by dire Despair, his tuneful breath
Stifled remorseless: o'er his early Grave
Nature will weep, nor Piety herself
Can blame the tear, tho' she abhor the deed :
And such was Het, that, here, in hapless hour,
Pour'd o'er the dear lost partner of his life
Soft strains of tenderest sorrow. Alas! too oft
In vain essaying these salubrious streams,
The pining child of grief, the victims pale
Of luckless love, here droop and fade and fall;
Yea even the Sons of Song,-or Russel's bier‡
Sweet Poesy's pensive flowers, not yet, had strew'd.
Haunts of the Muse much lov'd, still, still ye boast
Rich in æthereal flame a sacred few,
That scale the Aonian summit, and explore
Empyreal fields of fancy: or, presume,
Mr. Russel of New College, Oxford, died at the Hot-Wells,
Fearless to trace, with deep and piercing search
Great Nature's sacred laws, and wonders dread!
Marking their rapid flight, on eagle-wing,
Toward that bright dome, gem'd with a thousand stars,
Where Fame eternal dwells, and deigns unclose
Her portals to the aspiring souls, that soar,
From worlds inferior; I must pause and weep
Repentant tears, tears wrung by pungent shame
For hours mispent, yea, for departed years
Of shapeless indolence: while sharp Regret
Rebukes me ineffectual. "So should'st Thou
Have nurs'd Invention's plumes, and so have dar'd
Above the herd malignant and above
The vulgar proud! nor to thy Classic * shades
Estrang'd and lost, have meanly deign'd to mix
With sordid crouds, blind, as the delving mole,
To Wisdom's charms, and deaf as icy Death
To notes Pierian. Genius' proffer'd pearls
They spurn, and rent the giver: Thou, unapt
To match these gross assailants, haply, then
Hadst held thy course beyond their scanty sphere,
Hadst dwelt with downy Peace, and given thy name Fair and undying to Futurity!
But soft!-a gentler voice, melodious, wins
My willing ear; a tenderer Power invades,
By stealth, my captive soul, and bids me sigh
For other sweets, than Fame, and points my view
To where my own heart's lovely treasure lies.
Hail! favor'd scenes of various beauty! scenes,
Here bold and rugged, blooming there and soft,
Of heavenly solitude, or social joys,
Most sweet; where Science, where the inspiring Nine
Oft deign to visit, and the frolic Loves,
Who, in the youthful train of green-rob'd Spring,
Delight to gambol; then, when next she holds
Her Fairy-Revels, then, with willing foot
your steep, and catch your gales again.
Written in a London Church-Yard.
St. Paul's now sounds the close of busy day,
The weary dray-horse rests from labour free,
The merchant to his villa speeds his way,
And leaves the town to tumult and to me.
Now stars terrestrial glimmer through the street,
Thro' all the air a din confus'd is spread,
Save where perchance some list'ning crowd you meet,
By nightly songster's strains discordant led;
Save that from yonder watch-box standing near,
The old night-guardian tells his wonted tale;
Or urg'd by outrage dire to timely fear,
Makes his loud rattle sound upon the gale.
On cobler's stall, or screen'd by friendly shed,
Full many a maid once breath'd her nightly woes ;
Yet here from chill misfortune ever fled,
The houseless Wanderers of the street repose.