« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »
THE IDLE SHEPHERD-BOYS;
OR, DUNGEON-GHYLL FORCE
THE valley rings with mirth and joy ;
The magpie chatters with delight;
Or through the glittering vapours dart
Beneath a rock, upon the grass,
On pipes of sycamore they play
Their rusty hats they trim:
And thus, as happy as the day,
Those Shepherds wear the time away.
Along the river's stony marge
1 Ghyll, in the dialect of Cumberland and Westmoreland, is a short and, for the most part, a steep narrow valley, with a stream running through it. Force is the word universally employed in these dialects for waterfall.
A thousand lambs are on the rocks,
That plaintive cry! which up the hill
Said Walter, leaping from the ground, "Down to the stump of yon old yew We'll for our whistles run a race."
-Away the shepherds flew ;
They leapt, they ran, and when they came. Right opposite to Dungeon-Ghyll, Seeing that he should lose the prize, "Stop!" to his comrade Walter cries. James stopped with no good will: Said Walter then, "Your task is here, "Twill baffle you for half a year.
"Cross, if you dare, where I shall cross; Come on, and tread where I shall tread." The other took him at his word,
And followed as he led.
It was a spot which you may see
If ever you to Langdale go;
Into a chasm a mighty block
Hath fallen, and made a bridge of rock :
The gulf is deep below;
And, in a basin black and small,
Receives a lofty waterfall.
With staff in hand across the cleft
When list! he hears a piteous moan;
And, looking down, espies
A lamb, that in the pool is pent
The lamb had slipped into the stream,
His dam had seen him when he fell,
The lamb, still swimming round and round,
Made answer to that plaintive sound.
When he had learnt what thing it was,
He drew it from the troubled pool,
Into their arms the lamb they took,
Whose life and limbs the flood had spared;
Then up the steep ascent they hied,
And placed him at his mother's side;
And gently did the bard
Those idle shepherd-boys upbraid,
And bade them better mind their trade.
TO H. C.
SIX YEARS OLD
O THOU! whose fancies from afar are brought;
The breeze-like motion and the self-born carol;
In such clear water, that thy boat
May rather seem
To brood on air than on an earthly stream;
Thou art so exquisitely wild,
I think of thee with many fears
For what may be thy lot in future years.
I thought of times when pain might be thy guest, Lord of thy house and hospitality;
And grief, uneasy lover! never rest
But when she sate within the touch of thee.
O too industrious folly!
O vain and causeless melancholy!
Nature will either end thee quite;
Or, lengthening out thy season of delight,
Preserve for thee, by individual right,
A young lamb's heart among the full-grown flocks. What hast thou to do with sorrow,
Or the injuries of to-morrow?
Thou art a dew-drop, which the morn brings forth,
Ill fitted to sustain unkindly shocks,
Or to be trailed along the soiling earth;
A gem that glitters while it lives,
And no forewarning gives;
But, at the touch of wrong, without a strife
THE LONGEST DAY
ADDRESSED TO MY DAUGHTER, DORA
LET us quit the leafy arbour,
And the torrent murmuring by;
Evening now unbinds the fetters
All that breathe are thankful debtors
Yet by some grave thoughts attended
For the day that now is ended
Dora! sport, as now thou sportest,
Take thy bliss, while longest, shortest,
Who would check the happy feeling
Yet, at this impressive season,
And, while shades to shades succeeding