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Earth has not anything to shew more fair :
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty :
This city now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning ; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill ;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep !
The river glideth at his own sweet will :
Dear God ! the very houses seem asleep
And all that mighty heart is lying still !
Pelion and Ossa flourish side by side,
Together in immortal books enrolled ;
His ancient dower Olympus hath not sold;
And that inspiring hill, which “did divide
Into two ample horns his forehead wide,"
Shines with poetic radiance as of old ;
While not an English mountain we behold
By the celestial muses glorified.
Yet round our sea-girt shore they rise in crowds:
What was the great Parnassus' self to thee,
Mount Skiddaw? In his natural sovereignty
Our British hill is fairer far; he shrouds
His double-front among Atlantic clouds,
And pours forth streams more sweet than Castaly.
UPON THE BEACH NEAR CALAIS,
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free;
The holy time is quiet as a nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity ;
The gentleness of heaven is on the sea :
Listen ! the mighty being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder-everlastingly.
Dear child ! dear girl ! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear’st untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature therefore is not less divine :
Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year ;
And worshipp'st at the temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.
ON THE EVE OF A FRIEND'S MARRIAGE, IN
THE VALE OF GRASMERE.
What need of clamorous bells, or ribbons gay
These humble nuptials to proclaim or grace?
Angels of love, look down upon the place,
Shed on the chosen vale a sun-bright day !
Even for such omen would the bride display
No mirthful gladness. Serious is her face,
Modest her mien; and she, whose thoughts keep pace
With gentleness, in that becoming way
Will thank you. Faultless does the maid appear,
No disproportion in her soul, no strife :
But when the closer view of wedded life
Hath shewn that nothing human can be clear
From frailty, for that insight may the wife
To her indulgent lord become more dear.
TO THE MEMORY OF RAISLEY CALVERT.
CALVERT! it must not be unheard by them
Who may respect my name, that I to thee
Owed many years of early liberty.
This care was thine when sickness did condemn
Thy youth to hopeless wasting, root and stem-
That I, if frugal and severe, might stray
Where'er I liked ; and finally array
My temples with the muse's diadem.
Hence, if in freedom I have loved the truth,
If there be aught of pure, or good, or great,
On my past verse, or shall be, in the lays
If higher mood which now I meditate ;-
It gladdens me, O worthy, short-lived youth !
To think how much of this will be thy praise.