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FROM THE WHITE DOE OF RYLSTONE.

FROM Bolton's old monastic tower
The bells ring loud with gladsome power ;
The sun is bright : the fields are gay
With people in their best array
Of stole and doublet, hood and scarf,
Along the banks of the crystal Wharf,
Through the vale retired and lowly,
Trooping to that summons holy.
And, up among the moorlands, see
What sprinklings of blythe company
Of lasses and of shepherd grooms,
That down the steep hills force their way,
Like cattle through the budded broom ;
Path, or no path, what care they !
And thus in joyous mood they hie
To Bolton's mouldering Priory.

What would they there? Full fifty years That sumptuous pile, with all its peers, Too harshly hath been doom'd to taste The bitterness of wrong and waste : Its courts are ravaged ; but the tower Is standing, with a voice of power, That ancient voice which wont to call To mass or some high festival. And in the shatter'd fabric's heart Remaineth one protected part;

THE WHITE DOE OF RYLSTONE.

A rural chapel neatly drest,
In covert like a little nest :
And thither young and old repair,
This Sabbath-day, for praise and prayer.

Fast the churchyard fills; anon Look again, and they all are gone : They cluster round the porch, and the folk Who sate in the shade of the Prior's Oak ! And scarcely have they disappeared Ere the prelusive hymn is heard : With one consent the people rejoice, Filling the church with a lofty voice ! They sing a service which they feel : For 'tis the sunrise now of zeal, And faith and hope are in their prime, In great Eliza's golden time.

A moment ends the fervent din, And all is hushed, without and within ; For, though the priest more tranquilly Recites the holy liturgy, The only voice which you can hear Is the river murmuring near, When soft! the dusky trees between. And down the path through the open green, Where is no living thing to be seen, And through yon gateway, where is found, Beneath the arch with ivy bound, Free entrance to the churchyard ground, And right across the verdant sod Towards the very house of God,

THE WHITE DOE OF RYLSTONE

Comes gliding in with lovely gleam,
Comes gliding in serene and slow,
Soft and silent as a dream,
A solitary Doe!
White she is as lily of June,
And beauteous as the silver moon
When out of sight the clouds are driven,
And she is left alone in heaven ;
Or like a ship some gentle day
In sunshine sailing far away,
A glittering ship, that hath the plain
Of ocean for her own domain.

UPON THE SIGHT OF A BEAUTIFUL PICTURE.

PRAISED be the art whose subtle power could stay
Yon cloud, and fix it in that glorious shape;
Nor would permit the thin smoke to escape,
Nor those bright sunbeams to forsake the day;
Which stopped that band of travellers on their way
Ere they were lost within the shady wood;
And shewed the bark upon the glassy flood
For ever anchored in her sheltering bay.
Soul-soothing art! which morning, noontide, even,'
Do serve with all their changeful pageantry !
Thou, with ambition modest, yet sublime,
Here, for the sight of mortal man, hast given
To one brief moment, caught from fleeting time,
The appropriate balm of blest eternity.

MICHAEL.
A Pastoral Poem.

If from the public way you turn your steps Up the tumultuous brook of Green-head Ghyll, You will suppose that with an upright path Your feet must struggle ; in such bold ascent The pastoral mountains front you, face to face. But, courage ! for around that boisterous brook The mountains have all opened out themselves, And made a hidden valley of their own. No habitation there is seen; but such As journey thither find themselves alone With a few sheep, with rocks, and stones, and kites That overhead are sailing in the sky. It is in truth an utter solitude ; Nor should I have made mention of this dell But for one object which you might pass by, Might see and notice not. Beside the brook There is a straggling heap of unhewn stones ! And to that place a story appertains, Which, though it be ungarnished with events, Is not unfit, I deem, for the fireside, Or for the summer shade. It was the first Of those domestic tales that spake to me Of shepherds, dwellers in the valleys, men Whom I already loved- not verily For their own sakes, but for the fields and hills Where were their occupation and abode.

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