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To one who has been long in city pent,
'Tis very sweet to look into the fair
And open face of heaven,—to breathe a prayer
Full in the smile of the blue firmament.
Who is more happy, when, with heart's content,
Fatigued he sinks into some pleasant lair
Of wavy grass, and reads a debonair
And gentle tale of love and languishment?
Returning home at evening, with an ear
Catching the notes of Philomel, -an eye
Watching the sailing cloudlet's bright career,
He mourns that day so soon has glided by:
E'en like the passage of an angel's tear
That falls through the clear cther silently.
I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said : Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shatter'd visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamp'd on these lifeless things,
The hand that mock'd them and the heart that fed ;
And on the pedestal these words appear :
'My name is Ozymandias, king of kings :
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair !!
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.
P. B. Shelley
COMPOSED AT NEID PATH CASTLE, THE PROPERTY OF LORD QUEENSBERRY,
1803 Degenerate Douglas ! oh, the unworthy lord ! Whom mere despite of heart could so far please And love of havoc, (for with such disease Fame taxes him,) that he could send forth word To level with the dust a noble horde, A brotherhood of venerable trees, Leaving an ancient dome, and towers like these, Beggar'd and outraged !-Many hearts deplored The fate of those old trees; and oft with pain The traveller at this day will stop and gaze On wrongs, which Nature scarcely seems to heed : For shelter'd places, bosoms, nooks, and bays, And the pure mountains, and the gentle Tweed, And the green silent pastures, yet remain.
THE BEECH TREE'S PETITION
O leave this barren spot to me!
Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree !
Though bush or floweret never grow
My dark unwarming shade below ;
Nor summer bud perfume the dew
Of rosy blush, or yellow hue ;
Nor fruits of autumn, blossom-born,
My green and glossy leaves adorn ;
Nor murmuring tribes from me derive
Th’ ambrosial amber of the hive ;
Yet leave this barren spot to me :
Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree!
Thrice twenty summers I have seen
The sky grow bright, the forest green ;
And many a wintry wind have stood
In bloomless, fruitless solitude,
Since childhood in my pleasant bower
First spent its sweet and sportive hour;
Since youthful lovers in my shade
Their vows of truth and rapture made,
And on my trunk's surviving frame
Carved many a long-forgotten name.
Oh! by the sighs of gentle sound,
First breathed upon this sacred ground;
By all that Love has whisper'd here,
Or Beauty heard with ravish'd ear;
As Love's own altar honour me :
Spare, woodman, spare the beechen tree !
ADMONITION TO A TRAVELLER
Yes, there is holy pleasure in thine eye !
-The lovely Cottage in the guardian nook
Hath stirr'd thee deeply ; with its own dear brook,
Its own small pasture, almost its own sky!
But covet not the abode ; forbear to siglı
As many do, repining while they look ;
Intruders--who would tear from Nature's book
This precious leaf with harsh impiety.
- Think what the home must be if it were thine,
Even thine, though few thy wants !-Roof, window,
The very flowers are sacred to the Poor,
The roses to the porch which they entwine :
Yea, all that now enchants thee, from the day
On which it should be touch'd, would melt away!
TO THE HIGHLAND GIRL OF
Sweet Highland Girl, a very shower
Of beauty is thy earthly dower !
Twice seven consenting years have shed
Their utmost bounty on thy head :
And these gray rocks, that household lawn,
Those trees-a veil just half withdrawn,
This fall of water that doth make
A murmur near the silent lake,
This little bay, a quiet road
That holds in shelter thy abode;
In truth together ye do seem
Like something fashion’d in a dream ;
Such forms as from their covert peep
When earthly cares are laid asleep!
But O fair Creature ! in the light
Of common day, so heavenly bright,
I bless Thee, Vision as thou art,
I bless thee with a human heart :
God shield thce to thy latest yeais !
Thee neither know I nor thy peers :
And yet my eyes are fill’d with tears.
With earnest feeling I shall pray
For thee when I am far away ;
For never saw I mien or face
In which more plainly I could trace
Benignity and home-bred sense
Ripening in perfect innocence.
Here scatter'd, like a random seed,
Remote from men, Thou dost not need
The embarrass'd look of shy distress,
And maidenly shamefacédness :
Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear
The freedom of a Mountaineer :
A face with gladness overspread ;
Soft smiles, by human kindness bred ;
And seemliness complete, that sways
Thy courtesies, about thee plays;
With no restraint, but such as springs
From quick and eager visitings
Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach
Of thy few words of English speech :
A bondage sweetly brook'd, a strife
That gives thy gestures grace and life !
So have I, not unmoved in mind,
Seen birds of tempest-loving kind-
Thus beating up against the wind.
What hand but would a garland cull
For thee who art so beautiful ?
O happy pleasure ! here to dwell
Beside thee in some heathy dell ;
Adopt your homely ways, and dress,
A shepherd, thou a shepherdess !
But I could frame a wish for thee
More like a grave reality :
Thou art to me but as a wave
Of the wild sea : and I would have
Some claim upon thee, if I could,
Though but of common neighbourhood.
What joy to hear thee, and to see!
Thy elder brother I would be,
Thy father-anything to thee.
Now thanks to Heaven ! that of its grace
Hath led me to this lonely place :
Joy have I had ; and going hence
I bear away my recompence.
In spots like these it is we prize
Our Memory, feel that she hath eyes :
Then why should I be loth to stir ?
I feel this place was made for her ;
To give new pleasure like the past,
Continued long as life shall last.
Nor am I loth, though pleased at heart,
Sweet Highland Giri! from thee to part ;
For I, methinks, till I grow old