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Troubled, 'wildered, and forlorn,
Dark, benighted, travel-worn,
Over many a tangled spray,
All heart-broke, I heard her say :
• Oh, my children ! do they cry,
Do they hear their father sigh?
Now they look abroad to see,
Now return and weep for me.'
Pitying, I dropped a tear :
But I saw a glowworm near,
Who replied, “What wailing wight
Calls the watchman of the night?
'I am set to light the ground,
While the beetle goes his round.
Follow now the beetle's hum,
Little wanderer, hie thee home!'
DECEMBER MORNING. I love to rise ere gleams the tardy light, Winter's pale dawn; and as warm fires illume, And cheerful tapers shine around the room, Through misty windows bend my musing sight, Where, round the dusky lawn, the mansions white 5S With shutters closed peer faintly through the gloom, That slow recedes; while yon grey spires assume, Rising from their dark pile, an added height By indistinctness given then to decree The grateful thoughts to God, ere they unfold 10 To friendship or the Muse, or seek with glee Wisdom's rich page. O hours more worth than gold, By whose blest use we lengthen life, and, free From drear decays of age, outlive the old !
THE THRUSH'S NEST.
Within a thick and spreading hawthorn bush,
That overhung a molehill large and round,
I heard from morn to morn a merry thrush
Sing hymns of rapture, while I drank the sound
With joy- and oft, an unintruding guest,
I watched her secret toils from day to day;
How true she warped the moss to form her nest,
And modelled it within with wood and clay.
And by and by, like heath-bells gilt with dew,
There lay her shining eggs as bright as flowers, 10
Ink-spotted over, shells of green and blue :
And there I witnessed in the summer hours
A brood of nature's minstrels chirp and fly,
Glad as the sunshine and the laughing sky.
O Time ! who know'st a lenient hand to lay
Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence,
Lulling to sad repose the weary sense,
The faint pang stealest unperceived away;
On thee I rest my only hope at last,
And think, when thou hast dried the bitter tear
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,
I may look back on every sorrow past
And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile;
As some lone bird, at day's departing hour,
Sings in the sunbeam, of the transient shower
Forgetful, though its wings are wet the while;
Yet ah ! how much must that poor heart endure,
Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure.
William Lisle Bowles.
FANCY IN NUBIBUS. Oh, it is pleasant, with a heart at ease, Just aster sunset, or by moonlight skies, To make the shifting clouds be what you please, Or let the easily-persuaded eyes Own each quaint likeness issuing from the mould ; Of a friend's fancy; or, with head bent low, And cheek aslant, see rivers flow of gold, 'Twixt crimson banks; and then a traveller go From mount to mount, through Cloudland, gorgeous land! Or, listening to the tide with closed sight,
10 Be that blind Bard, who on the Chian strand, By those deep sounds possessed with inward light, Beheld the Iliad and the Odyssee Rise to the swelling of the voiceful sea.
Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPTEMBER 3, 1803.
Earth has not anything to show 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.
EVENING 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, 10 Thy nature is not therefore 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.
I will not praise the often-flattered rose,
Or, virgin-like, with blushing charms half seen,
Or when, in dazzling splendour, like a queen,
All her magnificence of state she shows;
No, nor that nun-like lily which but blows
Beneath the valley's cool and shady screen;
Nor yet the sun-flower, that with warrior mien
Still eyes the orb of glory where it glows;
But thou, neglected Wall-flower ! to my breast
And Muse art dearest, wildest, sweetest flower !
To whom alone the privilege is given
Proudly to root thyself above the rest;
As Genius does, and from thy rocky tower
Lend fragrance to the purest breath of heaven.
Hardly we breathe, although the air be free :
How massively doth awful Nature pile
The living rock, like some cathedral aisle,
Sacred to Silence and the solemn Sea.
How that clear pool lies sleeping tranquilly,
And under its glassed waters seems to smile,
With many hues, a mimic grove the while
Of foliage submarine, shrub, flower, and tree.
Beautiful scene ! and fitted to allure
The printless footsteps of some sea-born maid,
Who here, with her green tresses disarrayed,
'Mid the clear bath, unfearing and secure,
May sport at noontide in the caverned shade-
Cold as the shadow-as the waters pure.
'Twas on a Holy Thursday, their innocent faces clean, The children walking two and two, in red, and blue, and
green; Grey-headed beadles walked before, with wands as white as
snow, Till into the high dome of Paul's, they like Thames' waters
O what a multitude they seemed, these flowers of London
town, Seated in companies they sit, with radiance all their own: The hum of multitudes was there, but multitudes of lambs, Thousands of little boys and girls, raising their innocent