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Whose perfect form reposed at rest Upon his breast with loving trustfulness; While sadly, firmly thus he spake : • 'Tis better thus to leave thee In this thy home of beauty, Rocked by the breathings of the wind, To dreams of gentle innocence, And by the smiles of morn caressed ; Whilst murmuring bees around Melodious make the balmy air ; Than to take thee from thy parent stem, Thou, the most endeared to them ! The tenderest, daintiest bloom of all ! And bring thee far away with me, Mid scenes full rude Of nature and of men. Though shielded by my fondest care, A bud so delicate, so rare ! Could ill endure the noontide sun, Whose daily course has now begun ; Its parching breath would quickly take Thy life away, and rudely make My life so sad and desolate, That henceforth all my journey here Would lonely hardship be severe ; Then poor indeed my lot would be, Who only now am rich in love,
When cast on such a lonely sea,
In dreary solitude to rove.'
Speaking thus, he upward stood,
And grasping firm his trusty staff,
He took a last, long look around,
O'er all the dear remembered ground;
And by Providential chance once more,
Upon the winsome little flower
His eyes did rest; and in them showed
Intense, unutterable love.
A tender, silent, sad farewell.
Then nobly turned away,
And disappeared along the path
Which led into the wilderness;
Within his heart a secret fire,
A sweet pain unknown before;
Delicious as the fragrant breath
That cometh with the early dawn,
Cheering him when faint and weary,
'Neath the trials of the desert,
'Neath the burning, sultry noontide ;
Re-invigorating his manhood,
By the sweet memory of a Rose.
Composed at Tresco, Isles of Scilly, in the old Coastguard Watchhouse, during the month of April, 1884. It is one of my earliest attempts at Poetry, and therefore I value it on that account, and also for the associations producing and connected therewith.
A LONG, low shed ; in front a lawn
Of level fresh-cut grass ; o'erhead
Old beams of oak and timbers rude,-
Whose cobwebs spoke of quietude, -
Mingled with the granite gray,
Whose hoary walls defy decay,
And have for ages stood.
From rocky eminence, beyond
The trees and close-cut lawn,
Tresco Abbey's towers look down,
O'er all the cultivated ground;
And are mirrored in the Lake below,
Whose cooling waters slake
The thirsty creatures round.
Here, surrounded by the Sea, Whose frolicsome waters laughingly Roll up the sandy crescent bays, And fall in curls of silvery sprays, Upon the pebbly stones and land; Thence to retreat a joyous band, And sound in murmurs far away,
We view in silent relic throng,
The victims of that murmur song :
Battered, bruised, and broken,
From their conflict with the Ocean;
Here from the king his golden crown
The monarch billows hurled ; and wound
Him mid their misty motion.
The warrior, too, whose sturdy form
Had often pressed against the storm,
Now with the monk in garments free,
Repose together silently;
And jolly tars in blue array,
With pretty lasses bright and gay,
Rest ever by the Sea.
What visions do these conjure up !
Of joy and sorrow in life's cup;
Here a thousand workmen kneel,
And rivet home the mighty keel
Of some huge Ship Then, one day,
With banners bright and emblems gay,
She from the stocks doth steal.
Whilst deafening cheers on either side
Proclaim the Ocean has his Bride;
Then soon, with sails well set and trim,
As a white swan upon the wing,
The good ship leaves the harbour's mouth,
And takes her way toward the South,
With kind, brave hearts within.
Years speed away, but to that port
From whence she went in beauty forth,
She ne'er has come again ;
To soothe the orphans' weary pain,
With favour of a father's smile ;
And win them for a little while
From poverty's strong reign.
Perchance, for days all things went well,
And every heart was light; but who can tell
Or did the chill sea fog, old Ocean's rime,
Envelop her with shadows grime?
Till suddenly from out that gloom
A vessel cleft them to their doom,
Within ten minutes' time.
None reached the Shore from off that Wreck,
Nor stepped again another deck ;
Now, only an Old Figurehead
Remains in memory of her dead,
Who sleep beneath the sounding Sea,
In quiet calm as tranquilly
As those on downy beds.
Others struggled mid the foam,
Where the stanch Schiller found her home ;
Those rugged rocks of dark gray form,
Round which the billows and the storm