Изображения страниц


Pathway, and lane, and public road, were And winding on with such an easy line clogged

[hill Along a natural opening, that I siood With irequent showers of snow. Upon a Much wondering how I could have sought At a shori distance from my cottage stands in vain A stately fir-grove, wbither I was wont For what was now so obvious. To abide, 'To hasten, for I found beneath the roof For an allotted interval of ease. Of that perennial shade, a cloistral place Beneath my cottage roof, had newly come 01 refuge, with an unincumbered floor. From the wild sea a cherished visitant ; Here, in safe covert, on the shallow snow, And with the sight of this same pathAnd, sometimes, on a speck of visible begun, earth,

(loth Begun and ended, in the shady grove, The redbreast near me hopped ; nor was I Pleasant conviction flashed upon my mind To sympathise with vulgar coppice birds That, to this opportune recess allured, That, for protection from the nipping He had surveyed it with a finer eye, blast,

A heart more wakeful ; and had worn the Hither repaired. -A single beech-tree grew track Within this grove of firs; and, on the fork By pacing here, unwearied and alone, Of that one beech, appeared a thrush's In that habitual restlessness of foot (o'er nest;

With which the sailor measures o'er and A last year's nest, conspicuously built His short domain upon the vessel's deck, At such small elevation from the ground While she is travelling through the dreary As gave sure sign that they, who in that

house Of nature and of love had made their home When thou hadst quitted Esthwaite's Amid the fir-trees, all the summer long pleasant shore, Dwelt in a tranquil spot. And oftentimes, And taken thy first leave of those green A few sheep, stragglers from some nioun- hills

Lyouth. tain-flock,

And rocks that were the play-ground of thy Would watch my motions with suspicious Year followed year, my brother! and wetwo, stare,

Conversing not, knew little in what mould From the remotest outskirts of the grove, -- Each other's minds were fashioned ; and at Some nook where they had made their length, final stand,

When once again we met in Grasmere vale, Huddlig together from two fears—the fear Between us there was little other bond Of me and of the storm. Full many Than common feelings of fraternal love. an hour

But thou, a school-boy, to the sca hadst Here did I lose. But in this grove the

carried trees

(thriven Undying recollections : nature there Had been so thickly planted, and had Was with thee; she, who loved us both, In such perplexed and intricate array,

she still

(become That vainly did I seek, between their stems, Was with thee : and even so didst thou A length of open space, where to and fro A silent poet , from the solitude {heurt My feet might move without concern or of the vast sea didst bring a watchful care.

Still couchant, an inevitable ear, And, baffled thus, before the storm relaxed, And an eye practised like a blind man's I ceased the shelter to frequent, -and

touch. prized,

Back to the joyless ocean thou art gone ; Less than I wished to prize, that calm Nor from this vestige of thy musing hours

Could I withhold thy honoured name, and The snows dissolved, and genial spring I love the fir-grove with a perfect love. returned

[haunts Thither do I withdraw when cloudless suns To clothe the fields with verdure." Other Shine hot, or wind blows troublesome and Meanwhile were mine; till, one bright strong: April day,

And there I sit at evening, when the steep By chance retiring from the glare of noon

Of Silver-how, and Grasmere's peaceful To this forsaken covert, there I found


(stems A noary pathway traced between the trees, And one green island, gleam between the



Of the dark firs, a visionary scene ! The fir-grove murmurs with a sea-like And, while I gaze upon the spectacle

sound, 01 clouded splendour, on this dream-like Alone I tread this path :-for aught I know, sight

Timing my steps to thine, and, with a store Or solemn loveliness, I think on thee, Of undistinguishable sympathies, My brother, and on all which thou hast Mingling most earnest wishes for the day lost.

When we, and others whom we love, shall Nor seldom, if I rightly guess, while thou, meet Muttering the verses which I muttered first A second time, in Grasmere's happy vale. Among the mountains, through the midnight watch

Note. - This wish was Art pacing thoughtfully the vessel's deck

not granted; the In some far region, here, while o'er my shipwreck, in discharge of his duty as com

lamented person, not long after, perished by head,

mander of the Honourable East India Company s At every impulse of the moving breeze, vessel, the Earl of Abergavenny,


[ocr errors]


SEAT OF SIR GEORGE BEAUMONT, OFT is the medal faithful to its trust

When temples, columns, towers are laid in

dust; The embowering rose, the acacia, and the And 'tis a common ordinance of fate pine,

That things obscure and small outlive the Will not unwillingly their place resign;

great : If but the cedar ihrive that near them Hence, when yon mansion and the flowery stands,

trim Planted by Beaumont's and by Words- ' of this fair garden, and its alleys dim, worth's hands.

And all its stately trees are passed away, One wooed the silent art with studious This little niche, unconscious of decay, pains,

Perchance may still survive.-And be it These groves have heard the other's pen- known sive strains ;

That it was scooped within the living Devoted thus, their spirits did unite

stone, By interchange of knowledge and delight. Not by the sluggish and ungrateful pains Mav nature's kindliest powers sustain the Of labourer plodding for his daily gains ; And love protect it from all injury ! (tree, But by an industry that wrought in love, And when its potent branches, wide out. With help from female hands, that proudly thrown,


(and bowers Darken the brow of this memorial stone,

To aid the work, what time these walks Here may some painter sit in future days,

Were shaped to cheer dark winter's lonciy Some future poet meditate his lays ,

hours. Not mindless of that distant age renowned When inspiration hovered o'er this ground, WRITTEN

REQUEST OF SIR The haunt of him who sang how spear and


HIS NAME, FOR AN URN, PLACED BY In civil conflict met on Bosworth field;

THE TERMINATION OF And of that famous youth, full soon removed

NEWLY-PLANTED AVENUE, IN From earth, perhaps by Shakspeare's self

SAME GROUNDS. approved, Fletcher's associate, Jonson's friend beloved. Ye lime-trees, ranged before this hallowed

(return; Shoot forth with lively power at spring's






[ocr errors]

aisle :


And be not slow a stately growth to rear 1 WRITTEN WITH A PENCIL UPON A STONE Of pillars. branching off from year to year,

IN THE WALL OF THE HOUSE (AN Till they have learned to frame a darksome


GRASMERE, That may recall to mind that awful pile Where Reynolds, 'mid our country's noblest RudE is this edifice, and thou hast seen dead,

Buildings, albeit rude, that have maintained In the last sanctity of fame is laid.

Proportions more harmonious, and apThere, though by right the excelling proached painter sleep

(keep. To somewhat of a closer fellowship Where death and glory a joint Sabbath With the ideal grace. Yet, as it is, Yet not the less his spirit would hold dear

Do take it in good part :-alas! the poor Self-hidden praise, and friendship's private Vitruvius of our village had no help tear.

From the great city; never, on the leaves Hence, on my patrimonial grounds, have 1 Of red morocco tolio saw displayed Raised this frail tribute to his memory,

The skeletons and pre-existing ghosts From youth a zealous follower of the art

Of beauties yet unborn, the rustic box, That he prosessed, attached to him in Snug cot, with coach-house, shed, and heart:

hermitage. Admiring, loving, and with grief and pride Thou see'st a homely pile, yet to these walls Feeling what England lost when Reynolds The heifer comes in the snow-storm, and died.


(the wind. The new-dropped lamb finds shelter from

And hither does one poet sometimes row FOR A SEAT IN THE GROVES OF

His pinnace, a small vagrant barge, up-piled
With plenteous store of heath and withered

fern, BENEATH yon eastern ridge, the craggy (A lading which he with his sickle cuts bound,

[ground, Among the mountains)and beneath this roof Rugged and high, of Charnwood's forest He makes his summer couch, and here at Stand yet, but, stranger ! hidden from thy

(the sheep, view,

Spreads out his limbs, while, yet unshorn, The ivied ruins of forlorn Grace Dieu ; Panting beneath the burthen of their wool, Erst a religious house, which day and night Lie round him, even as if they were a part With hymns resounded, and the chanted Of his own household ; nor, while from his rite :


[lake And when those rites had ceased, the spot Hethrough that door-place looks toward the

And to the stirring breezes, does he want To honourable men of various worth : Creations lovely as the work of sleepThere, on the margin of a streamlet wild, Fair sights and visions of romantic joy! Did Francis Beaumont sport, an eager

child; There, under shadow of the neighbouring WRITTEN WITH A SLATE-PENCIL ON A rocks,

(flocks ;

STONE, ON THE SIDE OF THE MOUNSang youthful tales of shepherds and their TAIN OF BLACK COMB. Unconscious prelude to heroic themes, STAY, bold adventurer; rest a while thy Heart-breaking tears, and melancholy limbs

mains dreanis

On his commodious seat! for much reOf slighted love, and scorn, and jealous rage, of hard ascent before thou reach the top With which his genius shook the buskined Of this huge eminence, -from blackness stage.

named, Communities are lost, and empires die, And, to far-travelled storms of sea and land, And things of holy use unhallowed lie; A favourite spot of tournament and war! They perish ;-but the intellect can raise, But thee may no such boisterous visitants From airy words alone, a pile that ne'er Molest; may gentle breezes fan thy brow; decays.

And neither cloud conceal, nor misty air
Bedim, the grand terraqueous spectacle,
From centre to circumference, unveiled !


gave birth



Know, if thou grudge not to prolong thy rest, Entire forgiveness !—But if thou art one That on the summit whither thou art bound. On fire with thy impatience to become geographic labourer pitched his tent, An inmate of these mountains,-if, disWith books supplied and instruments of art, turbed To measure height and distance; lonely task, By beautiful conceptions, thou hast hewn Week after week pursued !-To him was Out of the quiet rock the elements given

Of thy trim mansion destined soon to blaze Full many a glimpse (but sparingly bestowed In snow-white splendour, – think again, On timid man) of nature's processes

and, taught l'pon the exalted hills.

He made report By old Sir William and his quarry, leave That once, while there he plied his studious Thy fragments to the bramble and the rose; work

There let the vernal slow-worm sun himself, Hithin that canvas dwelling, suddenly And let the redbreast hop from stone to The many-coloured map before his eyes

stone. Became invisible for all around Had darkness fallen-unthreatened, unproclaimed

INSCRIPTIONS SUPPOSED TO BE FOUND As if the golden day itself had been

IN AND NEAR A HERMIT'S CELL. Extinguished in a moment ; total gloom, in which he sat alone, with unclosed eyes, Hopes what are they?-Beads of morning l'pon the blinded mountain's silent top! Strung on slender blades of grass;

Or a spider's web adorning

In a strait and treacherous pass.

What are fears but voices airy?

Whispering harm where harm is not ;

And deluding the unwary

Till the fatal bolt is shot!
STRANGER! this hillock of mis-shapen What is glory?--in the socket

See how dying tapers fare!
Is not a ruin of the ancient time, [cairn What is pride?-a whizzing rocket
Nor, as perchance thou rashly deem'st, the That would emulate a star.
Of some old British chief : tis nothing more
Than the rude embryo of a little dome What is friendship?-do not trust her,
Or pleasure-house, once destined to be built Nor the vows which she has made;
Among the birch-trees of this rocky isle. Diamonds dart their brightest lustre
But, as it chanced, Sir William having From a palsy-shaken head.

(might wade,
That from the shore a full-grown man What is truth?-a staff rejected:
And make himself a freeman of this spot Duty?-an unwelcome clog;
At any hour he chose, the knight forthwith Joy?-a moon by fits reflected
Desisted, and the quarry and the mound In a swamp or watery bog:
Are monuments of his unfinished task.
The block on which these lines are traced, Bright, as if through ether steering,

To the traveller's eye it shone :
Was once selected as the corner-stone He hath hailed it re-appearing-
Of the intended pile, which would have been And as quickly it is gone;
Some quaint odd plaything of elaborate

Gone, as if for ever hidden;
So that, I guess, the linnet and the thrush, Or mis-shapen to the sight,
And other little builders who dwell here, And by sullen weeds forbidden
Had wondered at the work. But blame To resume its native light.

him not,
For old Sir William was a gentle knight What is youth?-a dancing billow,
Bred in this vale, to which he appertained (Winds behind, and rocks before !)
With all his ancestry. Then peace to him, Age?-a drooping, tottering willow
And for the outrage which he had devised On a flat and lazy shore.



What is peace ?—when pain is over, What avails the kindly shelter
And love ceases to rebel.

Yielded by this craggy rent,
Let the last faint sigh discover

If my spirit toss and welter That precedes the passing knell !

On the waves of discontent?

Parching summer hath no warrant

To consume this crystal well;

Rains that make each all a torrent,
PAUSE, traveller! whosoe'er thou be

Neither sully it nor swell.
Whom chance may lead to this retreat
Where silence yields reluctantly

Thus, dishonouring not her station,
Even to the fleecy straggler's bleat ;

Would my life present to thee,

Gracious Gord, the pure oblation,
Give voice to what my hand shall trace,

Of divine tranquillity!
And fear not lest an idle sound
Of words unsuited to the place
Disturb its solitude profound.

Not seldom, clad in radiant vest,

Deceitfully goes forth the morn; I saw this rock, while vernal air

Not seldom evening in the west
Blew softly o'er the russet heath,

Sinks smilingly forsworn.
Ophold a monument as fair
As church or abbey furnisheth.

The smoothest seas will sometimes prove,
Unsullied did it meet the day,

To the confiding bark, untrue; Like marble white, like ether pure ;

And, if she trust the stars above, As if beneath some hero lay,

They can be treacherous too. Honoured with costliest sepulture.

The umbrageous oak, in pomp outspread,

Full oft, when storms the welkin rend,
My fancy kindled as I gazed;

Draws lightning down upon the head
And, ever as the sun shone forth,
The flattered structure glistened, blazed,

It promised to defend.
And seemed the proudest thing on earth. But thou art true, incarnate Lord,

Who didst vouchsafe for man to die;
But frost had reared the gorgeous pile Thy smile is sure, thy plighted word
Unsound as those which fortune builds;

No change can falsify!
To underinine with secret guile,
Sapped by the very beam that gilds. I bent before thy gracious throne,

And asked for peace on supplian. knee;
And, while I gazed, with sudden shock And peace was given.-nor peace alone,
Fell the whole fabric to the ground; But faith sublimed to ecstasy !
And naked left this dripping rock,
With shapeless ruin spread around!

Hast thou seen, with flash incessant,


Bubbles gliding under ice,
Bodied forth and evanescent,

STRANGER! this shapeless heap of stones
No one knows by what device?

and earth

Is the last relic of St. Herbert's cell.
Such are thoughts !-A wind-swept meadow Here stood his threshold; here was spread
Mimicking a troubled sea,

the roof Such is life; and death a shadow

That sheltered him, a self-secluded man,
From the rock eternity!

After long exercise in social cares
And offices humane, intent to adore

The Deity, with undistracted mind,

And meditate on everlasting things, TROUBLED long with warring notions, In utter solitude.-But he had left Long impatient of thy rod,

A fellow-labourer, whom the good man I resign my soul's emotions


(upraised Unto thee, mysterious God!

As his own soul. And, when with eye

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »