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BETWEEN two sister moorland rills
There is a spot that seems to lie
Sacred to flowerets of the hills,
And sacred to the sky.
And in this smooth and open dell
There is a tempest-stricken tree ;
A corner-stone by lightning cut,
The last stone of a cottage hut;
And in this dell you see
A thing no storm can e'er destroy,
The Shadow of a Danish Boy.(1)
In clouds above, the Lark is heard, But drops not here to earth for rest; Within this lonesome nook the Bird Did never build her nest. No Beast, no Bird hath here his home ; Bees, wafted on the breezy air, Pass high above those fragrant bells To other flowers ; – to other dells Their burthens do they bear; , The Danish Boy walks here alone: The lovely dell is all his own.
A Spirit of noon-day is he;
He seems a Form of flesh and blood;
Nor piping Shepherd shall he be,
Nor Herd-boy of the wood.
A regal vest of fur he wears,
In colour like a raven’s wing ;
It fears not rain, nor wind, nor dew;
But in the storm 'tis fresh and blue '
As budding pines in Spring ;
His helmet has a vernal grace,
Fresh as the bloom upon his face.
A harp is from his shoulder slung ; He rests the harp upon his knee ; And there, in a forgotten tongue, He warbles melody. Of Alocks upon the neighbouring hill He is the darling and the joy; And often, when no cause appears, The mountain ponies prick their ears, - They hear the Danish Boy, While in the dell he sits alone Beside the tree and corner-stone.
There sits he: in his face you spy No trace of a ferocious air, Nor ever was a cloudless sky So steady or so fair. The lovely Danish Boy is blest And happy in his flowery cove: From bloody deeds his thoughts are far ; And yet he warbles songs of war, That seem like songs of love, For calm and gentle is his mien ; Like a dead Boy he is serene.
OR, THE STAR AND THE GLOW-WORM.
A PILGRIM, when the summer day
Had closed upon his weary way,
A lodging begged beneath a castle's roof;
But him the haughty Warder spurned;
And from the gate the Pilgrim turned,
To seek such covert'as the field
Or heath-besprinkled copse might yield,
Or lofty wood, shower-proof.
He paced along; and, pensively,
Halting beneath a shady tree,
Whose moss-grown root might serve for couch or seat,
Fixed on a Star his upward eye;'
Then, from the tenant of the sky
He turned, and watched with kindred look,
A Glow-worm, in a dusky nook,
Apparent at his feet.
The murmur of a neighbouring stream
Induced a soft and slumberous dream,
A pregnant dream within whose shadowy bounds
He recognised the earth-born Star,
And That which glittered from afar ;
And (strange to witness !) from the frame
Of the ethereal Orb, there came
Much did it taunt the humbler Light
That now, when day was fled, and night
Hushed the dark earth --- fast closing weary eyes,
A very Reptile could presume
To show her taper in the gloom,
As if in rivalship with One
Who sate a Ruler on his throne
Erected in the skies.
“ Exalted Star !" the Worm replied,
“ Abate this unbecoming pride,
Or with a less uneasy lustre shine;
Thou shrink’st as momently thy rays
Are mastered by the breathing haze ;
While neither mist, nor thickest cloud
That shapes in Heaven its murky shroud,
Hath power to injure mine.