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Whose mind, profaned by no unhallowed guest,
Culls from the crowd the purest and the best;
May range, at will, bright Fancy's golden clime,
Or, musing, mount where Science sits sublime,
Or wake the Spirit of departed Time.
Who acts thus wisely, mark the moral Muse,
A blooming Eden in his life reviews !
So rich the culture, though so small the space,
Its scanty limits he forgets to trace.
But the fond fool, when evening shades the sky,
Turns but to start, and gazes but to sigh ! :
The weary waste, that lengthened as he ran,
Fades to a blank, and dwindles to a span!
Ah! who can tell the triumphs of the mind,
By truth illumined and by taste refined ?
When age has quenched the eye and closed the ear,
Still nerved for action in her native sphere,
Oft will she rise — with searching glance pursue
Some long-loved image vanished from her view;
Dart through the deep recesses of the Past,
O’er dusky forms in chains of slumber cast;
With giant-grasp fling back the folds of night,
And snatch the faithless fugitive to light.
So through the grove the impatient mother flies,
Each sunless glade, each secret pathway, tries;
Till the thin leaves the truant boy disclose,
Long on the wood-moss stretched in sweet repose.
Nor yet to pleasing objects are confined The silent feasts of the reflecting mind. Danger and death a dread delight inspire ; And the bald veteran glows with wonted fire,
When, richly bronzed by many a summer-sun,
He counts his scars, and tells what deeds were done.
Go, with Old Thames, view Chelsea's glorious pile,
And ask the shattered hero, whence his smile?
Go, view the splendid domes of Greenwich — Go,
And own what raptures from Reflection flow.
Hail, noblest structures imaged in the wave!
A nation's grateful tribute to the brave.
Hail, blest retreats from war and shipwreck, hail !
That oft arrest the wondering stranger's sail.
Long have ye heard the narratives of age,
The battle's havoc and the tempest's rage;
Long have ye known Reflection's genial ray
Gild the calm close of Valor's various day.
Time's sombrous touches soon correct the piece,
Mellow each tint, and bid each discord cease :
A softer tone of light pervades the whole,
And steals a pensive languor o'er the soul.
Hast thou through Eden's wild-wood vales pursued
Each mountain-scene, majestically rude;
To note the sweet simplicity of life,
Far from the din of Folly's idle strife;
Nor there a while, with lifted eye, revered
That modest stone which pious PEMBROKE reared ;
Which still records, beyond the pencil's power,
The silent sorrows of a parting hour;
Still to the musing pilgrim points the place
Her sainted spirit most delights to trace ?
Thus, with the manly glow of honest pride, O'er his dead son the gallant ORMOND sighed.? Thus, through the gloom of SHENSTONE's fairy grove, MARIA's urn still breathes the voice of love.
As the stern grandeur of a Gothic tower
Awes us less deeply in its morning-hour,
Than when the shades of Time serenely fall
On every broken arch and ivied wall;
The tender images we love to trace
Steal from each year a melancholy grace !
And as the sparks of social love expand,
As the heart opens in a foreign land ;
And with a brother's warmth, a brother's smile,
The stranger greets each native of his isle;
So scenes of life, when present and confest,
Stamp but their bolder features on the breast;
Yet not an image, when remotely viewed,
However trivial, and however rude,
But wins the heart, and wakes the social sigh,
With every claim of close affinity! |
But these pure joys the world can never know ;
In gentler climes their silver currents flow.
Oft at the silent, shadowy close of day,
When the hushed grove has sung its parting lay;
When pensive Twilight, in her dusky car,
Comes slowly on to meet the evening-star;
Above, below, aërial murmurs swell,
From hanging wood, brown heath, and bushy dell!
A thousand nameless rills, that shun the light,
Stealing soft music on the ear of night.
So oft the finer movements of the soul,
That shun the sphere of Pleasure's gay control,
In the still shades of calm Seclusion rise,
And breathe their sweet, seraphic harmonies !
Once, and domestic annals tell the time (Preserved in Cumbria's rude, romantic clime),
When Nature smiled, and o'er the landscape threw
Her richest fragrance, and her brightest hue,
A blithe and blooming Forester explored
Those loftier scenes SALVATOR's soul adored ;
The rocky pass half-hung with shaggy wood,
And the cleft oak flung boldly o'er the flood;
Nor shunned the track, unknown to human tread,
That downward to the night of caverns led;
Some ancient cataract's deserted bed.
High on exulting wing the heath-cock rose,
And blew his shrill blast o'er perennial snows;
Ere the rapt youth, recoiling from the roar,
Gazed on the tumbling tide of dread Lodore ;
And through the rifted clifts, that scaled the sky,
Derwent's clear mirror charmed his dazzled eye.
Each osier isle, inverted on the wave,
Through morn's gray mist its melting colors gave;
And, o'er the cygnet's haunt, the mantling grove
Its emerald arch with wild luxuriance wove.
Light as the breeze that brushed the orient dew,
From rock to rock the young Adventurer flew;
And day's last sunshine slept along the shore,
When, lo! a path the smile of welcome wore.
Imbowering shrubs with verdure veiled the sky,
And on the musk-rose shed a deeper die ;
Save when a bright and momentary gleam
Glanced from the white foam of some sheltered stream.
O’er the still lake the bell of evening tolled, And on the moor the shepherd penned his fold ; And on the green hill's side the meteor played ; When, hark ! a voice sung sweetly through the shade.
It ceased — yet still in FLORIO's fancy sung,
Still on each note his captive spirit hung;
Till o'er the mead a cool, sequestered grot
From its rich roof a starry lustre shot.
A crystal water crossed the pebbled floor,
And on the front these simple lines it bore.
Hence away, nor dare intrude !
In this secret, shadowy cell
Musing MEMORY loves to dwell,
With her sister Solitude.
Far from the busy world she flies,
To taste that peace the world denies.
Entranced she sits; from youth to age,
Reviewing Life's eventful page;
And noting, ere they fade away,
The little lines of yesterday.
FLORIO had gained a rude and rocky seat,
When, lo! the Genius of this still retreat!
Fair was her form — but who can hope to trace
The pensive softness of her angel-face ?
Can VIRGIL'S verse, can RAPIIAEL'S touch, impart
Those finer features of the feeling heart,
Those tenderer tints that shun the careless
eye, And in the world's contagious climate die ?
She left the cave, nor marked the stranger there;
Her pastoral beauty and her artless air
Had breathed a soft enchantment o'er his soul !
every nerve he felt her blest control!
What pure and white-winged agents of the sky,
Who rule the springs of sacred sympathy,
Inform congenial spirits when they meet ?
Sweet is their office, as their natures sweet!