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Blithe was his
song, a song
But where the rock is rent in two,
And the river rushes through,
His voice was heard no more!
'Twas but a step! the gulf he passed;
But that step-it was his last !
As through the mist he winged his way,
(A cloud that hovers night and day,)
The hound hung back, and back he drew
The Master and his merlin too.
That narrow place of noise and strife
Received their little all of Life!
There now the matin-bell is rung;
The Miserere!” duly sung;
And holy men in cowl and hood
Are wandering up and down the wood.
But what avail they? Ruthless Lord,
Thou didst not shudder when the sword
Here on the young its fury spent,
The helpless and the innocent.
Sit now and answer, groan for groan.
The child before thee is thy own.
And she who wanders wildly there,
The mother in her long despair,
Shall oft remind thee, waking, sleeping,
Of those who by the Wharfe were weeping;
Of those who would not be consoled
When red with blood the river rolled.
WRITTEN IN A SICK CHAMBER.
THERE, in that bed so closely curtained round,
Worn to a shade, and wan with slow decay,
A father sleeps! Oh hushed be every sound !
Soft may we breathe the midnight hours away!
He stirs - yet still he sleeps. May heavenly dreams
Long o'er his smooth and settled pillow rise ;
Nor fly, till morning thro' the shutter streams,
And on the hearth the glimmering rush-light dies.
Ah! little thought she, when, with wild delight,
By many a torrent's shining track she flew,
When mountain-glens and caverns full of night
O'er her young mind divine enchantment threw,
That in her veins a secret horror slept,
That her light footsteps should be heard no more,
That she should die — nor watched, alas ! nor wept
By thee, unconscious of the pangs she bore.
Yet round her couch indulgent Fancy drew
The kindred forms her closing eye required.
There didst thou stand-there, with the smile she knew;
She moved her lips to bless thee, and expired.
And now to thee she comes; still, still the same
As in the hours gone unregarded by!
To thee, how changed, comes as she ever came;
Health on her cheek, and pleasure in her eye!
Nor less, less oft, as on that day appears,
When lingering, as prophetic of the truth,
By the way-side she shed her parting tears —
For ever lovely in the light of Youth !
TO A FRIEND ON HIS MARRIAGE.
On thee, blest youth, a father's hand confers
The maid thy earliest, fondest wishes knew.
Each soft enchantment of the soul is hers;
Thine be the joys to firm attachment due.
As on she moves with hesitating grace,
She wins assurance from his soothing voice;
And, with a look the pencil could not trace,
Smiles thro' her blushes, and confirms the choice.
Spare the fine tremors of her feeling frame !
To thee she turns — forgive a virgin's fears !
To thee she turns with surest, tenderest claim;
Weakness that charms, reluctance that endears!
At each response the sacred rite requires,
From her full bosom bursts the unbidden sigh.
A strange mysterious awe the scene inspires;
And on her lips the trembling accents die.
O'er her fair face what wild emotions play!
What lights and shades in sweet confusion blend!
Soon shall they fly, glad harbingers of day,
And settled sunshine on her soul descend !
Ah soon, thine own confest, ecstatic thought !
That hand shall strew thy summer-path with flowers;
And those blue eyes, with mildest lustre fraught,
Gild the calm current of domestic hours !
THE sun-beams streak the azure skies,
And line with light the mountain's brow:
With hounds and horns the hunters rise,
And chase the roebuck thro’ the snow.
From rock to rock, with giant-bound,
High on their iron poles they pass ;
Mute, lest the air, convulsed by sound,
Rend from above a frozen mass.
The goats wind slow their wonted way,
Up craggy steeps and ridges rude;
Marked by the wild wolf for his prey,
From desert cave or hanging wood.
And while the torrent thunders loud,
And as the echoing cliffs reply,
The huts peep o'er the morning-cloud,
Perched, like an eagle's nest, on high.
As thro' the hedge-row shade the violet steals,
And the sweet air its modest leaf reveals ;
Her softer charms, but by their influence known,
Surprise all hearts, and mould them to her own.
CAGED in old woods, whose reverend echoes wake
When the hern screams along the distant lake,
Her little heart oft flutters to be free,
Oft sighs to turn the unrelenting key.
In vain! the nurse that rusted relic wears,
Nor moved by gold — nor to be moved by tears;
And terraced walls their black reflection throw
On the green mantled moat that sleeps below.
ADIEU! A long, a long adieu !
I must be gone while yet I may.
Oft shall I weep to think of you;
But here I will not, cannot stay.
The sweet expression of that face,
For ever changing, yet the same,
Ah no, I dare not turn to trace -
It melts my soul, it fires my frame !
Yet give me, give me, ere I go,
One little lock of those so blest,
cheek a warmer glow,
And on your white neck love to rest.