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How oft, when purple evening tinged the west,
Childhood's loved group revisits every scene;
The School's lone porch, with reverend mosses grey, Just tells the pensive pilgrim where it lay. Mute is the bell that rung at peep of dawn, Quickening my truant-feet across the lawn; Unheard the shout that rent the noontide air, When the slow dial gave a pause to care.
Up springs, at every step, to claim a tear,
Down by yon hazel copse, at evening, blazed
Ah, then, what honest triumph flushed my breast; This truth once known - To bless is to be blest! We led the bending beggar on his way, (Bare were his feet, his tresses silver-grey) Soothed the keen pangs his aged spirit felt, And on his tale with mute attention dwelt. As in his script we dropped our little store, And sighed to think that little was no more, He breathed his prayer, “Long may such goodness live!" 'Twas all he gave, 'twas all he had to give. Angels, when Mercy's mandate winged their flight, Had stopt to dwell with pleasure on the sight.
But hark! thro' those old firs, with sullen swell, The church-clock strikes! ye tender scenes, farewell ! It calls me hence, beneath their shade, to trace The few fond lines that Time may soon efface. On
yon grey stone, that fronts the chancel-door, Worn smooth by busy feet now seen no more, Each eve we shot the marble thro' the ring, When the heart danced, and life was in its spring; Alas! unconscious of the kindred earth, That faintly echoed to the voice of mirth.
The glow-worm loves her emerald-light to shed, Where now the sexton rests his hoary head. Oft, as he turned the greensward with his spade, He lectured every youth that round him played; And, calmly pointing where our fathers lay, Roused us to rival each, the hero of his day.
Hush, ye fond flutterings, hush! while here alone
But when the sons of peace, of pleasure sleep,
Ethereal Power! who at the noon of night
Blest Memory, hail! Oh grant the grateful Muse,
he clouds that round thy empire roll, And trace its airy precincts in the soul.
Lulled in the countless chambers of the brain, Our thoughts are linked by many a hidden chain. Awake but one, and lo, what myriads rise ! * Each stamps its image as the other flies. Each, as the various avenues of sense Delight or sorrow to the soul dispense, Brightens or fades; yet all, with magic art Control the latent fibres of the heart. As studious PROSPERO's mysterious spell Drew every subject-spirit to his cell; Each, at thy call, advances or retires, As judgment dictates, or the scene inspires. Each thrills the seat of sense, that sacred source Whence the fine nerves direct their mazy course, And thro’ the frame invisibly convey The subtle, quick vibrations as they play; Man's little universe at once o'ercast, At once illumined when the cloud is past.
Survey the globe, each ruder realm explore; From Reason's faintest ray to Newton soar. What different spheres to human bliss assigned ! What slow gradations in the scale of mind ! Yet mark in each these mystic wonders wrought; Oh mark the sleepless energies of thought !
* Namque illìc posuit solium, et sua templa sacravit,
Mens animi: hanc circum coëunt, densoque feruntur Agmine notitiæ, simulacraque tenuia rerum.
The adventurous boy, that asks his little share, And hies from home with many a gossip's prayer, Turns on the neighbouring hill, once more to see The dear abode of peace and privacy; And as he turns, the thatch among the trees, The smoke's blue wreaths ascending with the breeze, The village-common spotted white with sheep, The church-yard yews round which his fathers sleep; All rouse Reflection's sadly-pleasing train, And oft he looks and weeps, and looks again.
So, when the mild TUPIA dared explore Arts yet untaught, and worlds unknown before, And, with the sons of Science, wooed the gale That, rising, swelled their strange expanse of sail ; So, when he breathed his firm yet fond adieu, Borne from his leafy hut, his carved canoe, And all his soul best loved — such tears he shed, While each soft scene of summer-beauty fled. Long o'er the wave a wistful look he cast, Long watched the streaming signal from the mast; Till twilight's dewy tints deceived his eye, And fairy-forests fringed the evening-sky.
So Scotia’s Queen, as slowly dawned the day, Rose on her couch, and gazed her soul away. Her eyes had blessed the beacon's glimmering height, That faintly tipt the feathery surge with light; But now the morn with orient hues pourtrayed Each castled cliff, and brown monastic shade: All touched the talisman's resistless spring, And lo, what busy tribes were instant on the wing !
Thus kindred objects kindred thoughts inspire, As summer-clouds flash forth electric fire.