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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 thro' 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 thro' 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 Valour'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 thro' 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 awhile, 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, thro' 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, aerial murmurs swell,
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 thro’ the rifted cliffs, that scaled the sky,
mist its melting colours 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,
O'er the still lake the bell of evening tolled,