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When, gathering round his bed, they climb to share
His kisses, and with gentle violence there
Break in upon a dream not half so fair,
Up to the hill-top leads their little feet;
Or by the forest-lodge, perchance to meet
The stag-herd on its march, perchance to hear
The otter rustling in the sedgy mere ;
Or to the echo near the Abbot's tree,
That gave him back his words of pleasantry-
When the House stood, no merrier man than he!
And, as they wander with a keen delight,
If but a leveret catch their quicker sight
Down a green alley, or a squirrel then
Climb the gnarled oak, and look and climb again,
If but a moth flit by, an acorn fall,
He turns their thoughts to Him who made them all.'
" But Man is born to suffer. On the door
Sickness has set her mark ; and now no more
Laughter within we hear, or wood-notes wild
As of a mother singing to her child.
All now in anguish from that room retire,
Where a young cheek glows with consuming fire,
And Innocence breathes contagion-all but one,
But she who gave it birth—from her alone
The medicine-cup is taken. Through the night,
And through the day, that with its dreary light
Comes unregarded, she sits silent by,
Watching the changes with her anxious eye:
While they without, listening below, above,
(Who but in sorrow know how much they love?)
From every little noise catch hope and fear,
Exchanging still, still as they turn to hear,
Whispers and sighs, and smiles all tenderness
That would in vain the starting tear repress. p. 38, 39. The scene, however, is not always purely domestic—though all its lasting enjoyments are of that origin, and look back to that consummation. His country requires the arm of a free man; and home and all its joys must be left for the patriot battle. The sanguinary and turnultuous part is slightly touched ; but the return is exquisite; nor do we know, anywhere, any verses more touching and full of heartfelt beauty, than some of those we are about to extract.
• He goes, and Night comes as it never came !
With shrieks of horror Sand a vault of flame!
And lo! when morning mocks the desolate,
Red runs the river by; and at the gate
Breathless a horse without his rider stands !
But hush!.. a shout from the victorious bands !
And oh the smiles and tears, a sire restored !
One wears his helm, one buckles on his sword.
One hangs the wall with laurel-leaves, and all
Spring to prepare the soldier's festival ;
While She best-loved, till then forsaken never,
Clings round his neck as she would cling for ever!
• Such golden deeds lead on to golden days,
Days of domestic peace-by him who plays
On the great stage how uneventful thought ;
Yet with a thousand busy projects fraught,
A thousand incidents that stir the mind
To pleasure, such as leaves no sting behind !
Such as th heart delights in and records
Within how silently-in more than words !
A Holiday- the frugal banquet spread
On the fresh herbage near the fountain-head
With quips and cranks—what time the wood-lark there
Scatters her loose notes on the sultry air,
What time the king-fisher sits perched below,
Where, silver-bright, the water-lilies blow :-
A Wake- the booths whitening the village-green,
Where Punch and Scaramouch aloft are seen;
Sign beyond sign in close array unfurled,
Picturing at large the wonders of the world ;
And far and wide, over the vicar's pale,
Black hoods and scarlet crossing hill and dale,
All, all abroad, and music in the gale :-
A Wedding-dance-a dance into the night
On the barn-floor, when maiden-feet are light;
When the young bride receives the promised dower,
And flowers are flung, “ herself a fairer flower:",
A morning-visit to the poor man's shed,
(Who would be rich while One was wanting bread ?)
When all are emulous to bring relief,
And tears are falling fast—but not for grief:
A Walk in Spring-Gr*tt*n, like those with thee,
By the heath-side (who had not envied me?)
When the sweet limes, so full of bees in June,
Led us to meet beneath their boughs at noon ;
And thou didst say which of the Great and Wise,
Could they but hear and at thy bidding rise,
Thou wouldst call up and question.
· Graver things Come in their turn. Morning, and Evening, bring Its holy office; and the sabbath-bell, That over wood and wild and mountain-dell
Wanders so far, chasing all thoughts unholy
With sounds“ most musical, most melancholy,"
Not on his ear is lost. Then he pursues
The pathway leading through the aged yews,
Nor unattended ; and, when all are there,
Pours out his spirit in the House of Prayer,
That House with many a funeral-garland hung
Of virgin-white-memorials of the young,
The last yet fresh when marriage-chimes were rung.
Other cares and trials. and triumphs await him. He fights the good fight of freedom in the senate, as he had done before in the field, and with greater peril. The heavy hand of power weighs upon him, and he is arraigned of crimes against the State.
· Like Hampden struggling in his country's cause,
The first, the foremost to obey the laws,
The last to brook oppression. On he moves,
Careless of blame while his own heart approves,
Careless of ruin-(" For the general good
'Tis not the first time I shall shed my blood.")
On through that gate misnamed, * through which before
Went Sidney, Russel, Raleighi, Cranmer, More,
On into twilight within walls of stone,
Then to the place of trial ; and alone,
Alone before his judges in array
Stands for his life: there, on that awful day,
Counsel of friends-all human help denied-
All but from her who sits the pen to guide,
Like that sweet Saint who sate by Russel's side ť
Under the Judgment-seat.-But guilty men
Triumph not always. To his hearth again,
Again with honour to his hearth restored,
Lo, in the accustomed chair and at the board,
Thrice greeting those that most withdraw their claim,
Traitor's Gate, in the Tower. + We know of nothing at once so pathetic and so sublime, as the fèw simple sentences here alluded to in the account of Lord Russel's trial.
Lord Russel. May I have somebody write to help my memory?
Mr Attorney General. Yes, a Servant.
Lord Chief Justice. Any of your Servants shall assist you in
writing any thing you please for you.
Lord Russel. My Wife is here, my Lord, to do it.
-When we recollect who Russel and his wife were, and what a destiny was then impending, this one trait makes the heart swell almost to bursting.
(The humblest servant calling by his name)
He reads thanksgiving in the eyes of all,
All met as at a holy festival !
-On the day destined for his funeral !
Lo, there the Friend, who, entering where he lay,
Breathed in his drowsy ear“ Away, away!
Take thou my cloak Nay, start not, but obey-
Take it and leave me. And the blushing Maid,
Who through the streets as through a desert strayed ;
And, when her dear, dear Father passed along,
Would not be held—but, bursting through the throng,
Halberd and battle-axe-kissed him o'er and o'er ;
Then turned and went—then sought liim as before,
Believing she should see his face no more!' p. 48–50.
What follows is sacred to still higher remembrances.
And now once more where most he loved to be,
In his own fields-breathing tranquillity-
We hail him—not less happy, Fox, than thee!
Thee at St Anne's so soon of Care beguiled,
Playful, sincere, and artless as a child !
Thee, who wouldst watch a bird's nest on the spray,
Through the green leaves exploring, day by day. .
How oft from grove to grove, from seat to seat,
With thee conversing in thy loved retreat,
I saw the sun go down !-Åh, then 'twas thine
Ne'er to forget some volume half divine,
Shakspeare's or Dryden's—thro' the chequered shade
Borne in thy hand behind thee as we strayed;
And where we sate (and many a halt we made)
To read there with a fervour ail thy own,
And in thy grand and inelancholy tone,
Some splendid passage not to thee unknowu,
Fit theme for long discourse.-Thy bell has tolled !
-But in thy place among us we behold
One that resembles thee. The scene of closing Age is not less beautiful and attractive <nor less true and exemplary.
< 'Tis the sixth hour.
The village-clock strikes from the distant tower.
The ploughman leaves the field; the traveller hears,
And to the inn spurs forward. Nature wears
Her sweetest smile ; the day-star in the west
Yet hovering, and the thistle's down at rest.
And such, his labour done, the calm He knows,
Whose footsteps we have followed. Round him glosys
An atmosphere that brightens to the last ;
The light, that shines, reflected from the Past,
-- And from the Future too! Active in Thought
Among old books, old friends; and not unsought
By the wise stranger-in his morning-hours,
When gentle airs stir the fresh-blowing flowers,
He niuses, turning up the idle weed;
Or prunes or grafts, or in the yellow mead
Watches his bees at hiving-time; and now,
The ladder resting on the orchard-bough,
Culls the delicious fruit that hangs in air,
The purple plum, green fig, or golden pear,
Mid sparkling eyes, and hands uplifted there.
At night, when all, assembling round the fire,
Closer and closer draw till they retire,
A tale is told of India or Japan,
Of merchants from Golcond or Astracan,
What time wild Nature revelled unrestrained,
And Sinbad voyaged and the Caliphs reigned ;-
Of some Norwegian, while the icy gale
Rings in the shrouds and beats the iron sail,
Among the snowy Alps of Polar seas
Immoveable—for ever there to frieze !
Or some great Caravan, from well to well
Winding as darkness on the desert fell,' &c.
• Age has now
Stamped with its signet that ingenuous brow;
And, 'mid his old hereditary trees,
Trees he has climbed so oft, he sits and sees
His children's children playing round his knees :
Then happiest, youngest, when the quoit is flung,
When side by side the archers' bows are strung ;
His to prescribe the place, adjudge the prize,
Envying no more the young their energies
Than they an old man when his words are wise ;
His a delight how pure ... without alloy ;
Strong in their strength, rejoicing in their joy!
Now in their turn assisting, they repay
The anxious cares of many and many a day ;
And now by those he loves relieved, restored,
His very wants and weaknesses afford
A feeling of enjoyment. In his walks,
Leaning on them, how how oft he stops and talks,
While they look up! Their questions, their replies,
Fresh as the welling waters, round him rise,
Gladdening his spirit. We have dwelt too long, perhaps, on a work more calculated to make a lasting, than a strong impression on the minds of its