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“ Take it and leave me.” And the blushing Maid,
Who thro' the streets as thro' a desert strayed;
And, when her dear, dear Father passed along,
Would not be held but bursting through the
Halberd and battle-axe-kissed him o'er and o'er ;
Then turned and went—then sought him as before,
Believing she should see his face no more!
And oh, how changed at once-no heroine here,
But a weak woman worn with grief and fear,
Her darling Mother! 'Twas but now she smiled ;
And now she weeps upon her weeping child !
-But who sits by, her only wish below
At length fulfilled—and now prepared to go?
His hands on hers—as through the mists of night,
She gazes on him with imperfect sight ;
Her glory now, as ever her delight !
To her, methinks, a second Youth is given ;
The light upon her face a light from heaven!
An hour like this is worth a thousand passed In
pomp or ease—'Tis present to the last ! Years glide away untold—'Tis still the same! As fresh, as fair as on the day it came !
And now once more where most he loved to be, In his own fields—breathing tranquillityWe 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 l-Ah, 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 all thy own, And in thy grand and melancholy tone, Some splendid passage not to thee unknown, Fit theme for long discourse—Thy bell has tolled! —But in thy place among us we behold One who resembles thee.
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 glows
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 muses, turning up the idle weed;
Or prunes or grafts, or in the yellow mead
Watches his bees at hiving-time ;t 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,
* At illa quanti sunt, animum tanquam emeritis stipendiis libidinis, ambitionis, contentionis, inimicitiarum, cupiditatum omnium, secum esse, secumque (ut dicitur) vivere ?-Cic. De Senectute..
+ Hinc ubi jam emissum caveis ad sidera cæli
Nare per æstatem liquidam suspexeris agmen,
A tale is told of India or Japan,
Of merchants from Golcond or Astracan,
What time wild Nature revelled unrestrained,
And Sinbad travelled and the Caliphs reigned :-
Of Knights renowned from holy Palestine,
And Minstrels, such as swept the lyre divine,
When Blondel came, and Richard* in his Cell
Heard, as he lay, the song he knew so well :-
Of some Norwegian, while the icy gale
Rings in her shrouds and beats her iron-sail,
Among the shining Alps of Polar seas
Immoveable--for ever there to freeze!
Or some great Caravan, from well to well
Winding as darkness on the desert fell,
In their long march, such as the Prophet bids,
To Mecca from the Land of Pyramids,
And in an instant lost-a hollow wave
Of burning sand their everlasting grave!
Now the scene shifts to Venice—to a square
Glittering with light, all nations masking there,
* Richard the First. For the romantic story here alluded to, we are indebted to the French Chroniclers.See Faucher. Recueil de l'Origine de la Langue et Poësie Fr.
With light reflected on the tremulous tide,
Where gondolas in gay confusion glide,
Answering the jest, the song on every side ;
To Naples next—and at the crowded gate,
Where Grief and Fear and wild Amazement wait,
Lo, on his back a Son brings in his Sire,
Vesuvius blazing like a World on fire!
Then, at a sign that never was forgot,
A strain breaks forth (who hears and loves it not ?)
From harp or organ! 'Tis at parting given,
That in their slumbers they may dream of Heaven;
Young voices mingling, as it floats along,
In Tuscan air or Handel's sacred song !
And She inspires, whose beauty shines in all ; So soon to weave a daughter's coronal, And at the nuptial rite smile through her tears ;So soon to hover round her full of fears, And with assurance sweet her soul revive In childbirth-when a mother's love is most alive!
No, 'tis not here that Solitude is known. Through the wide world he only is alone Who lives not for another. Come what will, The generous man has his companion still ;