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When by the green-wood side, at summer eve,
Poetic visions charm my closing eye ;
And fairy-scenes, that fancy loves to weave,
Shift to wild notes of sweetest minstrelsy;
'Tis thine to range in busy quest of prey,
Thy feathery antlers quivering with delight,
Brush from my lids the hues of heaven away,
And all is Solitude, and all is Night!
-Ah now thy barbed shaft, relentless fly,
Unsheaths its terrors in the sultry air!
No guardian sylph, in golden panoply,
Lifts the broad shield, and points the glittering spear.
Now near and nearer rush thy whirring wings,
Thy dragon-scales still wet with human gore.
Hark, thy shrill horn its fearful larum flings!
-I wake in horror, and dare sleep no more!
TREAD lightly here, for here, 'tis said,
When piping winds are hushed around,
A small note wakes from underground,
Where now his tiny bones are laid.
No more in lone and leafless groves,
With ruffled wing and faded breast,
His friendless, homeless spirit roves ;
-Gone to the world where birds are blest!
Where never cat glides o'er the green,
Or school-boy's giant form is seen;
But Love, and Joy, and smiling Spring
Inspire their little souls to sing !
* Inscribed on an urn in the flower-garden at Hafod.
DEAR is my little native vale,
The ring-dove builds and murmurs there ;
Close by my cot she tells her tale
To every passing villager.
The squirrel leaps from tree to tree,
And shells his nuts at liberty.
In orange-groves and myrtle-bowers,
That breathe a gale of fragrance round,
I charm the fairy-footed hours
my loved lute's romantic sound;
Or crowns of living laurel weave,
For those that win the race at eve.
The shepherd's horn at break of day,
The ballet danced in twilight glade,
The canzonet and roundelay
Sung in the silent green-wood shade ;
These simple joys, that never fail,
Shall bind me to my native vale.
Child of the sun! pursue thy rapturous flight,
Mingling with her thou lov'st in fields of light;
And, where the flowers of Paradise unfold,
Quaff fragrant nectar from their cups of gold.
There shall thy wings, rich as an evening-sky,
Expand and shut with silent ecstasy!
-Yet wert thou once a worm, a thing that crept
On the bare earth, then wrought a tomb and slept.
And such is man ; soon from his cell of clay
To burst a seraph in the blaze of day!
THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND,
Blue was the loch, the clouds were gone,
Ben-Lomond in his glory shone,
When, Luss, I left thee; when the breeze
Bore me from thy silver sands,
Thy kirk-yard wall among the trees,
with age, the dial stands; That dial so well known to me! -Tho' many a shadow it had shed, Beloved Sister, since with thee The legend on the stone was read.
The fairy isles fled far away ;
That with its woods and uplands green,
Where shepherd-huts are dimly seen,
songs are heard at close of day;
That too, the deer's wild covert, fed,
And that, the asylum of the dead :
While, as the boat went merrily,
Much of Rob Roy the boatman told ;
His arm that fell below his knee,
His cattle-ford and mountain-hold.
Tarbat,* thy shore I climbed at last;
And, thy shady region passed,
Upon another shore I stood,
And looked upon another flood ;f
Great Ocean's self! ('Tis He who fills
That vast and awful depth of hills ;)
* Signifying in the Gaelic language an Isthmus.