« PreviousContinue »
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 gray 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 danc'd, 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 turn’d the greensward with his spade,
He lectur'd every youth that round him play'd;
And, calmly pointing where his fathers lay,
Rous'd him to rival each, the hero of his day.
Hush, ye fond flutterings, hush! while here alone
I search the records of each mouldering stone.
Guides of my life! Instructors of my youth!
Who first unveil'd the hallow'd form of Truth;
Whose every word enlighten'd and endear'd;
In age belov’d, in poverty rever'd;
In Friendship's silent register ye live,
Nor ask the vain memorial Art can give.
-But when the sons of peace and pleasure sleep,
When only Sorrow wakes, and wakes to weep,
What spells entrance my visionary mind,
With sighs so sweet, with raptures so refin’d?
Ethereal Power! whose smile, at noon of night,
Recalls the far-fled spirit of delight;
Instils that musing, melancholy mood,
Which charms the wise, and elevates the good;
Blest Memory, hail! Oh, grant the grateful Muse,
Her pencil dipt in Nature's living hues,
the clouds that round thy empire roll,
And trace its airy precincts in the soul.
Lulld in the countless chambers of the brain,
Our thoughts are link'd 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,
Controul the latent fibres of the heart.
As studious Prospero's mysterious spell
Conven'd the subject-spirits 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.
Survey the globe, each ruder realm explore;
From Reason's faintest ray to Newton soar.
What different spheres to human bliss assign'd!
What slow gradations in the scale of mind!
Yet mark in each these mystic wonders wrought;
Oh mark the sleepless energies of thought!
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
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 churchyard yews round which his fathers sleep; b
All rouse Reflection's sadly-pleasing train,
And oft he looks and weeps, and looks again.
So, when the mild Tupia dar'd explore
Arts yet untaught, and worlds unknown before,
And, with the sons of Science, woo'd the gale,
That rising swell’d their strange expanse of sail;
So, when he breath'd his firm yet fond adieu, o
Borne from his leafy hut, his carv'd canoe,
And all his soul best lov’d, such tears he shed,
While each soft scene of summer-beauty fled:
Long o'er the wave a wistful look he cast,
Long watch'd the streaming signal from the mast;
Till twilight's dewy tints deceiv'd his
And fairy forests fring'd the evening sky.