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Yet within thee, thyself a grove,
Once did the eagle scream above,
And the wolf howl beneath.
There once the steel-clad knight reclined,
His sable plumage tempest-tossed;
And, as the death-bell smote the wind,
From towers long fled by human kind,
His brow the hero crossed!
Then Culture came, and days serene;
And village-sports, and garlands gay.
Full many a pathway crossed the green;
And maids and shepherd-youths were seen
To celebrate the May.
Father of many a forest deep,
Whence many a navy thunder-fraught!
Erst in thy acorn-cells asleep,
Soon destined o'er the world to sweep,
Opening new spheres of thought!
Wont in the night of woods to dwell,
The holy Druid saw thee rise;
And, planting there the guardian-spell,
Sung forth, the dreadful pomp to swell
Of human sacrifice!
Thy singed top and branches bare
Now straggle in the evening-sky;
And the wan moon wheels round to glare
On the long corse that shivers there
Of him who came to die!
Well may you sit within, and, fond of grief,
Look in each other's face, and melt in tears.
Well may you shun all counsel, all relief.
Oh she was great in mind, tho' young in years!
Changed is that lovely countenance, which shed Light when she spoke; and kindled sweet surprise, As o'er her frame each warm emotion spread, Played round her lips, and sparkled in her eyes.
Those lips so pure, that moved but to persuade,
Still to the last enlivened and endeared.
Those eyes at once her secret soul conveyed,
And ever beamed delight when you appeared.
Yet has she fled the life of bliss below,
That youthful Hope in bright perspective drew?
False were the tints ! false as the feverish glow
That o'er her burning cheek Distemper threw!
And now in joy she dwells, in glory moves!
(Glory and joy reserved for you to share.)
Far, far more blest in blessing those she loves,
Than they, alas! unconscious of her care.
* On the death of a younger sister.
Oh! that the Chemist's magic art Could crystallize this sacred treasure ! Long should it glitter near my heart, A secret source of pensive pleasure.
The little brilliant, ere it fell,
Its lustre caught from Chloe's eye;
Then, trembling, left its coral cell—
The spring of Sensibility!
Sweet drop of pure and pearly light!
In thee the rays of Virtue shine;
More calmly clear, more mildly bright,
Than any gem that gilds the mine.
Benign restorer of the soul!
Who ever fly'st to bring relief,
When first we feel the rude controul
Of Love or Pity, Joy or Grief.
The sage's and the poet's theme,
In every clime, in every age;
Thou charm'st in Fancy's idle dream,
In Reason's philosophic page.
That very law * which moulds a tear, And bids it trickle from its source, That law preserves the earth a sphere, And guides the planets in their course.
* The law of gravitation.