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And many friendships in the days of time
Begun, are lasting here, and growing still;
So grows ours evermore, both theirs and mine.
Nor is the hour of lonely walk forgot
In the wide desert, where the view was large.
Pleasant were many scenes, but most to me
The solitude of vast extent, untouched
By hand of art, where nature sowed herself,
And reaped her crops; whose garments were the clouds;
Whose minstrels brooks; whose lamps the moon and
Whose organ-choir the voice of many waters;
Whose banquets morning dews; whose heroes storms;
Whose warriors mighty winds; whose lovers flowers;
Whose orators the thunderbolts of God;
Whose palaces the everlasting hills;
Whose ceiling heaven's unfathomable blue;
And from whose rocky turrets battled high
Prospect immense spread out on all sides round,
Lost now beneath the welkin and the main,
Now walled with hills that slept above the storm.
Most fit was such a place for using men,
Happiest sometimes when musing without aim.
It was, indeed, a wondrous sort of bliss
The lonely bard enjoyed when forth he walked,
Unpurposed; stood, and knew not why; sat down,
And knew not where; arose, and knew not when ;
Had eyes, and saw not; ears, and nothing heard;
And sought-sought neither heaven nor carth--sought
Nor meant to think; but ran meantime through vast
Of visionary things, fairer than aught
That was; and saw the distant tops of thoughts,
Which men of common stature never saw,
Greater than aught that largest worlds could hold,
Or give idea of, to those who read.
He entered into Nature's holy place,
Her inner chamber, and beheld her face
Unveiled; and heard unutterable things,
And incommunicable visions saw;
Things then unutterable, and visions then
Of incommunicable glory bright;
But by the lips of after-ages formed
To words, or by their pencil pictured forth;
Who, entering farther in, beheld again,
And heard unspeakable and marvellous things,
Which other ages in their turn revealed,
And left to others greater wonders still.
Whether in crowds or solitudes, in streets
Or shady groves, dwelt Happiness, it seems
In vain to ask; her nature makes it vain;
Though poets much, and hermits, talked and sung
Of brooks and crystal founts, and weeping dews,
And myrtle bowers, and solitary vales,
And with the nymph made assignations there,
And wooed her with the love-sick oaten reed;
And sages too, although less positive,
Advised their sons to court her in the shade.
Delirious babble all! Was happiness,
Was self-approving, God approving joy,
In drops of dew, however pure? in gales,
However sweet? in wells, however clear?
Or groves, however thick with verdant shade?
True, these were of themselves exceeding fair; How fair at morn and even! worthy the walk Of loftiest mind, and gave, when all within Was right, a feast of overflowing bliss; But were the occasion, not the cause of joy. They waked the native fountains of the soul Which slept before, and stirred the holy tides Of feeling up, giving the heart to drink From its own treasures draughts of perfect sweet. The Christian faith, which better knew the heart
Of man, him thither sent for peace, and thus! Declared: Who finds it, let him find it there; Who finds it not, for ever let him seek
In vain; 'tis God's most holy, changeless will.
True Happiness had no localities,
No tones provincial, no peculiar garb.
Where Duty went, she went, with Justice went,
And went with Meekness, Charity, and Love.
Where'er a tear was dried, a wounded heart
Bound up, a bruised spirit with the dew
Of sympathy anointed, or a pang
Of honest suffering soothed, or injury
Repeated oft, as oft by love forgiven;
Where'er an evil passion was subdued,
Or Virtue's feeble embers fanned; where'er
A sin was heartily abjured and left;
Where'er a pious act was done, or breathed
A pious prayer, or wished a pious wish;
There was a high and holy place, a spot
Of sacred light, a most religious fane,
Where Happiness, descending, sat and smiled.
But there apart, in sacred memory lives
The morn of life, first morn of endless days,
Most joyful morn! Nor yet for nought the joy.
A being of eternal date commenced,
A young immortal then was born! And who
Shall tell what strange variety of bliss
Burst on the infant soul, when first it looked
Abroad on God's creation fair, and saw
The glorious earth and glorious heaven, and face
Of man sublime, and saw all new, and felt
All new! when thought awoke, thought never more
To sleep! when first it saw, heard, reasoned, willed,
And triumphed in the warmth of conscious life!
Nor happy only, but the cause of joy,
Which those who never tasted always mourned.
What tongue!-no tongue shall tell what bliss o'er-
The mother's tender heart while round her hung
The offspring of her love, and lisped her name
As living jewels dropped unstained from heaven,
That made her fairer far, and sweeter seem
Than every ornament of costliest hue!
And who hath not been ravished, as she passed
With all her playful band of little ones,
Like Luna with her daughters of the sky,
Walking in matron majesty and grace?
All who had hearts here pleasure found: and oft
Have I, when tired with heavy task, for tasks
Were heavy in the world below, relaxed
My weary thoughts among their guiltless sports,
And led them by their little hands a-field,”
And watch them run and crop the tempting flower-
Which oft, unasked, they brought me, and bestowed
With smiling face, that waited for a look
Of praise-and answered curious questions, put
In much simplicity, but ill to solve;
And heard their observations strange and new;
And settled whiles their little quarrels, soon
Ending in peace, and soon forgot in love.
And still I looked upon their loveliness,
And sought through nature for similitudes
Of perfect beauty, innocence, and bliss,
And fairest imagery around me thronged;
Dewdrops at day-spring on a seraph's locks,
Roses that bathe about the well of life,
Young Loves, young Hopes, dancing on morning's
Gems leaping in the coronet of Love!
So beautiful, so full of life, they seemed
As made entire of beams of angels' eyes.
Gay, guileless, sportive, lovely little things!
Playing around the den of sorrow, clad
In smiles, believing in their fairy hopes,
And thinking man and woman true! all joy,
Happy all day, and happy all the night!
[Picture of a Miser.]
But there was one in folly further gone;
With eye awry, incurable, and wild,
The laughing-stock of devils and of men,
And by his guardian-angel quite given up-
The Miser, who with dust inanimate
Held wedded intercourse. Ill-guided wretch!
Thou might'st have seen him at the midnight hour,
When good men slept, and in light-winged dreams
Ascended up to God-in wasteful hall,
With vigilance and fasting worn to skin
And bone, and wrapped in most debasing rags-
Thou might'st have seen him bending o'er his heaps,
And holding strange communion with his gold;
And as his thievish fancy seemed to hear
The night-man's foot approach, starting alarmed,
And in his old, decrepit, withered hand,
That palsy shook, grasping the yellow earth
To make it sure. Of all God made upright,
And in their nostrils breathed a living soul,
Most fallen, most prone, most earthy, most debased.
Of all that sold Eternity for Time,
None bargained on so easy terms with death.
Illustrious fool! Nay, most inhuman wretch!
He sat among his bags, and, with a look
Which Hell might be ashamed of, drove the poor
Away unalmsed; and 'midst abundance died—
Sorest of evils-died of utter want!
JAMES MONTGOMERY, a religious poet of deservedly high reputation, was born at Irvine, in Ayrshire, in 1771. His father was a Moravian missionary, who died whilst propagating Christianity in the island of Tobago. The poet was educated at the Moravian school at Fulneck, near Leeds. In 1792 he established himself in Sheffield (where he still resides) as assistant in a newspaper office. In a few years the paper became his own property, and he continued to conduct it up to the year 1825. His course did not always run smooth. In January 1794, amidst the excitement of that agitated period, he was tried on a charge of having printed a ballad, written by a clergyman of Belfast, on the demolition of the Bastile in 1789; which was now interpreted into a seditious libel. The poor poet, notwithstanding the innocence of his intentions, was found guilty, and sentenced to three months' imprisonment in the castle of York, and to pay a fine of £20. In January 1795 he was tried for a second imputed political offence-a paragraph in his paper, the Sheffield Iris, which reflected on the conduct of a magistrate in quelling a riot at Sheffield. He was again convicted and sentenced to six months' imprisonment in York castle, to pay a fine of £30, and to give security to keep the peace for two years. All the persons,' says the amiable poet, writing in 1840, who were actively concerned in the prosecutions against me in 1794 and 1795, are dead, and, without exception, they died in peace with me. I believe I am quite correct in saying, that from each of them distinctly, in the sequel, I received tokens of good-will, and from several of them substantial proofs of kindness. I mention not this as a plea in extenuation of offences for which I bore the penalty of the law; I rest my justification, in these cases, now on the same grounds, and no other, on which I rested my justification then. I mention the circumstance to the honour of the deceased, and as an evidence that, amidst all the violence of that distracted time, a better spirit was not extinct, but finally prevailed, and by its healing
influence did indeed comfort those who had been conscientious sufferers.'
Mr Montgomery's first volume of poetry (he had previously written occasional pieces in his newspaper) appeared in 1806, and was entitled The Wanderer of Switzerland, and other Poems. It speedily went through two editions; and his publishers had just issued a third, when the Edinburgh Review of January 1807 denounced the unfortunate volume in a style of such authoritative reprobation as no mortal verse could be expected to survive.' The critique, indeed, was insolent and offensive-written in the worst style of the Review, when all the sins of its youth were full-blown and unchecked. Among other things, the reviewer predicted that in less than three years nobody would know the name of the Wanderer of Switzerland,' or of any other of the poems in the collection. Within eighteen months from the utterance of this oracle, a fourth impression (1500 copies) of the condemned volume was passing through the press whence the Edinburgh Review itself was issued, and it has now reached thirteen editions. The next work of the poet was The West Indies, a poem in four parts, written in honour of the abolition of the African slave trade by the British legislature in 1807. This was undertaken at the request of Mr Bowyer, the publisher, to accompany a series of engravings representing the past sufferings and the anticipated blessings of the longwronged Africans, both in their own land and in the West Indies. The poem is in the heroic couplet, and possesses a vigour and freedom of description, and a power of pathetic painting, much superior to anything in the first volume. Mr Montgomery afterwards published Prison Amusements, written during his nine months' confinement in York castle in 1794 and 1795. In 1813 he came forward with a more elaborate performance, The World Before the Flood, a poem in the heroic couplet, and extending to ten short cantos. His pictures of the antediluvian patriarchs in their happy valley, the invasion of Eden by the descendants of Cain, the loves of Javan and Zillah, the translation of Enoch, and the final deliverance of the little band of patriarch families from the hand of the giants, are sweet and touching, and elevated by pure and lofty feeling. Connected with some patriotic individuals in his own neighbourhood in many a plan for lessening the sum of human misery at home and abroad,' our author next published Thoughts on Wheels (1817), directed against state lotteries; and The Climbing Boy's Soliloquies, published about the same time, in a work written by different authors, to aid in effecting the abolition, at length happily accomplished, of the cruel and unnatural practice of employing boys in sweeping chimneys. In 1819 he published Greenland, a poem in five cantos, containing a sketch of the ancient Moravian church, its revival in the eighteenth century, and the origin of the missions by that people to Greenland in 1733. The poem, as published, is only a part of the author's original plan, but the beauty of its polar descriptions and episodes recommended it to public favour. The only other long poem by Mr Montgomery is The Pelican Island, suggested by a passage in Captain Flinders's voyage to Terra Australis, describing the existence of the ancient haunts of the pelican in the small islands on the coast of New Holland. The work is in blank verse, in nine short cantos, and the narrative is supposed to be delivered by an imaginary being who witnesses the series of events related after the whole has happened. The poem abounds in minute and delicate description of natural phenomena-has great felicity of diction and expression-and altogether
possesses more of the power and fertility of the master than any other of the author's works.
Besides the works we have enumerated, Mr Montgomery has thrown off a number of small effusions, published in different periodicals, and short translations from Dante and Petrarch. On his retirement in 1825 from the invidious station' of newspaper editor, which he had maintained for more than thirty years, through good report and evil report, his friends and neighbours of Sheffield, of every shade of politi-In cal and religious distinction, invited him to a public entertainment, at which the present Earl Fitzwilliam presided. There the happy and grateful poet ran through the story of his life even from his boyish days,' when he came amongst them, friendless and a stranger, from his retirement at Fulneck among the Moravian brethren, by whom he was educated in all but knowledge of the world. He spoke with pardonable pride of the success which had crowned his labours as an author. Not, indeed,' he said, with fame and fortune, as these were lavished on my greater contemporaries, in comparison with whose magnificent possessions on the British Parnassus my small plot of ground is no more than Naboth's vineyard to Ahab's kingdom; but it is my own; it is no copyhold; I borrowed it, I leased it from none. Every foot of it I enclosed from the common myself; and I can say that not an inch which I had once gained have I ever lost. * * I wrote neither to suit the manners, the taste, nor the temper of the age; but I appealed to universal principles, to unperishable affections, to primary elements of our common nature, found wherever man is found in civilised society, wherever his mind has been raised above barbarian ignorance, or his passions purified from brutal selfishness.' In 1830 and 1831 Mr Montgomery was selected to deliver a course of lectures at the Royal Institution on Poetry and General Literature, which he prepared for the press, and published in 1833. A pension of £200 per annum has since been conferred on Mr Montgomery. A collected edition of his works, with autobiographical and illustrative matter, was issued in 1841 in four volumes. A tone of generous and enlightened morality pervades all the writings of this poet. He was the enemy of the slave trade and of every form of oppression, and the warm friend of every scheme of philanthropy and improvement. The pious and devotional feelings displayed in his early effusions have grown with his growth, and form the staple of his poetry. In description, however, he is not less happy; and in his 'Greenland' and 'Pelican Island' there are passages of great beauty, evincing a refined taste and judgment in the selection of his materials. His late works have more vigour and variety than those by which he first became distinguished. Indeed, his fame was long confined to what is termed the religious world, till he showed, by his cultivation of different styles of poetry, that his depth and sincerity of feeling, the simplicity of his taste, and the picturesque beauty of his language, were not restricted to purely spiritual themes. His smaller poems enjoy a popularity almost equal to those of Moore, which, though differing widely in subject, they resemble in their musical flow, and their compendious happy expression and imagery.
'Tis sunset; to the firmament serene
The Atlantic wave reflects a gorgeous scene;
Broad in the cloudless west, a belt of gold
Girds the blue hemisphere; above unrolled
The keen clear air grows palpable to sight,
Embodied in a flush of crimson light,
Through which the evening star, with milder gleam,
Descends to meet her image in the stream.
Far in the east, what spectacle unknown
Allures the eye to gaze on it alone?
Amidst black rocks, that lift on either hand
Their countless peaks, and mark receding land;
Amidst a tortuous labyrinth of seas,
That shine around the Arctic Cyclades ;
Amidst a coast of dreariest continent,
many a shapeless promontory rent;
O'er rocks, seas, islands, promontories spread,
The ice-blink rears its undulated head,
On which the sun, beyond the horizon shrined,
Hath left his richest garniture behind;
Piled on a hundred arches, ridge by ridge,
O'er fixed and fluid strides the alpine bridge,
Whose blocks of sapphire seem to mortal eye
Hewn from cerulean quarries in the sky;
With glacier battlements that crowd the spheres,
The slow creation of six thousand years,
Amidst immensity it towers sublime,
Winter's eternal palace, built by Time :
All human structures by his touch are borne
Down to the dust; mountains themselves are worn
With his light footsteps; here for ever grows,
Amid the region of unmelting snows,
A monument; where every flake that falls
Gives adamantine firmness to the walls.
The sun beholds no mirror in his race,
That shows a brighter image of his face;
The stars, in their nocturnal vigils, rest
Like signal fires on its illumined crest;
The gliding moon around the ramparts wheels,
And all its magic lights and shades reveals;
Beneath, the tide with equal fury raves,
Rent from its roof, though thundering fragments oft
To undermine it through a thousand caves;
Plunge to the gulf, immovable aloft,
Its turrets heighten and its piers expand.
From age to age, in air, o'er sea, on land,
Slow, solemn, sweet, with many a pause between,
Hark! through the calm and silence of the scene,
Celestial music swells along the air!
No! 'tis the evening hymn of praise and prayer
From yonder deck, where, on the stern retired,
Three humble voyagers, with looks inspired,
And hearts enkindled with a holier flame
Than ever lit to empire or to fame,
Devoutly stand: their choral accents rise
On wings of harmony beyond the skies;
And, 'midst the songs that seraph-minstrels sing,
Day without night, to their immortal king,
These simple strains, which erst Bohemian hills
Echoed to pathless woods and desert rills,
Now heard from Shetland's azure bound are known
In heaven; and he who sits upon the throne
In human form, with mediatorial power,
Remembers Calvary, and hails the hour
When, by the Almighty Father's high decree,
The utmost north to him shall bow the knee,
And, won by love, an untamed rebel-race
Kiss the victorious sceptre of his grace.
Then to his eye, whose instant glance pervades
Heaven's heights, earth's circle, hell's profoundest
Is there a group more lovely than those three
Night-watching pilgrims on the lonely sea?
1 The term ice-blink is generally applied by mariners to the nocturnal illumination in the heavens, which denotes to them the proximity of ice-mountains. In this place a description is attempted of the most stupendous accumulation of ice in the known world, which has been long distinguished by this pe culiar name by the Danish navigators.
2 The first Christian missionaries to Greenland.
Or to his ear, that gathers, in one sound,
The voices of adoring worlds around,
Comes there a breath of more delightful praise
Than the faint notes his poor disciples raise,
Ere on the treacherous main they sink to rest,
Secure as leaning on their Master's breast?
They sleep; but memory wakes; and dreams array
Night in a lively masquerade of day;
The land they seek, the land they leave behind,
Meet on mid-ocean in the plastic mind;
One brings forsaken home and friends so nigh,
That tears in slumber swell the unconscious eye:
The other opens, with prophetic view,
Perils which e'en their fathers never knew
(Though schooled by suffering, long inured to toil,
Outcasts and exiles from their natal soil);
Strange scenes, strange men; untold, untried distress;
Pain, hardships, famine, cold, and nakedness,
Diseases; death in every hideous form,
On shore, at sea, by fire, by flood, by storm;
Wild beasts, and wilder men-unmoved with fear,
Health, comfort, safety, life, they count not dear,
May they but hope a Saviour's love to show,
And warn one spirit from eternal wo :
Nor will they faint, nor can they strive in vain,
Since thus to live is Christ, to die is gain.
'Tis morn: the bathing moon her lustre shrouds ; Wide over the east impends an arch of clouds That spans the ocean; while the infant dawn Peeps through the portal o'er the liquid lawn, That ruffled by an April-gale appears,
Between the gloom and splendour of the spheres,
Dark-purple as the moorland heath, when rain
Hangs in low vapours over the autumnal plain :
Till the full sun, resurgent from the flood,
Looks on the waves, and turns them into blood;
But quickly kindling, as his beams aspire,
The lambent billows play in forms of fire.
Where is the vessel? Shining through the light,
Like the white sea-fowl's horizontal flight,
Yonder she wings, and skims, and cleaves her way
Through refluent foam and iridescent spray.
Night is the time to watch;
Ön ocean's dark expanse
To hail the Pleiades, or catch
The full moon's earliest glance,
That brings unto the home-sick mind
All we have loved and left behind.
Night is the time for care;
Brooding on hours misspent,
To see the spectre of despair
Come to our lonely tent;
Like Brutus, 'midst his slumbering host,
Startled by Cæsar's stalwart ghost.
Night is the time to muse;
Then from the eye the soul
Takes flight, and with expanding views
Beyond the starry pole,
Descries athwart the abyss of night
The dawn of uncreated light.
Night is the time to pray;
Our Saviour oft withdrew
To desert mountains far away;
So will his followers do;
Steal from the throng to haunts untrod,
And hold communion there with God.
Night is the time for death;
When all around is peace,
Calmly to yield the weary breath,
From sin and suffering cease :
Think of heaven's bliss, and give the sign
To parting friends-such death be mine!
[Picture of a Poetical Enthusiast.]
[From the World Before the Flood."]
Restored to life, one pledge of former joy,
One source of bliss to come, remained-her boy!
Sweet in her eye the cherished infant rose,
At once the seal and solace of her woes;
When the pale widow clasped him to her breast,
Warm gushed the tears, and would not be repressed;
In lonely anguish, when the truant child
Leaped o'er the threshold, all the mother smiled.
In him, while fond imagination viewed
Husband and parents, brethren, friends renewed,
Each vanished look, each well-remembered grace
That pleased in them, she sought in Javan's face;
For quick his eye, and changeable its ray,
As the sun glancing through a vernal day;
And like the lake, by storm or moonlight seen,
With darkening furrows or cerulean mien,
His countenance, the mirror of his breast,
The calm or trouble of his soul expressed.
As years enlarged his form, in moody hours
His mind betrayed its weakness with its powers;
Alike his fairest hopes and strangest fears
Were nursed in silence, or divulged with tears;
The fulness of his heart repressed his tongue,
Though none might rival Javan when he sung.
He loved, in lonely indolence reclined,
To watch the clouds, and listen to the wind.
But from the north when snow and tempest came,
His nobler spirit mounted into flame;
With stern delight he roamed the howling woods,
Or hung in ecstacy over headlong floods.
Meanwhile, excursive fancy longed to view
The world, which yet by fame alone he knew;
The joys of freedom were his daily theme,
Glory the secret of his midnight dream;
That dream he told not; though his heart would ache,
His home was precious for his mother's sake.
With her the lowly paths of peace he ran,
His guardian angel, till he verged to man;
But when her weary eye could watch no more,
When to the grave her lifeless corse he bore,
Not Enoch's counsels could his steps restrain;
He fled, and sojourned in the land of Cain.
There, when he heard the voice of Jubal's lyre,
Instinctive genius caught the ethereal fire;
And soon, with sweetly-modulating skill,
He learned to wind the passions at his will;
To rule the chords with such mysterious art,
They seemed the life-strings of the hearer's heart!
Then glory's opening field he proudly trod,
Forsook the worship and the ways of God,
Round the vain world pursued the phantom Fame,
And cast away his birthright for a name.
Yet no delight the minstrel's bosom knew,
None save the tones that from his harp he drew,
And the warm visions of a wayward mind,
Whose transient splendour left a gloom behind,
Frail as the clouds of sunset, and as fair,
Pageants of light, resolving into air.
The world, whose charms his young affections stole,
He found too mean for an immortal soul;
Wound with his life, through all his feelings wrought,
Death and eternity possessed his thought:
Remorse impelled him, unremitting care
Harassed his path, and stung him to despair.
Still was the secret of his griefs unknown;
Amidst the universe he sighed alone;
The fame he followed and the fame he found,
Healed not his heart's immedicable wound;
Admired, applauded, crowned, where'er he roved,
The bard was homeless, friendless, unbeloved.
All else that breathed below the circling sky,
Were linked to earth by some endearing tie;
He only, like the ocean-weed uptorn,
And loose along the world of waters borne,
Was cast, companionless, from wave to wave,
On life's rough sea-and there was none to save.
[The Pelican Island.]
Light as a flake of foam upon the wind,
Keel-upward from the deep emerged a shell,
Shaped like the moon ere half her horn is filled;
Fraught with young life, it righted as it rose,
And moved at will along the yielding water.
The native pilot of this little bark
Put out a tier of oars on either side,
Spread to the wafting breeze a twofold sail,
And mounted up and glided down the billow
In happy freedom, pleased to feel the air,
And wander in the luxury of light.
Worth all the dead creation, in that hour,
To me appeared this lonely Nautilus,
My fellow-being, like myself alive.
Entranced in contemplation, vague yet sweet,
I watched its vagrant course and rippling wake,
Till I forgot the sun amidst the heavens.
It closed, sunk, dwindled to a point, then nothing;
While the last bubble crowned the dimpling eddy,
Through which mine eyes still giddily pursued it,
A joyous creature vaulted through the air-
The aspiring fish that fain would be a bird,
On long, light wings, that flung a diamond-shower
Of dewdrops round its evanescent form,
Sprang into light, and instantly descended.
Fre I could greet the stranger as a friend,
Or mourn his quick departure, on the surge
A shoal of dolphins, tumbling in wild glee,
Glowed with such orient tints, they might have been
The rainbow's offspring, when it met the ocean
In that resplendent vision I had seen.
While yet in ecstacy I hung o'er these,
With every motion pouring out fresh beauties,
As though the conscious colours came and went
At pleasure, glorying in their subtle changes-
Enormous o'er the flood, Leviathan
Looked forth, and from his roaring nostrils sent
Two fountains to the sky, then plunged amain
In headlong pastime through the closing gulf.
A fountain issuing into light
Before a marble palace, threw
To heaven its column, pure and bright,
Returning thence in showers of dew;
But soon a humbler course it took,
And glid away a nameless brook.
Flowers on its grassy margin sprang,
Flies o'er it eddying surface played,
Birds 'midst the alder-branches sang,
Flocks through the verdant meadows strayed; The weary there lay down to rest, And there the halcyon built her nest. 'Twas beautiful to stand and watch
The fountain's crystal turn to gems, And from the sky such colours catch
As if 'twere raining diadems; Yet all was cold and curious art,
That charmed the eye, but missed the heart. Dearer to me the little stream
Whose unimprisoned waters run, Wild as the changes of a dream,
By rock and glen, through shade and sun; Its lovely links had power to bind In welcome chains my wandering mind.
So thought I when I saw the face
By happy portraiture revealed, Of one adorned with every grace,
Her name and date from me concealed, But not her story; she had been The pride of many a splendid scene. She cast her glory round a court,
And frolicked in the gayest ring, Where fashion's high-born minions sport Like sparkling fire-flies on the wing; But thence when love had touched her soul, To nature and to truth she stole.
From din, and pageantry, and strife,
'Midst woods and mountains, vales and plains, She treads the paths of lowly life,
Yet in a bosom-circle reigns,
No fountain scattering diamond-showers,
But the sweet streamlet watering flowers.
There is a calm for those who weep,
A rest for weary pilgrims found,
They softly lie and sweetly sleep
Low in the ground.
The storm that wrecks the winter sky
No more disturbs their deep repose,
Than summer evening's latest sigh
That shuts the rose.
I long to lay this painful head
And aching heart beneath the soil,
To slumber in that dreamless bed
From all my toil.
For misery stole me at my birth,
And cast me helpless on the wild:
I perish; O, my mother earth!
Take home thy child!
On thy dear lap these limbs reclined,
Shall gently moulder into thee;
Nor leave one wretched trace behind
Hark! a strange sound affrights mine ear;
My pulse, my brain runs wild-I rave:
Ah! who art thou whose voice I hear!
'I am the Grave!