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238 TO THE FRAGMENT OF A STATUE OF HERCULES.
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!
AN EPITAPH ON A ROBIN-REDBREAST.4
TREAD lightly here, for here, 't is 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 !
TO THE FRAGMENT OF A STATUE OF HERCULES.
COMMONLY CALLED THE TORSO.
AND dost thou still, thou mass of breathing stone
(Thy giant limbs to night and chaos hurled),
Still sit as on the fragment of a world;
Surviving all, majestic and alone ?
What though the Spirits of the North, that swept
Rome from the earth when in her pomp she slept,
Smote thee with fury, and thy headless trunk
Deep in the dust mid tower and temple sunk;
Soon to subdue mankind 't was thine to rise,
Still, still unquelled thy glorious energies !
Aspiring minds, with thee conversing, caught
Bright revelations of the Good they sought;?
By thee that long-lost spell in secret given,
To draw down gods, and lift the soul to Heaven ! 25
Au ! little thought she, when, with wild delight,
By many a torrent's shining track she flew, When mountain-glens and caverns full of night
O’er her young mind divine enchantment threw,
That in her veins a secret horror slept,
That her light footsteps should be heard no more, That she should die nor watched, alas ! nor wept
By thee, unconscious of the pangs she bore.
Yet round her couch indulgent Fancy drew
The kindred forms her closing eye required. There didst thou stand — there, with the smile she knew;
She moved her lips to bless thee; and expired.
And now to thee she comes; still, still the same
As in the hours gone unregarded by!
To thee, how changed, comes as she ever came;
Health on her cheek, and pleasure in her eye!
Nor less, less oft, as on that day, appears,
When lingering, as prophetic of the truth, By the way-side she shed her parting tearg
Forever lovely, in the light of Youth !
“Say, what remains when Hope is fled ?"
She answered, “ Endless weeping!”
For in the herdsman's eye she read
Who in his shroud lay sleeping.
At Embsay rung the matin-bell,
The stag was roused on Barden-fell;
The mingled sounds were swelling, dying,
And down the Wharfe a hern was flying;
When near the cabin in the wood,
In tartan-clad and forest-green,
With hound in leash and hawk in hood,
The Boy of Egremond was seen.”
Blithe was his song, a song
yore; But where the rock is rent in two, And the river rushes through, His voice was heard no more! ’T was but a step! the gulf he passed ; But that step
- it was his last ! As through the mist he winged his way (A cloud that hovers night and day), The hound hung back, and back he drew The master and his merlin too.
WRITTEN IN THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND.
That narrow place of noise and strife
Received their little all of life!
There now the matin-bell is rung;
The " Miserere !" duly sung;
And holy men in cowl and hood
Are wandering up and down the wood.
But what avail they? Ruthless Lord,
Thou didst not shudder when the sword
Here on the young its fury spent,
The helpless and the innocent.
Sit now and answer, groan
The child before thee is thy own.
And she who wildly wanders there,
The mother in her long despair,
Shall oft remind thee, waking, sleeping,
Of those who by the Wharfe were weeping;
Of those who would not be consoled
When red with blood the river rolled.
WRITTEN IN 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,
Where, gray with age, the dial stands ;
That dial so well known to me!
Though many a shadow it had shed.
WRITTEN IN THE HIGHLANDS OF SCOTLAND.
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,
And songs are heard at close of day;
That too, the deer's wild covert, filed,
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 ; 30
Great Ocean's self! ('T is He who fills
That vast and awful depth of hills);
Where many an elf was playing round,
Who treads unshod his classic ground;
And speaks, his native rocks among,
As FINGAL spoke, and OSSIAN sung.
Night fell; and dark and darker grew
That narrow sea, that narrow sky,
As o'er the glimmering waves we flew;
The sea-bird rustling, wailing by.
And now the grampus, half-descried,
Black and huge above the tide ;
The cliffs and promontories there,
Front to front, and broad and bare;
Each beyond each, with giant-feet
Advancing as in haste to meet ·