Page images
PDF
EPUB

INSCRIPTIONS.

I.

IN THE GROUNDS OF COLEORTON, THE SEAT OF SIR

GEORGE BEAUMONT, BART., LEICESTERSHIRE.

But by an industry that wrought in love ;
With help from female hands, that proudly strove
To aid the work, what time these walks and bowers
Were shaped to cheer dark winter's lonely hours.

1808.

III.

PLACED BY HIM AT THE TERMINATION OF A NEWLY

The embowering rose, the acacia, and the pine,
Will not unwillingly their place resign ;
If but the Cedar thrive that near them stands,
Planted by Beaumont's and by Wordsworth's hands.

WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OF SIR GEORGE BEAUOne wooed the silent Art with studious pains :

MONT, BART., AND IN HIS NAME, FOR AN URN, These groves have heard the Other's pensive strains; Devoted thus, their spirits did unite

PLANTED AVENUE, IN THE SAME GROUNDS. By interchange of knowledge and delight.

Ye Lime-trees, ranged before this hallowed Urn, May Nature's kindliest powers sustain the Tree, Shoot forth with lively power at Spring's return; And Love protect it from all injury !

And be not slow a stately growth to rear And when its potent branches, wide out-thrown, Of pillars, branching off from year to year, Darken the brow of this memorial Stone,

Till they have learned to frame a darksome aisle ;Here may some Painter sit in future days,

That may recal to mind that awful Pile Some future Poet meditate his lays ;

Where Reynolds,'mid our country's noblest dead, Not mindless of that distant age renowned In the last sanctity of fame is laid. When Inspiration hovered o'er this ground, — There, though by right the excelling Painter sleep The haunt of him who sang how spear and shield Where Death and Glory a joint sabbath keep, In civil conflict met on Bosworth-field;

Yet not the less his Spirit would hold dear
And of that famous Youth, full soon removed Self-hidden praise, and Friendship’s private tear :
From earth, perhaps by Shakspeare's self approved, Hence, on my patrimonial grounds, have I
Fletcher's Associate, Jonson's Friend beloved. Raised this frail tribute to his memory ;

From youth a zealous follower of the Art
That he professed ; attached to him in heart;
Admiring, loving, and with grief and pride
Feeling what England lost when Reynolds died.

II.

IN A GARDEN OF THE SAME.

IV.

FOR A SEAT IN THE GROVES OF COLEORTON.

Oft is the medal faithful to its trust
When temples, columns, towers, are laid in dust;
And 'tis a common ordinance of fate
That things obscure and small outlive the great:
Hence, when yon mansion and the flowery trim
Of this fair garden, and its alleys dim,
And all its stately trees, are passed away,
This little Niche, unconscious of decay,
Perchance may still survive. And be it known
That it was scooped within the living stone,--
Not by the sluggish and ungrateful pains
Of labourer plodding for his daily gains,

Beneath yon eastern ridge, the craggy bound,
Rugged and high, of Charnwood's forest ground,
Stand yet, but, Stranger! hidden from thy view,
The ivied Ruins of forlorn GRACE DIEU ;
Erst a religious House, which day and night
With hymns resounded, and the chanted rite:
And when those rites had ceased, the Spot gave

birth
To honourable Men of various worth:

child;

VI.

1808.

[ocr errors]

WRITTEN WITH A

PENCIL UPON A STONE IN THE

ISLAND AT GRASMERE.

There, on the margin of a streamlet wild,
Did Francis Beaumont sport, an eager
There, under shadow of the neighbouring rocks,
Sang youthful tales of shepherds and their flocks;

WRITTEN WITH A SLATE PENCIL ON A STONE, ON THE Unconscious prelude to heroic themes,

SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN OF BLACK COMB. Heart-breaking tears, and melancholy dreams Of slighted love, and scorn, and jealous rage,

Stay, bold Adventurer ; rest awhile thy limbs

On this commodious Seat! for much remains With which his genius shook the buskined stage. Communities are lost, and Empires die,

Of hard ascent before thou reach the top

Of this huge Eminence,-from blackness named, And things of holy use unhallowed lie;

And, to far-travelled storms of sea and land,
They perish ;—but the Intellect can raise,
From airy words alone, a Pile that ne'er decays.

A favourite spot of tournament and war!
But thee may no such boisterous visitants
Molest ; may gentle breezes fan thy brow;
And neither cloud conceal, nor misty air
Bedim, the grand terraqueous spectacle,
From centre to circumference, unveiled !

Know, if thou grudge not to prolong thy rest, WALL OF THE HOUSE (AN OUT-HOUSE), ON THE That on the summit whither thou art bound,

A geographic Labourer pitched his tent, Rude is this Edifice, and Thou hast seen

With books supplied and instruments of art, Buildings, albeit rude, that have maintained To measure height and distance; lonely task, Proportions more harmonious, and approached Week after week pursued !—To him was given To closer fellowship with ideal grace.

Full many a glimpse (but sparingly bestowed But take it in good part:--alas! the poor

On timid man) of Nature's processes Vitruvius of our village had no help

Upon the exalted hills. He made report From the great City ; never, upon leaves

That once, while there he plied his studious work Of red Morocco folio saw displayed,

Within that canvass Dwelling, colours, lines, In long succession, pre-existing ghosts

And the whole surface of the out-spread map, Of Beauties yet unborn—the rustic Lodge

Became invisible: for all around Antique, and Cottage with verandah graced, Had darkness fallen-unthreatened, unproclaimedNor lacking, for fit company, alcove,

As if the golden day itself had been
Green-house, shell-grot, and moss-lined hermitage. Extinguished in a moment; total gloom,
Thou see'st a homely Pile, yet to these walls

In which he sate alone, with unclosed eyes,
The heifer comes in the snow-storm, and here Upon the blinded mountain's silent top !
The new-dropped lamb finds shelter from the wind.
And hither does one Poet sometimes row
His pinnace, a small vagrant barge, up-piled
With plenteous store of heath and withered fern,
(A lading which he with his sickle cuts,
Among the mountains) and beneath this roof
He makes his summer couch, and here at noon

WRITTEN WITH A SLATE PENCIL UPON A STONE, THE Spreads out his limbs, while, yet unshorn, the

QUARRY, UPON ONE OF THE ISLANDS AT RYDAL.
Sheep,

STRANGER! this hillock of mis-shapen stones
Panting beneath the burthen of their wool,
Lie round him, even as if they were a part

Is not a Ruin spared or made by time,
Of his own Household: nor, while from his bed

Nor, as perchance thou rashly deem'st, the Cairn

Of some old British Chief : 'tis nothing more He looks, through the open door-place, toward the lake

Than the rude embryo of a little Dome

Or Pleasure-house, once destined to be built
And to the stirring breezes, does he want
Creations lovely as the work of sleep-

Among the birch-trees of this rocky isle.
Fair sights, and visions of romantic joy!

But, as it chanced, Sir William having learned
That from the shore a full-grown man might wade,
And make himself a freeman of this spot
At any hour he chose, the prudent Knight

1813

VII.

LARGEST OF

A HEAP LYING NEAR A DESERTED

Desisted, and the quarry and the mound

The vocal raptures of fresh poesy, Are monuments of his unfinished task.

Shall he frequent these precincts; locked no more The block on which these lines are traced, perhaps, In earnest converse with beloved Friends, Was once selected as the corner-stone

Here will he gather stores of ready bliss, Of that intended Pile, which would have been As from the beds and borders of a garden Some quaint odd plaything of elaborate skill, Choice flowers are gathered! But, if Power may So that, I guess, the linnet and the thrush,

spring And other little builders who dwell here,

Out of a farewell yearning-favoured more
Had wondered at the work. But blame him not, Than kindred wishes mated suitably
For old Sir William was a gentle Knight,

With vain regrets—the Exile would consign Bred in this vale, to which he appertained

This Walk, his loved possession, to the care
With all his ancestry. Then peace to him, Of those pure Minds that reverence the Muse.
And for the outrage which he had devised
Entire forgiveness !—But if thou art one
On fire with thy impatience to become
An inmate of these mountains,-if, disturbed
By beautiful conceptions, thou hast hewn
Out of the quiet rock the elements

A HERMIT'S CELL.
Of thy trim Mansion destined soon to blaze
In snow-white splendour,—think again; and, taught

1818.
By old Sir William and his quarry, leave
Thy fragments to the bramble and the rose;

Hopes what are they ?-Beads of morning There let the vernal slow-worm sun himself,

Strung on slender blades of grass ;
And let the redbreast hop from stone to stone.

Or a spider's web adorning
In a strait and treacherous pass.

1826.

X.

INSCRIPTIONS SUPPOSED TO BE FOUND IN AND YEAR

I.

1800.

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

The umbrageous Oak, in pomp outspread, This quiet spot; and, Stranger! not unmoved Full oft, when storms the welkin rend,

Wilt thou behold this shapeless heap of stones, Draws lightning down upon the head

The desolate ruins of St. Herbert's Cell. It promised to defend.

Here stood his threshold ; here was spread the roof

That sheltered him, a self-secluded Man, But Thou art true, incarnate Lord,

After long exercise in social cares Who didst vouchsafe for man to die;

And offices humane, intent to adore Thy smile is sure, thy plighted word

The Deity, with undistracted mind, No change can falsify!

And meditate on everlasting things,

In utter solitude. But he had left I bent before thy gracious throne,

A Fellow-labourer, whom the good Man loved And asked for peace on suppliant knee;

As his own soul. And, when with eye upraised
And peace was given,-nor peace alone, To heaven he knelt before the crucifix,
But faith sublimed to ecstasy!

While o'er the lake the cataract of Lodore
Pealed to his orisons, and when he paced
Along the beach of this small isle and thought
Of his Companion, he would pray that both
(Now that their earthly duties were fulfilled)

Might die in the same moment. Nor in vain ST. HERBERT'S ISLAND, DERWENT-WATER.

So prayed he:-as our chronicles report, If thou in the dear love of some one Friend Though here the Hermit numbered his last day Hast been so happy that thou know'st what thoughts Far from St. Cuthbert his beloved Friend, Will sometimes in the happiness of love

Those holy Men both died in the same hour.

1800. Make the heart sink, then wilt thou reverence

XV.

FOR THE SPOT WHERE THE HERMITAGE STOOD ON

« PreviousContinue »