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SOFT as a cloud is yon blue Ridge—the Mere
That, while the sun rode high, was lost beneath their dazzling sheen.
-An emblem this of what the sober Hour
Can do for minds disposed to feel its power!
Meek Eve shuts up the whole usurping host
"Tis well-but what are helps of time and place, When wisdom stands in need of nature's grace;
Why do good thoughts, invoked or not, descend,
Like Angels from their bowers, our virtues to befriend; If yet To-morrow, unbelied, may say,
"I come to open out, for fresh display,
The elastic vanities of yesterday?"
THE leaves that rustled on this oak-crowned hill,
Sound is there none at which the faintest heart
From the hushed vale's realities, transferred
Grave Creature!-whether, while the moon shines bright On thy wings opened wide for smoothest flight, Thou art discovered in a roofless tower,
Rising from what may once have been a lady's bower;
Or spied where thou sitt'st moping in thy mew
Deep in a forest, thy secure abode,
Thou giv'st, for pastime's sake, by shriek or shout,
May the night never come, nor day be seen,
In classic ages men perceived a soul Of sapience in thy aspect, headless Owl! Thee Athens reverenced in the studious grove; And, near the golden sceptre grasped by Jove, His Eagle's favourite perch, while round him sate The Gods revolving the decrees of Fate,
Thou, too, wert present at Minerva's side
Hark to that second larum !-far and wide
[This Impromptu appeared, many years ago, among the Author's poems, from which, in subsequent editions, it was excluded. It is reprinted, at the request of the friend in whose presence the lines were thrown off.]
THE sun has long been set,
The stars are out by twos and threes, The little birds are piping yet
Among the bushes and trees;
There's a cuckoo, and one or two thrushes,
And a far-off wind that rushes,
And a sound of water that gushes,
And the cuckoo's sovereign cry
Fills all the hollow of the sky.
In London, and masquerading,
On such a night of June
With that beautiful soft half-moon,
And all these innocent blisses?
On such a night as this is!
COMPOSED UPON AN EVENING OF EXTRAORDINARY
HAD this effulgence disappeared
But 'tis endued with power to stay,
What is ?-ah no, but what can be!
While choirs of fervent Angels sang
Their vespers in the grove;
Or, crowning, star-like, each some sovereign height,
Warbled, for heaven above and earth below,
Strains suitable to both.--Such holy rite,
Methinks, if audibly repeated now
From hill or valley, could not move
Than doth this silent spectacle-the gleam--