Puslapio vaizdai

By trap or net, by arrow or by sling;
These he detested, those he scorn'd to wield;
He wish'd to be the guardian, not the king,
Tyrant far less, or traitor of the field:

And sure the sylvan reign unbloody joy might yield.

Lo! where the stripling, wrapt in wonder, roves
Beneath the precipice o'erhung with pine;
And sees, on high, amidst th' encircling groves,
From cliff to cliff the foaming torrents shine:
While waters, woods, and winds, in concert join,
And Echo swells the chorus to the skies.
Would Edwin this majestic scene resign
For aught the huntsman's puny craft supplies?
Ah! no: he better knows great Nature's charms to prize.

And oft he trac'd the uplands, to survey,
When o'er the sky advanc'd the kindling dawn,
The crimson cloud, blue main, and mountain gray,
And lake, dim gleaming on the smoky lawn;
Far to the west the long long vale withdrawn,
Where twilight loves to linger for a while;
And now he faintly kens the bounding fawn,
And villager abroad at early toil.-

But lo! the sun appears! and heaven, earth, ocean, smile.

And oft the craggy cliff he lov'd to climb, When all in mist the world below was lost: What dreadful pleasure! there to stand sublime, Like shipwreck'd mariner on desert coast, And view th' enormous waste of vapour tost In billows, lengthening to th' horizon round, Now scoop'd in gulfs, with mountains now emboss'd! And hear the voice of mirth and song rebound, Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the hoar profound! In truth he was a strange and wayward wight, Fond of each gentle, and each dreadful scene: In darkness, and in storm, he found delight; Nor less, than when on ocean-wave serene The southern sun diffus'd his dazzling shene, Even sad vicissitude amus'd his soul: And if a sigh would sometimes intervene, And down his cheek a tear of pity roll,

A sigh, a tear so sweet, he wish'd not to control.


"O ye wild groves, O where is now your bloom!" (The Muse interprets thus his tender thought)

"Your flowers, your verdure, and your balmy gloom,
Of late so grateful in the hour of drought!
Why do the birds, that song and rapture brought
To all your bowers, their mansions now forsake?
Ah! why has fickle chance this ruin wrought?
For now the storm howls mournful through the brake,
And the dead foliage flies in many a shapeless flake.

"Where now the rill, melodious, pure, and cool,
And meads, with life, and mirth, and beauty crown'd!
Ah! see, th' unsightly slime, and sluggish pool,
Have all the solitary vale imbrown'd;

Fled each fair form, and mute each melting sound,
The raven croaks forlorn on naked spray :
And, hark! the river, bursting every mound,
Down the vale thunders; and with wasteful sway,
Uproots the grove, and rolls the shatter'd rocks away.

"Yet such the destiny of all on earth;
So flourishes and fades majestic man!
Fair is the bud his vernal morn brings forth,
And fostering gales a while the nursling fan:
O smile, ye heavens, serene; ye mildews wan,
Ye blighting whirlwinds, spare his balmy prime,
Nor lessen of his life the little span:

Borne on the swift, though silent wings of Time,
Old age comes on apace to ravage all the clime.

"And be it so. Let those deplore their doom,
Whose hope still grovels in this dark sojourn:
But lofty souls, who look beyond the tomb,
Can smile at Fate, and wonder how they mourn.
Shall spring to these sad scenes no more return?
Is yonder wave the sun's eternal bed?—
Soon shall the orient with new lustre burn,
And spring shall soon her vital influence shed,
Again attune the grove, again adorn the mead.

"Shall I be left abandon'd in the dust,
When Fate, relenting, lets the flower revive,
Shall Nature's voice, to man alone unjust,
Bid him, though doom'd to perish, hope to live?
Is it for this fair Virtue oft must strive
With disappointment, penury, and pain ?—
No: Heaven's immortal spring shall yet arrive
And man's majestic beauty bloom again,

Bright through th' eternal year of Love's triumphant reign."

This truth sublime his simple sire had taught,
In sooth, 't was almost all the shepherd knew,

No subtle nor superfluous lore he sought,
Nor ever wish'd his Edwin to pursue :-

"Let man's own sphere" (quoth he) "confiné his view;
Be man's peculiar work his sole delight."
And much, and oft, he warn'd him to eschew
Falsehood and guile, and aye maintain the right,
By pleasure unseduc'd, unaw'd by lawless might.

"And from the prayer of Want, and plaint of Woe,
O never, never turn away thine ear;
Forlorn in this bleak wilderness below,

Ah! what were man, should Heaven refuse to hear!
To others do (the law is not severe)

What to thyself thou wishest to be done :

Forgive thy foes; and love thy parents dear,

And friends, and native land; nor those alone;

All human weal and woe learn thou to make thine own."


BUT who the melodies of morn can tell?
The wild-brook babbling down the mountain side.
The lowing herd; the sheepfold's simple bell;
The pipe of early shepherd dim descried
In the lone valley; echoing far and wide
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above;
The hollow murmur of the ocean-tide;
The hum of bees, and linnet's lay of love,
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove.

The cottage-curs at early pilgrim bark;

Crown'd with her pail the tripping milkmaid sings; The whistling ploughman stalks afield; and, hark! Down the rough slope the ponderous wagon rings; Thro' rustling corn the hare astonish'd springs; Slow tolls the village-clock the drowsy hour; The partridge bursts away on whirring wings; Deep mourns the turtle in sequester'd bower, And shrill lark carols clear from her aërial tour.


WHEN the long-sounding curfew from afar
Loaded with loud lament the lonely gale,
Young Edwin, lighted by the evening star,
Lingering and listening wander'd down the vale.
There would he dream of graves, and corses pale;
And ghosts, that to the charnel dungeon throng,



Till silenced by the owl's terrific song,

Or blast that shrieks by fits the shuddering aisles along.

Or when the setting moon, in crimson died,
Hung o'er the dark and melancholy deep,
To haunted stream, remote from man he hied,
Where Fays of yore their revels wont to keep;
And there let Fancy roam at large, till sleep
A vision brought to his entranced sight.

And first, a wildly-murmuring wind 'gan creep
Shrill to his ringing ear; then tapers bright,
With instantaneous gleam, illumed the vault of Night.

Anon in view a portal's blazon'd arch
Arose; the trumpet bids the valves unfold;
And forth a host of little warriors march,
Grasping the diamond lance, and targe of gold.
Their look was gentle, their demeanour bold,
And green their helms, and green their silk attire.
And here and there, right venerably old,

The long-robed minstrels wake the warbling wire, And some with mellow breath the martial pipe inspire.

With merriment, and song, and timbrels clear,
A troop of dames from myrtle bowers advance:
The little warriors doff the targe and spear,
And loud enlivening strains provoke the dance.
They meet, they dart away, they wheel askance
To right, to left, they thrid the flying maze;
Now bound aloft with vigourous spring, then glance
Rapid along; with many-colour'd rays

Of tapers, gems, and gold, the echoing forests blaze.


LET vanity adorn the marble tomb

With trophies, rhymes, and scutcheons of renown,
In the deep dungeon of some Gothic dome,
Where night and desolation ever frown.
Mine be the breezy hill that skirts the down;
Where the green grassy turf is all I crave,
With here and there a violet bestrown,

Fast by a brook, or fountain's murmuring wave;
And many an evening sun shine sweetly on my grave.

And thither let the village swain repair;
And, light of heart the village maiden gay,
To deck with flowers her half-dishevel'd hair.

There let the shepherd's pipe the livelong day,
Fill all the grove with love's bewitching woe;
And when mild evening comes with mantle gray,
Let not the blooming band make haste to go,
No ghost nor spell my long and last abode shall know.


I cannot blame thy choice (the Sage replied)
For soft and smooth are fancy's flowery ways.
And yet even there, if left without a guide,
The young adventurer unsafely plays.
Eyes dazzled long by fiction's gaudy rays,
In modest truth no light nor beauty find.

And who, my child, would trust the meteor-blaze,
That soon must fail, and leave the wanderer blind,
More dark and helpless far, than if it ne'er had shined?

Fancy enervates, while it soothes, the heart,
And, while it dazzles, wounds the mental sight:
To joy each heightening charm it can impart,
But wraps the hour of woe in tenfold night.
And often, where no real ills affright,
Its visionary fiends, and endless train,

Assail with equal or superior might,

And through the throbbing heart, and dizzy brain, And shivering nerves, shoot stings of more than mortal pain.

And yet, alas! the real ills of life

Claim the full vigour of a mind prepared,
Prepared for patient, long, laborious stife,
Its guide Experience, and Truth its guard.
We fare on earth as other men have fared:
Were they successful? Let not us despair.
Was disappointment oft their sole reward?
Yet shall their tale instruct, if it declare

How they have borne the load ourselves are doom'd to bear.


BUT hail, ye mighty masters of the lay,
Nature's true sons, the friends of man and truth!
Whose song, sublimely sweet, serenely gay,
Amused my childhood, and inform'd my youth.
O let your spirit still my bosom soothe,

Inspire my dreams, and my wild wanderings guide!
Your voice each rugged path of life can smooth;
For well I know, wherever ye reside,

There harmony, and peace, and innocence, abide.

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