Puslapio vaizdai

A small cascade fresh swoln with snows
Thus threatened a poor Briar-rose,
That, all bespattered with his foam,
And dancing high and dancing low,
Was living, as a child might know,
In an unhappy home.

"Dost thou presume my course to block;
Off, off! or, puny thing!

I'll hurl thee headlong with the rock
To which thy fibres cling."

The flood was tyrannous and strong;
The patient Briar suffered long,
Nor did he utter groan or sigh,

Hoping the danger would be past:
But, seeing no relief, at last
He ventured to reply.

"Ah!" said the Briar, "blame me not;

Why should we dwell in strife?
We who in this sequestered spot,

Once lived a happy life!

You stirred me on my rocky bed

What pleasure through my veins you spread!

The Summer long, from day to day,

My leaves you freshened and bedewed;

Nor was it common gratitude

That did your cares repay.

When Spring came on with bud and bell,

Among these rocks did I

Before you hang my wreaths, to tell
That gentle days were nigh!

And, in the sultry summer hours,

I sheltered you with leaves and flowers;
And, in my leaves-now shed and gone,
The Linnet lodged, and for us two
Chaunted his pretty songs, when you
Had little voice or none.

But now proud thoughts are in your breastWhat grief is mine you see.

Ah! would you think, even yet how blest

Together we might be!

Though of both leaf and flower bereft,

Some ornaments to me are left

Rich store of scarlet hips is mine,
With which I, in my humble way,
Would deck you many a winter's day,
A happy Eglantine!""

What more he said I cannot tell.
The torrent thundered down the dell
With unabating haste;

I listened, nor aught else could hear;
The Briar quaked-and much I fear
Those accents were his last.

THE FOUNTAIN;-A CONVERSATION. We talked with open heart, and tongue Affectionate and true,

A pair of friends, though I was young,
And Matthew seventy-two.

We lay beneath a spreading oak,

Beside a mossy seat;

And from the turf a fountain broke,

And gurgled at our feet.

"Now, Matthew!" said I, "let us match

This water's pleasant tune

With some old border-song, or catch,
That suits a summer's noon.

Or of the church-clock and the chimes
Sing here beneath the shade,
That half-mad thing of witty rhymes
Which you last April made!"

In silence Matthew lay, and eyed
The spring beneath the tree;
And thus the dear old man replied,
The gray-haired man of glee:

"Down to the vale this water steers,
How merrily it goes!

"T will murmur on a thousand years, And flow as now it flows.

And here, upon this delightful day,
I cannot choose but think

How oft, a vigorous man, I lay
Beside this fountain's brink.

My eyes are dim with childish tears,

My heart is idly stirred,

For the same sound is in my ears
Which in those days I heard.

Thus fares it still in our decay:
And yet the wiser mind

Mourns less for what age takes away
Than what it leaves behind.

The Blackbird in the summer trees,
The Lark upon the hill,

Let loose their carols when they please,
Are quiet when they will.

With Nature never do they wage

A foolish strife; they see

A happy youth, and their old age
Is beautiful and free:

But we are pressed by heavy laws;
And often, glad no more,

We wear a face of joy, because
We have been glad of yore.

If there is one who need bemoan

His kindred laid in earth,

The household hearts that were his own,

It is the man of mirth.

My days, my friend, are almost gone,

My life has been approved,

And many love me; but by none

Am I enough beloved."

"Now both himself and me he wrongs,

The man who thus complains!

I live and sing my idle songs

Upon these happy plains,

And, Matthew, for thy children dead
I'll be a son to thee!"

At this he grasped my hand, and said,
"Alas! that cannot be."

We rose up from the fountain-side;
And down the smooth descent

Of the green sheep-track did we glide;
And through the wood we went;

And, ere we came to Leonard's rock,
He sang those witty rhymes
About the crazy old church clock,
And the bewildered chimes.





THE Minstrels played their Christmas tune
To-night beneath my cottage eaves;
While, smitten by a lofty moon,

The encircling Laurels, thick with leaves,
Gave back a rich and dazzling sheen,
That overpowered their natural green.

Through hill and valley every breeze
Had sunk to rest with folded wings:
Keen was the air, but could not freeze
Nor check the music of the strings;
So stout and hardy were the band
That scraped the chords with strenuous hand.

- And who but listened?-till was paid
Respect to every inmate's claim;
The greeting given, the music played,
In honor of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And "Merry Christmas" wished to all!

O Brother! I revere the choice:
That took thee from thy native hills;
And it is given thee to rejoice ;
Though public care full often tills
(Heaven only witness of the toil)
A barren and ungrateful soil.

Yet, would that thou, with me and mine,
Hadst heard this never-failing rite;
And seen on other faces shine

A true revival of the light,

Which nature and these rustic powers,
In simple childhood, spread through ours!

For pleasure hath not ceased to wait
On these expected annual rounds,
Whether the rich man's sumptuous gate
Call forth the unelaborate sounds,
Or they are offered at the door
That guards the lowliest of the poor.

How touching, when, at midnight, sweep.
Snow-muffled winds, and all is dark,
To hear—and sink again to sleep!
Or at an earlier call, to mark,
By blazing fire, the still suspense

The mutual nod,-the grave disguise
Of hearts with gladness brimming o'er;
And some unbidden tears that rise

For names once heard, and heard no more;
Tears brightened by the serenade

For infant in the cradle laid!

Ah! not for emerald fields alone,

With ambient streams more pure and bright
Than fabled Cytherea's zone

Glittering before the thunderer's sight,
Is to my heart of hearts endeared

The ground where we were born and reared!

Hail, ancient manners! sure defence,
Where they survive, of wholesome laws;
Remnants of love whose modest sense
Thus into narrow room withdraws;
Hail, usages of pristine mould,

And ye that guard them, mountains old!

Bear with me, brother! quench the thought
That slights this passion, or condemns;
If thee fond fancy ever brought
From the proud margin of the Thames,
And Lambeth's venerable towers,
To humbler streams, and greener bowers.

Yes, they can make, who fail to find,
Short leisure even in busiest days;
Moments, to cast a look behind,

And profit by those kindly rays

That through the clouds do sometimes steal,

And all the far-off past reveal.

Hence, while the imperial city's din

Beats frequent on thy satiate ear,

A pleased attention I may win

To agitations less severe,

That neither overwhelm nor cloy,

But fill the hollow vale with joy!


SHE dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,

A Maid whom there were none to praise,
And very few to love.

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