網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Out of the living rock, to be adorned
By nature only; but, if thither led,
Ye would discover, then, a studious work
Of many fancies, prompting many hands.

Brought from the woods the honeysuckle twines Around the porch, and seems, in that trim place, A plant no longer wild; the cultured rose There blossoms, strong in health, and will be soon Roof-bigh; the wild pink crowns the garden-wall, And with the flowers are intermingled stones Sparry and bright, rough scatterings of the hills. These ornaments, that fade not with the

year, A hardy Girl continues to provide ; Who, mounting fearlessly the rocky heights, Her Father's prompt attendant, does for him All that a boy could do, but with delight More keen and prouder daring; yet hath she, Within the garden, like the rest, a bed For her own flowers and favourite herbs, a space, By sacred charter, holden for her use.

- These, and whatever else the garden bears Of fruit or flower, permission asked or not, I freely gather; and my leisure draws A not unfrequent pastime from the hum Of bees around their range of sheltered hives Busy in that enclosure; while the rill, That sparkling thrids the rocks, attunes his voice To the pure course of human life which there Flows on in solitude. But, when the gloom Of night is falling round my steps, then most This Dwelling charms me; often I stop short, (Who could refrain ?) and feed by stealth my sight

With prospect of the company within,
Laid open through the blazing window :-there
I see the eldest Daughter at her wheel
Spinning amain, as if to overtake
The never-halting time; or, in her turn,
Teaching some Novice of the sisterhood
That skill in this or other household work,
Which, from her Father's honoured hand, herself,
While she was yet a little-one, had learned.
Mild Man ! he is not gay, but they are gay;
And the whole house seems filled with gaiety.
-Thrice happy, then, the Mother may be deemed,
The Wife, from whose consolatory grave
I turned, that ye in mind might witness where,
And how, her Spirit yet survives on earth!"

BOOK SEVENTH.

THE CHURCH-YARD AMONG THE MOUNTAINS,

CONTINUED.

ARGUMENT, Impression of these Narratives upon the Author's mind-Pastor invited to

give account of certain Graves that lie apart-Clergyman and his Family–Fortunate influence of change of situation-Activity in extreme old age-Another Clergyman, a character of resolute Virtuo -Lamentations over mis-directed applause-- Instance of less exalted excellence in a dea man-Elevated character of a blind manReflection upon Blindness-Interrupted by a Peasant who passes, his animal cheerfulness and careless vivacity-He occasions a digression on the fall of beautiful and interesting Trees-A female Infant's Grave-Joy at her Birth-Sorrow at her Departure-A youthful Peasant-his patriotic enthusiasm and distinguished qualities—his untimely death-Exultation of the Wanderer, as a patriot, in this Picture--Solitary how affected-Monument of a Knight–Traditions concerning him-Peroration of the Wanderer on the transitoriness of things and the revolutions of society-Hints at his own past CallingThanks the Pastor.

my

[ocr errors]

WHILE thus from theme to theme the Historian passed,
The words he uttered, and the scene that lay
Before our eyes, awakened in mind
Vivid remembrance of those long-past hours ;
When, in the hollow of some shadowy vale,
(What time the splendour of the setting sun
Lay beautiful on Snowdon's sovereign brow,
On Cader Idris, or huge Penmanmaur)
A wandering Youth, I listened with delight
To pastoral melody or warlike air,
Drawn from the chords of the ancient British harp
By some accomplished Master, while he sate

VOL. VL

Amid the quiet of the green recess,
And there did inexhaustibly dispense
An interchange of soft or solemn tunes,
Tender or blithe ; now, as the varying mood
Of his own spirit urged, -now, as a voice
From youth or maiden, or some honoured chief
Of his compatriot villagers (that hung
Around him, drinking in the impassioned notes
Of the time-ballowed minstrelsy) required
For their heart's ease or pleasure. Strains of power
Were they, to seize and occupy

the sense;
But to a higher mark than song can reach
Rose this pure eloquence. And, when the stream
Which overflowed the soul was passed away,
A consciousness remained that it had left,
Deposited upon the silent shore
Of memory, images and precious thoughts,
That shall not die, and cannot be destroyed.

“These grassy heaps lie amicably close, Said I, "like surges heaving in the wind Along the surface of a mountain pool: Whence comes it, then, that yonder we behold Five graves, and only five, that rise together Unsociably sequestered, and encroaching On the smooth play-ground of the village-school ? "

The Vicar answered, -"No disdainful pride In them who rest beneath, nor any course Of strange or tragic accident, hath helped To place those hillocks in that lonely guise. -Once more look forth, and follow with your sight The length of road that from yon mountain's base

Through bare enclosures stretches, 'till its line
Is lost within a little tuft of trees;
Then, reappearing in a moment, quits
The cultured fields; and up the heathy waste,
Mounts, as you see, in mazes serpentine,
Led towards an easy outlet of the vale.
That little shady spot, that sylvan tuft,
By which the road is hidden, also hides
A cottage from our view; though I discern
(Ye scarcely can) amid its sheltering trees
The smokeless chimney-top.-

All unembowered
And naked stood that lowly Parsonage
(For such in truth it is, and appertains
To a small Chapel in the vale beyond)
When hither came its last Inhabitant.
Rough and forbidding were the choicest roads
By which our northern wilds could then be crossed ;
And into most of these secluded vales
Was no access for wain, heavy or light.
So, at his dwelling place the Priest arrived
With store of household goods, in panniers slung
On sturdy horses graced with jingling bells,
And on the back of more ignoble beast ;
That, with like burthen of effects most prized
Or easiest carried, closed the motley train.
Young was I then, a school-boy of eight years;
But still, methinks, I see them as they passed
In order, drawing toward their wished-for home.
-Rocked by the motion of a trusty ass
Two ruddy children hung, a well-poised freight,
Each in his basket nodding drowsily;
Their bonnets, I remember, wreathed with flowers,

« 上一頁繼續 »