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To the neat stream permitting, as she trips
To wed her sober spouse the tranquil Ouse?
Where is the car that bore the hills away
To make yon ample basin, bowl immense,
Vast amphitheatre of sky-crown'd downs,
Where oft the hurried waters lose their way,
And spreading wide become an inland sea
Land-lock'd by mountains? Where is the strong bar
Which loosen'd seaward the contiguous hills,
Hove them aside, and gave to Ouse between
Sufficient space for his meand'ring stream
To wind and wander, and to many a farm,
Village, and steeple, visitation pay,
Or e'er he pours into the distant deep,
Through the wide fauces of yon giant cliffs,
Th' obsequious lake that urges him along?"

The following lively description of swimming (ib.) will remind the reader, in part, of the concluding stanza in Lord Byron's address to the Ocean. (Childe Harold, Canto iv. st . cxxxiv.)

If noon be fervid, and no zephyr breathe,

What time the new-shorn flock stands here and there

With huddled head, impatient of the fly—

What time the snuffling spaniel, as he runs,

Pants freely, and laps often at the brook,

To slake the fervour of his feverous tongue—

What time the cow stands knee-deep in the pool,

Lashing her sides for anguish, scaring oft,

With sudden head revers'd, the insect swarm

That basks and preys upon her sunny hide—

Or when she flies with tufted tail erect

The breeze-fly's keen invasion, to the shade

Scampering madly—let me wind my way

Tow'rd the still lip of ocean. Seated there,

Soon let me cast habiliment aside,

And to the cool wave give me. Transport sweet!

Pleasure thrice-delicate! Oh, let me plunge

Deep in the lucid element my head,

And, rising, sportful on his surface play.

Oh joy, to quit the fervid gleam of earth,

Leave a faint atmosphere, and soon recruit

Exhausted energy, suspended thus

Upon the bosom of a cooler world!

Oh recreation exquisite, to feel

The wholesome waters trickle from the head,

Oft as its saturated locks emerge!

To feel them lick the hand, and lave the foot!

And when the playful and luxurious limb

Is satiated with pastime, and the man

Rises refresh'd from the voluptuous flood,

How rich the pleasure to let Zephyr chili

And steal the dew-drops from his panting sides!

Let e'en the saucy and loud Auster blow,

Be but his sea not fierce, nor, save at shore.

The frothy breaker of displeasure shew,

Yet will I court the turbulent embrace

Of thee, thou roaring deep: yes, and will share

The bather's richest pleasure, when the foot

Of fear might hesitate, nor dare invade

The thund'ring downfall of the billowy surge.

How joys the bold intruder, then, at large

To flounder porpoise-like, wave after wave

Mounting triumphant, hoisted by the swell—

How climbs with ease, descends, and climbs again

Th' uplifted summit, high as it may seem,

Of the sublimest wave! What if lost earth

Each moment disappear, as the sunk head

Swims through the yawning hollow of the flood;

As often shall it greet the watchful eye,

Seen from the wave-top eminent."

Our author has attempted, after Virgil and Thomson, a description of the signs which precede a storm; how he has succeeded, the reader will judge from the following passage. (Canto iii.)

"As, when the daw throng on the steeple perch,
Ambitious of its loftiest vane, and smoke
Shot upwards from the funnel mounts erect,
Fair day succeeds; so when the turbid stream,
That issues from the chimney, falls depress'd,
"And travels fog-like o'er the dewy field,
While at a distance the loud western bell
Distinctly sings, day foul and pluvious comes,
Dim the nocturnal sky; its feebler lights
Lost in the dense profound, its brighter gems
Obscurely visible. If chance the moon
Cross the quench'd Empyrean, her sad orb
Shines with abated beam, and seems to wear
A misty atmosphere. Far in the void

An ample circle with capacious zone

Her central disc encloses. Spiritless

At his round table sits the farmer lord;

A drowsy yawn his pipe-inhaling jaws

Relaxes often. At his foot the cur

Sleeps on the hearth outstretch'd, and yelping dreams,

Or lifts his head, astonish'd at the dance

Of frisking puss, who on the sanded floor

Gambols excessive. Such ere close of day

Were the wild antics of the frantic herd,

(Alike prophetic of the morrow storm,)

Who leap'd and rac'd, and bellow'd in the mead,

Andclash'd their horny foreheads, staring fierce.

Dim in the socket, burns the sulky wick,

Nor heeds the trimming hand, which oft divides

The kindled fibres of its nape in vain,

And to the oil redundant, that would drown

Its feeble flame, relieving sluice affords."

This is followed by an animated picture of the storm, and a whimsical recital of the damage which ensued from a sudden inundation, to the humble dwelling of

. ''Response-pronouncing sage,

The village-clerk parochial, nothing rich." (p. 115. &c.)

A pleasing passage on the sun and moon occurs in p. 118 —122. The following is from canto iv.

"From your uplifted summit, when the sun
Of March, high-mounted, wears a moody smile,
Indulgent only to these winnow'd brows,
What time the partial storm in sullen pomp
Sails o'er the prostrate weald, let me look down
And see the murky cloud prone deluge shed,
And every town and steeple, dim-discern'd,
Curtain in gloom terrific. At such time,
What if the lightning bolt, long laid aside,
Amid the grim procession chance to gleam,
And thunder, surly to be rous'd so soon,
Mutter reluctant from his stormy couch?
It shall but solemn render the slow march
Of the dark tempest, through its gloomy brows
Frowning meridian night, and wake no dread,
No wish of flight, nor sense of peril here.
No! I shall eye it safely as it steals
In gloomy state away, and leaves behind

The freshen'd landscape leisurely dismissal.

Lo! in the glowing east the cloud sublime

Lifting its arduous and illumin'd head

High above the highest earth, a pile superb

Of vapour, wrapping in its smoky skirts

Heav'n's everduring threshold, and the beam

Of day's clear orb resplendent from its folds

Reflecting glorious. With the falling sun

Slow sinks the pomp away, and while his orb

In flaky redness sets, and fills the west

With fiery fragments of disparted cloud,

The last-apparent summit of the storm

The ruddy hue imbibes, and sanguine glows;

Till, day withdrawn and the vex'd ether hush'd

The tempest all subsides and dies away,

And the pure heav'n displays an ardent moon

Swimming self-balancd through the blue profound.'

We quote part of the succeeding paragraph.

"On this commanding summit let me stand,
To see the vernal equinoctial orb
Fresh from his chambers in the deep ascend.
Arise, bright leader of the beauteous year,
Sweep thy long fingers o'er the shadowy vale,
And smite the hill-tops. Nature at thy soft
Reviving touch with concord exquisite
Shall to her center vibrate. Total earth
Shall ring sweet unison from hill and dale.
My bosom, like the fabled lyre of old
Memnonian, or the harp that woos the breeze,
Shall sing with ecstasy, and pour around
Spontaneous sweet effusion, mellow verse,
Ode best expressive of the grateful soul;
Here let me stand, and o'er the level weald,
That, like a spacious chart, outstretch'd beneath
Lies chequer'd, cast an aching eye, to mark
Each well-known object in the misty skirt
Of the long-drawn perspective."


"What time the sun has from the west withdrawn
The various hues that grae'd his cloudy fall—
When the recumbent ruminating fold
Greets with peculiar odour the fond sense

Of the lone wand'rer—when the recent leaf

Of clover 'gins to sleep, and, white with dew, ,

Closes its tender triple-finger'd palm

Till morning dawn afresh—when the moon wears

Nor hood nor veil, nor looks with cold regard

Through the fine lawn of intervening cloud,

But lifts a fair round visage o*er the vale,

And smiles affection which no bard can sing,

No painter with poetic pencil paint—

When the dark cloud that couches in the west

Seems to imbibe the last pale beam of eve,

Absorbing in its dun and gloomy folds

The feeble residue of dying day—.

Is it not pleasure, with unbended mind

To muse within or meditate abroad,

While either hand in the warm bosom sleeps,

And either foot falls feebly on the floor,

Or shaven sward, or stone that paves the path

Of village footway winding to the church?

'Twere passing pleasure, if to man alone

That hour were grateful: but with like desire

The dusky holiday of thick'ning night

Enjoys the chuckling partridge, the still mouse,

The rabbit foraging, the feeding hare,

The nightingale that warbles from the thorn,

And twilight-loving solitary owl,

That skims the meadows, hovers, drops her prey*

Seizes, and screeching to her tower returns.

Her woolly little ones there hiss on high,

And there who will may seek them, but who dares

Must 'bide the keen magnanimous rebuff

Of irritated love, and quick descend,

By the maternal talon not in vain

Insulted, baffled, scar'd, and put to flight."

The last passage may be considered as a fair specimen of the general strain of the poem. Indeed the whole work consists of a succession of such passages—an uniform series of agreeable descriptions; and this peculiarity, while it unfits the poem from being read continuously, renders it an appropriate lounge for any eight or ten minutes which we may have to spare occasionally. We know no composition which contains a greater number of elegant detached morceaux, passages pleasing in themselves, and which may be separated from the main work without injury. We shall conclude our extracts with the lines immediately following those last quoted.

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