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To the blue heavens. There bright and sumptuous palaces,
With cool and verdant gardens interspersed ;
There towers of war that frown in massy strength;
While over all hangs the rich purple eve,
As conscious of its being her last farewell
Of light and glory to that fated city.
And as our clouds of battle, dust, and smoke,
Are melted into air, behold the Temple
In undisturbed and lone serenity,

Finding itself a solemn sanctuary

In the profound of heaven! It stands before us
A mount of snow, fretted with golden pinnacles.
The very sun, as though he worshipped there,
Lingers upon the gilded cedar roofs,
And down the long and branching porticoes;
On every flowery-sculptured capital,
Glitters the homage of his parting beams.


EVE's lingering clouds extend in solid bars
Through the grey west; and lo! these waters, steeled
By breezeless air to smoothest polish, yield
A vivid repetition of the stars;

Jove-Venus-and the ruddy crest of Mars,
Amid his fellows, beauteously revealed
At happy distance from earth's groaning field,
Where ruthless mortals wage incessant wars.
Is it a mirror ?-or the nether sphere

Opening its vast abyss, while fancy feeds
On the rich show!-But list! a voice is near;

Great Pan1 himself low-whispering through the reeds,
"Be thankful thou; for, if unholy deeds

Ravage the world, tranquillity is here!"


(1) Pan-Pan, among the Greeks, was the God of universal Nature, and the name was used frequently, as we use the word Nature, for the invisible cause of the beauties of creation.


HAIL, Twilight! sovereign of one peaceful hour!
Not dull art thou as undiscerning Night!
But studious only to remove from sight
Day's mutable distinctions.-Ancient Power!
Thus did the waters gleam, the mountains lower
To the rude Briton, when, in wolf-skin vest,
Here roving wild, he laid him down to rest
On the bare rock, or through a leafy bower

Looked ere his eyes were closed. By him was seen
The self-same vision which we now behold,

At thy meek bidding, shadowy Power, brought forth :--
These mighty barriers and the gulf between;

The floods, the stars;-a spectacle as old
As the beginning of the heavens and earth!



SWEET bird! thou sing'st away the early hours!
Of winters past or coming void of care,

Well pleased with delights which present are,-
Fair seasons, budding sprays, sweet smelling flowers!
To rocks, to springs, to rills from leafy bowers,
Thou thy Creator's goodness dost declare,
And what dear gifts on thee he did not spare.
Oh stain3 to human sense, in sin that lowers!
What soul can be so sick, which by thy songs,
(Attired in sweetness,) sweetly is not driven
Quite to forget earth's turmoils, spites, and wrongs,
And lift a reverend eye and thought to heaven!
Sweet artless songster! thou my mind dost raise
To airs of spheres, yea, and to angels' lays!


(1) The writer of this and the following beautiful sonnet was a friend and contemporary of Ben Jonson.

(2) And what dear gifts, &c.-i. e. and the precious gifts that he lavished on thee.

(3) Oh stain, &c.-Oh what a reproach to men is the sin which debases ("lowers") them, and prevents their praising God as you do.

(4) Airs of spheres-the fancied music of the spheres.


THRICE happy he who by some shady grove,
Far from the clamorous world, doth live his own :1
Though solitary, who is not alone,

But doth converse with that eternal love!

Oh, how more sweet is bird's harmonious moan,
Or the hoarse sobbings of the widowed dove,

Than those smooth whisperings near a prince's throne,
Which good make doubtful, do the evil prove!

Oh, how more sweet is zephyr's wholesome breath,
And sighs embalmed which new-born flowers unfold,
Than that applause vain honour doth bequeath!
How sweet are streams to poison2 drunk in gold!
The world is full of horrors, troubles, slight-
Woods' harmless shades have only true delights.

To fair Fidele's grassy tomb,


Soft maids and village hinds shall bring
Each opening sweet of earliest bloom,
And rifle all the breathing Spring.

No wailing ghost shall dare

To vex with shrieks this quiet grove:
But shepherd lads assemble here,

And melting virgins own their love.

No withered witch shall here be seen,
No goblins lead their nightly crew;
The female fays shall haunt the green,
And dress thy grave with pearly dew!

(1) His own-by himself.

(2) To poison, &c.-Compared to poison.

(3) This exquisite poem seems to have been suggested by the funeral chant over the body of Imogen, under the assumed name of Fidele, in Shakspere's Cymbeline." Sir E. Brydges commends its "simplicity and pathos," its "highly poetical thought and tone." its "exquisite polish, without one superfluous, one prosaic word." He continues thus:-"The extreme transparency of the words and thoughts would induce a vulgar reader to consider them [such poems] trite, while they are the expression of a genius so refined as to be all essence of spirit."

The redbreast oft,' at evening hours,
Shall kindly lend his little aid,
With hoary moss, and gathered flowers,
To deck the ground where thou art laid.
When howling winds and beating rain
In tempests shake the sylvan cell;
Or 'midst the chace, on every plain,
The tender thought on thee shall dwell;

Each lonely scene shall thee restore;
For thee the tear be duly shed;
Beloved, till life can charm no more,
And mourned, till Pity's self be dead.



THOUGH many suns have risen and set
Since thou, blithe May, wert born,
And bards, who hailed thee, may forget
Thy gifts, thy beauty scorn,
There are who to a birthday strain
Confine not harp and voice,
But evermore throughout thy reign
Are grateful and rejoice.

Earth, sea, thy presence feel-nor less,
If yon ethereal blue

With its soft smile the truth express,

The heavens have felt it too.
The inmost heart of man, if glad,
Partakes a livelier cheer;

And eyes that cannot but be sad

Let fall a brightened tear.

(1) The redbreast, &c.-It is thought that Gray was indebted to this stanza for the lines in the "Elegy" (see p. 65) beginning

"There scattered oft," &c.

(2) Among the many beautiful poems of the same author, there is not perhaps a more finished composition than this-not one more noticeable for the "curiosa felicitas"-that "grace beyond the reach of art," which evinces the perfect mastery of the artist.

Since thy return, through days and weeks
Of hope that grew by stealth,
How many wan and faded cheeks
Have kindled into health!

The old, by thee revived, have said,
Another year is ours!"


And wayworn wanderers, poorly fed,
Have smiled upon thy flowers.

Who tripping lisps a merry song
Amid his playful peers?

The tender infant, who was long
A prisoner of fond fears;

But now, when every sharp-edged blast
Is quiet in its sheath,

His mother leaves him free to taste
Earth's sweetness in thy breath.

Lo! streams that April could not check
Are patient of thy rule;
Gurgling in foamy water-break,
Loitering in glassy pool:

By thee, thee only, could be sent
Such gentle mists as glide,
Curling with unconfirmed intent,
On that green mountain's side.

How delicate the leafy veil

Through which yon House of God
Gleams 'mid the peace of this deep dale,
By few but shepherds trod!

And lowly huts, near beaten ways,
No sooner stand attired

In thy fresh wreaths, than they for praise
Peep forth, and are admired.

Season of fancy and of hope,
Permit not for one hour,

A blossom from thy crown to drop,

Nor add to it a flower!

(1) Gurgling, &c.-In one line of this couplet we may almost hear the "gurgling," and in the other almost feel the stillness, of the water.

(2) Curling, &c.-One of those "felicities" of phrase alluded to in the first


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