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No sound was heard, except, from far away,
The ringing of the whitwall's shrilly laughter,
Or now and then the chatter of the jay,
That echo murmur'd after.

But echo never mock'd the human tongue;
Some mighty crime, that Heaven could not pardon,
A secret curse on that old building hung,
And its deserted garden.

The beds were all untouch'd by hand or tool;
No footstep marked the damp and mossy gravel;
Each walk was green as is the mantled pool,
For want of human travel.

The vine unpruned, and the neglected peach,
Droop'd from the wall with which they used to grapple;
And on the canker'd tree, in easy reach,

Rotted the golden apple.

But awfully the truant shunn'd the ground,
The vagrant kept aloof, and daring poacher;
In spite of gaps, that through the fences round
Invited the encroacher.

For over all there hung a cloud of fear,
A sense of mystery the spirit daunted,
And said as plain as whisper in the ear,
The place is haunted!

The pear and quince lay squander'd on the grass;
The mould was purple with unheeded showers
Of bloomy plums-a wilderness it was

Of fruits, and weeds, and flowers.

The marigold amidst the nettles blew,

The gourd embraced the rose-bush in its ramble,
The thistle and the stock together grew,

The hollyhock and bramble.

The bear-bine with the lilac interlaced,

The sturdy bur-dock choked its slender neighbour,

The spicy pink. All tokens were effaced

Of human care and labour.

The very yew formality had train'd
To such a rigid pyramidal stature,
For want of trimming had almost regained
The raggedness of nature.

The fountain was a-dry-neglect and time
Had marr'd the work of artisan and mason,
And efts and croaking frogs, begot of slime,
Sprawl'd in the ruin'd bason.

The statue, fallen from its marble base,
Amidst the refuse leaves, and herbage rotten,
Lay like the idol of some bygone race,
Its name and rites forgotten.

side the aspect was the same,
All ruin'd, desolate, forlorn, and savage;
No hand or foot within the precinct came
To rectify or ravage.

For over all there hung a cloud of fear,
A sense of mystery the spirit daunted,
And said as plain as whisper in the ear,
The place is haunted!

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Now the bright morning-star, day's harbinger,
Comes dancing from the East, and leads with her
The flowery May, who from her green lap2 throws
The yellow cowslip, and the pale primrose.

Hail, bounteous May, that dost inspire
Mirth, and youth, and warm desire;
Woods and groves are of thy dressing,
Hill and dale doth boast thy blessing.
Thus we salute thee with our early song,
And welcome thee and wish thee long.


(1) Not the least charm of this graceful salutation to May morning is the sudden change of the metre in the fifth line, which seems as it were to introduce us at once into the presence of the fair vision, whose approach is indicated by the previous passage.

(2) Green lap-Spenser describes "faire May" as "throwing flowers out of her lap around."

(3) Woods and groves, &c.-i. e. thou deckest them with verdure.


THE lovely young Lavinia once had friends;
And fortune smiled deceitful on her birth:
For, in her helpless years deprived of all,
Of every stay, save innocence and Heaven,
She, with her widowed mother, feeble, old,
And poor, lived in a cottage, far retired
Among the windings of a woody vale;
By solitude and deep-surrounding shades,
But more by bashful modesty, concealed.
Together thus they shunned the cruel scorn
Which virtue, sunk to poverty, would meet
From giddy passion, and low-minded pride;
Almost on Nature's bounty fed,

Like the gay birds that sung them to repose,
Content, and careless of to-morrow's fare.
Her form was fresher than the morning rose,
When the dew wets its leaves; unstained and pure,
As is the lily or the mountain snow.
The modest virtues mingled in her eyes,
Still on the ground dejected,' darting all
Their humid beams into the blooming flowers;
Or when the mournful tale her mother told,
Of what her faithless fortune promised once,
Thrilled in her thought, they, like the dewy star
Of evening, shone in tears. A native grace
Sat fair-proportioned on her polished2 limbs,
Veiled in a simple robe, their best attire,
Beyond the pomp of dress; for loveliness
Needs not the foreign aid of ornament,
But is, when unadorned, adorned the most.
Thoughtless of beauty, she was beauty's self,
Recluse amidst the close-embowering woods:

(1) Dejected-cast down, referring to the eyes, not to the feelings; a very peculiar application of the term.

(2) Polished-Dr. Johnson has proposed a critical canon, which though not universally true, may perhaps be considered as applicable here. It is that "an epithet or metaphor drawn from nature ennobles art; an epithet or metaphor drawn from art degrades nature."

As in the hollow breast of Apennine,
Beneath the shelter of encircling hills,
A myrtle rises, far from human eye,

And breathes its balmy fragrance o'er the wild;
So flourished, blooming, and unseen by all,
The sweet Lavinia.



THOU noblest monument of Albion's isle!
Whether by Merlin's aid from Scythia's shore,
To Amber's fatal plain Pendragon bore,
Huge frame of giant-hands, the mighty pile,
To entomb his Britons slain by Hengist's guile;
Or Druid priests, sprinkled with human gore,
Taught mid thy massy maze their mystic lore:
Or Danish chiefs, enriched with savage spoil,


To victory's idol vast, an unhewn shrine,
Reared the rude heap; or, in thy hallowed round,
Repose the kings of Brutus' genuine line;
Or here those kings in solemn state were crowned:
Studious to trace thy wondrous origin,

We muse on many an ancient tale renowned.7

Thomas Warton.

(1) As in, &c.-Compare this beautiful passage with Gray's lines, beginning "Full many a gem," p. 62.

(2) This word, though the name of an ancient British memorial, seems to be Anglo-Saxon, and signifies hanging, or hung up stones. See Philological Society's Journal, No. 130.

(3) Merlin-a renowned enchanter, as he was called, who lived in the times of King Arthur, and who is fabulously said to have transported these stones from Africa, first to Ireland, and thence to Salisbury Plain.

(4) Amber's fatal plain-so called from Ambrose, the uncle of King Arthur; styled "fatal" from the massacre of the Britons, which is said to have taken place here.

(5) Pendragon-Dragon's head-a name of office; here probably meant for Uther Pendragon, the father of Arthur.

(6) Brutus The great-grandson of Eneas, who is fabulously said to have landed at Totnes, in Devonshire, and made himself king of the island, giving it the name of Britain from his own. See Milton's "History of Britain."

(7) "Nothing can be more admirable than the learning here displayed, or the inference from it, that it is of no use but as it leads to interesting thought and reflection."-Hazlitt.



WHEN I survey the bright
Celestial sphere,

So rich with jewels hung, that night
Doth like an Ethiop bride appear;

My soul her wings doth spread,
And heavenward flies,

The Almighty's mysteries to read
In the large volumes of the skies.

For the bright firmament
Shoots forth no flame

So silent, but is eloquent
In speaking the Creator's name.

No unregarded star
Contracts its light

Into so small a character,

Removed far from our human sight;

But if we steadfast look,

We shall discern

In it, as in some holy book,

How man may heavenly knowledge learn.



YE musical hounds of the fairy king,

Who hunt for the golden dew,

Who track for your game the green coverts of spring,
Till the echoes, that lurk in the flower-bells, ring

With the peal of your elfin3 crew!

(1) These fine lines and the first four especially deserve the epithet-were written in the early part of the seventeenth century.

(2) This little poem presents a new and graceful handling of a trite subject. The first and last stanzas are original and striking.

(3) Elfin-from the Anglo-Saxon alf, an elf, fairy. The Anglo-Saxons had their dun, or inountain elfs, wood elfs, water elfs, &c.

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