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To me, it seems to tell the pensive tale
Of spring-time, and the summer days all flown:
And while sad autumn's voice even now I hear
Along the umbrage of the high-wood moan,
At intervals, whose shivering leaves fall sere;
Whilst o'er the group of pendant groves I view
The slowly spreading tints of pining hue,
I think of poor humanity's brief day,
How fast its blossoms fade, its summers speed away!
Yet the bleak cliffs that lift their head so high
(Around whose beetling crags with ceaseless coil
And still-returning flight the ravens toil)
Heed not the changeful seasons as they fly,
Nor spring nor autumn; they their hoary brow
Uprear, and ages past, as in this now,
The same deep trenches unsubdued have worn,
The same majestic frown and looks of lofty scorn.
So Fortitude, a mailéd warrior old,
Appears; he lifts his scar-intrenchéd crest;
The tempest gathers round his dauntless breast;
He hears far off the storm of havoc rolled;
The feeble fall around: their sound is past;
Their sun is set, their place no more is known;
Like the wan leaves before the winter's blast,
They perish; —he unshaken and alone
Remains, his brow a sterner shade assumes
By age ennobled, whilst the hurricane
That raves resistless o'er the ravaged plain
But shakes unfelt his helmet's quivering plume.
William Lisle Bowles.
WAS a fierce night when old Mawgan died, Men shuddered to hear the rolling tide: The wreckers fled fast from the awful shore, They had heard strange voices amid the roar.
"Out with the boat there," some one cried, -
"Will he never come? we shall lose the tide:
His berth is trim and his cabin stored;
He's a weary long time coming on board."
The old man struggled upon the bed:
He knew the words that the voices said;
Wildly he shrieked, as his eyes grew dim,
He was dead! he was dead! when I buried him."
Hark yet again to the devilish roar,
"He was nimbler once with a ship on shore;
Come! come! old man, 't is a vain delay,
We must make the offing by break of day."
Hard was the struggle, but at the last
With a stormy pang old Mawgan passed,
And away, away, beneath their sight,
Gleamed the red sail at pitch of night.
MENDIP HILLS OVER WELLS.
OW grand beneath the feet that company
Of steep gray roofs and clustering pinnacles
Of the massy fane, brooding in majesty
Above the town that spreads among the dells!
Hark! the deep clock unrolls its voice of power;
And sweetly mellowed sound of chiming bells
Calling to prayer from out the central tower
Over the thickly timbered hollow dwells.
Meet worship-place for such a glorious stretch
Of sunny prospect, for these mighty hills,
And that dark solemn Tor,' and all that reach
Of bright-green meadows, laced with silver rills,
Bounded by ranges of pale blue, that rise
To where white strips of sea are traced upon the skies.
WRITTEN IN THE CHURCHYARD AT MIDDLETON IN SUSSEX.
RESSED by the Moon, mute arbitress of tides,
While the loud equinox its power combines,
The sea no more its swelling surge confines,
But o'er the shrinking land sublimely rides.
1 Glastonbury Tor.
The wild blast, rising from the western cave,
Drives the huge billows from their heaving bed;
Tears from their grassy tombs the village dead,
And breaks the silent sabbath of the grave!
With shells and sea-weed mingled, on the shore,
Lo! their bones whiten in the frequent wave;
But vain to them the winds and waters rave;
They hear the warring elements no more:
While I am doomed, by life's long storm oppressed,
To gaze with envy on their gloomy rest.
MONGEWELL is a small and scattered village, delightfully situated on the banks of the Thames in Oxfordshire, about a mile from Wallingford.
THERE's a quiet place where I often go
When the sun is in the west,
And the evening breezes, as they blow
O'er the trees above and the lake below,
Seem sighing themselves to rest;
Where under the bank beneath the feet
There lies a hidden well;
Where the hanging boughs the waters meet,
And the moor-hen finds a safe retreat,
And the white swan loves to dwell.
For there have I heard the cuckoo's call,
And the lay of the nightingale,
The cooing of doves in the tree-tops tall,
And the distant sound of the waterfall
Come creeping up the vale.
And in the far-off haze I have seen
The slopes of the circling hill,
And, the arching boughs of the trees between,
The broad expanse of the meadows green
Lie peacefully and still.
I have seen the water smooth as glass,
Or the ripples o'er it fleet,
When the winds that move it as they pass
Bear the scent of dew-besprinkled grass
And the odor of flowers sweet.
I have watched the shades of twilight glide
Over the peaceful scene,
Till the stars stole forth on the heavens wide,
And the moonbeams fell on the tranquil tide
In floods of silver sheen.
O, there is no vale that ever I knew
That has such charms for me,
Where the earth assumes a brighter hue,
And the sky seems tinged with a deeper blue,
And the flowers more fair to see.
And still contented shall be my lot,
Whether I laugh or weep,
If, the busy cares of the world forgot,
visit that sweet, secluded spot,
Where the woods and waters sleep.