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In duskier braids around the languid eyes of Day. Silence and Twilight, unbeloved of men, Creep hand in hand from yon obscurest glen.
They breathe their spells toward the departing day, Encompassing the earth, air, stars, and sea; Light, sound, and motion own the potent sway,
Responding to the charm with its own mystery. The winds are still, or the dry church-tower grass Knows not their gentle motions as they pass.
Thou too, aerial pile, whose pinnacles
Point from one shrine like pyramids of fire, Obeyest in silence their sweet solemn spells,
Clothing in hues of heaven thy dim and distant spire, Around whose lessening and invisible height Gather among the stars the clouds of night. The dead are sleeping in their sepulchres;
And, mouldering as they sleep, a thrilling sound, Half sense, half thought, among the darkness stirs, Breathed from their wormy beds all living things around;
And, mingling with the still night and mute sky,
Thus solemnized and softened, death is mild
Here could I hope, like some inquiring child
Sweet secrets, or beside its breathless sleep
That loveliest dreams perpetual watch did keep.
Percy Bysshe Shelley.
ST. CATHERINE OF LEDBURY.
HEN human touch (as monkish books attest) Nor was applied nor could be, Ledbury bells Broke forth in concert flung adown the dells, And upward, high as Malvern's cloudy crest; Sweet tones, and caught by a noble lady blest To rapture! Mabel listened at the side Of her loved mistress; soon the music died, And Catherine said, Here I set up my rest. Warned in a dream, the wanderer long had sought A home that by such miracle of sound Must be revealed: she heard it now, or felt The deep, deep joy of a confiding thought; And there, a saintly anchoress, she dwelt Till she exchanged for heaven that happy ground. William Wordsworth.
The incense of thanksgiving: all is joy;
The sedulous ants, they issue from their cells
In bands unnumbered, eager for their work;
Repeat their virtuous efforts, and succeed.
EAUTIFUL fabric! even in decay And desolation beauty still is thine : As the rich sunset of an autumn day,
When gorgeous clouds in glorious hues combine
To render homage to its slow decline,
Is more majestic in its parting hour, Even so thy mouldering, venerable shrine Possesses now a more subduing power Than in thine earlier sway with pomp and pride thy
To voice of praise or prayer, or solemn sound
That tells thy former destiny; unless It be when fitful breezes wandering near
Wake such faint sighs as feebly might express Some unseen spirit's woe for thy lost loveliness.
Or when on stormy nights the winds are high,
Than art could reach, while from the neighboring
The roar of bursting billows seems to keep
Fancied that thou, even in thy proudest prime, Couldst ne'er have given birth to music more sublime.
But to the eye revolving years still add
Fresh charms, which make thee lovelier to the view; For Nature has luxuriantly clad
Thy ruins, as if wishing to renew
Their claim to homage from those hearts that woo
Though she might not his ravages withstand; And now thou art her own: her skill thy beauties planned.
The mantling ivy's ever-verdant wreath
She gave thee as her livery to wear:
The clinging moss, whose hue of sober gray