ePub 版

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,
Its awful hush is felt inaudibly.

Thus solemnized and softened, death is mild
And terrorless as this serenest night;

Here could I hope, like some inquiring child
Sporting on graves, that death did hide from human


Sweet secrets, or beside its breathless sleep

That loveliest dreams perpetual watch did keep.

Percy Bysshe Shelley.




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.



WIDE around
Hillock and valley, farm and village, smile;
And ruddy roofs and chimney-tops appear,
Of busy Leeds, up-wafting to the clouds

The incense of thanksgiving: all is joy;
And trade and business guide the living scene,
Roll the full cars, adown the winding Aire
Load the slow-sailing barges, pile the pack
On the long tinkling train of slow-paced steeds.
As when a sunny day invites abroad

The sedulous ants, they issue from their cells

In bands unnumbered, eager for their work;
O'er high, o'er low, they lift, they draw, they haste
With warm affection to each other's aid;

Repeat their virtuous efforts, and succeed.
Thus all is here in motion, all is life:
The creaking wain brings copious store of corn;
The grazier's sleeky kine obstruct the roads;
The neat-dressed housewives, for the festal board
Crowned with full baskets, in the field-way paths
Come tripping on; the echoing hills repeat
The stroke of axe and hammer; scaffolds rise,
And growing edifices; heaps of stone,
Beneath the chisel, beauteous shapes assume
Of frieze and column. Some, with even line,
New streets are marking in the neighboring fields,
And sacred domes of worship. Industry,
Which dignifies the artist, lifts the swain,
And the straw cottage to a palace turns,
Over the work presides. Such was the scene
Of hurrying Carthage, when the Trojan chief
First viewed her growing turrets.
So appear
The increasing walls of busy Manchester,
Sheffield, and Birmingham, whose reddening fields
Rise and enlarge their suburbs.

John Dyer.

Leiston Abbey.


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
Of sacred music, once familiar here,
Thy walls are echoless; within their bound,
Once holy deemed, and to religion dear,
No sound salutes the most attentive ear

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,
And through thy roofless walls and arches sweep,
In tones more full of thrilling harmony

Than art could reach, while from the neighboring


The roar of bursting billows seems to keep
Accordant measure with the tempest's chime;
O, then, at times have I, aroused from sleep,

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
Her gentle influence: with indulgent hand
She has atoned for all that Time could do,

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:
Thy wall-flowers, waving at the gentlest breath,
And scattering perfume on the summer air,
Wooing the bee to come and labor there;

The clinging moss, whose hue of sober gray
Makes beautiful what else were bleak and bare,
These she has given thee as a fit array
For thy declining pomp and her delightful sway.




[ocr errors]


Bernard Barton.

« 上一頁繼續 »