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SECLUSION. (From Ecclesiastical Sketches.)
Methinks that to some vacant Hermitage
My feet would rather turn—to some dry nook
Scoop'd out of living rock, and near a brook
Hurld down a mountain-cove from stage to stage,
Yet tempering, for my sight, its bustling rage
In the soft heaven of a translucent pool ;
Thence creeping under forest arches cool,
Fit haunt of shapes whose glorious equipage
Would elevate my dreams. A beechen bowl,
A maple dish, my furniture should be ;
Crisp, yellow leaves my bed; the hooting Owl
My night-watch: nor should e'er the crested Fowl
From thorp or vill his matins sound for me,
Tir'd of the world and all its industry.
WALTON'S BOOK OF lives. (From the same.)
There are no colours in the fairest sky
So fair as these. The feather whence the pen
Was shap'd that trac'd the lives of these good men,
Dropp'd from an Angel's wing. With moisten'd eye
We read of Faith and purest Charity
In Statesman, Priest, and humble Citizen :
O could we copy their mild virtues, then
What joy to live, what blessedness to die!
Methinks their very names shine still and bright;
Apart, like glow-worms on a summer night;
Or lonely tapers when from far they fling
A guiding ray; or seen, like stars on high,
Satellites burning in a lucid ring
Around meek Walton's heavenly memory.
ON FIRST LOOKING INTO CHAPMAN'S HomeR.
Much have I travell’d in the realms of gold,
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen ;
Round many western islands have I been
Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold.
Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep-brow'd Homer ruld as his demesne ;
Yet did I never breathe its pure serene
Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold :
Then felt I like some watcher of the skies,
When a new planet swims into his ken;
Or like stout Cortez, when with eagle eyes
He star'd at the Pacific—and all his men
Look'd at each other with a wild surmise
Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
TO A BIRD, THAT HAUNTED THE WATERS OF LAKEN,
IN THE WINTER.
O MELANCHOLY bird, a winter's day
Thou standest by the margin of the pool ;
And, taught by God, dost thy whole being school
To Patience, which all evil can allay :
God has appointed thee the fish thy prey ;
And given thyself a lesson to the fool
Unthrifty, to submit to moral rule,
And his unthinking course by thee to weigh.
There need not schools, nor the professor's chair,
Though these be good, true wisdom to impart:
He, who has not enough for these to spare
Of time or gold, may yet amend his heart,
And teach his soul by brooks and rivers fair :
Nature is always wise in every part.
A GLORIOUS form thy shining city wore,
'Mid cypress thickets of perennial green,
With minaret and golden dome between,
While thy sea softly kiss'd its grassy shore:
Darting across whose blue expanse was seen
Of sculptur'd barques and galleys many a score ;
Whence noise was none save that of plashing oar ;
Nor word was spoke to break the calm serene.
Unheard is whisker'd boatman's hail or joke;
Who, mute as Sinbad's man of copper, rows,
And only intermits the sturdy stroke,
When fearless gull too nigh his pinnace goes.
I, hardly conscious if I dream'd or woke,
Mark'd that strange piece of action and repose.