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Possessed the woods again; old Time forgot,
Passing to wider spoil, its place and name.
Since then, even as the clouds of yesterday,
Seven hundred years have wellnigh passed away;
No wreck remains of all its early pride;
Like its own orisons, its fame has died.
But this pure fount, through rolling years the same, Yet lifts its still small voice, like penitence, Or lowly prayer. Then pass admonished hence, Happy, thrice happy, if through good or ill, Christian, thy heart respond to this forsaken rill. William Lisle Bowles.
NTILL on he rode! a mansion fair and tall Rose on his view, the pride of Loddon Hall: Spread o'er the park he saw the grazing steer, The full-fed steed, and herds of bounding deer: On a clear stream the vivid sunbeams played, Through noble elms, and on the surface made That moving picture, checkered light and shade; The attended children, there indulged to stray, Enjoyed and gave new beauty to the day; Whose happy parents from their room were seen Pleased with the sportive idlers on the green.
Home went the lovers through that busy place,
By Loddon Hall, the country's pride and grace;
By the rich meadows where the oxen fed,
Through the green vale that formed the river's bed;
And by unnumbered cottages and farms,
That have for musing minds unnumbered charms;
And how affected by the view of these
Was then Orlando, - did they pain or please?
Nor pain nor pleasure could they yield, — and why?
The mind was filled, was happy, and the eye
Roved o'er the fleeting views, that but appeared to die.
Loddon, the River.
ON REVISITING THE RIVER LODDON.
AH! what a weary race my feet have run
Since first I trod thy banks with alders crowned, And thought my way was all through fairy ground, Beneath the azure sky and golden sun,
When first my muse to lisp her notes begun!
While pensive memory traces back the round
Which fills the varied interval between,
Much pleasure, more of sorrow, marks the scene.
Sweet native stream! those skies and suns so pure
No more return to cheer my evening road!
Yet still one joy remains, that not obscure
Nor useless all my vacant days have flowed
From youth's gay dawn to manhood's prime mature,
Nor with the muse's laurel unbestowed.
So I told them in rhyme,
For of rhymes I had store;
And 't was in my vocation
For their recreation
That so I should sing,
Because I was Laureate
To them and the king.
From its sources which well
In the tarn on the fell;
From its fountains
In the mountains,
Its rills and its gills,
Through moss and through brake
It runs and it creeps
For a while, till it sleeps
In its own little lake.
And thence at departing,
Awakening and starting,
It runs through the reeds,
And away it proceeds
Through meadow and glade,
In sun and in shade,
And through the wood-shelter,
Among crags in its flurry,
Here it comes sparkling,
And there it lies darkling;
Now smoking and frothing
Its tumult and wrath in,
Till, in this rapid race
On which it is bent,
It reaches the place
Of its steep descent.
The cataract strong
Then plunges along,
Striking and raging,
As if a war waging
Its caverns and rocks among;
Rising and leaping,
Sinking and creeping,
Swelling and sweeping,
Showering and springing,
Flying and flinging,
Writhing and ringing,
Eddying and whisking,
Spouting and frisking,
Turning and twisting,
Around and around
With endless rebound!
Smiting and fighting,
A sight to delight in;
Dizzying and deafening the ear with its sound.
Receding and speeding,
And shocking and rocking,
And darting and parting,
And threading and spreading,