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That day, the first of a re-union Which was to teem with high communion, That day of balmy April weather, They tarried in the wood together. And when, ere fall of evening dew, She from her sylvan haunt withdrew, The White Doe tracked with faithful pace The Lady to her dwelling-place; That nook where, on paternal ground, A habitation she had found, The Master of whose humble board Once owned her Father for his Lord ; A hut, by tufted trees defended, Where Rylstone brook with Wharf is blended.
Or in the meadow wandered wide!
How pleased, when down the Straggler sank
Beside her, on some sunny bank !
How soothed, when in thick bower enclosed,
They, like a nested pair, reposed !
Fair Vision! when it crossed the Maid
Within some rocky cavern laid,
The dark cave's portal gliding by,
White as whitest cloud on high
Floating through the azure sky.
- What now is left for pain or fear?
That Presence, dearer and more dear,
While they, side by side, were straying,
And the shepherd's pipe was playing,
Did now a very gladness yield
At morning to the dewy field,
And with a deeper peace endued
The hour of moonlight solitude.
With her Companion, in such frame Of mind, to Rylstone back she came ; And, ranging through the wasted groves, Received the memory of old loves, Undisturbed and undistrest, Into a soul which now was blest With a soft spring-day of holy, Mild, and grateful, melancholy: Not sunless gloom or unenlightened, But by tender fancies brightened.
When Emily by morning light Went forth, the Doe stood there in sight. She shrunk :-with one frail shock of pain Received and followed by a prayer, She saw the Creature once again ; Shun will she not, she feels, will bear;But, wheresoever she looked round, All now was trouble-haunted ground; And therefore now she deems it good Once more this restless neighbourhood To leave.-Unwooed, yet unforbidden, The White Doe followed up the vale, Up to another cottage, hidden In the deep fork of Amerdale ; And there may Emily restore Herself, in spots unseen before. - Why tell of mossy rock, or tree, By lurking Dernbrook's pathless side, Haunts of a strengthening amity That calmed her, cheered, and fortified ? For she hath ventured now to read Of time, and place, and thought, and deed — Endless history that lies In her silent Follower's eyes ; Who with a power like human reason Discerns the favourable season, Skilled to approach or to retire,From looks conceiving her desire ; From look, deportment, voice, or mien, That vary to the heart within. If she too passionately wreathed Her arms, or over-deeply breathed, Walked quick or slowly, every mood In its degree was understood; Then well may their accord be true, And kindliest intercourse ensue. --Oh! surely 'twas a gentle rousing When she by sudden glimpse espied The White Doe on the mountain browsing,
When the bells of Rylstone played Their sabbath music— God us ayðe!' That was the sound they seemed to speak; Inscriptive legend which I ween May on those holy bells be seen, That legend and her Grandsire's name ; And oftentimes the Lady meek Had in her childhood read the same ; Words which she slighted at that day; But now, when such sad change was wrought, And of that lonely name she thought, The bells of Rylstone seemed to say, While she sate listening in the shade, With vocal music, . God us ayde;' And all the hills were glad to bear Their part in this effectual prayer.
Nor lacked she Reason's firmest power ; But with the White Doe at her side Up would she climb to Norton Tower, And thence look round her far and wide, Her fate there measuring ;-all is stilled, The weak One hath subdued her heart; Behold the prophecy fulfilled,
Fulfilled, and she sustains her part !
But here her Brother's words have failed ;
Here hath a milder doom prevailed ;
That she, of him and all bereft,
Hath yet this faithful Partner left ;
This one Associate that disproves
His words, remains for her, and loves.
If tears are shed, they do not fall
For loss of him-for one, or all ;
Yet, sometimes, sometimes doth she weep
Moved gently in her soul's soft sleep ;
A few tears down her cheek descend
For this her last and living Friend.
Bless, tender Hearts, their mutual lot, And bless for both this savage spot ; Which Emily doth sacred hold For reasons dear and manifoldHere hath she, here before her sight, Close to the summit of this height, The grassy rock-encircled Pound In which the Creature first was found. So beautiful the timid Thrall (A spotless Youngling white as foam) Her youngest Brother brought it home ; The youngest, then a lusty boy, Bore it, or led, to Rylstone-hall With heart brimful of pride and joy!
Power which the viewless Spirit shed
By whom we were first visited ;
Whose voice we heard, whose hand and wings
Swept like a breeze the conscious strings,
When, left in solitude, erewhile
We stood before this ruined Pile,
And, quitting unsubstantial dreams,
Sang in this Presence kindred themes ;
Distress and desolation spread
Through human hearts, and pleasure dead,
Dead—but to live again on earth,
A second and yet nobler birth ;
Dire overthrow, and yet how high
The re-ascent in sanctity !
From fair to fairer ; day by day
A more divine and loftier way!
Even such this blessed Pilgrim trod,
By sorrow lifted towards her God;
Uplifted to the purest sky
Of undisturbed mortality.
Her own thoughts loved she ; and could bend
A dear look to her lowly Friend ;
There stopped; her thirst was satisfied
With what this innocent spring supplied :
Her sanction inwardly she bore,
And stood apart from human cares :
But to the world returned no more,
Although with no unwilling mind
Help did she give at need, and joined
The Wharfdale peasants in their prayers.
At length, thus faintly, faintly tied
To earth, she was set free, and died.
Thy soul, exalted Emily,
Maid of the blasted family,
Rose to the God from whom it came !
-In Rylstone Church her mortal frame
Was buried by her Mother's side.
But most to Bolton's sacred Pile, On favouring nights, she loved to go ; There ranged through cloister, court, and aisle, Attended by the soft-paced Doe ; Nor feared she in the still moonshine To look upon Saint Mary's shrine ; Nor on the lonely turf that showed Where Francis slept in his last abode. For that she came ; there oft she sate Forlorn, but not disconsolate : And, when she from the abyss returned Of thought, she neither shrunk nor mourned ; Was happy that she lived to greet Her mute Companion as it lay In love and pity at her feet; How happy in its turn to meet The recognition ! the mild glance Beamed from that gracious countenance ; Communication, like the ray Of a new morning, to the nature And prospects of the inferior Creature !
Most glorious sunset ! and a ray Survives—the twilight of this dayIn that fair Creature whom the fields Support, and whom the forest shields; Who, having filled a holy place, Partakes, in her degree, Heaven's grace ; And bears a memory and a mind Raised far above the law of kind ; Haunting the spots with lonely cheer Which her dear Mistress once held dear : Loves most what Emily loved mostThe enclosure of this church-yard ground; Here wanders like a gliding ghost, And every sabbath here is found; Comes with the people when the bells Are heard among the moorland dells,
A mortal Song we sing, by dower Encouraged of celestial power ;
Finds entrance through yon arch, where way
Lies open on the sabbath-day ;
Here walks amid the mournful waste
Of prostrate altars, shrines defaced,
And floors encumbered with rich show
Of fret-work imagery laid low ;
Paces softly, or makes halt,
By fractured cell, or tomb, or vault ;
By plate of monumental brass
Dim-gleaming among weeds and grass,
And sculptured Forms of Warriors brave :
But chiefly by that single grave,
That one sequestered hillock green,
The pensive visitant is seen.
There doth the gentle Creature lie
With those adversities unmoved ;
Calm spectacle, by earth and sky
In their benignity approved !
And aye, methinks, this hoary Pile,
Subdued by outrage and decay,
Looks down upon her with a sinile,
A gracious smile, that seems to say,
“ Thou, thou art not a Child of Time,
But Daughter of the Eternal Prime!”
FROM THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY INTO BRITAIN, TO THE CONSUMMATION OF THE PAPAL
I, who accompanied with faithful pace
Cerulean Duddon from his cloud-fed spring,
And loved with spirit ruled by his to sing
Of mountain-quiet and boon nature's grace ;
I, who essayed the nobler Stream to trace
Of Liberty, and smote the plausive string
Till the checked torrent, proudly triumphing,
Won for herself a lasting resting-place;
Now seek upon the heights of Time the source
Of a Holy River, on whose banks are found
Sweet pastoral flowers, and laurels that have crowned
Full oft the unworthy brow of lawless force;
And, for delight of him who tracks its course,
Immortal amaranth and palms abound.
If there be prophets on whose spirits rest
Past things, revealed like future, they can tell
What Powers, presiding o'er the sacred well
Of Christian Faith, this savage Island blessed
With its first bounty. Wandering through the west,
Did holy Paul * a while in Britain dwell,
And call the Fountain forth by iracle,
And with dread signs the nascent Stream invest!
Or He, whose bonds dropped off, whose prison doors
Flew open, by an Angel's voice unbarred ?
Or some of humbler name, to these wild shores
Storm-driven ; who, having seen the cup of woe
Pass from their Master, sojourned here to guard
The precious Current they had taught to flow?
TREPIDATION OF THE DRUIDS.
SCREAMS round the Arch-druid's brow the seamew*
Lament! for Diocletian's fiery sword
Works busy as the lightning; but instinct As Menai's foam; and toward the mystic ring With malice ne'er to deadliest weapon linked, Where Augurs stand, the Future questioning, Which God's ethereal store-houses afford : Slowly the cormorant aims her heavy flight,
Against the Followers of the incarnate Lord Portending ruin to each baleful rite,
It rages ;—some are smitten in the field— [shield That, in the lapse of ages, hath crept o'er
Some pierced to the heart through the ineffectual Diluvian truths, and patriarchal lore.
Of sacred home ;-with pomp are others gored Haughty the Bard: can these meek doctrines blight And dreadful respite. Thus was Alban tried, His transports ? wither his heroic strains ?
England's first Martyr, whom no threats could shake; But all shall be fulfilled ;-the Julian spear Self-offered victim, for his friend he died, A way first opened ; and, with Roman chains,
And for the faith ; nor shall his name forsake The tidings come of Jesus crucified;
That Hill, whose flowery platform seems to rise They come—they spread—the weak, the suffering, By Nature decked for holiest sacrifice Receive the faith, and in the hope abide. [hear;
MERCY and Love have met thee on thy road,
Thou wretched Outcast, from the gift of fire
And food cut off by sacerdotal ire,
From every sympathy that Man bestowed !
Yet shall it claim our reverence, that to God,
Ancient of days ! that to the eternal Sire,
These jealous Ministers of law aspire,
As to the one sole fount whence wisdom flowed,
Justice, and order. Tremblingly escaped,
As if with prescience of the coming storm,
That intimation when the stars were shaped;
And still, ʼmid yon thick woods, the primal truth
Glimmers through many a superstitious form
That fills the Soul with unavailing ruth.
As, when a storm hath ceased, the birds regain
Their cheerfulness, and busily retrim
Their nests, or chant a gratulating hymn
To the blue ether and bespangled plain ;
Even so, in many a re-constructed fane,
Have the survivors of this Storm renewed
Their holy rites with vocal gratitude:
And solemn ceremonials they ordain
To celebrate their great deliverance;
Most feelingly instructed ’mid their fear-
That persecution, blind with rage extreme, (nance,
May not the less, through Heaven's mild counte-
Even in her own despite, both feed and cheer;
For all things are less dreadful than they seem.
DARKNESS surrounds us ; seeking, we are lost
On Snowdon's wilds, amid Brigantian coves,
Or where the solitary shepherd roves
Along the plain of Sarum, by the ghost
Of Time and shadows of Tradition, crost;
And where the boatman of the Western Isles
Slackens his course
irse-to mark those holy piles
Which yet survive on bleak Iona's coast.
Nor these, nor monuments of eldest name,
Nor Taliesin's unforgotten lays,
Nor characters of Greek or Roman fame,
To an unquestionable Source have led;
Enough—if eyes, that sought the fountain-head
In vain, upon the growing Rill may gaze.
TEMPTATIONS FROM ROMAN REFINEMENTS.
Watch, and be firm! for, soul-subduing vice,
Heart-killing luxury, on your steps await.
Fair houses, baths, and banquets delicate,
And temples flashing, bright as polar ice,
Their radiance through the woods—may yet suffice
To sap your hardy virtue, and abate
Your love of Him upon whose forehead sate
The crown of thorns; whose life-blood flowed, the
Of your redemption. Shun the insidious arts
That Rome provides, less dreading from her frown
Than from her wily praise, her peaceful gown,
Language, and letters ;—these, though fondly viewed
As humanising graces, are but parts
And instruments of deadliest servitude !
MONASTERY OF OLD BANGOR..
The oppression of the tumult—urath and scorn-
The tribulation—and the gleaming blades
Such is the impetuous spirit that pervades
The song of Taliesin ;-Ours shall mourn (turn
The unarmed Host who by their prayers would
The sword from Bangor's walls, and guard the store
Of Aboriginal and Roman lore,
And Christian monuments, that now must burn
To senseless ashes. Mark! how all things swerve
From their known course, or vanish like a dream;
Another language spreads from coast to coast;
Only perchance some melancholy Stream
And some indignant Hills old names preserve,
When laws, and creeds, and people all are lost !
That heresies should strike (if truth be scanned
Presumptuously) their roots both wide and deep,
Is natural as dreams to feverish sleep.
Lo! Discord at the altar dares to stand
Uplifting toward high Heaven her fiery brand,
A cherished Priestess of the new-baptized !
But chastisement shall follow peace despised.
The Pictish cloud darkens the enervate land
By Rome abandoned ; vain are suppliant cries,
And prayers that would undo her forced farewell ;
For she returns not.-Awed by her own knell,
She casts the Britons upon strange Allies,
Soon to become more dreaded enemies
Than heartless misery called them to repel.
STRUGGLE OF THE BRITONS AGAINST THE BARBARIANS.
Rise!--they have risen : of brave Aneurin ask A BRIGHT-HAIRED company of youthful slaves,
How they have scourged old foes, perfidious friends : Beautiful strangers, stand within the pale
The Spirit of Caractacus descends
Of a sad market, ranged for public sale,
Upon the Patriots, animates their task ;-
Where Tiber's stream the immortal City laves :
Amazement runs before the towering casque Angli by name; and not an ANGEL waves
Of Arthur, bearing through the stormy field His wing who could seem lovelier to man's eye
The virgin sculptured on his Christian shield :- Than they appear to holy Gregory;
Stretched in the sunny light of victory bask Who, having learnt that name, salvation craves
The Host that followed Urien as he strode
For Them, and for their Land. The earnest Sire,
O'er heaps of slain ;—from Cambrian wood and His questions urging, feels, in slender ties
Druids descend, auxiliars of the Cross ; [moss Of chiming sound, commanding sympathies ;
Bards, nursed on blue Plinlimmon's still abode, DE-IRIANS—he would save them from God's IRE;
Rush on the fight, to harps preferring swords, Subjects of Saxon Ælla-they shall sing
And everlasting deeds to burning words !
Glad Halle-lujahs to the eternal King !
Nor wants the cause the panic-striking aid For ever hallowed be this morning fair,
Of hallelujahs * tost from hill to hill-
Blest be the unconscious shore on which ye tread,
For instant victory. But Heaven's high will And blest the silver Cross, which ye, instead
Permits a second and a darker shade
Of martial banner, in procession bear ;
Of Pagan night. Afflicted and dismayed, The Cross preceding Him who floats in air,
The Relics of the sword flee to the mountains : The pictured Saviour !—By Augustin led,
O wretched Land ! whose tears have flowed like They come—and onward travel without dread,
Chanting in barbarous ears a tuneful prayer--
Whose arts and honours in the dust are laid Sung for themselves, and those whom they would
By men yet scarcely conscious of a care
For other monuments than those of Earth ; Rich conquest waits them :--the tempestuous sea
Who, as the fields and woods have given them birth, Of Ignorance, that ran so rough and high
Will build their savage fortunes only there ; And heeded not the voice of clashing swords,
Content, if foss, and barrow, and the girth These good men humble by a few bare words,
Of long-drawn rampart, witness what they were. And calm with fear of God's divinity.