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No faint and hesitating trill,
Such tribute as to Winter chill
The lonely redbreast pays !
Clear, loud, and lively is the din,
From social warblers gathering in
Their harvest of sweet lays.

Nor doth the example fail to cheer
Me, conscious that my leaf is sere,
And yellow on the bough:-
Fall, rosy garlands, from my head!

Ye myrtle wreaths, your fragrance shed
Around a younger brow!

Yet will I temperately rejoice;

Wide is the range, and free the choice
Of undiscordant themes;

Which, haply, kindred souls may prize
Not less than vernal ecstasies,

And passion's feverish dreams.

For deathless powers to verse belong,
And they like Demigods are strong
On whom the Muses smile;

But some their function have disclaimed,
Best pleased with what is aptliest framed
To enervate and defile.

Not such the initiatory strains
Committed to the silent plains

In Britain's earliest dawn:

Trembled the groves, the stars grew pale, While all too daringly the veil

Of nature was withdrawn!

Nor such the spirit-stirring note
When the live chords Alcæus smote,
Inflamed by sense of wrong;

Woe! woe to Tyrants! from the lyre
Broke threateningly, in sparkles dire
Of fierce, vindictive song.

And not unhallowed was the page
By winged Love inscribed, to assuage
The pangs of vain pursuit ;

Love listening while the Lesbian Maid
With finest touch of passion swayed
Her own Eolian lute.

O ye, who patiently explore
The wreck of Herculanean lore,
What rapture! could ye seize
Some Theban fragment, or unroll
One precious, tender-hearted scroll

pure Simonides.

That were, indeed, a genuine birth


poesy; a bursting forth

Of genius from the dust :

What Horace gloried to behold,

What Maro loved, shall we enfold?
Can haughty Time be just!





to register; a key

That winds through secret wards;

Are well assigned to Memory

By allegoric Bards.

As aptly, also, might be given
A Pencil to her hand;

That, softening objects, sometimes even

Outstrips the heart's demand;

That smooths foregone distress, the lines

Of lingering care subdues,

Long-vanished happiness refines,

And clothes in brighter hues;

Yet, like a tool of Fancy, works

Those Spectres to dilate

That startle Conscience, as she lurks

Within her lonely seat.

O that our lives, which flee so fast,

In purity were such,

That not an image of the past
Should fear that pencil's touch!

Retirement then might hourly look
Upon a soothing scene,

Age steal to his allotted nook
Contented and serene;

With heart as calm as lakes that sleep,

In frosty moonlight glistening;

Or mountain rivers, where they creep
Along a channel smooth and deep,

To their own far-off murmurs listening.


THIS Lawn, a carpet all alive

With shadows flung from leaves, to strive

In dance, amid a press

Of sunshine, an apt emblem yields

Of Worldlings revelling in the fields
Of strenuous idleness;

Less quick the stir when tide and breeze
Encounter, and to narrow seas

Forbid a moment's rest;

The medley less when Boreal Lights
Glance to and fro, like aery Sprites
To feats of arms addrest!


Yet, spite of all this eager strife,
This ceaseless play, the genuine life
That serves the steadfast hours
Is in the grass beneath, that grows
Unheeded, and the mute repose
Of sweetly-breathing flowers.




[The Rocking-stones, alluded to in the beginning of the following verses, are supposed to have been used, by our British ancestors, both for judicial and religious purposes. Such stones are not uncommonly found, at this day, both in Great Britain and in Ireland.]

WHAT though the Accused, upon his own appeal
To righteous Gods when man has ceased to feel,
Or at a doubting Judge's stern command,
Before the STONE OF POWER no longer stand,
To take his sentence from the balanced Block,
As, at his touch, it rocks, or seems to rock;
Though, in the depths of sunless groves, no more
The Druid-priest the hallowed Oak adore;
Yet, for the Initiate, rocks and whispering trees
Do still perform mysterious offices!

And functions dwell in beast and bird that sway

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