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TO THE LADY FLEMING,
ON SEEING THE FOUNDATION PREPARING FOR THE ERECTION OF
RYDAL CHAPEL, WESTMORELAND.
[AFTER thanking Lady Fleming in prose for the service she had done to her neighbourhood by erecting this Chapel, I have nothing to say beyond the expression of regret that the architect did not furnish an elevation better suited to the site in a narrow mountain-pass, and, what is of more consequence, better constructed in the interior for the purposes of worship. It has no chancel; the altar is unbecomingly confined; the pews are so narrow as to preclude the possibility of kneeling with comfort; there is no vestry; and what ought to have been first mentioned, the font, instead of standing at its proper place at the entrance, is thrust into the farther end of a pew. When these defects shall be pointed out to the munificent Patroness, they will, it is hoped, be corrected.]
BLEST is this Isle-our native Land;
Of hoary Time to decorate;
Where shady hamlet, town that breathes
O Lady! from a noble line
Of chieftains sprung, who stoutly bore
(As records mouldering in the Dell
How fondly will the woods embrace
Well may the villagers rejoice!
Nor heat, nor cold, nor weary ways,
Will be a hindrance to the voice
That would unite in
More duly shall wild wandering Youth
Receive the curb of sacred truth,
Shall tottering Age, bent earthward, hear
The Promise, with uplifted ear;
And all shall welcome the new ray
Imparted to their sabbath-day.
* Bekangs Ghyll-or the dell of Nightshade-in which stands St. Mary's Abbey in Low Furness.
Nor deem the Poet's hope misplaced,
Sound o'er the lake with gentle shock
Lives there a man whose sole delights
A soul so pitiably forlorn,
If such do on this earth abide,
Alas! that such perverted zeal
Should spread on Britain's favoured ground! That public order, private weal,
Should e'er have felt or feared a wound
From champions of the desperate law
Which from their own blind hearts they draw;
Who tempt their reason to deny
God, whom their passions dare defy,
But turn we from these 'bold bad' men;
Who means to charity no wrong;
Heaven prosper it! may peace, and love,
To kneel together, and adore their God!
ON THE SAME OCCASION.
Oh! gather whencesoe'er ye safely may
Our churches, invariably perhaps, stand east and west, but why is by few persons exactly known; nor, that the degree of deviation from due east often noticeable in the ancient ones was determined, in each particular case, by the point in the horizon, at which the sun rose upon the day of the saint to whom the church was dedicated. These observances of our ancestors, and the causes of them, are the subject of the following stanzas.
WHEN in the antique age of bow and spear
Then, to her Patron Saint a previous rite
He rose, and straight-as by divine command,
Mindful of Him who in the Orient born
There lived, and on the cross his life resigned,