Imágenes de páginas

And who but listened?-till was paid
Respect to every Inmate's claim:
The greeting given, the music played,
In honour of each household name,
Duly pronounced with lusty call,
And 'merry Christmas' wished to all!

O Brother! I revere the choice
That took thee from thy native hills;
And it is given thee to rejoice:
Though public care full often tills
(Heaven only witness of the toil)
A barren and ungrateful soil.

Yet, would that Thou, with me and mine, Hadst heard this never-failing rite;

And seen on other faces shine

A true revival of the light

Which Nature and these rustic Powers,

In simple childhood, spread through ours!

For pleasure hath not ceased to wait
On these expected annual rounds;
Whether the rich man's sumptuous gate
Call forth the unelaborate sounds,
Or they are offered at the door

That guards the lowliest of the poor.

How touching, when, at midnight, sweep
Snow-muffled winds, and all is dark,
To hear and sink again to sleep!
Or, at an earlier call, to mark,
By blazing fire, the still suspense
Of self-complacent innocence;

The mutual nod, the grave disguise
Of hearts with gladness brimming o'er;
And some unbidden tears that rise

For names once heard, and heard no more;
Tears brightened by the serenade

For infant in the cradle laid.

Ah! not for emerald fields alone,

With ambient streams more pure and bright

Than fabled Cytherea's zone

Glittering before the Thunderer's sight,

Is to my heart of hearts endeared

The ground where we were born and reared!

Hail, ancient Manners! sure defence,
Where they survive, of wholesome laws;
Remnants of love whose modest sense
Thus into narrow room withdraws;
Hail, Usages of pristine mould,

And ye that guard them, Mountains old!

Bear with me, Brother! quench the thought

That slights this passion, or condemns;
If thee fond Fancy ever brought

From the proud margin of the Thames,
And Lambeth's venerable towers,

To humbler streams, and greener bowers.

Yes, they can make, who fail to find,
Short leisure even in busiest days;
Moments, to cast a look behind,
And profit by those kindly rays

That through the clouds do sometimes steal,

And all the far-off past reveal.

Hence, while the imperial City's din

Beats frequent on thy satiate ear,

A pleased attention I may win
To agitations less severe,

That neither overwhelm nor cloy,

But fill the hollow vale with joy!



Nor envying Latian shades-if yet they throw
A grateful coolness round that crystal Spring,
Blandusia, prattling as when long ago

The Sabine Bard was moved her praise to sing;
Careless of flowers that in perennial blow

Round the moist marge of Persian fountains cling;
Heedless of Alpine torrents thundering

Through ice-built arches radiant as heaven's bow ;
I seek the birth-place of a native Stream.-
All hail, ye mountains! hail, thou morning light!
Better to breathe at large on this clear height
Than toil in needless sleep from dream to dream
Pure flow the verse, pure, vigorous, free, and bright,

For Duddon, long-loved Duddon, is my theme!



CHILD of the clouds! remote from every taint
Of sordid industry thy lot is cast;

Thine are the honours of the lofty waste;
Not seldom, when with heat the valleys faint,
Thy handmaid Frost with spangled tissue quaint
Thy cradle decks ;-to chant thy birth, thou hast
No meaner Poet than the whistling Blast,

And Desolation is thy Patron-saint!

She guards thee, ruthless Power! who would not spare Those mighty forests, once the bison's screen,

Where stalked the huge deer to his shaggy lair* Through paths and alleys roofed with sombre green; Thousands of years before the silent air

Was pierced by whizzing shaft of hunter keen!

* The deer alluded to is the Leigh, a gigantic species long since extinct.

« AnteriorContinuar »