Imágenes de páginas

By spectral shapes of guilt, or to the ground, 150
On which he stood, by spells unnatural bound,
Like a gaunt shaggy Porter forced to wait
In days of old romance at Archimago's gate.

Advancing Summer, Nature's law fulfilled, The choristers in every grove had stilled; 155 But we, we lacked not music of our own, For lightsome Fanny had thus early thrown, Mid the gay prattle of those infant tongues, Some notes prelusive, from the round of songs With which, more zealous than the liveliest

bird That in wild Arden's brakes was ever heard, Her work and her work’s partners she can cheer, The whole day long, and all days of the year.


Thus gladdened from our own dear Vale we


And soon approach Diana's Looking-glass ! 165 To Loughrigg-tarn, round clear and bright as


Such name Italian fancy would have given,
Ere on its banks the few grey cabins rose
That yet disturb not its concealed repose
More than the feeblest wind that idly blows. 170

Ah, Beaumont! when an opening in the road Stopped me at once by charm of what it showed, The encircling region vividly exprest Within the mirror's depth a world at restSky streaked with purple, grove and craggy

bield, And the smooth green of many a pendent field, And, quieted and soothed, a torrent small,

| A word common in the country, signifying shelter, as in Scotland.

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


A little daring would-be waterfall,
One chimney smoking and its azure wreath,
Associate all in the calm Pool beneath,
With here and there a faint imperfect gleam
Of water-lilies veiled in misty steam-
What wonder at this hour of stillness deep,
A shadowy link 'tween wakefulness and sleep,
When Nature's self, amid such blending, seems
To render visible her own soft dreams,
If, mixed with what appeared of rock, lawn,

Fondly embosomed in the tranquil flood,
A glimpse I caught of that Abode, by Thee
Designed to rise in humble privacy,

A lowly Dwelling, here to be outspread,
Like a small Hamlet, with its bashful head
Half hid in native trees. Alas 'tis not,
Nor ever was; I sighed, and left the spot
Unconscious of its own untoward lot,

195 And thought in silence, with regret too keen, Of unexperienced joys that might have been; Of neighbourhood and intermingling arts, And golden summer days uniting cheerful

hearts. But time, irrevocable time, is flown, And let us utter thanks for blessings sown And reaped—what hath been, and what is, our



Not far we travelled ere a shout of glee, Startling us all, dispersed my reverie; Such shout as many a sportive echo meeting 205 Oft-times from Alpine chalets sends a greeting. Whence the blithe hail ? behold a Peasant stand On high, a kerchief waving in her hand ! Not unexpectant that by early day Our little Band would thrid this mountain way,

[ocr errors]

21 I


Before her cottage on the bright hill side
She hath advanced with hope to be descried.
Right gladly answering signals we displayed,
Moving along a tract of morning shade,
And vocal wishes sent of like good will
To our kind Friend high on the sunny hill
Luminous region, fair as if the prime
Were tempting all astir to look aloft or climb;
Only the centre of the shining cot
With door left open makes a gloomy spot, 220
Emblem of those dark corners sometimes found
Within the happiest breast on earthly ground.

Rich prospect left behind of stream and vale, And mountain-tops, a barren ridge we scale; Descend and reach, in Yewdale's depths, a plain With haycocks studded, striped with yellowing



An area level as a Lake and spread
Under a rock too steep for man to tread,
Where sheltered from the north and bleak

north-West Aloft the Raven hangs a visible nest, 230 Fearless of all assaults that would her brood

molest. Hot sunbeams fill the steaming vale; but hark, At our approach, a jealous watch-dog's bark, Noise that brings forth no liveried Page of state, But the whole household, that our coming wait.

235 With Young and Old warm greetings we ex

change, And jocund smiles, and toward the lowly Grange Press forward by the teasing dogs unscared. Entering, we find the morning meal prepared : So down we sit, though not till each had cast 240 Pleased looks around the delicate repast

Rich cream, and snow-white eggs fresh from

the nest, With amber honey from the mountain's breast; Strawberries from lane or woodland, offering

wild Of children's industry, in hillocks piled ; 245 Cakes for the nonce, and butter fit to lie Upon a lordly dish; frank hospitality Where simple art with bounteous nature vied, And cottage comfort shunned not seemly pride.

Kind Hostess! Handmaid also of the feast, If thou be lovelier than the kindling East, 251 Words by thy presence unrestrained may speak Of a perpetual dawn from brow and cheek Instinct with light whose sweetest promise lies, Never retiring, in thy large dark eyes, 255 Dark but to every gentle feeling true, As if their lustre flowed from ether's purest blue.


Let me not ask what tears may have been wept By those bright eyes, what weary vigils kept, Beside that hearth what sighs may have been

heaved For wounds inflicted, nor what toil relieved By fortitude and patience, and the grace of heaven in pity visiting the place. Not unadvisedly those secret springs I leave unsearched: enough that memory clings, Here as elsewhere, to notices that make Their own significance for hearts awake, To rural incidents, whose genial powers Filled with delight three summer morning



More could my pen report of grave or gay 270 That through our gipsy travel cheered the way; But, bursting forth above the waves, the Sun

Laughs at my pains, and seems to say, “Be


Yet, Beaumont, thou wilt not, I trust, reprove This humble offering made by Truth to Love, Nor chide the Muse that stooped to break a spell

276 Which might have else been on me yet:





Soon did the Almighty Giver of all rest
Take those dear young Ones to a fearless nest;
And in Death's arms has

long reposed the Friend For whom this simple Register was penned. Thanks to the moth that spared it for our eyes ; And Strangers even the slighted Scroll may

prize, Moved by the touch of kindred sympathies. For-save the calm repentance sheds o'er strife Raised by remembrances of misused life, The light from past endeavours purely willed 10 And by Heaven's favour happily fulfilled; Save hope that we, yet bound to Earth, may

share The joys of the Departed—what so fair As blameless pleasure, not without some tears, Reviewed through Love's transparent veil of


15 1841.

Note. -LOUGHRIGG TARN, alluded to in the foregoing Epistle, resembles, though much smaller in compass, the Lake Nemi, or Speculum Diano as it is often called, not only in its clear waters and circular

« AnteriorContinuar »