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ON THE DEATH OF HIS MAJESTY,
(GEORGE THE THIRD.)
WARD of the LAW!- dread Shadow of a King!
Whose realm had dwindled to one stately room;
Whose universe was gloom immersed in gloom,
Darkness as thick as Life o'er Life could fling,
Save haply for some feeble glimmering
Of Faith and Hope; if thou, by nature's doom,
Gently hast sunk into the quiet tomb,
Why should we bend in grief, to sorrow cling,
When thankfulness were best? - Fresh-flowing tears,
Or, where tears flow not, sigh succeeding sigh,
Yield to such after-thought the sole reply
Which justly it can claim. The Nation hears
In this deep knell silent for threescore years,
An unexampled voice of awful memory!
FAME tells of Groves from England far away ·
* Groves that inspire the Nightingale to trill
And modulate, with subtle reach of skill
Elsewhere unmatched, her ever-varying lay;
Such bold report I venture to gainsay:
For I have heard the choir of Richmond hill
Chanting, with indefatigable bill,
Strains that recalled to mind a distant day;
When, haply under shade of that same wood,
And scarcely conscious of the dashing oars
Plied steadily between those willowy shores,
The sweet-souled Poet of the Seasons stood
Listening, and listening long, in rapturous mood,
Ye heavenly Birds! to your Progenitors.
* Wallachia is the country alluded to.
XXXII. A PARSONAGE IN OXFORDSHIRE.
WHERE holy ground begins, unhallowed ends,
Is marked by no distinguishable line;
The turf unites, the pathways intertwine;
And, wheresoe'er the stealing footstep tends,
Garden, and that Domain where Kindred, Friends,
And Neighbours rest together, here confound
Their several features, mingled like the sound
Of many waters, or as evening blends
With shady night. Soft airs, from shrub and flower,
Waft fragrant greetings to each silent grave;
And while those lofty Poplars gently wave
Their tops, between them comes and goes a sky
Bright as the glimpses of Eternity,
To Saints accorded in their mortal hour.
COMPOSED AMONG THE RUINS OF A CASTLE IN NORTH WALES.
THROUGH shattered galleries, 'mid roofless halls,
Wandering with timid footstep oft betrayed,
The Stranger sighs, nor scruples to upbraid
Old Time, though He, gentlest among the Thralls
Of Destiny, upon these wounds hath laid
His lenient touches, soft as light that falls,
From the wan Moon, upon the Towers and Walls,
Light deepening the profoundest sleep of shade.
Relic of Kings! Wreck of forgotten wars,
To winds abandoned and the prying stars,
Time loves Thee! at his call the Seasons twine
Luxuriant wreaths around thy forehead hoar;
And, though past pomp no changes can restore,
A soothing recompense, his gift, is Thine!
TO THE LADY E. B. AND THE HON. MISS P.
COMPOSED IN THE GROUNDS OF PLASS NEWIDD, NEAR
A STREAM, to mingle with your favourite Dee,
Along the VALE OF MEDITATION * flows;
So styled by those fierce Britons, pleased to see
In Nature's face the expression of repose;
Or haply there some pious Hermit chose
To live and die, the peace of Heaven his aim;
To whom the wild sequestered region owes,
At this late day, its sanctifying name.
GLYN CAFAILLGAROCH, in the Cambrian tongue,
In ours the Vale of Friendship, let this spot
Be named; where, faithful to a low-roofed Cot,
On Deva's banks, ye have abode so long;
Sisters in love-a love allowed to climb,
Even on this Earth, above the reach of Time!
TO THE TORRENT AT THE DEVIL'S BRIDGE, NORTH WALES. How art thou named? In search of what strange land From what huge height, descending? Can such force Of waters issue from a British source,
Or hath not Pindus fed Thee, where the band
Of Patriots scoop their freedom out, with hand
Desperate as thine? Or come the incessant shocks
From that young Stream, that smites the throbbing rocks
Of Viamala? There I seem to stand,
As in Life's Morn; permitted to behold,
From the dread chasm, woods climbing above woods,
In pomp that fades not; everlasting snows;
And skies that ne'er relinquish their repose;
Such power possess the Family of floods
Over the minds of Poets, young or old!
"gives to airy nothing
A local habitation and a name."
THOUGH narrow be that Old Man's cares, and near,
The poor Old Man is greater than he seems:
For he hath waking empire, wide as dreams;
An ample sovereignty of eye and ear.
Rich are his walks with supernatural cheer;
The region of his inner spirit teems
With vital sounds and monitory gleams
Of high astonishment and pleasing fear.
He the seven birds hath seen, that never part,
Seen the SEVEN WHISTLERS in their nightly rounds,
And counted them: and oftentimes will start
For overhead are sweeping GABRIEL'S HOUNDS
Doomed, with their impious Lord, the flying Hart
To chase for ever, on aërial grounds!
STRANGE Visitation! at Jemima's lip
Thus hadst thou pecked, wild Redbreast! Love might say,
A half-blown rose had tempted thee to sip
Its glistening dews; but hallowed is the clay
Which the Muse warms; and I, whose head is grey
Am not unworthy of thy fellowship;
Nor could I let one thought one motion
That might thy sylvan confidence betray.
For are we not all His without whose care
Vouchsafed no sparrow falleth to the ground?
Who gives his Angels wings to speed through air,
And rolls the planets through the blue profound;
Then peck or perch, fond Flutterer! nor forbear
To trust a Poet in still vision bound.
WHEN Philoctetes in the Lemnian Isle
upon that breathless Monument,
On him, or on his fearful bow unbent,
Some wild Bird oft might settle and beguile
The rigid features of a transient smile,
Disperse the tear, or to the sigh give vent,
Slackening the pains of ruthless banishment
From home affections, and heroic toil.
Nor doubt that spiritual Creatures round us move,
Griefs to allay that Reason cannot heal;
And very Reptiles have sufficed to prove
To fettered Wretchedness, that no Bastile
Is deep enough to exclude the light of love,
Though Man for Brother Man has ceased to feel.
WHILE they, who once were Anna's Playmates, tread The mountain turf and river's flowery marge;
Or float with music in the festal barge;
Rein the proud steed, or through the dance are led ; Her doom it is to press a weary bed
Till oft her guardian Angel, to some Charge
More urgent called, will stretch his wings at large,
And Friends too rarely prop the languid head.
Yet Genius is no feeble comforter:
The presence even of a stuffed Owl for her
Can cheat the time; sending her fancy out
To ivied castles and to moonlight skies,
Though he can neither stir a plume, nor shout;
Nor veil, with restless film, his staring eyes.