Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

Some barrier with which Nature, from the birth
Of things, has fenced this fairest spot on earth.
O pleasant transit, Grasmere! to resign

Such happy fields, abodes so calm as thine;
Not like an outcast with himself at strife;
The slave of business, time, or care for life,
But moved by choice; or, if constrained in part,
Yet still with Nature's freedom at the heart;
To cull contentment upon wildest shores,
And luxuries extract from bleakest moors;
With prompt embrace all beauty to enfold,
And having rights in all that we behold.
Then why these lingering steps?-A bright adieu,
For a brief absence, proves that love is true;
Ne'er can the way be irksome or forlorn
That winds into itself for sweet return.

II.

AT THE GRAVE OF BURNS.

1803.

SEVEN YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH.

I SHIVER, Spirit fierce and bold,
At thought of what I now behold:
As vapors breathed from dungeons cold
Strike pleasure dead,

So sadness comes from out the mould

Where Burns is laid.

And have I then thy bones so near,
And thou forbidden to appear?
As if it were thyself that 's here,
I shrink with pain;

And both my wishes and my fear
Alike are vain.

Off weight,

[ocr errors]

Dark thoughts!

nor press on weight! — away

they came, but not to stay;

With chastened feelings would I pay
The tribute due

To him, and aught that hides his clay
From mortal view.

Fresh as the flower, whose modest worth
He sang, his genius "glinted" forth,
Rose like a star that, touching earth,
For so it seems,

Doth glorify its humble birth

With matchless beams.

The piercing eye, the thoughtful brow,
The struggling heart, where be they now? --
Full soon the Aspirant of the plough,
The prompt, the brave,

Slept, with the obscurest, in the low
And silent grave.

I mourned. with thousands, but as one
More deeply grieved, for He was gone

Whose light I hailed when first it shone,
And showed my youth

How Verse may build a princely throne
On humble truth.

Alas! where'er the current tends,
Regret pursues and with it blends, -
Huge Criffel's hoary top ascends

[merged small][ocr errors]

Neighbors we were, and loving friends
We might have been ;

True friends, though diversely inclined; But heart with heart and mind with mind, Where the main fibres are entwined,

Through Nature's skill,

May even by contraries be joined
More closely still.

The tear will start, and let it flow;

poor Inhabitant below,"

Thou "

At this dread moment

even so

Might we together

Have sat and talked where gowans blow,
Or on wild heather.

What treasures would have then been placed Within my reach; of knowledge graced

By fancy what a rich repast!

But why go on?

[ocr errors]

Oh !

spare to sweep, thou mournful blast, His grave grass-grown.

There, too, a Son, his joy and pride,
(Not three weeks past the Stripling died,)
Lies gathered to his Father's side,
Soul-moving sight!

Yet one to which is not denied
Some sad delight.

For he is safe, a quiet bed

Hath early found among the dead,
Harbored where none can be misled,
Wronged, or distrest;

And surely here it may be said
That such are blest.

And oh for Thee, by pitying grace
Checked ofttimes in a devious race,
May He who halloweth the place

Where Man is laid

Receive thy Spirit in the embrace
For which it prayed!

Sighing, I turned away; but ere

Night fell I heard, or seemed to hear,
Music that sorrow comes not near,
A ritual hymn,

Chanted in love that casts out fear

By Seraphim.

III.

THOUGHTS

SUGGESTED THE DAY FOLLOWING, ON THE BANKS OF NITH, NEAR THE POET'S RESIDENCE.

Too frail to keep the lofty vow

That must have followed when his brow

Was wreathed · "The Vision" tells us how

[ocr errors]

With holly spray,

He faltered, drifted to and fro,

And passed away.

[ocr errors]

Well might such thoughts, dear Sister, throng Our minds when, lingering all too long,

Over the grave of Burns we hung

In social grief,

Indulged as if it were a wrong
To seek relief.

But, leaving each unquiet theme
Where gentlest judgments may misdeem,
And prompt to welcome every gleam

Of good and fair,

Let us beside this limpid Stream
Breathe hopeful air.

Enough of sorrow, wreck, and blight;
Think rather of those moments bright,
When to the consciousness of right

His course was true,

« AnteriorContinuar »