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Recalled some feeling, to set free
The Bard from such indignity!

*

The Effigies of a valiant Wight
I once beheld, a Templar Knight;
Not prostrate, not like those that rest
On tombs, with palms together prest,
But sculptured out of living stone,
And standing upright and alone,
Both hands in rival energy
Employed in setting his sword free
From its dull sheath,

stern sentinel

Intent to guard St. Robert's cell;
As if with memory of the affray
Far distant, when, as legends say,

The Monks of Fountain's thronged to force

From its dear home the Hermit's corse.
That in their keeping it might lie,
To crown their abbey's sanctity.
So had they rushed into the grot
Of sense despised, a world forgot,
And torn him from his loved retreat,
Where altar-stone and rock-hewn seat
Still hint that quiet best is found,
Even by the Living, under ground;
But a bold Knight, the selfish aim
Defeating, put the Monks to shame,
There where you see his Image stand
Bare to the sky, with threatening brand,

* On the banks of the river Nid, near Knaresborough.

Which lingering NID is proud to show
Reflected in the pool below.

Thus, like the men of earliest days,
Dur sires set forth their grateful praise:
Uncouth the workmanship, and rude!
But, nursed in mountain solitude,
Might some aspiring artist dare
To seize whate❜er, through misty air,
A ghost, by glimpses, may present
Of imitable lineament,

And give the phantom an array

That less should scorn the abandoned clay;

Then let him hew with patient stroke

An Ossian out of mural rock,

And leave the figurative Man

Upon thy margin, roaring Bran!

Fixed, like the Templar of the steep,
An everlasting watch to keep;
With local sanctities in trust,

More precious than a hermit's dust;

And virtues through the mass infused,
Which old idolatry abused.

What though the Granite would deny All fervor to the sightless eye;

And touch from rising suns in vain

Solicit a Memnonian strain ;

Yet, in some fit of anger sharp,

The wind might force the deep-grooved harp

To utter melancholy moans,

Not unconnected with the tones

Of soul-sick flesh and weary bones;

While grove and river notes would lend,
Less deeply sad, with these to blend !

Vain pleasures of luxurious life, For ever with yourselves at strife; Through town and country both deranged By affectations interchanged,

And all the perishable gauds

That heaven-deserted man applauds ;
When will your hapless patrons learn

To watch and ponder,

to discern

The freshness, the everlasting youth,
Of admiration sprung from truth;
From beauty infinitely growing
Upon a mind with love o'erflowing,
To sound the depths of every Art

That seeks its wisdom through the heart?

Thus (where the intrusive Pile, ill-graced With bawbles of theatric taste, O'erlooks the torrent breathing showers On motley bands of alien flowers In stiff confusion set or sown, Till Nature cannot find her own, Or keep a remnant of the sod Which Caledonian Heroes trod) I mused; and, thirsting for redress, Recoiled into the wilderness.

IV.

YARROW VISITED.

SEPTEMBER, 1814.

(See page 29.)

AND is this-Yarrow ?—This the Stream Of which my fancy cherished,

So faithfully, a waking dream?

An image that hath perished!

◇ that some Minstrel's harp were near,

To utter notes of gladness,

And chase this silence from the air,

That fills my heart with sadness!

Yet why?

a silvery current flows

With uncontrolled meanderings;

Nor have these eyes by greener hills

Been soothed, in all my wanderings.

And, through her depths, Saint Mary's Lake

Is visibly delighted ;

For not a feature of those hills

Is in the mirror slighted.

A blue sky bends o'er Yarrow vale,
Save where that pearly whiteness
Is round the rising sun diffused,
A tender, hazy brightness;

Mild dawn of promise! that excludes

All profitless dejection;

Though not unwilling here to admit

A pensive recollection.

Where was it that the famous Flower
Of Yarrow Vale lay bleeding?

His bed perchance was yon smooth mound
On which the herd is feeding:
And haply from this crystal pool,
Now peaceful as the morning,
The Water-wraith ascended thrice,
And gave his doleful warning.

Delicious is the Lay that sings
The haunts of happy Lovers,
The path that leads them to the grove,
The leafy grove that covers:

And Pity sanctifies the Verse

That paints, by strength of sorrow,

The unconquerable strength of love;

Bear witness, rueful Yarrow!

But thou, that didst appear so fair

To fond imagination,

Dost rival in the light of day

Her delicate creation :

Meek loveliness is round thee spread,

A softness still and holy;

The grace of forest charms decayed,

And pastoral melancholy.

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