« AnteriorContinuar »
form, and the beauty immediately surrounding it, but also as being overlooked by the eminence of Langdale Pikes as Lake Nemi is by that of Monte Calvo. Since this Epistle was written Loughrigg Tarn has lost much of its beauty by the felling of many natural clumps of wood, relics of the old forest, particularly upon the farm called "The Oaks," from the abundance of that tree which grew there.
It is to be regretted, upon public grounds, that Sir George Beaumont did not carry into effect his intention of constructing here a Summer Retreat in the style I have described; as his taste would have set an example how buildings, with all the accommodations modern society requires, might be introduced even into the most secluded parts of this country without injuring their native character. The design was not abandoned from failure of inclination on his part, but in consequence of local untowardness which need not be particularised.
GOLD AND SILVER FISHES IN A VASE.
THE soaring lark is blest as proud
Yet might your glassy prison seem
Type of a sunny human breast
That smites this tiny sea, Your scaly panoplies repay The loan with usury.
How beautiful!-Yet none knows why
Fays, Genii of gigantic size!
Cold though your nature be, 'tis pure;
From all that haughtier kinds endure
Ah! not alone by colours bright
For day-dreams soft as e'er beguiled
For moonlight fascinations mild,
Your gift, ere shutters closeAccept, mute Captives! thanks and praise; And may this tribute prove That gentle admirations raise Delight resembling love.
SEQUEL TO THE PRECEDING.
Addressed to a friend; the gold and silver fishes having been removed to a pool in the pleasureground of Rydal Mount.
"The liberty of a people consists in being governed by laws which they have made for themselves, under whatever form it be of government. The liberty of a private man, in being master of his own time and actions, as far as may consist with the laws of God and of his country. Of this latter we are here to discourse."-COWLEY.
THOSE breathing Tokens of your kind regard,
A fly may settle, or a blossom fall.
-There swims, of blazing sun and beating
Fearless (but how obscured!) the golden Power,
And, if not so, what matters beauty gone
While musing here I sit in shadow cool, And watch these mute Companions, in the pool, (Among reflected boughs of leafy trees) By glimpses caught-disporting at their ease, Enlivened, braced, by hardy luxuries, I ask what warrant fixed them (like a spell Of witchcraft fixed them) in the crystal cell; To wheel with languid motion round and round,
Beautiful, yet in mournful durance bound. Their peace, perhaps, our lightest footfall marred;
On their quick sense our sweetest music jarred; And whither could they dart, if seized with fear?
No sheltering stone, no tangled root was near. When fire or taper ceased to cheer the room, They wore away the night in starless gloom; 55 And when the sun first dawned upon the
How faint their portion of his vital beams! Thus, and unable to complain, they fared, While not one joy of ours by them was shared.
Is there a cherished bird (I venture now 60 To snatch a sprig from Chaucer's reverend brow)
Is there a brilliant fondling of the cage, Though sure of plaudits on his costly stage, Though fed with dainties from the snow-white hand
Of a kind mistress, fairest of the land,
The bed we give him, though of softest down;
If doomed to breathe against his lawful will