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(Blackwood's Mag.)

AUTUMNAL MEDITATIONS.

AMID the stillness of an Autumn eve,
When, thus, the western sun his latest ray
Pours with a crimson lustre; and the clouds,
Tinged with etherial glory, hang around
In many-colour'd masses, I delight,
With meditative step to roam the fields,

The woodland paths, and pause on rural slopes,
From which my gaze extends o'er far, wide vales,
And forests dim, and farins, and cottages,

From whose low hearths the pale blue smoke ascends.

Sacred to musing is the Autumn eve,

And dear to tender thought. The summer's pride,
The gorgeous fields, and flowers of every tinct,
Have mellow'd, and have wither'd. Silently,
Across the aspect of terrestrial things,

The chilling change hath pinion'd its wide flight,
And all is alter'd a wild sickliness

Pervades the face of nature: Evening's clouds
Are duskier; Morning's sky less pure the winds
More boisterously loud, and even the birds
Less joyous in their soft-toned, simple songs.

2 ATHENEUM VOL. 14.

Scarcely a month hath past, since last I stood
Amid this scene, then fresh and beautiful;
Its long fields waving with luxuriant grain ;
Its woods in rich variety attired;

Its flowers of every hue, and perfume bland.—
Now shaven are the plains; the sickle's sweep
Hath levell'd their tall beauty; heard no more,
Under the still repose of even-tide,

The sweet sad warbling of the reaper's voice,
(Calling from distance recollected themes
Of his lone Celtic home, amid the hills,)
Steals on the wanderer's ear, as pensively,
With cheek on hand, o'er moss-grown pale he leans,
And, in the stillness, seems like a low dirge,
By Nature breathed in touching melody!

The faded woods a sallow livery wear;
Each leaf that quivers on the drooping spray,
Or, with the transient breeze-fit drops adown,
Speaking, in tones of deepest influence,
Of the decay of all things, of the pomp
How passing! and the changes of the earth.—

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It is a lone and melancholy scene
Of sickness, stillness, and forlorn decay!
A natural sermon to the heart of man,
A beautiful memento of the grave !—
Lo as I pass, from off the tall scathed ash
The raven startled, takes to flight, and wings
Its lonely way to the mid wood; more deep
Eve's shadow fall, till the green hills become
Blue, and o'ermantled with a hazy tinct.
The spaniel from my foot starts forth, as if
Some sound had lured him, and, with fore-paws placed
On rising turf, he stands thence, with raised ears,
Looks for th attentive: from the moors, dim-seen,
Region of wild thyme, broom, and heather green,
With wearied pointers twain, the sportsman comes;
His gun sloped o'er his shoulder, and his bag
Heavy with slaughter'd game: On he pursues,
With laggard step, his journey, travel-worn,
And weary for the glittering star of home,-
The blazing hearth, where, o'er his evening meal,
And cheering cup, of marvels he proclaims,
Seen on the mountain, and of wondrous feats
Perform'd; the covey scatter'd, and the hare
Shot at far distance, 'mid the wither'd gorse.-
Over the rutted road the empty wane
Homeward is driven; and, at far intervals,
Towards yon low village, wends the husbandman,
Slow sauntering by :-With a wild, wailing shriek,
Heard from above, the white mew, with slow wing,
Drops downward to the sea-shore, and is met
On high, by wild-geese flock, on journey bent
Far inland, flying wedge-wise, and drawn up
In regular files, as if for marshall'd war.
Well it accords, at such a pensive hour,
When from the southern sky with beauteous beam
Shines dewy Hesper; and the far-off hills
Have sombred all their tints of greenery,
In solitude to ponder o'er the thoughts
Of childhood, and of boyhood, and of youth,
And all the magic of departed years!-
To conjure up the bright Elysian dreams
That hovered round, and cheated the warm heart,
(As in Arabia's central plains, the sands,
Like waters gleam, mocking the pilgrim's eye ;)
To see again the faces that around

Life's path then throng'd, in sunny joyfulness,
And now are scatter'd o'er the wide round world,
Or, slumbering in the silence of the grave,
Are to its murmurs deaf, its praises lost ;-
Well it accords, then, in a fond review,

To summon forth the heart's long-banish'd loves,
The young affections that decoy'd the soul,-
Beauty's warm cheek, and Friendship's laughing eye :
In fond review to dwell upon the scenes

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