Far off the petrel in the troubled way
Swims with her brood, or flutters in the spray;
She rises often, often drops again,
And sports at ease on the tempestuous main.

High o'er the restless deep, above the reach
Of gunner's hope, vast flights of wild-ducks stretch;
Far as the eye can glance on either side,
In a broad space and level line they glide ;
All in their wedge-like figures from the north,
Day after day, flight after flight, go forth.

În-shore their passage tribes of sea-gulls urge, And drop for prey within the sweeping surge; Oft in the rough opposing blast they fly Far back, then turn, and all their force apply ; While to the storm they give their weak complain

ing cry, Or clap the sleek white pinion to the breast, And in the restless ocean dip for rest.

Darkness begins to reign ; the louder wind Appals the weak, and awes the firmer mind; But frights not him, whom evening and the spray In part conceald — yon prowler on his way. Lo! he has something seen; he runs apace, As if he fear'd companion in the chase; He sees his prize, and now he turns again, Slowly and sorrowing — “Was your search in

vain ?” Gruffly he answers, “'Tis a sorry sight ! “A seaman's body — there'll be more to-night!”

Hark to those sounds! they're from distress at

sea :

How quick they come ! what terrors may there be !
Yes, 'tis a driven vessel : I discern
Lights, signs of terror, gleaming from the stern.
Others behold them too, and from the town,
In various parties seamen hurry down;
Their wives pursue, and damsels urg'd by dread,
Lest men so dear be into danger led.

Their head the gown has hooded, and their call,
In this sad night, is piercing like the squall ;
They feel their kinds of power, and, when they

Chide, fondle, weep, dare, threaten, or entreat.

See, one poor girl, all terror and alarm, Has fondly seiz'd upon her lover's arm ; - Thou shalt not venture!” and he answers,

“ No! “ I will not;

-still she cries, “Thou shalt not


No need of this; not here the stoutest boat Can through such breakers, o'er such billows float: Yet may they view those lights upon the beach, Which yield them hope, whom help can never

reach. From parted clouds the moon her radiance

On the wild waves, and all the danger shows;
But shows them beaming in her shining vest,
Terrific splendour - gloom and glory dress'd !
This for a moment, and then clouds again
Hide every beam, and fear and darkness reign.
But hear we now those sounds ? Do lights

I see them not! the storm alone I hear :
And lo ! the sailors homeward take their way.
Man must endure ; let us submit, and pray.



LET us o'er the fields,
Across the down, or through the shelving wood,
Wind our uncertain way. Let fancy lead,
And be it ours to follow and admire,

As well we may,

the graces infinite
Of nature. Lay aside the sweet resource
That winter needs, and may at will obtain,
Of authors chaste and good, and let us read
The living page, whose ev'ry character
Delights, and gives us wisdom. Not a tree,
A plant, a leaf, a blossom, but contains
A folio volume. We may read, and read,
And read again, and still find something new,
Something to please, and something to instruct,
E'en in the noisome weed.

See, ere we pass
Alcanor's threshold, to the curious eye
A little monitor presents her page
Of choice instruction with her snowy bells,
The lily of the vale. She nor affects
The public walk, nor gaze of mid-day sun:
She to no state or dignity aspires,
But silent and alone puts on her suit,
And sheds her lasting perfume, but for which
We had not known there was a thing so sweet
Hid in the gloomy shade. So when the blast
Her sister tribes confounds, and to the earth
Stoops their high heads, that vainly were expos'd,
She feels it not, but flourishes anew,
Still shelter'd and secure. And so the storm,
That makes the high elm couch, and rends the oak
The humble lily spares. A thousand blows,
That shake the lofty monarch on his throne,
We lesser folks feel not. Keen are the pains
Advancement often brings. To be secure,
Be humble; to be happy, be content.

[blocks in formation]

Away, we loiter. Without notice pass
The sleepy crocus, and the staring daisy,
The courtier of the sun. What find we there?
The lovesick cowslip, which her head inclines,

To hide a bleeding heart. And here's the week
And soft-ey'd primrose.


[ocr errors]


The melancholy hyacinth, that weeps
All night, and never lifts an eye all day.

How gay this meadow — like a gamesome boy
New cloth'd, his locks fresh comb'd and powder'd, he
All health and spirits. Scarce so many stars
Shine in the azure canopy of heav'n,
As kingcups here are scatter'd, interspers’d
With silver daisies.

See, the toiling hind With many a sturdy stroke cuts up at last The tough and sinewy furze. How hard he fought, To win the glory of the barren waste! For what more noble than the vernal furze, With golden baskets hung ? Approach it not, For ev'ry blossom has a troop of swords Drawn to defend it. 'Tis the treasury Of fays and fairies. Here they nightly meet, Each with a burnish'd kingcup in his hand, And quaff the subtile ether. Here they dance Or to the village chimes, or moody song Of midnight Philomel. The ringlet see Fantastically trod. There Oberon His gallant train leads out, the while his torch The glow-worm lights, and dusky night illumes.



Thou wert out betimes, thou busy, busy Bee!

As abroad I took my early way, Before the cow from her resting-place Had risen up, and left her trace

On the meadow, with dew so gray, Saw I thee, thou busy, busy Bee.

Thou wert working late, thou busy, busy Bee !

After the fall of the cistus flower, When the primrose of evening was ready to burst, I heard thee last, as I saw thee first;

In the silence of the evening hour, Heard I thee, thou busy, busy Bee.

Thou art a miser, thou busy, busy Bee !

Late and early at employ;
Still on thy golden stores intent,
Thy summer in keeping and hoarding is spent

What thy winter will never enjoy ;
Wise lesson this for me, thou busy, busy Bee!

Little dost thou think, thou busy, busy Bee !

What is the end of thy toil.
When the latest flowers of the ivy are gone,
And all thy work for the year is done,

Thy master comes for the spoil;
Woe then for thee, thou busy, busy Bee !



WERE I a trembling leaf

On yonder stately tree,
After a season gay and brief,

Condemn'd to fade and flee:
I should be loth to fall

Beside the common way,
Weltering in mire, and spurn'd by all,

Till trodden down to clay.
Nor would I choose to die

All on a bed of grass,
Where thousands of my kindred lie,

And idly rot in mass.

« VorigeDoorgaan »