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A few essay'd the troubled soul to calm,
Now rose the water through the lessening sand,
“ Once more, yet once again, with all our strength Cry to the land we may be heard at length !” Vain hope, if yet unseen! – but hark! That sound of bliss! comes dashing to their shore; Still, still the water rises ; “ Haste!” they cry, “ Oh, hurry, seamen ; in delay we die!” (Seamen were these, who in their ship perceiv'd The drifted boat, and thus her crew reliev'd.) And now the keel just cuts the cover'd sand, Now to the gunwale stretches every hand: With trembling pleasure all confus'd embark, And kiss the tackling of their welcome ark: While the most giddy, as they reach the shore, Think of their danger, and their God adore.
A COUNTRY CHURCHYARD.
How meekly pild, how venerably grac'd,
And o'er them many a sabbath sigh is heav'd From hearts that live on sadness from the tomb.
And such is thine, lone muser! by yon grave Now ling'ring with a soul-expressive eye Of sorrow. Corn-fields glowing brown, and bright With promise, sumptuous in the noon-glare seen; The meadows, speckled with a homeward tribe Of village matrons, sons, and holy sires, The hymning birds, all music as they soar; And those twin brooks, so beautifully glad, That whisper happy secrets to the wind, Such life and beauty by the landscape breath'd,
a tomb-shade overclouds it all, A churchyard ! 'tis a homely word, yet full Of feeling ; and a sound that o’er the heart Might shed religion. In the gloom of graves I read the curse primeval, and the Voice That wreak’d it, seems to whisper by these tombs Of village quiet, that around me lie In green humility: can life, the dead Among, be musing, nor to me advance The spirit of her thought? True, Nature wears No rustic mourning here: in golden play Her sprightly grass-flowers wave; the random breeze Hums in the noon, or with yon froward boughs A murm'ring quarrel wakes : and yet how oft In such a haunt, the insuppressive sigh Is heard, while feelings that may pilot years To glory, spring from out a minute's gloom!
How calmly gliding through the dark-blue sky The midnight moon ascends! Her placid beams, Through thinly scatter'd leaves, and boughs
Mottle with mazy shades the orchard slope;
Twas on a sultry summer noon,
The sky was blue, the breeze was still,
Had cloth'd the slopes of Flodden hill ;
And wild bees murmur'd in their mirth
So pleasantly, it seem'd as earth
And canst thou be, unto my soul
I said, that dread Northumbrian field,
Above two banded kingdoms peald?
While curtal-axe and broadsword gleam
Oppos’d, a bright, wide, coming stream, Like Solway's tide enlarging.
Hark to the turmoil and the shout,
and the cannon's boom! Behold the struggle and the rout,
The broken lance, and draggled plume! Borne to the earth, with deadly force, Comes down the horseman and his horse; Round boils the battle like an ocean :
While stripling blithe and veteran stern,
Pour forth their life-blood on the fern, Amid its fierce commotion !
Mown down like swaths of summer flowers,
Yes ! on the cold earth there they lie, The lords of Scotland's banner'd towers,
The chosen of her chivalry! Commingled with the vulgar dead, Perhaps lies many a mitred head; And thou, the vanguard onwards leading,
Who left the sceptre for the sword,
For battle-field the festal board, Liest low amid the bleeding!
Yes! here thy life-star knew decline,
Though hope, that strove to be deceivd, Shap'd thy long course to Palestine,
And what it wish'd full oft believ'd:
An unhewn pillar on the plain
On its grey top, the linnet sang,
And o'er the slopes where conflict rang
And were the nameless dead unsung,
The patriot and the peasant train,
To find but death on Flodden plain ?
Whose locks no more were seen to wave,
Wept for the beauteous and the brave,
THE SUN FLOWER.
EAGLE of flowers! I see thee stand,
And on the sun's noon-glory gaze ; With eye like his thy lids expand,
And fringe their disk with golden rays;
Thy prospect heaven.
Beyond the path where planets run,