How dazzling white the snowy scene ! deep, deep
The stillness of the winter Sabbath day,
Not even a foot-fall heard. Smooth are the fields,
Each hollow pathway level with the plain :
Hid are the bushes, save that here and there
Are seen the topmost shoots of brier or broom.
High-ridged, the whirled drift has almost reached
The powdered key-stone of the church-yard porch.
Mute hangs the hooded-bell; the tombs lie buried;
No step approaches to the house of prayer.

The flickering fall is o’er: the clouds disperse, And shew the sun, hung o'er the welkin's verge, Shooting a bright but ineffectual beam On all the sparkling waste. Now is the time To visit nature in her grand attire;

Though perilous the mountainous ascent,
A noble recompense the danger brings.
How beautiful the plain stretched far below!
Unvaried though it be, save by yon stream
With azure windings, or the leafless wood.
But what the beauty of the plain, compared
To that sublimity which reigns enthroned,
Holding joint rule with solitude divine,
Among yon rocky fells, that bid defiance
To steps the most adventurously bold !
There silence dwells profound; or if the cry
Of high-poised eagle break at times the hush,
The mantled ec pes no response return.

But let me now explore the deep sunk dell. No foot-print, save the covey's or the flock's, Is seen along the rill, where marshy springs Still rear the

blade of vivid green. Beware, ye shepherds, of these treacherous haunts, Nor linger there too long : the wintry day Soon closes; and full oft a heavier fall, Heaped by the blast, fills up the sheltered glen, While, gurgling deep below, the buried rill Mines for itself a snow-coved way. O, then, Your helpless charge drive from the tempting spot, And keep them on the bleak hill's stormy side, Where night winds sweep the gathering drift away:


So the great Shepherd leads the heavenly flock
From faithless pleasures, full into the storms
Of life, where long they bear the bitter blast,
Until at length the vernal sun looks forth,
Bedimmed with showers: Then to the pastures green
He brings them, where the quiet waters glide,
The streams of life, the Siloah of the soul.


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