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Still seem as to my childhood's sight,
A midway station given
For happy spirits to alight
Betwixt the earth and heaven.
Can all that optics teach unfold
Thy form to please me so,
As when I dreamt of gems and gold
Hid in thy radiant bow?
When Science from Creation's face
Enchantment's veil withdraws,
What lovely visions yield their place
To cold material laws!
And yet, fair bow, no fabling dreams,
But words of the Most High,
Have told why first thy robe of beams
Was woven in the sky.
When o'er the green undelug'd heart
Heaven's covenant thou didst shine,
How came the world's grey fathers forth
To watch thy sacred sign!
And when its yellow lustre smil'd
O'er mountains yet untrod,
Each mother held aloft her child,
To bless the bow of God.
Methinks, thy jubilee to keep,
The first-made anthem rang
On earth, deliver'd from the deep,
And the first poet sang.
Nor ever shall the Muse's eye
Unraptur'd greet thy beam;
Theme of primeval prophecy,
Be still the poet's theme!
The earth to thee her incense yields,
The lark thy welcome sings,
When, glittering in the freshen'd fields,
The snowy mushroom springs.
How glorious is thy girdle cast
O'er mountain, tower, and town,
Or mirror'd in the ocean vast,
A thousand fathoms down!
As fresh in yon horizon dark,
As young thy beauties seem,
As when the eagle from the ark
First sported in thy beam.
For, faithful to its sacred page,
Heaven still rebuilds its span,
Nor lets the type grow pale with age
That first spoke peace to man.
SWEET Fountain, in thy cool and glassy bed,
The forms of things around reflected lie,
With all the brightness of reality.
And all the softness which thy wave can shed-
As clear as if within thy depths were laid,
Some brighter world beneath thy pictur'd sky;
But with a thought the vision passes by
Before the rising breeze, and all is fled:
So, on the stream of life, all bright and gay,
A thousand pleasures glitter to the view,
Which Hope enlightens with her fairest ray,
And Fancy colours with her richest hue;
But with the breath of Truth they pass away,
Like thine, sweet Fountain,-fair, but fleeting too.
A SPIRIT sits with me by day-
A spirit sits with me by night;
In the warm sun's refulgent ray-
In the cold moon's unclouded light.
It whispers where the wild winds sigh-
It glitters in the dewy glade ;
If to the forest's depths I fly,
It blackens in the blackest shade.
It lies with me on banks of flowers;
With me beside the streams it sits;
And, where the blossoms falls in showers,
The spirit, like a meteor, flits.
If, where the waves are bounding dark,
Adventurous, to my boat I flee,
Beside me, in the shadowy bark,
It toils upon the tumbling sea.
If, when the night clouds roll away,
those worlds afar,
White as the whitest cloud of day,
I see it flit from star to star.
I hear it in the breeze that wails
Around the abbey's mouldering walls; I hear it in the softest gale
That ever sigh'd through marble halls.
Its voice is ever in my ear
Its hand is often on my brow,-
Its shriek, its thrilling shriek, I hear-
I feel its icy fingers now!
WILLIAM THE THRESHER.
WHO Owns that snug cot in the lane that we pass, Whose flinty foundations are bedded in grass,
Whose corners are guarded with fragments of rock, From the wheels of the wain, and the waggon's rude shock?
'Tis his, who, from youth to decline of his days,
Has dwelt there a stranger to censure or praise;
Poor William the Thresher; who forward and back
To the barn in the valley, pursues the same track.
E'en the sheep, long accustom'd to see him thus
Familiarly meet him, and gaze in his face;
The heifer, across the green path as she lies,
Starts not at his footsteps, nor offers to rise;
And all the day long you may hear his flail sound
As you walk on the hill through the woodlands
Save when the ripe harvest his labour demands, Then stripp'd in the corn-fields he joins the gay bands;
And ere autumn's rich opportunity slides,
A trifle for winter's dull season provides.
He ne'er saw the city, nor often the town,
But when to the market he pass'd the broad down,
Or dress'd in his church-going suit, once a year
With neighbours and friends at the fair would
His garden, his hives, and his sties are his pride,
And by those half the wants of his life are supplied;
While mother and wife their kind efforts unite,
To mark the calm comforts of home his delight.
No anxious forebodings his breast ever knows;
Ambition nor Envy disturbs his repose;
The tumult and terror of wide-wasting war
He hears, like a thunder-storm rolling afar;
Nor heeds who enjoys title, pension, or place,
Or rises to power, or sinks in disgrace;
Content in his station, he 'scapes every care,
While crops are abundant, and seasons are fair.
So liv'd the first swains, in the world's golden
Ere lux'ry and av'rice corrupted their ways;
Or cities, polluted with vices and crimes,
Call'd judgments from Heav'n on degenerate times, "Twould be well for the world, could its restless ones
The bliss of retirement, so blameless and chaste
Then violence, strife, and oppression might cease,
And innocence rest on the bosom of peace.
Most happy the Bard, whom such solitude charms,
Whom virtue and nature invite to their arms;
O! grant me, kind Heaven! in life's feeble wane,
To enjoy the sweet calm of some cot in the lane.
I LOVE thee, Twilight! As thy shadows roll,
The calm of evening steals upon my soul,
Sublimely tender, solemnly serene,
Still as the hour, enchanting as the scene.
I love thee, Twilight! for thy gleams impart
Their dear, their dying influence to my heart.
When o'er the harp of thought thy passing wind
Awakens all the music of the mind,
And Joy and Sorrow, as the spirit burns,
And Hope and Memory sweep the chords by turns,