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Ar early dawn, or rather when the air
Glimmers with fading light, and shadowy eve
Is busiest to confer and to bereave, -
Then, pensive Votary, let thy feet repair
To Gordale-chasm, terrific as the lair
lions couch ; - for so, by leave
Of the propitious hour, thou may'st perceive
The local Deity, with oozy hair
And mineral crown, beside his jagged urn
Recumbent:- Him thou may'st behold, who hides
His lineaments by day, and there presides,
Teaching the docile waters how to turn;
Or, if need be, impediment to spurn,
And force their passage to the salt-sea tides !
Was the aim frustrated by force or guile,
When giants scooped from out the rocky ground
- Tier under tier — this semicirque profound ?
(Giants -- the same who built in Erin's isle
That Causeway with incomparable toil!)
O, had this vast theatric structure wound
With finished sweep into a perfect round,
No mightier work had gained the plausive smile
Of all-beholding Phæbus ! But, alas,
Vain earth! — false world! - Foundations must be
In Heav'n; for, mid the wreck of is and was,
Things incomplete and purposes betrayed
Make sadder transits o'er truth's mystic glass
Than noblest objects utterly decayed.
COMPOSED DURING A SEVERE STORM.
One who was suffering tumult in his soul
Yet failed to seek the sure relief of prayer -
Went forth — his course surrendering to the care
Of the fierce wind, while mid-day lightnings prowl
Insidiously, -- untimely thunders growl, –
While trees, dim-seen, in frenzied numbers tear
The lingering remnant of their yellow hair, -
And shivering wolves, surprised with darkness howl
As if the sun were not :- he lifted high
His head - and in a moment did appear
Large space, mid dreadful clouds, of purest sky,
An azure orb
shield of Tranquillity,
Invisible unlooked-for minister
Of providential goodness ever nigh!
COMPOSED ON THE BANKS OF A ROCKY STREAM.
DOGMATIC Teachers, of the snow-white fur!
Ye wrangling Schoolmen, of the scarlet hood!
Who, with a keenness not to be withstood,
Press the point home, - or falter and demur, ,
Checked in your course by many a teazing burr;
These natural council-seats your acrid blood
Might cool;— and, as the Genius of the food
Stoops willingly to animate and spur
Each lighter function slumbering in the brain,
Yon eddying balls of foam -- these arrowy gleams,
That o'er the pavement of the surging streams
Welter and flash- a synod might detain
With subtile speculations, haply vain,
But surely less so than your far-fetched themes !
WRITTEN IN VERY EARLY YOUTH.
Calm is all nature as a resting wheel.
The Kine are couched upon the dewy grass ;
The Horse alone, seen dimly as I pass,
Is up, and cropping yet his later meal:
Dark is the ground; a slumber seems to steal
O'er vale, and mountain, and the starless sky.
Now, in this blank of things, a harmony,
Home-felt, and home-created, seems to heal
That grief for which the senses still supply
Fresh food; for only then, when memory
Is hushed, am I at rest. My Friends! restrain
Those busy cares that would allay my pain :
Oh! leave me to myself; nor let me feel
The officious touch that makes me droop again.