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or rather when the air
Ar early dawn,
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
Where the young 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 Phoebus! But, alas,
Vain earth! - false world! - Foundations must be laid
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 flood
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.