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COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPT. 3. 1803.
EARTH has not any thing to shew more fair :
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning ; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendor valley, rock, or hill ;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
Pelion and Ossa flourished side by side, :31
Together in immortal books enrolled :
His ancient dower Olympus hath not sold;
And that inspiring Hill, which “ did divide
Into two ample horns his forehead wide,"
Shines with poetic radiance as of old;
While not an English Mountain we behold
By the celestial Muses glorified.
Yet round our sea-girt shore they rise in crowds :
What was the great Parnassus' self to Thee,
Mount Skiddaw? In his natural sovereignty
Our British Hill is fairer far: He shrouds
His double-fronted head in higher clouds,
pours forth streams more sweet than Castaly.
BROOK! whose society the Poet seeks
Intent his wasted spirits to renew;
And whom the curious Painter doth pursue
Through rocky passes, among flowery creeks,
And tracks thee dancing down thy water-breaks ;
If I some type of thee did wish to view,
Thee, - and not thee thyself, I would not do
Like Grecian Artists, give thee human cheeks,
Channels for tears; no Naiad should'st thou be,
Have neither limbs, feet, feathers, joints, nor hairs;
It seems the Eternal Soul is clothed in thee
purer robes than those of flesh and blood, And hath bestowed on thee a better good; Unwearied joy, and life withqut its cares.
Hail Twilight, -sovereign of one peaceful hour !
Not dull art Thou as undiscerning Night;
But studious only to remove from sight
Day's mutable distinctions. Ancient Power !
Thus did the waters gleam, the mountains lower
To the rude Briton, when, in wolf-skin vest
Here roving wild, he laid him down to rest
On the bare rock, or through a leafy bower
Looked ere his eyes were closed. By him was seen
The self-same Vision which we now behold,
At thy meek bidding, shadowy Power, brought
These mighty barriers, and the gulph between;
The floods, the stars;
a spectacle as old As the beginning of the heavens and earth!
THE Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said,
“ Bright is thy veil, O Moon, as thou art bright!"
Forthwith, that little Cloud, in ether spread,
And penetrated all with tender light,
She cast away, and shewed her fulgent head
Uncovered ; - dazzling the Beholder's sight
As if to vindicate her beauty's right,
Her beauty thoughtlessly disparaged.
Meanwhile that Veil, removed or thrown aside,
Went, floating from her, darkening as it went;
And a huge Mass, to bury or to hide,
Approached this glory of the firmament;
Who meekly yields, and is obscured ;-content
With one calm triumph of a modest pride.