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they are of the sky,
And from our earthly memory fade away."
THESE words were uttered in a pensive mood,
Mine eyes yet lingering on that solemn sight:
A contrast and reproach to gross delight,
And life's unspiritual pleasures daily wooed !
But now upon this thought I cannot brood;
It is unstable, and deserts me quite:
Nor will I praise a Cloud, however bright,
Disparaging Man's gifts, and proper food.
The Grove, the sky-built Temple, and the Dome,
Though clad in colours beautiful and pure,
Find in the heart of man no natural home :
The immortal Mind craves objects that enduro:
These cleave to it; from these it cannot roam,
Nor they from it: their fellowship is secure.
DEGENERATE Douglas ! oh, the unworthy Lord !
Whom mere despite of heart could so far please,
And love of havoc (for with such disease
Fame taxes him) that he could send forth word
To level with the dust a noble horde,
A brotherhood of venerable Trees,
Leaving an ancient Dome, and Towers like these,
Beggared and outraged !- Many hearts deplored
The fate of those old Trees; and oft with pain
The Traveller, at this day, will stop and gaze
On wrongs, which Nature scarcely seems to heed:
For sheltered places, bosoms, nooks, and bays,
And the pure mountains, and the gentle Tweed,
And the green silent pastures, yet remain.
TO THE LADY MARY LOW THER.
With a selection
from the Poems of Anne, Countess of Winchelsea ; and extracts of similar character from other writers; the whole transcribed by a female friend.
LADY! I rifled a Parnassian Cave
(But seldom trod) of mildly-gleaming ore ;
And culled, from sundry beds, a lucid store
Of genuine crystals, pure as those that pave
The azure brooks where Dian joys to lave
Her spotless limbs; and ventured to explore
Dim shades — for reliques, upon Lethe's shore,
Cast up at random by the sullen wave.
To female hands the treasures were resigned;
And lo this work!- a grotto bright and clear
From stain or taint; in which thy blameless mind
May feed on thoughts though pensive not austere;
Or, if thy deeper spirit be inclined
To holy musing, it may enter here.
ON SEEING A TUFT OF SNOWDROPS IN A STORM.
WHEN haughty expectations prostrate lie,
And grandeur crouches like a guilty thing,
Oft shall the lowly weak, till nature bring
Mature release, in fair society
Survive, and Fortune's utmost anger try;
Like these frail snow-drops that together cling,
And nod their helmets smitten by the wing
Of many a furious whirlblast sweeping by.
Observe the faithful flowers ! if small to great
May lead the thoughts, thus struggling used to stand
The Emathian phalanx, nobly obstinate;
And so the bright immortal Theban band,
Whom onset, fiercely urged at Jove's command,
Might overwhelm, but could not separate !
FROM THE ITALIAN OF MICHAEL ANGELO.
Yes! hope may with my strong desire keep pace,
And I be undeluded, unbetrayed;
For if of our affections none find grace
In sight of Heaven, then, wherefore hath God made
The world which we inhabit? Better plea
Love cannot have, than that in loving thee
Glory to that eternal Peace is paid,
Who such Divinity to thee imparts
As hallows and makes pure all gentle hearts.
His hope is treacherous only whose loves dies
With beauty, which is varying every hour:
But, in chaste hearts uninfluenced by the power
Of outward change, there blooms a deathless flower,
That breathes on earth the air of paradise.