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FORTH from her cliffs sublime the sea-mew goes
To meet the storm, rejoicing! To the woods
She gives herself; and, borne above the peaks
Of highest headlands, wheels among the clouds,
And hears death's voice in thunder roll around,
While the waves far below, driven on the shore,
Foaming with pride and rage, make hollow moan.
Now, tossed upon the gale from cloud to cloud,
She soars, and, vanishing amid the gloom,
Enters the secret region of the storm;
But soon emerging, swiftly reappears.
It was the wailing of the deep she heard:
O'er the waves hovering while they lash the rocks,
Ind lift, as though to reach her, their chafed tops,
Dashing the salt from off her downy wings,
Higher she mounts, and from her feathers shakes
The shower, triumphant.
O bird: lend me thy wings. That swifter than the blast I may out-fly Danger, and from yon port the life-boat call. And see! e'en now the guardian bark rides o'er The mountain billows, and descends through chasms Where lurks Destruction, eager for his prey, With eyes of flashing fire, and foamy jaws.
Bird of the winds, and waves, and lonely shores;
Of loftiest rocks, and wildest bays, and clouds,
And tempests; bird of the sunbeam, that seeks
Thee through the storm, and glitters on thy wings!
Bird of the sunbeam and the azure calm;
Of the green cliff, hung with gay summer plants;
Who lov'st to sit in stillness on the bough
That leans far o'er the sea, and hearest there
The chasing surges and the hushing sounds
That float around thee, when tall shadow's tremble,
And the rock-weeds stream lightly on the breeze;
O bird of joy! what wanderer of air
Can vie with thee in grandeur of delights,
Whose home is on the precipice, whose sport
Is on the waves? O happy, happy bird!
Lend me thy wings, and let thy joy be mine!
How dazzling white the snowy scene! deep, deep
The stillness of the winter Sabbath day,
Not even a footfall heard. Smooth are the fields,
Each hollow pathway level with the plain:
Hid are the bushes, save that here and there
Are seen the topmost shoots of brier or broom.
High-ridged the whirlèd drift has almost reached
The powdered keystone of the churchyard porch.
Mute hangs the hooded bell; the tombs lie buried;
No step approaches to the house of prayer.
The flickering fall is o'er: the clouds disperse,
And show the sun, hung o'er the welkin's verge,
Shooting a bright but ineffectual beam
On all the sparkling waste. Now is the time
To visit Nature in her grand attire.
Though perilous the mountainous ascent,
A noble recompense the danger brings.
How beautiful the plain stretched far below,
Unvaried though it be, save by yon stream
With azure windings, or the leafless wood!
But what the beauty of the plain, compared
To that sublimity which reigns enthroned,
Holding joint rule with solitude divine,
Among yon rocky fells, that bid defiance
To steps the most adventurously bold?
There silence dwells profound; or if the cry
Of high poised eagle break at times the hush,
The mantled echoes no response return.
OFT you have asked me, Granville, why
Of late I heave the frequent sigh?
Why, moping, melancholy, low,
From supper, commons, wine, I go?
Why bows my mind, by care oppressed;
By day no peace, by night no rest?
Hear, then, my friend--and ne'er you knew
A tale so tender, and so true-
Hear what, though shame my tongue restrain,
My pen with freedom shall explain.
Say, Granville, do you not remember,
About the middle of November,
When Blenheim's hospitable lord
Received us at his cheerful board;
How fair the Ladies Spenser smiled,
Enchanting, witty, courteous, mild?
And marked you not, how many a glance
Across the table, shot by chance
From fair Eliza's graceful form,
Assailed and took my heart by storm?
And marked you not, with earnest zeal,
I asked her if she'd have some veal?
And how, when conversation's charms
Fresh vigour gave to love's alarms,
My heart was scorched, and burnt to tinder,
When talking to her at the winder?
These facts premised, you can't but guess
The cause of my uneasiness,
WRITTEN IN MRS. CREWE'S SCRAP-BOOK.
For you have heard as well as I
That she'll be married speedily;
And then—my grief more plain to tell-
Soft cares, sweet fears, fond hopes, farewell!
But still, though false the fleeting dream,
Indulge awhile the tender theme,
And hear, had fortune yet been kind,
How bright the prospect of the mind.
Oh! had I had it in my power
To wed her—with a suited dower-
And proudly bear the beauteous maid
To Saltrum's venerable shade,
Or if she liked not woods at Saltrum,
Why, nothing's easier than to alter 'em,-
Then had I tasted bliss sincere,
And happy been from year to year.
How changed this scene! for now, my Granville,
Another match is on the anvil,
And I, a widowed dove, complain,
And feel no refuge from my pain-
Save that of pitying Spenser's sister,
Who's lost a lord, and gained a Mister.
WRITTEN IN MRS. CREWE'S SCRAP-BOOK, ON LEAVING
THE VERSES REFER TO A CONVERSATION IN WHICH MRS. CREWE MAINTAINED THAT NERVOUS
AFFECTIONS PRODUCE A CRAVING APPETITE.
“HAPPY the fair who, here retired,
By sober contemplation fired,
Delight from Nature's works can draw.”
'Twas thus I spoke when first I saw