Page images


Heard from the distant village in the vale,
Crows chearly out, far-sounding through the gloom.
Night hears from where, wide-hovering in mid-lky,
She rules the fable hour : and calls her train
Of visionary fears, the shrouded ghost,
The dream distressful, and th' incumbent hag,
That rise to Fancy's eye in horrid forms,
While reason slumbering lies. At once they fly,
As shadows pass, nor is their path beheld.

And now, pale-glimmering on the verge of heaven,
From east to north in doubtful twilight seen,
A whitening lustre shoots its tender beam;
While fade and silence yet involve the ball.
Now facred Morn, ascending, smiles serene
A dewy radiance, brightening o'er the world.
Gay daughter of the air, for ever young,
For ever pleasing! lo, the onward comes,
In fluid gold and azure loose-array'd,
Sun-tinctur'd, changeful hues. At her approach,
The western grey of yonder breaking clouds
Slow-reddens into flame: the rising milts,
From off the mountain's brow, roll blue away
lu curling spires; and open all his woods,
High waving in the sky: th' uncolour'd stream,
Beneath her glowing ray, translucent shines.
Glad Nature feels her through hier boundless realms
Of life and sense : and calls forth all her sweets,
Fragrance and song. From each unfolding flower
Transpires the balm of life, that Zephyr wafts,
Delicious, on his rofy wing: each bird,


Or high in air, or secret in the shade,
Rejoicing warbles wild his mattin hymn.
While beasts of chace, by secret instinct mov’d,
Scud o'er the lawns, and, plunging into night,
In brake, or cavern, slumber out the day.

Invited by the chearful morn abroad,
See, from his humble roof, the good Man comes
To taste her freshness, and improve her rise
In holy musing. Rapture in his eye,
And kneeling wonder speak his filent soul,
With gratitude o'erflowing, and with praise !

Now Industry is up. The village pours
Her useful fons abroad to various toil :
The labourer here, with every

Of future plenty arm’d; and there the swain,
A rural king amid his subject-flocks,
Whose bleatings wake the vocal hills afar.
The traveller, tco, purtue: his early road,
Among the dews of morn. Aurora calls :
And all the living landscape moves around.

But see, the flush'd horizon fames intense
With vivid red, in rich' profusion stream'd
O'er heaven's pure arch. At once the clouds assume
Their gayest liveries; these with silvery beams
Fring'd lovely, Splendid those in liquid gold:
And speak their sovereign's state. He comes, behold !
Fountain of light and colour, warmth and life!
The King of Glory! round his head divine,
Diffusive showers of radiance circling fiow,
As o'er the Indian wave up-rising fair

He looks abroad on Nature, and invests,
Where'er his universal eye surveys,
Her ample bosom, earth, air, sea, and sky,
In one bright robe, with heavenly tinctures gay.

From this hoar hill, that climbs above the plain,
Half-way up heaven ambitious, brown with woods
Of broadest shade, and terrass'd round with walks,
Winding and wild, that deep embowering rise,
Maze above maze, through all its shelter'd height;
From hence, th' aëreal concave without cloud,
Translucent, and in purest azure drest;
The boundless scene beneath, hill, dale, and plain ;
The precipice abrupt; the distant deep,
Whole Mores remurmur to the sounding surge;
The nearest forest in wide circuit spread,
Solemn recess, whose solitary walks,
Fair Truth and Wisdom love; the bordering lawn,
With flocks and herds enrich’d; the daisy'd vale;
The river's crystal, and the meadow's green
Grateful diversity! allure the eye
Abroad, to rove amid ten thousand charms.

These scenes, where every Virtue, every Muse Delighted range, ferene the soul, and lift, Borne on devotion's wing, beyond the pole, To highest heaven her thought; to Nature's First fource of all things lovely, all things good, Eternal, infinite! before whose throne Sits sovereign Bounty, and through heaven and earth Careless diffuses plenitude of bliss.

Him all things own : he speaks, and it is day.
Obedient to his nod, alternate night
Obscures the world. The feafons at his call
Succeed in train, and lead the year

While reason thus and rapture fill the heart;
Friends of mankind, good angels, hovering near,
Their holy influence, deep-infusing, lend;
And in still whispers, soft as Zephyr's breath
When scarce the green leaf trembles, through her powers
Inspire new vigour, purer light supply,
And kindle every virtue into flame.
Celestial intercourse! superior bliss,
Which vice ne'er knew! health of th’enliven'd soul,
And heaven on earth begun! Thus ever fix'd
In folitude, may I, obscurely safe,
Deceive mankind, and steal through life along,
As slides the foot of Time, unmark'd, unknown!

Exalted to his noon the fervent fun, Full-blazing o'er the blue immense, burns out With fierce effulgence. Now th' embowering maze Of vale fequefter’d, or the fir-crown'd fide Of airy mountain, whence with lucid lapse Falls many a dew-fed stream, invites the itep Of musing poet, and secures repose To weary pilgrim. In the flood of day, Oppreffive brightness deluging the world, Sick Nature pants: and from the cleaving earth Light vapours, undulating through the air, Contagious fly, engendering dire disease,



Red plague, and fever ; or, in fogs aloft
Condensing, shew a ruffling tempeft nigh.

And see, exhaling from th' atlantic surge,
Wild world of waters, distant clouds ascend
In vapory confluence, deepening cloud on cloud:
Then rolling dulk along to east and north,
As the blast bears them on his humid wing,
Draw total night and tempest o'er the noon!
Lo, bird and beast, impress’d by Nature's hand
In homeward-warnings through each feeling nerve,
Haste from the hour of terror and of storm.
The Thunder now, from forth his cloudy shrine,
Amid conflicting elements, where Dread
And Death attend, the servants of his nod,
First, in deaf murmurs, founds the deep alarm,
Heard from afar, awakening awful thought.
Dumb sadness fills this nether world : the gloom
With double blackness lours; the tempelt fwells;
And expectation shakes the heart of man.

Where yonder clouds in dusky depth extend Broad o'er the south; fermenting in their womb, Pregnant with fate, the fiery tempest swells, Sulpłıureous steam and nitrous, late exhal'd From mine or onctuous soil: and lo, at once, Forth darted in Nant stream, the ruddy flash, Quick-glancing, spreads a morrent's horrid day. Again it fames expansive; sheets the sky, Wide and more wide, with mournful light around, On all sides burning ; now the face of things Discloting; swallow d now iu tenfold night.

« PreviousContinue »