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As it appeared to Enthusiasts at its commencement.
O, pleasant exercise of hope and joy!
For mighty were the auxiliars which then stood
Upon our side, we who were strong in love !
Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive,
But to be young was very heaven ! O times ?
In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways
Of custom, law, and statute, took at once
The attraction of a country in romance ! .
When Reason seem'd the most to assert her rights,
When most intent on making of herself
A prime enchantress to assist the work,
Which then was going forward in her name !
Not favour'd spots alone, but the whole earth,
The beauty wore of promise — that which sets
(To take an image which was felt no doubt
Among the bowers of paradise itself)
The budding rose above the rose full blown.
What temper at the prospect did not wake
To happiness unthought of? The inert
Were roused, and lively natures rapt away!
They who had fed their childhood upon dreams,
The playfellows of fancy, who had made
All powers of swiftness, subtility, and strength
Their ministers, - who in lordly wise had stirr'd
Among the grandest objects of the sense,
And dealt with whatsoever they found there
As if they had within some lurking right
To wield it ; - they, too, who of gentle mood
Had watch'd all gentle motions, and to these
The flowering shrubs that decorate our door
Will prosper, though untended and alone :
Fields, goods, and far-off chattels we have none;
These narrow bounds contain our private store
Of things earth makes and sun doth shine upon,
Here are they in our sight - we have no more.
Sunshine and shower be with you, bud and bell !
For two months now in vain we shall be sought;
We leave you here in solitude to dwell
With these our latest gifts of tender thought;
Thou, like the morning, in thy saffron coat
Bright gowan, and marsh-marigold, farewell !
Whom from the borders of the lake we brought
And placed together near our rocky well.
We go for one to whom ye will be dear;
And she will prize this bower, this Indian shed,
Our own contrivance, building without peer!
- A gentle maid, whose heart is lowly bred,
Whose pleasures are in wild fields gathered,
With joyousness, and with a thoughtful cheer,
She'll come to you, — to you herself will wed, -
And love the blessed life which we lead here.
Dear spot ! which we have watch'd with tender heed,
Bringing thee chosen plants and blossoms blown,
Among the distant mountains, flower and weed,
Which thou hast taken to thee as thy own,
Making all kindness register'd and known ;
Thou for our sakes, though Nature's child indeed,
Fair in thyself and beautiful alone,
Hast taken gifts which thou dost little need.
And O most constant, yet most fickle place,
That hast thy wayward moods, as thou dost show
To them who look not daily in thy face ;
Who, being loved, in love no bounds dost know,
And say'st when we forsake thee, 'Let them go !!
Thou easy-hearted thing, with thy wild race
Of weeds and flowers, till we return be slow,-
And travel with the year at a soft pace.
Help us to tell her tales of years gone by,
And this sweet spring the best beloved and best.
Joy will be flown in its mortality;
Something must stay to tell us of the rest.
Here, throng'd with primroses, the steep rock's breast
Glitter'd at evening like a starry sky ;
And in this bush our sparrow built her nest,
Of which I sung one song that will not die.
O happy garden ! whose seclusion deep
Hath been so friendly to industrious hours ;
And to soft slumbers, that did gently steep
Our spirits, carrying with them dreams of flowers,
And wild notes warbled among leafy bowers ;
Two burning months let summer overleap,
And, coming back with her who will be ours,
Into thy bosom we again shall creep.
ONE morning (raw it was and wet,
A foggy day in winter time)
A woman on the road I met,
Not old, though something past her prime :
Majestic in her person, tall and straight;
And like a Roman matron's was her mien and gait.
The ancient spirit is not dead ;
Old times, thought I are breathing there ;
Proud was I that my country bred
Such strength, a dignity so fair :
She begg'd an alms, like one in poor estate ;
I look'd at her again, nor did my pride abate.
When from these lofty thoughts I woke,
With the first word I had to spare,
I said to her,' Beneath your cloak,
What's that which on your arms you bear?'
She answer'd soon as she the question heard, 'A simple burthen, sir, a little singing-bird.'
And thus continuing, she said,
'I had a son, who many a day
Sail'd on the seas; but he is dead;
In Denmark he was cast away ;
And I have travelled far as Hull, to see
What clothes he might have left, or other property.
"The bird and cage they both were his;
'Twas my son's bird ; and neat and trim
He kept it : many voyages
His singing bird hath gone with him ;
When last he sail'd he left the bird behind,
As it might be, perhaps, from bodings of his mind.
• He to a fellow-lodger's care Had left it, to be watch'd and fed, Till he came back again ; and there I found it when my son was dead ; And now — God help me for my little witI trail it with me, sir! he took so much delight in it.'
SHE dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove,
A maid whom there were none to praise,
And very few to love.
A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye !
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
On good service we are going
Life to risk by sea and land ;
In which course if Christ our Saviour
Do my sinful soul demand,
Hither come thou back straightway,
Hubert, if alive that day;
Return, and sound the horn, that we
May have a living house still left in thee !'
'Fear not,' quickly answered Hubert ;
"As I am thy father's son,
What thou asketh, noble brother,
With God's favour shall be done.'
So were both right well content :
From the castle forth they went ;
And at the head of their array
To Palestine the brothers took their way.
Side by side they fought (the Lucies
Were a line for valour famed),
And where'er their strokes alighted,
There the Saracens were tamed.
Whence, then, could it come, the thought
By what evil spirit brought ?
Oh! can a brave man wish to take
His brother's life, for land's and castle's sake ?
'Sir,' the ruffians said to Hubert,
'Deep he lies in Jordan flood.'
Stricken by this ill assurance,
Pale and trembling Hubert stood.
'Take your earnings. Oh! that I
Could have seen my brother die !
It was a pang that vex'd him then !
And oft return'd-again, and yet again.
Months pass'd on, and no Sir Eustace
Nor of him were tidings heard.
Wherefore, bold as day, the murderer
Back again to England steer'd.