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THE SPARROW'S NEST.
BEHOLD, within the leafy shade
Those bright blue eggs together laid !
On me the chance-discover'd sight
Gleam'd like a vision of delight.
I started -- seeming to espy
The home and shelter'd bed,
The sparrow's dwelling, which, hard by
My father's house, in wet or dry,
My sister Emmeline and I
She look'd at it as if she fear'd it ;
Still wishing, dreading to be near it :
Such heart was in her, being then
A little prattler among men.
The blessing of my later years
Was with me when a boy :
She gave me eyes, she gave me ears ;
And humble cares, and delicate fears ;
A heart, the fountain of sweet tears :
And love, and thought, and joy.
FAREWELL, thou little nook of mountain ground,
Thou rocky corner in the lowest stair
Of that magnificent temple which doth bound
One side of our whole vale with grandeur rare ;
Sweet garden-orchard, eminently fair,
The loveliest spot that man hath ever found,
Farewell ! - we leave thee to Heav'n's peaceful care,
Thee, and the cottage which thou dost surround.
Our boat is safely anchord by the shore,
And safely she will ride when we are gone ;
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
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.
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.
And, turning homeward, now they cried, 'In heaven we all shall meet !'
When in the snow the mother spied The print of Lucy's feet. Then downward from the steep hill's edge They track'd the footmarks small ; And through the broken hawthorn hedge, And by the long stone wall :
And then an open field they crossd :
The marks were still the same;
They track'd them on, nor ever lost;
And to the bridge they came.
They follow'd from the snowy bank
The footmarks, one by one,
Into the middle of the plank ;
And further there were none !
– Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child ;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild.
O’er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind ;
And sings a solitary song,
That whistles in the wind.
BEHOLD her, single in the field,
Yon solitary Highland lass !
Reaping and singing by herself.
Stop here, or gently pass !
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be ;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!
I TRAVELL'D among unknown men,
In lands beyond the sea ;
Nor, England ! did I know till then
What love I bore to thee.
'Tis past, that melancholy dream !
Nor will I quit thy shore
A second time; for still I seem
To love thee more and more.
Among the mountains did I feel
The joy of my desire ;
And she I cherish'd turn'd her wheel
Beside an English fire.
Thy mornings show'd, thy nights conceal'd
The bowers where Lucy play'd ; And thine is too the last green field
That Lucy's eyes survey'd.
I MET Louisa in the shade ;
And, having seen that lovely maid,
Why should I fear to say
That she is ruddy, fleet, and strong ;
And down the rocks can leap along,
Like rivulets in May?