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My Soul was grateful for delight
That wore a threatening brow;
A veil is lifted — can she slight
The scene that opens now?
Though habitation none appear,
The greenness tells, man must be there;
The shelter - that the perspective
Is of the clime in which we live;
Where Toil pursues his daily round;
Where Pity sheds sweet tears, and Love,
In woodbine bower or birchen grove,
Inflicts his tender wound.
- Who comes not hither ne'er shall know
How beautiful the world below;
Nor can he guess how lightly leaps
The brook adown the rocky steeps.
Farewell, thou desolate Domain !
Hope, pointing to the cultured Plain,
Carols like a shepherd boy ;
And who is she ? — Can that be Joy!
Who, with a sun-beam for her guide,
Smoothly skims the meadows wide;
While Faith, from yonder opening cloud,
To hill and vale proclaims aloud,
“ Whate'er the weak may dread, the wicked dare,
Thy lot, O man, is good, thy portion fair!"
EVENING ODE, COMPOSED UPON AN EVENING OF EXTRAORDINARY SPLENDOR
Had this effulgence disappeared
With flying haste, I might have sent,
Among the speechless clouds, a look
Of blank astonishment;
But 'tis endued with power to stay,
And sanctify one closing day,
That frail Mortality may see, —
What is ? — ah no, but what can be !
Time was when field and watery cove
With modulated echoes rang,
While choirs of fervent Angels sang
Their vespers in the grove;
Or, ranged like stars along some sovereign height,
Warbled, for heaven above and earth below,
Strains suitable to both. — Such holy rite,
Methinks, if audibly repeated now
From hill or valley, could not move
Sublimer transport, purer love,
Than doth this silent spectacle -- the gleam -
The shadow - and the peace supreme !
No sound is uttered, — but a deep And solemn harmony pervades The hollow vale from steep to steep, And penetrates the glades. Far-distant images draw nigh, Called forth by wonderous potency Of beamy radiance, that imbues Whate'er it strikes, with gem-like hues ! In vision exquisitely clear, Herds range along the mountain side ; And glistening antlers are descried; And gilded flocks appear. Thine is the tranquil hour, purpureal Eve! But long as god-like wish, or hope divine, Informs my spirit, ne'er can I believe That this magnificence is wholly thine ! - From worlds not quickened by the sun A portion of the gift is won; An intermingling of Heaven's pomp is spread On ground which British shepherds tread!
And, if there be whom broken ties
Afflict, or injuries assail,
Yon hazy ridges to their eyes,
Present a glorious scale,
Climbing suffused with sunny air,
To stop — no record hath told where !
And tempting fancy to ascend,
And with immortal Spirits blend !
- Wings at my shoulder seem to play;
But, rooted here, I stand and gaze
On those bright steps that heaven-ward raise
Their practicable way.
Come forth, ye drooping old men, look abroad
And see to what fair countries ye are bound !
And if some Traveller, weary of his road,
Hath slept since noon-tide on the grassy ground,
Ye Genii ! to his covert speed;
And wake him with such gentle heed
As may attune his soul to meet the dower
Bestowed on this transcendent hour !