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TWILIGHT. Hail, Twilight, sovereign of one peaceful hour I Not dull art thou as undiscerning night: Hut studious only to remove from sight Day's mutable distinctions. Ancient power! Thus did the waters gleam, the mountains lower, To the rude Briton, when, in wolfskin vest, Here roving wild, he laid him down to rest On the bare rock, or through a leafy bower Looked ere his eyes were closed. By him was seen The self-same vision which we now behold, At thy meek bidding^ shadowy power! brought forth; These mighty barriers, and the gulf between; The floods—the stars—a spectacle as old As the beginning of the heavens and earth!


Even as the dragon's eye that feels the stress

Of a bedimming sleep, or as a lamp

Suddenly glaring through sepulchral damp,

So burns yon taper mid a black recess

Of mountains, silent, dreary, motionless:

The lake below reflects it not; the sky

Muffled in clouds affords no company

To mitigate and cheer its loneliness.

Yet around the body of that joyous thing,

Which sends so far its melancholy light,

Perhaps are seated in domestic ring

A gay society with faces bright,

Conversing, reading, laughing ;—or they sing,

While hearts and voices in the song unite.

Maek the concentred hazeh that enclose
Yon old gray >tone, protected from the ray

Of noontide suns: and even the beams that play
And glance, while wantonly the rough wind blows,
.Are seldom free to touch the moss that grows
Upon that roof—amid embowering gloom
The very image framing of a tomb,
tn which some ancient chieftain finds repose
Among the lonely mountains. Live, ye trees!
And thou, gray stone, the pensive likeness keep
Of a dark chamber where the mighty sleep:
Far more than fancy to the influence bends
When solitary Nature condescends
To mimic Time's forlorn humanities.


As the cold aspect of a sunless way

Strikes through the traveller's frame with deadlier chil

Oft as appears a grove, or obvious hill,

Glistening with unparticipated ray,

Or shining slope where he must never stray:

So joys remembered without wish or will,

Sharpen the keenest edge of present ill,—

On the crushed heart a heavier burthen lay.

Jtist Heaven, contract the compass of my mind

To fit proportion with my altered state!

Quench those felicities whose light I find

Reflected in my bosom all too late!

Oh, be my spirit like my thraldom, strait;

And, like mine eyes that stream with sorrow, blind

Brook! whose society the poet seeks
Intent his wasted spirits to renew;
And whom the curious painter doth pursue
Through rocky passes, among flowery creeks,
And tracks thee dancing down thy water-breaks:
If wish were mine some type of thee to view,
Thee, and not thee thyself, I would not do
Like Grecian artists, give thee human cheeks,
Channels for tears; no naiad shouldst thou be,
Have neither limbs, feet, feathers, joints nor hairc:
It seems the eternal soul is clothed in thee
With purer robes than those of flesh and blood,
And hath bestowed on thee a better good;
Unwearied joy, and life without its cares.

Dogmatic teachers of the snow-white fur!
Ye wranglmg schoolmen of the scarlet hood!
Who with a keenness not to be withstood,
Press the point home,—or falter and demur,
Checked in your course by many a teasing burr:
These natural council scats your acrid blood
Might cool:—and as the genius of the flood
Stoops willingly to animate and spur
Each lighter function slumbering in the brain,
Yon eddying balls of foam—these arrowy gleams,
That o'er the pavement of the surging streams
Welter and flash —a synod might detam
With subtle speculations, haply vain,
But surely less so than your far-fetched themes!


Puee element of waters! wheresoe'er

Thou dost forsake thy subterranean haunts.

Green herbs, bright flowers, and berry-bearing plants,

Rise into life and in thy train appear:

And, through the sunny portion of the year,

Swift insects shine, thy hovering pursuivants;

And, if thy bounty fail, the forest pants;

And hart and hind and hunter with his spear,

Languish and droop together. Nor unfelt

In man's perturbed soul thy sway benign;

And, haply, far within the marble belt

Of central earth, where tortured spirits pine

For grace and goodness lost, thy murmurs melt

Their anguish,—and they blend sweet songs with thine.


Was the aim frustrated by force or guile,

When giants scooped from out the rocky ground

Tier under tier—this semicirque profound?

(Giants—the same who built in Erin's isle

That causeway with incomparable toil'.)

Oh, had this vast theatric structure wound

With finished sweep into a perfect round,

No mightier work had gained the plausive smile

Of all-beholding Phcebus! But, alas.

Vain earth !—false world !—Foundations must be 1aid

In heaven; for, mid the wreck of is and Was,

Things incomplete, and purposes betrayed,

Make sadder transits o'er Truth's mystic glass

Than noblest objects utterly decayed.

At early dawn, or rather when the air
Glimmers with fading light, and shadowy eve
Is busiest to confer and to bereave,
Then, pensive votary! let thy feet repair
To Gordale-chasm, terrific as the lair
Where the young lions couch; for so, by leave
Of the propitious hour, thou mayst perceive
"** •: local deity, with oozy hair

And mineral crown, beside his jagged urn

Recumbent. Him thou mayst behold, who hides

His lineaments by day, yet there presides,

Teaching the docile waters how to turn;

Or, if need be, impediment to spurn,

And force their passage to the salt-sea tides!


A Weight of awe not easy to be borne *

Fell suddenly upon my spirit—cast

From the dread bosom of the unknown past,

When first I saw that sisterhood forlorn;

And her, whose massy strength and stature scorn

The power of years—pre-eminent, and placed

Apart—to overlook the circle vast.

Speak, giant-mother! tell it to the morn

While she dispels the cumbrous shades of night;

Let the moon hear, emerging from a cloud,

At whose behest uprose on British ground

Thy progeny; in hieroglyphic round

Forth-shadowing, some have deemed, the infinite.

The inviolable God, that tames the proud!


THE HAMILTON HILLS. Dark and more dark the shades of evenmg fell; The wished-for point was reached, but late the hour: And little could be gained from all that dower Of prospect, whereof many thousands tell.

• Xliis megalithic monument is near the river Eden. The daughters of Long Meg, placed in a perfect circle, eighty yards in diameter, are seventy-two in number, and from more than three yards above ground, to less than so many feet : a little way out of the circle stands Long Meg herself, a single stone, eighteen feet high.

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