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Vet did the glowing west in all its power
Salute us: there stood Indian citadel.
Temple of Greece, and minster with its tower
Substantially expressed—a place for bell
Or clock to toll from. Many a tempting isle.
With groves that never were imagined, lay
Mid seas how steadfast! objects all for the eye
Of silent rapture; but we felt the while
We should forget them ; they are of the sky,
And from our earthly memory fade away!
These words were uttered as in pensive mood
We turned, departing from that solemn sight:
A contract and reproach to gross delight,
And life's unspiritual pleasures daily wooed I
But now upon this thought I cannot brood;
It is unstable as a dream of night;
Nor will I praise a cloud, however bright,
Disparaging man's gifts, and proper food.
Grove, isle, with every shape of sky-bxiilt dome.
Though clad in colours beautiful and pure.
Find in the heart of man no natural home:
The immortal mind craves objects that endure:
These cleave to it; from these it cannot roam.
Nor they from it: their fellowship is secure.
COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE.
Eaeth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This city now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill:
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
Ye sacred nurseries of blooming youth!
In whose collegiate shelter England's flowers
Expand—enjoying through their vernal hours
The air of liberty, the light of truth;
Much have ye suffered from Time's gnawing tooth,
Yet, O ye spires of Oxford! domes and towers!
Gardens and groves! your presence overpowers
The soberness of reason; till, in sooth,
Transformed, and rushing on a bold exchange,
I slight my own beloved Cam, to range
Where silver Isis leads my stripling feet;
Pace the long avenue, or glide adown
The stream-like windings of that glorious street,
An eager novice robed in fluttering gown!
Shame on this faithless heart! that could allow Such transport—though but for a moment's space; Not while—to aid the spirit of the place— The crescent moon clove with its glittering prow The clouds, or night-bird sang from shady bough, But in plain daylight:—She too, at my side, Who, with her heart's experience satisfied, Maintains inviolate its slightest vow! Sweet fancy! other gifts must I receive; Proofs of a higher sovereignty I claim; Take from her brow the withering flowers of eve. And to that brow life's morning wreath restore:
Let her be comprehended in the frame
Of these illusions, or they please no more.
THE PORTRAIT OF HENRY VIII., TRINITY
The imperial stature, the colossal stride,
Are yet before me; yet do I behold
The broad full visage, chest of amplest mould,
The vestments broidered with barbaric pride:
And lo! a poniard, at the monarch's side,
Hangs ready to be grasped in sympathy
With the keen threatenings of that fulgent eye,
Below the white-rimmed bonnet, far descried.
Who trembles now at thy capricious mood?
Mid those surrounding worthies, haughty king!
We rather think, with grateful mind sedate,
How Providence educeth, from the spring
Of lawless will, unlooked-for streams of good.
Which neither force shall check nor time abate.
ON THE DEATH OF GEORGE III.
Ward of the law !—dread shadow of a king!
Whose realm had dwindled to one stately room;
Whose universe was gloom immersed in gloom,
Darkness as thick as life o'er life could fling,
Save haply for some feeble glimmering
Of faith and hope; if thou, by nature's doom,
Gently hast sunk into the quiet tomb,
Why should we bend in grief, to sorrow cling,
When thankfulness were best? Fresh-flowing tears.
Or, where tears flow not, sigh succeeding sigh,
Yield to such afterthought the sole reply
Which justly it can claim. The nation hears
In this deep knell—silent for threescore years,
An unexampled voice of awful memory.
A PARSONAGE IN OXFORDSHIRE.
Wheee holy ground begins, unhallowed ends,
Is marked by no distinguishable line;
The turf unites, the pathways intertwine;
And, wheresoe'er the stealing footstep tends,
Garden, and that domain where kindred, friends,
And neighbours rest together, here confound
Their several features, mingled like the sound
Of many waters, or as everting blends
With'shady night. Soft airs, from shrub and flower,
Waft fragrant greetings to each silent grave,
And white those lofty poplars gently wave
Their tops, between them comes and goes a sky
Bright as the glimpses of eternity,
To saints accorded in their mortal hour.
COMPOSED AMONG THE RUINS OF A
CASTLE IN NORTH WALES.
Theough shattered galleries, mid roofless halls,
Wandering with timid footstep oft betrayed,
The stranger sighs, nor scruples to upbraid
Old Time, though he, gentlest among the thralls
Of destiny, upon these wounds hath laid
His lenient touches, soft as light that falls
From the wan moon, upon the towers and walls,
Light deepening the profoundest sleep of shade.
Relic of kings! wreck of forgotten wars,
To winds'abandoned and the prying stars,
Time loves thee! at his call the seasons twine
Luxuriant wreaths around thy forehead hoar;
And, though past pomp no changes can restore,
A soothing recompense, his gift, is thine!
TO THE TORRENT AT THE DEVIL'S
BRIDGE, NORTH WALES.
How art thou named? In search of what strange land.
From what huge height, descending? Can such force
Of waters issue from a British source?
Or hath not Pindus fed thee, where the band
Of patriots scoop their freedom out, with hand
Desperate as thine? Or, come the incessant shocks
From that young stream, that smites the throbbing rocks
Of Via Mala? There I seem to stand,
As in life's morn; permitted to behold.
From the dread chasm, woods climbing above woods
In pomp that fades not, everlasting snows.
And skies that ne'er relinquish their repose:
Such power possess the family of floods
Over the minds of poets, young or old!
Though narrow be that old man's cares, and near,
The poor old man is greater than he seems:
For he hath waking empire, wide as dreams:
An ample sovereignty of eye and ear.
Rich are his walks with supernatural cheer;
The region of his inner spirit teems
With vital sounds and monitory gleams
Of high astonishment and pleasing fear.
He the seven birds hath seen, that never part;
Seen the Seven Whistlers in their nightly rounds.
And counted them: and oftentimes will start—
For overhead are sweeping Gabriel's hounds.
Doomed, with their impious lord, the flying hart
To chase for ever, on aerial grounds!