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To me, whom in their lays the shepherds call Actæa, daughter of the neighbouring stream, This cave belongs. The fig-tree and the vine, Which o'er the rocky entrance downward shoot, Were placed by Glycon. He with cowslips pale, Primrose, and purple lychnis, decked the green Before my threshold, and my shelving walls With honeysuckle covered. Here at noon, Lulled by the murmur of my rising fount, I slumber. Here my clust'ring fruits I tend; Or from my humid flow'rs at break of day Fresh garlands weave; and chase from all my bounds Each thing impure and noxious. Enter in, O stranger! undismayed. Nor bat, nor toad Here lurks; and if thy breast of blameless thought Approve thee, not unwelcome shalt thou tread My quiet mansion:-chiefly if thy name Wise Pallas and the immortal Muses own.
COME, pensive Sage, who lov'st to dwell
In some retired Lapponian cell,
Where far from noise and riot rude,
Resides sequestered solitude.
Come, and o'er my longing soul
Throw thy dark and russet stole,
And open to my duteous eyes
The volume of thy mysteries.
I will meet thee on the hill
Where, with printless footstep still,
The morning in her buskin grey
Springs upon her eastern way;
While the frolic zephyrs stir,
Playing with the gossamer,
And, on ruder pinions borne,
Shake the dew-drops from the thorn.
There, as o'er the fields we pass,
Brushing with hasty feet the grass,
We will startle from her nest
The lively lark with speckled breast,
And hear the floating clouds among
Her gale-transported matin song;
Or on the upland stile, embowered
With fragrant hawthorn snowy-flowered,
Will sauntering sit, and listen still,
To the herdsman's oaten quill
Wafted from the plain below;
Or the heifer's frequent low;
Or the milkmaid in the grove,
Singing of one that died for love.
Or when the noontide heats oppress,
We will seek the dark recess
Where, in the embowered translucent stream,
The cattle shun the sultry beam;
And o'er us, on the marge reclined,
The drowsy fly her horn shall wind,
While echo, from her ancient oak,
Shall answer to the woodman's stroke;
Or the little peasant's song,
Wandering lone the glens among,
His artless lip with berries dyed,
And feet through ragged shoes descried.
But, oh, when evening's virgin Queen
Sits on her fringed throne serene,
We will seek the woody lane,
By the hamlet on the plain,
Where the weary rustic nigh
Shall whistle his wild melody,
And the croaking wicket oft
Shall echo from the neighbouring croft;
Or else, serenely silent, sit
By the brawling rivulet,
Which on its calm unruffled breast
Rears the old mossy arch impressed
That clasps its secret stream of gl.
Half hid in shrubs and waving grass,
The wood-nymph's lone secure retreat,
Unpressed by faun or sylvan's feet;
We'll watch in Eve's ethereal braid
The rich vermilion slowly fade;
Or catch, faint twinkling from afar,
The first glimpse of the eastern star.
And haply, then, with sudden swell,
Shall roar the distant curfew bell,
While in the castle's mouldering tower
The hooting owl is heard to pour
Her melancholy song, and scare
Dull silence brooding in the air.
Then, hermit, let us turn our feet
To the lone Abbey's still retreat,
Embowered in the distant glen,
Far from the busy haunts of men,
Where, as we sit upon the tomb,
The glow-worm's light may gild the gloom,
And show to Fancy's saddest eye
Where some lost hero's ashes lie.
And oh, as through the mouldering arch,
With ivy filled and weeping larch,
The night-gale whispers sadly clear,
Speaking dear things to fancy's ear,
We'll hold communion with the shade
Of some deep-wailing ruined maid-
Or call the ghost of Spenser down,
To tell of woe and fortune's frown;
And bid us cast the eye of hope,
Beyond this bad world's narrow scope.
Or if these joys to us denied,
To linger by the forest's side,
Or in the meadow or the wood,
Or by the lone romantic flood,
Let us in the busy town,
When sleep's dull streams the people drown,
Far from drowsy pillows flee,
And turn the church's massy key;
Then, as through the painted glass
The moon's pale beams obscurely pass,
And darkly on the trophied wall
Her faint ambiguous shadows fall,
Let us, while the faint winds wail
Through the long reluctant aisle,
As we pace with reverence meet,
Count the echoings of our feet,
While from the tombs, with confessed breath,
Distinct responds the voice of death.
If thou, mild Sage, wilt condescend
Thus on my footsteps to attend,
To thee my lonely lamp shall burn
By fallen Genius' sainted urn!
As o’er the scroll of Time I pore,
And sagely spell of ancient lore,
Till I can rightly guess of all
That Plato could to memory call;
And scan the formless views of things;
Or, with old Egypt's fettered kings,
Arrange the mystic trains that shine
In night's high philosophic mine;
And to thy name shall e'er belong
The honours of undying song.
H. K. White.