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RESTORATION OF MALMESBURY ABBEY.
Monastic and time-consecrated fane !
Thou hast put on thy shapely state again,
Almost august, as in thy early day,
Ere ruthless Henry rent thy pomp away.
No more the mass on holidays is sung,
The host high-raised, or fuming censer swung ;
No more, in amice white, the fathers, slow,
With lighted tapers, in long order go ;-
Yet the tall window lifts its arched height,
As to admit heaven's pale but purer light;
Those massy-cluster'd columns, whose long rows,
E'en at noon-day, in shadowy pomp repose
Amid the silent sanctity of death,
Like giants, seem to guard the dust beneath :
Those roofs re-echo (though no altars blaze)
The prayer of penitence, the hymn of praise ;
Whilst meek Religion's self, as with a smile,
Reprints the tracery of the hoary pile,-
Worthy its guest, the temple. What remains ?
Oh, mightiest Master ! thy immortal strains
These roofs demand. Listen,-with prelude slow,
Solemnly sweet, yet full, the organs blow.
And, hark ! again, heard ye the choral chaunt
Peal through the echoing arches, jubilant?
More softly now, imploring litanies,
Wafted to heaven, and mingling with the sighs
Of penitence, from yon high altar rise :
Again the vaulted roof “ Hosannah” rings-
“ Hosannah! Lord of lords, and King of kings !"
Rent, but not prostrate,-stricken, yet sublime,
Reckless alike of injuries or time;
Thou unsubdued, in silent majesty,
The tempest hast defied, and shalt defy !
The temple of our Sion so shall mock
The muttering storm, the very earthquake's shock,
Founded, O Christ, on thy eternal rock !
su MMER. Ew ENING, AT HOME.
CoME, lovely Evening, with thy smile of peace
Visit my humble dwelling, welcomed in,
Not with loud shouts, and the throng'd city's din,
But with such sounds as bid all tumult cease
Of the sick heart; the grasshopper's faint pipe
Beneath the blades of dewy grass unripe,
The bleat of the lone lamb, the carol rude
Heard indistinctly from the village green,
The bird's last twitter from the hedge-row scene,
Where, just before, the scatter'd crumbs I strew'd,
To pay him for his farewell song, all these
Touch soothingly the troubled ear, and please
The stilly-stirring fancies, though my hours
(For I have droop'd beneath life's early show'rs)
Pass lonely oft, and oft my heart is sad;
Yet I can leave the world, and feel most glad
To meet thee, Evening, here; here my own hand
Has deck'd with trees and shrubs the slopes around,
And whilst the leaves by dying airs are fann'd,
Sweet to my spirit comes the farewell sound,
That seems to say, “Forget the transient tear
Thy pale youth shed,—repose and peace are here.”
FAIR moon! that at the chilly day's decline
Of sharp December, through my cottage pane
Dost lovely look, smiling, though in thy wane;
In thought, to scenes, serene and still as thine,
Wanders my heart, whilst I by turns survey
Thee slowly wheeling on thy evening way;
And this my fire, whose dim, unequal light,
Just glimmering, bids each shadowy image fall
Sombrous and strange upon the dark'ning wall,
Ere the clear tapers chase the deep'ning night!
Yet thy still orb, seen through the freezing haze,
Shines calm and clear without; and whilst I gaze
I think—around me in this twilight room—
I but remark mortality's sad gloom;
Whilst hope, and joy, cloudless and soft appear
O TIME who know'st a lenient hand to lay
Softest on sorrow's wound, and slowly thence
(Lulling to sad repose the weary sense)
The faint pang stealest, unperceived, away;
On thee I rest my only hope at last,
And think, when thou hast dried the bitter tear
That flows in vain o'er all my soul held dear,
I may look back on every sorrow past,
And meet life's peaceful evening with a smile,
As some lone bird, at day's departing hour
Sings in the sunbeam of the transient shower,
Forgetful, though its wings are wet the while :-
Yet, ah! how much must that poor heart endure
Which hopes from thee, and thee alone, a cure'
ON these white cliffs, that calm above the flood,
Uplift their shadowing heads, and, at their feet,
Scarce hear the surge that has for ages beat,
Sure many a lonely wand'rer has stood;
And, whilst the lifted murmur met his ear,
And o'er the distant billows the still eve
Sail'd slow, has thought of all his heart must leave
To-morrow; of the friends he loved most dear;
Of social scenes, from which he wept to part:
But, if like me, he knew how fruitless all
The thoughts that would full fain the past recall,
Soon would he quell the risings of his heart,
And brave the wild winds and unhearing tide—
The world his country, and his God his guide.
As one, who, long by wasting sickness worn,
Weary has watch'd the ling'ring night, and heard,
Heartless the carol of the matin bird
Salute his lonely porch, now first at morn
Goes forth, leaving his melancholy bed;
He the green slope and level meadow views,
Delightful bathed in slow-ascending dews;
In varying forms fantastic wander white;
Or turns his ear to every random song,
Heard the green river's winding marge along, The whilst each sense is steep'd in still delight: With such delight o'er all my heart I feel, Sweet Hope! thy fragrance pure and healing incense steal!
Whose was the gentle voice, that, whispering sweet,
Promised, methought, long days of bliss sincere?
Soothing it stole on my deluded ear, Most like soft music, that might sometimes cheat Thoughts dark and drooping! 'Twas the voice of Hope :
Of love and social scenes, it seem'd to speak,
Of truth, of friendship, of affection meek;
That oh! poor friend, might to life's downward slope
Lead us in peace, and bless our latest hours.
Ah me! the prospect sadden'd as she sung ;
Loud on my startled ear the death-bell rung; Chill darkness wrapt the pleasurable bow'rs,
Whilst horror, pointing to yon breathless clay, “ No peace be thine,” exclaim'd, “ away! away!"
How shall I meet thee, Summer, wont to fill
My heart with gladness, when thy pleasant tide
First came, and on each coomb's romantic side
Was heard the distant cuckoo's hollow bill?
Fresh flow'rs shall fringe the wild brink of the stream,
As with the song of joyance and of hope,
The hedge-rows shall ring aloud, and on the slope
The poplars sparkle on the transient beam,
The shrubs and laurels which I love to tend,
Thinking their May-tide fragrance might delight,
With many a peaceful charm, thee, my best friend,
Shall put forth their green shoot, and cheer the sight! But I shall mark their hues with sick’ning eyes,
Fall'n pile! I ask not what has been thy fate ;
But when the weak winds, wafted from the main,
Through each rent arch, like spirits that complain, Come hollow to my ear, I meditate On this world's passing pageant, and the lot
Of those who once full proudly in their prime
And beauteous might have stood, till bow'd by time Or injury, their early boast forgot, They may have fallen like thee: pale and forlorn,
Their brows, besprent with thin hairs, white as snow,
They lift, majestic yet, as they would scorn
This short-lived scene of vanity and woe;
Whilst on their sad looks, smilingly, they bear
The trace of creeping age, and the dim hue of care !
I shall look back, when on the main,
Back to my native isle,
And almost think I hear again
Thy voice, and view thy smile.
But many days may pass away
Ere I again shall see
Amid the young, the fair, the gay,-
One who resembles thee.
Yet when the pensive thought shall dwell
On some ideal maid,
Whom fancy's pencil pictured well,
And touched with softest shade :
The imaged form I shall survey,
And, pausing at the view,
Recal thy gentle smile, and say,
“Oh, such a maid I knew !"