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ADDRESS TO THE OCEAN.
BARRY CORNWALL. O THOU VAST OCEAN! ever-sounding sea! Thou symbol of a drear immensity! Thou thing that windest round the solid world Like a huge animal, which, downward hurled From the black clouds, lies weltering and alone, Lashing and writhing till its strength be gone. Thy voice is like the thunder, and thy sleep Is like a giant's slumber, loud and deep. Thou speakest in the east and in the west At once, and on thy heavily-laden breast Fleets come and go, and shapes that have no life Or motion, yet are moved and meet in strife. The earth hath nought of this: nor chance nor change Ruffles its surface, and no spirits dare Give answer to the tempest-waken'd air: But o'er its wastes the weakly tenants range At will, and wound its bosom as they go. Ever the same, it hath no ebb, no flow; But in their stated round the seasons come, And pass like visions to their viewless home, And come again and vanish: the young Spring Looks ever bright with leaves and blossoming, And Winter always winds his sullen horn, And the wild Autumn with a look forlorn Dies in his stormy manhood; and the skies Weep and flowers sicken when the Summer flies. Oh! wonderful thou art, great element; And fearful in thy spleeny humours bent, And lovely in repose: thy summer form Is beautiful, and when thy silver waves Make music in earth's dark and winding caves, I love to wander on thy pebbled beach, Marking the sunlight at the evening hour, And hearken to the thoughts thy waters teach-“Eternity, eternity, and power.”
THE LAST MINSTREL.
Sir WALTER SCOTT.
THE WAY was long, the wind was cold,
The Minstrel was infirm and old;
His wither'd cheek, and tresses gray,
Seem'd to have known a better day;
The harp, his sole remaining joy,
Was carried by an orphan boy;
The last of all the Bards was he,
Who sung of border chivalry;
For, well-a-day! their date was fled,
His tuneful brethren all were dead;
And he, neglected and oppress’d,
Wish'd to be with them, and at rest.
No more on prancing palfrey borne,
He carollid, light as lark at morn;
No longer courted and caress'd,
High placed in hall, a welcome guest,
He pour'd, to lord and lady gay,
The unpremeditated lay:
Old times were changed, old manners gone;
A stranger fillid the Stuarts' throne;
The bigots of the iron time
Had call'd his harmless art a crime.
A wandering Harper, scorn'd and poor,
He begg'd his bread from door to door.
And tuned, to please a peasant's ear,
The harp a king bad loved to hear.
He pass'd where Newark's stately tower Looks out from Yarrow's birchen bower: The Minstrel gazed with wishful eyeNo humbler resting-place was nigh, With hesitating step at last, The embattled portal arch he pass'd, Whose ponderous grate and massy bar, Had oft rollid back the tide of war, But never closed the iron door Against the desolate and poor. The Duchess marked his weary pace, His timid mien, and reverend face, And bade her page the menials tell, That they should tend the old man well: For she had knowrı adversity, Though born in such a high degree: In pride of power, in beauty's bloom, Had wept o'er Monmouth's bloody tomb!
When kindness had his wants supplied, And the old man was gratified, Began to rise his minstrel pride: And he began to talk anon, Of good Earl Francis, dead and gone, And of Earl Walter, rest him, God! A braver ne'er to battle rode; And how full many a tale he knew, Of the old warriors of Buccleuch : And, would the noble Duchess deign To listen to an old man's strain, Though stiff his hand, his voice though weak, He thought even yet, the sooth to speak, That, if she loved the harp to hear, He could make music to her ear.
The humble boon was soon obtain'd;
The Aged Minstrel audience gain'd.
But when he reach'd the room of state,
Where she, with all her ladies, sate,
Perchance he wish'd his boon denied :
For, when to tune his harp he tried,
His trembling hand had lost the ease,
Which marks security to please;
And scenes, long past, of joy and pain,
Came wildering o'er his aged brain-
He tried to tune his harp in vain!
The pitying Duchess praised its chime,
And gave him heart, and gave him time,
Till every string's according glee
Was blended into harmony.
And then, he said, he would full fain
He could recall an ancient strain,
He never thought to sing again.
It was not framed for village churls,
But for high dames and mighty earls ;
He play'd it to King Charles the Good,
When he kept court in Holyrood;
And much he wish’d, yet fear'd, to try
The long-forgotten melody
Amid the strings his fingers stray'd,
And an uncertain warbling made,
And oft he shook his hoary head.
But when he caught the measure wild,
The old man raised his face, and smiled;
And lightend up his faded eye,
With all the poet's ecstasy!
In varying cadence, soft or strong,
He swept the sounding chords along:
The present scene, the future lot,
His toils, his wants, were all forgot:
Cold diffidence, and age's frost,
In the full tide of song were lost;
Each blank, in faithless memory void,
The poet's glowing thought supplied ;
And, while his harp responsive rung,
'Twas thus the LATEST MINSTREL sung.
THE NAMELESS MOUNTAIN STREAM.
Up from the shore of the placid lake
Wherein thou tumblest, murmuring low,
Over the meadow and through the brake,
And over the moor where the rushes grow,
I've traced thy course, thou gentle brook :-
I've seen thy life in all thy moods ;
I've seen thee lingering in the nook
Of the shady, fragrant, pine-tree woods;
I've seen thee starting and leaping down
The smooth high rocks and boulders brown;
I've tracked thee upwards, upwards still,
From the spot where the lonely birch-tree stands,
Low adown amid shingle and sands,
Over the brow of the ferny hill,
Over the moorland, purple dyed,
Over the rifts of granite grey,
Up to thy source on the mountain side,
Far away-oh, far away.
Beautiful stream! By rock and dell,
There's not an inch in all thy course
I have not tracked. I know thee well;
I know where blossoms the yellow gorse,
I know where waves the pale blue-bell,
And where the hidden violets dwell.
I know where the foxglove rears its head,
And where the heather tufts are spread;
I know where the meadow-sweets exhale,
And the white valerians load the gale.
I know the spot the bees love best,
And where the linnet has built her nest.
I know the bushes the grouse frequent,
And the nooks where the shy deer browse the bent.
I know each tree to thy fountain head-
The lady-birches, slim and fair :
The feathery larch, the rowans red,
The brambles trailing their tangled hair.
And each is linked to my waking thought
By some remembrance fancy-fraught.
I know the pools where the trout are found,
The happy trout, untouched by me.
I know the basins, smooth and round,
Worn by thy ceaseless industry,
Out of the hard and stubborn stone-
Fair clear basins where nymphs might float;
And where in the noon-time all alone
The brisk bold robin cleans his coat.
I know thy voice: I've heard thee sing
Many a soft and plaintive tune,
Like a lover's song in life's young spring,
Or Endymion's to the moon.
I've heard it deepen to a roar
When thou wert swollen by Autumn rains,
And rushed from the hill-tops to the plains,
A loud and passionate orator.
I've spoken to thee--and thou to me-
At morn, or noon, or closing night!
And ever the voice of thy minstrelsy
Has been companion of delight.
Yet, lovely stream, unknown to fame,
Thou hast oozed, and flowed, and leaped, and run,
Ever since Time its course begun,
Without a record, without a name.
I asked the shepherd on the hill-
He knew thee but as a common rill;
I asked the farmers' blue-eyed daughter-
She knew thee but as a running water;
I asked the boatman on the shore,
He was never asked to tell before-
Thou wert a brook, and nothing more.
Yet, stream, so dear to me alone,
I prize and cherish thee none the less
That thou flowest unseen, unpraised, unknown,
In the unfrequented wilderness.
Though none admire and lay to heart
How good and beautiful thou art,
Thy flowerets bloom, thy waters run,
And the free birds chant thy benison.
Beauty is beauty, though unseen ;
And those who live it all their days,
Find meet reward in their soul serene,
And the inner voice of prayer and praise.
Like thee, fair streamlet, undefiled,
Many a human virtue dwells,
Unknown of men, in the distant dells,
Or hides in the coverts of the wild.
Many a mind of richest worth,
Whether of high or of low estate,
Illumes the by-ways of the earth,
Unseen, but good; unknown, but great.
Many a happy and lovely soul
Lives beauty in the fields afar,
Or, 'mid the city's human shoal,
Shines like a solitary star.
THE LAKE OF THE DISMAL SWAMP.
THOMAS MOORE. “They tell of a young man, who lost his reason upon the death of a girl he loved, and who, suddenly disappearing from his friends, was never afterwards heard of. As he