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CHAPTER III.

[Chang alone, upon a hill commanding a wide and

various prospect. The River flowing immediately beneath. Time, Noon.]

“Ha! ha! roll on thou glorious Wave!

“Sing out thou fresh and mirthful Air ! “ Joy! joy! my free heart now can brave

“ Your taunts 'twas madness once to bear! “ The wild voice of your liberty

“ Can mock my sullen soul no more! “ _How bright are ye, sweet Earth and Sky, - That were so dark before!

[Motioning away a herd of cattle that

approach towards him gazing.] “ Away! away! my heart is coy;

“ Nature is now my Empire! None

“Shall share awhile my new-found throne ! “Ha! ha! the joy—the bounding joy

“ To be alone-ALONE!"

And on he sped—and, aye, his tread

Was light as if his heart was there ! And (his path beside) the River's tide,

Danced featly to the piping Air.

From the herbage young* the laverock sprung,

And the bird with the jetty wing That Alieth low by the copse--alsó

Sang its hymn to the loving Spring !

And the Sun shone bright—and the happy light

On the greenwood glade was quivering, While the birds in and out the boughs about

Made the deft leaves softly shivering.

Delight was mirror'd on the Earth,

The very clouds were gay;
Time at the Spring that saw his birth,
Gives all the world a holiday !

He came unto a silent pool,

Smooth lay the wave scarce ripplé-ing,
For trees around the margent cool
Had dull’d the light wind's crisping wing.

*“ And softè as velvet the yonge grass."-Chaucer.

Silent he stood, and gazed upon
His image in the water shown,
Around his form his glad hands passing,
That form alone the clear wave glassing.
Then his lips moved, but without speaking,
Smiles only round them mutely breaking ;
And up to the delicious skies
He raised the deep joy of his eyes.

The fish were glancing through the tide,

The fairy birds rejoicing by,
Save these—and God—were none beside

The witness of his ecstacy!

And there for hours he staid, until
Day died along the western hill ;
And slowly then he homeward went,

And o'er his face a graver thought
Had fallen like a veil; he bent

His eyes upon the earth, nor sought Round, as before, each thing most fair The rapture of his soul to share.

From Truth, how blest soever, flown,

His heart is now on visions dwelling, That love no more a mock to own

He dreams to Mary he is telling.

Poor youth !-what thoughts—what hopes are his !

And coloured by the present mood The future glows; and on its bliss No fear-no doubt intrude.

Mary his own, through life to roam,
Her smile his star, her breast his home;
That single hope in every shade
Or wave of thought reflected play'd.
Nor marvel that no fear disturbed
Joy's free delight but just uncurbed ;
That form and face so rude should deem
That Love could yet the mould beseem :
And bid that love round one so fair
Entwine its links, and not despair!
So loathly had his fancy shaped
That bondage but so lately ’scaped ;
So there had every thought of shame
Or self-abasement found a name ;
That that One sense of degradation
Had merged each less humiliation.

And well we may conceive he ne'er

Remarked aught odious or unseemly In features all his nation share,

And think-so Crauford says-extremely Handsome: worse errors here have root, I Have heard such Gorgons praised for beauty !

(For every where our lawless taste
The strangest monsters hath embraced ;
But this fact useless to repeat is ;
-Just get my learned namesake’s* treatise.)

And, after all, there are some hours
When every thought comes clothed in flowers.
When nought's too bright for us to share,
Nor aught too high for Hope to dare ;
When the veins seem to bound a flood
More nimble than the wonted blood;
Some ether, whose quick spirit bears
A sort of kindred with Heaven's airs,
And, if mix'd with aught of Earth,
Refines it with a subtle mirth.
Hours when the heart leaps out beyond

The thought—the mere thought-to despond.
When the smooth Judgment pileth schemes
That mock the laggard Fancy's dreams.
Hours in which those high plans that leave
Our very Race below we weave.
Hours that have leapt at once to glory ;
Hours that have given more names to story
Than ages of the life we plod,
(The bright spark dormant in the clod,)
When only Ice and Prudence rule us ;
Or Folly must be tamed to fool us ;
* That very quaint amusing old book, “ The Artificial Changeling.”

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