« AnteriorContinuar »
As on she trips, her native stream, 5
Like her hath awoke from a joyful dream;
And glides away by her twinkling feet
With a face as bright, and a voice as sweet.
In the osier bank the ouzel sitting,
Hath heard her steps, and away is flitting
From stone to stone, as she glides along,
Then sinks in the stream with a broken song.
The lapwing, fearless of his nest,
Stands looking round with his delicate crest;
Or a love-like joy is in his cry,
As he wheels, and darts, and glances by.
Is the heron asleep on the silvery sand
Of his little lake Lo! his wings expand
As a dreamy thought, and withouten dread,
Cloud-like he floats o'er the maiden's head.
She looks to the birch-wood glade, and lo!
There is browsing there the mountain. roe,
Who lifts up her gentle eyes—nor moves
As on glides the form whom all nature loves.
Having spent in heaven an hour of mirth,
The lark drops down to the dewy earth;
And in silence smooths his yearning breast
In the gentle fold of his lowly nest,
The linnet takes up the hymn, unseen
In the yellow broom or the bracken green.
And now, as the morning hours are glowing,
From the hill-side cots the cocks are crowing ;
And the shepherd's dog is barking shrill
From the mist fast rising from the hill;
And the shepherd's self, with locks of grey,
Hath blessed the maiden on her way!
And now she sees her own dear flock
On a verdant mound beneath the rock—
All close together in beauty and love,
Like the small fair clouds in heaven above ;
And her innocent soul at the peaceful sight
Is swimming o'er with a still delight.
x: sk x: >k x: +
To whom belongs this valley fair,
That sleeps beneath the filmy air,
Even like a living Thing 2
Silent—as infant at the breast—
Save a still sound that speaks of rest,
That streamlet's murmuring !
The heavens appear to love this vale;
Here clouds with scarce-seen motion sail,
Or, mid the silence lie
By that blue arch, this beauteous earth
Mid evening's hour of dewy mirth,
Seems bound unto the sky.
O! that this lovely vale were mine,
Then, from glad youth to calm decline,
My years would gently glide ;
Hope would rejoice in endless dreams,
And memory's oft-returning gleams
By peace be sanctified.
There would unto my soul be given,
From presence of that gracious heaven,
A piety sublime !
And thoughts would come of mystic mood,
To make in this deep solitude
Eternity of Time!
And did I ask to whom belong'd
This vale I feel that I have wrong'd
Nature's most gracious soul!
She spreads her glories o'er the earth,
And all her children, from their birth,
Are joint-heirs of the whole !
Yea, long as Nature's humblest child
Hath kept her temple undefiled
By sinful sacrifice;
Earth's fairest scenes are all his own,
He is a monarch, and his throne
Is built amid the skies!
Methought that in a burial-ground
One still, sad vernal day,
Upon a little daisied mound
I in a slumber lay;
While faintly through my dream I heard
The hymning of that holy bird,
Who with more gushing rapture sings
The higher up in heaven float his unwearied wings :
In that my mournful reverie,
Such song of heavenly birth,
The voice seemed of a soul set free
From this imprisoning earth ;
Higher and higher still it soared,
A holy anthem that adored,—
Till vanished song and singer blest
In the blue depths of everlasting rest.
Just then a child in sportive glee
Came gliding o'er the graves,
Like a lone bird that on the sea
Floats dallying with the waves;
Upon the vernal flowers awhile
She pour'd the beauty of her smile,
Then laid her bright cheek on the sod,
And, overpowered with joy, slept in the eye of God.
The flowers that shine all round her head
May well be breathing sweet; -
For flowers are they that spring hath shed,
To deck her winding-sheet;
And well the tenderest gleams may fall
Of sunshine, on that hillock small
On which she sleeps, for they have smiled
O'er the predestined grave of that unconscious child.
In bridal garments, white as snow,
A solitary maid
Doth meekly bring a sunny glow
Into that solemn shade:
A church-yard seems a joyful place
In the visit of so sweet a face;
A soul is in that deep blue eye
Too good to live on earth, too beautiful to die.
But Death behind a marble tomb
Looks out upon his prey;
And smiles to know that heavenly bloom
Is yet of earthly clay.
Far off I hear a wailing wide,
And, while I gaze upon that bride,
A silent wraith before me stands,
And points unto a grave with cold, pale, clasped hands.
A matron, beautiful and bright,
As is the silver moon,
Whose lustre tames the sparkling light
Of the starry eyes of June,
Is shining o'er the church-yard lone;
While circling her as in a zone,
Delighted dance five cherubs fair,
And round their native urn shake wide their golden hair.
Oh! children they are holy things,
In sight of earth and heaven;
An angel shields with guardian wings
The home where they are given.
Strong power there is in children's tears,
And stronger in their lisped prayers;
But the vulture stoops down from above,
And, 'mid her orphan brood, bears off the parent dove.
The young-the youthful, -the mature
Have smiled and all past by,
As if nought lovely could endure
Beneath the envious sky;
While bow’d with age, and age's woes
Still near, yet still far off the close
Of weary life, yon aged crone
Can scarce with blind eyes find her husband's funeral-stone.
All dead the joyous, bright, and free,
To whom this life was dear!
The green leaves shiver'd from the tree,
And dangling left the sere !
O dim wild world !—but from the sky
Down came the glad lark waveringly;
And, startled by his liquid mirth,
I rose to walk in faith the darkling paths of earth.
Beside her babe, who sweetly slept,
A widow’d mother sat and wept
O'er years of love gone by:
And as the sobs thick-gathering came,
She murmur'd her dead husband's name
"Mid that sad lullaby.