Page images

Th'ambrosial space and charm the ravished


The loved duet which none but anglers hear.

The graceful trees around the mill-pool wave,

155 Majestic bending, and their tendrils lave;

Refreshed, the fanning breeze they trembling


And shed their diamond drops in sunny air.

Their various forms, reflected in the lake,

The brilliant colours of the rainbow take

160 Nature's kaleidoscope they seem to make.

So great a pleasure, when in patience watching

His dancing, quivering float, and fishes catching,

Enjoys the angler, free from worldly strife,

His cares forgetting, lost in peaceful life.

165 Sweet contemplation fills the transient hour,

O’er him the toils of life have lost their power; Silence around him reigns, his thoughts are


To rove 'midst peaceful shades, and happy be.

[blocks in formation]

175 To share in part, and recognise the sign

Of brighter scenes above, not earthly, but divine.

Allowed, the river stream may aptly show


The lasting state' 'mid Nature's works below;

[ocr errors]

Explained the cause why poets old, inspired,

180 The river chose, a type of life desired.

The birds their mates with twittering accents


With rustling wing in love each other meet';

Around they fly, with mutual aid to rig

Their nest with downy nap and tiny twig ;

185 The snug-wrought cell with wondrous art they


Enjoy their loves, enjoy sweet Valentine.

The various beasts all hail this happy hour,

And yield themselves to love's enchanting


Next, as we wander near the shaded brook,

190 We see the shepherd, laid aside his crook

(For well we might this toil his pastime deem),

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

195 Floats them, at length, adown the shallow


To well-washed comrades on the other side.

A custom, too, with other folk prevails,

To fence a portion of the stream with pales,

Wherein, enclosed, the fleecy bathers may

200 Swim, and then scamper through th' uplifted

hatch away.

And now at length the merry time draws


When shepherds all begin their sheep to shear;

For not in vain waist-deep the washers stood,

To cleanse the stubborn sheep within the flood.

205 Now a full price the fleeces shorn must earn,

And to the owner yield his just return:

This the reward of early toil and late,

rich supply of wool in honest weight.

Sweet Spring arrived, with types and shadows


210 Proclaims the rising of the lost and blessed ;

[blocks in formation]

215 From earth they spring to greet the genial sun,

A pledge that we shall rise, not they alone.

The vivid ray lights up th' awakening morn,

Long sunk in winter's grave, but now new-born;

Denuded trees put on their leafy dress,

220 Majestic waving, and their life confess;

The golden chrysalis its coffin leaves,

Widespreads its agile wing, and rides the


« PreviousContinue »