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129

PREFATORY SONNET.

Nuns fret not at their Convent's narrow room;
And Hermits are contented with their Cells;
And Students with their pensive Citadels:
Maids at the Wheel, the Weaver at his Loom,
Sit blithe and happy; Bees that soar for bloom,
High as the highest Peak of Furness Fells,
Will murmur by the hour in Foxglove bells:
In truth, the prison, unto which we doom
Ourselves, no prison is: and hence to me,
In sundry moods, 'twas pastime to be bound
Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground:
Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
Should find short solace there, as I have found.

II.

There is a little unpretending Rill Of limpid water, humbler far than aught That ever among men or naiads sought Notice or name ! — It quivers down the hill, Furrowing its shallow way with dubious will;Yet to my mind this scanty Stream is brought Oftener than mightiest Floods, whose path is wrought
Through wastes of sand, and forests dark and.chill.
Do thou, even thou, O faithful Anna! say
Why this small Streamlet is to me so dear;
Thou know'st, that while enjoyments disappear
And sweet remembrances like flowers decay,
The immortal spirit of one happy day
Lingers upon its marge, in vision clear!

III.
UPON THE SIGHT

OF A •

BEAUTIFUL PICTURE,

Painted by Sir George Beaumont, Bart.

Praised be the Art whose subtle power could stay
Yon Cloud, and fix it in that glorious shape;
Nor would permit the thin smoke to escape,
Nor those bright sunbeams to forsake the day j
Which stopped that Band of Travellers on their way
Ere they were lost within the shady wood;
And shewed the Bark upon the glassy flood
For ever anchored in her sheltering Bay.
Soul-soothing Art! which Morning, Noon-tide, Even
Do serve with all their changeful pageantry!
Thou, with ambition modest yet sublime,
Here, for the sight of mortal man, hast given
To one brief moment caught from fleeting time
The appropriate calm of blest eternity.

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