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IV.

The fairest, brightest hues of ether fade;
The sweetest notes must terminate and die;
O Friend! thy flute has breathed a harmony
Softly resounded through this rocky glade;
Such strains of rapture as * the Genius played
In his still haunt on Bagdad's summit high .-
He who stood visible to Mirzah's eye,
Never before to human sight betrayed.
Lo, in the vale, the mists of evening spread!
The visionary Arches are not there,
Nor the green Islands, nor the shining Seas;
Yet sacred is to me this Mountain's head,
From which I have been lifted on the breeze
Of harmony, above all earthly care.

* See the vision of Mirzah in the Spectator.

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With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the sky,
How silently, and with how wan a face! *
Where art thou? Thou whom I have seen on high
Running among the clouds a wood-nymph's race I
Unhappy Nuns, whose common breath's a sigh
Which they would stifle, move at such a pace!
The Northern wind, to call thee to the chase,
Must blow to-night his bugle horn. Had I
The power of Merlin, Goddess! this should be:
And the keen Stars, fast as the clouds were riven,
Should sally forth, an emulous Company, Sparkling, and hurrying through the clear blue heaven;But, Cynthia, should to thee the palm be given,
Queen both for beauty and for majesty.

* From a Sonnet of Sir Philip Sydney.

VI.

Aerial Rock — whose solitary brow
From this low threshold daily meets my sight;
When I look forth to hail the morning light,
Or quit the stars with lingering farewell — how
Shall I discharge to thee a grateful vow ? —
By planting on thy head (in verse, at least,
As I have often done in thought) the crest
Of an imperial Castle, which the plough
Of ruin shall not touch. Innocent scheme!
That doth presume no more than to supply
A grace the sinuous vale and roaring stream
Want, through neglect of hoar Antiquity.
Rise, then, ye votive Towers, and catch a gleam
Of golden sun-set — ere it fade and die!

VII.

WRITTEN UPON A BLANK LEAF IN "THE COMPLETE ANGLER.

While flowing Rivers yield a blameless sport,

Shall live the name of Walton; — Sage benign!

Whose pen, the mysteries of the rod and line

Unfolding, did not fruitlessly exhort

To reverend watching of each still report

That Nature utters from her rural shrine. —

O nobly versed in simple discipline,

Meek, thankful Soul, the vernal day how short

To thy loved pastime given by sedgy Lee,

Or down the tempting maze of Shawford brook!

Fairer than life itself, in thy sweet Book,

The cowslip bank and shady willow-tree,

And the fresh meads; where flow'd, from every nook

Of thy full bosom, gladsome Piety!

S VIII.

THE WILD-DUCK'S NEST.

The Imperial Consort of the Fairy King
Owns not a sylvan bower; or gorgeous cell
With emerald floored, and with purpureal shell
Ceilinged and roofed; that is so fair a thing
As this low structure — for the tasks of Spring
Prepared by one who loves the buoyant swell
Of the brisk waves, yet here consents to dwell;
And spreads in stedfast peace her brooding wing.
Words cannot paint the o'ershadowing yew-tree bough, And dimly-gleaming Nest, — a hollow crown
Of golden leaves inlaid with silver down,
Fine as the Mother's softest plumes allow:
I gaze — and almost wish to lay aside
Humanity, weak slave of cumbrous pride!

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