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COMPOSED IN ONE OF THE VALLEYS OF WEST-
MORELAND, ON EASTER SUNDAY.
With each recurrence of this glorious morn
That saw the Saviour in his human frame
Rise from the dead, erewhile the Cottage-dame
Put on fresh raiment — till that hour unworn:
Domestic hands the home-bred wool had shorn,
And she who span it culled the daintiest fleece,
In thoughtful reverence to the Prince of Peace
Whose temples bled beneath the platted thorn.
A blest estate when piety sublime
These humble props disdained not! O green dales!
Sad may / be who heard your sabbath chime
When Art's abused inventions were unknown;
Kind Nature's various wealth was all your own;
And benefits were weighed in Reason's scales!
Grief, thou hast lost an ever ready Friend
Now that the cottage spinning-wheel is mute;
And Care —a Comforter that best could suit
Her froward mood, and softliest reprehend;
And Love — a Charmer's voice, that used to lend,
More efficaciously than aught that flows
From harp or lute, kind influence to compose
The throbbing pulse, — else troubled without end:
Even Joy could tell, Joy craving truce and rest
From her own overflow, what power sedate
On those revolving motions did await
Assiduously, to sooth her aching breast;
And — to a point of just relief—abate
The mantling triumphs of a day too blest.
TO THE RIVER DERWENT.
Among the mountains where we nursed, loved Stream
Thou, near the eagle's nest — within brief sail,
I, of his bold wing floating on the gale,
Where thy deep voice could lull me! — Faint the
beam Of human life when first allowed to gleam
On mortal notice. — Glory of the Vale,
Such thy meek outset, with a crown though frail
Kept in perpetual verdure by the steam
Of thy soft breath ! — Less vivid wreaths entwined
Nemaean Victor's brow; less bright was worn,
Meed of some Roman Chief—in triumph borne
With captives chained; and shedding from his car
The sunset splendors of a finished war
Upon the proud enslavers of mankind!
I watch, and long have watched, with calm regret
Yon slowly-sinking Star, — immortal Sire
(So might he seem) of all the glittering quire!
Blue ether still surrounds him — yet — and yet;
But now the horizon's rocky parapet
Is reached; where, forfeiting his bright attire,
He burns — transmuted to a sullen fire,
That droops and dwindles; and, the appointed debt
To the flying moments paid, is seen no more.
Angels and Gods! we struggle with our fate,
While health, power, glory, pitiably decline,
Depressed and then extinguished: and our state,
In this, how different, lost Star, from thine,
That no to-morrow shall our beams restore !Vol. ill. H"
TO A SNOW-DROP, APPEARING VERY EARLY IN THE SEASON.
Lone Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as
But hardier far, though modestly thou bend
Thy front — as if such presence could offend!
Who guards thy slender stalk while, day by day,
Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, way-lay
The rising sun, and on the plains descend?
Accept the greeting that befits a friend
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
Yet will I not thy gentle grace forget,
Chaste Snow-drop, vent'rous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!