« PreviousContinue »
COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPT. 3. 1803.
Earth has not any thing to shew more fair:Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
Pelion and Ossa flourished side by side,
Together in immortal books enrolled:
His ancient dower Olympus hath not sold;
And that inspiring Hill, which "did divide
Into two ample horns his forehead wide,"
Shines with poetic radiance as of old;
While not an English Mountain we behold
By the celestial Muses glorified.
Yet round our sea-girt shore they rise in crowds:
What was the great Parnassus' self to Thee,
Mount Skiddaw? In his natural sovereignty
Our British Hill is fairer far: He shrouds
His double-fronted head in higher clouds,
And pours forth streams more sweet than Castaly.
Brook! whose society the Poet seeks
Hail Twilight, — sovereign of one peaceful hour!Not dull art Thou as undiscerning Night;But studious only to remove from sight Day's mutable distinctions. — Ancient Power!Thus did the waters gleam, the mountains lower] To the rude Briton, when, in wolf-skin vest Here roving wild, he laid him down to rest On the bare rock, or through a leafy bower Looked ere his eyes were closed. By him was seen The self-same Vision which we now behold, At thy meek bidding, shadowy Power, brought forth; — These mighty barriers, and the gulph between;
The Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said,"Bright is thy veil, O Moon, as thou art bright!" Forthwith, that little Cloud, in ether spread, And penetrated all with tender light, She cast away, and shewed her fulgent head Uncovered; — dazzling the Beholder's sight As if to vindicate her beauty's right, Her beauty thoughtlessly disparaged. Meanwhile that Veil, removed or thrown aside, Went, floating from her, darkening as it went;And a huge Mass, to bury or to hide, Approached this glory of the firmament;Who meekly yields, and is obscured; — content With one calm triumph of a modest pride.