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The cottage curs at early pilgrim bark ;
Crown'd with her pail the tripping milk-maid sings ; The whistling plowman stalks afield ; and hark!
Down the rough slope the ponderous wagon rings;
Through rustling corn the hare, astonish’d, springs;
Slow tolls the village clock the drowsy hour-
The partridge bursts away on whirring wings;
Deep mourns the turtle in sequester'd bower,
And shrill lark carols clear from her aërial tour.
JAMES BEATTIE, 1735-1903.
The morning hath not lost her virgin blush,
Nor step, but mine, soild the earth's tinsel'd robe.
How full of Heaven this solitude appears-
This healthful comfort of the happy swain,
Who from his hard but peaceful bed roused up,
In morning's exercise saluted is
By a full choir of feather'd choristers,
Wedding their notes to the enamor'd air !
There Nature, in her unaffected dress,
Plaited with valleys, and emboss'd with hills,
Enlaced with silver streams, and fring'd with woods,
Sits lovely in her native russet.
WILLIAM CHAMBERLAYNE, 1619-1689.
BEFORE SUNBISE, IN THE VALE OF CHAMOUNL.
Hast thou a charm to stay the morning star
In his steep course? So long he seems to pause
On thy bald, awful head, O sovran Blanc !
The Arne and Aveyron at thy base
Rove ceaselessly; but thou, most awful form!
Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines
How silently! Around thee and above,
Deep in the air and dark, substantial, black-
An ebon mass : methinks thou piercest it
As with a wedge! But when I look again,
It is thine own calm home, thy crystal shrine,
Thy habitation from eternity!
O dread and silent mount! I gazed upon thee
Till thou, still present to the bodily sense,
Didst vanish from my thought: entranced in prayer,
I worshiped the Invisible alone.
Yet like some sweet, beguiling melody,
So sweet, we know not we are listening to it,
Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with my thought,
Yea, with my life, and life's own secret joy ;
Till the dilating soul, enrapt, transfused
Into the mighty vision passing—there,
As in her natural form, swelled vast to heaven!
Awake, my soul! not only passive praise
Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears,
Mute thanks, and secret ecstasy! Awake,
Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, awake!
Grim vales and icy cliffs all join my hymn.
Thou first and chief, sole sovran of the vale!
O struggling with the darkness all the night,
And visited all night by troops of stars,
Or when they climb the sky, or when they sink,
Companion of the morning-star, and of the dawn.
Co-herald : wake, ( wake, and utter praise !
Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in earth?
Who filled thy countenance with rosy light?
Who made thee parent of perpetual streams ?
And you, ye five wild torrents, fiercely glad !
Who called you forth from night and utter death,
From dark and icy caverns called you forth,
Down those precipitous, black, jagged rocks,
Forever shattered, and the same forever?
Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Your strength, your speed, your fury, and your joy,
Unceasing thunder, and eternal foam ?
And who commanded (and the silence came),
Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest?
Ye ice-falls ! ye that from the mountain's brow
Adown enormous ravines slope amain-
Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty voice,
And stopped at once amid their maddest plunge !
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts!
Who made you glorious as the gates of heaven,
Beneath the keen, full moon? Who bade the sun
Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with living flowers
Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your feet?
God! Let the torrent, like a shout of nations,
Answer, and let the ice-plains echo God!
God ! sing ye meadow-streams with gladsome voice !
Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like sounds!
And they too have a voice, yon piles of snow,
And in their perilous fall shall thunder, God !
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal pool !
Ye wild goats, sporting round the eagle's nest !
Ye eagles, playmates of the mountain storm!
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds !
Ye signs and wonders of the elements !
Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise !
Thou too, hoar mount! with the sky-pointing peaks,
Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unheard,
Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene
Into the depths of clouds, that vail thy breast-
Thou too, again, stupendous mountain! thou
That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low
In adoration, upward from thy base
Slow traveling with dim eyes suffused with tears,
Solemnly seemed, like a vapory cloud,
To rise before me-rise, 0 ever rise--
Rise like a cloud of incense from the earth!
Thou kingly spirit, throned among the hills,
Thou dread ambassador from earth to heaven,
Great hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun,
Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God!
S. T. COLERIDGE.
Wish’d morning's come; and now upon the plains
And distant mountains, where they feed their flocks,
The happy shepherds leave their homely huts,
And with their pipes proclaim the new-born day!
The lusty swain comes with his well-fill’d stoup
Of healthful viands, which, when hunger calls,
With much content and appetite he eats,
To follow in the field his daily toil,
And dress the grateful glebe that yields him fruits.
The beasts, that under the warm hedges slept,
And weather'd out the cold, bleak night, are up,
And, looking toward the neighboring pastures, raise
Their voice, and bid their fellow-brutes good-morrow!
The cheerful birds, too, on the tops of trees,
Assemble all in choirs, and with their notes
Salute and welcome up the rising sun.
Thomas OTWAY, 1651-1685.
SPRING MORNING IN ITALY.
The sun is up, and 'tis a morn of May,
Round old Ravenna's clear-shown towers and bay ;
A morn, the loveliest which the year has seen-
Last of the spring, yet fresh with all its green;
For a warm eve, and gentle rains at night,
Have left a sparkling welcome for the light;
And there's a crystal clearness all about ;
The leaves are sharp; the distant hills look out;
A balmy briskness comes upon the breeze ;
The smoke goes dancing from the cottage trees;
And when you listen, you may hear a coil,
Of bubbling springs about the grassy soil;
And all the scene, in short-sky, earth, and sea---
Breathes like a bright-eyed face, that laughs out openly.
"Tis nature full of spirits, waked and springing;
The birds to the delicious time are singing,
Darting with freaks and snatches up and down,
Where the light woods go seaward from the town;
While happy faces striking through the green
Of leafy roads at every town are seen.
And the far ships, lifting their sails of white,
Like joyful hands, come up with scattery light-
Come gleaming up, true to the wished-for day,
And chase the whistling brine and swirl into the bay.
Already in the streets the stir grows loud,
Of expectation and a bustling crowd;
With feet and voice the gathering hum contends,
The deep talk heaves, the really laugh ascends ;
Callings, and clapping doors, and curs unite,
And shouts from mere exuberance of delight;
And armed bands, making important way,
Gallant and grave, the lords of holiday;
And nodding neighbors, greeting as they run;
And pilgrims chanting in the morning sun.
Waken, thou fair one! up, Amaryllis !
Morning so still is;
Cool is the gale :
The rainbows of heaven,
With its hues seven,
Brightness hath given
To wood and dale.
Sweet Amaryllis, let me convey thee;
In Neptune's arms naught shall affray thee;
Sleep’s god no longer power has to stay thee,
Over thy eyes and speech to prevail.
Come out a-fishing; nets forth are carrying;
Come without tarrying-
Hasten with me.
Jerkin and vail in-
Come for the sailing,
For trout and grayling :
Baits will lay we.
Awake, Amaryllis ! dearest, awaken;
Let me not go forth by thee forsaken;
Our course among dolphins and sirens taken,
Onward shall paddle our boat to the sea.
Bring rod and line-bring nets for the landing;
Morn is expanding,
Sweet! no denying,
Frowning, or sighing-
Could'st thou be trying
To answer me nay?
Hence, on the shallows, our little boat leaving,
Or to the Sound where green waves are heaving,
Where our true love its first bond was weaving,
Causing to Thirsis so much dismay.
Step in the boat, then! both of us singing,
Love afresh springing,
O'er us shall reign.
If the storm rages,
If it war wages,
Terror and pain.