ページの画像
PDF
ePub

C

Unchanging still from year to year,
Like stars returning in their sphere,

With undiminished rays,
Thy vernal constellations cheer

The dawn of lengthening days.
Perhaps from Nature's earliest May,
Imperishable 'midst decay,

Thy self-renewing race
Have breathed their balmy lives away

In this neglected place.
And oh, till Nature's final doom
Here unmolested may they bloom,

From scythe and plough secure;
This bank their cradle and their tomb,

While earth and skies endure !
Yet, lowly cowslip, while in thee
An old unaltered friend I see,

Fresh in perennial prime,
From spring to spring behold in me

The woes and waste of time.

This fading eye and withering mien
Tell what a sufferer I have been,

Since more and more estranged,
From hope to hope, from scene to scene,

Through Folly's wilds I ranged. Then fields and woods I proudly spurned ; From Nature's maiden love I turned,

And wooed the enchantress Art; Yet while for her my fancy burned

Cold was my wretched heart, —
Till, distanced in Ambition's race,
Weary of Pleasure's joyless chase,

My peace untimely slain,
Sick of the world,- I turned my face

To fields and woods again. 'T was spring: my former haunts I found, My favourite flowers adorned the ground,

My darling minstrels played ; The mountains were with sunset crowned, The valleys dun with shade.

With lorn delight the scene I viewed :
Past joys and sorrows were renewed ;

My infant hopes and fears
Looked lovely, through the solitude

Of retrospective years.

And still, in Memory's twilight bowers,
The spirits of departed hours,

With mellowing tints, portray
The blossoms of life's vernal flowers

For ever fallen away.

Till youth's delirious dream is o'er,
Sanguine with hope we look before,

The future good to find ;
In age, when error charms no more,

For bliss we look behind.

THE SWISS COWHERD'S SONG

IN A FOREIGN LAND.

Oh, when shall I visit the land of my birth,
The loveliest land on the face of the earth ?
When shall I those scenes of affection explore,

Our forests, our fountains,

Our hamlets, our mountains, With the pride of our mountains, the maid I adore ! Oh, when shall I dance on the daisy-white mead, In the shade of an elm, to the sound of the reed? When shall I return to that lowly retreat, Where all my fond objects of tenderness meet,The lambs and the heifers that follow my call,

My father, my mother,

My sister, my brother,
And dear Isabella, the joy of them all ?
Oh, when shall I visit the land of my birth? -
'Tis the loveliest land on the face of the earth.

THE OAK.

(Imitated from Metastasio.)

THE tall oak, towering to the skies,
The fury of the wind defies,
From age to age, in virtue strong,
Inured to stand, and suffer wrong.
O’erwhelmed at length upon the plain,
It puts forth wings, and sweeps the main ;
The selfsame foe undaunted braves,
And fights the wind upon the waves.

THE DIAL.

THIS shadow on the Dial's face,

That steals from day to day, With slow, unseen, unceasing pace,

Moments, and months, and years away, — This shadow, which in every clime,

Since light and motion first began,
Hath held its course sublime ;--

What is it?- Mortal Man !
It is the scythe of Time:
A shadow only to the eye ;.

Yet, in its calm career,
It levels all beneath the sky;

And still, through each succeeding year,
Right onward, with resistless power,
Its stroke shall darken every hour,
Till Nature's race be run,
And Time's last shadow shall eclipse the sun.
Not only o'er the Dial's face,

This silent phantom, day by day, With slow, unseen, unceasing pace,

Steal moments, months, and years away ; From hoary rock and aged tree,

From proud Palmyra's mouldering walls, From Teneriffe, towering o'er the sea, From every blade of grass it falls ;

For still, where'er a shadow sweeps,

The scythe of Time destroys,
And man at every footstep weeps

O’er evanescent joys ;
Like flowerets glittering with the dews of morn,
Fair for a moment, then for ever shorn:
-Ah! soon beneath the inevitable blow,
I too shall lie in dust and darkness low.
Then Time, the Conqueror, will suspend

His scythe, a trophy, o'er my tomb,
Whose moving shadow shall portend

Each frail beholder's doom.
O’er the wide earth's illumined space,

Though Time's triumphant flight be shown,
The truest index on its face

Points from the churchyard stone.

THE ROSES.

ADDRESSED TO A FRIEND ON THE BIRTH OF HIS

FIRST CHILD

Two Roses, on one slender spray,

In sweet communion grew,
Together hailed the morning ray,

And drank the evening dew;
While, sweetly wreathed in mossy green,
There sprang a litttle bud between.
Through clouds and sunshine, storms and showers,

They opened into bloom,
Mingling their foliage and their flowers,

Their beauty and perfume ;
While, fostered on its rising stem,
The bud became a purple gem.
But soon their summer splendour passed,

They faded in the wind,
Yet were these Roses to the last

The loveliest of their kind,
Whose crimson leaves, in falling round,
Adorned and sanctified the ground.

« 前へ次へ »