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If age had tamed the passions' strife, And fate had cut my ties to life, Here, have I thought, 'twere sweet to dwell, And rear again the chaplain's cell, Like that same peaceful hermitage, Where Milton longed to spend his age "Twere sweet to mark the setting day, On Bourhope's lonely top decay; And, as it faint and feeble died, On the broad lake, and mountain's side, To say, “ Thus pleasures fade away ; Youth, talents, beauty, thus decay, And leave us dark, forlorn, and grey;" — Then gaze on Dryhope's ruined tower, And think on Yarrow's faded Flower : And when that mountain-sound I heard, Which bids us be for storm prepared, The distant rustling of his wings, As up his force the Tempest brings, 'Twere sweet, ere yet his terrors rave, To sit upon the Wizard's grave; That Wizard Priest's, whose bones are thrust From company of holy dust; On which no suu-beam ever shines(So superstition's creed divines,) Thence view the lake, with sullen roar, Heave her broad billows to the shore ; And mark the wild swans mount the gale, Spread wide through mist their snowy sail, And ever stoop again, to lave Their bosoms on the surging wave : Then, when against the driving hail No longer might my plaid avail, Back to my lonely home retire, And light my lamp, and trim my fire : There ponder o'er some mystic lay, Till the wild tale had all its sway, And, in the bittern's distant shriek, I heard unearthly voices speak, And thought the Wizard Priest was come, To claim again his ancient home! And bade my busy fancy range, To frame him fitting shape and strange, Till from the task my brow I cleared, And smiled to think that I had feared.
But chief, 't were sweet to think such life, (Though but escape from fortune's strife,) Something most matchless good, and wise, A great and grateful sacrifice ; And deem each hour, to musing given, A step upon the road to heaven.
Yet him, whose heart is ill at ease, Such peaceful solitudes displease :
He loves to drown his bosom's jar
Marriot, thy harp, on Isis strung,
The breeze, which swept away the smoke,
Round Norham Castle rolled,
As Marmion left the Hold.
It freshly blew, and strong,
It bore a bark along.
As she were dancing home;