Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

Thus spake the moral Muse;

- her wing Abruptly spreading to depart, She left that farewell offering, Memento for some docile heart; That may respect the good old age When Fancy was Truth's willing Page; And Truth would skim the flowery glade, Though entering but as Fancy's Shade.

1824.

III.

A WHIRL-BLAST from behind the hill
Rushed o'er the wood with startling sound;
Then - all at once the air was still,
And showers of hailstones pattered round.
Where leafless oaks towered high above,
I sat within an undergrove
Of tallest hollies, tall and green;
A fairer bower was never seen.
From

year the spacious floor
With withered leaves is covered o’er,
And all the year the bower is green.
But see! where'er the hailstones drop,
The withered leaves all skip and hop;
There 's not a breeze, no breath of air,
Yet here, and there, and everywhere
Along the floor, beneath the shade
By those embowering hollies made,

to year

The leaves in myriads jump and spring,
As if with pipes and music rare
Some Robin Good-fellow were there,
And all those leaves, in festive glee,
Were dancing to the minstrelsy.

1799.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

“ BEGONE, thou fond presumptuous Elf,”
Exclaimed an angry voice,
“Nor dare to thrust thy foolish self
Between me and my choice !”
A small Cascade fresh swoln with snows
Thus threatened a poor Brier-rose,
That, all bespattered with his foam,
And dancing high and dancing low,
Was living, as a child might know,
In an unhappy home.

II.

“ Dost thou presume my course to block ?
Off, off! or, puny Thing!
I 'll hurl thee headlong with the rock
To which thy fibres cling."

The Flood was tyrannous and strong ;
The patient Brier suffered long,
Nor did he utter groan or sigh,
Hoping the danger would be past;
But, seeing no relief, at last
He ventured to reply.

III.

6 Ah!” said the Brier, “ blame me not;
Why should we dwell in strife?
We who in this sequestered spot
Once lived a happy life!
You stirred me on my rocky bed, -
What pleasure through my veins you spread
The summer long, from day to day,
My leaves

you

freshened and bedewed ; Nor was it common gratitude That did your cares repay.

IV.

“When Spring came on with bud and bell,
Among these rocks did I
Before you hang my wreaths, to tell
That gentle days were nigh!
And in the sultry summer hours,
I sheltered you with leaves and flowers ;
And in

my

leaves now shed and gone
The linnet lodged, and for us two
Chanted his pretty songs, when you
Had little voice or none.

V.

“But now proud thoughts are in your breast, –
What grief is mine you see ;
Ah! would you think, even yet how blest
Together we might be!
Though of both leaf and flower bereft,
Some ornaments to me are left;
Rich store of scarlet hips is mine,
With which I, in my

humble

way, Would deck you many a winter day, A happy Eglantine !'

VI.

What more he said I cannot tell,
The Torrent down the rocky dell
Came thundering loud and fast;
I listened, nor aught else could hear;
The Brier quaked - and much I fear
Those accents were his last.

1800.

v.

THE OAK AND THE BROOM.

A PASTORAL.

I.

His simple truths did Andrew glean
Beside the babbling rills;

A careful student he had been
Among the woods and hills.
One winter's night, when through the trees
The wind was roaring, on his knees
His youngest-born did Andrew hold :
And while the rest, a ruddy choir,
Were seated round their blazing fire,
This Tale the Shepherd told.

II.

“I saw a crag, a lofty stone
As ever tempest beat!
Out of its head an Oak had grown,
A Broom out of its feet.
The time was March, a cheerful noon,
The thaw-wind, with the breath of June,
Breathed gently from the warm southwest ;
When, in a voice sedate with age,
This Oak, a giant and a sage,
His neighbor thus addressed :

III.

6

“Eight weary weeks, through rock and clay,
Along this mountain's edge,
The Frost hath wrought both night and day,
Wedge driving after wedge.
Look up! and think, above your

head
What trouble, surely, will be bred;
Last night I heard a crash, 't is true,
The splinters took another road;

« НазадПродовжити »