« ПредишнаНапред »
Its hills sank gently into vales,
Round their green tops bright clouds would gather,
Hence many a sparkling streamlet's course
Fell with a softly-bridled force
In music, as when sighing gales
Bear distant harpings on in calm still weather.
The glens lay open to the sea,
The leaved trees hung rustling o'er the fountains,
The air was clear, the sky was blue and bright,
Autumn's pure sun ne'er left his mid-day height,
No chill could freeze the birds' rich melody,
No rude wind skirred* the plain, or swept the mountains.
On to the shore Cadwallen sailed
Borne by the glassy billows softly swelling;
And there the heroes' countless throng
Received the bard with joyous song;
Him as a brother dear they hailed,
And led in triumph to his high-roofed dwelling.
In endless youth, removed from care,
Exempt from change of joy or sorrow,
Loved by the gods, in balmiest clime,
Lapped in delights they pass their time;
None can approach their joys to scare;
No envious doubts or fears to cloud the morrow,
They follow each his own delight;
Some weave again their warlike dances;
Others, with fixed and speaking eye,
List the high strains of minstrelsy;
Others, in guise of mortal fight,
Poise their light shields, and whirl their quivering lances.
And still amidst these joys they keep
For earthly friends a pure affection,
Unseen by men, on heavenly wing
O'er their best loved ones hovering ;
And thus the fair and holy sleep
From evil powers secured by their protection,
Hence oft at night, when all is still,
The death-doomed hear a knocking at the portal ;
And when the soul in act to die,
Yet shrinks at death advancing nigh,
Soft-whispering voices seem the air to fill.. Fear not ! the isle is fair ! the joys immortal!"
In tales like these, in olden times,
With wildest fable some dim truths entwining,
Our sires rejoiced, and with undoubting faith
Rushed headlong upon deeds of death,
Oft with just glory crowned, oft stained with crimes They fell, rough guilt with earnestness combining.
With thoughts of them upon our heart,
Be ours their faith, not guilt, to cherish;
We know from no vain minstrel's tale,
But from His word, who cannot fail,
That heaven for those, who play a faithful part,
Hath joys that will not fade, and cannot perish.
Every breath of air, and ray of light and heat, every beautiful prospect is, as it were, the skirts of their garments, the waving of the robes of those whose faces see God in Heaven.
NEWMAN'S SERMONS, Vol. II. Serm. XXIX. p. 404.
How soft and calm this summer eve,
Ere night her star-strewn mantle weave
While still the warm and balmy breeze
Rustles amid those aspen trees ;
The clouds still bathed in glorious light
Resist the dark approach of night;
The moon is yet but low and red;
Scarce a star twinkles over head;
The swains still stir ; our old Church bell
Not yet hath tolled the curfew knell ;
The heaven's deep blue, the wind's warm sighs
Bring thoughts of southern climes and skies--
Come, sit, my loveliest dearest bride,
No dews shall hurt thy beauty's pride;
Screened by this over-hanging thorn,
Thou might'st in safety stay till morn-
Sit, dearest, sit beneath this tree;
From hence, thou knowest, we may see
The house where now our home we keep,
The Church yard where we both shall sleep;
Here in my loving arms embraced,
Thy head upon my shoulder placed,
I'll tell thee an old solemn rhyme
Well suited to the place and time.
The day was hastening down the west,
And wearied men prepared to rest;
Already night had cast her shades
Through the dim forest's lone arcades,
When a spent traveller dared intrude
Upon their awful solitude-
He was a young and fair-haired boy,
Unfit for aught but ease and joy ;
His eyes of deep and melting blue
For love and pity seemed to sue ;
His beautiful and sunny
Waved in long ringlets on the air ;
Though travel-soiled and worn was he
He seemed a child of royalty ;-
Disordered was his rich attire,
Half quenched his eye of gentle fire,
And signs of tears and deep distress
Dimmed his surpassing loveliness.
And in what covert at that hour
Shall he his body hide,
For whom till then imperial power
Had every want supplied ?
He bent him to the ground in prayer
To God who seeth every where ;
He cried to him to aid a child
Belated in the gloomy wild ;
To guard with watchful care the fate
Of one so weak and desolate.
Nor rose that prayer unheard on high,
Nor wanted angel succour nigh ;
For pure and holy was the boy,
And well saints' love might he enjoy.
Their strength upbears him on his way,
Their heavenly tones around him play,
To his rapt ears the night-winds bring
A rich melodious whispering.
Thus, inly praying, on he fared,
Girt round with his angelic guard,
Till a lone cell before him stood;
Hewn from the rock in that deep wood
The gate an easy entrance gave,
He boldly pressed within the cave:
Why starts the child? What vision there
Bursts on his sight
Of mingled awe, and reverent fear,
And grave delight?
A dying man before him lay
Dressed in a hermit's coarse array;
He lay like one in tranquil rest,
Arms meekly crossed upon his breast;
A silver lamp above him swung;
A crucifix before him hung;
It seemed he knew his hour was nigh,
And laid him down in prayer to die.
And, oh delight! around his bed,
And softly bending o'er his head,
To soothe his pains, a radiant band
Of angel forms was seen to stand ;
He heard their voices sweet and tender ;
He saw their soft and chastened splendour ;
In certain hope, and joyful faith,
He sunk into the arms of death.
The boy stood still—he scarce could deem
But that he saw a lovely dream;
He feared lest breath of his should scare
A vision so unearthly fair ;
When a grave man all clothed in white,
Whose garments shone with heavenly light,