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Doth often through the silence ring
In sweet, shrill, merry jargoning—
So that the Orphans almost think
They are lying again on the broomy brink
Of their native Dee—and scarcely know
If the change hath been to bliss or woe,
As, 'mid that music wild, they seem
To start back to life from a fairy-dream.
So all that most beautiful is above
Sends down to their rest its soul of love;
Nor have they in their bliss forgot
The walls, roof, and door, of their native
On what doth the wondering shepherd
gaze, As o'er Loch-Ken the moonlight plays, And in the Planet's silvery glow, Far shines the smooth sand, white as snow? In Heaven or Lake there is no breeze, Yet a glimmering Sail that shepherd sees, Swanlike steer on its stately way Into the little Crescent bay; Now jocundly its fair gleam rearing, And now in darkness disappearing, Till 'mid the water-lilies riding It hangs, and to the green shore'gliding Two lovely Creatures silently Sit down beneath the star-light sky, And look around, in deep delifrht, On all the pure still smiles of night. As they sit in beauty on the shore. The shepherd feels he has seen before The quiet of their heavenly eyes: 'Tis the Orphans come back from Paradise, Edith and Nora! They now return, When this woe-worn Land hath ceased to
mourn. We thought them dead, but at Heaven's
command, For years they have' lived in Fairy-Land, And they glide back by night to their little cot, O absent long, but by none forgot!
The boat with its snow-white sail is gone. And the Creatures it brought to shore are
flown! Still the crowd of water-lilies shake, And a long bright line shines o'er the Lake, Bnt nought else tells that a bark was near; While the wildered shepherd seems to hear A wild hymn wandering through the wood, Till it dies up the mountain-solitude;
And a dreamy thought, as the sounds depart. Of Edith and Nora comes o'er his heart.
At Morning's first pure silent glow, A band of simple shepherds go To the Orphans' Cot, nnd there they behold The Dove so bright, with its plumes of gold, And the radiant Lamb, that used to glide So spirit-like by fair Edith's side. Fair Creatures! that no more were seen On the sunny thatch or the flowery green. Since the lovely Sisters had flown away, And left their Cottage to decay! Back to this world returned again, They seem in sadness and in pain, And coo and bleat is like the breath Of sorrow mourning over death.
Lo! smiling on their rnshy bed, Lie Edith nnd Nora—embraced—and dead! A gentle frost has closed their eyes, And hushed — just hushed — their balmy
sigh*. Over their lips, yet rosy red, A faint, pale, cold decay is shed; A dimness hangs o'er their golden hair. That sadly tells no life is there; There beats no heart, no current flows In bosoms sunk in such repose; Limbs may not that chill quiet have. Unless laid ready for the grave. Silence lies there from face to feet, And the bed she loves best is a winding-sheet
Let the coffin sink down soft nnd slowly. And calm be the burial of the holy! One long look in that mournful cell— Let the green turf heave— and then, farewell! No need of tears! in this church-yard-ahade Oft had the happy Orphans played Above these quiet graves! and well they lie After a calm bright life of purity. Beneath the flowers that once sprang to
meet The motion of their now still feet! The mourners are leaving the buried rlav. To the holy hush of the Sabbath-day, When a Lamb conies sadly bleating by. And a Dove soft wavering throngh the aky. And both lie down without a sound. In beauty on the funeral mound! What may these lovely creatures be? —Two sisters who died in infancy. And thus had those they loved attended. And been by those they loved befriended! Whate'er—fair Creatures! might be their
birth. Never more were they seen on earth; But to young and old belief was given That with Edith and Nora they went to
-One small spot
Where my tired mind may rest and call It home.
Socthey'i Hymn to the Penates.
Hue have I found at last a home of peace To hide me from the world; far from its
noise, To feed that spirit, which, though sprung
from earth, And link'd to human beings by the bond Of earthly love, hath yet a loftier aim Than periahable joy-, and through the calm That Bleeps amid the mountain-solitude, fan hear the billows of eternity, And hear delighted. Many a mystic gleam, Lovely though faint, of imaged happiness Ml on my youthful heart, as oft her light Smiles on a wandering cloud, ere the fair
Moon Hath risen in the sky. And oh! ye dreams, That to such spiritual happiness could shape The lonely reveries of my boyish days, Are ye at last fulfill'd? Ye fairy-scenes, That to the doubting gaze of prophecy Rote lovely, with your fields of sunny green, Yoor sparkling rivulets and hanging groves Of more than rainbow-lustre, where the
swing Of woods primeval darken'd the still depth Of lakes bold-sweeping round their guardian
hills Eten like the arms of Ocean, where the roar Sullen and far from mountain-cataract »ae heard amid the silence, like a thought Of aolemn mood that tames the dancing soul Hhen swarming with delights;—Ye fairyscenes! Fancied no more, but bursting on my heart [» living beauty, with adoring song I hid you hail! and with as holy love Ai ever beautified the eye of saint Hjmning his midnight-orisons, to you J consecrate my life,—till the dim stain, «ft by those wordly and unhallow'd
That taint the purest soul, by bliss destroyed, ".» spirit travel like a summer-sun, •Uelf all glory, and its path all joy.
Though in her image something terrible Weigh down his being with a load of awe, Love mingles with her wrath, like tender
light Strenm'd o'er a dying storm. And thus
where'er Man feels as man, the earth is beautiful. His blessings sanctify even senseless things, And the wide world in cheerful loveliness Returns to him its joy. The summer-air, Whose glittering stillness sleeps within his
soul, Stirs with its own delight: the verdant
earth, Like beauty waking from a happy dream, Lies smiling: each fair cloud to him appears A pilgrim travelling to the shrine of peace; And the wild wave, that wantons on the sea, A gay though homeless stranger. Ever blest The man who thus beholds the golden chain Linking his soul to outward Nature fair, Full of the living God! And where, ye
haunts Of grandeur and of beauty! shall the heart, That yearns for high communion with its
God, Abide, if e'er its dreams have been of you? The loveliest sounds, forms, hues, of all
the earth Linger delighted here: here guilt might
come. With sullen soul abhorring Nature's joy, And in n moment be restored to Heaven. Here sorrow, with n dimness o'er his face, Might be beguiled, to smiles,—almost forget His sufferings, and, in Nature's living book, Read characters so lovely, that his heart Would, as it bless'd them, feel a rising swell Almost like joy !—O earthly paradise! Of many a secret anguish hast thou healed Him, who now greets thee with a joyful strain.
And oh! if in those elevated hopes Tbnt lean on virtue,—in those high resolves That bring the future close upon the soul, And nobly dare its dangers;—if in joy Whose vital spring is more than innocence, Yen! Faith and Adoration!—if the soul Of man may trust to these,—and they are
strong. Strong as the prayer of dying penitent,— My being shall be bliss. For witness, Thou! Oli Mighty One! whose saving love has
stolen On the deep peace of moon-beams to my
heart,— Thou! who with looks of mercy oft hast
chcer'd The starry silence, when, at noon of night. On some wild mountain thou hast not declined The homage of thy lonely worshipper,— Bear witness, Thou! that, both in joy and
grief, The love of nature long hath been with me
The love of virtue:—that tlie «nlitu<le
voice Hath Hung thy goodness, unci thy power
-has stunn'd My spirit in the roaring cntaraet!
Such solitude to me! Yet are there hearts,— Worthy of good men's love, nor unadorn'd Witli sense of moral beauty,—to the joy That dwells within the Almighty's outward
shrine, Senseless and cold. Aye, there are men who
see The broad sun sinking in a blaze of light, Nor feel their disembodied spirits li.nl With adoration the departing God; Who on the night-sky, when a cloudless
moon Glides in still beauty through unnumbered
stars, Can turn the eye unmoved', as if a M all Of darkness sereen'd the glory from their
souls. With humble pride I bless the Holy One For sights to these denied. And oh! how oft In seasons of depression,—when the lamp Of life burn'd dim, and all unpleasant
thoughts Subdued the proud aspirings of the soul,— When doubts and fears withheld the timid
eye From scanning scenes to come, and a deep
sense Of human frailty tnrn'd the past to pain. How oft have I remember'd that a world Of glory lay around me, that a source Of lofty solace lay in every star. And that no being need behold the sun. And grieve, that knew Who hung him in
the sky. Thus unperceived I woke fromhravy grief To airy joy: and seeing that the mind Of man, though still the image of his God, Lean'd by his will on various happiness, I felt that all was good; that faculties, Though low, might constitute, if rightly
used. True wisdom; and when man hath here
nttain'd The purpose of his being, he will sit Near Mercy's throne, whether his course
hath been Prone on the earth's dim sphere, or, as with
winjr Of viewless eagle, round the central blaze.
Then ever shall the day that led me here Be held in blest remembrance. I shall see, Even at my dying hour, the glorious sun That made Winander one wide wave of gold. When first in transport from the monntniutop
11 hail'd the heavenly vision! Not a cloud. I Whose wreaths lay smiling in the lap of
light, t Not one of all those sister-isles that sleep Together, like a happy family Of beauty and of love, but will arise To cheer my parting spirit, and to tell That Nature gently leads unto the grave All who have read her heart, and kept their
own i In kindred holiness. But ere that hour | Of awful triumph, I do hope that years Await me, when the unconscious power of joy Creating wisdom, the bright dreams of soul Will Immunize the heart, and I shall be More worthy to he loved by those whose love Is highest praise:—that by the living light That burns for ever in affection's breast. I shrill behold how fair and beautiful A human form may be. — Oh, there arc
thoughts That slumber in the soul, like sweetest
sounds Amid the harp's loose strings, till airs from
Heaven On earth, at dewy night-fall, visitant. Awake the sleeping melody! Such thoughts. My gentle Mary, I have owed to thee. And if thy voire e'er melt into my soul With a dear home-toned whisper,—if thy
face E'er brighten in the unsteady gleams of
light From our own cottage-hearth;—O Mary!
Then will the earth,—that oft-times to
the eye Of solitary lover seems o'erhung With ton severe a shade, and faintly smiles With ineffectual beauty on his heart.— Be clothed with everlasting joy; like land Of blooming faery, or of boyhood's dream* Ere life's first flush is o'er. Oft shall I turn My vision from the glories of the scene To read them in thine eyes; and hidden
grace. That slumbers in the crimson clouds of E< rn. Will reach my spirit through their \ arving
light, Though viewless in the sky. Waadering
with thee, A thousand beauties never seen before Will glide with sweet surprise into my mat. Even in those fields where each partirmkar
tree Was look'd on as a friend,—where 1 had beea Frequent, for years, among the lonely rleu
Nor, 'mid the quiet of reflecting Vtit*. Will the faint image of the distant world
Ne'er float before us:—Cities will arise Among the elouds that circle round the sun, Gorgeous with tower and temple. The
night-voice Of flood ami mountain to our ear will seem Like life's loud stir:—and, as the dream
dissolves, With burning spirit we will smile to see Onlj the Moon rejoicing in the sky. And the still grandeur of the eternal hills.
Vet, though the fulness of domestic joy Bleu our united beings, and the home Be e»er happy where thy smiles are seen, Though human voice might never touch
our ear From lip of friend or brother;—yet, oh!
think What pure benevolence will warm our hearts, When with the undelayintr steps of love Through yon o'ershadowing wood we dimly
see A coming friend, far distant then believed, Aodallunlonk'd-for. When the short distrust Of unexpected joy no more constrains. And the eye's welcome brings him to our
arms, »ilh gladdenM spirit he will quickly own That true love ne'er was selfish, and that man Ne'er knew the whole affection of his heart Till resting on another's. If from scenes Of noisy life he come, and in his soul The love of Nature, like a long-past dream, "e'er it stir, yield but a dim delight, Oh! we shall lead him where the genial
power Of beauty, working by the wavy green Of hill-ascending wood, the misty gleam Of lakes reposing in their peaceful vales, And, lovelier than the loveliness below, The moonlight-heaven, shall to his blood
restore An undisturbed flow, such as he felt Pfnade his being, morning, noon, and night, "hea Youth's bright years pass'd happily
away. Among his native hills, and all he knew Of crowded cities was from passing talc Oftrareller half-believed and soon forgotten
And fear not, Mary! that, when winter
comes, T«e«e solitary mountains will resign '« beauty that pervades their mighty
frames, '•'Wlike a living soul. The gleams of light 'lurrying in joyful tumult o'er the clifls, And giving to our musings many a burst "' (udden grandeur, even as if the eye Of God were wandering o'er the lovely wild, rl'iued with his own creation;—the still joy f cloudless skies,- and the delighted voice Of hvmning fountains.—these will leave
The altered earth:—but other attributes
I lift my eyes upon the radiant Moon.
Mow wild and dim this Life appears! One long, deep, heavy sigh! When o'er our eyes, half clos'd in tears. The images of former years Are faintly glimmering by! And still forgotten while they go, As on the sea-beach wave on wave Dissolves at once hi snow. Upon the blue and silent sky The nmbcr clouds one moment lie, And like a dream are gone! Though beautiful the moon-beams play On the lake's bosom bright ns they, And the soul intensely loves their stay, Soon as the radiance melts away We scarce believe it shone! Heaven-airs amid the harp-strings dwell. And we wish they ne'er may fade— They cease! and the soul is a silent cell, Where music never played. Bream follows dream through the long nighthours, Each lovelier than the last— But ere the breath of morning- flowers. That gorgeous world flies past. And many a sweet angelic cheek, Whose smiles of love and kindness speak, (ilides by us on this earth— While in a day we cannot tell Where shone the face we loved so well In sadness or in mirth.
THE DESOLATE VILLAGE.
Sweet Village! on thy pastoral hill
It Is the.incrry month of June,
And creatures nil of air and earth
Should now their holiday of mirth
With dance and song be keeping.
But, loveliest Village! silent thou.
As cloud wreathed o'er the Morning's brow,
When light is faintly breaking,
And Midnight's voice afar is lost,
Like the wailing of a wearied ghost,
The shades of earth forsaking.
Tis not the day to Scotia dear,
A summer-sabbath mild and clear!
Yet from her solemn burial-ground
The small kirk-steeple looks around,
Enshrouded in a calm
Profound as fills the house of prayer,
Ere from the band of virgins fair
Exhales the choral-psalm.
A sight so steeped in perfect rest
Is slumbering not on nature's breast
In the smiles of earthly day!
'Tis a picture floating down the sky,
By fancy framed in years gone by,
And mellowing in decay!
That thought is gone!—the Village still
With deepening quiet crowns the hill,
Its low green roofs are there!
In soft material beauty beaming,
As in the silent hour of dreaming
They hung embowered in air!
Is this the day when to the mountains The happy shepherds go, And bathe in sparkling pools and fountains Their flocks made white as snow? Hath gentle girl and gamesome boy, With mcek-cyed mirth or shouting joy, Gone tripping up the brae? Till far behind their town doth stand, Like mi image in sweet Fairy-Land, When the Elves have flown away! —O sure if aught of human breath Within these walls remain. Thus deepening in the hush of death, Tis but some melancholy crone, M'bo nits with solemn eyes Beside the cradle nil alone, And lulls the infant with a strain Of Scotia's ancient melodies.
What if these homes be filled with life? 'Tis the sultry month of June, And when the cloudless sun rides high Above the glittering air of noon. All nature sinks opprest,— And labour shuts his weary eye In the mid-day hour of rest. Yet let the soul think what it will, Most dirge-like mourns that moorland rill! How different once its flow! When with a dreamy motion gliding 'Mid its green fields in love abiding, Or leaping o'er the mossy linn. And sporting with it* own wild din.
Seemed water changed to snow.
Beauty lies spread before my sight.
But grief-like shadows dim its light,
And all the scene appears
Like a church-yard when a friend is dying.
In more than earthly stillness lying,
And glimmering through our tears!
Sweet Woodburn! like a cloud that name Comes floating o'er my soul! Although thy beauty still survive, One look hath changed the whole. The gayest village of the gay Beside thy own sweet river, Wert thou on week- or sabbath-day! So bathed in the blue light of joy. As if no trouble could destroy Peace doomed to last for ever. Now in the shadow of thy trees Still lovely in the tainted breeze, The fell Plague-Spirit grimly lies. And broods, ns in despite Of uncomplaining lifelessness, On the troops of silent shades that press Into the church-yard's cold recess, From that region of delight
Last summer from the school-housc-door. When the glad play-bell was ringing. What shoals of bright-haired elves would
pour, Like small waves racing on the shore. In dance of rapture singing! Oft by yon little silver well, Now sleeping in neglected cell, The village-maid would stand, While resting on the mossy bank With freshened soul the traveller drank The cold cup from her hand; Haply some soldier from the war. Who would remember long and far That Lily of the Lnnd. And still the green is bright with flowers. And dancing through the sunny hours. Like blossoms from enchanted bowers On n sudden wafted by, Obedient to the changeful air, And proudly feeling they are fair, Glide bird and butterfly. But where is the tiny hunter-rout That revelled on with dance and shout Against their airy prey? Alas! the fearless linnet sings. And the bright insect folds its wings Upon the dewy flower that springs Above these children's clay. And if to yon deserted well Some solitary maid, As she was wont at eve, should go— There silent as her shade She stands a while—then fad and slow Walks home, afraid to think Of many a loudly-laughing ring