Page images

Oh! his seems many a feeling high;
There's in his gait an ecstacy:

And dreams of virtue and of worth,
Mingling with all, in air or earth,
Touched by the sunbeams' height'ning glow,
By magic chain connecting, grow,

And build a heaven for mind below.

Now, far and wide, his looks

The landscape to its skirt of blue.
High on the wild ridge is his stand:
O'er hundred plains he holds a hand!
And, mark!-o'erwrought in rapture now-
Half rises to his lip the vow,

That ne'er for him shall human sin
Seem fair such fairer world within:
And, wondering half that fevered care
Should covet aught that all might share,
He turns, so visioned, to survey
Each thing re-living in the ray.

Beneath the huge hill's verge, and far
Sweeping its base, a sylvan bar,

The sombrer view was wild woods all:

O'er many a hillock, many a fall,

Abrupt and harsh, and darkly green,

Those wild wood-tops were straggling seen.
Wide o'er their misty, giant arms,

-At glimpses too 'twixt hoar trees stern,→
The roaming eye might pleased discern
Nature's all sunned and glowing charms:
And, 'mid the leafy light and shade,
Ruled by the breeze that flickering played,
The simple hut by peasant reared,
Crowning some heathery slope, appeared:

While by the umbered path-way's side,
That clomb the upland's steepy pride,
On verdant turf the lone ox browsing,
No sound his ruminations rousing,
From herdsman free, securely fed,
All undisturbed his stilly tread:

Save when some sauntering woodland boy,
Waked cheerly to his first employ,
With careless step the brakes among,
Would chaunt aloud his cottage song;
And oft the idly-gathered blade
(Smiling the while in boyish glee)
Fling to the light airs o'er his head,—
Meet emblem of Simplicity!

But, lo!-till now unmarked-where stood,
Just skirted by the sheltering wood,
And where the boughs' re-burnished green
Had caught the glorious solar sheen,

A village, and its steeple low,

Whose humble height scarce topped the glow,

Reflected, and reflecting, flung

The cottage attic panes among.
Ah! that fair scene he joys to see!
It minds him of his infancy;
And of each pastime of the boy;
And how-e'en then his dearest joy
Blest Liberty-all lone he'd roam
Around his own as rural home.
'Mid such a scene, or swift or slow,
Still varying, would his footsteps go:
And, climbing now the monarch-tree
Of all the grove, he'd laugh to see
The glittering vane upon the spire,
(Mantled like yon he sees in fire,)

Than his own breeze-rocked height no higher.

Thought he then, wearied with the glow,
How, seeking some sweet nook below,
On a sloping bank reposing,
Gentlest sleep his eyelids closing,
He dreamed perchance of objects dear,
Of childish joy, or childish tear;
And slumbered till some insect's hum,
Marring his visions light, would come,
And send him, pretty truant! home.

Night.-The Robber.

'Tis gentlest eve: and that soft beam,
To towns that gives its silvery stream
On tiled roof, and turret-stone,
More sweetly, tranquilly, now shone
On the low village, and its trees,
And whitened spire, and vane that flees
In quick pale flashes from the breeze,
Where, blest to own romance's power,
Walked ALBERT in the morning hour.

How lave the woods, and sleep, in light!
Even their nodding glooms, to-night,

Seem all too fair to harbour ill

And lo! from wild-wood path who darkling climbs the


His wary track is stilly wound

The bright-tipt ridge's base around,

His foot-steps yet in shade:

He pauses-starts-looks o'er the dell:

All hush-some neighbouring sheep-cote bell

Alone had murmur made.

He gains the height; but deems too nigh
The loveliness of Luna's eye:

Descends-and stalks the travelled road

The hedge-row covert won, no farther strode.

Who ALBERT knew in earlier day,
And marked him on life's morning way;
Perchance had wondered, when a youth,
Whose brow was light, whose features truth;
Whose inmost thought seemed ever holy,
Who chiefly wooed lone melancholy;
Whose mild warm look would still express
Deep thought, and deeper tenderness;
Whose ardent accents, too, would seem
As stol'n from heated Poet's dream;
And who, when lawless pleasure lured,
As though in joys more prized secured,
As passion-free, and vice-exempt,
Repelled in cool tho' haught contempt;-
Ah! such perchance had wondered, when,
In lone by-path, or woodland glen,

That self-same youth, so changed, was seen,
Desperate of hand, and fierce of mien,
His life disporting on the cast

Of the Road's venturous game at last.

Little 'twould boot the boy to scan,
To see if hopes, so marred in man,
Were genuine promise of the flower,
That withered ere the ripening hour;
Little 'twould boot, unless some eye,
Young as was ALBERT's then, should spy
A faint resemblance in the page,

To aught may mark his own green age:
And learn-if he will deign to learn-
That feelings, proudly prompt to spurn
At vice, and virtue laud and love,
Have, haply, yet that hour to prove,
When, fairer far than he has painted,
Vice shall smile out-nay, pure and sainted,

Like Virtue's very self, appear,—

And Virtue's borrowed vesture wear;

Till every passion racks with every war,

And faint and fainter gleams his once-thought guiding


There is a Phantom walks beneath

The pure bright sky, and brighter sun:
"Tis arch as Satan, strong as death:
What myriads hath the Fiend nndone!
In open day it stalks the earth,
Besets each mortal from his birth;
And holds a mirror to the view,
Reflecting each his form untrue.

Who has not proved that Phantom's prey?
Who walks not SELF-DECEPTION's way?

Yet, erringly if Youth pourtray

One brightly-pure and beauteous ray;

If one soft flame, and one alone,
The ardent stripling make his own;
And all too fondly deem it fair,
Until he scorch within the glare;
Yet be that venial fault forgiven,

For Love, true Love,'s a light from heaven!

Oh! ALBERT's love was pure and high:
That love, so like to piety,

That oft its portraiture it takes,

And, till the strong illusion breaks,
Its sky-raised language so it speaks,
The small-skilled votary's self believes,
And every friend the fraud receives.

And were the blame, the after-doom,
Her's, whose gay scorn gave Albert's gloom;
The doom for powers distorted, turned
From right, for right that only burned;

« PreviousContinue »