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All that's bright, by Love's decree,
Has been made resembling thee!
Why are Nature's beauties felt ?
Oh! 'tis thine in her we see !
Why has music power to melt ?
Ob! because it speaks like thee.
All that's sweet, by Love's decree,
Has been made resembling thee!
The breath of Spring is on thee, Aspley Wood!
Each shoot of thine is vig'rous, from the green
Low-drooping larch, and full-unfolded bud
Of sycamore, and beech, majestic queen !
With her tiara on, which crowns the scene
With beauty,--to the stern oak, on whose rind
The warmest suns and sweetest showers have been,
And soft voice of the fond Favonian wind ;-
His thousand ling’ring leaves reluctantly unbind.
But of all other trees, a clust'ring crowd
Bow their young tops rejoicingly, to meet
The breeze, which yet not murmurs over loud,
But wastes on Nature's cheek its kisses sweet,
To woo her from dark winter ;-the wild bleat
Of innocent lambs is on the passing gale,
Blending with pastoral bells, and at my feet,
From yon warm wood the stockdove's plaintive wail
Wins to the curious ear o'er the subjected vale.
O Nature ! woods, winds, music, valleys, hills,
And gushing brooks,-in you there is a voice
Of potency, an utt'rance which instils
Light, life, and freshness, bidding Man rejoice
As with a spirit's transport: from the noise,
The hum of busy towns, to you I fy:
Ye were my earliest purses, my first choice
Let me not idly hope, nor vainly sigh ;
Whisper once more of peace-joys-years long
Sups rise--ascend-set-darken-and we die,
The dew-drops of a morning, in whose glass
All things look sparklingly ;-alas! where I
Now stand, in how brief time shall others pass,
Nor heed, nor see the blade whereon my footstep
Ev'n as yon flower with hyacinthine bells,
Playful as light, which, shiver'd by my tread,
Is turn'd to dust and darkness-to all else
It is as though it was not; swiftly sped
Spoil o'er its bruised buds which blossomed
A blending of all sweetnesses—what now ? -
A few years hence, and over this bent head,
Dashing all life and gladness from the brow,
The scythe of Time shall pass, and Ruin's silent
Long ages since, upon his mountain-peak,
Tbi adoring Persian bent him to the flame
Of the uprisen Sun, the whilst with shriek,
And clang of soaring wings, the eagle came
From his precipitous eyrie ;see the same
Vicegerent of the Deity ascend
His watch-tower in the zenith! by what name
May I best greet thee? what new honour lend,
Cradle of infant Time-his womb, birth, being,
Look'd on the void tumultuous mass, and smil'dThen startedst thou to birth, and trod’st the pathless
Girt like a giant for the speed, the flight,
The toil of unsumm'd ages; in thy zone,
Charm'd into motion by thy sacred light,
The glad earth danc'd around thee with the tone
Of music—for then Eden was her own,
And all things breath'd of beauty,—-chiefly Man
Drank of an angel's joy ; where are ye flown,
Too fleeting suns ? a mortal's thought may span
Your course—for ye return'd to whence your race
And we became all shadow_in the abyss,
The spirit's desolation, here we stand,
Wrestling in darkness for a heav'nly bliss,
And an immortal's essence: brightly grand,
How climbest thou thy skies? nor lend'st a hand
To help us to thy altitude ! away
Earth-born repinings—ye may not command
A sparkle of that intellectual ray,
Which yet from heav'n descends, and communes
with our clay.
Once in the flight of ages past,
There liv'd a man :--and who was He? -Mortal! howe'er thy lot be cast,
That Man resembled Thee,
Unknown the region of his birth ;
The land in which he died, unknown : His name hath perish'd from the earth,
This truth survives alone:
That joy and grief, and hope and fear,
Alternate triumph'd in his breast; His bliss and woe-a smile, a tear !
- Oblivion hides the rest.
The bounding pulse, the languid limb,
The changing spirits' rise and fall : We know that these were felt by him,
For these are felt by all.
He suffer'd—but his pangs are o'er ;
Enjoy'd—but his delights are fled; Had friends his friends are now no more,
And foes his foes are dead.
He lov’d,—but whom he lov'd, the grave
Hath lost in its unconscious womb : O she was fair! but nought could save
Her beauty from the tomb.
The rolling seasons, day and night,
Sun, moon, and stars, the earth and main, Erewhile his portion, life and light,
To him exist in vain.
He saw whatever thou hast seen ;
Encounter'd all that troubles thee; He was-whatever thou hast been ;
He is what thou shalt be.
The clouds and sunbeams, o'er his eye
That once their shades and glory threw,