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Moaned from the twilight centre of the grove,
While every other woodland lay is mute,
Save when the wren flits from her down-coved nest,
And from the root-sprig trills her ditty clear,-
The grasshopper's oft-pausing chirp,--the buzz,
Angrily shrill, of moss-entangled bee,
That, soon as loosed, booms with full twang away,
The sudden rushing of the minnow shoal,
Scared from the shallows by my passing tread.
Dimpling the water glides, with here and there
A glossy fly, skimming in circlets gay
The treacherous surface, while the quick-eyed trout
Watches his time to spring; or, from above,
Some feathered dam, purveying midst the boughs,
Darts from her perch, and to her plumeless brood
Bears off the prize :-sad emblem of man's lot!
He, giddy insect, from his native leaf,
(Where safe and happily he might have lurked),
Elate upon ambition's gaudy wings,
Forgetful of his origin, and, worse,
Unthinking of his end, flies to the stream ;
And if from hostile vigilance he 'scape,
Buoyant he flutters but a little while,
Mistakes the inverted image of the sky
For heaven itself, and, sinking, meets his fate.

Now let me trace the stream up to its source Among the hills ; its runnel by degrees Diminishing, the murmur turns a tinkle. Closer and closer still the banks approach, Tangled so thick with pleaching bramble-shoots, With brier, and hazel branch, and hawthorn spray, That, fain to quit the dingle, glad I mount Into the open air : grateful the breeze

That fans my throbbing temples ! smiles the plain Spread wide below : how sweet the placid view! But O! more sweet the thought, heart-soothing

thought, That thousands and ten thousands of the sons Of toil partake this day the common joy Of rest, of peace, of viewing hill and dale, Of breathing in the silence of the woods, And blessing Him who gave the Sabbath day. Yes, my heart flutters with a freer throb, To think that now the townsman wanders forth Among the fields and meadows, to enjoy The coolness of the day's decline; to see His children sport around, and simply pull The flower and weed promiscuous, as a boon, Which proudly in his breast they smiling fix.

Again I turn me to the hill, and trace The wizard stream, now scarce to be discerned ; Woodless its banks, but green with ferny leaves, And thinly strewed with heath-bells up and down.

Now, when the downward sun has left the glens, Each mountain's rugged lineaments are traced Upon the adverse slope, where stalks gigantic The shepherd's shadow thrown athwart the chasm, As on the topmost ridge he homeward hies. How deep the hush! the torrent's channel, dry, Presents a stony steep, the echo's haunt. But hark, a plaintive sound floating along ! 'Tis from yon heath-roofed shielin ; now it dies Away, now rises full ; it is the song Which He, who listens to the halleluiahs Of choiring Seraphim,-delights to hear ;

It is the music of the heart, the voice
Of venerable age,-of guileless youth,
In kindly circle seated on the ground
Before their wicker door: behold the man !
The grandsire and the saint; his silvery locks
Beam in the parting ray ; before him lies,
Upon the smooth-cropt sward, the open book,
His comfort, stay, and ever-new delight !
While, heedless, at his side, the lisping boy
Fondles the lamb that nightly shares his couch.


When homeward bands their several ways disperse,
I love to linger in the narrow field
Of rest; to wander round from tomb to tomb,
And think of some who silent sleep below.
Sad sighs the wind, that from those ancient elms
Shakes showers of leaves upon the withered grass :
The sere and yellow wreaths, with eddying sweep,
Fill up the furrows 'tween the hillocked graves.
But list that moan ! 'tis the poor blind man's dog,
His guide for many a day, now come to mourn
The master and the friend-conjunction rare !
A man he was indeed of gentle soul,
Though bred to brave the deep: the lightning's flash
Had dimmed, not closed, his mild, but sightless eyes.
He was a welcome guest through all his range ;
(It was not wide :) no dog would bay at him :
Children would run to meet him on his way,
And lead him to a sunny seat, and climb
His knee, and wonder at his oft-told tales.

Then would he teach the elfins how to plait
The rushy cap and crown, or sedgy ship;
And I have seen him lay his tremulous hand
Upon their heads, while silent moved his lips.
Peace to thy spirit ! that now looks on me,
Perhaps with greater pity than I felt
To see thee wandering darkling on thy way.

But let me quit this melancholy spot, And roam where nature gives a parting smile. As yet the blue-bells linger on the sod That copes the sheepfold ring; and in the woods A second blow of many flowers appears ; Flowers faintly tinged, and breathing no perfume. But fruits, not blossoms, form the woodland wreath, That circles Autumn's brow : the ruddy haws Now clothethe half-leaved thorn; the bramble bends Beneath its jetty load ; the hazel hangs With auburn branches, dipping in the stream That sweeps along, and threatens to o’erflow The leaf-strewn banks : oft, statue-like, 1 gaze, In vacancy of thought, upon that stream, And chase, with dreaming eye, the eddying foam ; Or rowan's clustered branch, or harvest sheaf, Borne rapidly adown the dizzying flood.


How dazzling white the snowy scene! deep, deep,
The stillness of the winter Sabbath day,-
Not even a foot-fall heard. --Smooth are the fields,
Each hollow pathway level with the plain :

Hid are the bushes, save that, here and there,
Are seen the topmost shoots of brier or broom.
High-ridged, the whirled drift has almost reached
The powdered key-stone of the church-yard porch.
Mute hangs the hooded bell; the tombs lie buried ;
No step approaches to the house of prayer.

The Aickering fall is o'er ; the clouds disperse, And show the sun, hung o'er the welkin's verge, Shooting a bright but ineffectual beam On all the sparkling waste. Now is the time To visit nature in her grand attire ; Though perilous the mountainous ascent, A noble recompense the danger brings. How beautiful the plain stretched far below! Unvaried though it be, save by yon stream With azure windings, or the leafless wood. But what the beauty of the plain, compared To that sublimity which reigns enthroned, Holding joint rule with solitude divine, Among yon rocky fells, that bid defiance To steps the most adventurously bold ! There silence dwells profound ; or if the cry Of high-poized eagle break at times the calm, The mantled echoes no response return.

But let me now explore the deep-sunk dell. No foot-print, save the covey's or the flock's, Is seen along the rill, where marshy springs Still rear the grassy blade of vivid green. Beware, ye shepherds, of these treacherous haunts, Nor linger there too long : the wintry day Soon closes; and full oft a heavier fall, Heaped by the blast, fills up the sheltered glen,

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