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Moaned from the twilight centre of the grove,
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
AN AUTUMN SABBATH WALK.
When homeward bands their several ways disperse,
Then would he teach the elfins how to plait
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.
A WINTER SABBATH WALK.
How dazzling white the snowy scene! deep, deep,
Hid are the bushes, save that, here and there,
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,