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That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates
With fast thick warble his delicious notes,
As he were fearful that an April night
Would be too short for him to utter forth
His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul
Of all its music!
And I know a grove
Of large extent, hard by a castle huge,
Which the great lord inhabits not; and so
This grove is wild with tangling underwood,
And the trim walks are broken
Thin grass and kingcups grow within the paths.
But never elsewhere in one place I knew
So many nightingales ; and far and near,
In wood and thicket, over the wide grove,
They answer and provoke each other's song,
With skirmish and capricious passagings,
And murmurs musical and swift jug jug,
And one low piping sound more sweet than all —
Stirring the air with such a harmony,
That should you close your eyes, you might
almost Forget it was not day! On moon-lit bushes, Whose dewy leaflets are but half disclosed, You may perchance behold them on the twigs, Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both bright
and full Glistening, while many a glowworm in the shade Lights up her love-torch.
A most gentle Maid, Who dwelleth in her hospitable home Hard by the castle, and at latest eve, (Even like a Lady vowed and dedicate To something more than Nature in the grove,) Glides through the pathways; she knows all their
notes, That gentle Maid ! and oft a moment's space, What time the moon was lost behind à cloud, Hath heard a pause of silence; till the moon Emerging, hath awakened earth and sky With one sensation, and these wakeful birds Have all burst forth in choral minstrelsy, As if some sudden gale had swept at once A hundred airy harps! And she hath watched Many a nightingale perched giddily On blossomy twig still swinging from the breeze, And to that motion tune his wanton song Like tipsy joy that reels with tossing head.
Farewell, O Warbler! till to-morrow eve, And you, my friends ! farewell, a short farewell ! We have been loitering long and pleasantly, And now for our dear homes.—That strain again! Full fain it would delay me! My dear babe, Who, capable of no articulate sound, Mars all things with his imitative lisp, How he would place his hand beside his ear, His little hand, the small forefinger up, And bid us listen! And I deem it wise
To make him Nature's playmate. He knows well
The evening-star; and once when he awoke
In most distressful mood, (some inward pain
Had made up that strange thing, an infant's dream,)
I hurried with him to our orchard-plot,
And he beheld the moon, and, hushed at once,
Suspends his sobs, and laughs most silently,
While his fair eyes, that swam with undropped
Did glitter in the yellow moon-beam! Well !-
It is a father's tale : But if that Heaven
Should give me life, his childhood shall grow up.
Familiar with these songs, that with the night
He may associate joy. — Once more, farewell,
Sweet Nightingale! Once more, my friends !
WRITTEN IN THE ALBUM AT ELBINGERODE, IN
THE HARTZ FOREST.
I stood on Brocken's* sovran height, and saw
Woods crowding upon woods, hills over hills,
A surging scene, and only limited
By the blue distance. Heavily my way
Downward I dragged through fir groves evermore,
Where bright green moss heaves in sepulchral forms
Speckled with sunshine ; and, but seldom heard,
The sweet bird's song became a hollow sound ;
And the breeze, murmuring indivisibly,
Preserved its solemn murmur most distinct
From many a note of many a waterfall,
And the brook's chatter; ʼmid whose islet stones
The dingy kidling with its tinkling bell
Leaped frolicsome, or old romantic goat
Sat, his white beard slow waving. I moved on
In low and languid mood : † for I had found
* The highest mountain in the Hartz, and indeed in North Germany. †
When I have gazed
From some high eminence on goodly vales,
And cots and villages embowered below,
The thought would rise that all to me was strange
Amid the scenes so fair, nor one small spot
Where my tired mind might rest, and call it home.
Southey's Hymn to the Penates. VOL. I.
That outward forms, the loftiest, still receive
Their finer influence from the Life within ;
Fair ciphers else : fair, but of import vague
Or unconcerning, where the heart not finds
History or prophecy of friend, or child,
Or gentle maid, our first and early love,
Or father, or the venerable name
Of our adored country! O thou Queen,
Thou delegated Deity of Earth,
O dear, dear England ! how my longing eye
Turned westward, shaping in the steady clouds
Thy sands and high white cliffs !
My native Land! Filled with the thought of thee this heart was
proud, Yea, mine eye swam with tears: that all the view From sovran Brocken, woods and woody hills, Floated away, like a departing dream, Feeble and dim! Stranger, these impulses Blame thou not lightly; nor will I profane, With hasty judgment or injurious doubt, That man's sublimer spirit, who can feel That God is everywhere! the God who framed Mankind to be one mighty family, Himself our Father, and the World our Home.