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Crocus and hyacinth with rich inlay
Broidered the ground, more coloured than with stones
Of costliest emblem.-MILTON.
LIKE a cloud all resplendent with green and with gold
Is the wood, now the mists of the morn are uproll'd.
The trees are now robed in their freshest attire,
And the sunbeams illume them with quick-glancing fire:
The leaflets expanding, now brighten all over,
Like a young glowing maiden at sight of her lover.
White blossoms, like diamonds, sparkle between
Gay foliage, vivid with emerald-green;
And undergrown shrubs their light arms interlace,
Trailing here, running there, with an intricate grace;
And insects, fine minions of spring, in the stream
Of light floating through leafy trellises gleam.
Here by-walks from paths more frequented diverge,
Or, springing from glens, into vistas emerge.
Here Poesy lives not in words, but in feeling,
While the fragrance of plants o'er our senses is stealing;
And blue flowers laugh, like the beautiful eyes
Of woman, 'mid others of infinite dyes
That enrich, like mosaic's most gorgeous inlay,
The turf, so profuse of their colours in May.
Wild hyacinths, loveliest here of their class,
With hues caught from heaven, spring up where we pass,
More splendid, when flowering o'er bank and through
Than Solomon in all his glory array'd!
HERE trees most prodigal of shade
With umbrage deep imbrown the glade ;
Each venerable as the oak
Whence oracles of old have spoke,
Of years and leafy honours full,
Romantic, grand, and beautiful!
Some grouped less closely on the hill
Stretch out their giant arms at will
Above, below, or crowd the dell,
Or singly grace yon upland swell.
In massive majesty sedate
They stand, immovable as fate;
Some in decay-how picturesque !
Others, like sylvan Pan, grotesque :
Each fit to canopy a throne
Of royal priest-the druid's stone;
Each fit to be, so high they tower,
An emblem of the Assyrian power *.
*"Behold, the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon, with fair branches and with a shadowing shroud, and of a high stature, and his top was among the thick boughs."-EZEKIEL, chap. xxxi. 3.
And where breaks out the mellow mould
In shapes fantastically bold,
Entwisted in the bank above
Vast trunks projecting form a cove
O'er the calm river, that below
Reflects each gently-pendent bough;
Though here and there, half grey,
Ledges of rock may intervene,
While many a trailing plant upshoots
From chasms underneath the roots.
P. 323, 1. 15, 16.
Each fit to canopy a throne
Of royal priest—the druid's stone.
"The oak, the statue of the Celtic Jove, was here, as in all other countries, selected for a peculiar consecration; and the Plain of Oaks, the tree of the field of adoration under which the Dalcassian chiefs were inaugurated, and the sacred Oak of Kildare, show how early and long this particular branch of the primitive worship prevailed.”—MOORE's History of Ireland, vol. i. p. 46.
See also the account of the druidical stones and groves in HENRY'S History of England, vol. i. p. 176.
Such miracles and dazzling sights
As genii of the sun behold
At evening from their tents of gold
Upon the horizon, where they play
Till twilight comes and, ray by ray,
The sunny mansions melt away.-MOORE.
As golden-wing'd intelligences play
In festive circle round the god of day,
They from his aspect draw a strength divine,
And mirror'd in his eyes their splendours shine.
With ever-crescent light they smile, how blest!
Their joy is by augmented light exprest!
They are more beautiful than――loveliness
Like theirs what imagery can express,
Though it be Shelley's, radiant with the stores
That Nature from her bursting horn outpours?
They are more beautiful than early glow
Of spring, when Earth renews her youth, as now!