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It seemeth that this hill-encircling zone

Of beech and firs but yesterday was made; There to assist illusion, yon grey stone

Remains, of old the work -directing planter's throne.


The numerous steps of time that rise between
Childhood and age mature, when upward view'd,
Interminable seem; when downward seen,

The mental eye with smooth descent illude:
'Twixt was and is how brief the interlude !
As we reseek a spot the heart that cheers
With the remembrance of a sport pursued
In childhood, visibly there it re-appears;
Vanisheth like a rapid dream long interval of years!


And what is Time's progression? the same breeze
That in my boyhood fann'd me, on this hill
Around me plays; yon patriarchal trees
Unchanged remain, the ever lively rill

Runs through the garden rapidly at will;

The stars that cheered my nightly walks, here shed
Their spiritual influence on me still.

One proof, alas! there is, that years have fled—

Some who have here with me rejoiced are numbered

with the dead.


Feelings they had to harmony attuned

Of Nature, song of birds, and voice of streams;
They with their ever-present God communed,
Tracing his finger in the reddening gleams
Of morn, or noon-day sun's resplendent beams*.
They saw his fiat in the lightning's speed ;

They felt an evidence with which earth teems
Of life revived, as plants sprung from the seed,
And in the rainbow's sign God's promise loved to read t.


Now are they spirits glorified, and far

Look through the unapparent, as they rise Swift as Elijah in his fiery car

Through spaces infinite,-before their eyes
Truth now withdraws the veil of mysteries.
All they perceive that sought on earth behind
A cloud by man not penetrable lies;

All they perceive as mirror'd in the mind,
That, ere creation was, wisdom eterne design'd.

"Wherever God will thus manifest himself, there is Heaven, though within the circle of this sensible world."-SIR THOMAS BROWNE'S “Religio Laici."

† How beautifully Jeremy Taylor, whose works are an inexhaustible magazine of poetical images, illustrates the covenant of our redemption by that of the rainbow! "For this Jesus was like the rainbow which God set in the clouds as a sacrament to confirm a promise, and establish a grace; he was half made of the glories of the light and half of the moisture of a cloud; he was sent to tell of his Father's mercies, and that God intended to spare us; but appeared not but in the company or in the retinue of a shower and of foul weather."


I love an avenue-
-'tis like the aisle
Of a cathedral-solemn, ample, grand,
If at the close a venerable pile

Grey, turreted, the interspace command,
Looking tranquillity as evening bland
Comes on, and to the rookery return
Darkening the air in flights a cawing band:
But memory's spirit doth within me burn
yon majestic elms in ranks I now discern.



Each tree has its peculiar charms allied
To early recollections: on the bough
Of one I dared, a venturous wight, to ride;
And where another far its arms doth throw
Around, a verdant arbour framed below-
A bower of bliss indeed, though not so gay

As that which Spenser's picturing fancies show,

In which Acrasia, fair enchantress lay,

And spread her net for idle knights through the long

summer-day *.


The spirit might (affections here embrace
The home in which is cast our early lot)
Hereafter recognise some glorious place,

That slumbering in this world it had forgot

* See Spenser's "Fairy Queen," Book ii., Canto xii., Stanza 42, and the following stanzas, in which the great poet combines all his powers of description with the utmost harmony of versification.

A sweeter home than earth's most cherish'd spot

Some orb of beauty words cannot relate,
Circling the spirit free as yet from blot
Of sin, ere its probationary state

Began-But here in vain we strive to speculate.


Oft when the thunderstorm has ceased, I've gazed
From this green hill on such a sight divine

As Wordsworth's Solitary sad amazed;

That cannot be described in verse like mine,
But lives embodied in the glowing line

Of Rydal's mighty Bard: earth, air, and sky

With mountain-structures cloud-built domes outshine All palaces by Fancy raised-the eye

In pageantries of Nature may faint types of Heaven descry.


Outbursts of sunlight after summer shower
With luminous distinctness gild the leaves,
Circulate smiles o'er petals of each flower
That bending for the loss of splendour grieves.
Thus man from Heaven consoling light receives
With waters of affliction when opprest;

Hope of its weight the drooping soul relieves,
And virtues brighten forth, that in the breast
Beneath Prosperity's broad glare would undiscerned



We drink in, as it were, the flow of life

Around us, that insoul'd becomes a part Even of our being: thought is ne'er at strife

With thought, when love of Nature's at the heart,
That bids all good to enter-ill, depart.

They who from mountain-heights look o'er the vale,
Smile, from its touch secure, at Envy's dart :
They on the placid lake who love to sail,
Care not what contests fierce in cities proud prevail.


Those who hereafter view the golden corn
Waving below, (the reapers and their lord
Gone, and replaced by others lately born,)
May have their minds with imagery stored
Richer than that my humble lays afford:

May they while garnering up boon Nature's wealth
Add these my little gleanings to their hoard,

And kindly think of him who here by stealth

From dull pursuits some moments snatched to breathe the gales of health!

August, 1833.

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