Imatges de pàgina

His heart rekindles, and his cheek appears
A thousand times more lovely through his

From the first glimpse of day, a busy scene
Was that high-swelling lawn, that destined

Which shadowless expanded far and wide,
The mansion's ornament, the hamlet's pride;
To cheer, to order, to direct, contrive,
Even old Sir Ambrose had been up at five;
There his whole household labour'd in his

But light is labour where the task is new.
Some wheeled the turf to build a grassy

Round a huge thorn that spread his boughs

Rough-rined and bold, as master of the place;
Five generations of the Higham race

Had pluck'd his flowers, and still he held his

Waved his white head, and felt the breath of

Some from the greenhouse ranged exotics

To bask in open day on English ground:
And 'midst them in a line of splendour drew
Long wreaths and garlands gather'd in the

Some spread the snowy canvass, propp'd on

O'er sheltering tables with their whole supply;
Some swung the biting scythe with merry face,
And cropp'd the daisies for a dancing space;
Some roll'd the mouldy barrel in his might,
From prison darkness into cheerful light,
And fenced him round with cans; and others

The creaking hamper with its costly store;
Well cork'd, well flavour'd, and well tax'd,
that came

From Lusitanian mountains dear to fame, Whence Gama steer'd, and led the conquering way

To eastern triumphs and the realms of day.
A thousand minor tasks fill'd every hour,
Till the sun gain'd the zenith of his power,
When every path was thronged with old and

And many a skylark in his strength upsprung
To bid them welcome. Not a face was there
But, for May-day at least, had banish'd care;
No cringing looks, no pauper tales to tell,
No timid glance-they knew their host too

Freedom was there, and joy in every eye: Such scenes were England's boast in days gone by.

Beneath the thorn was good Sir Ambrose found,

His guests an ample crescent form'd around; Nature's own carpet spread the space between, Where blithe domestics plied in gold and green.

The venerable chaplain waved his wand, And silence follow'd as he stretch'd his hand :

The deep carouse can never boast the bliss, The animation of a scene like this.

At length the damask'd cloths were whisk'd away

Like fluttering sails upon a summer's day;
The hey-day of enjoyment found repose;
The worthy baronet majestic rose.

They view'd him, while his ale was filling round,

The monarch of his own paternal ground. His cup was full, and where the blossoms bow'd

Over his head, Sir Ambrose spoke aloud, Nor stopp'd a dainty form or phrase to cull. His heart elated, like his cup was full:"Full be your hopes, and rich the crops that fall;

Health to my neighbours, happiness to all." Dull must that clown be, dull as winter's sleet,

Who would not instantly be on his feet: An echoing health to mingling shouts give place,

"Sir Ambrose Higham and his noble race!" Robert Bloomfield.—Born 1766, Died 1823.


My untried Muse shall no high tone assume, Nor strut in arms-farewell my cap and plume!

Brief be my verse, a task within my power;

I tell my feelings in one happy hour:

But what an hour was that! when from the main

I reach'd this lovely valley once again!
A glorious harvest fill'd my eager sight,
Half shock'd, half waving in a flood of light;
On that poor cottage roof where I was born,
The sun look'd down as in life's early morn.
I gazed around, but not a soul appear'd;
I listen'd on the threshold, nothing heard;
I called my father thrice, but no one came;
It was not fear or grief that shook my frame,
But an o'erpowering sense of peace and home,
Of toils gone by, perhaps of joys to come.
The door invitingly stood open wide;

I shook my dust, and set my staff aside.
How sweet it was to breathe that cooler

And take possession of my father's chair!
Beneath my elbow, on the solid frame,
Appear'd the rough initials of my name,
Cut forty years before! The same old clock
Struck the same bell, and gave my heart a


I never can forget. A short breeze sprung, And while a sigh was trembling on my tongue,

Caught the old dangling almanacs behind,
And up they flew like banners in the wind;

Then gently, singly, down, down, down they went,

And told of twenty years that I had spent Far from my native land. That instant


A robin on the threshold; though so tame, At first he look'd distrustful, almost shy, And cast on me his coal-black steadfast eye, And seem'd to say (past friendship to renew) "Ah ha! old worn-out soldier, is it you? Through the room ranged the imprison'd humble bee,

And bomb'd, and bounced, and struggled to be free;

Dashing against the panes with sullen roar, That threw their diamond sunlight on the floor;

That floor, clean sanded, where my fancy stray'd,

O'er undulating waves the broom had made; Reminding me of those of hideous forms

That met us as we pass'd the Cape of storms, Where high and loud they break, and peace

comes never;

They roll and foam, and roll and foam for


But here was peace, that peace which home can yield;

The grasshopper, the partridge in the field,
And ticking clock, were all at once become
The substitute for clarion, fife, and drum.
While thus I mused, still gazing, gazing

On beds of moss that spread the window-sill,
I deem'd no moss my eyes had ever seen
Had been so lovely, brilliant, fresh, and

And guess'd some infant hand had placed it there,

And prized its hue, so exquisite, so rare.
Feelings on feelings mingling, doubling rose;
My heart felt everything but calm repose;
I could not reckon minutes, hours, nor years,
But rose at once, and bursted into tears;
Then, like a fool, confused, sat down again,
And thought upon the past with shame and

I raved at war and all its horrid cost,
And glory's quagmire, where the brave are

On carnage, fire, and plunder long I mused, And cursed the murdering weapons I had used.

Two shadows then I saw, two voices heard, One bespoke age, and one a child's appear'd. In stepp'd my father with convulsive start, And in an instant clasp'd me to his heart. Close by him stood a little blue-eyed maid ; And stooping to the child, the old man said, "Come hither, Nancy, kiss me once again. This is your uncle Charles, come home from Spain."

The child approach'd, and with her fingers light,

Stroked my old eyes, almost deprived of sight.

But why thus spin my tale-thus tedious be? Happy old soldier! what's the world to me! Robert Bloomfield.-Born 1766, Died 1823.

1126. TO HIS WIFE.

I rise, dear Mary, from the soundest rest,

A wandering, way-worn, musing, singing


I claim the privilege of hill and plain ;
Mine are the woods, and all that they con-


The unpolluted gale, which sweeps the glade;
All the cool blessings of the solemn shade;
Health, and the flow of happiness sincere ;
Yet there's one wish-I wish that thou wert

Free from the trammels of domestic care,
With me these dear autumnal sweets to share;
To share my heart's ungovernable joy,
And keep the birthday of our poor lame boy.
Ah! that's a tender string! Yet since I find
That scenes like these can soothe the harass'd


Trust me, 'twould set thy jaded spirits free, To wander thus through vales and woods with


Thou know'st how much I love to steal away From noise, from uproar, and the blaze of


With double transport would my heart rebound

To lead thee where the clustering nuts are found;

No toilsome efforts would our task demand, For the brown treasure stoops to meet the hand.

Round the tall hazel beds of moss appear
In green swards nibbled by the forest deer,
Sun, and alternate shade; while o'er our

The cawing rook his glossy pinions spreads; The noisy jay, his wild woods dashing through;

The ring-dove's chorus, and the rustling bough;

The far-resounding gate; the kite's shrill


The distant ploughman's halloo to his team. This is the chorus to my soul so dear;

It would delight thee too, wert thou but here:

For we might talk of home, and muse o'er days

Of sad distress, and Heaven's mysterious


Our chequer'd fortunes with a smile retrace, And build new hopes upon our infant race; Pour our thanksgivings forth, and weep the while;

Or pray for blessings on our native isle.

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Genius of the forest shades,

Lend thy power, and lend thine ear;
A stranger trod thy lonely glades,
Amidst thy dark and bounding deer;
Inquiring childhood claims the verse,
O let them not inquire in vain ;
Be with me while I thus rehearse
The glories of thy sylvan reign.

Thy dells by wintry currents worn,

Secluded haunts, how dear to me!
From all but nature's converse borne,
No ear to hear, no eye to see.
Their honour'd leaves the green oaks rear'd,
And crown'd the upland's graceful swell;
While answering through the vale was heard
Each distant heifer's tinkling bell.

Hail, greenwood shades, that, stretching far,
Defy e'en summer's noontide power,
When August in his burning car
Withholds the clouds, withholds the shower.
The deeptoned low from either hill,

Down hazel aisles and arches green (The herd's rude tracks from rill to rill), Roar'd echoing through the solemn scene.

From my charm'd heart the numbers sprung,
Though birds had ceased the choral lay;
I pour'd wild raptures from my tongue,
And gave delicious tears their way.
Then, darker shadows seeking still,

Where human foot had seldom strayed,

I read aloud to every hill

Sweet Emma's love, "the Nut-brown maid."

Shaking his matted mane on high,

The gazing colt would raise his head, Or timorous doe would rushing fly,

And leave to me her grassy bed; Where, as the azure sky appeared

Through bowers of ever varying form,
'Midst the deep gloom methought I heard
The daring progress of the storm.

How would each sweeping ponderous bough
Resist, when straight the whirlwind cleaves,
Dashing in strengthening eddies through
A roaring wilderness of leaves?
How would the prone descending shower
From the green canopy rebound?
How would the lowland torrents pour ?
How deep the pealing thunder sound?

But peace was there: no lightnings blazed;
No clouds obscured the face of heaven;
Down each green opening while I gazed,
My thoughts to home and you were given.
O, tender minds! in life's gay morn,

Some clouds must dim your coming day;
Yet bootless, pride and falsehood scorn,
And peace like this shall cheer your way.

Now, at the dark wood's stately side,

Well pleased I met the sun again; Here fleeting fancy travell'd wide;

My seat was destined to the main. For many an oak lay stretch'd at length, Whose trunks (with bark no longer sheathed) Had reach'd their full meridian strength

Before your father's father breathed!

Perhaps they'll many a conflict brave
And many a dreadful storm defy;
Then, groaning o'er the adverse wave,
Bring home the flag of victory.
Go, then, proud oaks, we meet no more
Go, grace the scenes to me denied,
The white cliffs round my native shore,
And the loud ocean's swelling tide.

"Genius of the forest shades,"

Sweet from the heights of thy domain, When the gray evening shadow fades, To view the country's golden grain; To view the gleaming village spire

'Midst distant groves unknown to meGroves that, grown bright in borrow'd fire, Bow o'er the peopled vales to thee.

Where was thy elfin train, that play

Round Wake's huge oak, their favourite tree,

Dancing the twilight hours away?

Why were they not revealed to me?

Yet, smiling fairies left behind,
Affection brought you all to view;
To love and tenderness resigned,

My heart heaved many a sigh for you.

When morning still unclouded rose,

Refresh'd with sleep and joyous dreams, Where fruitful fields with woodlands close, I traced the births of various streams. From beds of clay, here creeping rills, Unseen to parent Ouse, would steal; Or, gushing from the northward hills, Would glitter through Tove's winding dale.

But ah! ye cooling springs, farewell!
Herds, I no more your freedom share;
But long my grateful tongue shall tell
What brought your gazing stranger there.
"Genius of the forest shades,"

Lend thy power, and lend thine ear;
But dreams still lengthen thy long glades,
And bring thy peace and silence here.
Robert Bloomfield.-Born 1766, Died 1823..


The silver moon at midnight cold and still, Looks, sad and silent, o'er yon western hill; While large and pale the ghostly structures


Rear'd on the confines of the world below. Is that dull sound the hum of Teviot's stream?

Is that blue light the moon's, or tomb-fire's gleam ?

By which a mouldering pile is faintly seen,
The old deserted church of Hazeldean,
Where slept my fathers in their natal clay,
Till Teviot's waters rolled their bones away?
Their feeble voices from the stream they

"Rash youth! unmindful of thy early days, Why didst thou quit the peasant's simple lot ?

Why didst thou leave the peasant's turf-built cot,

The ancient graves where all thy fathers lie, And Teviot's stream that long has murmur'd by?

And we-when death so long has closed our eyes,

How wilt thou bid us from the dust arise, And bear our mouldering bones across the main,

From vales that knew our lives devoid of stain ?

Rash youth beware, thy home-bred virtues


And sweetly sleep in thy paternal grave."

John Leyden.-Born 1775, Died 1811.

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With silent awe I hail the sacred morn,
That scarcely wakes while all the fields are

A soothing calm on every breeze is borne,
A graver murmur echoes from the hill,
And softer sings the linnet from the thorn;
The skylark warbles in a tone less shrill.
Hail, light serene! hail, sacred Sabbath morn!
The sky a placid yellow lustre throws;
The gales that lately sigh'd along the grove
Have hushed their drowsy wings in dead


The hovering rack of clouds forgets to move : So soft the day when the first morn arose !

John Leyden.-Born 1775, Died 1811.

The cold wind of the stranger blew
Chill on my withered heart; the grave
Dark and untimely met my view-
And all for thee, vile yellow slave!

Ha! com'st thou now so late to mock
A wanderer's banished heart forlorn,
Now that his frame the lightning shock

Of sun-rays tipt with death was borne ? From love, from friendship, country, torn, To memory's fond regrets the prey;

Vile slave, thy yellow dross I scorn! Go mix thee with thy kindred clay !

John Leyden.-Born 1775, Died 1811.

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