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Lo! where the stripling, wrapt in wonder, roves Beneath the precipice o'erhung with pine,
And sees on high, amidst th’ encircling groves,
From cliff to cliff the foaming torrents shine ;
While waters, woods, and winds in concert join,
And Echo swells the chorus to the skies.
Would Edwin this majestic scene resign
For aught the huntsman's puny craft supplies ?
Ah! no; he better knows great Nature's charms to prize.
And oft he trac'd the uplands, to survey,
When o'er the sky advanc'd the kindling dawn,
The crimson cloud, blue main, and mountain grey,
And lake, dim gleaming on the smoky lawn:
Far to the West the long, long vale withdrawn,
Where twilight loves to linger for awhile ;
And now he faintly kens the bounding fawn,
And villager abroad at early toil,
But, lo! the sun appears! and heaven, earth, ocean smile.
And oft the craggy cliff he lov'd to climb,
When all in mist the world below was lost.
What dreadful pleasure! there to stand sublime,
Like shipwreck'd mariner on desert coast,
And view th' enormous waste of vapour, toss'd
In billows, lengthening to th' horizon round,
Now scoop'd in gulfs, with mountains now emboss'd !
And hear the voice of mirth and song rebound, Flocks, herds, and waterfalls, along the hoar profound !
In truth, he was a strange and wayward wight,
Fond of each gentle and each dreadful scene.
In darkness and in storm he found delight;
Nor less, than when on ocean-wave serene
The southern sun diffus'd his dazzling sheen.
E'en sad vicissitude amus'd his soul ;
And if a sigh would sometimes intervene,
And down his cheek a tear of pity roll,
A sigh, a tear so sweet he wish'd not to control.
See, in the rear of the warm sunny shower
The visionary boy from shelter fly;
For now the storm of summer rain is o'er,
And cool, and fresh, and fragrant is the sky.
And, lo! in the dark East, expanded high,
The rainbow brightens to the setting sun!
Fond fool, that deem'st the streaming glory nigh;
How vain the chase thine ardour has begun !
'Tis fled afar, ere half thy purpos'd race be run.
When the long-sounding curfew from afar
Loaded with loud lament the lonely gale,
Young Edwin, lighted by the evening star,
Lingering and listening, wander'd down the vale.
There would he dream of graves and corses pale,
And ghosts that to the charnel-dungeon throng,
And drag a length of clanking chain, and wail,
Till silenc'd by the owl's terrific song,
Or blast that shrieks by fits the shuddering aisles along.
Or, when the setting moon, in crimson dyed,
Hung o'er the dark and melancholy deep,
To haunted streams, remote from man, he hied,
Where fays of yore their revels wont to keep;
And there let Fancy rove at large, till sleep
A vision brought to his entrancèd sight.
And first, a wildly murmuring wind 'gan creep
Shrill to his ringing ear; then tapers bright,
With instantaneous gleam, illum'd the vault of night.
Anon in view a portal's blazon'd arch
Arose; the trumpet bids the valves unfold ;
And forth an host of little warriors march,
Grasping the diamond lance and targe of gold.
Their look was gentle, their demeanour bold,
And green their helms, and green their silk attire ;
And here and there, right venerably old,
The long-rob'd minstrels wake the warbling wire, And some with mellow breath the martial pipe inspire.
With merriment, and song, and timbrels clear,
A troop of dames from myrtle bowers advance ;
The little warriors doff the targe and spear,
And loud enlivening strains provoke the dance.
They meet, they dart away, they wheel askance;
To right, to left, they thrid the flying maze ;
Now bound aloft with vigorous spring, then glance
Rapid along: with many-colour'd rays
Of tapers, gems, and gold, the echoing forests blaze.
BUT who the melodies of morn can tell ?
The wild brook babbling down the mountain side ;
The lowing herd; the sheepfold's simple bell ;
The pipe of early shepherd dim descried
In the lone valley; echoing far and wide,
The clamorous horn along the cliffs above;
The hollow murmur of the ocean tide;
The hum of bees, the linnet's lay of love,
And the full choir that wakes the universal grove.
The cottage-curs at early pilgrim bark ;
Crown’d with her pail, the tripping milkmaid sings;
The whistling ploughman stalks afield ; and, hark !
Down the rough slope the ponderous waggon rings;
Through rustling corn the hare astonish'd springs;
Slow tolls the village clock the drowsy hour;
The partridge bursts away on whirring wings;
Deep mourns the turtle in sequester'd bower,
And shrill lark carols clear from her aërial tower.
OFT when the winter storm had ceas'd to rave,
He roam’d the snowy waste at even, to view
The cloud stupendous, from th' Atlantic wave
High towering, sail along th' horizon blue :
Where, 'midst the changeful scenery ever new,
Fancy a thousand wondrous forms descries,
More wildly great than ever pencil drew-
Rocks, torrents, gulfs, and shapes of giant size,
And glitt'ring cliffs on cliffs, and fiery ramparts rise
Thence musing onward to the sounding shore,
The lone enthusiast oft would take his way,
Listening, with pleasing dread, to the deep roar
Of the wide-weltering waves.
When sulphurous clouds rollid on th' autumnal day;
E'en then he hasten'd from the haunt of man,
Along the trembling wilderness to stray,
What time the lightning's fierce career began,
And o'er heaven's rending arch the rattling thunder ran.