Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Can scenes like these withdraw thee from thy

wood, Thy upland forest or thy valley's flood ? Seek then thy garden's shrubby bound, and look, As it steals by, upon the bordering brook ; That winding streamlet, limping, lingering, slow, Where the reeds whisper when the zephyrs blow; Where in the midst, upon her throne of green, Sits the large lily as the water's queen; And makes the current, forced a while to stay, Murmur and bubble as it shoots away; Draw then the strongest contrast to that stream, And our broad river will before thee seem.

With ceaseless motion comes and goes the tide, Flowing, it fills the channel vast and wide ; Then back to sea, with strong majestic sweep It rolls, in ebb yet terrible and deep; Here sampire banks and saltwort bound the flood, There stakes and seaweeds withering on the mud; And higher up, a ridge of all things base, Which some strong tide has rolld upon the place.

Thy gentle river boasts its pigmy boat, Urged on by pains, half grounded, half afloat; While at her stern an, angler takes his stand, And marks the fish he purposes to land ; From that clear space, where, in the cheerful ray Of the warm sun, the scaly people play.

Far other craft our prouder river shows, Hoys, pinks, and sloops; brigs, brigantines, and Nor angler we on our wide stream descry, (snows; But one poor dredger where his oysters lie: He, cold and wet, and driving with the tide, Beats his weak arms against his tarry side, Then drains the remnant of diluted gin, To aid the warmth that languishes within ; Renewing oft his poor attempts to beat His tingling fingers into gathering heat.

He shall again be seen when evening comes,
And social parties crowd their favourite rooms:
Where on the table pipes and papers lie,
The steaming bowl or foaming tankard by ;
'Tis then, with all these comforts spread around,
They hear the painful dredger's welcome sound;
And few themselves the savoury boon deny,
The food that feeds, the living luxury.

Yon is our quay! those smaller hoys from town,
Its various wares, for country use, bring down ;
Those laden wagons, in return, impart
The country produce to the city mart;
Hark! to the clamour in that miry road,
Bounded and narrow'd by yon vessel's load;
The lumbering wealth she empties round the place,
Package and parcel, hogshead, chest, and case :
While the loud seamen and the angry hind,
Mingling in business, bellow to the wind.

Near these a crew amphibious, in the docks, Rear, for the sea, those castles on the stocks : See! the long keel, which soon the waves must hide; See! the strong ribs which form the roomy side; Bolts yielding slowly to the sturdiest stroke, And planks which curve and crackle in the smoke. Around the whole rise cloudy wreaths, and far Bear the warm pungence of o'er-boiling tar.

Dabbling on shore half-naked seaboys crowd, Swim round a ship, or swing upon the shroud; Or in a boat purloin'd, with paddles play, And grow familiar with the watery way: Young though they be, they feel whose sons they are, They know what British seamen do and dare; Proud of that fame, they rise and they enjoy The rustic wonder of the village boy.

Before you bid these busy scenes adieu, Behold the wealth that lies in public view,

Those far-extended heaps of coal and coke,
Where fresh-fill'd limekilns breathe their stifling
This shall pass off, and you behold, instead, (smoke.
The night-fire gleaming on its chalky bed ;
When from the lighthouse brighter beams will rise,
To show the shipman where the shallow lies.

Thy walks are ever int; every scene
Is rich in beauty, lively, or serene :
Rich is that varied view with woods around,
Seen from the seat, within the shrubb’ry bound;
Where shines the distant lake, and where appear
From ruins bolting, unmolested deer;
Lively the village green, the inn, the place
Where the good widow schools her infant race.
Shops, whence are heard the hammer and the saw,
And village pleasures unreproved by law;
Then how serene! when in your favourite room,
Gales from your jasmines sooth the evening gloom ;
When from your upland paddock you look down,
And just perceive the smoke which hides the town;
When weary peasants at the close of day
Walk to their cots, and part upon the way;
When cattle slowly cross the shallow brook, [crook.
And shepherds pen their folds, and rest upon their

We prune our hedges, prime our slender trees, And nothing looks untutor'd and at ease; On the wide heath, or in the flow'ry vale, We scent the vapours of the sea-born gale; Broad-beaten paths lead on from stile to stile, And sewers from streets the roadside banks defile; Our guarded fields a sense of danger show, Where garden-crops with corn and clover grow; Fences are form’d of wreck and placed around (With tenters tipp'd), a strong, repulsive bound; Wide and deep ditches by the gardens run, And there in ambush lie the trap and gun ; Or yon broad board, which guards each tempting “Like a tall bully, lifts its head and lies.” (prize,

There stands a cottage with an open door, Its garden undefended blooms before : Her wheel is still, and overturn'd her stool, While the lone widow seeks the neighbouring pool: This gives us hope, all views of town to shunNo! here are tokens of the sailor son; That old blue jacket, and that shirt of check, And silken kerchief for the seaman's neck; Sea-spoils and shells from many a distant shore, And furry robe from frozen Labrador.

Our busy streets and sylvan walks between
Fen, marshes, bog, and heath all intervene ;
Here pits of crag, with spongy, plashy base,
To some enrich th' uncultivated space :
For there are blossoms rare, and curious rush,
The gale's rich balm, and sun-dew's crimson blush,
Whose velvet leaf with radiant beauty dress'd,
Forms a gay pillow for the plover's breast.

Not distant far, a house commodious made
(Lonely, yet public stands) for Sunday trade;
Thither, for this day free, gay parties go,
Their tea-house walk, their tippling rendezvous ;
There humble couples sit in corner bowers,
Or gayly ramble for th' allotted hours !
Sailors and lasses from the town attend,
The servant lover, the apprentice friend;
With all the idle, social tribes, who seek
And find their pleasures once a week.

Turn to the watery world! but who to thee
(A wonder yet unview'd) shall paint the sea !
Various and vast, sublime in all its forms,
When lull’d by zephyrs, or when roused by storms;
In colours changing, when from clonds and sun
Shades after shades upon the surface run;
Embrown'd and horrid now, and now serene,
In limpid blue and evanescent green ;
And oft the soggy banks on ocean lie,
Lift the fair sail, and cheat th' experienced eye.

Be it the summer noon : à sandy space The ebbing tide has left upon its place ; Then just the hot and stony beach above, Light twinkling streams in bright confusion move (For, heated thus, the warmer air ascends, And with the cooler in its fall contends) — Then the broad bosom of the ocean keeps An equal motion; swelling as it sleeps, Then slowly sinking; curling to the strand, Faint, lazy waves o'ercreep the ridgy sand, Or tap the tarry boat with gentle blow, And back return in silence, smooth and slow. Ships in the calm seem anchord; for they glide On the still sea, urged solely by the tide ; Art thou not present this calm scene before, Where all besides is pebbly length of shore, And, far as eye can reach, it can discern no more!

Yet sometimes comes a ruffling cloud to make The quiet surface of the ocean shake; As an awaken'd giant with a frown Might show his wrath, and then to sleep sink down.

View now the winter-storm! above, one cloud, Black and unbroken, all the skies o'ershroud; Th' unwieldy porpoise through the day before Had rollid in view of boding men on shore; And sometimes hid and sometimes show'd his form, Dark as the cloud, and furious as the storm.

All where the eye delights, yet dreads to roam, The breaking billows cast the flying foam Upon the billows rising ; all the deep Is restless change; the waves so swellid and steep, Breaking and sinking, and the sunken swells, Nor one, one moment in its station dwells : But nearer land you may the billows trace, As if contending in their watery chase ; May watch the mightiest till the shoal they reach, Then break and hurry to their utmost stretch;

VOL. II.-N

« ПретходнаНастави »