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So pure the sky, so quiet was the air!
So like, so very like, was day to day!
Whene'er I look'd, thy image still was there;
It trembled, but it never pass'd away.
How perfect was the calm! it seem'd no sleep;
No mood, which season takes away or brings :
I could have fancied that the mighty deep
Was even the gentlest of all gentle things.
Ah! then, if mine had been the painter's hand,
To express what then I saw ; and add the gleam,
The light that never was, on sea or land,
The consecration, and the poet's dream ;
I would have planted thee, thou hoary pile,
Amid a world how different from this !
Beside a sea that could not cease to smile;
On tranquil land, beneath a sky of bliss.
A picture had it been of lasting ease,
Elysian quiet, without toil or strife ;
No motion but the moving tide, a breeze,
Or merely silent Nature's breathing life.
Such, in the fond illusion of my heart,
Such picture would I at that time have made :
And seen the soul of truth in every part ;
A faith, a trust that could not be betray'd.
So once it would have been : 'tis.so no more:
I have submitted to a new control :
gone which nothing can restore : A deep distress hath humanized my soul.
Not for a moment could I now behold
A smiling sea, and be what I have been:
The feeling of my loss will ne'er be old;
This, which I know, I speak with mind serene.
Then, Beaumont, friend! who would have been the
friend, If he had lived, of him whom I deplore, This work of thine I blame not, but commend; This sea in anger, and that dismal shore. Oh, 'tis a passionate work! yet wise and well; Well chosen is the spirit that is here; That hulk, which labours in the deadly swell, This rueful sky, this pageantry of fear! And this huge castle, standing here sublime, I love to see the look with which it braves, Cased in the unfeeling armour of old time, The lightning, the fierce wind, and trampling waves. Farewell! farewell the heart that lives alone, Housed in a dream at distance from the kind ! Such happiness, wherever it be known, Is to be pitied, for 'tis surely blind. But welcome fortitude, and patient cheer, And frequent sights of what is to be borne ! Such sights, or worse, as are before me here: Not without hope we suffer and we mourn.
SONG AT THE FEAST OF BROUGHAM CASTLE.
High in the breathless hall the minstrel sate,
And Emont's murmur mingled with the song.
The words of ancient time I thus translate,
A festal strain that hath been silent long.
“From town to town, from tower to tower,
The red rose is a gladsome flower.
Her thirty years of winter past,
The red rose is revived at last;
She lifts her head for endless spring,
For everlasting blossoming :
Both roses flourish, red and white.
In love and sisterly delight
The two that were at strife are blended,
And all old troubles now are ended.
Joy! joy to both! but most to her
Who is the flower of Lancaster !
Behold her, how she smiles to-day
On this great throng, this bright array!
Fair greeting doth she send to all,
From every corner of the hall ;
But chiefly from above the board,
Where sits in state our rightful lord,
A Clifford to his own restored !
They came with banner, spear, and shield;
And it was proved in Bosworth field.
Not long the avenger was withstood;
Earth help'd him with the cry of blood:
St. George was for us, and the might
Of blessed angels crown'd the right.
Loud voice the land has utter'd forth,
We loudest in the faithfúl North :
Our fields rejoice, our mountains ring,
Our streams proclaim a welcoming ;
Our strong abodes and castles see
The glory of their loyalty.
“How glad is Skipton at this hour,
Though she is but a lonely tower,
To vacancy and silence left;
Of all her guardian sons bereft
Knight, squire, or yeoman, page or groom,
We have them at the feast of Brough'm.
How glad Pendragon-though the sleep
Of years be on her! She shall reap
A taste of this great pleasure, viewing,
As in a dream, her own' renewing.
Rejoiced is Brough, right glad, I deem,
Beside her little humble stream;
And she that keepeth watch and ward,'
Her statelier Eden's course to guard ;
They both are happy at this hour,
Though each is but a lonely tower :
But here is perfect joy and pride
For one fair house by Emont's side,
This day distinguish'd without peer,
To see her master and to cheer-
Him, and his lady mother dear!
“ Oh! it was a time forlorn
When the fatherless was born :
Give her wings that she may fly,
Or she sees her infant die !
Swords that are with slaughter wild
Hunt the mother and the child.
Who will take them from the light?
Yonder is a man in sight :
Yonder is a house, but where ?
No, they must not enter there.
To the caves and to the brooks,
To the clouds of heaven she looks ;
She is speechless, but her eyes
Pray in ghostly agonies.
Blissful Mary, mother mild,
Maid and mother undefiled,
Save a mother and her child !
“Now who is he that bounds with joy
On Carrock's side, a shepherd boy?
No thoughts hath he but thoughts that pass
Light as the wind along the grass.
Can this be he who hither came
In secret, like a smother'd flame?
O'er whom such thankful tears were shed
For shelter, and a poor man's bread!
God loves the child; and God hath will'd
That those dear words should be fulfill'd;
The lady's words, when forced away,
The last she to her babe did say:
My own, my own, thy fellow-guest
I may not be ; but rest thee, rest,
For lowly shepherd's life is best!'
« Alas! when evil men are strong, No life is good, no pleasure long. The boy must part from Mosedale's groves, And leave Blencathara's rugged coves, And quit the flowers that summer brings To Glenderamakin's lofty springs ; Must vanish, and his careless cheer Be turn'd to heaviness and fear. Give Sir Lancelot Threlkeld praise ! Hear it, good man, old in days! Thou tree of covert and of rest For this young bird that is distress'd; Among thy branches safe he lay, And he was free to sport and play, Wher falcons were abroad for prey.
“A recreant harp, that sings of fear And heaviness in Clifford's ear! I said, when evil men are strong, No life is good, no pleasure long : A weak and cowardly untruth! Our Clifford was a happy youth, And thankful through a weary time, That brought him up to manhood's prime. Again he wanders forth at will, And tends a flock from hill to hill : His garb is humble ; ne'er was seen Such garb with such a noble mien ; Among the shepherd-grooms no mate Hath he, a child of strength and state! Yet lacks not friends for solemn glee, And a cheerful company, That learn'd of him submissive ways, And comforted his private days. To his side the fallow-deer Came, and rested without fear, The eagle, lord of land and sea, Stoop'd down to pay him fealty ; And both the undying fish that swim Through Bowscale Tarn did wait on him;