Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

WORTHING.

A SKETCH.

NSI

OT when the winter's wild south-western blast

Scatters thy spray-flakes, furious, loud, and fast, But when thy surf with slow and solemn swell Booms on the ear, I love thee, Ocean, well. 'Tis sweet to lie fanned by thy healthful breeze, Stretched on the shore in meditative ease, Whilst influences tremble through the frame, Felt inwardly, but which we cannot name. And sweet to share with those we love the best, Old recreations in new colours dressed ; With rhymes and tales that to the seas belong, Of Proteus' wreathed horn, or mermaid's fabled song.

Here children on the sands, or pebbly beach,
In

very sport learn more than books can teach.
The smooth-worn shingle, and the buoyant weed,
Please with moist gleam, and temptingly succeed.
Some pause aloof, to watch with timorous glee
The magic swelling of the moon-led sea ;

Some bolder stand, unmoved, in act to brave
The flowing march of each advancing wave;
Then follow, when its landward plunge is o'er,
Its backward swing, that sweeps and rattles down the

shore.

But when low tide reveals the ocean-bed,
A level space of firm brown sand is spread,
With wave-like ripple-mark ribbed far and wide,
Ploughed by the ceaseless current of the tide,
From where the shingles whiten in the sun,
And the swart lines of sweltering sea-weed run,
To where mid-way between the earth and sky
The steaming mirage mocks the clearest eye.
One vessel in the offing rides afloat;
Black, without motion, lies the fisher's boat;
And through the throng of sauntering idlers gay
The dripping shrimper threads his homeward way.

ON THE TERRACE AT SOMERSET

HOUSE.

A NIGHT-PIECE.

TH

THE fair round moon sheds down her dewy light

Upon this noble terrace, and reveals The long perspective of the balustrades With light and shade alternating; o'erhead The sky is frosty, and Orion slants Athwart the level haze; an eager air Comes freshening from the bosom of the Thames ; Against the granite wall the quick spring-tide Laps audibly, as though on living crags; A barge that seems self-moved-a dusky shape-Glides onward, like a dream ; but with the dash Of the heavy plunging oar, that breaks the moon's Calm image to ten thousand luminous waves, And eddies, and bright points, I see her form From stem to stern; the dark hull swims in light. Another soon will follow, for I hear The capstan's clink, and voice of one that weighs His anchor to old snatches of a song.

Yon bridge—those wondrous rows of pendent lamps-
With the reflex beneath, recalls the dear
And half-forgotten scenes of fairy-lore
I conned in childhood ;-—the strange symphony
Of striking clocks, now near, and now far off,
Now near again, is merged and whelmed at length
In solemn globes of sound flung one by one
From sovereign Paul's clock tower ;—the trumpet sounds
From the far-barrack at this hour of night
With notes of peace and rest ;-from yon tall mill,
Looming through river vapours spectrally,
The engine throbs at lengthening intervals ;
And all the cataract of human life,
Maddening erewhile with fevered dissonance,
Subdued to distant murmurings, breathes repose.
And, as in revelations of a dream,
I see a harmony pervading things
Inanimate, and things that tell of life,
With spirit pre-eminent o'er the manifold din
That in the giddy whirl and glare of day
The fair proportions of this imagery
Deforms with harshness out of tune with love.

1843.

OLD MASTER NASH OF WINDRUSH.

A VILLAGE PORTRAIT.

A

SHEPHERD for eighty long summers and

winters, He followed his trade, without stirring adventures, On the ridge of the wild windy Cotswold, alone With his dog, and his flock, and the gray walls of

stone.

Overburden'd with well-nigh a century's weight,
Marvel not that he stoops, that he totters in gait;
But old age holds his senses so little in thrall,
You would scarce think him acting the last scene of

all.

Snow-white is his hair, and the hues of his cheek Long acquaintance with rain, dews, and sunshine, be

speak; Still, though now for a crutch he abandons his crook, He's at yeaning-time called to advise and o'erlook.

« AnteriorContinuar »