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And when merry May-time is kissing with June,
At the feast of sheep-shearing he loves to make one;
Where the bleating, and mirth, and the clapping of

shears,
Like the sweetest of music resounds in his ears.

And when Whitsuntide comes with a morrising mea

sure, To the bells, pipe, and tabor, his heart leaps with

pleasure ; A brief sparkle relumed of his manhood's

gay

fires Stirs his limbs, as though shot through electrical

wires.

He cannot be idle: sometimes with his neighbours He fares forth, like a child, to promiscuous labours; But for all he can do, though he rallies his powers, He might just as well sit in the sun for three hours.

The poor of the village in turn may repair
To the house of the Vicar, his bounty to share ;
But old Nash comes and goes when he lists ;

it were

sorrow

And shame to put off the old man with “to-morrow.” May he peacefully breathe his last breath! He shall

sleep Where the fresh grassy hillocks lie couching like

sheep, And the south wind that woos the wild flowers of the

spring Comes with early perfume and repose on its wing.

1843,

ASTHALL, OXFORDSHIRE.

A SKETCH.

I nearly summer, when the meadow

N

grass
Was ripening, and no one that way might pass,
By lanes and open pastures I drew nigh
Unto a village that aslope did lie
Upon the north-side of a vale: below,
Through water-meads I saw the Windrush flow.
Beyond, where'er the undulating wolds
Uprose to meet the sky, the distant folds
Were gemmed with fleeces. Thence I turned my

horse
Down rough road—half road, half watercourse-
Towards a spacious farm, with gables quaint,
And here and there a Gothic ornament,
Tinted with lichens and soft weather-stains;
Of some monastic pile the sole remains.
And all about the homestead, red and white
Thorns, blossoming in masses, glistened bright;
And cones of chestnut-flower in bold relief
Displayed against the fans of dark green leaf;

And underneath, the kine, with twinkling tails, Lashing the viewless flies, waited the evening milking

pails.

Alighting at the church, I took my way
Through the encincture where the gravestones lay
Unshadowed in the cheering eye of day,
To where the sacred doors of carven wood
Beneath the Saxon porch wide open stood.
My feet one moment on the threshold hung ;
Then on the pavement and sepulchral brasses rung,
As down the aisle, in mood subdued, I went
Slowly from monument to monument.
The circulating air flowed cool and free:
And o'er the solitude a melody
Stole from a tomb within a gilded rail,
Whereon a warrior lay in complete mail,
Sculptured in stone, for on that form supine
A redbreast perched, and trilled a note divine.
Even such was Asthall. I can ne'er forget
The quiet of a scene I quitted with regret.

SONNET.-ON THE PAINTINGS OF

TURNER.

G

REAT Poet of the pencil! Thou wert born

With power to see into the soul of things ; And dowered with an intellectual scorn Of slavish detail. For imaginings Sublimed from Nature thanks are due to thee : By thy creations thou hast set us free To scale the heights of unattempted art. The tones that to the mind thou dost impart Are silent never. They respond by night In still pulsation to the slumbering light; Then vibrate to the colourings of the mist, When morning is instructing sky and land And ocean; and the breadth of gleaming sand Is glassing dream-like shores, with level day-spring

kissed.

1843.

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