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Once in our porch whilst I was resting
To hear the rain-drops in their mirth, You said you saw the rainbow cresting
The heavens with colour, based on earth :
And I believe it fills the showers
With music; and when sweeter air Than common breathes from briar-rose bowers,
I think the rainbow has touched there.
I hear the winds rise up to battle;
Or in the hill-side larches sing ; Or in the merry ash-key's rattle ;
Or in rough oaks low murmuring. And in that hour of deepest feeling, Which
you call twilight, comes a sound Of dread yet lovely beings wheeling
About the firmament profound;
All night to quiet melodies,
Lost in his fuller harmonies.
I hear of beauteous forms and faces,
Sparkling eyes, and glossy hair; And my touch unerring traces
Mind and spirit dwelling there.
And thankful for the inventor's cunning,
The page embossed with learning's fruit, O'er which my fingers will be running,
As o'er an harpsichord or lute,
I glide through tales of warlike ages,
And follow high poetic rhymes, And magic lore of bearded sages,
And lighter gems of modern times.
Or inly pondering gospel tidings,
I learn from our Redeemer's lot How light in darkness was residing,
But the darkness knew it not.
Sister, I make no vain pretences
Weighing thus my gifts with thine ; For I have, as thou hast, senses
To comprehend that word--to shine!
A day shall dawn, a day of brightness,
Such the glorious words of grace, When we alike in robes of whiteness
Shall see our Maker face to face.
ON A SCENE IN HUNGARY.
BUDA, July 31, 1841.
WOULD'ST thou survey a scene as bright
As may on earth be found, Ascend the Blocksberg's craggy height,
By star-eyed Science crowned.*
Thence with enraptured eye skim o'er
The immeasurable plain,
Of flocks, and herds, and grain.
Then, turning towards the breezy west,
Refresh the wearied sight
Enrobed in summer light.
* The observatory of Buda is erected on the summit of the Blocksberg,
Below, white walls, and glittering spires
Buda, and Pesth are seen, And Danube in unbroken flow
Rolls deep and wide between ;
But, when the haunts of men are passed,
Puts forth on either hand
And water all the land.
And northwards by those floating mills,
Two islands, side by side,
Lie stemming Danube's tide,
That runs in narrowed course between
Then, swift as thought can fly,
On Thames's banks that lie.
Ah, happy hills ! ah, pleasing shade!
Ah, fields beloved in vain! Where once my careless childhood strayed,
A stranger yet to pain.*
* From Gray's Ode on a distant Prospect of Eton College.
Return, return, inconstant thoughts;
What tricks doth memory play! Forbear to mingle scenes like these
With others far away.
O Nature ! still where'er I roam,
Thee, Goddess, I revere;
Less mighty, yet more dear.
He thy best worshipper shall prove
Who feels it pleasing pain,
To drag the lengthening chain.