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How calm, how beautiful comes on
The stilly hour, when storms are gone;
When warring winds have died
And clouds, beneath the glancing ray,
Melt off, and leave the lands and sea
Sleeping in bright tranquillity.-
Fresh as if day again were born,
Again upon the lap of morn!
When the light blossoms, rudely torn
And scattered at the whirlwind's will,
Hang floating in the pure air still,
Filling it all with precious balm,
In gratitude for this sweet calm ;-
And every drop the thunder-showers
Have left upon the grass and flowers
Sparkles, as ’twere, that lightning-gem
Whose liquid fame is born of them!
When, 'stead of one unchanging breeze,
There blow a thousand gentle airs,
And each a different perfume bears,-
As if the loveliest plants and trees
Had vassal breezes of their own
To watch and wait on them alone,
And waft no other breath than theirs ;
When the blue waters rise and fall,
In sleepy sunshine mantling all;
And even that swell the tempest leave
Is like the full and silent heaves
Of lovers' hearts, when newly blest,
Too newly to be quite at rest.
LORD of the day-star ! how many words portray
Of thy chaste glory one reflected ray ?
Whate'er the soul could dream, the hand could
Of regal dignity and heavenly grace ;
Each purer effluence of the fair and bright,
Whose fitful gleams have broke on mortal sight;
Each bold idea, borrowed from the sky,
To vest the embodied form of Deity ;
All, all in thee ennobled and refined,
Breathe and enchant, transcendently combined ;
Son of Elysium ! years and ages gone
Have bowed, in speechless homage, at thy throne,
And days unborn, and nations yet to be,
Shall gaze, absorbed in ecstacy, on thee!
When breezes are soft and skies are fair,
I steal an hour from study and care,
And hie me away to the woodland scene,
Where wanders the stream with waters of green;
As if the bright fringe of herbs on its brink
Had given their stain to the waters they drink :
And they, whose meadows it murmurs through,
Have named the stream from its own fair hue.
Yet pure its waters—its shallows are bright
With coloured pebbles and sparkles of light-
And clear the depths where its eddies play,
And dimples deepen and whirl away ;
And the plane-trees speckled arms overshoot
The swifter current that mines its root,
Through whose shifting leaves, as you walk the
The quivering glimmer of sun and rill
With a sudden flash on the eye is thrown,
Like the ray that streams from the diamond stone.
Oh! loveliest there the spring days come,
With blossoms, and birds, and wild bees' hum;
The flowers of summer are fairest there,
And freshest the breath of the summer air ;
And sweetest the golden autumn day
In silence and sunshine glides away.
Yet fair as thou art thou shun'st to glide,
Beautiful stream! by the village side;
But windest away from the haunts of men,
To quiet valley and shaded glen ;
And forest, and meadow, and slope of hill,
Around thee are lonely, lovely, and still.
Lonely-save when, by the rippling tides,
From thicket to thicket the angler glides;
Or the simpler comes with basket and book,
For herbs of power on thy banks to look ;
Or haply some idle dreamer, like me,
To wander, and muse, and gaze on thee.
Still-save the chirp of birds that feed
On the river cherry and seedy reed,
And thy own wild music gushing out
With mellow murmur and fairy shout,
From dawn to the blush of another day,
Like traveller singing along his way.
That fairy music I never hear,
Nor gaze on those waters so green and clear,
And mark them winding away from sight,
Darkened with shade or flashing with light-
While o'er them the vine to its thicket clings,
And the zephyr stoops to freshen his wings-
But I wish that fate had left me free
To wander these quiet haunts with thee
Till the eating cares of earth should depart
And the peace of the scene pass into my heart;
And I envy thy stream, as it glides along,
Through its beautiful banks in a trance of song.
Though forced to drudge for the dregs of men,
And scrawl strange words with the barbarous pen,
And mingle among the jostling crowd,
Where the sons of earth are subtle and loud
I often come to this quiet place,
To breathe the airs that ruffle thy face,
And gaze upon thee in silent dream;
For in thy lonely and lovely stream
An image of that calm life appears
That won my heart in my greener years.
On thy fair bosom, silver lake!
The wild swan spreads his snowy sail, And round his breast the ripples break,
As down he bears before the gale.