« PreviousContinue »
To the meat mansion," where, his Flock among,
The learned Pastor dwells, their watchful Lord.
Though meek and patient as a sheathed sword,
Though pride's least lurking thought appear a wrong
To human kind; though peace be on his tongue,
Gentleness in his heart; can earth afford
Such genuine state, pre-eminence so free,
As when, arrayed in Christ's authority,
He from the Pulpit lifts his awful hand;
Conjures, implores, and labours all he can
For re-subjecting to divine command
The stubborn spirit of rebellious Man?
Yes, if the intensities of hope and fear
Attract us still, and passionate exercise
Of lofty thoughts, the way before us lies
Distinct with signs—through which, in fixed career,
As through a zodiac, moves the ritual year
Of England's Church—stupendous mysteries'
Which whoso travels in her bosom, eyes
As he approaches them, with solemn cheer.
Enough for us to cast a transient glance
The circle through; relinquishing its story
For those whom Heaven hath fitted to advance,
And, harp in hand, rehearse the King of Glory—
From his mild advent till his countenance
Shall dissipate the seas and mountains hoary.
" Among the benefits arising, as Mr Coleridge has well observed from a Church Establishment of endowments corresponding with the wealth of the country to which it belongs, may be reckoned, as eminently important, the examples of civility and refinement which the Clergy, stationed at intervals, afford to the whole people. The established Clergy in many parts of England have long been, as they continue to be, the principal bulwark against barbarism, and the link which unites the sequestered Peasantry with the intellectual advancement of the age. Nor is it below the dignity of the subject to observe that their Taste, as acting upon rural Residences and scenery, often furnishes models which Country Gentlemen, who are more at liberty to follow the caprices of Fashion, might profit by. The precincts of an old residence must be treated by Ecclesiastics with respect, both from prudence and necessity. I remember being much pleased, some years ago, at Rose Castle, the Rural Seat of the See of Carlisle, with a style of Garden and Architecture, which, if the Place had belonged to a wealthy Layman, would no doubt have been swept away. A Parsonage-house generally stands not far from the Church ; this proximity imposes favourable restraints, and sometimes suggests an affecting union of the accommodations and elegancies of life with the outward signs of piety and mortality.— with pleasure I recal to mind a happy instance of this in the Residence of an old and much-valued friend in Oxfordshire, the house and Church stand parallel to each other, at a small distance; n circular lawn, or rather grass-plot, spreads between them; shrubs and trees curve from each side of the dwelling, veiling, but not hiding the Church. From the front of this Dwelling, no part of the Burialtround is seen; but, as you wind by the side of the Shrubs towards the Steeple end of the Church, the eye catches a single, small, low, monumental head-stone, moss-grown, sinking into, and gently in
- clining towards, the earth. Advance, and the Churchyard, populous
and gay with glittering Tombstones, opens upon the view. This humble and beautiful Parsonage called forth a tribute, for which see • A Parsonage in Orfordshire, - in Miscellaneous Sonnets.
The sinful product of a bed of Weeds !
Fitliest beneath the sacred roof proceeds
The ministration; while parental Love
Looks on, and Grace descendeth from above
As the high service pledges now, now pleads.
There, should vain thoughts outspread their wings and fly
To meet the coming hours of festal mirth,
The tombs which hear and answer that brief cry,
The Infant's notice of his second birth,
Recal the wandering soul to sympathy
With what Man hopes from Heaven, yet fears from Earth
From Little down to Least—in due degree,
Around the Pastor, each in new-wrought vest,
Each with a vernal posy at his breast,
We stood, a trembling, earnest Company'
With low soft murmur, like a distant bee,
Some spake, by thought-perplexing fears betrayed;
And some a bold unerring answer made;
How fluttered then thy anxious heart for me,
Beloved Mother! Thou whose happy hand
Had bound the flowers I wore, with faithful tic:
Sweet flowers at whose inaudible command
tier countenance, phantom-like, doth re-appear:
O lost too early for the frequent tear,
: And ill requited by this heart-felt sigh'
The Young-ones gathered in from hill and dale,
With holiday delight on every brow:
'T is passed away; far other thoughts prevail;
For they are taking the baptismal Wow
Upon their conscious selves; their own lips speak
The solemn promise. Strongest sinews fail,
And many a blooming, many a lovely cheek
Under the holy fear of God turns pale,
While on each head his lawn-robed Servant lays
An apostolic hand, and with prayer seals
The Covenant. The Omnipotent will raise
Their feeble Souls; and bear with his regrets,
Who, looking round the fair assemblage, feels
That ere the Sun goes down their childhood sets.
I saw a Mother's eye intensely bent
Upon a Maiden trembling as she knelt;
In and for whom the pious Mother felt
Things that we judge of by a light too faint,
Tell, if ye may, some star-crowned Muse, or Saint
Tell what rushed in, from what she was relieved—
Then, when her Child the hallowing touch received,
And such vibration to the Mother went
That tears burst forth amain. Did gleams appear,
Opened a vision of that blissful place
Where dwells a Sister-child? And was power given
Part of her lost One's glory back to trace
Even to this Rite? For thus She knelt, and, ere
The Summer-leaf had faded, passed to Heaven.
By chain yet stronger must the Soul be tied:
One duty more, last stage of this ascent,
Brings to thy food, memorial Sacrament!
The Offspring, haply at the Parents side;
But not till They, with all that do abide
In Heaven, have lifted up their hearts to laud
And magnify the glorious name of God,
Fountain of Grace, whose Son for Sinners died.
Here must my Song in timid reverence pause:
But shrink not ye whom to the saving rite
The Altar calls; come early under laws
That can secure for you a path of light
Through gloomiest shade; put on (nor dread its weight)
Armour divine, and conquer in your cause!
Context with calmer scenes around us spread
And humbler objects, give we to a day
of annual joy one tributary lay;
This day when, forth by rustic music led,
The village Children, while the sky is red
With evening lights, advance in long array
Through the still Church-yard, each with garland gay,
That, carried sceptre-like, o'ertops the head
Of the proud Bearer. To the wide Church-door,
Charged with these offerings which their Fathers bore
For decoration in the Papal time,
The innocent procession softly moves:—
The spirit of Laud is pleased in Heaven's pure clime,
And Hooker's voice the spectacle approves!
Would that our scrupulous Sires had dared to leave
Less scanty measure of those graceful rites
And usages, whose due return invites
A stir of mind too natural to deceive;
Giving the Memory help when she would weave
A crown for Hope! I dread the boasted lights
That all too often are but fiery blights,
hilling the bud o'er which in vain we grieve.
Go, seek when Christmas snows discomfort bring
The counter Spirit, found in some gay Church
Green with fresh Holly, every pew a perch
In which the limnet or the thrush might sing,
Merry and loud, and safe from prying search,
Strains offered only to the genial Spring.
From low to high doth dissolution climb, And sinks from high to low, along a scale of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail; A musical but melancholy chime, which they can hear who meddle not with crime, Nor a varice, nor over-anxious care. Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
* Thi, is till continued in many Churches in westmorland. It takes place in the month of July, when the floor of the Stalls i. stron with fresh rushes; and bence it is called the "u"-"
|The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
That in the morning whitened hill and plain
And is no more; drop like the tower sublime
Of yesterday, which royally did wear
Its crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
Or the unimaginable touch of Time.
Monastic Domes! following my downward way,
Untouched by due regret I marked your fall!
Now, ruin, beauty, ancient stillness, all
Dispose to judgments temperate as we lay
On our past selves in life's declining day:
For as, by discipline of Time made wise,
We learn to tolerate the infirmities
And faults of others, gently as he may
Towards our own the mild Instructor deals,
Teaching us to forget them or forgive."
Perversely curious, then, for hidden ill
Why should we break Time's charitable seals?
Once ye were holy, ye are holy still;
Your spirit freely let me drink and live!
Even while I speak, the sacred roofs of France i
Are shattered into dust; and self-exiled t
From Altars threatened, levelled, or defiled,
Wander the Ministers of God, as chance
Opens a way for life, or consonance
Of Faith invites. More welcome to no land
The fugitives than to the British strand,
where Priest and Layman with the vigilance
Of true compassion greet them. Creed and test
Vanish before the unreserved embrace
Of Catholic humanity —distrest
They came, and, while the moral tempest roars
Throughout the Country they have left, our shores
Give to their Faith a dreadless resting-place.
Thus all things lead to Charity-secured
by them who blessed the soft and happy gale
That landward urged the great Deliverers sail,
Till in the sunny bay his fleet was moored'
Propitious hour! had we, like them, endured
Sore stress of apprehension,” with a mind
Sickened by injuries, dreading worse designed,
From month to month trembling and unassured,
How had we then rejoiced! But we have felt,
As a loved substance, their futurity;
Good, which they dared not hope for, we have seen;
A state whose generous will through earth is dealt;
A State—which, balancing herself between
Licence and slavish order, dares be free. |
But liberty, and triumphs on the Main,
And laurelled Armies—not to be withstood,
What serve they if, on transitory good
Intent, and sedulous of abject gain,
The state (ah surely not preserved in vain )
Forbear to shape due channels which the Flood
Of sacred Truth may enter—till it brood
O'er the wide realm, as o'er the Egyptian Plain
The all-sustaining Nile. No more—the time
Is conscious of her want; through England's bounds,
In rival haste, the wished-for Temples rise!
I hear their sabbath bells' harmonious chime
| Float on the breeze—the heavenliest of all sounds
That hill or vale prolongs or multiplies'
Be this the chosen site;—the virgin sod,
Moistened from age to age by dewy eve,
Shall disappear—and grateful earth receive
The corner-stone from hands that build to God.
Yon reverend hawthorns, hardened to the rod
Of winter storms, yet budding cheerfully; f
Those forest oaks of Druid memory,
Shall long survive, to shelter the Abode
of genuine Faith. Where, haply, 'mid this band
Of daisies, Shepherds sate of yore and wove
May-garlands, let the holy Altar stand
For kneeling adoration; while—above,
Broods, visibly pourtrayed, the mystic Dove,
That shall protect from Blasphemy the land.
MiNe ear has rung, my spirit sunk subdued,
Sharing the strong emotion of the crowd,
When each pale brow to dread hosannas bowed
While clouds of incense mounting veiled the rood,
That glimmered like a pine-tree dimly viewed
Through Alpine vapours. Such appalling rite
Our Church prepares not, trusting to the might
Of simple truth with grace divine imbued;
Yet will we not conceal the precious Cross,
Like Men ashamed: " the Sun with his first smile
Shall greet that symbol crowning the low Pile;
And the fresh air of , incense-breathing morn"
Shall wooingly embrace it; and green moss
Creep round its arms through centuries unborn.
The encircling ground, in native turf arrayed,
Is now by solemn consecration given
To social interests, and to favouring Heaven;
And where the rugged Colts their gambols played,
And wild Deer bounded through the forest glade,
Unchecked as when by merry Outlaw driven,
Shall hymns of praise resound at morn and even;
And soon, full soon, the lonely Sexton's spade
Shall wound the tender sod. Encincture small,
' The Lutherans have retained the Cross within their Churches; it is to be regreited that we have not done the same.
But infinite its grasp of joy and woe!
Hopes, fears, in never-ending ebb and flow—
The spousal trembling—and the “dust to dust –
The prayers, the contrite struggle, and the trust
That to the Almighty Father looks through all:
Open your Gates, ye everlasting Piles!
Types of the Spiritual Church which God hath re-re.
Not loth we quit the newly-hallowed sward
And humble altar, mid your sumptuous aisles
To kneel—or thrid your intricate defiles—
Or down the nave to pace in motion slow;
Watching, with upward eye, the tall tower grow
And mount, at every step, with living wiles
Instinct—to rouse the heart and lead the will
By a bright ladder to the world above.
Open your Gates, ye Monuments of love
Divine! thou Lincoln, on thy sovereign hill!
Thou, stately York and Ye, whose splendours cher
Isis and Cam, to patient Science dear!
INSIDE OF KING'S COLLEGE CHAPEL CAV. BRIDGE.
| Or through the aisles of Westminster to roam; where bubbles burst, and folly's dancing foam | Melts, if it cross the threshold; where the wreath of awe-struck wisdom droops: or let my path Lead to that younger Pile, whose sky-like dome Hath typified by reach of daring art Infinity's embrace; whose guardian crest, The silent Cross, among the stars shall spread As now, when she hath also seen her breast Filled with mementos, satiate with its part of grateful England's overflowing Dead.
Clony to God' and to the Power who came
In filial duty, clothed with love divine;
That made his human tabernacle slaine
Like Ocean burning with purpureal flame;
Or like the Alpine Mount, that takes its name
From roseate hues, far kenned at morn and even,
in hours of peace, or when the storm is driven
• Some say that Monte Rosa takes its name from a belt of rock at its summit—a very unpoetical, and scarcely a probable supposition.
Along the nether region's rugged frame!
Earth prompts—Heaven urges; let us seek the light
Studious of that pure intercourse begun
When first our infant brows their lustre won;
So, like the Mountain, may we grow more bright
From unimpeded commerce with the Sun,
At the approach of all-involving night.
Why sleeps the future, as a snake enrolled,
Coil within coil, at noon-tide? For the Wond
Yields, if with unpresumptuous faith explored,
Power at whose touch the sluggard shall unfold
His drowsy rings. Look forth' that stream behold,
That Stre AM upon whose bosom we have passed
Floating at ease while nations have effaced
Nations, and Death has gathered to his fold
Long lines of mighty Kings— look forth, my Soul!
(Nor in this vision be thou slow to trust)
The living Waters, less and less by guilt
Stained and polluted, brighten as they roll,
Till they have reached the Eternal City—built
For the perfected Spirits of the just!
instead of a God, or Melior Natura.
Drano the Summer of 1807, the Author visited, for the first time, the beautiful scenery that surrounds Bolton Priory, in Yorkshire; and the Poem of the Whitl. Doe, founded upon a Tradition connected with the phace, was composed at the close of the same year.
In trellised shed with clustering roses gay,
And, Many oft beside our blazing fire,
when years of wedded life were as a day
Whose current answers to the hcart's desire,
Did we together read in Spenser's Lay
How Una, sad of soul—in sad attire,
The gentle Una, born of heavenly birth,
To seek her Knight went wandering o'er the earth.
Ah, then, Beloved! pleasing was the smart,
And the tear precious in compassion shed
For Her, who, pierced by sorrow's thrilling dart,
Did meekly bear the pang unmerited;
contidence of a letter Nature than his own could never attain. himself upon Divine protection and favour, gathereth a force and faith which human Nature in itself
Qsb e Júlijite Doc of $plgtone; ()
OR, THE FATE OF THE NORTONS.
they that deny a God, destroy Man's nobility: for certainly Man is of kinn to the Beasts by his Body : and if he be not of kinn to God by his Spirit, he is a base ignoble Creature. Magnanimity, and the raising of humane Nature: for take an example of a Dogg, and mark what a generosity and courage he will put on, when he finds himself maintained by a man, who to him is which courage is manifestly such, as that Creature without that
so Man, when he resteth and assureth
Meek as that emblem of her lowly heart
The milk-white Lamb which in a line she led,—
And faithful, loyal in her innocence,
Like the brave Lion slain in her defence.
Notes could we hear as of a faery shell
Attuned to words with sacred wisdom fraught;
Free Fancy prized each specious miracle,
And all its finer inspiration caught;
Till, in the bosom of our rustic Cell,
we by a lamentable change were taught
That a bliss with mortal Man inay not abide : *-
Ilow nearly joy and sorrow are allied'
For us the stream of fiction ceased to flow,
For us the voice of melody was mute.
– But, as soft gales dissolve the dreary snow,
And give the timid herbage leave to shoot,
Heaven's breathing influence failed not to bestow
A timely promise of unlooked-for fruit,
Fair fruit of pleasure and serene content
From blossoms wild of fancies innocent.
It soothed us—it beguiled us—then, to hear
Once more of troubles wrought by magic spell;
And griefs whose aery motion comes not near
The pangs that tempt the Spirit to rebel;
Then, with mild Una in her sober cheer,
Iligh over hill and low adown the dell
Again we wandered, willing to partake
All that she suffered for her dear Lord's sake.
Then, too, this Song of mine once more could please,
Where anguish, strange as dreams of restless sleep,
Is tempered and allayed by sympathies
Aloft ascending, and descending deep,
Even to the inferior Kinds; whom forest trees
Protect from beating sunbeams, and the sweep
Of the sharp winds;—fair Creatures!—to whom Heaven
A calm and sinless life, with love, hath given.
This tragic Story cheered us: for it speaks
Of female patience winning firm repose;
And of the recompense which conscience seeks
A bright, encouraging example shows;
Needful when o'er wide realms the tempest breaks,
Needful amid life's ordinary woes;
Hence, not for them unfitted who would bless
A happy hour with holier happiness.
He serves the Muses erringly and ill,
Whose aim is pleasure light and fugitive:
O, that my mind were equal to fulfil
The comprehensive mandate which they give—
Wain aspiration of an earnest will!
Yet in this moral Strain a power may live,
Beloved Wife! such solace to impart
As it hath yielded to thy tender heart.
Rydal Mount, WestMoaland, April 20, 1815.
From Bolton's old monastic tower (2)
The bells ring loud with gladsome power;
The sun is bright; the fields are gay
With people in their best array
Of stole and doublet, hood and scarf,
Along the banks of crystal Wharf,
Through the Vale retired and lowly,
Trooping to that summons holy.
And, up among the moorlands, see
what sprinklings of blithe company:
Of lasses and of shepherd grooms,
That down the steep hills force their way,
Like cattle through the budded brooms;
Path, or no path, what care they?
And thus in joyous mood they hie
To Bolton's mouldering Priory.
What would they there?—Full fifty years That sumptuous Pile, with all its peers, Too harshly hath been doomed to taste The bitterness of wrong and waste: Its courts are ravaged; but the tower is standing with a voice of power,
That ancient voice which wont to call
To mass or some high festival;
And in the shattered fabric's heart
Remaineth one protected part;
A rural Chapel, neatly drest, (3)
In covert like a little nest;
And thither young and old repair,
This Sabbath-day, for praise and prayer.
Fast the church-yard fills;–anon Look again, and they all are gone; The cluster round the porch, and the folk Who sate in the shade of the Prior's Oak (i. And scarcely have they disappeared Ere the prelusive hymn is heard:— With one consent the people rejoice, Filling the church with a lofty voice! They sing a service which they feel: For "t is the sun-rise now of real, And faith and hope are in their prime, In great Eliza's golden time.
A moment ends the fervent din, And all is hushed, without and within; For though the priest, more tranquilly, Recites the holy liturgy, The only voice which you can hear Is the river murmuring near. —When soft!—the dusky trees between, And down the path through the open green, Where is no living thing to be seen; And through yon gateway, where is found, Beneath the arch with ivy bound, Free entrance to the church-yard ground; And right across the verdant sod Towards the very house of God; —Comes gliding in with lovely gleam, Comes gliding in serene and slow, Soft and silent as a dream, A solitary Does white she is as lily of June, And beauteous as the silver moon When out of sight the clouds are driven, And she is left alone in heaven; Or like a ship some gentle day In sunshine sailing far away, A glittering ship, that hath the plain Of ocean for her own domain.
Lie silent in your graves, ye dead! Lie quiet in your church-yard bed! Ye living, tend your holy cares; Ye multitude, pursue your prayers; And blame not me if my heart and sight Are occupied with one delight! T is a work for sabbath hours If I with this bright Creature go, Whether she be of forest bowers, From the bowers of earth below; Or a Spirit, for one day given. A gift of grace from purest heaven.
What harmonious pensive changes Wait upon her as she ranges Round and through this Pile of state, Overthrown and desolate!