« PreviousContinue »
In him the favage virtue of the race,
Revenge, and all ferocious thoughts, were dead : Nor did he change ; but kept in lofty place
The wisdom which adversity had bred.
Glad were the vales, and every cottage hearth;
The Shepherd-lord was honoured more and more : And, ages after he was laid in earth,
“ The Good Lord Clifford” was the name he bore.
WRITTEN WITH A SLATE-PENCIL On a Stone, on the side of the Mountain of Black Comb, Cumberland.
TAY, bold adventurer ! rest awhile thy limbs
On this commodious seat; for much remains
Of hard ascent before thou reach the top
Of this huge eminence,—from blackness named,
And, to far-travelled storms of sea and land,
A favourite spot of tournament and war !
But thee may no such boisterous visitants
Moleft; may gentle breezes fan thy brow;
And neither cloud conceal, nor misty air
Bedim the grand terraqueous spectacle,
From centre to circumference unveiled!
Know, if thou grudge not to prolong thy rest,
That, on the summit whither thou art bound,
A geographic labourer pitched his tent,
With books fupplied and instruments of art,
To measure height and distance ; lonely task,
Week after week pursued !—To him was given
Full many a glimpse (but sparingly bestowed
On timid man) of Nature's processes
Upon the exalted hills. He made report
That once, while there he plied his studious work
Within that canvas dwelling, suddenly
The many-coloured map before his eyes
Became invisible: for all around
Had darkness fallen-unthreatened, unproclaimed
As if the golden day itself had been
Extinguished in a moment; total gloom,
In which he sate alone, with unclosed eyes,
Upon the blinded mountain's silent top !
VIEW FROM THE TOP OF BLACK COMB.
This height a ministering angel might select:
For from the summit of Black COMB (dread name
Derived from clouds and storms !) the amplest range
Of unobstructed prospect may be seen
That British ground commands :—low dusky tracts
Where Trent is nursed, far southward! Cambrian Hills
To the south-west, a multitudinous show ;
And, in a line of eye-light linked with these,
The hoary peaks of Scotland that give birth
To Teviot's stream, to Annan, Tweed, and Clyde ;-
Crowding the quarter whence the sun comes forth,
Gigantic mountains rough with crags; beneath,
Right at the imperial station's western base,
Main ocean, breaking audibly, and stretched
Far into filent regions, blue and pale ;
And visibly engirding Mona's Ille
That, as we left the plain, before our sight
Stood like. a lofty mount, uplifting slowly
(Above the convex of the watery globe)
Into clear view the cultured fields that streak
Its habitable shores; but now appears
A dwindled object, and submits to lie
At the spectator's feet. -Yon azure ridge,
Is it a perishable cloud —or there
Do we behold the frame of Erin's coast?
Land sometimes by the roving shepherd swain
(Like the bright confines of another world)
Not doubtfully perceived.-Look homeward now !
In depth, in height, in circuit, how serene
The spectacle, how pure !-Of Nature's works,
In earth, and air, and earth-embracing sea,
A revelation infinite it seems;
Display august of man's inheritance,
Of Britain's calm felicity and power.
TO THE RIVER DUDDON. O mountain stream! the shepherd and his cot Are privileged inmates of deep solitude: Nor would the nicest anchorite exclude A field or two of brighter green, or plot Of tillage-ground, that seemeth like a spot Of stationary sunshine : thou hast viewed These only, Duddon! with their paths renewed By fits and starts, yet this contents thee not. Thee hath some awful spirit impelled to leave, Utterly to desert the haunts of men. Though simple thy companions were and few; And through this wilderness a passage cleave, Attended but by thy own voice, save when The clouds and fowls of the air thy way pursue.