XIV. On a Distant View of England

AH! from my eyes the tears unbidden start,
Albion! as now thy cliffs (that bright appear
Far o'er the wave, and their proud summits rear
To meet the beams of morn) my beating heart,
With eager hope, and filial transport hails!
Scenes of my youth, reviving gales ye bring.
As when, ere while, the tuneful morn of spring
Joyous awoke amid your blooming vales,
And fill'd with fragrance every breathing plain; --
Fled are those hours, and all the joys they gave,
Yet still I sigh, and count each rising wave,


XI. Written at Ostend

HOW sweet the tuneful bells' responsive peal!
As when, at opening morn, the fragrant breeze
Breathes on the trembling sense of wan disease,
So piercing to my heart their force I feel!
And hark! with lessening cadence now they fall,
And now, along the white and level tide,
They fling their melancholy music wide,
Bidding me many a tender thought recall
Of summer-days, and those delightful years,
When by my native streams, in life's fair prime,
The mournful magic of their mingling chime


Written on a Summer Evening

The church bells toll a melancholy round,
Calling the people to some other prayers,
Some other gloominess, more dreadful cares,
More harkening to the sermon's horrid sound.
Surely the mind of man is closely bound
In some blind spell: seeing that each one tears
Himself from fireside joys and Lydian airs,
And converse high of those with glory crowned.
Still, still they toll, and I should feel a damp,
A chill as from a tomb, did I not know
That they are dying like an outburnt lamp, -


Written for my Son ... upon his Master's First Bringing in a Rod

OUR master, in a fatal hour,
Brought in this Rod, to shew his pow'r.
O dreadful birch ! O baleful tree !
Thou instrument of tyranny !
Thou deadly damp to youthful joys !
The sight of thee our peace destroys.
Not Damocles, with greater dread,
Beheld the weapon o'er his head.

That sage was surely more discerning,
Who taught to play us into learning,
By graving letters on the dice :
May heav'n reward the kind device,
And crown him with immortal fame,


Workworn

Across the street, an humble woman lives;
To her 'tis little fortune ever gives;
Denied the wines of life, it puzzles me
To know how she can laugh so cheerily.
This morn I listened to her softly sing,
And, marvelling what this effect could bring
I looked: 'twas but the presence of a child
Who passed her gate, and looking in, had smiled.
But self-encrusted, I had failed to see
The child had also looked and laughed to me.
My lowly neighbour thought the smile God-sent,


Work chapter VII

Then a ploughman said, "Speak to us of Work."

And he answered, saying:

You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.

For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life's procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.

Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?


With Esther

HE who has once been happy is for aye
   Out of destruction's reach. His fortune then
Holds nothing secret; and Eternity,
   Which is a mystery to other men,
Has like a woman given him its joy.
   Time is his conquest. Life, if it should fret.
Has paid him tribute. He can bear to die,
   He who has once been happy! When I set
The world before me and survey its range,
   Its mean ambitions, its scant fantasies,
The shreds of pleasure which for lack of change
   Men wrap around them and call happiness,


Work And Joy

Each day I live I thank the Lord
I do the work I love;
And in it find a rich reward,
All price and praise above.
For few may do the work they love,
The fond unique employ,
That fits them as a hand a glove,
And gives them joy.

Oh gentlefolk, do you and you
Who toil for daily hire,
Consider that the job you do
Is to your heart's desire?
Aye, though you are to it resigned,
And will no duty shirk,
Oh do you in your private mind


Words

If on isle of the sea
I have to tarry,
With one book, let it be
A Dictionary.
For though I love life's scene,
It seems absurd,
My greatest joy has been
The printed word.

Though painter with delight
May colours blend,
They are but in his sight
Means to an end.
Yet while I harmonise
Or pattern them,
A precious word I prize
Like to a gem.

A fiddler lures fine tone
From gut and wood;


Wives in the Sere

I

Never a careworn wife but shows,
   If a joy suffuse her,
Something beautiful to those
   Patient to peruse her,
Some one charm the world unknows
   Precious to a muser,
Haply what, ere years were foes,
   Moved her mate to choose her.

II

But, be it a hint of rose
   That an instant hues her,
Or some early light or pose
   Wherewith thought renews her -
Seen by him at full, ere woes
   Practised to abuse her -
Sparely comes it, swiftly goes,


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