Newton Cliff, near Fledborough

Written on the occasion of Mrs. Arnold's Birthday, ten days after her marriage.

B LOW fresh and fair, thou cheerful summer breeze,
Let rustling corn, light reeds, and wavy trees,
Join the soft swell of Trent's majestic wave
All sounds that loudest tell of Nature's life,
Bespeaking mirth, and joy, and mimic strife,
Blend with a few low notes in measure glad but grave.

And be the time when the last summer sun
From his meridian throne has just begun
To slope his westering course; let one soft cloud
Mantling around him pour its liquid glow
O'er wood, and dale, and tower and spire below,
And in its showery skirts the horizon blue enshroud.

So may the various view best answer make
To thoughts that in their bosoms are awake,
Who now on this sequester'd terrace roam,
With eyes now wandering round the prospect wide,
Now fondly fix'd where all their hearts abide,
On one dear shelter'd spot, their sacred, happy home.

And if those eyes I read not all amiss,
The day seems richer in its tearful bliss,
Than even in its gayest hours of mirth.
Sweet dreams, sweet hopes, sweet recollections rise,
And she who now is hidden from their eyes
Seems closer to their hearts, their best-beloved on earth.

O, then, blest tenants of the sweetest isle
That ever welcom'd with its soothing smile
Tired wanderers o'er the world's tempestuous void,
Mourn not though henceforth one lov'd footstep less,
Your consecrated turf may duly press,
And tend your quiet bowers, enjoying and enjoy'd.

Look how yon stream, of you belov'd so well,
Is lovelier, sometimes plunging in his dell,
And lost in winding round his verdurous wall,
Than if to broad bright sunshine all the way
He held his mirror: so this happy day
Shines happier through such tears as now from you may fall.

So, too, your own fair garden fairer shews
For the grey tombs that in its grass repose,
And solemn arches with your flowers inwreathing,
Where round the church, as from its central shrine,
The charm of love domestic, love divine,
O'er every little leaf by day and night is breathing.

Happy, who know their happiness not here!
To whom sad thoughts of time and change are dear,
As bearing earnest of eternal rest;
Who at Love's call, or Death's, contented part,
And feel Heaven's peace the deeper in their heart,
Brooding like fondest dove upon her darling nest
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