Southey's Grave

There never beam'd a brighter day
On ancient Skiddaw's glorious height,
Sweet Keswick water never lay
Wrapp'd in a flood of purer light,
When, woo'd by the delicious power
That rules the haunted mountain-land,
We roam'd, one golden summer hour,
By that wild lake's enchanted strand.

" And where does Southey sleep? " we said.
The peasant boy made answer none,
But toward that old white church he led,
And o'er its wall of guardian stone,
A bright and lonely burial ground,
Between the mountain and the wave, —
The boy stood by one low green mound
And answer'd: " This is Southey's grave! "

Things are there to the inward eye
That mingle in as sweet accord
As hues that on the mountains lie,
Or notes in one wild measure pour'd;
And sure that grave at Skiddaw's feet,
The waving grass, the chequer'd skies,
Calm Nature's lover! seem'd most meet
With thy soul's dream to harmonize.

What though no clustering arches fair
Around thy sculptured marble rise,
Nor lingering sunbeam thither bear
The storied window's gorgeous dyes;
Nor stream of choral chanting sweet,
Borne down the minster's mighty aisle,
With ocean-swell of organ, meet
Beside thy monumental pile?

Thou sleepest in a statelier fane,
High heaven's blue arch is o'er thee bent,
And winds and waves a sweeter strain
Make round thy mountain monument;
And sunbeams, when departing night
Rolls back the mists from Gowdar's crest,
Break through their clouds in rosy light,
To lie along thy quiet breast.

Yes! many a shrine our feet have sought,
Where pillar'd aisle and fretted nave
Told man, the richly blest, had brought
Some portion back to Him who gave;
And thoughts of rapturous awe we knew,
But sweeter none than when we stay'd
By that green grave where daisies grew,
In Nature's own cathedral laid.
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