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Where all sweet flowers through all the year were Upon a smooth and grassy plat below, found,
By Nature there as for an altar drest, [earth And all fair fruits were through all seasons seen; They joined their sister stream, which from the
A place of Paradise, where each device Welled silently. In such a scene rude man
Feeling a present Deity, and made
The Swerga-God himself, with envious eye, The arching rock disclosed above the springs
That e'er of old in forest of romance Who circles Earth and Heaven upon his way,
'Gainst knights and ladies waged discourteous war, Behold from eldest time a goodlier sight
Erect within the portal might have stood. Than were the groves which Baly, in his might, The broken stone allowed for band and foot Made for his chosen place of solace and delight.
No difficult ascent, above the base
In height a tall man's stature, measured thrice.
Boasts in her wide extent, though all her realms For where the mighty Ocean could not spare,
Be with the noblest blood of martyrdom
By many a miracle made inanifest;
Nor in the heroic annals of her fame
Then, save the hunter, drawn in keen pursuit Whereon the Wood-nymphs lay
Beyond his wonted haunts, or shepherd's boy, Their languid limbs in summer's sultry hours. Following the pleasure of his straggling flock, Here, too, were living flowers
None knew the place.
Pelayo, when he saw
Those glittering sources and their sacred cave, And now in open blossom spread,
Took from his side the bugle silver-tipt, Stretch'd like green anthers many a seeking head. And with a breath long drawn and slow expired
And arborets of jointed stone were there, Sent forth that strain, which, echoing from the walls And plants of fibres fine, as silkworm's thread; Of Cangas, wont to tell his glad return Yea, beautiful as Mermaid's golden hair When from the chase he came. At the first sound Upon the waves dispread:
Favilia started in the cave, and cried, Others that, like the broad banana growing, My father's horn !-A sudden flame suffused Rais'd their long wrinkled leaves of purple hue, ' Hermesind's cheek, and she with quickened eye Like streamers wide out-flowing.
Looked eager to her mother silently; And whatsoe'er the depths of Ocean hide But Gaudiosa trembled and grew pale,
From human eyes, Ladurlad there espied, Doubting her sense deceived. A second time Trees of the deep, and shrubs and fruits and flowers, The bugle breathed its well-known notes abroad; As fair as ours,
And Hermesind around her mother's neck Wherewith the Sea-nymphs love their locks to braid, Threw her white arms, and earnestly exclaimed,
When to their father's hall, at festival 'Tis he!-But when a third and broader blast
Rung in the echoing archway, ne'er did wand,
With magic power endued, call up a sight To grace the banquet, and the solemn day. So strange, as sure in that wild solitude
It seemed, when from the bowels of the rock
The mother and her children hastened forth. PELAYO AND HIS CHILDREN.
She in the sober charms and dignity
The ascending vale, Of womanhood mature, nor verging yet
Ennobled all her steps,mor priestess, chosen
Because within such faultless work of Heaven Or caliph, or barbaric sultan reared,
Inspiring Deity might seem to make Or mightier tyrants of the world of old,
Its habitation known-Favilia such Assyrian or Egyptian, in their pride :
In form and stature as the Sea Nymph's son, Yet far above, beyond the reach of sight,
When that wise Centaur from his cave well-pleased Swell after swell, the heathery mountain rose. Beheld the boy divine his growing strength Here, in two sources, from the living rock
Against some shaggy lionet essay, The everlasting springs of Deva gushed.
And fixing in the half-grown mane his hands,
Roll with him in fierce dalliance intertwined. Sent forth in loud defiance of the foe.
The enemy in shriller sounds returned
The horsemen lowered their spears, the infantry Beauty and grace and innocence in her
Deliberately with slow and steady step (hissed, In heavenly union shone. One who had held Advanced; the bow-strings twang'd, and arrows The faith of elder Greece, would sure have thought And javelins hurtled by. Anon the hosts She was some glorious nymph of seed divine, Met in the shock of battle, horse and man (mace Oread or Dryad, of Diana's train
Conflicting: shield struck shield, and sword and The youngest and the loveliest: yea she seemed And curtle-axe on helm and buckler rung; Angel, or soul beatified, from realms
Armour was riven, and wounds were interchanged, Of bliss, on errand of parental love
And many a spirit from its mortal hold
of Julian's army in that hour support
Enhanced his former praise; and by his side,
Rejoicing like a bridegroom in the strife,
Alphonso through the host of infidels
There widest slaughter and dismay, where, proud Orelio, thou art in thy beauty still,
Of his recovered lord, Orelio plunged Thy pride and strength! Orelio, my good horse, Through thickest ranks, trampling beneath his feet Once more thou bearest to the field thy Lord, The living and the dead. Where'er he turns He who so oft hath fed and cherislied thee, The Moors divide and fly. What man is this, He for whose sake, wherever thou wert seen, Appalled they say, who to the front of war Thou wert by all men honoured. Once again Bareheaded offers thus his naked life? Thou hast thy proper master! Do thy part Replete with power he is, and terrible, As thou wert wont; and bear him gloriously, Like some destroying Angel! Sure his lips My beautiful Orelio,-to the last
Have drank of Kaf's dark fountain, and he comes The happiest of his fields !—Then he drew forth Strong in his immortality! Fly! fly! The scymitar, and waving it aloft,
They said, this is no human foe !-Nor less Rode toward the troops; its unaccustomed shape Of wonder filled the Spaniards when they saw Disliked him; Renegade in all thingsl cried How flight and terror went before his way, The Goth, and cast it from him; to the Chiefs And slaughter in his path. Behold, cries one, Then said, if I have done ye service here,
With what command and knightly ease he sits Help me, I pray you, to a Spanish sword!
The intrepid steed, and deals from side to side The trustiest blade that e'er in Bilbilis
His dreadful blows! Not Roderick in his power Was dipt, would not to-day be misbestowed Bestrode with such command and majesty On this right hand !–Go some one, Gunderick cried, That noble war-horse. His loose robe this day And bring Count Julian's sword. Whoe'er thou art, In death's black banner, shaking from its folds The worth which thou hast shown avenging him Dismay and ruin. Of no mortal mold Entitles thee to wear it. But thou goest
Is he who in that garb of peace affronts For battle unequipped ;-haste there and strip Whole hosts, and sees them scatter where he turns! Yon villian of his armour!
Auspicious Heaven beholds us, and some saint
THE HOLLY TREE.
O Reader! hast thou ever stood to see In the hottest battle, yet bring off untouched
The Holly Tree? The unguarded life he ventures—Taking then
The eye that contemplates it well perceives Count Julian's sword, he fitted round his wrist
Its glossy leaves The chain, and eyeing the elaborate steel
Order'd by an intelligence so wise,
As might confound the atheist's sophistries.
No grazing cattle through their prickly round
Can reach to wound; From man to man, and rank to rank it past,
But as they grow where nothing is to fear, By every heart enforced, by every voice
Smooth and unarm'd the pointless leaves appear.
I love to view these things with curious eyes, Sharing their hopes, and with a breathless joy And moralize:
Whose expectation touch'd the verge of pain, And in this wisdom of the Holly Tree
Following their dangerous fortunes? If such lore Can emblems see
Hath ever thrillid thy bosom, thou wilt tread, Wherewith perchance to make a pleasant rhyme, As with a pilgrim's reverential thoughts, One which may profit in the after-time.
The groves of Penshurst. Sidney here was born,
Sidney, than whom no gentler, braver man Thus, though abroad perchance I might appear His own delightful genius ever feign'd, Harsh and austere,
Illustrating the vales of Arcady To those who on my leisure would intrude
With courteous courage and with loyal loves. Reserved and rude,
Upon his natal day the acorn here Gentle at home amid my friends I'd be
Was planted. It grew up a stately oak, Like the high leaves upon the Holly Tree.
And in the beauty of its strength it stood
And flourish'd, when his perishable part
Had moulder'd dust to dust. That stately oak All vain asperities I day by day
Itself hath moulder'd now, but Sidney's fame
Endureth in his own immortal works.
This to a mother's sacred memory
Her son hath hallow'd. Absent many a year So bright and green,
Far over sea, his sweetest dreams were still The Holly leaves their fadeless hues display Of that dear voice which sooth'd his infancy: Less bright than they;
And after many a fight against the Moor But when the bare and wintry woods we see, And Malabar, or that fierce cavalry What then so cheerful as the Holly Tree?
Which he had seen covering the boundless plain
Even to the utmost limits where the eye So serious should my youth appear among
Could pierce the far horizon,-his first thought The thoughtless throng,
In safety was of her, who when she heard
The tale of that day's danger, would retire
pour her pious gratitude to Heaven That in my age as cheerful I might be
In prayers and tears of joy. The lingering hour As the green winter of the Holly Tree.
Of his return, long-look'd for, came at length,
Vain hope that puts its trust in human life!
For ere he came the number of her days
How unendurable its weight, if they
Old friend! why you seem bent on parish duty, Often reclined; watching the silent flow
Breaking the highway stones,—and 'tis a task Of this perspicuous rivulet, that steals
Somewhat too hard methinks for age like yours! Along its verdant course,- till all around
Why yes! for one with such a weight of years
Upon his back—I've lived here, man and boy, Therefore the stream more lovely to thine eye
In this same parish, well nigh the full age Will glide along, and to the summer gale
Of man, being hard upon threescore and ten. The woods wave more melodious. Cleanse thou then
I can remember sixty years ago The weeds and mosses from this letter'd stone.
The beautifying of this mansion here,
When my late Lady's father, the old Squire,
Came to the estate.
Stranger. O reader? Hast thou let the midnight hour
Why then you have outlasted Pass unperceived, whilst thou in fancy lived All his improvements, for you see they're making With high-born beauties and enamour'd chiefs, Great alterations here.
IN A FOREST.
THE OLD MANSION-HOUSE.
Aye-great indeed! And if my poor old Lady could rise upGod rest her soul! 'twould grieve her to behold The wicked work is here.
They've set about it In right good earnest. All the front is gone ; Here's to be turf, they tell me, and a road Round to the door. There were some yew trees too Stood in the court
Aye, Master! fine old trees ! My grandfather could just remember back When they were planted there. It was my task To keep them trimm'd, and 'twas a pleasure to me; All straight and smooth, and like a great green wall! My poor old Lady many a time would come And tell me where to shear, for she had play'd In childhood under them, and 'twas her pride To keep them in their beauty. Plague, I say, On their new-fangled whimsies! we shall have A modern shrubbery here stuck full of firs And your pert poplar trees;–I could as soon Have plough'd my father's grave as cut them down!
Stranger. But 'twill be lighter and more cheerful now; A fine smooth turf, and with a gravel road Round for the carriage-now it suits my taste. I like a shrubbery too, it looks so fresh ; And then there's some variety about it. In spring the lilac and the snow-ball flower, And the laburnum with its golden strings Waving in the wind: and when the autumn comes The bright red berries of the mountain-ashi, With pines enough in winter to look green, And show that something lives. Sure this is better Than a great hedge of yew that makes it look All the year round like winter, and for ever Dropping its poisonous leaves from the under boughs Wither'd and bare !
Ah! so the new Squire thinks, And pretty work he makes of it! what 'tis To have a stranger come to an old house !
Come-come! all is not wrong; Those old dark windows
They're demolish'd too, As if he could not see through casement glass! The very red-breasts, that so regular Came to my Lady for her morning crums, Won't know the window now!
Nay they were small, And then so darken'd round with jessamine, Harbouring the vermin ;-yet I could have wish'd That jessamine had been saved, which canopied And bower'd and lined the porch.
It did one good To pass within ten yards when 'twas in blossom. There was a sweet briar too that grew beside; My Lady loved at evening to sit there And knit; and her old dog lay at her seet And slept in the sun; 'twas an old far urite dog,She did not love him less that he wa 'd And feeble, and he always had a pla. By the fire-side; and when he died e She made me dig a grave in the gardt him. Ah! she was good to all! a woeful day 'Twas for the poor when to her grave si
sent! Stranger. They lost a friend then ?
You're a s .nger here. Or you wouldn't ask that question. Were they sick? She had rare cordial waters, and for herbs She could have taught the Doctors. Then at winter When weekly she distributed the bread In the poor old porch, to see her and to hear The blessings on her! and I warrant them They were a blessing to her when her wealth Had been no comfort else. At Christmas, Sir! It would have warm'd your heart if you had seen Her Christmas kitchen,-how the blazing fire Made her fine pewter shine, and holly boughs So cheerful red,
and as for misseltoe,
It don't look well, These alterations, sir! I'm an old man, And love the good old fashions; we don't find Old bounty in new houses. They've destroyed
Stranger. It seems you know him not ?
No, sir, not I.
for they were very distant kin.
flowers Which fell so thick, he had not had the heart To mar all thus !
All that my lady loved! her favourite walk That's gone to the great pond; the trees I learnt
Have many years in store,—but pray to God A comfort I sha'n't live to see it long.
You mayn't be left the last of all your friends. Stranger.
Stranger. But sure all changes are not needs for the worse, Well! well! you've one friend more than you're My friend?
aware of. Old Man,
If the Squire's taste don't suit with yours, I warrant
That's all you'll quarrel with: walk in and taste Mayhap they mayn't, sir :—for all that
His beer, old friendl and see if your old lady I like what I've been used to. I remember
Ere broach'd a better cask. You did not know me, All this from a child up, and now to lose it,
But we're acquainted now. 'Twould not be easy 'Tis losing an old friend. There's nothing left
To make you like the outside; but within, As 'twas;—I go abroad and only meet
That is not changed, my friend! you'll always find With men whose fathers I remember boys; The brook that used to run before my door,
The same old bounty and old welcome there.