Shown as a beauteous wonder there,
By beauty’s hands to beauty’s eyes,
Breathing what mimic art supplies,
The genial glow of sun-warm air.
Nor were the absent ones forgot,
Those whom a thousand cares detained,
Those whom the links of duty chained
Awhile from this their natal spot.
One, who is labour’s useful tracks
Is proudly eminent, who roams
The providence of humble homes—
The blue-eyed, fair-haired, friendly Flax:
Giving himself to cheer and light
The cottier’s else o’ershadowing murk,
Filling his hand with cheerful work,
And all his being with delight:
And one, the loveliest and the last,
For whom they waited day by day,
All through the merry month of May,
Till one-and-thirty days had passed.
And when, at length, the longed-for noon
Of night arched o’er th’ expectant green
The Rose, their sister and their queen—
Came on the joyous wings of June:
And when was heard the gladsome sound,
And when was breath’d her beauteous name,
Unnumbered buds, like lamps of flame,
Gleamed from the hedges all around:
Where she had been, the distant clime,
The orient realm their sceptre sways,
The poet’s pen may paint and praise
Hereafter in his simple rhyme.
109. The Daisy.
110. The Wallflower.
The days of old, the good old days,
Whose misty memories haunt us still,
Demand alike our blame and praise,
And claim their shares of good and ill.
They had strong faith in things unseen,
But stronger in the things they saw
Revenge for Mercy’s pitying mien,
And lordly Right for equal Law.
’Tis true the cloisters all throughout
The valleys rais’d their peaceful towers,
And their sweet bells ne’er wearied out
In telling of the tranquil hours.
But from the craggy hills above,
A shadow darken’d o’er the sward;
For there—a vulture to this dove—
Hung the rude fortress of the lord;
Whence oft the ravening bird of prey
Descending, to his eyry wild
Bore, with exulting cries, away
The powerless serf’s dishonour’d child.
Then Safety lit with partial beams
But the high-castled peaks of Force,
And Polity revers’d its streams,
And bade them flow but for their Source.
That Source from which, meandering down,
A thousand streamlets circle now;
For then the monarch’s glorious crown
But girt the most rapacious brow.
But individual Force is dead,
And link’d Opinion late takes birth;
And now a woman’s gentle head
Supports the mightiest crown on earth.
A pleasing type of all the change
Permitted to our eyes to see,
When she herself is free to range
Throughout the realm her rule makes free.