So, that haze all left behind,
Down the chestnut forests wind,
Past yon jagged spires, where yet
Foot of man was never set;
Past a castle yawning wide,
With a great breach in its side,
To a nest-like valley, where,
Like a sparrow’s egg in hue,
Lie two lakes, and teach the true
Color of the sea-maid’s hair.
What beside? The world beside!
Drawing down and down, to greet
Cottage clusters at our feet,—
Every scent of summer tide,—
Flowery pastures all aglow
(Men and women mowing go
Up and down them); also soft
Floating of the film aloft,
Fluttering of the leaves alow.
Is this told? It is not told.
Where’s the danger? where’s the cold
Slippery danger up the steep?
Where yon shadow fallen asleep?
Chirping bird and tumbling spray,
Light, work, laughter, scent of hay,
Peace, and echo, where are they?
Ah, they sleep, sleep all untold;
Memory must their grace enfold
Silently; and that high song
Of the heart, it doth belong
To the hearers. Not a whit,
Though a chief musician heard,
Could he make a tune for it.
Though a bird of sweetest throat,
And some lute full clear of note,
Could have tried it,—O, the lute
For that wondrous song were mute,
And the bird would do her part,
Falter, fail, and break her heart,—
Break her heart, and furl her wings,
On those unexpressive strings.
(On the Advantages of the Poetical Temperament.)
AN IMPERFECT FABLE WITH A DOUBTFUL MORAL.
O happy Gladys! I rejoice with her,
For Gladys saw the island.
It was thus:
They gave a day for pleasure in the school
Where Gladys taught; and all the other girls
Were taken out, to picnic in a wood.
But it was said, “We think it were not well
That little Gladys should acquire a taste
For pleasure, going about, and needless change.
It would not suit her station: discontent
Might come of it; and all her duties now
She does so pleasantly, that we were best
To keep her humble.” So they said to her,
“Gladys, we shall not want you, all to-day.
Look, you are free; you need not sit at work:
No, you may take a long and pleasant walk
Over the sea-cliff, or upon the beach
Among the visitors.”
Then Gladys blushed
For joy, and thanked them. What! a holiday,
A whole one, for herself! How good, how kind!
With that, the marshalled carriages drove off;
And Gladys, sobered with her weight of joy,
Stole out beyond the groups upon the beach—
The children with their wooden spades, the band
That played for lovers, and the sunny stir
Of cheerful life and leisure—to the rocks,
For these she wanted most, and there was time
To mark them; how like ruined organs prone