Where by the door she twines her lengthen’d threads,
Her spindle stops, and lays her distaff by,
Then joins with step sedate the curious throng.
She praises much the fashions of her youth,
And scorns each gaudy nonsense of the day;
Yet not ill-pleas’d the glossy ribband views,
Uproll’d, and changing hues with ev’ry fold,
New measur’d out to deck her daughter’s head.
Now red, but languid, the last weakly beams
Of the departing sun, across the lawn
Deep gild the top of the long sweepy ridge,
And shed a scatter’d brightness, bright but cheerless,
Between the op’nings of the rifted hills;
Which like the farewell looks of some dear friend,
That speaks him kind, yet sadden as they smile,
But only serve to deepen the low vale,
And make the shadows of the night more gloomy.
The varied noises of the cheerful village
By slow degrees now faintly die away,
And more distinct each feeble sound is heard
That gently steals ad own the river’s bed,
Or thro’ the wood comes with the ruffling breeze.
The white mist rises from the swampy glens,
And from the dappled flatting of the heav’ns
Looks out the ev’ning star.——
The lover skulking in the neighb’ring copse,
(Whose half-seen form shewn thro’ the thicken’d air,
Large and majestic, makes the tray’ller start,
And spreads the story of the haunted grove,)
Curses the owl, whose loud ill-omen’d scream,
With ceaseless spite, robes from his watchful ear
The well known footsteps of his darling maid;
And fretful, chaces from his face the night-fly,
Who buzzing round his head doth often skim,
With flutt’ring wing, across his glowing cheek:
For all but him in deep and balmy sleep
Forget the toils of the oppressive day;
Shut is the door of ev’ry scatter’d cot,
And silence dwells within.
NIGHT SCENES OF OTHER TIMES.
A poem, in three parts.
“The wild winds bellow o’er my head,
And spent eve’s fading light;
Where shall I find some friendly shed
To screen me from the night?
“Ah! round me lies a desert vast,
No habitation near;
And dark and pathless is the waste,
And fills the mind with fear
“Thou distant tree, whose lonely top
Has bent to many a storm,
No more canst thou deceive my hope,
And take my lover’s form;
“For o’er thy head the dark cloud rolls,
Black as thy blasted pride.
How deep the angry tempest growls
Along the mountain’s side!
“Securely rests the mountain deer
Within his hollow den,
His slumber undisturb’d by fear,
Far from the haunts of men.
“Beneath the fern the moorcock sleeps,
And twisted adders lie;
Back to his rock the night-bird creeps,
Nor gives his wonted cry.