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The immortal music men of ancient times
Heard ravished oft, are flown! O ye have lost,
Mountains and moors, and meads, the radiant throngs
That dwelt in your green solitudes, and filled
The air, the fields, with beauty and with joy
Intense ; — with a rich mystery that awed
The mind, and flung around a thousand hearths
Divinest tales, that through the enchanted year
Found passionate listeners !
The very streams Brightened with visitings of these so sweet Etherial creatures. They were seen to rise From the charmed waters which still brighter grew As the pomp passed to land, until the eye Scarce bore the unearthly glory. Where they trod, Young flowers, but not of this world's growth, arose ; And fragrance, as of amaranthine bowers, Floated upon the breeze. And mortal eyes Looked on their revels all the luscious night; And, unreproved, upon their ravishing forms Gazed, wistfully, as in the dance they moved, Voluptuous, to the thrilling touch of harp Elysian !
And by gifted eyes were seen Wonders — in the still air ;-and beings bright And beautiful, more beautiful than throng
Fancy's ecstatic regions, peopled now
The sunbeam, and now rode upon the gale
Of the sweet summer noon. Anon they touched
The earth's delighted bosom, and the glades
Seemed greener, fairer, - and the enraptured woods
Gave a glad, leafy murmur,
- and the rills
Leaped in the ray for joy; and all the birds
Threw into the intoxicating air their songs,
All soul. The very archings of the grove,
Clad in cathedral gloom from age to age,
Lightened with instant splendours; and the flowers,
Tinged with new hues, and lovelier, upsprung
By millions in the grass, that rustled now
To gales of Araby!
The seasons came In bloom or blight, in glory or in shade ; The shower or sunbeam, fell or glanced, as pleased These potent elves. They steered the giant cloud Through heaven at will, and with the meteor flash Came down in death or sport; ay, when the storm Shook the old woods, they rode, on rainbow wing, The tempest ; and anon they reined its rage In its fierce mid-career. But ye have flown Beautiful fictions of our fathers !— flown Before the wand of Science ; and the hearths Of Devon, as lags the disenchanted year, Are passionless and silent !
I watched beside him, when from earth
All that he loved had passed away ;
And mute, dark, desperate dreams have birth ;
Which lead the soul astray, -
Fixed was his brow and calm his air ;
No tear was in his vacant eye,
They said, that tears would soothe despair :
I led him forth to try.
We sought the dwelling of the dead,
Where she the loved—the lost—was laid ;
I bade him read the name—he read,
Yet not a look betrayed
The consciousness that here she slept
The last unchanging sleep ;-
Where friends less dear had waked and wept,
He only did not weep.
I led him to the moss-clad oak,
Where they had pledged love's first fond vow;
No sound the dreary stillness broke
That whispered, “Where art thou ?"
Nought did he seem to hear or see
Of grief, in that familiar spot;
“ Poor maid !" I thought, and can it be
That thou art thus forgot!”
Homeward we turned ; when through the wood,
Came down a young and joyous pair,
The mourner started—trembled-stood;
The spell I sought was there.
At sight of LIVING LOVE awoke
The feelings that so long had slept ;
The chain that bound his soul was broke,
He sate him down, and wept !
Printed by S. Manning & Co., London Honse Yard, St. Paul's.