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Sent sailing down a stream-an elfin-bark
Like lantern-boat upon the Ganges, watched
Far flickering, by the graceful Hindoo girl,
With wistful sparkling eyes and quivering heart
To tell her if her love yet live!
In mild effulgence from the dim blue hills,
The fair moon rises, shedding o'er the world
A wild romantic beauty. On the lake
Her yellow lustre glimmers, taking all
The gentle ripples by the pebbly marge;
While rising terraces of dark green trees
Repose in silence, bronze-like, touch'd with gold;
And island groups clothed to the water's brink,
Each mirror'd double in the clear blue deep,
Seem ever varying as we walk along.
We mark rude bridges, torrents, mountain-bowers,
Lone paths in the woods, and through the leaves,
Steep cataracts dashing in white silvery foam;
The hush'd air, fragrant with the tedded hay;
And dew-drops sparkling on each blade of grass.
The moon is hid, and yet it is not dark;
Far, far from the horizon in the ruddy west,
Beyond Orion, glowing round the verge,
A welling light burns slowly to the north;
The roseate amber blush suffused on high
Far as the zenith, fades among the stars.
"Tis midnight: birds are silent; here and there
The cattle, languid during heat of day,
Cropping the dewy pasture; low, subdued,
We hear far-distant sounds, which only make
The stillness deeper; while the myriad stars
That kindling burn on high, but make us feel
Our lonelihood the more.
A SUMMER EVENING ON A VILLAGE GREEN.
Old John with white hair
Does laugh away care,
Sitting under the oak
Among the old folk;
They laugh at our play,
And soon they all say,
Such, such were the joys,
When we all, girls and boys,
In our youth-time were seen
On the echoing green.
Till the little ones, weary,
No more can be merry,
The sun does descend,
And our sports have an end.
Round the laps of their mothers
Many sisters and brothers,
A SUMMER'S EVENING IN A FARM.
Down the sultry arc of day
The burning wheels have urged their way,
And Eve along the western skies
Spreads her intermingling dyes;
Down the deep and miry lane,
Creaking comes the empty wain,
And driver on the shaft-horse sits,
Whistling now and then by fits;
And oft, with his accustom'd call,
Urging on the sluggish Ball.
The barn is still, the master's gone,-
The thresher puts his jacket on;
While Dick upon the ladder tall,
Nails the dead kite on the wall.
Here comes shepherd Jack at last,
He has penn'd the sheepcote fast,
For 'twas but two nights before
A lamb was eaten on the moor:
His empty wallet Rover carries,—
Now for Jack, when near home tarries;
With lolling tongue he runs to try
If the horse-trough be not dry.
The milk is settled in the pans,
And supper messes in the cans;
In the hovel carts are wheel'd,
And both the colts are drove a-field.
The snare for mister fox is set,
The leaven laid, the thatching net,
And Bess has slunk away to talk
With Roger in the holly-walk.
Now on the settle all but Bess
Are set to eat their supper mess;
And little Tom and roguish Kate
Are swinging on the meadow gate.
Now they chat of various things,-
Of taxes, ministers, and kings;
Or else tell all the village news,
How madam did the 'squire refuse,
How parson on his tithes was bent,
And landlord oft distrain'd for rent.
Thus do they, till in the sky
The pale-eyed moon is mounted high;
And from the ale-house drunken Ned
Had reel'd;-then hasten all to bed.
The mistress sees that lazy Kate
The happing coal on kitchen grate
Has laid,-while master goes throughout,
Sees shutters fast, the mastiff out;
The candles safe, the hearths all clear,
And nought from thieves or fire to fear:
Then both to bed together creep,
And join the general troop of sleep.
A SUMMER EVENING UPON A LAKE.
The sun sinks in the west: rich orange lines
Change into purple, and a mellow haze
Falls on the mountains. Solemnly they lie,
In solemn grandeur, mirror'd on the lake
Those heights majestic! Nearing Balmaha
The water lilies, rocking on the swell
Made by the oars, have sunset's rosy blush
Upon their snow-white chalices. Broad leaves
Of glossy green that on the surface float,
As oar-blades left their long elastic stems,
Flap on the water. Resting on the oars,
We gaze upon the lilies dreamily,
And think of that mild hospitable race
Of men, whom Homer calls Lotophagi-
The lotus-eater, strangers who forget
Their native country and their distant friend.
Egyptian Isis rising from the flower-
And old Hindoo mythologies, wherein
The Lotus attribute of Ganga-embling
The world's great reproductive power-was held
We may not linger, paddling to and fro