To Contemplation

Faint gleams the evening radiance thro' the sky,

The sober twilight dimly darkens round;

In short quick circles the shrill bat flits by,

And the slow vapour curls along the ground.

Now the pleas'd eye from yon lone cottage sees

On the green mead the smoke long-shadowing play;

The Red-breast on the blossom'd spray

Warbles wild her latest lay,

And sleeps along the dale the silent breeze.

Calm CONTEMPLATION,'tis thy favorite hour!

Come fill my bosom, tranquillizing Power.

Meek Power! I view thee on the calmy shore

When Ocean stills his waves to rest;

Or when slow-moving on the surge's hoar

Meet with deep hollow roar

And whiten o'er his breast;

For lo! the Moon with softer radiance gleams,

And lovelier heave the billows in her beams.

When the low gales of evening moan along,

I love with thee to feel the calm cool breeze,

And roam the pathless forest wilds among,

Listening the mellow murmur of the trees

Full-foliaged as they lift their arms on high

And wave their shadowy heads in wildest melody.

Or lead me where amid the tranquil vale

The broken stream flows on in silver light,

And I will linger where the gale

O'er the bank of violets sighs,

Listening to hear its soften'd sounds arise;

And hearken the dull beetle's drowsy flight,

And watch the horn-eyed snail

Creep o'er his long moon-glittering trail,

And mark where radiant thro' the night

Moves in the grass-green hedge the glow-worms living light.

Thee meekest Power! I love to meet,

As oft with even solitary pace

The scatter'd Abbeys hallowed rounds I trace

And listen to the echoings of my feet.

Or on the half demolished tomb,

Whole warning texts anticipate my doom:

Mark the clear orb of night

Cast thro' the storying glass a faintly-varied light.

Nor will I not in some more gloomy hour

Invoke with fearless awe thine holier power,

Wandering beneath the sainted pile

When the blast moans along the darksome aisle,

And clattering patters all around

The midnight shower with dreary sound.

But sweeter 'tis to wander wild

By melancholy dreams beguil'd,

While the summer moon's pale ray

Faintly guides me on my way

To the lone romantic glen

Far from all the haunts of men,

Where no noise of uproar rude

Breaks the calm of solitude.

But soothing Silence sleeps in all

Save the neighbouring waterfall,

Whose hoarse waters falling near

Load with hollow sounds the ear,

And with down-dasht torrent white

Gleam hoary thro' the shades of night.

Thus wandering silent on and slow

I'll nurse Reflection's sacred woe,

And muse upon the perish'd day

When Hope would weave her visions gay,

Ere FANCY chill'd by adverse fate

Left sad REALITY my mate.

O CONTEMPLATION! when to Memory's eyes

The visions of the long-past days arise,

Thy holy power imparts the best relief,

And the calm'd Spirit loves the joy of grief.

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