Sabbath Noon.

The bell’s sonorous chime hath died away1
Upon the slumbering air ; earth, heaven, are still,2
As the deep unbreathing quiet of the tomb ;3
But yet it is a pause of harmony,4
A vacancy inducing pleasing thoughts,5
A silence, where no troublous dreams obscure,6
That unto pleasure owe not origin,7
Have power to enter. Placid is the sky,8
Though not unclouded—verdant are the fields,9
In summer robe luxuriant—green the hills—10
More deeply green the forests, through whose boughs11
Brightly the river glistens in the sun,12
Running towards the sea—the glowing sea,13
That spreads its waveless breast, whereon the ships14
Lie moveless ; cables, masts, and furled shrouds 15
Thro’ the clear atmosphere distinctly seen.16
The tribes of lower nature, even the mass17
Of this material world,—rocks, hills, and vales,18
Forests and rivers, seem to understand19
Or feel the influence of this holy day.20
All strife is hushed : at frequent intervals21
A gushing music wakens in the air22
From tiny bills unseen ; upon the bough23
Of lofty beech tree, calm the raven sits24
Inactive, with bright eye, and glossy wing :25
The linnet, swinging on the topmost bough26
Of bloomy furze, is silent ; and the bee,27
Languidly humming on from flower to flower,28
Seems making music of its daily toil :—29
Yea, even this verdant mound, whereon I rest30
With meditative volume, seems to feel,—31
Op’ning its bells and daisies to the sun,—32
A kind of silent, tranquil happiness,33
Which may be deep, although it speaketh not.34
Over the summit of the dark green trees,35
Stretching aloft, the rural church’s spire,36
O’ertopp’d by glittering vane, is clearly seen,37
Amid the pure, clear atmosphere : within38
The habitants of all the hamlets round,39
Parents and children, youth and hoary eld,40
Decent, decked out in holiday attire,41
Lift up the tribute of devoted hearts,42
The best—the holiest of all offerings,43
To Him, the great Creator of them all,44
Who gave them life and being—eyes to see45
The glories of the universal world,46
The beauties shower’d around them—hearts to feel47
The tenderness of passion, all the joys48
That life in its relationships affords :49
And lofty souls, which, when this frame of clay,50
Melting, shall pass away, and be no more,51
Shall taste the glories of undying youth,52
And in its immortality be strong.53
Oh ! holy is the noon of sabbath day,54
Unbreathing ;— holier still its purple eve ;55
What time above the hills the western sun56
Shoots his long rays aslant ; and, in the wave,57
The elm trees throw their sombrous shadows far.58
Embalmed in Recollection’s silent eye59
Are many evenings such, more sweet, more soft,60
More richly beautiful, than ever more,61
—While being lights its sublunary lamp—62
Shall bless this heart of mine. Thro’ yellow fields,63
Green forests, and by gleaming waters blue,64
With those whom fate or friendship linked to me,65
Tell I the bliss of wandering ; every thought66
For such a season uncongenial,67
For such a scene, exiled, and banished far,68
No earthly care to damp the joyous heart,69
In innocent mirth exulting, or destroy70
Visions of glory that—can never be !71
Our life is but a journey. Happy eves !72
Ye ne’er can be forgotten !— twined with youth73
In glorious recollection, ye arise ;74
The crimson of your sunshine on the hills,75
Your forests green, and waveless waters blue ;76
And holier still, and lovelier, feelings warm,77
That now are scarcely felt, and lofty hopes,78
That, like a rainbow, from the summer sky79
Have passed away, and left no trace behind.80