The Arbour.

Thoughts, that do often lie too deep for tears.

O ’ tis delightful, on a vernal eve,1
Within the tranquil and embower’d recess2
Of a green arbour to recline alone,3
While gentle rains, descending from the sky,4
Make pleasant music on the thirsty ground ;5
And there indulge that pleasing pensiveness,6
That languor of the meditative mind,7
Which broods upon the ocean of the past,8
Slow sailing onwards. O ’ tis sadly sweet,9
To hear the small drops plashing on the stems10
Of succulent herbs, and on the opening buds,11
While, gently murmuring past, the west wind sighs12
To and fro, waving, in the twilight air,13
The broad expanse of melancholy leaves ;14
To see the swallow, ’ mid the falling shower,15
Darting aloft, and wheeling ‘mid the sky ;16
And buzzing home, the startled humble-bee,17
Journeying, in mazy flight, from flower to flower.18
Then doubly sweet, and doubly touching then,19
If, from the distant light-green groves, be heard20
Soft Music’s dying, undulating fall ;21
As if, again, the Pagan deities,22
Pan or Sylvanus, for one season more,23
Had sought the empires of their ancient reign :24
And, turning from the concord of sweet sounds,25
Gaze on the lovely blossoms, pink and white,26
Of pear and apple tree ; the varied bloom27
Of varied herb ; the many-tinctur’d flowers,28
Recumbent with the weight of dew, between29
Their girdles of green leaves ; the freshened coats30
Of evergreens ; the myrtle, and the box,31
And cypress, ’ mid whose darkly-clustering boughs32
The blackbird sits.33
Such melancholy eyes34
Have nameless charms for me, too deep for words35
To utter and unbosom. Feelings dwell36
Deep, in the inner shrine of human hearts,37
And sheltered from the rude and passing shocks38
Of common life, that need the electric spark39
To fire them,—and at once the soul is flame !40
To him, who sojourns ’ mid the busy crowd41
Of cities ; where contention’s jar is heard42
For ever dissonant ; whose pathway lies43
Mid tumult, yet whose Poa hath passed away,—44
His earlier, better years—in privacy,45
Sequestered from the rude shocks of the world,46
Mid hills, and dales, and woods, and quiet lawns,47
And streamy glens, and pastoral dells ; to him,48
Who, every eve, listed the blackbird’s song,49
And, every morn, beheld the speckled lark50
Ascend to greet the sun ; to him an hour51
Like this, so pregnant with deep-seated thought,52
Thought kindled at the shrine of earlier years,53
Long quench’d, is more delightful than the mirth54
Of smiling faces, ’ mid the perfum’d vaults55
Of echoing halls majestic, where the pride56
Of Art emblazoned forth, extinguishes57
The glow of Nature in the human heart !58
Oh ! not the most intense of present joys59
Can match the far-departed loveliness60
Of vanish’d landscapes, when the wizard Time61
Hath spread o’er all their clefts and roughnesses62
His twilight mantle, and the spirit broods63
On what alone is beautiful, and soft,64
And pure—as summer waters in the sun65
Sleeping, when not a cloud is on the sky.66
Oh ! not the gorgeous splendour that invests67
The evening cloud, when, from his western tent,68
Resplendent glows the setting sun, and beams69
O’er earth, and sea, and sky, his glorious light,70
As if to show us, with derisive smiles,71
How sweet a paradise this world can be—72
Oh ! not the mid-day brightness, nor the blush73
Of crimson morning, have the deep delight,74
The state, the grandeur, the impressiveness75
Of this most intellectual hour, which draws76
The feelings to a focus, and restores—77
As native music to a wanderer’s ear,78
In foreign climes afar beyond the sea—79
The lightening vista of departed years.80
There runs a current through the ocean depths,81
A current through the ocean of the soul,82
Made up of uncommunicable thoughts—83
It is in vain, we cannot utter them—84
Like lava in the bowels of the hill,85
They dwell unseen—like lightning in the cloud,86
They hold no concourse with the passing thoughts87
Of common being, nor communion hold :88
With what is passing round us ; like the rays89
Of broken sunshine, they illume our paths ;90
Like relics snatched from paradise, they rise91
Before us, telling us of something fair,92
Which is not, but which hath been ; to the soul93
They are familiar, but we know not where,94
Nor when their first. acquaintance-ship began ;95
All speak a language soothing to the heart,96
Even from their voiceless silence ; the thin smoke97
Bluely ascending from the cottage roof,98
Through the still air; the sombre, quiet sky ;99
The shelving hills, whose green acclivities100
Rise in the distance ; the umbrageous woods,101
Forming a canopy of gloom, beneath102
Whose ample cope the sheltered cattle rest ;103
The paradise of blossom round ; the tints104
Of freshened flowers ; the dark and dewy ground ;105
The fanning of the zephyr in its path,106
Telling of perfume ; the melodious hymn107
Of birds amid the boughs ; and far away,108
Scarce heard, the murmurs of the cataract.109