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.
Such melancholy eyes33
Have nameless charms for me, too deep for words34
To utter and unbosom. Feelings dwell35
Deep, in the inner shrine of human hearts,36
And sheltered from the rude and passing shocks37
Of common life, that need the electric spark38
To fire them,—and at once the soul is flame !39
To him, who sojourns ’mid the busy crowd40
Of cities ; where contention’s jar is heard41
For ever dissonant ; whose pathway lies42
Mid tumult, yet whose Poa hath passed away,—43
His earlier, better years—in privacy,44
Sequestered from the rude shocks of the world,45
Mid hills, and dales, and woods, and quiet lawns,46
And streamy glens, and pastoral dells ; to him,47
Who, every eve, listed the blackbird’s song,48
And, every morn, beheld the speckled lark49
Ascend to greet the sun ; to him an hour50
Like this, so pregnant with deep-seated thought,51
Thought kindled at the shrine of earlier years,52
Long quench’d, is more delightful than the mirth53
Of smiling faces, ’mid the perfum’d vaults54
Of echoing halls majestic, where the pride55
Of Art emblazoned forth, extinguishes56
The glow of Nature in the human heart !57
Oh ! not the most intense of present joys58
Can match the far-departed loveliness59
Of vanish’d landscapes, when the wizard Time60
Hath spread o’er all their clefts and roughnesses61
His twilight mantle, and the spirit broods62
On what alone is beautiful, and soft,63
And pure—as summer waters in the sun64
Sleeping, when not a cloud is on the sky.65
Oh ! not the gorgeous splendour that invests66
The evening cloud, when, from his western tent,67
Resplendent glows the setting sun, and beams68
O’er earth, and sea, and sky, his glorious light,69
As if to show us, with derisive smiles,70
How sweet a paradise this world can be—71
Oh ! not the mid-day brightness, nor the blush72
Of crimson morning, have the deep delight,73
The state, the grandeur, the impressiveness74
Of this most intellectual hour, which draws75
The feelings to a focus, and restores—76
As native music to a wanderer’s ear,77
In foreign climes afar beyond the sea—78
The lightening vista of departed years.79
There runs a current through the ocean depths,80
A current through the ocean of the soul,81
Made up of uncommunicable thoughts—82
It is in vain, we cannot utter them—83
Like lava in the bowels of the hill,84
They dwell unseen—like lightning in the cloud,85
They hold no concourse with the passing thoughts86
Of common being, nor communion hold :87
With what is passing round us ; like the rays88
Of broken sunshine, they illume our paths ;89
Like relics snatched from paradise, they rise90
Before us, telling us of something fair,91
Which is not, but which hath been ; to the soul92
They are familiar, but we know not where,93
Nor when their first. acquaintance-ship began ;94
All speak a language soothing to the heart,95
Even from their voiceless silence ; the thin smoke96
Bluely ascending from the cottage roof,97
Through the still air; the sombre, quiet sky ;98
The shelving hills, whose green acclivities99
Rise in the distance ; the umbrageous woods,100
Forming a canopy of gloom, beneath101
Whose ample cope the sheltered cattle rest ;102
The paradise of blossom round ; the tints103
Of freshened flowers ; the dark and dewy ground ;104
The fanning of the zephyr in its path,105
Telling of perfume ; the melodious hymn106
Of birds amid the boughs ; and far away,107
Scarce heard, the murmurs of the cataract.108