BETA

Elysian Fields at Lowther in Westmoreland.

A youth caress’d and nurtured long,1
Beneath the sky, beside the sea,2
Where rules a vivid world of song3
The clear-eyed Queen Parthenope,—4
And wont to blend with outward grace,5
The soul Virgilian memory yields,6
Might seck with dull, uneager pace,7
The cloudy north’s Elysian Fields.8
Lowther,” he cried, “ of ancient strength,9
Thy lofty towers the harness wear ; —10
Thy terraces their mossy length11
Extend through centuries of care.12
In thine old oaks may Fancy read13
A green traditionary chain14
Of Worth and Power ; —Thou dost not need15
To take the classic name in vain.”16
Up Lowther’s banks, that very eve,17
This scornful youth was seen to wind18
Still tardier steps, that seem’d to grieve19
For joy or beauty left behind :20
But ere he reach’d the lordly roof,21
High portal and cathedral stair,22
His thoughts in other, fairer, woof,23
Were offer’d to the attentive air.24
Not once to Baiæ’s column’d bay,25
Or Cumæ’s glade my spirit fled,26
While on that storm-cast trunk I lay,27
Above yon torrent’s stormy bed :28
Crystal and green sufficed so well29
To solace and delight mine eyes ;30
They yearn’d for no remember’d spell31
Fashion’d beneath serener skies.32
If golden light, or azure void33
The Poet’s radiant dream fulfills,34
Are clouds and shadows unenjoy’d,35
The ghostly guardians of the hills ?36
Nature an open Faith demands :37
And we have little else to do,38
But take the blessing from her hands,39
Feeling—Here is Elysium too."40