View From the Wood.

This is a woodland scene—a smooth-trunked beech1
O’ercanopies my head with emerald arch ;2
Primroses cluster round my feet, and reach3
In lightsome groups, like lambs upon a march,4
Down to the river’s rushy side. In speech5
Of sylvan music, from yon plumy larch,6
The throstle talks with her whose tawny breast7
Warms into wings the sapphires of his nest.8
Here let me muse, amidst the nervous air,9
Laden with scent of flowers, and song of birds,10
And undertones of river tuneful there11
Among his pebbles. Thoughts flash forth in words12
As matches burst aflame, that scene so fair,13
Of stream, and vale, and hill, and flocks, and herds,14
Seen through the skyey loops of shady leaves,15
Its meed of thankful gladsomeness receives.16
There Cumledge hides amid its rook-loved pines17
A master kind. Yon three-arched bridge bestrides18
The Hotspur Whitadder, whose liquid lines19
Poured through the arches, blend in gentle tides ;20
But gentle only when the blue sky shines ;21
For let but Summer tempest prick his sides,22
Then forthwith from the sullen hills he roars,23
And troubles like a sea his rural shores.24
See ! yonder on the tree-besprinkled steep,25
There sleeps a solemn scene. There sleep the dead,26
Around a roofless church, itself asleep,27
And buried underneath the ivy, spread28
Along its crumbling walls. Who would not weep,29
If they, like me, dear friends rememberèd30
Asleep beneath yon quaint memorial stones,31
Which tell no lying history o’er their bones ?32
Have I not sprinkled the symbolic drops33
On some of those whose now untinted faces34
Are withering there ?  Upon the sunny slopes35
Of the green bridal hill, all white with daisies,36
Wave I not married others rich in hopes ?—37
But where are they ?— In yonder darksome places,38
Like flowers cut down beneath the mower’s scythe,39
On field whereon erewhile they grew so blithe !40
Cease, rueful hill, my pensive heart to twinge,41
And turn my eye where yonder prospects lure42
Vales washed with pearly showers, and bright with tinge43
Of virgin Summer’s gushing garniture ;44
And green-haired, cuckoo-haunted woods that fringe45
The heathy skirts of breezy Lammermoor : 46
Ah ! these are scenes for ever dear to me ;47
Dearest when seen on Summer’s nursing knee !48
Lo ! rising proudly from yon wild ravine,49
See Cockburn Law, like watcher grim in arms,50
Look north on Abbey’s fairy, sainted scene,51
And south on classic Cheviot’s ghostly charms ;52
The far and fleecy vale of Tweed between,53
Rich in red orchards, and in corn-clad farms,54
In hoary castles, and in maiden towers,55
That lift their spires aloft from fairy bowers.56
But huge clouds rise and purple wide the west ;57
Behind them snowy sheets in volumes fly,58
Like foam from rocks rolled back on ocean’s breast59
Again to turn, and edge the rampart by ;60
And lo ! the bow, like Joseph’s radiant vest,61
Scarfs the broad shoulder of the darksome sky ;62
Prelusive rain-mist dims the distance gray,63
And bids me hasten on my homeward way.64