I love thee, Nature, with a boundless love!
The calm of earth, the storm of roaring woods!
The winds breathe happiness where'er I rove!
There's life's own music in the swelling floods!
My heart is in the thunder-melting clouds,
The snow-cap't mountain, and the rolling sea!
And hear ye not the voice where darkness shrouds
The heavens? There lives happiness for me!
And yet, sublime in grief, thy thoughts delight
To show me visions of most gorgeous dyes,
Haply forgetting now
They but prepare thy shroud;
Thy pencil dashing its excess of shades,
Improvident of wealth, till every bough
Burns with thy mellow touch
Soon must I view thee as a pleasant dream
Droop faintly, and so reckon for thine end,
As sad the winds sink low
In dirges for their queen;
While in the moment of their weary pause,
To cheer thy bankrupt pomp, the willing lark
Starts from his shielding clod,
Snatching sweet scraps of song.
Thy life is waning now, and Silence tries
To mourn, but meets no sympathy in sounds,
As stooping low she bends,
Forming with leaves thy grave;
To sleep inglorious there mid tangled woods,
Till parch-lipped Summer pines in drought away;
Then from thine ivied trance
Awake to glories new.
Or crispy hills and hollows scant of sward,
Where step by step the patient, lonely boy,
Hath cut rude flights of stairs
To climb their steepy sides;
Now filtering winds thin winnow through the woods
With tremulous noise, that bids, at every breath,
Some sickly cankered leaf
Let go its hold and die.
And now the bickering storm, with sudden start,
In flirting fits of anger carps aloud,
Thee urging to thine end,
Sore wept by troubled skies.
By overshadowed ponds, in woody nooks,
With ramping sallows lined, and crowding sedge,
Which woo the winds to play,
And with them dance for joy;
And meadow pools, torn wide by lawless floods,
Where waterlilies spread their oily leaves,
On which, as wont, the fly
Oft battens in the sun;
Where leans the mossy willow half way o'er,
On which the shepherd crawls astride to throw
His angle, clear of weeds
That crown the water's brim;
Syren of sullen moods and fading hues,
Yet haply not incapable of joy,
Sweet Autumn! I thee hail
With welcome all unfeigned;
And oft as morning from her lattice peeps
To beckon up the sun, I seek with thee
To drink the dewy breath
Of fields left fragrant then,
In solitudes, where no frequented paths
But what thine own foot makes betray thine home,
Stealing obtrusive there
To meditate thy end;
The black and yellow bumble first on wing
To buzz among the sallow's early flowers,
Hiding its nest in holes from fickle spring
Who stints his rambles with her frequent showers;
And one that may for wiser piper pass,
In livery dress half sables and half red,
Who laps a moss ball in the meadow grass
And hoards her stores when April showers have fled;
[Swaddywell 'weeds' - July 2005]
A weedling wild, on lonely lea,
My evening rambles chanc'd to see;
And much the weedling tempted me
To crop its tender flower:
Expos'd to wind and heavy rain,
Its head bow'd lowly on the plain;
And silently it seem'd in pain
Of life's endanger'd hour.
"And wilt thou bid my bloom decay,
And crop my flower, and me betray ?
And cast my injur'd sweets away," -
Its silence seemly sigh'd -
"A moment's idol of thy mind?
And is a stranger so unkind,
To leave a shameful root behind,
Bereft of all its pride?"
And so it seemly did complain;
And beating fell the heavy rain;
And low it droop'd upon the plain,
To fate resign'd to fall:
My heart did melt at its decline,
And "Come," said I, "thou gem divine,
My fate shall stand the storm with thine;"
So took the root and all.
[image: Carry Akroyd]
The hedges only seem to mourn,
The willow boughs to sigh,
Though sunshine o'er the meads sojourn,
To cheer me where I lie:
The blackbird in the hedgerow thorn
Sings loud his Summer lay;
He seems to sing, both eve and morn,
"She wanders here to-day."
The scene begins to look divine;
We'll by the river walk.
Her arm already seems in mine,
And fancy hears her talk.
A vision, this, of early love:
The meadow, river, rill,
Scenes where I walked with Mary Dove,
Are in my memory still.
Arise, my Isabel, arise!
The sun shoots forth his early ray,
The hue of love is in the skies,
The birds are singing, come away!
O come, my Isabella, come,
With inky tendrils hanging low;
Thy cheeks like roses just in bloom,
That in the healthy Summer glow.
That eye it turns the world away
From wanton sport and recklessness;
That eye beams with a cheerful ray,
And smiles propitiously to bless.
O come, my Isabella, dear!
O come, and fill these longing arms!
Come, let me see thy beauty here,
And bend in worship o'er thy charms.
O come, my Isabella, love!
My dearest Isabella, come!
Thy heart's affection, let me prove,
And kiss thy beauty in its bloom.
My Isabella, young and fair,
Thou darling of my home and heart,
Come, love, my bosom's truth to share,
And of its being form a part.