Recollections after a Ramble (I)

[Clare's Cottage]

THE rosy day was sweet and young,
The clod-brown lark that hail'd the morn
Had just her summer anthem sung,
And trembling dropped in the corn;
The dew-rais'd flower was perk and proud,
The butterfly around it play'd;
The sky's blue clear, save woolly cloud
That pass'd the sun without a shade.

On the pismire's castle hill,
While the burnet-buttons quak'd,
While beside the stone-pav'd rill
Cowslip bunches nodding shak'd,
Bees in every peep did try,
Great had been the honey shower,
Soon their load was on their thigh,
Yellow dust as fine as flour.

Brazen magpies, fond of clack,
Full of insolence and pride,
Chattering on the donkey's back
Perch'd, and pull'd his shaggy hide;
Odd crows settled on the path,
Dames from milking trotting home
Said the sign foreboded wrath,
And shook their heads at ills to come.

While cows restless from the ground
Plung'd into the stream and drank,
And the rings went whirling round,
Till they touch'd the flaggy bank,
On the arch's wall I knelt,
Curious, as I often did,
To see the words the sculpture spelt,
But the moss its letters hid.

(to be continued)

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