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Ceilinged and roofed, that is so fair a thing
As this low structure-for the tasks of spring
Prepared by one who loves the buoyant swell
Of the brisk waves, yet here consents to dwell;
And spreads in steadfast peace her brooding-wing.
Words cannot paint the o'ershadowing yew-tree
bough,

And dimly-gleaming nest,-a hollow crown

Of golden leaves inlaid with silver down,
Fine as the mother's softest plumes allow :

I gazed-and, self-accused while gazing, sighed
For humankind, weak slaves of cumbrous pride!

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Unfolding, did not fruitlessly exhort

To reverend watching of each still report
That Nature utters from her rural shrine.
Meek, nobly versed in simple discipline,
He found the longest summer day too short,
To his loved pastime given by sedgy Lee,
Or down the tempting maze of Shawford brook!
Fairer than life itself, in this sweet book,

The cowslip bank and shady willow-tree,

And the fresh meads

nook

s ; where flowed from every

Of his full bosom, gladsome piety!

DECAY OF PIETY

FT have I seen, ere time had

ploughed my cheek,

Matrons and sires-who, punctual

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to the call

Of their loved church, on fast or

festival

Through the long year the house of prayer would

seek:

By Christmas snows, by visitation bleak

Of Easter winds, unscared, from hut or hall
They came to lowly bench or sculptured stall,
But with one fervour of devotion meek.

I see the places where they once were known,
And ask, surrounded even by kneeling crowds,
Is ancient piety for ever flown?

Alas! even then they seemed like fleecy clouds

That, struggling through the western sky, have

won

Their pensive light from a departed sun!

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Is sinking down in its tranquillity;

The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the sea:

Listen! the mighty Being is awake,

And doth with His eternal motion make

A sound like thunder-everlastingly.

Dear child! dear girl! that walkest with me

here,

If thou appear untouched by solemn thought,

Thy nature is not therefore less divine:

Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year;

And worshipp'st at the temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.

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We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This sea that bares her bosom to the moon ;
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for every thing, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.-Great God! I'd rather be
A pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn ;

Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;

Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.

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