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TO THE POET WORDSWORTH.
Thine is a strain to read amongst the hills,
Or its calm spirit fitly may be taken
Or by some hearth where happy faces meet,
Or where the shadows of dark solemn yews
True bard and holy thou art e’en as one
THE SONG OF THE CURFEW.
HARK ! from the dim church-tower,
The deep, slow curfew's chime! A heavy sound unto hall and bower,
In England's olden time!
From the fields of bis toil at night,
In his children's eyes make light.
Sadly and sternly heard
As it quench'd the wood-fire's glow, Which had cheer'd the board, with the mirthful word,
And the red wine's foaming flow; Until that sullen, booming knell,
Flung out from every fane, On harp, and lip, and spirit fell,
With a weight, and with a chain.
Woe for the wanderer then
In the wild-deer's forests far!
Might guide him as a star.
With lone aspirings fillid,
While the sounds of earth were still’d.
And yet a deeper woe,
For the watchers by the bed,
And rest forsook the head.
By the dying babe her place,
Yet not behold its face !
Darkness, in chieftain's hall !
Darkness, in peasant's cot! While Freedom, under that shadowy pall,
Sat mourning o'er her lot.
Oh! the fireside's peace we well may prize,
For blood hath flow'd like rain, Pour'd forth to make sweet sanctuaries
Of England's homes again!
Heap the yule-faggots high,
Till the red light fills the room! It is home's own hour, when the stormy sky
Grows thick with evening gloom. Gather ye round the holy hearth,
And by its gladdening blaze, Unto thankful bliss we will change our mirth,
With a thought of the olden days.