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No clouds, no vapours intervene;
But the gay, the open scene,
Does the face of nature show,
In all the hues of heaven's bow;
And, swelling to embrace the light,
Spreads around beneath the sight.
Old castles on the cliffs arise,
Proudly towering in the skies !
Rushing from the woods, the spires
Seem from hence ascending fires!
Half his beams Apollo sheds
On the yellow mountain-heads !
Gilds the fleeces of the flocks,
And glitters on the broken rocks!
Below me trees unnumber'd rise,
Beautiful in various dyes :
The gloomy pine, the poplar blue,
The yellow beech, the sable yew,
The slender fir, that taper grows,
The sturdy oak with broad-spread boughs.
And beyond the purple grove,
Haunt of Phyllis, queen of love!
Gaudy as the opening dawn,
Lies a long and level lawn,
On which a dark hill, steep and high,
Holds and charms the wandering eye!
Deep are his feet in Towy's flood,
His sides are cloth'd with waving wood,
And ancient towers crown his brow,
That cast an awful look below;
Whose ragged walls the ivy creeps,
And with her arms from falling keeps :
So both a safety from the wind
On mutual dependence find.
'Tis now the raven’s bleak abode;
'Tis now th' apartment of the toad;
And there the fox securely feeds;
And there the poisonous adder breeds,
Conceal'd in ruins, moss, and weeds;
While, ever and anon, there falls
Huge heaps of hoary moulder'd walls.
Yet time has seen, that lifts the low,
And level lays the lofty brow,
Has seen this broken pile complete,
Big with the vanity of state;
But transient is the smile of fate!
A little rule, a little sway,
A sunbeam in a winter's day,
Is all the proud and mighty have
Between the cradle and the grave.
And see the rivers how they run,
Through woods and meads, in shade and sun,
Sometimes swift, sometimes slow,
Wave succeeding wave, they go
A various journey to the deep,
Like human life, to endless sleep!
Thus is nature's vesture wrought,
To instruct our wandering thought;
Thus she dresses green and
gay, To disperse our cares away.
Ever charming, ever new, When will the landscape tire the view ! The fountain's fall, the river's flow, The woody valleys, warm and low; The windy summit, wild and high, Roughly rushing on the sky! The pleasant seat, the ruin'd tower, The naked rock, the shady bower ; The town and village, dome and farm, Each give each a double charm, As pearls upon an Æthiop's arm.
See on the mountain's southern side,
Where the prospect opens wide,
Where the evening gilds the tide;
How close and small the hedges lie!
What streaks of meadows cross the eye!
A step methinks may pass the stream,
So little distant dangers seem ;
So we mistake the future's face,
Ey'd through hope's deluding glass;
As yon summits soft and fair,
Clad in colours of the air,
Which, to those who journey near,
Barren, brown, and rough appear;
Still we tread the same coarse way,
The present's still a cloudy day.
O may I with myself agree,
And never covet what I see:
Content me with an humble shade,
My passions tam'd, my wishes laid;
For, while our wishes wildly roll,
We banish quiet from the soul :
'Tis thus the busy beat the air,
And misers gather wealth and care.
Now, ev'n now, my joys run high,
As on the mountain-turf I lie;
While the wanton zephyr sings,
And in the vale perfumes his wings :
While the waters murmur deep;
While the shepherd charms his sheep;
While the birds unbounded fly,
And with music fill the sky,
Now, ev'n now, my joys run high.
Be full, ye courts ; be great who will ; Search for peace with all your skill; Open wide the lofty door, Seek her on the marble floor; In vain you search, she is not there; In vain ye search the domes of care ! Grass and flowers Quiet treads, On the meads and mountain-heads, Along with Pleasure, close ally'd, Ever by each other's side: And often, by the murmuring rill, Hears the thrush, while all is still, Within the groves of Grongar Hill
The personal history of Allan Ramsay is marked by fèw circumstances of striking interest; yet, independently of his poetry, he cannot be reckoned an insignificant individual who gave Scotland her first circulating library, and who established her first regular theatre. He was born in the parish of Crawfurd Moor, in Lanarkshire, where his father had the charge of Lord Hopeton's lead mines. His mother, Alice Bower, was the daughter of an Englishman who had emigrated to that place from Derbyshire, By his paternal descent the poet boasts of having sprung from “a Douglas loin," but, owing to the early death of his father, his education was confined to a parish school, and at the age of fifteen he was bound apprentice to the humble business of a wigmaker. On this subject one of his Scottish biographers refutes, with some indignation, a report which had gone abroad, that our poet was bred a barber, and carefully instructs the reader, that in those good times, when a fashionable wig cost twenty guineas, the employment of manufacturing them was