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Like children at the approach of one they love,
Oh Queen! that rulest the nocturnal heaven,
Yet are we not without our bliss below, Nor is our span, all narrow though it be, Devoid of wild diversity and change :Ah! not the same in features or in thought Am I, as when, a few swift years ago, Resting upon this individual bank, On eves how like to this ! from out that shrine Of forests, and of everlasting hills, I saw thee, bursting from a ring of clouds, Deluge, with holy light, the eastern sky.
Where are the visions, that, with ardent mind,
Year follows year
Amid the tribes of guilty and unclean,
We must not look for miracles, and ah!
But still, when gazing from this pastoral mount
We know not that the trembling sword o'erhangs, Nor that the yawning precipice is near, And so we follow on and so we fall The victims of our inexperience ! But, were it otherwise, and could we know The dangers that surround us; could we tech The perils that encompass-'tis in vain, The doom is fixedl—the seal impressid--the waves Of tumult have pass'd over, and no more Can we retrace our steps; the past is past, For ever gone and perish'd ; hope alone Lives in the regions of Futurity ; And if we can amend, 'tis then and there!
Oh for a lonely cottage, far away From city noise and tumult, far remote From strife and dark contagion, from the stir And feverish perturbation of mankind ! Know ye the site of this my Paradise ? Over the whitened sash, and slated roof, The woodbine, wreathing its luxuriant boughs, Would form a verdant net-work; dark green leaves,
And silver flowers superbly intertwined ;
Behind, the mountains rearing high their cones,
above terrestrial things,
Before, the level champaign far and wide
What my tasks would be
But where would stray my fancy? Where would roam
But thou art with me still, all glorious Moon,
Quiver as with a feeling of delight;
Down from thy throne thou gazest and the hills
Then come what may, be this my solace still-
I spent the whole of last summer, and passing by, unnoticed, a hundred less a part of the ensuing winter, on the outwardly distinguished spots, where Hampshire coast, visiting successively feeling would love to linger, and sent most of its sea-ports and bathing-pla- timent find inexhaustible sources of ces, and enjoying its beautiful diversió interest and contemplation. ty of sea and wood scenery, often so For want of a better, however, I set intermingled, that the forest-trees dip out with my silent guide, but soon down their flexile branches into the strayed wide of its directions, ram. salt waters of the Solon sea ; and green bling away, and often tarrying hours lawns and healthy glades slope down and days in places unhonoured by its to the edge of the silver sands, and notice, and perversely deviating from not unfrequently to the very brink of the beaten road, that would have cont the water. In no part of Hampshire ducted a more docile tourist, and one is this characteristic beauty more stri- of less independent tastes, to such or kingly exemplified than at the back of such a nobleman's or gentleman's seat, the Isle of Wight, that miniature ab- or summer-house, or pavilion, built stract of all that is grand and lovely on purpose to be visited and admired. throughout England. Early in Au- But I did not shape my course thus gust, I crossed over from Portsmouth designedly in a spirit of opposition to to Ryde, purposing to fix my head- the mute director, whose not unser quarters there, and from thence to viceable) clue led me at last amongst make excursions to all such places as are the romantic rocks and cottages of accounted worthy the tourist's notice. Shanklin, Niton, and Undercliff. It But a guide-book is at best an unsym- led me to those enchanting spots and pathizing companion, cold and formal to their lovely vicinity ; but to entice as the human machine that leads you me therice, was more than its inviting over some old abbey, or venerable ca- promises could effect; and finally I thedral, pointing out indeed the prin- took up my abode for an 'indefinite cipal monuments and chapels, but time in a cottage of grey native stone, backed by the solid rocks, and tapes- speaking, there is something peculitried in front with such an interwoven arly interesting in the character of seaprofusion of rose and myrtle, as half faring men, even of those whose voyhid the little casements, and aspired ages have extended little beyond their far over the thatched roof and project- own shores. The fisherman's life ining eaves. Days, weeks, months, slip- deed may be accounted one of the most ped away imperceptibly in this deli- constant peril. For daily bread, he cious retreat, and in all the luxury of must brave daily dangers. In that lounging felicity. Mine was idleness, season when the tillers of the ground it is true, the sensation of perfect ex- rest from their labours when the aremption from all existing necessity of tisan and mechanic are sheltered withmental or corporeal exertion ;--not in theirdwellings--when the dormouse suspension of ideas, but rather a sea- and the squirrel hide in their woolly son of unbounded liberty for the wild nests, and the little birds find shelter vagrant thought to revel in, to ram- in hollow banks and trees, or resort to ble at will beyond the narrow bound- milder regions, the poor fisherman aries assigned by the claims of business must encounter all the fury of the or society, to her natural excursiveness. combined elements for his children's Summer passed away-the harvest was bread is scattered on the waters. gathered in - autumn verged upon It is this perpetually enforced inwinter, and I still tenanted the rock tercourse with danger that interests cottage. No where are we so little our feelings so powerfully in their besensible of the changes of season as in half, together with its concomitant the sea's immediate vicinity; and the effects on their character-undaunted back of the Isle of Wight is peculiarly hardihood-insurmountable perseveillustrative of this remark. Complete rance--almost heroic daring; and, gely screened from the north by a con- nerally speaking, a simplicity of heart, tinued wall of high rocky cliff, its and a tenderness of deportment toshores are exposed only to the south- wards the females and little ones of ern and westerly winds, and those are their families, finely contrasting their tempered by the peculiar softness al- rugged exterior. But, unfortunately, ways perceptible in sea-breezes. On a it is not only in their ostensible callmild autumn day, or bright winter's ing of fishermen, that these men are morning, when the sun sparkles on the forward in effronting peril
. The temptwhite sands and scintillating waves, ation of contraband trade too oftent on the sails of the little fishing-boats allures them from their honest and that steal along the shore with their peaceable avocations, to brave the laws wings spread open, like large butter- of their country, and encounter the flies, or on the tall grey cliffs, tinted most fearful risks, in pursuit of prewith many-coloured lichens, a luun- carious, though sometimes considerger on the beach will hardly perceive able gains. Of late, this desperate that the year is in its “sere and yel- trade has extended almost to an orlow, leaf, or already fallen into the ganized system ; and, in spite of all decrepitude of winter. And when the the preventive measures adopted by unchained elements proclaim aloud government, it is too obvious that the that the hoary tyrant hath commenced numbers of these “ free traders” are his reign, when the winds are let loose yearly increasing, and that their hafrom their caverns, and the agitated zardous commerce is more daringly sea rolls its waves in mountainous and vigorously carried on. Along the ridges on the rocky coast, when the Hampshire coast, and more particusea-fowl's scream is heard mingling larly in the Isle of Wight, almost in harsh concord with the howling every seafaring man is engaged in it, blast; then, oh! then,—who can tear to a less or greater extent. For the himself from the contemplation of a most part, they are connected in secret scene more sublimely interesting than associations, both for co-operation and all the calm loveliness of a summer defence; and there is a sort of freeprospect? To me its attractions were masonry ainong them, the signs and irresistible; and besides those of ina- tokens of which are soon apparent to nimate nature, I found other sources an attentive observer. “The Custom. of interest in studying the character House sharks," as they term them, are and habits of the almost amphibious not their most formidable foes, for they dwellers on that coast. Generally wage a more desperate warfare, (as rew