STANZAS – WRITTEN AT DARTMEET, ON DARTMOOR.
By Darts’ blue wave the Harp is still,
No echo, save the billow’s roar,
Is heard from Sherber’s rugged hill
To wind along its forest-shore;
And where twofold streams roll down,
While flashing round yon roughened fell;
Through whistling oaks, and sedges brown,
No softer voice is heard to swell.
Yet, wave ye boughs! where Dartmeet’s Vale
Doth in the summer-noon repose;
Oh wave! some voice shall yet prevail
Your mystic breathings to disclose!
Though Moorland hinds, belated start
Amid the haunted wilderness,
And deem the Spirits of the Dart
A warning sound of woe express;-
Or scathed with fear, direct their way
By scattered Cairn, and broken grave;
Awe-struck the mountain peaks survey,
And tremble as the wild-winds rave.
Yet if poetic ear should note
Those boughs with all their rustling leaves-
What sounds of air-born music float!
What viewless hand the branches heaves!
What joy, by Dart’s loud gushing stream
The voices of the Wild to hear,-
And watch the troublous waters gleam
Far onward, in their fleet career.
While not a thrilling vein should move
The Bard’s congenial breast to fear;-
He only feels the hallowing love
That makes the things of nature dear.
And through their channel as he sees
The spell-touched billows glide below;
Or in the echoes of the trees
Hears the charmed breath of spirits blow:
His soul comes back! – that flood of song!
The magic strings obey the call!
So pure, so present, and so strong,
From heart and hand the measures fall.
Then bend, ye Woods! your shadowy boughs,
Let all your rushing breezes speed,-
The answers of the Desert rouse,
The Bard your symphony shall heed.
And you, Oh plighted Streams! that roll
Together on in bridal glee-
Fair rivers! let the minstrel’s soul
Exult in union with ye.