WRITTEN IN DEVONSHIRE, NEAR THE DART.
1 HAIL, Devon! in thy bosom let me rest,
2 And pour forth music from my raptur'd breast:
3 I'll stray thy meadow'd hills
4 And plains along,
5 And loudly sing the widely-varied song,
6 Tracing thy rivers, and thy bubbling rills.
7 Oft, rising from the sea, the tempest lours,
8 And buoy'd on winds the clouds majestic sail,
9 While scattering burst in wide and frequent showers,
10 Swelling the streams which glide thro' every vale;
11 Yet are the marshy plains bedeck'd with flowers,
12 And balmy sweets are borne on every gale.
13 Where DART romantic winds its mazy course,
14 And mossy rocks set 'neath the woody hills,[Page 63]
15 From whence each creeping rill its store distils,
16 And wandering waters join with rapid force;
17 There Nature's hand has wildly strewn her flowers,
18 And varying prospects strike the roving eyes;
19 Rough-hanging woods o'er cultur'd hills arise;
20 Thick ivy spreads around huge antic towers,
21 And fruitful groves
22 Scatter their blossoms fast as falling showers,
23 Perfuming ev'ry stream which o'er the landscape pours.
24 Along the grassy banks how sweet to stray,
25 When the mild eve smiles in the glowing west,
26 And lengthen'd shades proclaim departing day,
27 And fainting sun-beams in the waters play,
28 When every bird seeks its accustom'd rest!
29 How grand, to see the burning orb descend,
30 And the grave sky wrapp'd in its nightly robes,
31 Whether resplendent with the starry globes,[Page 64]
32 Or silver'd by the mildly-solemn moon,
33 When nightingales their lonely songs resume,
34 And folly's sons their babbling noise suspend!
35 Or when the darkening clouds fly o'er the sea,
36 And early morning beams a chearful ray,
37 Waking melodious songsters from each tree;
38 How sweet beneath each dewy hill
39 Amid the pleasing shades to stray,
40 Where nectar'd flowers their sweets distil,
41 Whose watery pearls reflect the day!
42 To scent the jonquil's rich perfume,
43 To pluck the hawthorn's tender briars,
44 As wild beneath each flowery hedge
45 Fair strawberries with violets bloom,
46 And every joy of spring conspires!
47 Nature's wild songsters from each bush and tree
48 Invite the early walk, and breathe delight;[Page 65]
49 What bosom heaves not with warm sympathy
50 When the gay lark salutes the new-born light?
51 Hark! where the shrill-ton'd thrush,
52 Sweet whistling, carols the wild harmony!
53 The linnet warbles, and from yonder bush
54 The robin pours soft strains of melody!
55 Hail Devon! while through the lov'd woods I stray,
56 O! let me loudly pour the grateful lay!
57 Tell each luxuriant bank where violets grow,
58 Each mazy vale, where fragrant woodbines wind,
59 How much of their bewitching charms they owe
60 To the sweet peace which fills my happy mind.
61 Ah! where again will it such pleasures find?
62 O, lov'd society! the heartfelt lay
63 Is all the humble Muse can now bestow;
64 Thy praises still I sing, as on I stray,
65 Writ in my heart amid each strain they flow. [Page 66]