1 SILENT nymph, with curious eye!
2 Who, the purple ev'ning lie,
3 On the mountain's lonely van,
4 Beyond the noise of busy man,
5 Painting fair the form of things,
6 While the yellow linet sings;
7 Or the tuneful nightingale
8 Charms the forest with her tale;
9 Come with all thy various hues,
10 Come, and aid thy sister Muse;
11 Now while Phoebus riding high
12 Gives lustre to the land and sky!
13 Grongar Hill invites my song,
14 Draw the landskip bright and strong;
15 Grongar, in whose mossy cells
16 Sweetly musing Quiet dwells;
17 Grongar, in whose silent shade,
18 For the modest Muses made,
19 So oft I have, the evening still,
20 At the fountain of a rill,[Page 215]
21 Sate upon a flow'ry bed,
22 With my hand beneath my head;
23 While stray'd my eyes o'er Towy's flood,
24 Over mead, and over wood,
25 From house to house, from hill to hill,
26 'Till Contemplation had her fill.
27 About his chequer'd sides I wind,
28 And leave his brooks and meads behind,
29 And groves and grottoes where I lay,
30 And vistoes shooting beams of day:
31 Wide and wider spreads the vale;
32 As circles on a smooth canal;
33 The mountains round, unhappy fate!
34 Sooner or later, all of height,
35 Withdraw their summits from the skies,
36 And lessen as the others rise;
37 Still the prospect wider spreads,
38 Adds a thousand woods and meads,
39 Still it widens, widens still,
40 And sinks the newly-risen hill.
41 Now, I gain the mountain's brow,
42 What a landskip lies below!
43 No clouds, no vapours intervene,
44 But the gay, the open scene
45 Does the face of nature show,
46 In all the hues of heaven's bow!
47 And, swelling to embrace the light,
48 Spreads around beneath the sight.
49 Old castles on the cliffs arise,
50 Proudly tow'ring in the skies!
51 Rushing from the woods, the spires
52 Seem from hence ascending fires!
53 Half his beams Apollo sheds
54 On the yellow mountain-heads!
55 Gilds the fleeces of the flocks:
56 And glitters on the broken rocks!
57 Below me trees unnumber'd rise,
58 Beautiful in various dyes:
59 The gloomy pine, the poplar blue,
60 The yellow beech, the sable yew,
61 The slender fir, that taper grows,
62 The sturdy oak with broad-spread boughs.
63 And beyond the purple grove,
64 Haunt of Phillis, queen of love!
65 Gaudy as the op'ning dawn,
66 Lies a long and level lawn,
67 On which a dark hill, steep and high,
68 Holds and charms the wand'ring eye!
69 Deep are his feet in Towy's flood,
70 His sides are cloath'd with waving wood,
71 And ancient towers crown his brow,
72 That cast an aweful look below;
73 Whose ragged walls the ivy creeps,
74 And with her arms from falling keeps;
75 So both a safety from the wind
76 On mutual dependence find.
77 'Tis now the raven's bleak abode;
78 'Tis now th' apartment of the toad;
79 And there the fox securely feeds;
80 And there the pois'nous adder breeds,
81 Conceal'd in ruins, moss and weeds;
82 While, ever and anon, there falls
83 Huge heaps of hoary moulder'd walls.
84 Yet time has seen, that lifts the low,
85 And level lays the lofty brow,
86 Has seen this broken pile compleat,
87 Big with the vanity of state;
88 But transient is the smile of fate!
89 A little rule, a little sway,
90 A sun beam in a winter's day,
91 Is all the proud and mighty have
92 Between the cradle and the grave.
93 And see the rivers how they run,
94 Thro' woods and meads, in shade and sun,
95 Sometimes swift, sometimes slow,
96 Wave succeeding wave, they go
97 A various journey to the deep,
98 Like human life to endless sleep!
99 Thus is nature's vesture wrought,
100 To instruct our wand'ring thought;
101 Thus she dresses green and gay,
102 To disperse our cares away.
103 Ever charming, ever new,
104 When will the landskip tire the view![Page 218]
105 The fountain's fall, the river's flow,
106 The woody vallies, warm and low;
107 The windy summit, wild and high,
108 Roughly rushing on the sky!
109 The pleasant seat, the ruin'd tow'r,
110 The naked rock, the shady bow'r;
111 The town and village, dome and farm,
112 Each give each a double charm,
113 As pearls upon an Aethiop's arm.
114 See on the mountain's southern side,
115 Where the prospect opens wide,
116 Where the evening gilds the tide;
117 How close and small the hedges lie!
118 What streaks of meadows cross the eye!
119 A step methinks may pass the stream,
120 So little distant dangers seem;
121 So we mistake the future's face,
122 Ey'd thro' hope's deluding glass;
123 As yon summits soft and fair,
124 Clad in colours of the air,
125 Which to those who journey near,
126 Barren, brown, and rough appear;
127 Still we tread the same coarse way,
128 The present's still a cloudy day.
129 O may I with myself agree,
130 And never covet what I see:
131 Content me with an humble shade,
132 My passions tam'd, my wishes laid;[Page 219]
133 For while our wishes wildly roll,
134 We banish quiet from the soul:
135 'Tis thus the busy beat the air;
136 And misers gather wealth and care.
137 Now, ev'n now, my joys run high,
138 As on the mountain-turf I lie;
139 While the wanton Zephyr sings,
140 And in the vale perfumes his wings;
141 While the waters murmur deep;
142 While the shepherd charms his sheep;
143 While the birds unbounded fly,
144 And with musick fill the sky,
145 Now, ev'n now, my joys run high.
146 Be full, ye courts, be great who will;
147 Search for peace with all your skill:
148 Open wide the lofty door,
149 Seek her on the marble floor,
150 In vain you search, she is not there;
151 In vain ye search the domes of care!
152 Grass and flowers Quiet treads,
153 On the meads and mountain-heads,
154 Along with Pleasure, close ally'd
155 Ever by each other's side:
156 And often, by the murm'ring rill,
157 Hears the thrush, while all is still,
158 Within the groves of Grongar Hill.