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PREFACE.

This poem, which was written in May, 1840, is not, indeed, what the Author would now wish to achieve. It is published merely as an irregular and imperfect evidence: though, notwithstanding the popularised form and style, there may, perhaps, be seen some studied elaboration of scheme, and a purpose, though in indirect illustration, distinct and strong. (See note 75.)

19 May, 1841.

ALPHA.

The long sweet summer day is done :
The light that shone supremest sun
Gathers in expiring might
On the western mountains' height,
One unutterable blaze,
Burning hues and lightning rays,
More than sense or soul may gaze;
Till seems the hill Earth's altar high,
Flaming glory to the sky.

O’er the land so fair below
Deepens an universal glow,
Like the blessing of the hour,
Smild from some inspiring Power :

This the hour when sweetest thought
Wakes—its slumber all forgot;
All the past in memory wrought
So vivid that the lapse is nought-;

And the spirit most has part
In the bliss of Nature's heart.
Down the long dim colonnade
Of the old oak forest's shade
Darts the latest look of day
From the mountains far away;
Gleaming there the greenwood through
Diffus’d in many a shadowy hue.

Waken at the quivering beams
The nightingales to sing their dreams,
While the woodland depths along
Thrills the frequent farewell song.

Through the dim pane heraldic, dight
With pride of baron and of knight,
The western sun sheds Iris light
On tomes far rang’d along and high,
In gold and every gorgeous dye.

There sits among the books alone
Who many an hour with them has known,
From dayspring to the sun's descending,
And, by the lamp above him pending,
Has turn’d them with untiring zeal
Oft until the stars grew pale :

Though years of youth even yet remain For him, whose youth is not in vain;

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