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Sudden and sharp, he darts to his retreat
Beneath the mossy hillock or aged tree;
But oft a moment after reappears,
First peeping out, then starting forth at once
With a courageous air, yet in his pranks
Keeping a watchful eye, nor venturing far
Till left unheeded. In rank pastures graze,
Singly and mutely, the contented herd;
And on the upland rough the peaceful sheep,
Regardless of the frolic lambs, that, close
Beside them, and before their faces prone,
With many an antic leap and butting feint,
Try to provoke them to unite in sport
Or grant a look, till tired of vain attempts ;
When, gathering in one company apart,
All vigour and delight, away they run,
Straight to the utmost corner of the field,
The fence beside ; then, wheeling, disappear
In some small sandy pit, then rise to view;
Or crowd together up the heap of earth
Around some upturned root of fallen tree,
And on its top a trembling moment stand,
Then to the distant flock at once return.
Exhilarated by the general joy,
And the fair prospect of a fruitful year,
The peasant, with light heart and nimble step
His work pursues, as it were pastime sweet,
With many a cheering word, his willing team,
For labour fresh he hastens to the field
Ere morning lose its coolness; but at eve,
When loosened from the plough and homeward turned,
He follows slow and silent, stopping oft
To mark the daily growth of tender grain
And meadows of deep verdure, or to view
His scattered flock and herd, of their own will
Assembling for the night by various paths,
The old now freely sporting with the young,
Or labouring with uncouth attempts at sport.
The thoughts are strange that crowd into my brain, While I look upward to thee. It would seem As if God poured thee from his “hollow hand,” And hung his bow upon thine awful front; And spoke in that loud voice, which seemed to him, Who dwelt in Patmos for his Saviour's sake, “The sound of many waters ;” and had bade Thy flood to chronicle the ages back, And notch His centries in the eternal rocks.
Deep calleth unto deep. And what are we, That hear the question of that voice sublime ? 0, what are all the notes that ever rung Froin war's vain trumpet, by thy thundering side! Yea, what is all the riot man can make, In his short life, to thy unceasing roar! And yet, bold babbler, what art thou to Him, Who drowned a world, and heaped the waters far Above its loftiest mountains ?-a light wave, That breaks, and whispers of its Maker's might.
The garden of ABSALOM's house on Mount Zion, near the
palace, overlooking the city. Tamar sitting by a fountain.
Tam. How aromatic evening grows! The flowers
And spicy shrubs exhale like onycha ;
Spikenard and henna emulate in sweets.
Blest hour! which He, who fashioned it so fair,
So softly glowing, so contemplative,
Hath set, and sanctified to look on man.
And lo! the smoke of evening sacrifice
Ascends from out the tabernacle.—Heaven,
Accept the expiation, and forgive
This day's offences !-Ha! the wonted strain,
Precursor of his coming !—Whence can this-
It seems to flow from some unearthly hand-
Had. Does beauteous Tamar view, in this clear fount,
Herself, or heaven?
Tam. Nay, Hadad, tell me whence
Those sad, mysterious sounds.
Had. What sounds, dear Princess ?
Tam. Surely, thou know'st; and now I almost think Some spiritual creature waits on thee.
Had. I heard no sounds, but such as evening sends Up from the city to these quiet shades; A blended murmur sweetly harmonizing With flowing fountains, feathered minstrelsy, And voices from the hills.