Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE VALLEY OF FERN: PART 2, by BERNARD BARTON

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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

THE VALLEY OF FERN: PART 2, by                 Poet's Biography
First Line: Thou art chang'd. Lovely spot! And no more thou displayest
Last Line: And eternity hallows some visions of time!
Alternate Author Name(s): Quaker Poet
Subject(s): Valleys; Change

THOU art chang'd, lovely spot! and no more thou displayest
To the eye of thy votary, that negligent grace,
Which, in moments the saddest, the tenderest, the gayest,
Allur'd him so oft thy recesses to trace.
The hand of the spoiler has fallen upon thee,
And marr'd the wild beauties that deck'd thee before
And the charms, which a poet's warm praises had won thee,
Exist but in memory, and bless thee no more.
Thy green, palmy fern, which the softest and mildest
Of Summer's light breezes could ruffle,—is fled;
And the bright-blossom'd ling, which spread o'er thee her wildest
And wantonest hues,—is uprooted and dead.

Yet now, even now, that thou neither belongest,
Or seem'st to belong, unto Nature or Art;
The love I still bear thee is deepest and strongest,
And thy fate but endears thee the more to my heart.
Thou art passing away, like some beautiful vision,
From things which now are unto those that have been!
And wilt rise to my sight like a landscape elysian,
With thy blossoms more bright, and thy verdure more green.
Thou wilt dwell in remembrance, among those recesses
Which fancy still haunts: though they were, and are not;
Whose loveliness lives, and whose beauty still blesses,
Which, though ceasing to be, can be never forgot.

We know all we see in this beauteous creation,
However enchanting its beauty may seem,
Is doom'd to dissolve, like some bright exhalation,
That dazzles, and fades in the morning's first beam.
The gloom of dark forests, the grandeur of mountains,
The verdure of meads, and the beauty of flowers;
The seclusion of valleys, the freshness of fountains,
The sequester'd delights of the loveliest bowers:
Nay, more than all these, that the might of old ocean,
Which seems as it was on the day of its birth,
Must meet the last hour of convulsive commotion,
Which sooner or later, will uncreate earth.

Yet, acknowledging this, it may be that the feelings
Which these have awaken'd, the glimpses they've given,
Combin'd with those inward and holy revealings
That illumine the soul with the brightness of heaven,
May still be immortal, and destia'd to lead us,
Hereafter, to that which shall not pass away;
To the loftier destiny God hath decreed us,
The glorious dawn of an unending day.
And thus, like the steps of the ladder ascended
By angels, (beheld with the patriarch's eye,)
With the perishing beauties of earth may be blended
Sensations too pure and too holy to die.

Nor would Infinite Wisdom haye plann'd and perfected,
With such grandeur and majesty, beauty and grace,
The world we inhabit, and thus have connected
The heart's better feelings with nature's fair face,
If the touching emotions, thus deeply excited,
Towards Him who made all things, left nothing behind,
Which, enduring beyond all that sense has delighted,
Becomes intellectual, immortal, as mind!
But they do; and the heart that most fondly has cherish'd
Such feelings, nor suffer'd their ardour to chill,
Will find, when the forms which inspir'd them have perish'd,
Their spirit and essence remain with it still.

Thus thinking, I would not recall the brief measure
Of praise, lovely valley! devoted to thee;
Well has it been won by the moments of pleasure
Afforded to some, justly valued by me.
May their thoughts and mine, often silently ponder
Over every lov'd spot that our feet may have trod;
And teach us, while through nature's beauties we wander,
All space is itself but the temple of God!
That so, when our spirits shall pass through the portal
Of Death, we may find, in a state more sublime,
Immortality owns what could never be mortal!
And Eternity hallows some visions of Time!

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