Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, LINES ON LEAVING A SCENE IN BAVARIA, by THOMAS CAMPBELL



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LINES ON LEAVING A SCENE IN BAVARIA, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Adieu the woods and waters' side
Last Line: Its absence may be borne.
Subject(s): Bavaria; Farewell; Parting


ADIEU the woods and water's side,
Imperial Danube's rich domain!
Adieu the grotto, wild and wide,
The rocks abrupt, and grassy plain!
For pallid Autumn once again
Hath swelled each torrent of the hill;
Her clouds collect, her shadows sail,
And watery winds that sweep the vale,
Grow loud and louder still.

But not the storm, dethroning fast
Yon monarch oak of massy pile
Nor river roaring to the blast
Around its dark and desert isle;
Nor church-bell tolling to beguile
The cloud-born thunder passing by,
Can sound in discord to my soul:
Roll on, ye mighty waters, roll!
And rage, thou darkened sky!

Thy blossoms now no longer bright;
Thy withered woods no longer green;
Yet, Eldurn shore, with dark delight
I visit thy unlovely scene!
For many a sunset hour serene
My steps have trod thy mellow dew;
When his green light the glow-worm gave,
When Cynthia from the distant wave
Her twilight anchor drew, --

And ploughed, as with a swelling sail,
The billowy clouds and starry sea;
Then while thy hermit nightingale
Sang on his fragrant apple-tree, --
Romantic, solitary, free,
The visitant of Eldurn's shore,
On such a moonlight mountain strayed,
As echoed to the music made
By Druid harps of yore.

Around thy savage hills of oak,
Around thy waters bright and blue,
No hunter's horn the silence broke,
No dying shriek thine echo knew;
But safe, sweet Eldurn woods, to you
The wounded wild deer ever ran,
Whose myrtle bound their grassy cave,
Whose very rocks a shelter gave
From blood-pursuing man.

Oh heart effusions, that arose
From nightly wanderings cherished here;
To him who flies from many woes,
Even homeless deserts can be dear!
The last and solitary cheer
Of those that own no earthly home,
Say -- is it not, ye banished race,
In such a loved and lonely place
Companionless to roam?

Yes! I have loved thy wild abode,
Unknown, unploughed, untrodden shore;
Where scarce the woodman finds a road,
And scarce the fisher plies an oar;
For man's neglect I love thee more;
That art nor avarice intrude
To tame thy torrent's thunder-shock,
Or prune thy vintage of the rock
Magnificently rude.

Unheeded spreads thy blossomed bud
Its milky bosom to the bee;
Unheeded falls along the flood
Thy desolate and aged tree.
Forsaken scene, how like to thee
The fate of unbefriended Worth!
Like thine her fruit dishonored falls;
Like thee in solitude she calls
A thousand treasures forth.

Oh! silent spirit of the place,
If, lingering with the ruined year,
Thy hoary form and awful face
I yet might watch and worship here!
Thy storm were music to mine ear,
Thy wildest walk a shelter given
Sublimer thoughts on earth to find,
And share, with no unhallowed mind,
The majesty of heaven.

What though the bosom friends of Fate, --
Prosperity's unweaned brood, --
Thy consolations can not rate,
O, self-dependent Solitude!
Yet with a spirit unsubdued,
Though darkened by the clouds of Care,
To worship thy congenial gloom,
A pilgrim to the Prophet's tomb,
The Friendless shall repair.

On him the world hath never smiled
Or looked but with accusing eye; --
All-silent goddess of the wild,
To thee that misanthrope shall fly!
I hear his deep soliloquy,
I mark his proud but ravaged form,
As stern he wraps his mantle round,
And bids, on winter's bleakest ground,
Defiance to the storm.

Peace to his banished heart, at last,
In thy dominions shall descend,
And, strong as beech-wood in the blast,
His spirit shall refuse to bend;
Enduring life without a friend,
The world and falsehood left behind,
Thy votary shall bear elate,
(Triumphant o'er opposing Fate,)
His dark inspired mind.

But dost thou, Folly, mock the Muse
A wanderer's mountain walk to sing,
Who shuns a warring world, nor woos
The vulture cover of its wing?
Then fly, thou cowering, shivering thing,
Back to the fostering world beguiled,
To waste in self-consuming strife
The loveless brotherhood of life,
Reviling and reviled!

Away, thou lover of the race
That hither chased yon weeping deer!
If Nature's all majestic face
More pitiless than man's appear;
Or if the wild winds seem more drear
Than man's cold charities below,
Behold around his peopled plains,
Where'er the social savage reigns,
Exuberance of wo!

His art and honors wouldst thou seek
Embossed on grandeur's giant walls?
Or hear his moral thunders speak
Where senates light their airy halls,
Where man his brother man enthralls;
Or sends his whirlwind warrants forth
To rouse the slumbering fiends of war,
To dye the blood-warm waves afar,
And desolate the earth?

From clime to clime pursue the scene,
And mark in all thy spacious way,
Where'er the tyrant man has been,
There Peace, the cherub, can not stay;
In wilds and woodlands far away
She builds her solitary bower,
Where only anchorites have trod,
Or friendless men, to worship God,
Have wandered for an hour.

In such a far forsaken vale, --
And such, sweet Eldurn vale, is thine,
Afflicted nature shall inhale
Heaven-borrowed thoughts and joys divine;
No longer wish, no more repine
For man's neglect or woman's scorn; --
Then wed thee to an exile's lot,
For if the world hath loved thee not,
Its absence may be borne.





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