Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, TO CONTEMPLATION, by ROBERT SOUTHEY



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TO CONTEMPLATION, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: Faint gleams the evening radiance through the sky
Last Line: And the calmed spirit loves the joy of grief.
Subject(s): Contentment; Gifts & Giving; Grief; Happiness; Introspection; Life; Memory; Nature - Religious Aspects; Sorrow; Sadness; Joy; Delight


FAINT gleams the evening radiance through the sky,
The sober twilight dimly darkens round;
In short quick circles the shrill bat flits by,
And the slow vapour curls along the ground.

Now the pleased eye from yon lone cottage sees
On the green mead the smoke long-shadowing play;
The red-breast on the blossomed spray
Warbles wild her latest lay,
And sleeps along the dale the silent breeze.
Calm contemplation, 'tis thy favourite hour!
Come tranquillizing power!

view thee on the calmy shore
When ocean stills his waves to rest;
Or when slow-moving on the serges hoar
Meet with deep hollow roar
And whiten o'er his breast;
For lo! the moon with softer radiance gleams,
And lovelier heave the billows in her beams.

When the low gales of evening moan along,
I love with thee to feel the calm cool breeze,
And roam the pathless forest wilds among
Listening the mellow murmur of the trees
Full-foliaged, as they lift their arms on high
And wave their shadowy heads in wildest melody.

Or lead me where amid the tranquil vale
The broken stream flows on in silver light,
And I will linger where the gale
O'er the bank of violets sighs,
Listening to hear its softened sounds arise;
And hearken the dull beetle's drowsy flight:
And watch the horn-eyed snail
Creep o'er his long moon-glittering trail,
And mark where, radiant through the night,
Moves in the grass-green hedge the glow-worm's living light.
Thee, meekest power! I love to meet,
As oft with even solitary pace
The scattered abbey's hallowed rounds I trace
And listen to the echoings of my feet.
Or on the half-demolished tomb,
Whose warning texts anticipate my doom,
Mark the clear orb of night
Cast through the storying glass a faintly-varied light.

Nor will I not in some more gloomy hour
Invoke with fearless awe thine holier power,
Wandering beneath the sainted pile
When the blast moans along the darksome aisle,
And clattering patters all around
The midnight shower with dreary sound.
But sweeter 'tis to wander wild
By melancholy dreams beguiled,
While the summer moon's pale ray
Faintly guides me on my way
To the lone romantic glen
Far from all the haunts of men,
Where no noise of uproar rude
Breaks the calm of solitude.
But soothing silence sleeps in all,
Save the neighbouring waterfall,
Whose hoarse waters falling near
Load with hollow sounds the ear,
And with down-dasht torrent white
Gleam hoary through the shades of night.
Thus wandering silent on and slow
I'll nurse reflection's sacred woe,
And muse upon the perisht day
When hope would weave her visions gay,
Ere Fancy chilled by adverse fate
Left sad Reality my mate.

O Contemplation! when to memory's eyes
The visions of the long-past days arise,
Thy holy power imparts the best relief,
And the calmed spirit loves the joy of grief.





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