Musings On A Landscape Of Gaspar Poussin by Robert Southey
Poussin! most pleasantly thy pictur'd scenes Beguile the lonely hour; I sit and gaze With lingering eye, till charmed FANCY makes The lovely landscape live, and the rapt soul From the foul haunts of herded humankind Flies far away with spirit speed, and tastes The untainted air, that with the lively hue Of health and happiness illumes the cheek Of mountain LIBERTY. My willing soul All eager follows on thy faery flights FANCY! best friend; whose blessed witcheries With loveliest prospects cheat the traveller O'er the long wearying desart of the world. Nor dost thou FANCY with such magic mock My heart, as, demon-born, old Merlin knew, Or Alquif, or Zarzafiel's sister sage, Whose vengeful anguish for so many a year Held in the jacinth sepulchre entranced Lisvart and Perion, pride of chivalry. Friend of my lonely hours! thou leadest me To such calm joys as Nature wise and good Proffers in vain to all her wretched sons; Her wretched sons who pine with want amid The abundant earth, and blindly bow them down Before the Moloch shrines of WEALTH and POWER, AUTHORS of EVIL. Oh it is most sweet To medicine with thy wiles the wearied heart, Sick of reality. The little pile That tops the summit of that craggy hill Shall be my dwelling; craggy is the hill And steep, yet thro' yon hazels upward leads The easy path, along whose winding way Now close embowered I hear the unseen stream Dash down, anon behold its sparkling foam Gleam thro' the thicket; and ascending on Now pause me to survey the goodly vale That opens on my vision. Half way up Pleasant it were upon some broad smooth rock To sit and sun me, and look down below And watch the goatherd down that high-bank'd path Urging his flock grotesque; and bidding now His lean rough dog from some near cliff to drive The straggler; while his barkings loud and quick Amid their trembling bleat arising oft, Fainter and fainter from the hollow road Send their far echoes, till the waterfall, Hoarse bursting from the cavern'd cliff beneath, Their dying murmurs drown. A little yet Onward, and I have gain'd the upmost height. Fair spreads the vale below: I see the stream Stream radiant on beneath the noontide sky. Where the town-spires behind the castle towers Rise graceful; brown the mountain in its shade, Whose circling grandeur, part by mists conceal'd, Part with white rocks resplendant in the sun, Should bound mine eyes; aye and my wishes too, For I would have no hope or fear beyond. The empty turmoil of the worthless world, Its vanities and vices would not vex My quiet heart. The traveller, who beheld The low tower of the little pile, might deem It were the house of GOD: nor would he err So deeming, for that home would be the home Of PEACE and LOVE, and they would hallow it To HIM. Oh life of blessedness! to reap The fruit of honorable toil, and bound Our wishes with our wants! delightful Thoughts That sooth the solitude of maniac HOPE, Ye leave her to reality awak'd, Like the poor captive, from some fleeting dream Of friends and liberty and home restor'd, Startled, and listening as the midnight storm Beats hard and heavy thro' his dungeon bars.