And then it dies away in graceful close.
" He is the King of Glory" next we hear
As though deep thunder and the storm were there.
AU know their parts — the chorus swells with ease
From voices louder than " the sound of seas.
Though far-fam'd Catalina he not here,
Braham, to England's bosoms, is as dear :
For shall our native poets' words give way
To foreign lines, forgot ere ends the day ?
To foreign pride shall British genius bend.
While Albion's isle to Braham is a friend ?
No — British songs, well touched in ev'ry part,
Are those which please the best, and reach the heart :
Italian trills may loud applauses reap,
But Braham's voice can make the stoutest weep.
Where is the towering soul can comprehend
Those scenes, which never truly can be penned.
Where grandeur and sublimity appear.
To charm the eye, or to astound the ear ?
When were the tones of such an organ drowned,
And far o'erpowercd each instrumental sound ?
When were a hundred viols played in vain ?
Or when was lost the trumpet's piercing strain?
The chorus bursts I — it shakes the massive walls —
The human voice, like great Niagara's falls.
THE ORATOEIO. 127
O'erpowers the double basses and trombones,
The loud bass horns, and serpents' deepest tones.
Though Haworth's Parker strain his potent lungs.
Yet when at once burst forth three hundred tongues.
His thi'iUing accents can be heard no more
Than cry of sea-gull in the ocean's roar.
"\Mien Yorkshire's choral sons their powers unite,
Theu' tones astonish, and their chords delight ;
Healthful and strong, their voices may defy
In strens^th, all sini^-ers else beneath the skv.
Yes, when they sunsf the sonsj which Israel sunsr
On the sea-shore, to harps their minstrels strimg.
Lost were the viols' trills, the organ's strain,
The chorus burst — '*' The Lord shall ever reign !"
Grand, as when all the tribes with Moses crossed
'Tween watery walls, when all their foes were lost.
" For ever and for ever he shall reign,"
Ee-echoes through each vaulted arch again!
And, as the sti-ains increase, still more and more
We seem transported to the distant shore,
"\Miere INIoses, Israel's bard, composed the song.
And ocean's waves the chorus rolled alono*.
'•' For ever and for ever he shall reign,"
In heaven itself, must be the highest strain !
128 THE CONCEET.
The beams of clay retire o'er western hills ;
The concert room with gayest fashion fills ;
The duke, the earl, and many a titled peer,
With fairest daughters, press the songs to hear.
The choral strength to-night is left behind.
While the delicious song enchants the mind.
The overtm'e, perfonned in grandest style,
Calls forth applause, and many a beauteous smile.
Next come the songs which youthful lovers want,
In strains so rich, the coldest they enchant.
No instrument, but some great master's hand
Brings forth its powers to swell the tuneful band ;
No fault is there, in music or in w^ords,
For nothing added could improve the chords :
All is complete — the grand performance such,
Nothini? there is too little or too much.
The world's forgot, and grief and sorrow fly ;
Anguish, and care, and melancholy die,
When music sweet thus trembles on the strings,
And lifts the mind above created things ;
Soft raptures steal into the feeling breast.
Which, for some golden hours, is truly blessed.
The double drums we now distinctly hear.
The clai'ionct, the horn, the hautboy clear ;
The strong viola, and the serpent's tones ;
The flutes, the trumpets, and the deep trombones ;
THE CONCEKT. 120
The violoncello, and tlie double bass ;
The viols, sweetest music of tbe place ;
And on tlie air the varying notes are borne,
From the soft harp, and from the deep bass horn ;
Then comes the song, vrith. soft Italian chords,
Though sweet, yet few can understand the words.
How weak, insipid, formal, and how dead,
To Braham's " Scots wha hae wi' Wallace bled I
Or '•' Rule Britannia," which was heard before
In such like strains as England hears no more,
AMien Catalani simg it in such style
As made the concert room seem Britain's isle,
And all its millions met in one great throng,
To hear the grandeur of the noble song.
But let the concert be whate'er it will.
Greatly perfoi-med, with ev'ry master's skill ;
Though all the parts in richest style we hear.
And solemn grandeur, they approach not near
In boldness and magnificence, to these
"Wliich strike with wonder, or with teiTor freeze —
Great HandeFs choruses, vv'hich shall be simg
While music lasts, or instriunents are strimg.
But human minds variety pm'sue, —
Music itself attracts the most when new ;
But, when the praise of present music's pass'd,
Handel's grand choruses shall ever last.
The Ball Room emulates tlie ligiit of day —
All there is mirth, and ev'iy one is gay ;
Each instrmnent to finest tones is set,
For leader of quadrilles is CoUinet.
So oddly dressed the young, the old, the fair,
AH kingdoms seem to have sent dancers there.
Kings, emperors, and sultans skip along,
Monks, rohhers, and banditti swell the throng ;
The highland chieftain, in his tartan plaid,
And some like warriors of the old crusade.
Here, one a quaker's modest dress assumes.
And, there, a Spanish don, with waving plumes ;
Chinese and Indians, Persians, Turks, and Jews,
Peasants and players, in costumes out of use.
Hundreds of fancy dresses, rich or poor,
Were worn that night, which shall he worn no more,
J>ut hang for centuries, like old coats of mail,
And future generations tell the tale.
How their great ancestors had danced with lords,
Or with a duke or countess chang'd blithe words ;
And many a smile, which in the dance was seen.
May end in chaise, a ring, and Gretna-Green :
For such a sly insidious imp is Love,
He haunts the ball-room, palace, and tJie grove ;
AVhere peasants dance upon the festive day.
He plays his pranks unseen, and soars away.
In wildest haunts he melts the savage mind.
And wounds in parties of the most refined ;
THE BALL. 131
Spares not tlie innocent nor beauteous fair,
But often sends liis strongest arrows there.
Many who felt his dart in fragrant bowers,
Now rest in peace, their graves bedeck'd with flowers ;
WTiile those they died for, feel no sorrow deep —
Their onlv tears are those which daisies w^een.
But 0, may none who figured at this ball,
Conceal the wound, fade, and untimely fall ;
But on this night, should any hearts be joined,
May such through life know happiness refined ;
And when they with fantastic dresses part,
Beneath, may each one find a virtuous heart.
In M'hich, when worldly cares the passions try,
May love increase, till death dissolve the tie I
r How changed old Ebor, since the Eoman foe
^Entered her gates, and laid her glories low !
IHer warriors slain, or carried captive far,
Wlio knew no dance except the dance of w^ar ;
Who heard no chords but from the harp or horn.
That called them to the chase at early morn ;
WTiile this, in w^ar-songs, raised their courage high.
They rushed to battle, not afraid to die.
Where now the ball-room is with i^randeur hunf ,
The fall of foes old Ebor's daughters sung ;
The pheasants' feathers then adorned each head,
While they rejoiced that ev'ry foe was fled ;
Dancing, they hailed the conq'ring warriors home.
Beating their swords against the shields of Rome ;
"Wliile some brave chief the captur'd eagles bears,
And glitt'ring trophies hang on bloody spears ;
But now, no foreign foes approach her walls,
No Danish ruffians revel in her halls ;
132 THE BALL.
Ptusted the warrior's spear, the sword and lance ;
Instead of fighting, England's sons can dance,
Adorn'd in fancy dresses, show their sldll
To trip the waltz, or figure the quadrille.
Not so at Brussels, when their mirth was broke,
And arms ! to arms ! the piercing trumpets spoke.
To arms ! to arms ! the rattling dnmis reply —
The warriors hear, and know their foes are nigh.
They scarce had time to hid the fair adieu.
But armed, and swiftly on their chargers flew.
The dance forgot, their hearts were on the field,
With breasts unarm' d — their yalour Avas their shield ;
And Europe's shield those warriors proyed to be ;
For on their helms danced fame and yictory.
But what has York's grand Festiyal to do
With arms, with warriors, or with Waterloo,
Except to tell the great how bless'd they are —
Their joys unbroken by the sounds of war ?
For then was many a fair, who ioyed the brave,
Yet Imew not where to find her warrior's grave.
And ladies of the purest virtue there.
Who bath'd a brother's wounds with many a tear.
Not so at York, when cheerful thousands meet,
And hundreds show the graces of their feet ;
Secure, the lords and ladies wheel around.
Still keeping time to music's sweetest sound.
Had Solomon been there, he scarce had knoAATi
A\Tiich lady in the richest splendour shone.
Old age and wisdom there sat smiling, fain,
And wished to try if they could dance again ;
E'en those who durst not rise, most deeply mourned
That such accomplishments they never learned.
THE BALL. 13B
Now viol's notes in softest cadence die —
The dance is o"er, and the musicians diy :
For be musician's genius e'er so fine,
It always fails, except improved with wine —
Wine, which gives poetry and music wings,
Inspires with animation all the strings ;
jNIakes each wind instrument have better tone.
And fills with nobler notes the deep trombone-
Now they repose — and what each clime affords
Is spread for tradesmen, dandies, and for lords ;
And every dainty that can please the fair,
With choicest wines, is in profusion there.
Old York had ransacked eveiy vale and hill,
To show her taste, her cook'ry, and her sldll.
The far-famed band then' viols tune again.
And glasses, half drunk off, may there remain ;
With joy and rapture ev'ry bosom heaves,
And ftins are waved around like poplar leaves.
In all the colours which the rainboAv bears,
\Mien weeping clouds dissolve in showers of tears.
Had I been there, I might have sung of all
The glory and the grandeur of the ball ;
But, fettered fast, far distant forced to stay.
My weak, blind fancy only dreams the way.
No muse I boast, no great poetic skill,
Nor ever knew a waltz or French quadiille ;
But this I know, in humble country reels
Care cannot stick a feather on their heels ;
Time wings away, while all forget his speed ;
While pleasure lasts, no other thing they heed.
The music bursts again I — the diamond's blaze.
And Grandeur's self lead through each varying maze.
134 VALE OF 1I>KLEY.
Ere ancient Greece her pride and glory lost,
Such lovely fomis could Athens never boast ;
The Grecian sculptors had in skill advanced,
Had they but seen how British ladies danced ;
And great Kaj^hael should there have present been,
To kept through ages the imposing scene,
"WTien those who tripped along no more can move
In sprightly dance, nor smile the smile of love.
YALE OF ILIvLEY.
" THE HEAVENS APPEAR TO LOVE THIS VALE.
Why does not some great bard, whose potent mind
No earthly passions in its sphere can bind,
Take the tun'd lyre, which wakes at genius' spells,
And sing in praise of Ilkley and its wells ?
Had I a Shakespeare's pen, a Byron's powers.
Nor mountains, woods, nor valleys, trees, nor flowers,
Nor all that poets have for ages sung,
Since Homer's harp or Sappho's lyre was strung,
Should tempt my muse, on ocean or on shore,
Till I had sung the charms of Eom'lies Moor ;-
* What is commonly distinguished by the name of Rombles-Moor, I have
called Romilies' Moor, as I believe the appellation to have been derived
from the Romilies, its Norman possessors.
VALE OF ILKLET. 135
WTiere sits Eetiremeni — Silence at her side —
Upon the rocks, which frown at human pride,
Grey with old Time and with the northern blast,
And finn remain'd while changing empires pass'd ;
Before the massive p}Tamids they stood,
Old as clear ^Miarfe, and ancient as the Flood.
Thou who giv'st light, and Hfe, and natiu^e's
Who art ador'd while all creation sings.
Lend me thine aid. Eternal Father I be
jMy muse, my helper, while I sing of thee !
But how I sink beneath thy wondrous pow'r,
A poor, weak, mortal insect of an hour !
Though all thy works are glorious, as subUme,
Too great to celebrate in feeble rhyme.
Yet of thy lesser beauties will I sing.
The mountain's sweetness, the unchanging spring,
Healthful as pure, and plentiful as free,
As one great gift in wide infinity.
Such is thy Well, thou place of health and peace !
And so it must be till all motion cease ;
Till time and tides, obedient to His will.
Shall pause, and all the universe stand still !
Thus speaks the rushing fountain in its pride : —
" Mortals, let nature ever be your guide !
Else with the sun on spring's delightful morn,
When nature's concerts on the winds are borne !
See the broad river shining with His rays.
And glitt'ring dew-drops trembling to His praise !
Millions of flowers, in all their vaiied dyes,
Offer their sv>-eets in one great sacrifice I"
loG YALE OF ILKLEY.
Pure as tlie henna is tlie mountain thyme,
And all too rich for i)oor (iesc^ipti^'e rhyme.
Upon these hills the botanist may range
Amongst the Yarious mosses as they change ;
The alpine plants, unknown in Yalleys green.
Creeping among the purple heath are seen ;
And, Piom'lies Moor ! the home of the curle^v,
Cloth'd with the clouds, thy beauties are not few.
Nor Skiddaw's top, nor great HelYoUyn's height.
Shows greater grandeur to the ravish'd sight.
Than does the crown of wide-spread Rom'lies' Moor,
AVliere the Yast scene is stretched to either shore.
There we behold the hills of many a shire ;
The lofty mountains to the clouds aspire ;
Wliernside uproars on high his snow-clad crest,
While the blue Pendle trembles in the west ;
The hills of Derbyshire are southward seen.
Though Yales diYide, and ri^'ers roll between ;
Old Ingleborough lifts his time-worn head.
And Yorkshire as one spacious map is spread :
Yonder the towers of Ebor's fane appear,
And Cleveland hills their broad blue tops uprear ;
Leeds, wrapt in smoke, dark-looming, eastward lies;
But here the air is pure as are the skies.
Far from the noise of all created things.
No sound is heard but from the moor-cock's wings ;
The pomp of human greatness here is lost.
Or falls like mites beneath the winter's frost.
A scene like this, within old England's coast,
Nor Matlock, Buxton, nor proud Bath can boast.
Grandeur and peace upon the Station - dwell,
And Health sits smiling at the mountain well ;
* The Station is the highest point on Romilies' Moor, from which place
Captain Mudge took his observations about fifty years ago,
VALE OF ILKLEY. 13T
ITock, river, moimtain, vallej'', liiil, and tree.
Contend for beauty as for majest}'.
Ye British beauties, of fair Eden's mould,
Come, see the grandeur that these vales unfold.
Daisies spring in modest pride,
With the cowslips at their side ;
Eoses blush, and lilies shine —
Wharfedale I blooming health is thine.
Days of Komans, in the shade,
As far distant objects fade ;
A^1len their polish'd shields did shme.
Days of warriors once were thine.
On the tov\-ers, now long imseen,
Have the steel-clad waiTiors been,
Hm'Ung weapons at the foe,
While the Saxons fouoiit below.
Danes have drunk at Illdey wells ;
Hosts have fought where Lister dwells
Many a trumpet's piercing tone
Echo'd loud from Hanging Stone. -
In his linlv-mail armour bright,
Middleton, the warrior Imight,
Some five hmidred years ago,
Glitt'ring rode to meet the foe.
But the trumpet now is still ;
Not a rock from yonder hiU
Echos back the piercing blast.
As when Fairfax' troopers pass'd.
* The easteru promontory of Ilkley Cragg.
138 VALE OF TI,KLEY.
Briton, Druid, Roman, Dane,
Knight, and warrior, all are gone —
Saxon, Norman, Bard and Thane,
Thou survivest Middleton !
Those whom trade as vot'ries owns —
Who have hung the counter o'er —
"Who have crav'd for wealth in towns,
Till their comforts are no more,
Let them come and dine on trout —
Lovely Wharfedale's f^unous fishes ;
Give relief to anxious doubt —
Taste the best of Wharfedale's dishes.
On each side the world is still ;
Not a voice disturbs the scene.
Where is raised dark Hober Hill,
Rising from its base of green.
On these heights Retirement reigns,
Far above all mortal ills ;
While upon the mountain plains
Wild birds drink from purest rills.
At the foot of Simon's seat,
'Mid the shades, sits silent Thought :
Glitt'rinG^ in this lone retreat
Darts the gold-bespangled trout.
There the peaceful ruin stands
Underneath the mighty hill.
Where the priors had their lands.
Where the abbots rang'd at will.
VALE' OF ILKLET. 130
Dai'k, amid tlie shadowy "u'oods,
Are the jaws of ten'or hid,
Where YvTiai-f' s rapid, foaming floods
Thunder through the yawning Strid.
See what grandeur — terror, hung
On the dark electric cloud,
From the waves of ocean sprung,
O'er yon distant woodlands howed.
Deep it rolls upon the Stake ;-
Dread the loud tremendous roar ;
Deeper still its echoes wake
On the heights of Rom'hes' Hoor.
Wlien the whirlwind rends the w^oods,
And the lightning's vivid glare
Glances on the glitt'ring floods,
Ev'ry hill says " God is here !"
Where is He not ? — the earthquake shows His power :
He rules the thunder, lives in ev'ry flower ;
Plides on the rapid tempests as they pass,
And shines in gloiy on each hlade of gi'ass.
The whole creation — ev'iy distant sphere —
Immensity proclaims, " Lo ! God is here T'
Dark-hrooding clouds, precursors of the stomi.
O'er mortals pass ashamed, and cr}-, " Reform 1"
Priest, lord, and king, and ye ungrateful poor —
Let refoimation enter ev'iy- door !
Let every heart that swells a Briton's breast,
Pieceive that pure, that bright, immortal guest,
For ever constant and for ever free.
Which sav'd a world — sweet, smiling Chaiity !
* A well known mountain in Wharfedale.
140 VALE OF ILKLET.
O Ilkley ! noble are thy ancient halls,
Thy beauteous valleys — grand thy waterfalls ;
Lovely thy groves, thy grottos, crystal rills ;
Thy antique church, and all thy woodland hills.
Eound thee have all the pleasures of the chase
Sniil'd in past ages on a happy race ;
The huntsman's horn, the shout, the bay of hounds,
Have fiird thy valleys with their merry sounds ;
And health has liv'd where exercise has been,
In thy old castle, through each vai^ied scene.
But times have chang'd — old customs are no more,
The mirth and pomp in ancient hall are o'er ;
Dimib are the minstrels, mute the harj^ers' lays.
And fled the sports of Ilkley 's festive days,
When yearly its old church with music rung,
And the high mass by Bolton's priests was sung.
No modern fane, on consecrated ground,
Can ever echo such a solemn sound
As that which peal'd within the ancient choir.
When all its tapers shone with hallow'd fire.
See the mTiiplis in May-day cbesses,
Dancing on the daisied green !
Sloe-thorn blossoms grace their tresses ;
Bonny blue-hells deck their queen.
"^liile of thpne and unbloT\Ti roses,
Twin'd among the leaves of bay.
Each a fragrant wreath composes.
On the joj-ful holiday.
Lyra tunes the rural measure,
While the cowslips at her feet
Nod, as if they felt the pleasure
Of her trills and cadence sweet.
See I — the lark her song suspending,
Drops and listens to the air,
Vvliile the snow-white lambs, attending,
Strive to imitate the fair.
Blithe and gay the m-mphs appearing,
See, how innocent they smile I
Each a branch of mvrtle bearing'
On a breast that knows no gfuile.
Where the youth that could deceive them,
Smiling on their mom of May —
Gain their love, then, scorning, leave them,
Like their garlands, to decay ?
MAEY OF MAELEY.
At Marley stood a rural cot,
In Bingley's sweet sequester'd dale ;
Tlie spreading oaks enclos'd the spot
Where dwelt the Beauty of the Yale.
Bless'd with a small, but fruitful farm,
Beneath the high majestic hill,
Where Nature spread her ev'ry charm
That can the mind with pleasure fill —
Here bloom'd the maid, nor vain nor proud.
But like an unapproach'd flower,
Hid from the flatt'ry of the crowd.
Unconscious of her beauty's power.
Her ebon locks were richer far
Than is the raven's glossy plume ;
Her eyes outshone the ev'ning star ;
Her lovely cheeks the rose's bloom.
The mountain snow that falls by night,
By which the bending heath is press'd,
Did never shine in purer white
Than gentle Mary's virgin breast.
The blushes of her innocence
Great Nature's hand had pencill'd o'er ;
And Modesty the veil had wrought
Which Mary, lovely Mary, wore.
MABT OF MAELEY. l4tJ
At early morn each fav'rite cow
The tuneful voice of ]Mary knew ;
Her answer humm'd, — then wand'ring slow.
From daisies dash'd the pearly dew.
When lovely on the green she stood.
And to her poultry threw the grain,
Eingdoves and pheasants from the wood
Flew forth and glitter'd in her train.
The thrushes in the rosy bowers
Would sit and sing while ]\Iary stay'd ;
Her lamhs frisk'd 'mid the meadow's flowers.
As if for her alone they play'd.
She milk'd beneath the beech-tree's shade ;
And there the turf was worn away
Vvliere cattle had for ages laid,
To shun the summer's sultiy ray.
Young Harry, from the neighbouring vale.
Where Wharfs deceitful currents move.
To Mary told a fervent tale, —
And Mary could not help but love.
The richest might have come and sigh'd :
Yornig Harry had her favour won —
Her breast to constancy allied.
Was true as ligiit is to the sun.
When winter, wrapp'd in gloomy stonn.
Each dubious path had drifted o'er.
And whirl'd the snow in ev'ry form.
To Mary oft he cross'd the moor.
144 MAET OF MARLEY.
AMicn western winds and pelting rain
Did mountain S2iows to rivers turn, —
They swell'd, and roar'd, and foam'd in vain.
Affection lielp'd liim o'er the bourn.
Until at last, one fatal night,
His footsteps slipp'd — the cruel tide
Danc'd and exulted with its freight,
Then cast him lifeless on its side !-
How chang'd is lovely Mary now !
How pale and frantic she appears !
Description foils to paint her woe,
And numbers to recount her tears.
EYE^^IIS^G m APEIL.
(Oy. FIRST IIEAKIXG A HUMBLE BEE, 1824.)
Welcome with thy monotone,
Black and yellow lab'rer sweet !
Thou this night hast nearly done
Dancing with thy little feet
On the willow's honied flower,
On the daisy's crimson'd side,
On the crocus near the bower,
Which thy velvet coat has dy'd.
* Prophetic, alas ! of the poet's own fate.— Ed.
LOVE ON THE HEATH. 145
Thou thy little sable bill
Hast in April blossoms dipp'cl ;
And from cups upon the hill
Luscious drops of honey sipp'd ;
Thou hast slept the winter long,
But thy ai'dour is not lost ;
Thou hast yet the vernal song,
Spite of winter's chilling frost.
Thus the Poet, as he sings.
While the storm of sorrow lowers.
Finds that friendship gladness brings,
Sweet as dew on honied flowers.
LOYE 0^ THE HEATH.
On the heath- vesturd hills, where I courted my Sally,
Like stars was the bloom on the cranberry stalk ;
The wild birds, unkuo^\Ti to the throng-peopled valley,
Were all that could see us or listen our taJk.
The pale yellow moss on the side of the mountain,
Far softer than velvet, invited our stay ;
And there by the rock, from whose foot gush'd the
Serenely we lov'd the sweet moments awav.
146 LOVE ON THE HEATH.
How oft slie would say, when sat happy together,
" O thee — and thee only I ever can love!"
With breath far more sweet than tlie bloom on the
Her eyes far more comely than those of a dove.
How oft has she vow'd, while we walk'd o'er the rushes,
With me, only me she would wander so far ;
Then bent down her head with such beautiful
'Twas Modesty's hand that had painted them there.
On the heath thus we lov'd, and our love was
If heaven e'er bless'd any mortals below.
It gave them such moments, unknown to the vicious.
Which only in innocent bosoms can glow !
But ! how the pleasures of mortals are clouded,
For Sally, the heather-bells blossom no more !
With the cold robe of death my charmer is shrouded.
And I on the heath must behold her no more !
Let us trip in airy dances,
While the weary mortals sleep ;
See the waning orb advances.
Lighting those that vigils keep.