Native Scenery

Nor do I of that isle remember aught
Of prospect more sublime and beautiful.
Than Scotia's northern battlement of hills,
Which first I from my father's house beheld,
At dawn of life; beloved in memory still,
And standard still of rural imagery.
What most resembles them the fairest seems,
And stirs the eldest sentiments of bliss;
And, pictured on the tablet of my heart,
Their distant shapes eternally remain,
And in my dreams their cloudy tops arise.

----- Four trees I pass not by,
Which o'er our house their evening shadow threw;
Three ash, and one of elm. Tall trees they were,
And old, and had been old a century
Before my day. None living could say aught
About their youth; but they were goodly trees;
And oft I wondered, as I sat and thought
Beneath their summer shade, or, in the night
Of winter, heard the spirits of the wind
Growling among their boughs,-- how they had grown
So high, in such a rough tempestuous place;
And when a harmless branch, torn by the blast,
Fell down, I mourned, as if a friend had fallen.

These I distinctly hold in memory still,
And all the desert scenery around.
Nor strange, that recollection there should dwell,
Where first I heard of God's redeeming love;
First felt and reasoned, loved and was beloved;
And first awoke the harp to holy song:

To hoar and green there was enough of joy.
Hopes, friendships, charities, and warm pursuit,
Gave comfortable flow to youthful blood.
And there were old remembrances of days,
When, on the glittering dews of orient life,
Shone sunshine hopes, unfailed, unperjured then:
And there were spots, and earnest vows of love,
Uttered, when passion's boisterous tide ran high,
Sincerely uttered, though but seldom kept:
And there were angel looks, and sacred hours
Of rapture, hours that in a moment passed,
And yet were wished to last for evermore;
And venturous exploits, and hardy deeds,
And bargains shrewd, achieved in manhood's prime;
And thousand recollections, gay and sweet.