James Thomson

(11 September 1700 – 27 August 1748 / Ednam in Roxburghshire, Scotland)

Noontide Retreat Of Summer As A Haunt For Meditation

Poem by James Thomson

Shook sudden from the bosom of the sky,
A thousand shapes, or glide athwart the dusk,
Or stalk majestic on. Deep-roused, I feel
A sacred terror, a severe delight,
Creep through my mortal frame; and thus, methinks,
A voice, than human more, th' abstracted ear
Of fancy strikes: - 'Be not of us afraid,
Poor kindred man! thy fellow-creatures, we
From the same Parent-power our beings drew,
The same our Lord, and laws, and great pursuit.
Once, some of us, like thee, through stormy life
Toil'd, tempest-beaten, ere we could attain
This holy calm, this harmony of mind,
Where purity and peace immingle charms.
Then fear not us; but with responsive song,
Amid these dim recesses, undisturb'd
By noisy folly and discordant vice,
Of nature sing with us, and nature's God.
Here frequent, at the visionary hour,
When musing midnight reigns, or silent noon,
Angelic harps are in full concert heard,
And voices chanting from the wood-crown'd hill,
The deepening dale, or inmost sylvan glade:
A privilege bestow'd by us alone,
On contemplation, or the hallow'd ear
Of poet, swelling to seraphic strain.'

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, April 20, 2010