Стихотворение Анны Сьюард “COLEBROOK DALE” (факсимиле прижизненного издания книги со стихотворением)

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COLEBROOK DALE

Scene of superfluous grace, and wasted bloom,
O, violated Colebrook! in an hour,
To beauty unpropitious and to song,
The Genius of thy shades, by Plutus brib’d,
Amid thy grassy lanes, they woodwild glens,
Thy knolls and bubbling wells, thy rocks, and streams,
Slumbers! – while tribes fuliginous invade
The soft, romantic, consecrated scenes;
Haunt of the wood-nymph, who with airy step,
In times long vanish’d, through thy pathless groves
Rang’d; – while the pearly-wristed Naiads lean’d,
Braiding their light locks o’er thy crystal flood,
Shadowy and smooth. What, though to vulgar eye
Invisible, yet oft the lucid gaze
Of the rapt Bard, in every dell and glade
Beheld them wander; – saw, from the clear wave
Emerging, all the watry sisters rise,
Weaving the aqueous lily, and the flag,
In wreaths fantastic, for the tresses bright
Of amber-hair’d SABRINA. – Now we view
Their fresh, their fragrant, and their silent reign
Usurpt by Cyclops; – hear, in mingled tones,
Shout their throng’d barge, their pond’rous engines clang
Through thy coy dales; while red the countless fires,
With umber’d flames, bicker on all thy hills,
Dark’ning the Summer’s sun with columns large
Of thick, sulphureous smoke, which spread, like palls,
That screen the dead, upon the sylvan robe
Of thy aspiring rocks; pollute thy gales,
And stain thy glassy waters. – See, in troops,
The dusk artificers, with brazen throats,
Swarm on thy cliffs, and clamour in thy glens,
Steepy and wild, ill suited to such guests.

Ah! what avails it to the poet’s sense,
That the large stores of thy metallic veins
Gleam over Europe; transatlantic shore
Illumine wide; – are chang’d in either Ind
For all they boast, hot Ceylon’s breathing spice;
Peruvian gums; Brazilia’s golden ore;
And odorous gums, which Persia’s white-rob’d seer,
With warbled orisons, on Ganges’ brink,
Kindles, when first his MITHRA’s living ray
Purples the Orient. – Ah! the traffic rich,
With equal ‘vantage, might Britannia send
From regions better suited to such aims,
Than from her Colebrook’s muse-devoted vales,
To far resounding BIRMINGHAM, the boast,
The growing LONDON of the MERCIAN realm;
Thence to be wafted o’er our subject seas
To every port; – yes, from that town, the mart
Of rich inventive Commerce. Science there
Leads her enlighten’d sons, to guide the hand
Of the prompt artist, and with great design
Plan the vast engine, whose extended arms,
Heavy and huge, on the soft-seeming breath
Of the hot steam, rise slowly; – till, by cold
Condens’d, it leaves them soon, with clanging roar,
Down, down, to fall precipitant. Nor yet
Her fam’d Triumvirate, in every land
Known and rever’d, not they the only boast,
Of this our second London, the rapt sage.
Who trac’d the viewless Aura’s subtle breath
Through all its various powers, there bending feeds
The lamp of Science with the richest oils
Which the arch-chemist, Genius, knows to draw
From Nature’s stores, or latent, or reveal’d.

While neighbouring cities waste the fleeting hours,
Careless of art and knowledge, and the smile
Of every Muse, expanding BIRMINGHAM,
Illum’d by intellect, as gay in wealth,
Commands her aye-accumulating walls,
From month to month, to climb the adjacent hills;
Creep on the circling plains, now here, now there,
Divergent – change the hedges, thickets, trees,
Upturn’d, disrooted, into mortar’d piles,
The street elongate, and the statelier square.

So, with intent transmutant, Chemists bruise
The shrinking leaves and flowers, whose steams saline,
Congealing swift on the recipient’s sides,
Shoot into crystals; – and the night-frost thus
Insidious creeping on the watry plain,
Wave after wave incrusts, till liquid change
To solid, and support the volant foot.
Warn’d by the Muse, if Birmingham should draw,
In future years, from more congenial climes
Her massy ore, her labouring sons recall,
And sylvan Colebrook’s winding vales restore
To beauty and to song, content to draw
From unpoetic scenes her rattling stores,
Massy and dun; if, thence supplied, she fail,
Britain, to glut thy rage commercial, see
Grim WOLVERHAMPTON lights her smouldering fires,
And SHEFFIELD, smoke-involv’d; dim where she stands
Circled by lofty mountains, which condense
Her dark and spiral wreaths to drizzling rains,
Frequent and sullied; as the neighbouring hills
Ope their deep veins, and feed her cavern’d flames;
While, to her dusky sister, Ketley yields,
From her long-desolate, and livid breast,
The ponderous metal. No aerial forms
On Sheffield’s arid moor, or Ketley’s heath,
E’er wove the floral crowns, or smiling stretch’d
The shelly scepter; – there no Poet rov’d
To catch bright inspirations.