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Poem by John Edmund Reade


Written upon Doulting Sheep-Slate, near Shepton Mallet, Somersetshire

I KNELT down as I poured my spirit forth by that gray gate,
In the fulness of my gratitude and with a joy sedate;
Alone on that wild heath I stood, and offered up apart
The frankincense of love that, fount-like, gushed from my deep heart.
And while I breathed that thankfulness, and felt its holy glow,
And my heart gathered gladness in its calm and equal flow,
While the sun shone within me, and the air elastic played,
And to and fro the wheat-field like the wavy ocean swayed;

And while the black firs tossed their boughs against the intense blue,
Light glinting on the grassy sward as broken rays flashed through,
I felt that Nature answered like an angel from her throne,
And echoed back the rapture of my bosom from her own.

I saw the rich red pathway in the opening distance rolled,
As if it led through vistas to some throne or shore of gold,
And while the light breeze murmured there like sighs of love suppressed,
My heart poured forth its blessing on the loveliness it blessed.

I felt I stood on sacred ground that hallowed was to me,
To boyhoods years far faded on the verge of memory:
Sacred to me the gray-haired man who drank Gods blessed air,
Though thirty years had rolled away since last I entered there!

The oak drooped oer that gate, a withered thing in dead repose,
Gray Doultings spire above the waste a sheeted spectre rose;
And Mendips bleak and barren heights again enclosed me round,
Like faces of forgotten friends met on forgotten ground.

But heath and landscape, boundless once, were shrunken: all was changed:
I felt I stood a stranger there, the place and me estranged:
Each glance was memory, each step a joy, a welcome sense
Of gratitudes fine ecstasy, calm, voiceless, but intense.

All stirring impulses of life were sobered by the scene,
While staid Reflection looked within the glass of what had been;
For not a mound I trod upon was unforgot, nor tree
Rose in that surging scene whose image had not entered me.

John Edmund Reade

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • John Keats Lines ("UNFELT unheard, unseen")
  • William Wordsworth Lines ("STRANGER! this hillock of misshapen stones")
  • Samuel Coleridge Lines ("RICHER than miser oer his countless hoards")
  • Thomas Hood Lines ("Let Us Make a Leap, My Dear")
  • Thomas Hardy Lines ("Before we part to alien thoughts and aims")
  • Samuel Johnson Lines ("Wheresoe'er I turn my view") 1777
  • Francis Thompson Lines ("O tree of many branches! One thou hast")
  • Robert Burns Lines ("I MURDER hate by field or flood") 1790
  • Letitia Landon Lines ("She kneels by the grave where her lover sleeps")
  • Oliver Holmes Lines ("COME back to your mother, ye children, for shame")
  • Joseph Drake Lines ("Day gradual fades, in evening gray")
  • Ebenezer Elliott Lines ("FROM Shirecliffe, oer a silent sea of trees")
  • George Morris Lines ("O Love! the mischief thou hast done!")
  • John Lockhart Lines ("When youthful faith hath fled")
  • Thomas Talfourd Lines ("HOW simple in their grandeur are the forms ")

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