The Rural Walk

by Elizabeth Bentley

Elizabeth Bentley

WHEN Solitude's calm voice invites,
To taste her pure, unmix'd delights,
What can in charms the rural scene surpass?
While yet moist Morn's refreshing dews,
Their tepid influence o'er the earth diffuse,
The pearly drop still pendant on the grass;
How pleasing now th' embroider'd vale,
Where varied sweets each sense regale;
The slender, lengthen'd path to trace,
Whose sides impervious shades enclose,
Where every simple flow'ret finds a place,
Where all in genuine beauty blooms,
And hawthorn blossoms breathe their rich perfumes;
Gay Nature's garden these compose:
While here and there the opening thicket yields
A prospect of surrounding fields,
Where the meek lamb, with snowy fleece,
Crops the tender herb in peace.
Their native pow'rs to charm the ear
The tuneful birds employ,
By Spring awak'd to harmony and joy;
Still as the foot of passenger they hear,
They fearful flit from bush to bush;
Here the sweetly warbling thrush
Pours his often-varied note;
There, responsive to the lay,
With many a short essay,
The humble redbreast swells its little throat:
While scarcely heard, his strains tho' shrill,
The early lark up-soaring still,
Beyond the reach of mortal eye,
On daring pinions seems to pierce the sky.
With distant bleatings now the vales resound,
While near busy, buzzing round,
The bee with unabated toil,
Culls from each flow'r her luscious spoil.
These the blest haunts wing'd Contemplation loves;
Here may the pure, th' unruffled mind,
Serenest pleasure find,
While thro' Elysian regions Fancy roves;
Memory her magic pow'r employs,
Recalls each happy hour of life's past day,
When Friendship's social charm the soul refin'd;
While syren Hope sings her enchanting lay,
That tells of yet untasted joys,
And happier moments yet behind;
Bids the delightful scenes in prospect rise,
Ah! never realized beneath the skies.

Last updated January 14, 2019