Their place with holiest harmonies:—Fair scene,
Most loved by evening and her dewy star!
Oh! ne'er may man, with touch unhallowed, jar
The perfect music of the charm serene!
Still, still unchanged, may one sweet region wear
Smiles that subdue the soul to love, and tears, and prayer!
Come forth, and let us through our hearts receive
The joy of verdure!—see, the honeyed lime
Showers cool green light o'er banks where wild-flowers weave
Thick tapestry; and woodbine tendrils climb
Up the brown oak from buds of moss and thyme.
The rich deep masses of the sycamore
Hang heavy with the fullness of their prime,
And the while poplar, from its foliage hoar,
Scatters forth gleams like moonlight, with each gale
That sweeps the boughs:—the chestnut flowers are past,
The crowning glories of the hawthorn fail,
But arches of sweet eglantine are cast
From every hedge:—Oh! never may we lose
Dear friend! our fresh delight in simplest nature's hues!
Best known today as a political reformer who played a crucial role in influ-
encing the passage through Parliament of the Infants' Custody Bill (1839)
and the Marriage and Divorce Act of 1857, Caroline Norton was also recog-
nized in her own time as a poet, a fiction writer, an essayist, an editor, and a
fashionable celebrity at the center of a major political scandal involving
the prime minister, Lord Melbourne. Her books of poetry included The Sor-
rows of Rosalie: A Tale, with Other Poems, published anonymously in 1829,
The Undying One (1830), A Voice from the Factories (1836), and Child of the
Islands (1845). In the early 1830s, she earned as much as 1400 pounds a year
publishing in the annuals and editing gift books.
In the cold change, which time hath wrought on love
(The snowy winter of his summer prime),
Should a chance sigh, or sudden tear-drop, move
Thy heart to memory of the olden time;
Turn not to gaze on me with pitying eyes,