Nestling on the Barren Cliff

Mr Watson

Nestling on the barren cliff
See the monarch of the skies;
Mark him meet the opening day
And full upon its radiance rise.

Not among the painted train
Learnt he along the grove to float;
Nor yet among the warbling choirs
He learnt to tune one tender note.

But proudly with an unfledged wing
He pierced the cloud where thunders sleep;
And screaming on the northern wind
He chased the lightning o’er the deep.

Like him ye youths who from the plain
Dare air the level lift your eye
Rouse the rough vigour of your soul
Let fee each nobler passion fly.

But ah! beware each soft’ning art
Each charming tenderness beware.
Ah! shun the smiling siren Love
Not listen to her soothing air.

Not yours — unhappy! — is the heart
All form’d in loving harmony,
Whose slightest springs angelic wove
In keen susceptibility.

Not yours, to know these finer joys
That those of happier fortune know
Nor softly sympathetic mourn
In all the elegance of woe.

He hardly drags th’ unequal load
Through the rough vale of adverse life
With unscarred feet, that treads the thorn
With gentle heart to bear its strife.

To meet the shock of fate be yours
And rear aloft th’ unatten’d brow;
Though thunders shake the rending Earth
And towns and regal towers are low.

R. Watson