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Dunwich

by Bernard Barton

 
In Britain's earlier annals thou wert set
  Among the cities of our sea-girt isle:
Of what thou wert - some tokens linger yet
  In yonder ruins; and this roofless pile,
Whose walls are worshipless, whose tower - a mark,
Left but to guide the seaman's wandering bark!

Yet where those ruins grey are scatter'd round,
  The din of commerce fill'd the echoing air;
From these now crumbling walls arose the sound
  Of hallow'd music, and the voice of prayer;
And this was unto some, whose names have ceased,
The wall'd and gated City of the East!

Thus time, and circumstance, and change, betray
  The transient tenure of the worldly wise!
Thus "Trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,"
  And leaves no splendid wreck for fame to prize.
While nature her magnificence retains,
And from the contrast added glory gains.

Still in the billowy boundlessness ouspread,
  Yon mighty deep smiles to the orb of day,
Whose brightness o'er this shatter'd pile is shed
  In quiet beauty. - Nature's ancient sway
Is audible in winds that whisper round,
The soaring sky-lark's song, the breaker's hollow sound.
 
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