Netley Abbey

Nicholas Thirning Moile

In Netley Abbey,—on the neighbouring isle,
The woods of Binstead shade as fair a pile,—
Where sloping meadows fringe the shores with green,
A river of the ocean rolls between,
Whose murmurs, borne on sunny winds, disport
Through oriel windows and a cloistered court;
O'er hills so fair, o'er terraces so sweet,
The sea comes twice each day to kiss their feet;—
Where sounding caverns mine the garden bowers,
Where groves intone, where many an ilex towers,
And many a fragrant breath exhales from fruits and
And lowing herds and feathered warblers there
Make mystic concords with repose and prayer;
Mixed with the hum of apiaries near,
The mill's far cataract, and the sea-boy's cheer,
Whose oars beat time to litanies at noon,
Or hymns at complin by the rising moon;
Where, after chimes, each chapel echoes round
Like one aerial instrument of sound,
Some vast harmonious fabric of the Lord's.