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No door the tenement requires,
Yet is it to the fiercest sun
So warm, so beautiful withal,
That to the Kind by special grace
And when for their abodes they seek
The Hermit has no finer eye
These find, 'mid ivied Abbey walls, A canopy in some still nook;
Others are pent-housed by a brae That overhangs a brook.
There to the brooding Bird her Mate
And by the busy Streamlet both
Or in sequestered lanes they build,
Her eggs within the nest repose,
Bit still, where general choice is good,
And, among fairest objects, some
This, one of those small builders prove
The forehead of a pollard oak,
For She who planned the mossy Lodge,
Had to a Primrose looked for aid
High on the trunk's projecting brow,
The budding flowers, peeped forth the nest
The treasure proudly did I show
Can turn to little things, but once
T's gune—a ruthless Spoiler's prey, Who heeds not beauty, love, or song,
T is gone! (so seemed it) and we grieved ladignant at the wrong.
You call it, “Love lies bleeding,” – so you may, Though the red flower, not prostrate, only droops, As we have seen it here from day to day, From month to month, life passing not away: A flower how rich in sadness! Even thus stoops, (Sentient by Grecian sculpture's marvellous power) Thus leans, with hanging brow and body bent Earthward in uncomplaining languishment, The dying Gladiator. So, sad flower! - ("Tis Fancy guides me willing to be led, Though by a slender thread.) So drooped Adonis bathed in sanguine dew Of his death-wound, when he from innocent air The gentlest breath of resignation drew; | While Venus in a passion of despair | Rent, weeping over him, her golden hair Spangled with drops of that celestial shower. She suffered, as immortals sometimes do; But pangs more lasting far, that Lover knew Who first, weighed down by scorn, in some lone bower Did press this semblance of unpitied smart Into the service of his constant heart, His own dejection, downcast flower! could share With thine, and gave the mournful name which thou l wilt ever bear.
The old mythologists, more impress'd than we Of this late day by character in tree Or herb, that claimed peculiar sympathy, Or by the silent lapse of fountain clear, Or with the language of the viewless air By bird or beast made vocal, sought a cause To solve the mystery, not in nature's laws But in man's fortunes. Hence a thousand tales Sung to the plaintive lyre in Grecian vales. Nor doubt that something of their spirit swayed The fancy-stricken youth or heart-sick maid, Who, while each stood companionless and eyed This undeparting flower in crimson dyed, Thought of a wound which death is slow to cure, A fate that has endured and will endure, And, patience coveting yet passion feeding Called the dejected Lingerer, Love lies bleeding.
Not such the world's illusive shows; | Her wingless flutterings, | Her blossoms which, though shed, outbrave The floweret as it springs, For the undeceived, smile as they may, Are melancholy things: | But gentle nature plays her part - With ever-varying wiles, And transient feignings with plain truth So well she reconciles, | That those fond idlers most are pleased Whom oftenest she beguiles.
ADDRESS TO MY INFANT DAUGHTER, DORA.
on being REMINDED Tir At She was A Month old on Tuar raw (sEPTEMBER 16th.) HAst thou then survived— Mild offspring of infirm humanity, Meek infant! among all forlornest things The most forlorn—one life of that bright star, The second glory of the Heavens!—Thou hast: Already hast survived that great decay, That transformation through the wide earth felt, And by all nations. In that Being's sight From whom the Race of human kind proceed, A thousand years are but as yesterday; And one day's narrow circuit is to Him Not less capacious than a thousand years. But what is time! What outward glory? neither A measure is of Thee, whose claims extend Through “Heaven's eternal year.”—Yet hail to Thee, Frail, feeble, monthling !—by that name, methinks, Thy scanty breathing-time is portioned out Not idly.—Hadst thou been of Indian birth, Couched on a casual bed of moss and leaves, 'And rudely canopied by leafy boughs, Or to the churlish elements exposed On the blank plains, – the coldness of the night, Or the night's darkness, or its cheerful fice Of beauty, by the changing moon adorned, Would, with imperious admonition, then Have scored thine age, and punctually timed Thine infant history, on the minds of those |Who might have wandered with thee.—Mother's love, Nor less than mother's love in other breasts, Will, among us warm-clad and warmly housed, Do for thee what the finger of the heavens Doth all too often harshly execute For thy unblest coevals, amid wilds Where fancy hath small liberty to grace The affections, to exalt them or refine; | And the maternal sympathy itself, Though strong, is, in the main, a joyless tie of naked instinct, wound about the heart. Happier, far happier is thy lot and ours! | Even now — to solemnise thy helpless state, And to enliven in the mind's regard Thy passive beauty—parallels have risen,
Resemblances, or contrasts, that connect,
added?"—To say the truth, –from the higher tone of imagination, and the deeper touches of passion aimed at in the former, I apprehend, this little Piece could not accompany it without disadvantage. In the year
The fact of my discarded hero's getting the horses out of a great difficulty with a word, as related in the poem, was told me by an eye-witness.
[“Due honour is done to Peter Bell, at this time, by students of poetry in general; but some, even of Mr. Wordsworth's greatest admirers, do not quite satisfy me in their admiration of The Waggoner, a poem which my dear uncle, Mr. Southey, preferred even to the former. Ich will meine Denkungsart hierin niemanden aufdringen, as Lessing says; I will force my way of thinking on nobody, but take the liberty, for my own gratification, to express it. The sketches of hill and valley in this poem have a lightness and spirit, — an allegro touch, – distinguishing them from the grave and elevated splendour which characterizes Mr. Wordsworth's representations of nature in general, and from the pensive tenderness of those in The White Doe, while it harmonizes well with the human interest of the piece; indeed, it is the harmonious sweetness of the composition which is most dwelt upon by its special admirers. In its course it describes, with bold brief touches, the striking mountain tract from Grasmere to Keswick; it commences with an evening storm among the mountains, presents a lively interior of a country inn during midnight, and concludes after bringing us in sight of St. John's Vale and the Vale of Keswick seen by day break. — ‘Skiddaw touched with rosy light,’ and the pros pect from Nathdale Fell, ‘hoar with the frost-like dews ol dawn: thus giving a beautiful and well contrasteo panorama, produced by the most delicate and masterly strokes of the pencil. Well may Mr. Ruskin, a fine observer and eloquent describer of various classes of natural appearances, speak of Mr. Wordsworth as the great poetic landscape painter of the age. But Mr. Ruskin has found how seldom the great landscape painters are powerful in expressing human passions and affections on canvass, or even successful in the introduction of human figures into their foregrounds; whereas in the poetic paintings of Mr. Wordsworth, the landscape is always subordinate to a higher interest; certainly, in The Waggoner, the little sketch of human nature which occupies, as it were, the front of that encircling background, the picture of Benjamin and his temptations, his humble friends and the mute companions of his way, has a character of its own, combining with sportiveness, a homely pathos, which must ever be delightful to some of those who are thoroughly conversant with the spirit of Mr. Wordsworth's poetry. It may be compared with the ale-house scene in Tam O'Shanter, parts of Voss's Luise, or Ovid's Baucis and Philemon; though it differs from each of them as much as they differ from each other. The Epilogue carries on the feeling of the piece very beautifully.”—S. C.
This fine criticism – worthy of the Sire — is from the pen of the daughter of Coleridge, the widow of Henry Nelson Coleridge; it is part of a note in Coleridge's “Biographia Literaria.' Edition of 1847. Vol. II. p. 183.
See also a letter from Coleridge to Southey, April 13, 1801, in which an account is given of the “master” in this poem. His name was Jackson. Southey's Life and Correspondence, Vol. II. p. 148, Chap. viii., where in a note it is added that the circumstances of the poem, are accurately correct.-H. R.]
1806, if I am not mistaken, THE WAGGoNER was read to you in manuscript; and, as you have remembered it for so long a time, I am the more encouraged to hope, that, since the localities on which it partly depends did not prevent its being interesting to you, it may prove acceptable to others. Being therefore in some measure the cause of its present appearance, you must allow me the gratification of inscribing it to you: in acknowledgment of the pleasure I have derived from your Writings, and of the high esteem with which I am Very truly yours,
WILLIAM Wordsworth. RyDAL MoUNT, May 20, 1819.
TIs spent—this burning day of June :
Confiding Glow-worms 'tis a night Propitious to your earth-born light; But where the scattered stars are seen In hazy straits the clouds between, Each, in his station twinkling not Seems changed into a pallid spot. The air, as in a lion's den, Is close and hot; — and now and then Comes a tired and sultry breeze With a haunting and a panting, Like the stifling of disease; The mountains rise to wondrous height, And in the heavens there hangs a weight; But the dews allay the heat, And the silence makes it sweet.
Hush, there is some one on the stir "Tis Benjamin the Waggoner; Who long hath trod this toilsome way, Companion of the night and day. That far-off tinkling's drowsy cheer, Mixed with a faint yet grating sound In a moment lost and found, The Wain announces—by whose side, Along the banks of Rydal Mere, He paces on, a trusty Guide, – Listen you can scarcely hear ! Hither he his course is bending;Now he leaves the lower ground, And up the craggy hill ascending Many a stop and stay he makes, Many a breathing-fit he takes ;Steep the way and wearisome, Yet all the while his whip is dumb:
The Horses have worked with right good-will, And now have gained the top of the hill, He was patient—they were strong— And now they smoothly glide along, Gathering breath, and pleased to win The praises of mild Benjamin. Heaven shield him from mishap and snare: But why so early with this prayer? — Is it for threatenings in the sky : — Or for some other danger night No, none is near him yet, though he Be one of much infirmity; For at the bottom of the Brow, Where once the Dove and Olive-bough Offered a greeting of good ale To all who entered Grasmere Wale; And called on him who must depart To leave it with a jovial heart; — There, where the Dove and Olive-Bough Once hung, a Poet harbours now, A simple water-drinking Bard; Why need our Hero then (though frail His best resolves) be on his guard! — He marches by, secure and bold, – Yet while he thinks on times of old, It seems that all looks wondrous cold : He shrugs his shoulders—shakes his headAnd, for the honest folk within, It is a doubt with Benjamin Whether they be alive or dead!
Here is no danger, — none at all ! Beyond his wish is he secure; But pass a mile — and then for trial,— Then for the pride of self-denial; If he resist that tempting door, Which with such friendly voice will call, If he resist those casement panes, And that bright gleam which thence will fall Upon his Leaders' bells and manes, Inviting him with cheerful lure: For still, though all be dark elsewhere, Some shining notice will be there, Of open house and ready fare.
The place to Benjamin full well Is known, and by as strong a spell As used to be that sign of love And hope — the Olive-hough and Dove, He knows it to his cost, good Man : Who does not know the famous Swax? Uncouth although the object be, An image of perplexity; Yet not the less it is our boast, For it was painted by the IIost; His own conceit the figure planned, 'Twas coloured all by his own hand;