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Those silent Inmates now no longer share,
Nor do they need, our hospitable care,
Removed in kindness from their glassy Cell
To the fresh waters of a living Well;
That spreads into an elfin pool opaque
Of which close boughs a glimmering mirror make,
On whose smooth breast with dimples light and small
The fly may settle, leaf or blossom fall.
– There swims, of blazing sun and beating shower
Fearless (but how obscured :) the golden Power,
That from his bauble prison used to cast
Gleams by the richest jewel unsurpast;
And near him, darkling like a sullen Gnome,
The silver Tenant of the crystal dome;
Dissevered both from all the mysteries
Of hue and altering shape that charmed all eyes.
They pined, perhaps, they languished while they shone;
And, if not so, what matters beauty gone
And admiration lost, by change of place
That brings to the inward Creature no disgrace?
But if the change restore his birthright, then,
Whate'er the difference, boundless is the gain.
Who can divine what impulses from God
Reach the caged Lark, within a town-abode,
From his poor inch or two of daisied sod?
O yield him back his privilege: No sea
Swells like the bosom of a man set free ;
A wilderness is rich with liberty.
Roll on, ye spouting Whales, who die or keep
Your independence in the fathomless Deep !
Spread, tiny Nautilus, the living sail;
Dive, at thy choice, or brave the freshening gale!
If unreproved the ambitious Eagle mount
Sunward to seek the daylight in its fount,
Bays, gulfs, and Ocean's Indian width, shall be,
Till the world perishes, a field for thee!
While musing here I sit in shadow cool, And watch these mute Companions, in the pool, Among reflected boughs of leafy trees, By glimpses caught—disporting at their ease— Enlivened, braced, by hardy luxuries, I ask what warrant fixed them (like a spell Of witchcraft fixed them) in the crystal Cell; To wheel with languid motion round and round, Beautiful, yet in a mournful durance bound. Their peace, perhaps, our lightest footfall marred; On their quick sense our sweetest music jarred; And whither could they dart, if seized with fear ! No sheltering stone, no tangled root was near. When fire or taper ceased to cheer the room They wore away the night in starless gloom And, when the sun first dawned upon the streams, How faint their portion of his vital beams! Thus, and unable to complain, they fared, While not one joy of ours by them was shared.
Which Horace needed for his spirit's health;
Sighed for, in heart and genius, overcome
By noise, and strife, and questions wearisome,
And the vain splendours of Imperial Rome!
Let easy mirth his social hours inspire,
And fiction animate his sportive lyre,
Attuned to verse that crowning light Distress
With garlands cheats her into happiness;
Give me the humblest note of those sad strains
Drawn forth by pressure of his gilded chains,
As a chance sunbeam from his memory fell
Upon the Sabine Farm he loved so well;
Or when the prattle of Bandusia's spring
Haunted his ear—he only listening–
He proud to please, above all rivals, fit
To win the palm of gaiety and wit:
He, doubt not, with involuntary dread,
Shrinking from each new favour to be shed,
By the World's Ruler, on his honoured head!
In a deep vision's intellectual scene, Such earnest longings and regrets as keen Depressed the melancholy Cowley, laid Under a fancied yew-tree's luckless shade;
By something cognizably shaped;
Mockery — or model roughly hewn,
And left as if by earthquake strewn,
Or from the Flood escaped :
Altars for Druid service fit;
(But where no fire was ever lit,
Unless the glow-worm to the skies
Thence offer nightly sacrifice;)
Wrinkled Egyptian monument;
Green moss-grown tower; or hoary tent;
Tents of a camp that never shall be raised;
On which four thousand years have gazed :
Ye plough-shares sparkling on the slopes!
Ye snow-white lambs that trip
Imprisoned 'mid the formal props
Of restless ownership !
Ye trees, that may to-morrow fall
To feed the insatiate Prodigal
Lawns, houses, chattels, groves, and fields.
All that the fertile valley shields;
Wages of folly — baits of crime, –
Of life's uneasy game the stake,
Playthings that keep the eyes awake
Of drowsy, dotard Time; —
O care : O guilt – O vales and plains,
Here, 'mid his own unvexed domains,
A Genius dwells, that can subdue
At once all memory of You, -
Most potent when mists veil the sky,
Mists that distort and magnify;
While the coarse rushes, to the sweeping breeze,
Sigh forth their ancient melodies!
List to those shriller notes! — that march
Perchance was on the blast,
When, through this Height's inverted arch,
Rome's earliest legion passed :
— They saw, adventurously impelled,
And older eyes than theirs beheld,
This block — and yon, whose Church-like frame
Gives to the savage Pass its name.
Aspiring Road that lov'st to hide
Thy daring in a vapoury bourn,
Not seldom may the hour return
When thou shalt be my Guide:
And I (as often we find cause,
When life is at a weary pause,
And we have panted up the hill
Of duty with reluctant will)
Be thankful, even though tired and faint,
For the rich bounties of Constraint.
Whence oft invigorating transports flow
That Choice lacked courage to bestow!
4. But, of his scorn repenting soon, he drew
My soul was grateful for delight A juster judgment from a calmer view; nai
That wore a threatening brow; | And, with a spirit freed from discontent, o
A veil is lifted — can she slight Thankfully took an effort that was meant res
The scene that opens now? Not with God's bounty, nature's love, to vie, o
Though habitation none appear, Or made with hope to please that inward eye .
The greenness tells, man must be there; Which ever strives in vain itself to satisfy, -
The shelter—that the perspective But to recal the truth by some faint trace -
Is of the clime in which we live; Of power ethereal and celestial grace, r:
Where Toil pursues his daily round; That in the living creature find on earth a place. ..
Where Pity sheds sweet tears, and Love, so
In woodbine bower or birchen grove, --!
Inflicts his tender wound. g AIR EY - FORCE WALLEY. ::
—Who comes not hither ne'er shall know Not a breath of air ...
How beautiful the world below; Rufiles the bosom of this leafy glen.
Nor can he guess how lightly leaps From the brook's margin, wide around, the trees :-
The brook adown the rocky steeps. Are stedfast as the rocks; the brook itself,
Farewell, thou desolate Domain : Old as the hills that feed it from afar, -
Hope, pointing to the cultured Plain, Doth rather deepen than disturb the calm o
Carols like a shepherd boy; Where all things else are still and motionless.
And who is she — Can that be Joy! And yet, even now, a little breeze, perchance
Who, with a sunbeam for her guide, Escaped from boisterous winds that rage witholl,
Smoothly skims the meadows wide; Has entered, by the sturdy oaks unselt,
While Faith, from yonder opening cloud, But to its gentle touch how sensitive o
, To hill and vale proclaims aloud, Is the light ash : that, pendent from the brow *
“Whate'er the weak may dread, the wicked dare, Of yon dim cave, in seeming silence makes
Thy lot, O Man, is good, thy portion fair!" A soft eye-music of slow-waving boughs, :
SUGGESTED BY A PICTURE OF THE BIRD
The gentlest poet, with free thoughts endowed,
And a true master of the glowing strain,
Might scan the narrow province with disdain
That to the painter's skill is here allowed.
This, this the Bird of Paradise! disclaim
The daring thought, forget the name;
This the sun's bird, whom Glendoveers might own
As no unworthy partner in their flight
Through seas of ether, where the rushing sway
Of nether air's rude billows is unknown;
Whom sylphs, if e'er for casual pastime they
Through India's spicy regions wing their way,
Might bow to as their Lord. What character,
O sovereign Nature! I appeal to thee,
Of all thy feathered progeny
Is so unearthly, and what shape so fair
So richly decked in variegated down,
Green, sable, shining yellow, shadowy brown,
Tints softly with each other blended,
Hues doubtfully begun and ended;
Or intershooting, and to sight
Lost and recovered, as the rays of light -
Glance on the conscious plumes touched here and there?
Full surely, when with such proud gifts of life
Began the pencil's strife,
O'erweening art was caught as in a snare.
A sense of seemingly presumptuous wrong Gave the first impulse to the poet's song;
Powerful almost as vocal harmony -
To stay the wanderer's steps and soothe his thougho
T H E CUC KO O-C LOCK.
Wouldst thou be taught, when sleep has taken to
By a sure voice that can most sweetly tell,
|How far-off yet a glimpse of morning light, s
And if to lure the truant back be well, so
Forbear to covet a repeater's stroke, 1.
| That, answering to thy touch will sound the hour. A
Better provide thee with a Cuckoo-clock *,
For service hung behind thy chamber-door;
And in due time the soft spontaneous shock,
The double-note, as if with living power,
Will to composure lead — or make thee blithe *
o o o * o List, Cuckoo-Cuckoo!—of tho' tempests” – Or nipping frost remind thee trees are bare, How cattle pine, and droop the shivering fowl, Thy spirits will seem to feed on balmy air: a I speak with knowledge, by that voice begu" Thou wilt salute old memories as they throug Into thy heart; and fancies, running wild Through fresh green fields, and budding groves assons, Will make thee happy, happy as a child; Of sunshine wilt thou think, and flowers, and ** And breathe as in a world where nothing can go"
And know—that, even for him who shunstho day
And nightly tosses on a bed of pain;
Whose joys, from all but memory swept aw".
Must come unhoped for, if they come again;
Know—that, for him whose waking thoughts, severe
As his distress is sharp, would scorn my theme,
The mimic notes striking upon his ear
In sleep, and intermingling with his dream,
Could from sad regions send him to a dear
Delightful land of verdure, shower and gleam,
To mock the wandering voice beside some haunted
0 bounty without measure! while the grace
Of Heavendoth in such wise, from humblest springs,
Pour pleasure forth, and solaces that trace
Amazy course along familiar things,
Well may our hearts have faith that blessings come,
Steaming from sounts above the starry sky,
With angels when their own untroubled home
They leave, and speed on nightly embassy
To visit earthly chambers, and for whom?
Ya, both for souls who God's forbearance try,
And those that seek his help, and for his mercy sigh.
LINES, * A Few Miles Above tintern Abbey, on Revisiting THI BANKS OF THE wye DURING A Tour. July 13, 1798,
Five years have past; five summers, with the length "f five long winters! and again I hear her waters, rolling from their mountain-springs "the sweet inland murmur.” — Once again *I belold these steep and lofty cliffs, "on a wild secluded scene impress Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect The landscape with the quiet of the sky. The day is come when I again repose Ho, under this dark Sycamore, and view o * of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts, Which at this *eason, with their unripe fruits, At clad in one green hue, and lose themselves *: the woods and Copses, nor disturb o: wild green landscape. Once again I see ... hardly hedge-rows, little lines Green o * run wild: these pastoral farms, Se lever, door; and wreaths of smoke - : "P in silence, from among the trees *ome uncertain notice, as might seem "out Dwellersion. o: woods,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration: —feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world,
Is lightened:—that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on, —
Until the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul:
While with an eye made quiet by the power
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft,
In darkness, and amid the many shapes
Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,
Have hung upon the beatings of my heart,
How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,
O sylvan Wye: Thou wanderer thro' the woods,
How often has my spirit turned to thee!
And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought, With many recognitions dim and faint, And somewhat of a sad perplexity, The picture of the mind revives again: While here I stand, not only with the sense Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts That in this moment there is life and food For future years. And so I dare to hope, Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first I came among these hills; when like a roe I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams, Wherever nature led: more like a man Flying from something that he dreads, than one Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then (The coarser pleasures of my boyish days, And their glad animal movements all gone by) To me was all in all. —I cannot paint What then I was. The sounding cataract Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock, The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, Their colours and their forms, were then to me An appetite; a feeling and a love, That had no need of a remoter charm, By thought supplied, or any interest Unborrowed from the eyes; That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed, for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompense. For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye and ear, both what they half create”,
And what perceive ; well pleased to recognise
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul o
Of all my moral being.
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay:
For thou art with me, here, upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou, my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend, and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister and this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men,
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstacies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure, when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling place
For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,
Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts
Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,
And these my exhortations ! Nor, perchance
If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence, wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love, oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy o
The Tale of Peter Bell, which I now introduce to your notice, and to that of the Public, has, in its Mao uscript state, nearly survived its minority;-for " first saw the light in the summer of 1798. During to long interval, pains have been taken at different times to make the production less unworthy of a savour." reception; or, rather, to fit it for filling perman" a station, however humble, in the Literature of my Country. This has, indeed, been the aim of all my endeavours in Poetry, which, you know, have been sufficiently laborious to prove that I deem the Art no! lightly to be approached; and that the attainment of excellence in it, may laudably be made the principal object of intellectual pursuit by any man, who with reasonable consideration of circumstances, has *" his own impulses.
The Poem of Peter Bell, as the Prologue will “" was composed under a belief that the Imaginati" not