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Harry the Reling from the bosom thrown *** shape, whose beauty Time shall spare *gh a breath made it, like a bubble blown for summer Pastime into wanton air; o **ght best likened to a stone o *leuch, when, polished with nice care, *" discovers exquisite and rare, "ol so the loss of that moist gleam atone o: first to gather it, o chief Snch o * feelings if I here present, wght, with others mixed less fortunate ; o into my heart a fond belief Rece Ou, if "with partial joy elate, *west the gift for more than mild content! *>- II. . fret w at their convent's narrow room; o o contented with their cells; Maids o with their pensive citadels: Stolthe owheel, the Weaver at his loom, * Bees that soar for bloom,
High as the highest Peak of Furness Fells, Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells: In truth, the prison, unto which we doom Ourselves, no prison is: and hence to me, In sundry moods, 't was pastime to be bound Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground:
Intended more particularly for the Perusal of those who may have happened to be enamoured of some beautiful Place of Retreat, in the Country of the Lakes. Yes, there is holy pleasure in thine eye —The lovely Cottage in the guardian nook Hath stirred thee deeply; with its own dear brook, Its own small pasture, almost its own sky! But covet not the Abode;—forbear to sigh, As many do, repining while they look; Intruders — who would tear from Nature's book This precious leaf with harsh impiety. Think what the Home must be if it were thine, Even thine, though few thy wants!—Roof, window, door, The very flowers are sacred to the Poor, The roses to the porch which they entwine: Yea, all that now enchants thee, from the day On which it should be touched, would melt, and melt away.
“BELoved Vale "I said, “when I shall con
Those many records of my childish years,
Remembrance of myself and of my peers
Will press me down: to think of what is gone
Will be an awful thought, if life have one.”
But, when into the Vale I came, no fears
Distressed me; from mine eyes escaped no tears;
Deep thought, or awful vision, had I none.
By doubts and thousand petty fancies crost,
I stood of simple shame the blushing Thrall;
So narrrow seemed the brooks, the fields so small.
A Juggler's balls old Time about him tossed;
I looked, I stared, I smiled, I laughed; and all
The weight of sadness was in wonder lost.
PELion and Ossa flourish side by side,
Together in immortal books enrolled:
His ancient dower Olympus hath not sold;
And that inspiring Hill, which “did divide
Into two ample horns his forehead wide,”
Shines with poetic radiance as of old;
While not an English Mountain we behold
By the celestial Muses glorified.
Yet round our sea-girt shore they rise in crowds;
What was the great Parnassus' self to Thee,
Mount Skiddaw in his natural sovereignty
Our British Hill is fairer far; he shrouds
His double front among Atlantic clouds,
And pours forth streams more sweet than Castaly.
THERE is a little unpretending Rill
Of limpid water, humbler far than aught
That ever among Men or Naiads sought
Notice or name — it quivers down the hill,
Furrowing its shallow way with dubious will;
Yet to my mind this scanty Stream is brought
Oftener than Ganges or the Nile; a thought
Of private recollection sweet and still:
Months perish with their moons; year treads on year;
But, faithful Emma, thou with me canst say
That, while ten thousand pleasures disappear,
And flies their memory fast almost as they,
The immortal Spirit of one happy day
Lingers beside that Rill, in vision clear.
HER only Pilot the soft breeze, the Boat
Lingers, but Fancy is well satisfied;
With keen-eyed Hope, with Memory, at her side,
And the glad Muse at liberty to note
All that to each is precious, as we float
Gently along; regardless who shall chide
If the Heavens smile, and leave us free to glide,
Happy Associates breathing air remote
From trivial cares. But, Fancy and the Muse,
Why have I crowded this small Bark with you
And others of your kind, Ideal Crew :
While here sits One whose brightness owes its hues
To flesh and blood; no Goddess from above,
No fleeting Spirit, but my own true Love!
The fairest, brightest hues of ether fade;
The sweetest notes must terminate and die;
O Friend! thy flute has breathed a harmony
Softly resounded through this rocky glade;
Such strains of rapture as” the Genius played
In his still haunt on Bagdad's summit high;
He who stood visible to Mirza's eye,
Never before to human sight betrayed.
Lo, in the vale, the mists of evening spread:
The visionary arches are not there,
Nor the green Islands, nor the shining seas;
Yet sacred is to me this Mountain's head,
From which I have been lifted on the breeze
Of harmony, above all earthly care.
Paused be the Art whose subtle power could stay
Yon Cloud, and fix it in that glorious shape;
Not would permit the thin smoke to escape,
Northose bright sunbeams to forsake the day;
Which stopped that Band of Travellers on their way,
Ere they were lost within the shady wood;
And showed the Bark upon the glassy flood
For ever anchored in her sheltering Bay.
Souls othing Art! which Morning, Noon-tide, Even,
Doserve with all their changeful pageantry;
Thou, with ambition modest yet sublime,
Here, for the sight of mortal man, hast given
Toole brief moment caught from fleeting time
The appropriate calm of blest eternity.
O GENTLe Sleep! do they belong to thee,
These twinklings of oblivion! Thou dost love
To sit in meekness, like the brooding Dove,
A Captive never wishing to be free.
This tiresome night, O Sleep! thou art to me
A Fly, that up and down himself doth shove,
Upon a fretful rivulet, now above,
Now on the water, vexed with mockery.
I have no pain that calls for patience, no;
Hence am I cross and peevish as a child:
Am pleased by fits to have thee for my foe,
Yet ever willing to be reconciled :
O gentle Creature do not use me so,
But once and deeply let me be beguiled.
A Flock of sheep that leisurely pass by,
One after one; the sound of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds and seas,
Smooth fields, white sheets of water, and pure sky;
By turns have all been thought of, yet I lie
Sleepless; and soon the small birds' melodies
Must hear, first uttered from my orchard trees;
And the first Cuckoo's melancholy cry.
Even thus last night, and two nights more, I lay,
And could not win thee, Sleep ! by any stealth:
So do not let me wear to-night away:
Without Thee what is all the morning's wealth
Come, blessed barrier between day and day,
Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health !
Fond words have oft been spoken to thee, Sleep!
And thou hast had thy store of tenderest names;
The very sweetest words that fancy frames,
When thankfulness of heart is strong and deep !
Dear bosom Child we call thee, that dost steep
In rich reward all suffering; Balm that tames
All anguish; Saint that evil thoughts and aims
Takest away, and into souls dost creep,
Like to a breeze from heaven. Shall I alone,
I surely not a man ungently made,
Call thee worst Tyrant by which Flesh is crost!
Perverse, self-willed to own and to disown,
Mere Slave of them who never for thee prayed,
Still last to come where o art wanted most! - 9
XVI. THE WILD DUCK'S NEST.
THE Imperial Consort of the Fairy King
Owns not a sylvan bower; or gorgeous cell
With emerald floored, and with purpureal shell
Ceilinged and roofed; that is so fair a thing
As this low Structure—for the tasks of Spring
Prepared by one who loves the buoyant swell
Of the brisk waves, yet here consents to dwell;
And spreads in steadfast peace her brooding wing.
Words cannot paint the o'ershadowing yew-tree bough,
And dimly-gleaming Nest, — a hollow crown
Of golden leaves inlaid with silver down,
Fine as the Mother's softest plumes allow:
I gaze – and almost wish to lay aside
Humanity, weak slave of cumbrous pride :
- XVII. WRITTEN UPON A BLANK LEAF in “THE COM
PLETE ANGLER.” WHILE flowing Rivers yield a blameless sport, Shall live the name of Walton;–Sage benign : Whose pen, the mysteries of the rod and line Unfolding, did not fruitlessly exhort To reverend watching of each still report That Nature utters from her rural shrine. — Meek, nobly versed in simple discipline, He found the longest summer day too short, To his loved pastime given by sedgy Lee, Or down the tempting maze of Shawford brook: Fairer than life itself, in this sweet Book, The cowslip bank and shady willow-tree, And the fresh meads; where flowed, from every nook Of his full bosom, gladsome Piety :
XVIII. TO THE POET, JOHN DYER.
BARD of the Fleece, whose skilful genius made
That work a living landscape fair and bright;
Nor hallowed less with musical delight
Than those soft scenes through which thy Childhood
Those southern Tracts of Cambria, “deep embayed,
With green hills fenced, with Ocean's murmur lulled;”
Though hasty Fame hath many a chaplet culled
For worthless brows, while in the pensive shade
Of cold neglect she leaves thy head ungraced,
Yet pure and powerful minds, hearts meek and still,
A grateful few, shall love thy modest Lay,
Long as the Shepherd's bleating flock shall stray
O'er naked Snowdon's wide aerial waste;
Long as the thrush shall pipe on Grongar Hill!
ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED THE
PUBLICATION OF A CERTAIN POEM.
See Milton's Sonnet, beginning
“A Book was writ of late, called “Tetrachordon.'"
A Book came forth of late, called “Peter Bell;"
Not negligent the style;—the matter! —good
As aught that song records of Robin Hood;
Or Roy, renowned through many a Scottish dell;
But some (who brook these hacknied themes full well,
Nor heat, at Tam o'Shanter's name, their blood)
Waxed wroth, and with foul claws, a harpy brood,
On Bard and Hero clamorously fell.
Heed not, wild Rover once through heath and glen,
Who madest at length the better life thy choice,
Heed not such onset! nay, if praise of men
To thee appear not an unmeaning voice,
List up that gray-haired forehead, and rejoice
In the just tribute of thy Poet's pen!
XX. TO THE RIVER DERWENT.
AMoNG the mountains were we nursed, loved Stream!
Thou, near the eagle's nest — within brief sail,
I, of his bold wing floating on the gale,
Where thy deep voice could lull me! –Faint the
Of human life when first allowed to gleam
On mortal notice. —Glory of the Vale,
Such thy meek outset, with a crown though frail
Kept in perpetual verdure by the steam
Of thy soft breath ! — Less vivid wreath entwined
Nemapan Victors brow; less bright was worn,
Meed of some Roman Chief— in triumph borne
With captives chained; and shedding from his car
The sunset splendours of a finished war
Upon the proud enslavers of mankind :
With each recurrence of this glorious morn
That saw the Saviour in his human frame
Rise from the dead, erewhile the Cottage-dame
Put on fresh raiment—till that hour unworn:
Domestic hands the home-bred wool had shorn,
And she who span it culled the daintiest fleece,
In thoughtful reverence to the Prince of Peace,
Whose temples bled beneath the platted thorn.
A blest estate when piety sublime
These humble props disdained not! O green dales:
Sad may I be who heard your sabbath chime
When Art's abused inventions were unknown;
Kind Nature's various wealth was all your own;
And benefits were weighed in Reason's scales!
COMPOSED ON THE EVE OF THE MARRIAGE OF A
FRIEND IN THE WALE OF GRASMERE.
What need of clamorous bells, or ribands gay,
These humble Nuptials to proclaim or grace?
Angels of Love, look down upon the place,
Shed on the chosen Vale a sun-bright day !
Yet no proud gladness would the Bride display
Even for such promise: – serious is her face,
Modest her mien ; and she, whose thoughts keep pace
With gentleness, in that becoming way
Will thank you. Faultless does the Maid appear;
No disproportion in her soul, no strife:
But, when the closer view of wedded life
Hath shown that nothing human can be clear
From frailty, for that insight may the Wife
To her indulgent Lord become more dear.
XXVI. FROM THE ITALIAN OF MICHAEL ANGELO.
Yes! hope may with my strong desire keep pace,
And I be undeluded, unbetrayed;
For if of our affections none find grace
In sight of Heaven, then, wherefore hath God made
The world which we inhabit! Better plea
Love cannot have, than that in loving thee
Glory to that eternal Peace is paid,
Who such divinity to thee imparts
As hallows and makes pure all gentle hearts.
His hope is treacherous only whose love dies
With beauty, which is varying every hour;
But, in chaste hearts uninfluenced by the power
Of outward change, there blooms a deathless flower,
That breathes on earth the air of paradise.
No mortal object did these eyes behold
When first they met the placid light of thine
And my Soul felt her destiny divine,
And hope of endless peace in me grew bold:
Heaven-born, the Soul a heavenward course must hold
Beyond the visible world She soars to seek
(For what delights the sense is false and weak)
Ideal Form, the universal mould.
The wise man, I affirm, can find no rest
In that which perishes; nor will he lend
His heart to aught which doth on time depend.
'Tis sense, unbridled will, and not true love,
That kills the soul: love betters what is best,
Even here below, but more in heaven above