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Written a few miles above TINTERN ABBEY, on revisiting the banks of the WYE during a Tour.
July 13, 1798.
Five years have passed; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters ! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a sweet inland murmur.*--Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
Which 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-
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage ground, these orchard-tufts,
* The river is not affected by the tides a few miles. above Tintern.
Which, at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Among the woods and copses lose themselves,
Nor, with their green and simple hue, disturb
The wild green landscape. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild; these pastoral farms
Green to the very door; and wreathes of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees,
With some uncertain notice, as might seem,
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods,
Or of some hermit's cave, where by his fire-
The hermit sits alone.
Though absent long,
These forms of beauty have not been to me,
As is a landscape to a blind man's-eye :
But oft, in lonely rooms, and mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart,
And passing eyen into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration :-feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure : such, perhaps,
have had no 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 lighten'd :--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 day-light; 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 through the woods,
How often bas my spirit turned to thee!
And now, with gleams of half-extinguish'd 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