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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

ren, 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 ecstasies 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 More dear, both for themselves and for thy


Wordsworth.-Born 1770, Died 1850.

Such forms as from their covert peep
When earthly cares are laid asleep!
Yet, dream or vision as thou art,
I bless thee with a human heart :
God shield thee to thy latest years !
I neither know thee nor thy peers ;
And yet my eyes are fill'd with tears.

With earnest feeling I shall pray
For thee when I am far away:
For never saw I mien or face,
In which more plainly I could trace
Benignity and home-bred sense
Ripening in perfect innocence.
Here scatter'd, like a random seed,
Remote from men, thou dost not need
Th' embarrass'd look of shy distress
And maidenly shamefacedness :
Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear
The freedom of a mountaineer :
A face with gladness overspread!
Soft smiles, by human kindness bred!
And seemliness complete, that sways
Thy courtesies, about thee plays;
With no restraint, bat such as springs
From quick and eager visitings
Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach
Of thy few words of English speech;
A bondage sweetly brook'd, a strife
That gives thy gestures grace and life!
So have I, not unmoved in mind,
Seen birds of tempest-loving kind,
Thus beating up against the wind.

What hand but would a garland cull
For thee who art so beautiful ?
O happy pleasure! here to dwell
Beside thee in some heathy dell;
Adopt your homely ways, and dress
A shepherd, thou a shepherdess !
But I could frame a wish for thee
More like a grave reality :
Thou art to me but as a wave
Of the wild sea ; and I would have
Some claim upon thee, if I could,
Though but of common neighbourhood.
What joy to hear thee, and to see!
Thy elder brother I would be
Thy father-anything to thee !

Now thanks to Heaven! that of its grace
Hath led me to this lonely place.
Joy have I had; and going hence,
I bear away my recompense.
In spots like these it is we prize
Our memory, feel that she hath eyes :
Then, why should I be loath to stir ?
I feel this place was made for her ;
To give new pleasure like the past,
Continued long as life shall last.
Nor am I loath, though pleased at heart,
Sweet Highland girl! from thee to part;
For I, methinks, till I grow old,
As fair before me shall behold,
As I do now, the cabin small,
The lake, the bay, the waterfall;
And thee, the spirit of them all!

Jordsworth.-Born 1770, Died 1850.


1196.—TO A HIGHLAND GIRL. Sweet Highland girl! a very shower Of beauty is thy earthly dower! Twice seven consenting years have shed Their utmost bounty on thy head : And those gray rocks; that household lawn ; Those trees, a veil just half withdrawn; This fall of water, that doth make A murmur near the silent lake; This little bay, a quiet road That holds in shelter thy abodeIn truth, unfolding thus, ye seem Like something fashion'd in a dream;

1197.-AN OLD MAN'S REFLECTIONS. Down to the vale this water steers,

How merrily it goes !
"Twill murmur on a thousand years,

And flow as now it flows.
And here, on this delightful day,

I cannot choose but think
How oft, a vigorous man, I lay

Beside the fountain's brink.
My eyes are dim with childish tears,

My heart is idly stirr'd;
For the same sound is in my ears

Which in those days I heard.
Thus fares it still in our decay;

And yet, the wiser mind
Mourns less for what age takes away,

Than what it leaves behind.
The Blackbird in the summer trees,

The Lark upon the hill,
Let loose their carols when they please,

Are quiet when they will.
With Nature never do they wage

A foolish strife; they see
A happy youth, and their old age

Is beautiful and free.
But we are press'd with heavy laws;

And, often glad no more,
We wear a face of joy, because
We have been glad of yore.
Wordsworth.Born 1770, Died 1850.

Ye blessed creatures, I have heard the call

Ye to each other make ; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your

jubilee ;
My heart is at your festival,

My head hath its coronal,
The fulness of your bliss I feel,-I feel it

Oh, evil day! if I were sullen,
While the earth herself is adorning,

This sweet May-morning,
And the children are pulling,

On every side,
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines

And the Babe leaps up on his mother's arm.

I hear, I hear, what joy I hear !

-But there's a tree, of many one,
A single field which I have look'd upon,
Both of them speak of something that is

The Pansy at my feet

Doth the same tale repeat.
Whither is filed the visionary gleam ?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream ?
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting :
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,

And cometh from afar ;
Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,
But, trailing clouds of glory, do we come

From God, who is our home :
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close

Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,

He sees it in his joy ;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's priest,

And by the vision splendid

Is on his way attended ;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her natural kind;
And, even with something of a mother's

And no unworthy aim,
The homely nurse doth all she can
To make her foster-child, her inmate man,

Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.



RECOLLECTIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD. There was a time when meadow, grove, and

The earth, and every common sight,

To me did seem
Apparell'd in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore ;-
Turn wheresoe'er I may,

By night or day, The things which I have seen I now can see no more!

The Rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the Rose ;

The Moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare ;

Waters on a starry night

Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;

But yet I know, where'er I go,
That there hath pass'd away a glory from the


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The thought of our past years in me doth

breed Perpetual benedictions : not indeed For that which is most worthy to be blest ; Delight and liberty, the simple creed Of childhood, whether busy or at rest, With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his

breast :

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Not for these I raise
The songs of thanks and praiso ;
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;

Blank misgivings of a creature
Moving about in worlds not realised,
High instincts, before which our mortal

Did tremble, like a guilty thing surprised !

But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,

Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain light of all our day,
Are yet a master light of all our seeing;
Uphold us-cherish-and have power to

make Our noisy years seem moments in the being Of the eternal silence : truths that wake

To perish never ; Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,

Nor man, nor boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy :
Hence, in a season of calm weather,

Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea

Which brought us hither ;

Can in a moment travel thither,— And see the children sport upon the shore, And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore. Then, sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!

And let the young lambs bound

As to the tabor's sound !
We, in thought, will join your throng

Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day

Feel the gladness of the May !
What though the radiance which was once so

bright Be now for ever taken from thy sight,

Though nothing can bring back the hour Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;

We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind,
In the primal sympathy,
Which, having been, must ever be,
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering,
In the faith that looks through

death, In years that bring the philosophic mind. And oh, ye fountains, meadows, hills, and

groves, Think not of any severing of your loves ! Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might; I only have relinquish'd one delight, To live beneath your more habitual sway. I love the brooks, which down their channels

fret, Even more than when I tripp'd lightly as

they ;

1199.--YARROW VISITED. And is this Yarrow -this the stream Of which my fancy cherished, So faithfully, a waking dream? An image that hath perish'd ! Oh that some minstrel's harp were near, To utter notes of gladness, And chase this silence from the air, That fills my heart with sadness! Yet why ?-a silvery current flows With uncontroll'd meanderings; Nor have these eyes by greener hills Been soothed, in all my wanderings. And, through her depths, Saint Mary's Lake Is visibly delighted ; For not a feature of those hills Is in the mirror slighted. A blue sky bends o'er Yarrow Vale, Save where that pearly whiteness Is round the rising sun diffused, A tender hazy brightness; Mild dawn of promise! that excludes All profitless dejection ; Though not unwilling here t admit A pensive recollection.

Where was it that the famous flower • Of Yarrow Vale lay bleeding ?

His bed perchance was yon smooth mourd
On which the herd is feeding :
And haply from this crystal pool,
Now peaceful as the morning,
The water-wraith ascended thrice,
And gave his doleful warning.
Delicious is the lay that sings
The haunts of happy lovers,
The path that leads them to the grove,
The leafy grove that covers:
And pity sanctifies the verse
That paints, by strength of sorrow,
The unconquerable strength of love;
Bear witness, rueful Yarrow !
But thou, that didst appear so fair
To fond imagination,

Speak !—though this soft warm heart, once

free to hold A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine, Be left more desolate, more dreary cold Than a forsaken bird's-nest fill'd with snow 'Mid its own bush of leafless eglantineSpeak, that my torturing doubts their end may know!

Wordsworth.-Born 1770, Died 1850.

Dost rival in the light of day Her delicate creation : Meek loveliness is roand thee spread, A softness still and holy ; The grace of forest charms decay'd, And pastoral melancholy. That region left, the vale unfolds Rich groves of lofty stature, With Yarrow winding through the pomp Of cultivated nature; And, rising from those lofty groves, Behold a ruin hoary ! The shatter'd front of Newark's towers, Renown'a in border story. Fair scenes for childhood's opening bloom, For sportive youth to stray in ; For manhood to enjoy his strength; And age to wear away in! Yon cottage seems a bower of bliss, It promises protection To studious ease, and generous cares, And every chaste affection! How sweet on this autumnal day, The wild wood's fruits to gather, And on my true love's forehead plant A crest of blooming heather ! And what if I enwreath'd my own! "Twere no offence to reason ; The sober hills thus deck their brows To meet the wintry season. I see—but not by sight alone, Loved Yarrow, have I won thee; A ray of fancy still survivesHer sunshine plays upon thee! Thy ever youthful waters keep A course of lively pleasure ; And gladsome notes my lips can breathe, Accordant to the measure. The vapours linger round the heights, They melt--and soon must vanish; One hour is theirs, nor more is mine Sad thought! which I would banish, But that I know, where'er I go, Thy genuine image, Yarrow! Will dwell with me-to heighten joy, And cheer my mind in sorrow.

Wordsworth.-Born 1770, Died 1850.

1201.—TO THE SKYLARK. Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky ! Dost thou despise the earth where cares

abound ? Or while the wings aspire, are heart and eye Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground ? Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will, Those quivering wings composed, that music

still ! To the last point of vision, and beyond Mount, daring warbler !—that love-prompted

strain --'Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bondThrills not the less the bosom of the plain : Yet might'st thou seem, proud privilege ! to

sing All independent of the leafy Spring. Leave to the nightingale her shady wood; A privacy of glorious light is thine, Whence thou dost pour upon the world a

flood Of harmony with instinct more divine ; Type of the wise, who soar, but never roamTrue to the kindred points of Heaven and Home!

Wordsworth.-Born 1770, Died 1850.

1200.-TO A DISTANT FRIEND. Why art thou silent ? Is thy love a plant Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air Of absence withers what was once so fair ? Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant ? Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant, Bound to thy service with unceasing careThe mind's least generous wish a mendicant For nought but what thy happiness could


1202.-TO THE CUCKOO. O blithe new-comer! I have heard, I hear thee and rejoice : . O Cuckoo ! shall I call thee bird, Or but a wandering Voice ? While I am lying on the grass Thy twofold shout I hear; From hill to hill it seems to pass, At once far off and near. Though babbling only to the vale Of sunshine and of flowers, Thou bringest unto me a tale Of visionary hours. Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring! Even yet thou art to me No bird, but an invisible thing A voice, a'mystery; .

Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Wordsworth.-Born 1770, Died 1850.

The same whom in my school-boy days
I listen'd to; that Cry
Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush, and tree, and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green ;
And thou wert still a hope, a love;
Still long'd for, never seen!
And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.
O blessed bird ! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, fairy place
That is fit home for Thee !

Wordsworth.Born 1770, Died 1850.

1205.-ADMONITION TO A TRAVELLER. Yes, there is holy pleasure in thine eye! -The lovely cottage in the guardian nook Hath stirr'd thee deeply; with its own dear

brook, Its own small pasture, almost its own sky! But covet not the abode do not 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 would 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 touch'd would melt away!

Wordsworth.-Born 1770, Died 1850.



QUEENSBERRY, 1803. Degenerate Douglas ! O the unworthy lord ! Whom mere despite of heart could so far

please And love of havoc (for with such disease Fame taxes him) that he could send forth

word To level with the dust a noble horde, A brotherhood of venerable trees, Leaving an ancient dome, and towers like

these Beggar'd and outraged !-Many hearts de

plored The fate of those old trees; and oft with

pain The traveller at this day will stop and gaze On wrongs, which Nature scarcely seems to

heed: For shelter'd places, bosoms, nooks, and bays, And the pure mountains, and the gentle

And the green silent pastures, yet remain.

Wordsworth.-Born 1770, Died 1850.

1206.-THE REAPER. Behold her, single in the field, Yon solitary Highland Lass! Reaping and singing by herself ; Stop here, or gently pass! Alone she cuts and binds the grain, And sings a melancholy strain; O listen ! for the vale profound Is overflowing with the sound. No nightingale did ever chaunt More welcome notes to weary bands Of travellers in some shady haunt, Among Arabian sands : No sweeter voice was ever heard In spring-time from the cuckoo-bird, Breaking the silence of the seas Among the farthest Hebrides. Will no one tell me what she sings? Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow For old, unhappy, far-off things, And battles long ago : Or is it some more humble lay, Familiar matter of to-day ? Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain, That has been, and may be again!


Sept. 3, 1802. Earth has not anything to show more fair : Dull would he be of soul who could pass by A sight so touching in its majesty : This City now doth like a garment wear The beauty of the morning : silent, bare, Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples

lie Open unto the fields, and to the sky, All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.

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