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Sets me more distant from a prosperous course.
Yet oh the thought that thou art safe, and he!
That thought is joy, arrive what may to me.
My boast is not, that I deduce my birth
From loins enthroned, and rulers of the earth;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise— 110
The son of parents passed into the skies!
And now, farewell. Time unrevoked has run
His wonted course, yet what I wished is done.
By contemplation's help, not sought in vain,
1 seem to have lived my childhood o 'er again;
To have renewed the joys that once were mine,
Without the sin of violating thine:
And, while the wings of Fancy still are free
And I can view this mimic show of thee,
Time has but half succeeded in his theft— 120
Thyself removed, thy power to soothe me left.


Mary! I want a lyre with other strings,
Such aid from heaven as some have feigned
they drew,

An eloquence scarce given to mortals, new
And undebased by praise of meaner things,
That, ere through age or woe I shed my wings,
1 may record thy worth with honour due,
In verse as musical as thou art true,
And that immortalizes whom it sings.
But thou hast little need. There is a book
By seraphs writ with beams of heavenly light,
On which the eyes of God not rarely look,
A chronicle of actions just and bright;
There all thy deeds, my faithful Mary, shine,
And, since thou own'st that praise, I spare thee


Obscurest night involved the sky,

The Atlantic billows roared, When such a destined wretch as I,

Washed headlong from on board, Of friends, of hope, of all bereft, His floating home forever left.


No braver chief could Albion boast

Than he with whom he went.
Nor ever ship left Albion's coast

With warmer wishes sent.
He loved them both, but both in vain,
Nor him beheld, nor her again.

• The friend and constant companion of Cowper

(or thirty-four years, t The last poem that Cowper wrote: founded on

an incident in Admiral Anson's Yoyayefi. It

portrays Imaginatively his own melancholy



Not long beneath the whelming brine,

Expert to swim, he lay;
Nor soon he felt his strength decline,

Or courage die away;
But waged with death a lasting strife,
Supported by despair of life.


He shouted; nor his friends had failed

To check the vessel's course,
But so the furious blast prevailed

That, pitiless perforce,
They left their outcast mate behind,
And scudded still before the wind.


Some succour yet they could afford;

And such as storms allow,
The cask, the coop, the floated cord,

Delayed not to bestow;
But he, they knew, nor ship nor shore,
Whate'er they gave, should visit more.


Nor, cruel as it seemed, could he

Their haste himself condemn,
Aware that flight, in such a sea,

Alone could rescue them;
Yet bitter felt it still to die
Deserted, and his friends so nigh.


He long survives, who lives an hour

In ocean, self-upheld:
And so long he, with unspent power,

His destiny repelled;
And ever, as the minutes flew.
Entreated help, or cried "Adieu!"


At length, his transient respite past,

His comrades, who before
Had heard his voice in every blast,

Could catch the sound no more;
For then, by toil subdued, he drank
The stifling wave, and then he sank.


No poet wept him; but the page

Of narrative sincere,
That tells his name, his worth, his age,

Is wet with Anson's tear:
And tears by bards or heroes shed
Alike immortalise the dead.


I therefore purpose not, or dream,

Descanting on his fate,
To give the melancholy theme

A more enduring date:
But misery still delights to truce
Its semblance in another's case.


Xo voice divine the storm allayed,

No light propitious shone, When, snatched from all effectual aid,

We perished, each alone; But 1 beneath a -rougher sea, And whelmed in deeper gulfs than he.

GEORGE CRABBE (1754-1832)

Letter I

'' Describe the Borough.''—Though our idle tribe

May love description, can we so describe, That you shall fairly streets and buildings trace,

And all that gives distinction to a place? This cannot be; yet, moved by your request, A part 1 paint—let fancy form the rest.

Cities and towns, the various haunts of men, Require the pencil; they defy the pen. Could he, who sang so well the Grecian fleet,1 So well have sung of alley, lane, or street! 10 Can measured lines these various buildings show, The Town-Hall Turning, or the Prospect Rowt Can I the seats of wealth and want explore, And lengthen out my lays from door to door?

Then, let thy fancy aid me.—I repair From this tall mansion of our last-year's mayor, Till we the outskirts of the Borough reach, And these half-buried buildings next the beach; Where hang at open doors the net and cork, While squalid sea-dames mend the meshy work; Till comes the hour, when, fishing through the tide, 21 The weary husband throws his freight aside— A living mass, which now demands the wife, The alternate labours of their humble life.

1 Homer. Iliad II.

* This poem was Inscribed to the Duke of Rutland, to whom Crabbe had been chaplain, and takes the form of Letters from a resident of a sea-port (Crabbe was a native of Aldeburgh, Suffolk) to the owner of an Inland country-seat. The date of the poem is 1810. Crabbe's reputation, however, was established by The Village in 1783, and his place is with those later 18th century poets wbo clung to the 18th century forms, though reacting against the artificiality and frigid conventionalism that had so long reigned. In homeliness of themes and naked realism of treatment, the poet of The Village and The Borough stands quite alone. See Eng. Lit., p. 226.

Can scenes like these withdraw thee from thy wood,

Thy upland forest or thy valley's flood?
Seek, then, thy garden's shrubby bound, and

As it steals by, upon the bordering brook:
That winding streamlet, limpid, lingering, slow,
Where the reeds whisper when the zephyrs

blow; 30
Where in the midst, upon her throne of green,
Sits the large lily as the water's queen;
And makes the current, forced awhile to stay,
Murmur and bubble as it shoots away;
Draw then the strongest contrast to that stream,
And our broad river will before thee seem.
With ceaseless motion comes and goes the


Flowing, it fills the channel vast and wide; Then back to sea, with strong majestic sweep It rolls, in ebb yet terrible and deep; <0 Here sampire-banks and salt-wort bound the flood;

There stakes and sea-weeds, withering on the mud;

And, higher up, a ridge of all things base, Which some strong tide has rolled upon the place.

Thy gentle river boasts its pigmy boat, Urged on by pains, half grounded, half afloat; While at her stern an angler takes his stand, And marks the fish he purposes to land, From that clear space, where, in the cheerful ray

Of the warm sun, the scaly people play. SO

Far other craft our prouder river shows, Hoys, pinks and sloops; brigs, brigantines and snows:

Nor angler we on our wide stream descry,
But one poor dredger where his oysters lie:
He, cold and wet, and driving with the tide,
Beats his weak arms against his tarry side,
Then drains the remnant of diluted gin,
To aid the warmth that languishes within;
Renewing oft his poor attempts to beat
His tingling fingers into gathering heat. 60
He shall again be seen when evening comes,
And social parties crowd their favourite rooms;
Where on the table pipes and papers lie,
The steaming bowl or foaming tankard by.
'Tis then, with all these comforts spread

They hear the painful dredger's welcome sound;
And few themselves the savoury boon deny,
The food that feeds, the living luxury.

Yon is our quay I those smaller hoys from town, S9 Its various wares, for country-use, bring down;

Those ladeu waggons, in return, impart
The country-produce to the city mart;
Hark to the clamour in that miry road,
Bounded and narrowed by yon vessel's load;
The lumbering wealth she empties round the

Package, and parcel, hogshead, chest, and ease;
While the loud seaman and the angry hind.
Mingling in business, bellow to the wind.

Near these a crew amphibious, in the docks, Rear, for the sea, those castles on the stocks: See the long keel, which soon the waves must

hide; 81 See the strong ribs which form the roomy side; Bolts yielding slowly to the sturdiest stroke, And planks which curve and crackle in the


Around the whole rise cloudy wreaths, and far Bear the warm pungence of o'er-boiling tar.

Dabbling on shore half-naked sea-boys crowd, Swim round a ship, or swing upon the shroud; Or, in a boat purloined, with paddles play, And grow familiar with the watery way. 30 Young though they be, they feel whose sons they are;

They know what British seamen do and dare; Proud of that fame, they raise and they enjoy The rustic wonder of the village boy.

Turn to the watery world!—but who to thee (A wonder yet unviewed) shall paint—the sea! Various and vast, sublime in all its forms, When lulled by zephyrs, or when roused by storms;

Its colours changing, when from clouds and sun
Shades after shades upon the surface run;
Embrowned and horrid^ now, and now serene,
In limpid blue, and evanescent green; 170
And oft the foggy banks on ocean lie,
Lift the fair sail, and cheat the experienced

Be it the summer-noon: a sandy space
The ebbing tide has left upon its place;
Then just the hot and stony beach above.
Light twinkling streams in bright confusion

(For heated thus, the warmer air ascends,
And with the cooler in its fall contends);
Then the broad bosom of the ocean keeps
An equal motion, swelling as it sleeps, ISO
Then slowly sinking; curling to the strand,
Faint, lazy waves o'ercreop the ridgy sand.
Or tap the tarry boat with gentle blow,
And back return in silence, smooth and slow.
Ships in the calm seem anchored; for they glide
On the still sea, urged solely by the tide;
Art thou not present, this calm scene before,
2 rough

Where all beside is pebbly length of shore, And far as eye can reach, it can discern no more}

Yet sometimes comes a ruffling cloud, to make 190 The quiet surface it the ocean shake; As an awakened giant with a frown Might show his wrath, and then to sleep sink down.

View now the winter-storm, above, one cloud, Black and unbroken, all the skies o'ershroud. The unwieldy porpoise through the day before Had rolled in view of boding men on shore; And sometimes hid, and sometimes showed, his form,

Dark as the cloud, and furious as the storm. All where the eye delights, yet dreads, to

roam, 200 The breaking billows cast the flying foam Upon the billows rising—all the deep Is restless change; the waves so swelled and


Breaking and sinking, and the sunken swells,
Nor one, one moment, in its station dwells.
But, nearer land, you may the billows trace,
As if contending in their watery chase;
May watch the mightiest till the shoal they

Then break and hurry to their utmost stretch;
Curled as they come, they strike with furious

force, 210 And then, re-flowing, take their grating course, Raking the rounded flints, which ages past Rolled by their rage, and shall to ages last.

Fa/ off, the petrel in the troubled way Swims with her brood, or flutters in the spray; She rises often, often drops again, And sports at ease on the tempestuous main.

High o 'er the restless deep, above the reach Of gunner's hope, vast flights of wild-ducks


Far as the eye can glance on- either side, 220
In a broad space and level line they glide;
All in their wedge-like figures from the north,
Day after day, flight after flight, go forth.
In-shorc their passage tribes of sea-gull«

And drop for prey within the sweeping surge;
Oft in the rough opposing blast they fly
Far back, then turn, and all their force apply.
While to the storm they give their weak com-
plaining cry;
Or dap the sleek white pinion to the breast.
And in the restless ncean dip for rest. 230

Darkness begins to reign; the louder wind
Appals the'weak and awes the firmer mind;
But frights not him, whom evening and thfi

In part conceal—yon prowler on his w:iy. Lo! he has something seen; he runs apace, As if he feared companion in the chase; lie sees his prize, and now he turns again, Slowly and sorrowing—"Was your search in vainf"

(irirffly he answers, " 'Tis a sorry sight! A seaman's body; there'll be more to-night!" Hark to those sounds! they're from distress

at sea; 241 How quick they come! What terrors may there


Yes, 'tis a driven vessel: I discern
Lights, signs of terror, gleaming from the

Others behold them too, and from the town
In various parties seamen hurry down;
Their wives pursue, and damsels urged by

Lest men so dear be into danger led;
Their head the gown has hooded, and their call
I n this sad night is piercing like the squall;
They feel their kinds of power, and when they

meet, 261 Chide, fondle, weep, dare, threaten, or entreat.

Sec one poor girl, all terror and alarm, Has fondly seized upon her lover's arm; "Thou shalt not venture;" and he answers,


I will not"—still she cries, "Thou shalt not go."

No need of this; not here the stoutest boat Can through such breakers, o'er such billows float;

Yet may they view these lights upon the beach, Which yield them hope, whom help can never reach, 280 From parted clouds the moon her radiance throws

On the wild waves, and all the danger shown;
But shows them beaming in her shining vest,
Terrific splendour! gloom in glory dressed!
This for a moment, and then clouds again
Hide every beam, and fear and darkness reign.
But hear we now those sounds? Do lights

I see them not! the storm alone I hear:
And lo! the sailors homeward take their way;
Man must endure—let us submit and pray. 270
Such are our winter-views; but night comeH

Now business sleeps, and daily cares are gone:
Now parties form, and some their friends assist
To waste the idle hours at sober whist;
The tavern's pleasure or the concert's charm
Unnumbered moments of their sting disarm;
Play-bills and open doors a crowd invite,

To pass oft one dread portion of the night;

And show and song and luxury combined

Lift off from man this burthen of mankind. 280

Others adventurous walk abroad and meet Returning parties pacing through the street; When various voices, in the dying day, Hum in our walks, and greet us in our way; When tavern-lights flit on from room to room, And guide the tippling sailor, staggering home: There as we pass, the jingling bells betray How business rises with the closing day: Now walking silent, by the river's side, The ear perceives the rippling of the tide; 290 Or measured cadence of the lads who tow Some entered hoy, to fix her in her row; Or hollow sound, which from the parish-bell To some departed spirit bids farewell!

Thus shall you something of our Bokou<ih know.

Far as a verse, with Fancy's aid, can show;
Of sea or river, of a quay or street,
The best description must be incomplete;
But when a happier theme succeeds, and when
Men are our subjects and the deeds of men; 300
Then may we find the Muse in happier style,
And we may sometimes sigh and sometimes

WILLIAM BLAKE (1757-1827)


How sweet I roamed from field to field,
And tasted all the summer's pride,
Till I the Prince of Love beheld,
Who in the sunny beams did glide.

He showed me lilies for my hair,
And blushing roses for my brow;
Anil led me through his gardens fair
Where all his golden pleasures grow.


With sweet May-dews my wings were wet,
And Phoebus fired my vocal rage;
He caught me in his silken net,
And shut me in his golden cage.

He loves to sit and hear me sing,
Then, laughing, sports and plays with me;
Then stretches out my golden wing,
And mocks my loss of liberty.


Whether on Ida'si shady brow,
Or in the chambers of the East,
The chambers of the sun, that now
From ancient melody have ceased;


Whether in Heaven ye wander fair,
Or the green corners of the earth,
Or the blue regions of the air
Where the melodious winds have birth;


Whether on crystal rocks ye rove,
Beneath the bosom of the sea
Wandering in many a coral grove,
Fair Nine, forsaking Poetry!


How have you left the ancient love
That bards of old enjoyed in you!
The languid strings do scarcely move.
The sound is forced, the notes are few.



Piping down the valleys wild,
Piping songs of pleasant glee,
On a cloud I saw a child,
And lie, laughing, said to me:


"Pipe a song about a Lamb!"
So I piped with merry cheer.
"Piper, pipe that song again:"
So I piped: he wept to hear.


"Drop thy pipe, thy happy pipe;
Sing thy songs of happy cheer:"
So I sang the same again,
While he wept with joy to hear.


"Piper, sit thee down and write
In a lxiok, that all may read."
So he vanished from my sight;
And T plucked a hollow reed,

lA mountniit of the Tronrt; also one In Crete. Helicon. In TVcotin. is more properly the mountain of the Muses.


And I made a rural pen,
And I stained the water clear,
And I wrote my happy songs
Every child may joy to hear.


Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry!


In what distant deeps or skies
Burnt the fire of thine eyes?
On what wings dare he aspire?
What the hand dare seize the fire!


And what shoulder, and what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
When thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand forged thy dread feet?


What the hammer? What the chain?
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? What dread grasp
Dared its deadly terrors clasp?


When the stars threw down their spears,
And watered heaven with their tears,
Did he smile his work to see?
Did he who made the I .a nib make thee?


Tiger, Tiger, burning bright
In the forest of the night,
What immortal hand or eye
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?


Ah, Sunflower! weary of time,
Who conntest the steps of the Sun;
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveller's journey is done;


Where the Youth, pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin, shrouded in snow,
Arise from their graves, and aspire
Where my Sunflower wishes to go!

• The Text Is that of Malkln, 1806.

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