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A nutting-crook in hand ; and turned my | Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower, steps
Deformed and sullied, patiently gave up Tow'rd some far-distant wood, a Figure Their quiet being: and, unless I now quaint,
Confound my present feelings with the Tricked out in proud disguise of cast-off
Ere from the mutilated bower I turned 50 Which for that service had been husbanded, Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings, By exhortation of my frugal Dame – 11 I felt a sense of pain when I beheld Motley accoutrement, of power to smile The silent trees, and saw the intruding At thorns, and brakes, and brambles, -and,
Then, dearest Maiden, move along these More raggèd than need was ! O'er pathless shades rocks,
In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand Through beds of matted fern, and tangled Touch — for there is a spirit in the woods.
thickets, Forcing my way, I came to one dear nook Unvisited, where not a broken bough
“ STRANGE FITS OF PASSION Drooped with its withered leaves, ungra
HAVE I KNOWN" cious sign Of devastation; but the hazels rose
[Publ. 1800] Tall and erect, with tempting clusters hung, A virgin scene!- A little while I stood, STRANGE fits of passion have I known : Breathing with such suppression of the And I will dare to tell, heart
But in the Lover's ear alone,
I to her cottage bent my way,
With quickening pace my horse drew nigh The violets of five seasons re-appear
Those paths so dear to me. And fade, unseen by any human eye; Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on And now we reached the orchard-plot; For ever; and I saw the sparkling foam, And, as we climbed the hill, And — with my cheek on one of those green | The sinking moon to Lucy's cot stones
Came near, and nearer still. That, fleeced with moss, under the shady trees,
In one of those sweet dreams I slept, Lay round me, scattered like a flock of Kind Nature's gentlest boon! sheep
And all the while my eyes I kept I heard the murmur and the murmuring On the descending moon.
sound, In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to My horse moved on; hoof after hoof pay
He raised, and never stopped: Tribute to ease; and, of its joy secure, 40 When down behind the cottage roof, The heart luxuriates with indifferent things, At once, the bright moon dropped. Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones, And on the vacant air. Then up I rose, What fond and wayward thoughts will slide And dragged to earth both branch and Into a Lover's head! bough, with crash
“O mercy!” to myself I cried, And merciless ravage: and the shady nook !" If Lucy should be dead ! ”
At this the Father raised his hook,
When Ruth was left half desolate, Not blither is the mountain roe:
Her Father took another Mate; With many a wanton stroke
And Ruth, not seven years old, Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
A slighted child, at her own will That rises up like smoke.
Went wandering over dale and hill,
In thoughtless freedom, bold.
And she had made a pipe of straw, And many a hill did Lucy climb:
And music from that pipe could draw But never reached the town.
Like sounds of winds and floods;
Had built a bower upon the green, The wretched parents all that night
As if she from her birth had been
An infant of the woods.
Beneath her father's roof, alone
She seemed to live; her thoughts her own; At day-break on a hill they stood
Herself her own delight; That overlooked the moor;
Pleased with herself, nor sad, nor gay; And thence they saw the bridge of wood, And, passing thus the live-long day, A furlong from their door.
40 She grew to woman's height.