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Into the main Atlantic, that appeared This is the very spirit in which they deal To dwindle, and give up his majesty, With the whole compass of the universe: Usurped upon far as the sight could reach. They from their native selves can send Not so the ethereal vault; encroachment

abroad none

Kindred mutations; for themselves create Was there, nor loss; only the inferior stars A like existence; and, whene'er it dawns Had disappeared, or shed a fainter light Created for them, catch it, or are caught In the clear presence of the full-orbed Moon, l By its inevitable mastery, Who, from her sovereign elevation, gazed Like angels stopped upon the wing by sound Upon the billowy ocean, as it lay

Of harmony from Heaven's remotest All meek and silent, save that through a

spheres. rift

Them the enduring and the transient both Not distant from the shore whereon we Serve to exalt; they build up greatest stood,

things A fixed, abysmal, gloomy, breathing-place From least suggestions; ever on the watch, Mounted the roar of waters, torrents, Willing to work and to be wrought upon, streams

They need not extraordinary calls Innumerable, roaring with one voice! 60 To rouse them; in a world of life they Heard over earth and sea, and, in that hour,

live, For so it seemed, felt by the starry heavens. By sensible impressions not enthralled,

But by their quickening impulse made more When into air had partially dissolved

prompt That vision, given to spirits of the night To hold fit converse with the spiritual world, And three chance human wanderers, in calm And with the generations of mankind thought

Spread over time, past, present, and to Reflected, it appeared to me the type

come,

110 Of a majestic intellect, its acts

Age after age, till Time shall be no more. And its possessions, what it has and craves, Such minds are truly from the Deity, What in itself it is, and would become. For they are Powers; and hence the highThere I beheld the emblem of a mind 70

est bliss That feeds upon infinity, that broods

That flesh can know is theirs — the conOver the dark abyss, intent to hear

sciousness Its voices issuing forth to silent light Of Whom they are, habitually infused In one continuous stream; a mind sustained Through every image and through every By recognitions of transcendent power,

thought, In sense conducting to ideal form,

And all affections by communion raised Io soul of more than mortal privilege. From earth to heaven, from human to diOne function, above all, of such a mind

vine; Had Nature shadowed there, by putting Hence endless occupation for the Soul, forth,

Whether discursive or intuitive; Mid circumstances awful and sablime, 80 Hence cheerfulness for acts of daily life, That mutual domination which she loves Emotions which best foresight need not fear, To exert upon the face of outward things, Most worthy then of trust when most inSo moulded, joined, abstracted, so endowed

tense. With interchangeable supremacy,

Hence, amid ills that vex and wrongs that That men, least sensitive, see, hear, per

crush ceive,

Our hearts — if here the words of Holy And cannot choose but feel. The power, Writ which all

May with fit reverence be applied - that Acknowledge when thus moved, which Nature thus

Which passeth understanding, that repose To bodily sense exhibits, is the express In moral judgments which from this pure Resemblance of that glorious faculty

source That higher minds bear with them as their Must come, or will by man be sought in own.

vain.

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age

MICHAEL

UPON the forest-side in Grasmere Vale 40

There dwelt a Shepherd, Michael was his A PASTORAL POEM

name; [Publ. 1800]

An old man, stout of heart, and strong of

limb. IF from the public way you turn your steps His bodily frame had been from youth to Up the tumultuous brook of Greenhead Ghyll,

Of an unusual strength: his mind was keen, You will suppose that with an upright path Intense, and frugal, apt for all affairs, Your feet must struggle; in such bold as And in his shepherd's calling he was prompt cent

And watchful more than ordinary men. The pastoral mountains front you, face to | Hence had he learned the meaning of all face.

winds, But, courage ! for around that boisterous Of blasts of every tone; and, oftentimes, brook

When others heeded not, He heard the The mountains have all opened out them

South

50 selves,

Make subterraneous music, like the noise And made a hidden valley of their own. Of bagpipers on distant Highland bills. No habitation can be seen; but they

The Shepherd, at such warning, of his flock Who journey thither find themselves alone Bethought him, and he to himself would say, With a few sheep, with rocks and stones, “ The winds are now devising work for and kites

me!” That overhead are sailing in the sky. And, truly, at all times, the storm, that It is in truth an utter solitude;

drives Nor should I have made mention of this The traveller to a shelter, summoned him Dell

Up to the mountains: he had been alone But for one object which you might pass | Amid the heart of many thousand mists, by,

That came to him, and left him, on the Might see and notice not. Beside the brook

heights. Appears a straggling heap of unhewn So lived he till his eightieth year was past. stones!

And grossly that man errs, who should supAnd to that simple object appertains A story – unenriched with strange events, | That the green valleys, and the streams and Yet not unfit, I deem, for the fireside, 20

rocks, Or for the summer shade. It was the first Were things indifferent to the Shepherd's Of those domestic tales that spake to me

thoughts. Of shepherds, dwellers in the valleys, men Fields, where with cheerful spirits he had Whom I already loved; not verily

breathed For their own sakes, but for the fields and The common air; hills, which with vigorous

11

pose

bills

step

Where was their occupation and abode.
And hence this Tale, while I was yet a Boy
Careless of books, yet having felt the power
Of Nature, by the gentle agency
Of natural objects, led me on to feel 30
For passions that were not my own, and

think
(At random and imperfectly indeed)
On man, the heart of man, and human life.
Therefore, although it be a history
Homely and rude, I will relate the same
For the delight of a few natural hearts;
And, with yet fonder feeling, for the sake
Of youthful Poets, who among these hills
Will be my second self when I am gone.

He had so often climbed; which had im

pressed
So many incidents upon his mind 68
Of hardship, skill or courage, joy or fear;
Which, like a book, preserved the memory
Of the dumb animals, whom he had saved,
Had fed or sheltered, linking to such acts
The certainty of honourable gain;
Those fields, those hills – what could they

less ? had laid
Strong hold on his affections, were to him
A pleasurable feeling of blind love,
The pleasure which there is in life itself.
His days had not been passed in single-

ness.

sate,

9

His Helpmate was a comely matron, old — Service beyond all others of its kind. Though younger than himself full twenty Early at evening did it burn — and late, years.

80 Surviving comrade of uncounted hours, She was a woman of a stirring life,

Which, going by from year to year, had Whose heart was in her house: two wheels

found, she had

And left, the couple neither gay perhaps Of antique form ; this large, for spinning Nor cheerful, yet with objects and with wool;

hopes,

121 That small, for flax; and if one wheel had | Living a life of eager industry. rest

And now, when Luke had reached his It was because the other was at work.

eighteenth year, The Pair had but one inmate in their house, There by the light of this old lamp they An only Child, who had been born to them When Michael, telling o'er his years, began Father and Son, while far into the night To deem that he was old, - in shepherd's | The Housewife plied her own peculiar phrase,

work, With one foot in the grave. This only Son, Making the cottage through the silent With two brave sheep-dogs tried in many

hours a storm,

Murmur as with the sound of summer flies. The one of an inestimable worth,

This light was famous in its neighbourhood, Made all their household. I may truly say, And was a public symbol of the life 130 That they were as a proverb in the vale That thrifty Pair had lived. For, as it For endless industry. When day was gone,

chanced, And from their occupations out of doors Their cottage on a plot of rising ground The Son and Father were come home, even Stood single, with large prospect, north and then,

south, Their labour did not cease; unless when High into Easedale, up to Dunmail-Raise, all

And westward to the village near the lake; Turned to the cleanly supper-board, and And from this constant light, so regular there,

And so far seen, the House itself, by all Each with a mess of pottage and skimmed Who dwelt within the limits of the vale,

Both old and young, was named THE Sat round the basket piled with oaten EVENING STAR. cakes,

Thus living on through such a length of And their plain home-made cheese. Yet years,

140 when the meal

The Shepherd, if he loved himself, must Was ended, Luke (for so the Son was

needs named)

Have loved his Helpmate; but to Michael's And his old Father both betook themselves

heart To such convenient work as might employ This son of his old age was yet more dearTheir hands by the fireside ; perhaps to Less from instinctive tenderness, the same card

Fond spirit that blindly works in the blood Wool for the Housewife's spindle, or re- || of all — pair

Than that a child, more than all other gifts Some injury done to sickle, flail, or scythe, That earth can offer to declining man, Or other implement of house or field. Brings hope with it, and forward-looking Down from the ceiling, by the chimney's

thoughts,

110 And stirrings of inquietude, when they That in our ancient uncouth country style By tendency of nature needs must fail. 150 With huge and black projection over- Exceeding was the love he bare to him, browed

His heart and his heart's joy! For oftenLarge space beneath, as duly as the light

times Of day grew dim the Housewife hung a Old Michael, while he was a babe in arms, lamp;

Had done him female service, not alone An aged utensil, which had performed | For pastime and delight, as is the use

milk,

100

edge,

210

Of fathers, but with patient mind enforced He with his Father daily went, and they To acts of tenderness; and he had rocked | Were as companions, why should I relate His cradle, as with a woman's gentle hand. That objects which the Shepherd loved And, in a later time, ere yet the Boy

before Had put on boy's attire, did Michael love, Were dearer now? that from the Boy there Albeit of a stern unbending mind, 161

came

200 To have the Young-one iu his sight, when he Feelings and emanations — things which Wrought in the field, or on his shepherd's

were stool

Light to the sun and music to the wind; Sate with a fettered sheep before him And that the old Man's heart seemed born stretched

again ? Under the large old oak, that near his door Thus in his Father's sight the Boy grew Stood single, and, from matchless depth of

up! shade,

And now, when he had reached his eightChosen for the Shearer's covert from the

eenth year, sun,

He was his comfort and his daily hope. Thence in our rustic dialect was called

While in this sort the simple household The CLIPPING TREE, a name which yet it

lived bears.

From day to day, to Michael's ear there There, while they two were sitting in the

came shade,

170

Distressful tidings. Long before the time With others round them, earnest all and Of which I speak, the Shepherd had been blithe,

bound Would Michael exercise his heart with looks In surety for his brother's son, a man Of fond correction and reproof bestowed Of an industrious life, and ample means; Upon the Child, if he disturbed the sheep But unforeseen misfortunes suddenly By catching at their legs, or with his shouts | Had prest upon him; and old Michael now Scared them, while they lay still beneath Was summoned to discharge the forfeiture, the shears.

A grievous penalty, but little less And when by Heaven's good grace the Than half his substance. This unlooked-for boy grew up

claim, A healthy Lad, and carried in his cheek At the first hearing, for a moment took Two steady roses that were five years old; More hope out of his life than he supposed Then Michael from a winter coppice cut 180 That any old man ever could have lost. 220 With his own hand a sapling, which he | As soon as he had armed himself with hooped

strength With iron, making it throughout in all To look his trouble in the face, it seemed Due requisites a perfect shepherd's staff, The Shepherd's sole resource to sell at once And gave it to the Boy; wherewith equipt A portion of his patrimonial fields. He as a watchman oftentimes was placed Such was his first resolve; he thought again, At gate or gap, to stem or turn the flock; And his heart failed him. “Isabel,” said he, And, to his office prematurely called, Two evenings after he had heard the news, There stood the urchin, as you will divive, “I have been toiling more than seventy Something between a hindrance and a help;

years, And for this cause not always, I believe, 190 And in the open sunshine of God's love Receiving from his Father hire of praise; Have we all lived; yet if these fields of Though nought was left undone which

ours

230 staff, or voice,

Should pass into a stranger's hand, I think Or looks, or threatening gestures, could That I could not lie quiet in my grave, perform.

Our lot is a hard lot; the sun himself But soon as Luke, full ten years old, Has scarcely been more diligent than I; could stand

And I have lived to be a fool at last Against the mountain blasts; and to the To my own family. An evil man heights,

That was, and made an evil choice, if he Not fearing toil, nor length of weary ways, I Were false to us; and if he were not false,

this

long

There are ten thousand to whom loss like Were younger;- but this hope is a good

239

hope. Had been no sorrow. I forgive him;- but - Make ready Luke's best garments, of the 'T were better to be dumb than to talk thus.

best When I began, my purpose was to speak Buy for him more, and let us send him Of remedies and of a cheerful bope.

forth

280 Our Luke shall leave us, Isabel; the land To-morrow, or the next day, or to-night: Shall not go from us, and it shall be free; - If he could go, the Boy should go toHe shall possess it, free as is the wind

night." That passes over it. We have, thou know'st, | Here Michael ceased, and to the fields Another kinsman — he will be our friend

went forth In this distress. He is a prosperous man, With a light heart. The Housewife for five Thriving in trade — and Luke to him shall

days go,

250 Was restless morn and night, and all day And with his kinsman's help and his own thrift

Wrought on with ber best fingers to preHe quickly will repair this loss, and then

pare He may return to us. If here he stay, Things needful for the journey of her son. What can be done? Where every one is But Isabel was glad when Sunday came poor,

To stop her in her work: for, when she lay What can be gained ?"

By Michael's side, she through the last two At this the old Man paused,

nights

290 And Isabel sat silent, for her mind

Heard him, how he was troubled in his Was busy, looking back into past times.

sleep: There's Richard Bateman, thought she to And when they rose at morning she could herself,

see He was a parish-boy - at the church-door | That all his hopes were gone. That day They made a gathering for him, shillings,

at noon pence

- 260 She said to Luke, while they two by themAnd halfpennies, wherewith the neighbours selves bought

Were sitting at the door, “ Thou must not A basket, which they filled with pedlar's

go: wares;

We have no other Child but thee to lose – And, with this basket on his arm, the lad | None to remember - do not go away, Went up to London, found a master there, For if thou leave thy Father he will die.” Who, out of many, chose the trusty boy The Youth made answer with a jocund To go and overlook his merchandise

voice; Beyond the seas; where he grew wondrous And Isabel, when she had told her fears, rich,

Recovered heart. That evening her best And left estates and monies to the poor.

fare

301 And, at his birth-place, built a chapel, Did she bring forth, and all together sat floored

Like happy people round a Christmas fire. With marble which he sent from foreign With daylight Isabel resumed her work; lands.

270

| And all the ensuing week the house apThese thoughts, and many others of like

peared sort,

As cheerful as a grove in Spring: at length Passed quickly through the mind of Isabel, The expected letter from their kinsman And her face brightened. The old Man was

came,

With kind assurances that he would do And thus resumed :-“Well, Isabel ! this His utmost for the welfare of the Bov; scheme

To which, requests were added, that forthThese two days, has been meat and drink to

with me.

He might be sent to him. Ten times or Far more than we have lost is left us yet. - We have enough – I wish indeed that I | The letter was read over; Isabel

glad,

310

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