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fain hope, however, not more flagrantly or in a My hopes no more must change their name, worse way than most of my tuneful brethren.
I long for a repose that ever is the same. 40 But these last words are in a wrong strain. We should be rigorous to ourselves and forbearing, if not indulgent, to others, and, if we make
Stern Lawgiver ! yet thon dost wear comparisons at all, it ought to be with those The Godhead's most benignant grace; who have morally excelled us.
Nor know we anything so fair “Jam non consilio bonus, sed more ed per
As is the smile upon thy face: ductus, ut non tantum rectè facere possim, sed nisi rectè facere non possim."
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds
And fragrance in thy footing treads; Stern Daughter of the Voice of God! Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong; O Duty! if that name thou love
And the most ancient heavens, through Who art a light to guide, a rod
Thee, are fresh and strong,
To humbler functions, awful Power!
So When empty terrors overawe;
I call thee: I myself commend From vain temptations dost set free;
Unto thy guidance from this hour; And calm'st the weary strife of frail bu Oh, let my weakness have an end! manity!
Give unto me, made lowly wise,
The spirit of self-sacrifice; There are who ask not if thine eye
The confidence of reason give;
me live !
The young man whose death gave occasion to
this poem was named Charles Gough, and had Serene will be our days and bright,
come early in the spring to Paterdale for the And happy will our nature be,
sake of angling. While attempting to cross
over Helvellyn to Grasmere he slipped from a When love is an unerring light,
steep part of the rock where the ice was not And joy its own security.
20 thawed, and perished. His body was discovAnd they a blissful course may hold
ered as is told in this poem. Walter Scott heard Even now, who, not unwisely bold,
of the accident, and both he and I, without Live in the spirit of this creed;
either of us knowing that the other had taken
up the subject, each wrote a poem in admiration Yet seek thy firm support, according to of the dog's fidelity. His contains a most beautheir need.
" How long didst thou think that his silence was slumI, loving freedom, and untried;
ber, No sport of every random gust,
When the wind waved his garment how oft didst thou
start." Yet being to myself a guide, Too blindly have reposed my trust:
A BARKING sound the Shepherd hears, And oft, when in my heart was heard A cry as of a dog or fox; Thy timely mandate, I deferred
30 He halts - and searches with his eyes The task, in smoother walks to stray; Among the scattered rocks: But thee I now would serve more strictly, And now at distance can discern if I may.
A stirring in a brake of fern;
And instantly a dog is seen,
Glancing through that covert green.
The Dog is not of mountain breed;
Its motions, too, are wild and shy;
10 Me this unchartered freedom tires;
With something, as the Shepherd thinks, I feel the weight of chance-desires:
Unusual in its cry:
Nor is there any one in sight
The Dog had watched about the spot, 60 All round, in hollow or on height;
Or by his master's side: Nor shout, nor whistle strikes his ear; How nourished here through such long time What is the creature doing here?
He knows, who gave that love sublime;
And gave that strength of feeling, great It was a cove, a huge recess,
Above all human estimate!
CHARACTER OF THE HAPPY Far in the bosom of Helvellyn,
[Publ. 1807) From trace of human foot or hand.
Who is the happy Warrior? Who is he There sometimes doth a leaping fish
That every man in arms should wish to be ? Send through the tarn a lonely cheer;
- It is the generous Spirit, who, when
brought The crags repeat the raven's croak,
Among the tasks of real life, hath wrought In symphony austere; Thither the rainbow comes -- the cloud
Upon the plan that pleased his boyish
thought: And mists that spread the flying shroud; 30
| Whose high endeavours are an inward light And sunbeams; and the sounding blast, That, if it could, would hurry past;
That makes the path before him always But that enormous barrier holds it fast.
bright: Who, with a natural instinct to discern
What knowledge can perform, is diligent Not free from boding thoughts, a while
to learn; The Shepherd stood; then makes his way
Abides by this resolve, and stops not there, O'er rocks and stones, following the Dog
But makes his moral being his prime care; As quickly as he may;
Who, doomed to go in company with Pain, Nor far had gone before he found
And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable train! A human skeleton on the ground;
Turns his necessity to glorious gain; The appalled Discoverer with a sigh 40
| In face of these doth exercise a power Looks round, to learn the history.
Which is our human nature's highest dower;
Controls them and subdues, transmutes, From those abrupt and perilous rocks
bereaves The Man had fallen, that place of fear!
Of their bad influence, and their good reAt length upon the Shepherd's mind
ceives: It breaks, and all is clear:
By objects, which might force the soul to He instantly recalled the name,
19 And who he was, and whence he came;
Her feeling, rendered more compassionate; Remembered, too, the very day
Is placable — because occasions rise On which the Traveller passed this way.
So often that demand such sacrifice;
More skilful in self-knowledge, even more But hear a wonder, for whose sake
pure, This lamentable tale I tell !
As tempted more; more able to endure, A lasting monument of words
As more exposed to suffering and distress; This wonder merits well.
Thence, also, more alive to tenderness. The Dog which still was hovering nigh,
- 'Tis he whose law is reason; who deRepeating the same timid cry,
pends This Dog had been through three months' Upon that law as on the best of friends; space
Whence, in a state where men are tempted A dweller in that savage place.
To evil for a guard against worse ill, 30 Yes, proof was plain that, since the day And what in quality or act is best When this ill-fated Traveller died,
Doth seldom on a right foundation rest,
He labours good on good to fix, and owes Who, whether praise of him must walk the To virtue every triumph that he knows:
earth - Who, if he rise to station of command, | For ever, and to noble deeds give birth, Rises by open means; and there will stand Or he must fall, to sleep without his fame, On honourable terms, or else retire,
And leave a dead unprofitable name - 80 And in himself possess his own desire; Finds comfort in himself and in his cause; Who comprehends bis trust, and to the And, while the mortal mist is gathering, same
draws Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim; 40 His breath in confidence of Heaven's apAnd therefore does not stoop, nor lie in wait
plause: For wealth, or honours, or for worldly state; | This is the happy Warrior; this is He Whom they must follow; on whose head That every Man in arms should wish to be.
must fall, Like showers of manna, if they come at all: Whose powers shed round him in the com “NUNS FRET NOT AT THEIR mon strife,
CONVENT'S NARROW ROOM” Or mild concerns of ordinary life, A constant influence, a peculiar grace;
[Publ. 1807) But who, if he be called upon to face Some awful moment to which Heaven has Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow joined
room; Great issues, good or bad for human kind, And hermits are contented with their cells; Is happy as a Lover; and attired
And students with their pensive citadels; With sudden brightness, like a man in Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom, spired;
Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for And, through the heat of conflict, keeps the bloom, law
High as the highest peak of Furness-fells, In calmness made, and sees what he fore Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells: saw;
In truth the prison, into which we doom Or if an unexpected call succeed,
| Ourselves, no prison is: and hence for me, Come when it will, is equal to the need: In sundry moods, 't was pastime to be bound - He who, though thus endued as with a Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground; sense
Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs And faculty for storm and turbulence,
must be Is yet a Soul whose master-bias leans
Who have felt the weight of too much To homefelt pleasures and to gentle scenes;
liberty, Sweet images! which, wheresoe'er he be, 61 Should find brief solace there, as I have Are at his heart; and such fidelity
found. It is his darling passion to approve; More brave for this, that he hath much to
COMPOSED BY THE SIDE OF love:'T is, finally, the Man, who, lifted high,
GRASMERE LAKE Conspicuous object in a Nation's eye,
[Publ. 1820) Or left unthought-of in obscurity, — Who, with a toward or untoward lot, CLOUDS, lingering yet, extend in solid bars Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not Through the grey west; and lo! these Plays, in the many games of life, that one
waters, steeled Where what he most doth value must be By breezeless air to smoothest polish, yield won:
71 A vivid repetition of the stars; Whom neither shape of danger can dismay, Jove, Venus, and the ruddy crest of Mars Nor thought of tender happiness betray; Amid his fellows beauteously revealed Who, not content that former worth stand At bappy distance from earth's groaning fast,
field, Looks forward, persevering to the last, Where ruthless mortals wage incessant From well to better, daily self-surpast:
Is it a mirror ? — or the nether Sphere Crossing the waters) doubt, and something Opening to view the abyss in which she feeds
dark, Her own calm fires ? — But list! a voice is Of the old Sea some reverential fear, near;
Is with me at thy farewell, joyous Bark! Great Pan himself low-whispering through
the reeds, “ Be thankful, thou; for, if unholy deeds
ODE Ravage the world, tranquillity is here!”.
INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY
FROM RECOLLECTIONS OF “THE WORLD IS TOO MUCH
EARLY CHILDHOOD WITH US; LATE AND SOON” (Publ. 1807]
This was composed during my residence at The world is too much with us; late and
Town-end, Grasmere. Two years at least
passed between the writing of the four first Getting and spending, we lay waste our stanzas and the remaining part. To the attenpowers:
tive and competent reader the whole suffiLittle we see in Nature that is ours;
ciently explains itself; but there may be no
harm in adverting here to particular feelings or We have given our hearts away, a sordid
experiences of my own mind on which the strucboon!
ture of the poem partly rests. Nothing was The Sea that bares her bosom to the moon; | more difficult for me in childhood than to adThe winds that will be howling at all hours,
mit the notion of death as a state applicable to And are up-gathered now like sleeping
my own being. I have said elsewhere flowers;
"A simple child,
That lightly draws its breath, For this, for everything, we are out of
And feels its life in every limb,
What should it know of death!" -
But it was not so much from feelings of ani
mal vivacity that my difficulty came as from So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
a sense of the indomitableness of the Spirit Have glimpses that would make me less within me. I used to brood over the stories of forlorn;
Enoch and Elijah, and almost to persuade myHave sight of Proteus rising from the sea; self that, whatever might become of others, I Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
should be translated, in something of the same way, to heaven. With a feeling congenial to this, I was often unable to think of external
things as having external existence, and I com“WHERE LIES THE LAND TO muned with all that I saw as something not WHICH YON SHIP MUST GO?”.
apart from, but inherent in, my own immate
rial nature. Many times while going to school (Publ. 1807]
have I grasped at a wall or tree to recall myself
from this abyss of idealism to the reality. At WHERE lies the Land to which yon Ship that time I was afraid of such processes. In must go ?
later periods of life I have deplored, as we have Fresh as a lark monnting at break of day,
all reason to do, a subjugation of an opposite
character, and have rejoiced over the rememFestively she puts forth in trim array;
brances, as is expressed in the lines — Is she for tropic suns, or polar snow ?
“ Obstinate questionings What boots the inquiry? – Neither friend
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;" etc.
| To that dream-like vividness and splendour
| which invest objects of sight in childhood, Ever before her, and a wind to blow.
every one, I believe, if he would look back, Yet still I ask, what baven is her mark? could bear testimony, and I need not dwell And, almost as it was when ships were upon it here: but having in the poem regarded
it as presumptive evidence of a prior state of rare,
existence, I think it right to protest against a (From time to time, like Pilgrims, here and
conclusion, which has given pain to some good there
and pious persons, that I meant to inculcate
such a belief. It is far too shadowy a notion The cataracts blow their trumpets from the to be recommended to faith, as more than an
steep; eleinent in our instincts of immortality. But let us bear in mind that, though the idea is
No more shall grief of mine the season not advanced in revelation, there is nothing
wrong; there to contradict it, and the fall of Man pre- | I hear the Echoes through the mountains sents an analogy in its favour. Accordingly, a
throng, pre-existent state has entered into the popular
The Winds come to me from the fields of creeds of many nations; and, among all persons acquainted with classic literature, is known
sleep, as an ingredient in Platonic philosophy. Ar
And all the earth is gay; chimedes said that he could move the world
Land and sea
30 if he had a point whereon to rest his machine. Give themselves up to jollity, Who has not felt the same aspirations as re
And with the heart of May gards the world of his own mind? Having to wield some of its elements when I was im
Doth every Beast keep holiday; pelled to write this poem on the “Immortality
Tbou Child of Joy, of the Soul," I took hold of the notion of pre Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, existence as having sufficient foundation in
thou happy humanity for authorising me to make for my purpose the best use of it I could as a poet.
Ye blessed Creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee; THERE was a time when meadow, grove, My heart is at your festival, and stream,
My head hath its coronal, The earth, and every common sight,
The fulness of your bliss, I feel — I feel it To me did seem
all. Apparelled in celestial light,
Oh evil day! if I were sullen The glory and the freshness of a dream.
Wbile Earth herself is adorning,
This sweet May-morning,
And the Children are culling
On every side, The things which I have seen I now can In a thousand valleys far and wide, see no more.
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines
And the Babe leaps up on his Mother's The Rainbow comes and goes, 10
50 And lovely is the Rose,
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
- But there's a Tree, of many, one, Look round her when the heavens are A single Field which I have looked upon, bare,
Both of them speak of something that is Waters on a starry night
The Pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam ? That there hath past away a glory from Where is it now the glory and the dream ?
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous
As to the tabor's sound,
And I again am strong:
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
And cometh from afar:
And not in utter nakedness,
From God, who is our home: