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tions,

Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines, I For ever shattered and the same for ever?
How silently! Around thee and above Who gave you your invulnerable life,
Deep is the air and dark, substantial, black, Your strength, your speed, your fury, and
An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it,

your joy, As with a wedge! But when I look again, Unceasing thunder and eternal foam ? It is thine own calm home, thy crystal And who commanded (and the silence shrine,

came), Thy habitation from eternity!

Here let the billows stiffen, and bave rest? o dread and silent Mount! I gazed upon Ye Ice-falls ! ye that from the mounthee,

tain's brow Till thou, still present to the bodily sense, Adown enormous ravines slope amain - 50 Didst vanish from my thought: entranced Torrents, metbinks, that heard a mighty in prayer

voice, I worshipped the Invisible alone.

And stopped at once amid their maddest

plunge! Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody, | Motionless torrents ! silent cataracts! So sweet, we know not we are listening Who made you glorious as the Gates of

Heaven Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with Beneath the keen full moon ? Who bade my Thought,

the sun Yea, with my Life and Life's own secret | Clothe you with rainbows ? Who, with livjoy:

ing flowers Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, transfused, Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your Into the mighty vision passing – there

feet ? As in her natural form, swelled vast to God ! let the torrents, like a shout of naHeaven!

Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, Awake, my soul! not only passive praise God! Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears, God! sing ye meadow-streams with gladMute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake,

some voice ! Voice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soul-like awake!

sounds ! Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my Hymn. And they too have a voice, yon piles of

snow, Thou first and chief, sole sovereign of And in their perilous fall shall thunder, the Vale!

God! O struggling with the darkness all the night, And visited all night by troops of stars, Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal Or when they climb the sky or when they

frost ! sink:

Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's Companion of the morning-star at dawn,

nest! Thyself Earth's rosy star, and of the dawn | Ye eagles, play-mates of the mountain Co-herald: wake, wake, and utter praise !

storm! Who sank thy sunless pillars deep in Earth? Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the Who filled thy countenance with rosy light? Who made thee parent of perpetual | Ye signs and wonders of the element ! streams?

Utter forth God, and fill the hills with

praise ! And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely glad!

Thou too, boar Mount ! with thy skyWho called you forth from night and utter

pointing peaks, death,

Oft from whose feet the avalanche, unFrom dark and icy caverns called you forth, heard, Down those precipitous, black, jagged Shoots downward, glittering through the rocks,

pure serene

clouds!

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day,

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Into the depth of clouds, tbat veil thy Presageful, have I gazed upon the bars, breast

To watch that fluttering stranger! and as Thou too again, stupendous Mountain !

oft thou

With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt That as I raise my head, awhile bowed low Of my sweet birth-place, and the old churchIn adoration, upward from thy base

tower, Slow travelling with dim eyes suffused with Whose bells, the poor man's only music, tears,

rang Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud, From morn to evening, all the hot FairTo rise before me — Rise, O ever rise, Rise like a cloud of incense from the So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted Earth!

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me Thou kingly Spirit throned among the hills, With a wild pleasure, falling on mine ear Thou dread ambassador from Earth to Most like articulate sounds of things to Heaven,

come! Great Hierarch ! tell thou the silent sky, So gazed I, till the soothing things, I And tell the stars, and tell yon rising sun

dreamt, Earth, with her thousand voices, praises Lulled me to sleep, and sleep prolonged God.

my dreams!"

And so I brooded all the following morn, FROST AT MIDNIGHT

Awed by the stern preceptor's face, mine

eye [Publ. 1798]

Fixed with mock study on my swimming

book : THE Frost performs its secret ministry, Save if the door half opened, and I snatched Unhelped by any wind. The owlet's cry A hasty glance, and still my heart leaped Came loud - and hark, again ! loud as

up,

40 before.

For still I hoped to see the stranger's face, The inmates of my cottage, all at rest, Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved, Have left me to that solitude, which suits My play-mate when we both were clothed Abstruser musings : save that at my side

alike! My cradled infant slumbers peacefully. 'Tis calm indeed! so calm, that it disturbs Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my Abd veres meditation with its strange

side, And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and Whose gentle breathings, heard in this deep wood,

10

calm, This populous village ! Sea, and hill, and Fill up the interspersed vacancies wood,

And momentary pauses of the thought! With all the numberless goings-on of life, My babe so beautiful! it thrills my heart Inaudible as dreams! the thin blue flame | With tender gladness, thus to look at Lies on my low-burnt fire, and quivers not;

thee, Only that film which fluttered on the grate And think that thou shalt learn far other Still flutters there, the sole unquiet thing.

lore, Methinks, its motion in this hash of nature And in far other scenes ! For I was reared Gives it dim sympathies with me who live, In the great city, pent ’mid cloisters dim, Making it a companionable form,

And saw nought lovely but the sky and Whose puny flaps and freaks the idling 1

stars. Spirit

20 But thou, my babe ! shalt wander like a By its own moods interprets, everywhere

breeze Echo or mirror seeking of itself,

By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the And makes a toy of Thought.

crags

Of ancient mountain, and beneath the But O ! how oft,

clouds, How oft, at school, with most believing Which image in their bulk both lakes and mind,

shores

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eye!

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And mountain crags: so shalt thou see and The coming-on of rain and squally blast, bear

And oh ! that even now the gust were The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible

swelling, Of that eternal language, which thy God 60 And the slant night-shower driving loud Utters, who from eternity doth teach

and fast! Himself in all, and all things in himself Those sounds which oft bave raised me, Great universal Teacher ! he shall mould

whilst they awed, Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.

And sent my soul abroad, Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to | Might now perhaps their wonted impulse thee,

give, Whether the summer clothe the general | Might startle this dull pain, and make it earth

move and live! With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing

II Betwixt the tufts of snow on the bare | A grief without a pang, void, dark, and branch

drear, Of mossy apple-tree, while the nigh thatch A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief, Smokes in the sun-thaw ; whether the eave Which finds no natural outlet, no relief, drops fall

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In word, or sigh, or tear- . Heard only in the trances of the blast, O Lady! in this wan and heartless mood, Or if the secret ministry of frost

To other thoughts by yonder throstle wooed, Shall hang them up in silent icicles,

All this long eve, so balmy and serene, Quietly shining to the quiet Moon.

Have I been gazing on the western sky,

And its peculiar tint of yellow green:

And still I gaze — and with how blank an DEJECTION: AN ODE

And those thin clouds above, in flakes and [Written April 4, 1802]

bars,

That give away their motion to the stars; Late, late yestreen I saw the new Moon,

Those stars, that glide behind them or be-
With the old Moon in her arm;

tween,
And I fear, I fear, my Master dear!
We shall have a deadly storm.

Now sparkling, now bedimmed, but always
Ballad of Sir Patrick Spence.

seen: Yon crescent Moon, as fixed as if it grew

In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue; WELL! If the Bard was weather-wise, I see them all so excellently fair, who made

I see, not feel, how beautiful they are ! The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick

Spence,
This night, so tranquil now, will not go

My genial spirits fail;
hence

And what can these avail Unroused by winds that ply a busier trade To lift the smothering weight from off my Than those which mould yon cloud in lazy

breast ? flakes,

It were a vain endeavour, Or the dull sobbing draft, that moans and

Though I should gaze for ever rakes

On that green light that lingers in the west: Upon the strings of this Æolian lute, I may not hope from outward forms to win Which better far were mute.

The passion and the life whose fountains For lo ! the New-moon winter-bright!

are within. And overspread with phantom light, 10 (With swimming phantom light o'erspread,

O Lady! we receive but what we give, But rimmed and circled by a silver And in our life alone does Nature live: thread)

Ours is her wedding-garment, ours her I see the old Moon in her lap, foretelling

shroud !

III

40

IV

50

90

100

And would we aught behold, of higher | And baply by abstruse research to steal worth,

From my own nature all the natural Than that inanimate cold world allowed

man — To the poor loveless ever-anxious crowd, This was my sole resource, my only plan:

Ab! from the soul itself must issue forth Till that which suits a part infects the A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud

whole, Enveloping the Earth

And now is almost grown the habit of my And from the soul itself must there be sent

soul. A sweet and potent voice, of its own

VII birth, Of all sweet sounds the life and element! Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around my

mind,

Reality's dark dream! O pure of heart ! thou need'st not ask of me I turn from you, and listen to the wind, What this strong music in the soul may be ! Which long has raved unnoticed. What What, and wherein it doth exist, 61

a scream This light, this glory, this fair luminous | Of agony by torture lengthened out mist,

That lute sent forth! Thou Wind, that This beautiful and beauty-making power.

ray'st without, Joy, virtuous Lady! Joy that ne'er was | Bare crag, or mountain-tairn, or blasted given,

tree, Save to the pure, and in their porest hour, | Or pine-grove whither woodman never Life, and Life's effluence, cloud at once and

clomb, shower,

Or lonely house, long held the witches' Joy, Lady ! is the spirit and the power,

home, Which wedding Nature to us gives in dower, Methinks were fitter instruments for A new Earth and new Heaven,

thee, Undreamt of by the sensual and the Mad Lutanist! who in this month of proud

showers, Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous Of dark-brown gardens, and of peeping cloud

flowers, We in ourselves rejoice!

Mak'st Devils' yule with worse than wintry And thence flows all that charms or ear or

song

The blossoms, buds, and timorons leaves All melodies the echoes of that voice,

among. . All colours a suffusion from that light. Thou Actor, perfect in all tragic sounds!

Thou mighty Poet, even to frenzy bold!
VI
What tell'st thou now about?

110 There was a time when, though my path 'Tis of the rushing of an host in

was rongh, This joy within me dallied with distress, With groans of trampled men, with And all misfortunes were but as the stuff

smarting wounds — Whence Fancy made me dreams of hap At once they groan with pain, and sbudder piness:

with the cold ! For hope grew round me, like the twining But hush! there is a pause of deepest vine,

silence! And fruits and foliage not my own seemed And all that noise, as of a rushing mine.

crowd, But now afflictions bow me down to earth: With groans, and tremulous shudderings Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth;

all is overBut oh ! each visitation

It tells another tale, with sounds less
Suspends what nature gave me at my birth, deep and loud!
My shaping spirit of Imagination.

A tale of less affright,
For not to think of what I needs must feel, And tempered with delight,

But to be still and patient, all I can; As Otway's self had framed the tender lay,

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sight,

rout,

119

'Tis of a little child

Upon a lonesome wild, Not far from home, but she hath lost her

way: And now moans low in bitter grief and

fear, And now screams loud, and hopes to make

her mother hear.

Nought cared this body for wind or

weather When Youth and I lived in 't together. Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like; Friendship is a sheltering tree; 0! the joys, that came down shower

like, Of Friendship, Love, and Liberty,

Ere I was old!

VIII

healing,

'Tis midnight, but small thoughts have I

of sleep: Full seldom may my friend such vigils

keep! Visit her, gentle Sleep! with wings of And may this storm be but a mountain

birth, . May all the stars hang bright above her dwelling,

130 Silent as though they watched the sleep

ing Earth! With light heart may she rise, Gay fancy, cheerful eyes, Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her voice; To her may all things live, from pole to

pole, Their life the eddying of her living

soul ! O simple spirit, guided from above, Dear Lady ! friend devoutest of my choice, Thus mayest thou ever, evermore re

joice.

Ere I was old ? Ah woful Ere,
Which tells me, Youth 's no longer

here!
O Youth ! for years so many and sweet,
'T is known, that Thou and I were one,
I'll think it but a fond conceit –
It cannot be that Thou art gone !
Thy vesper-bell hath not yet toll'd:-
And thou wert aye a masker bold !
What strange disguise hast now put on,
To make believe that thou art gone ?
I see these locks in silvery slips,
This drooping gait, this altered size:
But Spring-tide blossoms on thy lips,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes!
Life is but thought: so think I will
That Youth and I are house-mates still.

Dew-drops are the gems of morning,
But the tears of mournful eve!
Where no hope is, life's a warning
That only serves to make us grieve,

When we are old:
That only serves to make us grieve
With oft and tedious taking-leave,
Like some poor nigh-related guest,
That may not rudely be dismist;
Yet hath outstayed his welcome while,
And tells the jest without the smile.

YOUTH AND AGE

VERSE, a breeze mid blossoms straying, Where Hope clung feeding, like a bee – Both were mine! Life went a-maying

With Nature, Hope, and Poesy,

When I was young!

When I was young? - Ah, woful When! Ah! for the change 'twixt Now and

Then! This breathing house not built with hands, This body that does me grievous wrong, O’er aery cliffs and glittering sands, 10 How lightly then it flashed along: Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore, On winding lakes and rivers wide, That ask no aid of sail or oar, That fear no spite of wind or tide!

WORK WITHOUT HOPE LINES COMPOSED 21ST FEBRUARY, 1827 All Nature seems at work. Slugs leave

their lair The bees are stirring – birds are on the

wing And Winter slumbering in the open air, Wears on his smiling face a dream of

Spring! And I the while, the sole unbusy thing, | Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor

sing.

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