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1800).

V.

Of Grasmere safe in its own privacy :

By sickness, gaunt and lean, with sunken checks
And there myself and two beloved Friends, And wasted limbs, his legs so long and lean
One calm September morning, ere the mist That for my single self I looked at them,
Had altogether yielded to the sun,

Forgetful of the body they sustained.-
Sauntered on this retired and difficult way. Too weak to labour in the harvest field,

-I'll suits the road with one in haste; but we The Man was using his best skill to gain
Played with our time; and, as we strolled along, A pittance from the dead unfeeling lake
It was our occupation to observe

That knew not of his wants. I will not say
Such objects as the waves had tossed ashore- What thoughts immediately were ours, nor how
Feather, or leaf, or weed, or withered bough, The happy idleness of that sweet morn,
Each on the other heaped, along the line

With all its lovely images, was changed
Of the dry wreck. And, in our vacant mood, To serious musing and to self-reproach.
Not seldom did we stop to watch some tuft Nor did we fail to see within ourselves
Of dandelion seed or thistle's beard,

What need there is to be reserved in speech,
That skimmed the surface of the dead calm lake, And temper all our thoughts with charity.
Suddenly halting now a lifeless stand !

- Therefore, unwilling to forget that day,
And starting off again with freak as sudden; My Friend, Myself, and She who then received
In all its sportive wanderings, all the while, The same admonishment, have called the place
Making report of an invisible breeze

By a memorial name, uncouth indeed
That was its wings, its chariot, and its horse, As e'er by mariner was given to bay
Its playmate, rather say, its moving soul.

Or foreland, on a new-discovered coast;
--And often, trifling with a privilege

And Point Rash-JUDGMENT is the name it bears.
Alike indulged to all, we paused, one now,
And now the other, to point out, perchance
To pluck, some flower or water-weed, too fair
Either to be divided from the place
On which it grew, or to be left alone
To its own beauty. Many such there are,

TO M. H.
Fair ferns and flowers, and chiefly that tall fern,
So stately, of the queen Osmunda named ;

Our walk was far among the ancient trees:
Plant lovelier, in its own retired abode

There was no road, nor any woodman's path ; On Grasmere's beach, than Naiad by the side

But a thick umbrage-checking the wild growth Of Grecian brook, or Lady of the Mere,

Of weed and sapling, along soft green turf Sole-sitting by the shores of old romance.

Beneath the branches-of itself had made --So fared we that bright morning: from the fields, A track, that brought us to a slip of lawn, Meanwhile, a noise was heard, the busy mirth

And a small bed of water in the woods. Of reapers, men and women, boys and girls.

All round this pool both flocks and herds might drink Delighted much to listen to those sounds,

On its firm margin, even as from a well, And feeding thus our fancies, we advanced

Or some stone-basin which the herdsman's hand Along the indented shore; when suddenly,

Had shaped for their refreshment; nor did sun, Through a thin veil of glittering haze was seen

Or wind from any quarter, ever come, Before us, on a point of jutting land,

But as a blessing to this calm recess, The tall and upright figure of a Man

This glade of water and this one green field. Attired in peasant’s garb, who stood alone,

The spot was made by Nature for herself; Angling beside the margin of the lake.

The travellers know it not, and 'twill remain “ Improvident and reckless," we exclaimed,

Unknown to them; but it is beautiful; “ The Man must be, who thus can lose a day

And if a man should plant his cottage near, Of the mid harvest, when the labourer's hire

Should sleep beneath the shelter of its trees, Is ample, and some little might be stored

And blend its waters with his daily meal, Wherewith to cheer him in the winter time."

He would so love it, that in his death-hour Thus talking of that Peasant, we approached

Its image would survive among his thoughts: Close to the spot where with his rod and line

And therefore, my sweet Mary, this still Nook, He stood alone ; whereat he turned his head

With all its beeches, we have named from You! To greet us--and we saw a Man worn down

1800.

VI.

Much wondering how I could have sought in vain
For what was now so obvious. To abide,

For an allotted interval of ease,
When, to the attractions of the busy world, Under my cottage-roof, had gladly come
Preferring studious leisure, I had chosen

From the wild sea a cherished Visitant;
A habitation in this peaceful Vale,

And with the sight of this same path--begun,
Sharp season followed of continual storm

Begun and ended, in the shady grove,
In deepest winter; and, from week to week, Pleasant conviction flashed upon my mind
Pathway, and lane, and public road, were clogged That, to this opportune recess allured,
With frequent showers of snow. Upon a hill He had surveyed it with a finer eye,
At a short distance from my cottage, stands A heart more wakeful; and had worn the track
A stately Fir-grove, whither I was wont

By pacing here, unwearied and alone,
To hasten, for I found, beneath the roof

In that habitual restlessness of foot Of that perennial shade, a cloistral place

That haunts the Sailor measuring o'er and o'er
Of refuge, with an unincumbered floor.

His short domain upon the vessel's deck,
Here, in a safe covert, on the shallow snow, While she pursues her course through the dreary sea.
And, sometimes, on a speck of visible earth,
The redbreast near me hopped; nor was I loth When thou hadst quitted Esthwaite's pleasant
To sympathise with vulgar coppice birds

shore,
That, for protection from the nipping blast, And taken thy first leave of those green hills
Hither repaired. -A single beech-tree grew And rocks that were the play-ground of thy youth,
Within this grove of firs! and, on the fork Year followed year, my Brother! and we two,
Of that one beech, appeared a thrush's nest; Conversing not, knew little in what mould
A last year's nest, conspicuously built

Each other's mind was fashioned ; and at length,
At such small elevation from the ground

When once again we met in Grasmere Vale,
As gave sure sign that they, who in that house Between us there was little other bond
Of nature and of love had made their home Than common feelings of fraternal love.
Amid the fir-trees, all the summer long

But thou, a School-boy, to the sea hadst carried
Dwelt in a tranquil spot. And oftentimes, Undying recollections ; Nature there
A few sheep, stragglers from some mountain-flock, Was with thee; she, who loved us both, she still
Would watch my motions with suspicious stare, Was with thee; and even so didst thou become
From the remotest outskirts of the grove,- A silent Poet; from the solitude
Some nook where they had made their final stand, of the vast sea didst bring a watchful heart
Huddling together from two fears—the fear Still couchant, an inevitable ear,
Of me and of the storm. Full many an hour And an eye practised like a blind man's touch.
Here did I lose. But in this grove the trees - Back to the joyless Ocean thou art gone;
Had been so thickly planted, and had thriven Nor from this vestige of thy musing hours
In such perplexed and intricate array;

Could I withhold thy honoured name,--and now
That vainly did I seek, beneath their stems I love the fir-grove with a perfect love.
A length of open space, where to and fro

Thither do I withdraw when cloudless suns
My feet might move without concern or care ;

Shine hot, or wind blows troublesome and strong ;
And, baffled thus, though earth from day to day And there I sit at evening, when the steep
Was fettered, and the air by storm disturbed, Of Silver-how, and Grasmere's peaceful lake,
I ceased the shelter to frequent,—and prized, And one green island, gleam between the stems
Less than I wished to prize, that calm recess.

Of the dark firs, a visionary scene!

And, while I gaze upon the spectacle
The snows dissolved, and genial Spring returned Of clouded splendour, on this dream-like sight
To clothe the fields with verdure. Other haunts Of solemn loveliness, I think on thee,
Meanwhile were mine; till, one bright April day, My Brother, and on all which thou hast lost.
By chance retiring from the glare of noon Nor seldom, if I rightly guess, while Thou,
To this forsaken covert, there I found

Muttering the verses which I muttered first
A hoary pathway traced between the trees, Among the mountains, through the midnight watch
And winding on with such an easy line

Art pacing thoughtfully the vessel's deck
Along a natural opening, that I stood

In some far region, here, while o'er my head,

2

At every impulse of the moving breeze,
The fir-grove murmurs with a sea-like sound,
Alone I tread this path ;-for aught I know,
Timing my steps to thine; and, with a store
Of undistinguishable sympathies,
Mingling most earnest wishes for the day
When we, and others whom we love, shall meet
A second time, in Grasmere's happy Vale.

1805.

1

Note. This wish was not granted ; the lamented Person not long after perished by shipwreck, in discharge of his duty as Commander of the Honourable East India Com. pany's Vessel, the Earl of Abergavenny.

Ever beheld. Up-led with mutual help,
To one or other brow of those twin Peaks
Were too adventurous Sisters wont to climb,
And took no note of the hour while thence they

gazed, The blooming heath their couch, gazed, side by

side, In speechless admiration. I, a witness And frequent sharer of their calm delight With thankful heart, to either Eminence Gave the baptismal name each Sister bore. Now are they parted, far as Death's cold hand Hath power to part the Spirits of those who love As they did love. Ye kindred PinnaclesThat, while the generations of mankind Follow each other to their hiding-place In time's abyss, are privileged to endure Beautiful in yourselves, and richly graced With like command of beauty-grant your aid For Mary's humble, Sarah's silent, claim, That their pure joy in nature may survive From age to age in blended memory.

VII.

Forth from a jutting ridge, around whose base
Winds our deep Vale, two heath-clad Rocks ascend
In fellowship, the loftiest of the pair
Rising to no ambitious height; yet both,
O'er lake and stream, mountain and flowery mead,
Unfolding prospects fair as human eyes

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POEMS OF THE FANCY.

I.

Faithful, though swift as lightning, the meek dove ; A MORNING EXERCISE.

Yet more hath Nature reconciled in thee ;

So constant with thy downward eye of love,
Fancy, who leads the pastimes of the glad, Yet, in aërial singleness, so free;
Full oft is pleased a wayward dart to throw; So humble, yet so ready to rejoice
Sending sad shadows after things not sad,

In power of wing and never-wearied voice.
Peopling the harmless fields with signs of woe:
Beneath her sway, a simple forest cry

To the last point of vision, and beyond,
Becomes an echo of man's misery.

Mount, daring warbler!—that love-prompted strain,

('Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond) Blithe ravens croak of death; and when the owl Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain : Tries his two voices for a favourite strain

Yet might'st thou seem, proud privilege ! to sing Tu-rchit-Tu-whoo! the unsuspecting fowl All independent of the leafy spring. Forebodes mishap or seems but to complain; Fancy, intent to harass and annoy,

How would it please old Ocean to partake, Can thus pervert the evidence of joy.

With sailors longing for a breeze in vain,

The harmony thy notes most gladly make Through border wilds where naked Indians stray,

Where earth resembles most his own domain ! Myriads of notes attest her subtle skill;

Urania's self might welcome with pleased ear A feathered task-master cries, “Work AwAY !”

These matins mounting towards her native sphere. And, in thy iteration, “ WHIP POOR WILL !”

Chanter by heaven attracted, whom no bars Is heard the spirit of a toil-worn slave,

To day-light known deter from that pursuit, Lashed out of life, not quiet in the grave.

'Tis well that some sage instinct, when the stars

Come forth at evening, keeps Thee still and mute; What wonder! at her bidding, ancient lays

For not an eyelid could to sleep incline
Steeped in dire grief the voice of Philomel;
And that fleet messenger of summer days,

Wert thou among them, singing as they shine !
The Swallow, twittered subject to like spell ;
But ne'er could Fancy bend the buoyant Lark
To melancholy service—hark! O hark !

A FLOWER GARDEN,
The daisy sleeps upon the dewy lawn,
Not lifting yet the head that evening bowed ;
But He is risen, a later star of dawn,

Tell me, ye Zephyrs ! that unfold,
Glittering and twinkling near yon rosy cloud;

While Auttering o'er this gay Recess, Bright gem instinct with music, vocal spark ;

Pinions that fanned the teeming mould The happiest bird that sprang out of the Ark !

Of Eden's blissful wilderness,

Did only softly-stealing hours Hail, blest above all kinds !-Supremely skilled

There close the peaceful lives of flowers ? Restless with fixed to balance, high with low, Thou leav'st the halcyon free her hopes to build Say, when the moving creatures saw On such forbearance as the deep may show;

All kinds commingled without fear, Perpetual flight, unchecked by earthly ties,

Prevailed a like indulgent law Leav'st to the wandering bird of paradise.

For the still growths that prosper here !

Did wanton fawn and kid forbear * See Waterton's Wanderings in South America.

The half-blown rose, the lily spare !

1828.

II.

AT COL EORTON HALL, LEICESTERSHIRE.

III.

Or peeped they often from their beds
And prematurely disappeared,
Devoured like pleasure ere it spreads
A bosom to the sun endeared ?
If such their harsh untimely doom,
It falls not here on bud or bloom.

All summer-long the happy Eve
Of this fair Spot her flowers may bind,
Nor e'er, with ruffled fancy, grieve,
From the next glance she casts, to find
That love for little things by Fate
Is rendered vain as love for great.

A WHIRL-BLAST from behind the hill
Rushed o'er the wood with startling sound;
Then—all at once the air was still,
And showers of hailstones pattered round.
Where leafless oaks towered high above,
I sat within an undergrove
Of tallest hollies, tall and green ;
A fairer bower was never seen.
From year to year the spacious floor
With withered leaves is covered o'er,
And all the year the bower is green.
But see! where'er the hailstones drop
The withered leaves all skip and hop;
There's not a breeze-no breath of air-
Yet here, and there, and every where
Along the floor, beneath the shade
By those embowering hollies made,
The leaves in myriads jump and spring,
As if with pipes and music rare
Some Robin Good-fellow were there,
And all those leaves, in festive glee,
Were dancing to the minstrelsy.

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Yet, where the guardian fence is wound,
So subtly are our eyes beguiled
We see not nor suspect a bound,
No more than in some forest wild;
The sight is free as air—or crost
Only by art in nature lost.

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And, though the jealous turf refuse
By random footsteps to be prest,
And feed on never-sullied dews,
Ye, gentle breezes from the west,
With all the ministers of hope
Are tempted to this sunny slope !

1799

IV.

THE WATERFALL AND THE EGLANTINE

And hither throngs of birds resort; Some, inmates lodged in shady nests, Some, perched on stems of stately port That nod to welcome transient guests ; While hare and leveret, seen at play, Appear not more shut out than they.

I.

Apt emblem (for reproof of pride)
This delicate Enclosure shows
Of modest kindness, that would hide
The firm protection she bestows ;
Of manners, like its viewless fence,
Ensuring peace to innocence.

“ BEGONE, thou fond presumptuous Elf,"
Exclaimed an angry Voice,
“ Nor dare to thrust thy foolish self
Between me and my choice !"
A small Cascade fresh swoln with snows
Thus threatened a poor Briar-rose,
That, all bespattered with his foam,
And dancing high and dancing low,
Was living, as a child might know,
In an unhappy home.

II.

Thus spake the moral Muse--her wing
Abruptly spreading to depart,
She left that farewell offering,
Memento for some docile heart;
That may respect the good old age
When Fancy was Truth's willing Page ;
And Truth would skim the flowery glade,
Though entering but as Fancy's Shade.

“Dost thou presume my course to block!
Off, off! or, puny Thing !
I'll hurl thee headlong with the rock
To which thy fibres cling."
The Flood was tyrannous and strong;
The patient Briar suffered long,
Nor did he utter groan or sigh,
Hoping the danger would be past;
But, seeing no relief, at last,
He ventured to reply.

1824.

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