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1833

Concealed from friends who might disturb Preserves her beauty mid autumnal leaves
Thy quiet with no ill intent,

And to her mournful habits fondly cleaves.
Secure from evil eyes and hands

When files of stateliest plants have ceased to bloom, On barbarous plunder bent,

One after one submitting to their doom,

When her coevals each and all are fled, Rest, Mother-bird ! and when thy young What keeps her thus reclined upon her lonesome Take flight, and thou art free to roam,

bed? When withered is the guardian Flower, And empty thy late home,

The old mythologists, more impressid than we

Of this late day by character in tree Think how ye prospered, thou and thine, Or herb, that claimed peculiar sympathy, Amid the unviolated grove

Or by the silent lapse of fountain clear,
Housed near the growing Primrose-tuft

Or with the language of the viewless air
In foresight, or in love.

By bird or beast made vocal, sought a cause
To solve the mystery, not in Nature's laws

But in Man's fortunes. Hence a thousand tales
XXVIII.

Sung to the plaintive lyre in Grecian vales.

Nor doubt that something of their spirit swayed LOVE LIES BLEEDING.

The fancy-stricken Youth or heart-sick Maid,
You call it, “ Love lies bleeding,"—so you may, Who, while each stood companionless and eyed
Though the red Flower, not prostrate, only droops, This undeparting Flower in crimson dyed,
As we have seen it here from day to day, Thought of a wound which death is slow to cure,
From month to month, life passing not away: A fate that has endured and will endure,
A flower how rich in sadness ! Even thus stoops, And, patience coveting yet passion feeding,
(Sentient by Grecian sculpture’s marvellous power) Called the dejected Lingerer, Love lies bleeding.
Thus leans, with hanging brow and body bent
Earthward in uncomplaining languishment,
The dying Gladiator. So, sad Flower!
('Tis Fancy guides me willing to be led,
Though by a slender thread,)
So drooped Adonis bathed in sanguine dew
Of his death-wound, when he from innocent air

RURAL ILLUSIONS.
The gentlest breath of resignation drew;
While Venus in a passion of despair

SYLPH was it? or a Bird more bright
Rent, weeping over him, her golden hair

Than those of fabulous stock ! Spangled with drops of that celestial shower.

A second darted by ;-and lo!
She suffered, as Immortals sometimes do ;

Another of the flock,
But pangs more lasting far, that Lover knew Through sunshine flitting from the bough
Who first, weighed down by scorn, in some lone

To nestle in the rock.
bower

Transient deception ! a gay freak Did press this semblance of unpitied smart

Of April's mimicries !
Into the service of his constant heart,

Those brilliant strangers, hailed with joy
His own dejection, downcast Flower ! could share Among the budding trees,
With thine, and gave the mournful name which

Proved last year's leaves, pushed from the spray thou wilt ever bear.

To frolic on the breeze.

XXX.

1

XXIX.

COMPANION TO THE FOREGOING.
NEVER enlivened with the liveliest ray
That fosters growth or checks or cheers decay,
Nor by the heaviest rain-drops more deprest,
This Flower, that first appeared as summer's guest,

Maternal Flora ! show thy face,

And let thy hand be seen,
Thy hand here sprinkling tiny flowers,

That, as they touch the green,
Take root (so seems it) and look up

In honour of their Queen.
Yet, sooth, those little starry specks,

That not in vain aspired

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Now she works with three or four,
Like an Indian conjurer ;
Quick as he in feats of art,
Far beyond in joy of heart.
Were her antics played in the eye
Of a thousand standers-by,
Clapping hands with shout and stare,
What would little Tabby care
For the plaudits of the crowd ?
Over happy to be proud,
Over wealthy in the treasure
Of her own exceeding pleasure !

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'Tis a pretty baby-treat ; Nor, I deem, for me unmeet ; Here, for neither Babe nor me, Other play-mate can I see. Of the countless living things, That with stir of feet and wings (In the sun or under shade, Upon bough or grassy blade) And with busy revellings, Chirp and song, and murmurings, Made this orchard's narrow space, And this vale so blithe a place ; Multitudes are swept away Never more to breathe the day : Some are sleeping ; some in bands Travelled into distant lands ; Others slunk to moor and wood, Far from human neighbourhood; And, among the Kinds that keep With us closer fellowship, With us openly abide, All have laid their mirth aside.

THE KITTEN AND FALLING LEAVES.

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That way look, my Infant, lo !
What a pretty baby-show !
See the Kitten on the wall,
Sporting with the leaves that fall,
Withered leaves-one-two-and three-
From the lofty elder-tree !
Through the calm and frosty air
Of this morning bright and fair,
Eddying round and round they sink
Softly, slowly: one might think,
From the motions that are made,
Every little leaf conveyed
Sylph or Faery hither tending -
To this lower world descending,
Each invisible and mute,
In his wavering parachute.

-- But the Kitten, how she starts,
Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts !
First at one, and then its fellow
Just as light and just as yellow ;
There are many now--now one-
Now they stop and there are none :
What intenseness of desire
In her upward eye of fire !
With a tiger-leap half way
Now she meets the coming prey,
Lets it go as fast, and then
Has it in her power again :

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Where is he that giddy Sprite, Blue-cap, with his colours bright, Who was blest as bird could be, Feeding in the apple-tree ; Made such wanton spoil and rout, Turning blossoms inside out ; Hung-head pointing towards the groundFluttered, perched, into a round Bound himself, and then unbound ; Lithest, gaudiest Harlequin ! Prettiest Tumbler ever seen! Light of heart and light of limb; What is won become of Him ? Lambs, that through the mountains went Frisking, bleating merriment, When the year was in its prime, They are sobered by this time. If you look to vale or hill,

K

XXXII.

ADDRESS TO MY INFANT DAUGHTER, ON BEING REMINDED THAT SHE WAS A MONTH OLD ON

THAT DAY.

If you listen, all is still,
Save a little neighbouring rill,
That from out the rocky ground
Strikes a solitary sound.
Vainly glitter hill and plain,
And the air is calm in vain ;
Vainly Morning spreads the lure
Of a sky serene and pure ;
Creature none can she decoy
Into open sign of joy :
Is it that they have a fear
Of the dreary season near ?
Or that other pleasures be
Sweeter even than gaiety?

Yet, whate’er enjoyments dwell In the impenetrable cell Of the silent heart which Nature Furnishes to every creature ; Whatsoe’er we feel and know Too sedate for outward show, Such a light of gladness breaks, Pretty Kitten! from thy freaks,Spreads with such a living grace O'er my little Laura's face ; Yes, the sight so stirs and charms Thee, Baby, laughing in my arms, That almost I could repine That your transports are not mine, That I do not wholly fare Even as ye do, thoughtless pair ! And I will have my careless season Spite of melancholy reason, Will walk through life in such a way That, when time brings on decay, Now and then I may possess Hours of perfect gladsomeness. - Pleased by any random toy ; By a kitten's busy joy, Or an infant's laughing eye Sharing in the ecstasy ; I would fare like that or this, Find my wisdom in my bliss ; Keep the sprightly soul awake, And have faculties to take, Even from things by sorrow wrought, Matter for a jocund thought, Spite of care, and spite of grief, To gambol with Life's falling Leaf.

-Hast thou then survived Mild Offspring of infirm humanity, Meek Infant ! among all forlornest things The most forlorn-one life of that bright star, The second glory of the Heavens !—Thou hast; Already hast survived that great decay, That transformation through the wide earth felt, And by all nations. In that Being's sight From whom the Race of human kind proceed, A thousand years are but as yesterday ; And one day's narrow circuit is to Him Not less capacious than a thousand years. But what is time! What outward glory! neither A measure is of Thee, whose claims extend Through “heaven'seternal year.'—Yet hail to Thee, Frail, feeble, Monthling !—by that name, methinks, Thy scanty breathing-time is portioned out Not idly.—Hadst thou been of Indian birth, Couched on a casual bed of moss and leaves, And rudely canopied by leafy boughs, Or to the churlish elements exposed On the blank plains,—the coldness of the night, Or the night's darkness, or its cheerful face Of beauty, by the changing moon adorned, Would, with imperious admonition, then Have scored thine age, and punctually timed Thine infant history, on the minds of those Who might have wandered with thee.-Mother's

love, Nor less than mother's love in other breasts, Will, among us warm-clad and warmly housed, Do for thee what the finger of the heavens Doth all too often harshly execute For thy unblest coevals, amid wilds Where fancy hath small liberty to grace The affections, to exalt them or refine ; And the maternal sympathy itself, Though strong, is, in the main, a joyless tie Of naked instinct, wound about the heart. Happier, far happier is thy lot and ours ! Even now—to solemnise thy helpless state, And to enliven in the mind's regard Thy passive beauty-parallels have risen, Resemblances, or contrasts, that connect, Within the region of a father's thoughts, Thee and thy mate and sister of the sky. And first ;-thy sinless progress, through a world By sorrow darkened and by care disturbed, Apt likeness bears to hers, through gathered clouds

1804.

Moving untouched in silver purity,
And cheering oft-times their reluctant gloom.
Fair are ye both, and both are free from stain :
But thou, how leisurely thou fill'st thy horn
With brightness ! leaving her to post along,
And range about, disquieted in change,
And still impatient of the shape she wears.
Once up, once down the hill, one journey, Babe
That will suffice thee; and it seems that now
Thou hast fore-knowledge that such task is thine ;
Thou travellest so contentedly, and sleep'st
In such a heedless peace. Alas! full soon
Hath this conception, grateful to behold,
Changed countenance, like an object sullied o'er
By breathing mist; and thine appears to be

A mournful labour, while to her is given
Hope, and a renovation without end.

– That smile forbids the thought; for on thy face
Smiles are beginning, like the beams of dawn,
To shoot and circulate; smiles have there been seen;
Tranquil assurances that Heaven supports
The feeble motions of thy life, and cheers
Thy loneliness : or shall those smiles be called
Feelers of love, put forth as if to explore
This untried world, and to prepare thy way
Through a strait passage intricate and dim?
Such are they; and the same are tokens, signs,
Which, when the appointed season hath arrived,
Joy, as her holiest language, shall adopt ;
And Reason's godlike Power be proud to own.

1804.

XXXIII.

THE WAGGONER.

Io Cairo's crowded streets
The impatient Merchant wondering waits in vain,
And Mecca saddens at the long delay.

то

CHARLES LAMB, ESQ.

MY DEAR FRIEND,

WHEN I sent you, a few weeks ago, the Tale of Peter Bell, you asked why The WAGGONER was not added?' -To say the truth,—from the higher tone of imagination, and the deeper touches of passion aimed at in the former, I apprehended, this little Piece could not accompany it without disadvantage. In the year 1806, if I am not mistaken, THE WAGGONER was read to you in manuscript, and, as you have remembered it for so long a time, I am the more encouraged to hope, that, since the localities on which the Poem partly depends did not prevent its being interesting to you, it may prove acceptable to others. Being therefore in some measure the cause of its present appearance, you must allow me the gratification of inscribing it to you ; in acknowledgment of the pleasure I have derived from your Writings, and of the high esteem with which

I am very truly yours,

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. Rydal Mount, May 20, 1819.

The air, as in a lion's den,
CANTO FIRST.

Is close and hot ;-and now and then 'Tis spent—this burning day of June !

Comes a tired and sultry breeze
Soft darkness o'er its latest gleams is stealing ; With a haunting and a panting,
The buzzing dor-hawk, round and round, is wheel. Like the stifling of disease ;
ing,

But the dews allay the heat,
That solitary bird

And the silence makes it sweet.
Is all that can be heard
In silence deeper far than that of deepest noon ! Hush, there is some one on the stir!

'Tis Benjamin the Waggoner; Confiding Glow-worms, 'tis a night

Who long hath trod this toilsome way, Propitious to your earth-born light!

Companion of the night and day. But, where the scattered stars are seen

That far-off tinkling's drowsy cheer, In hazy straits the clouds between,

Mix'd with a faint yet grating sound Each, in his station twinkling not,

In a moment lost and found,
Seems changed into a pallid spot.

The Wain announces by whose side
The mountains against heaven's grave weight Along the banks of Rydal Mere
Rise up, and grow to wondrous height.

He paces on, a trusty Guide,

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