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Air sparkles round her with a dazzling sheen; Insight as keen as frosty star
But mark her glowing cheek, her vesture green ! Is to her charity no bar,
And, as if wishful to disarm

Nor interrupts her frolic graces
Or to repay the potent Charm,

When she is, far from these wild places,
She bears the stringèd lute of old romance, Encircled by familiar faces.
That cheered the trellised arbour's privacy,

O the charm that manners draw,
And soothed war-wearied knights in raftered hall.
How vivid, yet how delicate, her glee !

Nature, from thy genuine law!
So tripped the Muse, inventress of the dance ;

If from what her hand would do,
So, truant in waste woods, the blithe Euphrosyne ! Her voice would utter, aught ensue

Untoward or unfit ;
But the ringlets of that head

She, in benign affections pure,
Why are they ungarlanded ?

In self-forgetfulness secure,
Why bedeck her temples less

Sheds round the transient harm or vague mis
Than the simplest shepherdess !

chance
Is it not a brow inviting

A light unknown to tutored elegance :
Choicest flowers that ever breathed,

Her's is not a cheek shamne-stricken,
Which the myrtle would delight in

But her blushes are joy-flushes ;
With Idalian rose enwreathed ?

And the fault (if fault it be)
But her humility is well content

Only ministers to quicken
With one wild floweret (call it not forlorn) Laughter-loving gaiety,
FLOWER OF THE WINDS, beneath her bosom worn- And kindle sportive wit
Yet more for love than ornament.

Leaving this Daughter of the mountains free

As if she knew that Oberon king of Faery
Open, ye thickets ! let her fly,
Swift as a Thracian Nymph o'er field and height ! And heard his viewless bands

Had crossed her purpose with some quaint vagary,
For She, to all but those who love her, shy,

Over their mirthful triumph clapping hands.
Would gladly vanish from a Stranger's sight;
Though where she is beloved and loves,

“ Last of the Three, though eldest born,
Light as the wheeling butterfly she moves ; Reveal thyself, like pensive Morn
Her happy spirit as a bird is free,

Touched by the skylark's earliest note,
That rifles blossoms on a tree,

Ere humbler gladness be afloat.
Turning them inside out with arch audacity. But whether in the semblance drest
Alas ! how little can a moment show

Of Dawn-or Eve, fair vision of the west,
Of an eye where feeling plays

Come with each anxious hope subdued
In ten thousand dewy rays ;

By woman's gentle fortitude,
A face o'er which a thousand shadows go ! Each grief, through meekness, settling into rest
-She stops—is fastened to that rivulet's side ; -Or I would hail thee when some high-progetti
And there (while, with sedater mien,

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O'er timid waters that have scarcely left Of a closed volume lingering in thy hand
Their birth-place in the rocky cleft

Has raised thy spirit to a peaceful stand
She bends) at leisure may be seen

Among the glories of a happier age."
Features to old ideal grace allied,
Amid their smiles and dimples dignified-

Her brow hath opened on me—see it there,
Fit countenance for the soul of primal truth ;

Brightening the umbrage of her hair ;
The bland composure of eternal youth !

So gleams the crescent moon, that loves

To be descried through shady groves.
What more changeful than the sea !

Tenderest bloom is on her cheek ;
But over his great tides

Wish not for a richer streak;
Fidelity presides ;

Nor dread the depth of meditative eye ;
And this light-hearted Maiden constant is as he. But let thy love, upon that azure field
High is her aim as heaven above,

Of thoughtfulness and beauty, yield
And wide as ether her good-will ;

Its homage offered up in purity.
And, like the lowly reed, her love

What would'st thou more ? In sunny glade,
Can drink its nurture from the scantiest rill : Or under leaves of thickest shade,

3

Inquire not if the faery race
Shed kindly influence on the place,

Ere northward they retired ; If here a warrior left a spell, Panting for glory as he fell ;

Or here a saint expired.

Was such a stillness e'er diffused
Since earth grew calm while angels mused ?
Softly she treads, as if her foot were loth
To crush the mountain dew-drops-soon to melt
On the flower's breast ; as if she felt
That flowers themselves, whate’er their hue,
With all their fragrance, all their glistening,
Call to the heart for inward listening-
And though for bridal wreaths and tokens true
Welcomed wisely; though a growth
Which the careless shepherd sleeps on,
As fitly spring from turf the mourner weeps on-
And without wrong are cropped the marble tomb

to strew.
The Charm is over; the mute Phantoms gone,
Nor will return—but droop not, favoured Youth ;
The apparition that before thee shone
Obeyed a summons covetous of truth.
From these wild rocks thy footsteps I will guide
To bowers in which thy fortune may be tried,
And one of the bright Three become thy happy

Bride.

Enough that all around is fair, Composed with Nature's finest care,

And in her fondest lovePeace to embosom and contentTo overawe the turbulent,

The selfish to reprove.

Yea! even the Stranger from afar, Reclining on this moss-grown bar,

Unknowing, and unknown, The infection of the ground partakes, Longing for his Belov'd—who makes

All happiness her own.

1828.

Then why should conscious Spirits fear The mystic stirrings that are here,

The ancient faith disclaim? The local Genius ne'er befriends Desires whose course in folly ends,

Whose just reward is shame.

XLI.

THE WISHING-GATE.

In the vale of Grasmere, by the side of the old high-way lead

ing to Ambleside, is a gate, which, time out of mind, has been called the Wishing-gate, from a belief that wishes formed or indulged there have a favourable issue.

Smile if thou wilt, but not in scorn, If some, by ceaseless pains outworn,

Here crave an easier lot; If some have thirsted to renew A broken vow, or bind a true,

With firmer, holier knot.

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The laughter of the Christmas hearth
With sighs of self-exhausted mirth

Ye feelingly reprove;
And daily, in the conscious breast,
Your visitations are a test

And exercise of love.

When some great change gives boundless scope
To an exulting Nation's hope,

Oft, startled and made wise
By your low-breathed interpretings,
The simply-meek foretaste the springs

Of bitter contraries.

The form and rich habiliments of One
Whose countenance bore resemblance to the sun,
When it reveals, in evening majesty,
Features half lost amid their own pure light.
Poised like a weary cloud, in middle air
He hung,—then floated with angelic ease
(Softening that bright effulgence by degrees)
Till he had reached a summit sharp and bare,
Where oft the venturous heifer drinks the noon-

tide breeze.
Upon the apex of that lofty cone
Alighted, there the Stranger stood alone ;
Fair as a gorgeous Fabric of the east
Suddenly raised by some enchanter's power,
Where nothing was; and firm as some old Tower
Of Britain's realm, whose leafy crest
Waves high, embellished by a gleaming shower!

Ye daunt the proud array of war,
Pervade the lonely ocean far

As sail hath been unfurled;
For dancers in the festive hall
What ghastly partners hath your call

Fetched from the shadowy world.

II.

'Tis said, that warnings ye dispense, Emboldened by a keener sense ;

That men have lived for whom, With dread precision, ye made clear The hour that in a distant year

Should knell them to the tomb.

Beneath the shadow of his purple wings
Rested a golden harp ;-he touched the strings;
And, after prelude of unearthly sound
Poured through the echoing hills around,

He sang

Unwelcome insight! Yet there are
Blest times when mystery is laid bare,

Truth shows a glorious face,
While on that isthmus which commands
The councils of both worlds, she stands,

Sage Spirits ! by your grace.

“No wintry desolations,
Scorching blight or noxious dew,
Affect my native habitations ;
Buried in glory, far beyond the scope
Of man's inquiring gaze, but to his hope
Imaged, though faintly, in the hue
Profound of night's ethereal blue;
And in the aspect of each radiant orb;-
Some fixed, some wandering with no timid curb;
But wandering star and fixed, to mortal eye,
Blended in absolute serenity,
And free from semblance of decline ;-
Fresh as if Evening brought their natal hour,
Her darkness splendour gave, her silence power,
To testify of Love and Grace divine.

God, who instructs the brutes to scent
All changes of the element,

Whose wisdom fixed the scale
Of natures, for our wants provides
By higher, sometimes humbler, guides,

When lights of reason fail.

1830.

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XLV.

What if those bright fires
Shine subject to decay,
Sons haply of extinguished sires,

Themselves to lose their light, or pass away
VERNAL ODE.

Like clouds before the wind,
Rerum Natura tota est nusquam magis quam in minimis.

Be thanks poured out to Him whose hand bestows,
Nightly, on human kind

That vision of endurance and repose.
BENEATH the concave of an April sky,

-And though to every draught of vital breath When all the fields with freshest green were dight, Renewed throughout the bounds of earth or ocean, Appeared, in presence of the spiritual eye The melancholy gates of Death That aids or supersedes our grosser sight, Respond with sympathetic motion ;

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I.

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