Imágenes de página

1839. . Created Poet Laureate, 1843, Died, 1850. "The Prelude, or Growth of a Poet's Mind; an Autobiographical Poem," begun 1799, completed 1805; published after his death, in 1850.]


Wings have we,--and as far as we can go
We may find pleasure: wilderness and wood,
Blank ocean and mere sky, support that mood
Which with the lofty sanctifies the low.

Dreams, books, are each a world; and books, we know,

Are a substantial world, both pure and good:

Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood,

Our pastime and our happiness will grow,

There find I personal themes, a plenteous store;
Matter wherein right voluble I am :

To which I listen with a ready ear;

Two shall be named, pre-eminently dear→
The gentle lady married to the Moor;
And heavenly Una with her milk-white lamb.

Nor can I not believe but that hereby
Great gains are mine; for thus I live remote


From evil-speaking; rancour, never sought,
Comes to me not; malignant truth, or lie.

Hence have I genial seasons, hence have I

Smooth passions, smooth discourse, and joyous thought;

And thus from day to day my little boat
Rocks in its harbour, lodging peaceably.
Blessings be with them—and eternal praise,
Who gave us nobler loves and nobler cares-
The poets, who on earth have made us heirs
Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays!
Oh! might my name be numbered among theirs,
Then gladly would I end my mortal days.

(Personal Talk.)


But to outweigh all harm, the sacred Book,
In dusty sequestration wrapt too long,
Assumes the accents of our native tongue;

And he who guides the plough, or wields the


With understanding spirit now may look

Upon her records, listen to her song,

And sift her laws-much wondering that the


Which faith has suffered, Heaven could calmly


Transcendant boon! noblest that earthly king
Ever bestowed to equalise and bless

Under the weight of mortal wretchedness!
But passions spread like plagues, and thousands


With bigotry shall tread the offering

Beneath their feet-detested and defiled.

(Ecclesiastical Sketches.)


There are no colours in the fairest sky

So fair as these. The feather whence the


Was shaped that traced the lives of these good men Dropped from an angel's wing.


With moistened

We read of faith and purest charity
In statesman, priest, and humble citizen.
Oh, could we copy their mild virtues, then
What joy to live, what blessedness to die!

Methinks their very names shine still and bright;
Apart, like glow-worms on a summer night;
Or lovely tapers when from far they fling
A guiding ray; or seen, like stars on high,
Satellites burning in a lucid ring

Around meek Walton's heavenly memory.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

While flowing rivers yield a blameless sport,
Shall live the name of Walton ;-sage benign!
Whose pen, the mysteries of rod and line
Unfolding, did not fruitlessly exhort

To reverend watching of each still report
That Nature utters from her rural shrine.
Meek, nobly versed in simple discipline,
He found the longest summer day too short,
To his loved pastime given by sedgy Lee,

Or down the tempting maze of Shawford brook!
Fairer than life itself in this sweet book,

The cowslip bank and shady willow tree,

And the fresh meads; where flowed from every nook Of his full bosom, gladsome piety!


For deathless powers to verse belong,
And they like demi-gods are strong
On whom the muses smile;

But some their functions have disclaimed,
Best pleased with what is aptliest framed
To enervate and defile.

Not such the initiatory strains
Committed to the silent plains
In Britain's earliest dawn:

Trembled the groves, the stars grew pale,
While all too-daringly the veil

Of nature was withdrawn !

Nor such the spirit-stirring note

When the live chords Alcæus smote,
Inflamed by sense of wrong;

Woe! woe to tyrants! from the lyre
Broke threateningly, in sparkles dire
Of fierce vindictive song.

And not unhallowed was the page
By wingéd love inscribed, to assuage

« AnteriorContinuar »