Imágenes de página




Whose high endeavors are an inward light Whose powers shed round him in the comThat makes the path before him always mon strife,

45 bright:

Or mild concerns of ordinary life, Who, with a natural instinct to discern A constant influence, a peculiar grace; What knowledge can perform, is diligent But who, if he be called upon to face to learn;

Some awful moment to which Heaven has Abides by this resolve, and stops not joined there,

Great issues, good or bad for human kind, But makes his moral being his prime care; Is happy as a lover; and attired

51 Who, doomed to go in company with With sudden brightness, like a man inPain,

spired; And Fear, and Bloodshed, miserable And, through the heat of conflict keeps the train!

law Turns his necessity to glorious gain; In calmness made, and sees what he foreIn face of these doth exercise a power 15

saw; Which is our human nature's highest Or if an unexpected call succeed, 55 dower;

Come when it will, is equal to the need: Controls them and subdues, transmutes, He who though thus endued as with a sense bereaves,

And faculty for storm and turbulence, Of their bad influence, and their good re- Is yet a soul whose master-bias leans ceives;

To homefelt pleasures and to gentle By objects, which might force the soul to

scenes; abate

Sweet images! which, wheresoe'er he be, Her feeling, rendered more compassionate; Are at his heart; and such fidelity Is placable-because occasions rise It is his darling passion to approve; So often that demand such sacrifice; More brave for this that he hath much to More skilful in self-knowledge, even more love:pure,

'Tis, finally, the man, who, lifted high 65 As tempted more; more able to endure, Conspicuous object in a nation's eye, As more exposed to suffering and dis- Or left unthought-of in obscurity,— tress;

25 Who, with a toward or untoward lot, Thence, also more alive to tenderness. Prosperous or adverse, to his wish or not, 'Tis he whose law is reason; who depends Plays, in the many games of life, that one Upon that law as on the best of friends; Where what he most doth value must be Whence, in a state where men are tempted still

Whom neither shape of danger can dismay, To evil for a guard against worse ill, Nor thought of tender happiness betray; And what in quality or act is best

Who, not content that former worth stand Doth seldom on a right foundation rest,

fast, He labors good on good to fix, and owes Looks forward, persevering to the last, 75 To virtue every triumph that he knows; From well to better, daily self-surpassed: Who, if he rise to station of command, 35 Who, whether praise of him must walk the Rises by open means; and there will stand earth On honorable terms, or else retire,

For ever, and to noble deeds give birth, And in himself possess his own desire; Or he must fall to sleep without his fame, Who comprehends his trust, and to the And leave a dead unprofitable name, same

Finds comfort in himself and in his cause; Keeps faithful with a singleness of aim; 40 And, while the mortal mist is gathering, And therefore does not stoop, nor lie in draws wait

His breath in confidence of Heaven's apFor wealth or honors, or for worldly state; plause: Whom they must follow; on 'whose head This is the happy Warrior; this is he must fall,

Whom every man in arms should wish to Like showers of manna, if they come at all: be.




[blocks in formation]


There was a time when meadow, grove

and stream, The earth, and every common sight,

Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call To me did seem

Ye to each other make; I see

The heavens laugh with you in your jubiApparelled in celestial light,

lee: The glory and the freshness of a dream. 5 It is not now as it hath been of

My heart is at your festival,

yore;Turn wheresoe'er I may,

My head hath its coronal,

40 By night or day,

The fullness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it

all. The things which I have seen I now can

Oh evil day! if I were sullen see no more.

While Earth herself is adorning,

This sweet May-morning,

And the children are culling 45
The Rainbow comes and goes, 10

On every side,
And lovely is the Rose;

In a thousand valleys far and wide,
The Moon doth with delight

Fresh flowers; while the sun shines Look round her when the heavens are

warm, bare;

And the babe leaps up on his mother's Waters on a starry night

arm: Are beautiful and fair;

I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!

50 15 The sunshine is a glorious birth;

-But there's a tree, of many, one, But yet I know, where'er I go, A single field which I have looked upon, That there hath passed away a glory from

Both of them speak of something that is the earth.

The pansy at my feet

Doth the same tale repeat:

Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

song, And while the young lambs bound

As to the tabor's sound, To me alone there came a thought of Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting: grief;

The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star, A timely utterance gave that thought re- Hath had elsewhere its setting, 60 lief,

And cometh from afar:
And I again am strong:

Not in entire forgetfulness,
The cataracts blow their trumpets from And not in utter nakedness,

25 But trailing clouds of glory do we come No more shall grief of mine the season From God, who is our home:

65 wrong;

Heaven lies about us in our infancy! I hear the echoes through the mountains Shades of the prison-house begin to close throng,

Upon the growing boy,




the steep;





But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,

Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie He sees it in his joy;


Thy soul's immensity; The youth, who daily farther from the

Thou best philosopher, who yet dost east

keep Must travel, still is Nature's priest, And by the vision splendid

Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind,

That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal Is on his way attended;

deep, At length the man perceives it die away, 75 And fade into the light of common day.

Haunted forever by the eternal mind,

Mighty prophet! Seer blest!

On whom those truths do rest,

Which we are toiling all our lives to find, Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her In darkness lost, the darkness of the own;

grave; Yearnings she hath in her own natural Thou, over whom thy immortality kind,

Broods like the day, a master o'er a slave, And, even with something of a mother's A presence which is not to be put by; 120 mind,

Thou little child, yet glorious in the might And no unworthy aim,

80 Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's The homely nurse doth all she can

height, To make her foster-child, her inmate Man, Why with such earnest pains dost thou Forget the glories he hath known,

provoke And that imperial palace whence he The years to bring the inevitable yoke, came.

Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?


Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly Behold the Child among his new-born

freight, blisses,


And custom lie upon thee with a weight, A six years' darling of a pigmy size! See, where 'mid work of his own hand he Heavy as frost, and deep almost

as life! lies,

Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
With light upon him from his father's O joy! that in our embers

Is something that doth live, 130
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart, 90 That nature yet remembers
Some fragment from his dream of human What was so fugitive!

The thought of our past years in me doth Shaped by himself with newly-learnèd art;

breed A wedding or a festival,

Perpetual benediction: not indeed A mourning or a funeral;

For that which is most worthy to be And this hath now his heart,

blestAnd unto this he frames his song: Delight and liberty, the simple creed Then will he fit his tongue

Of childhood, whether busy or at rest, To dialogues of business, love, or strife; With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his But it will not be long

breast: Ere this be thrown aside,

Not for these I raise And with new joy and pride

The song of thanks and praise; The little actor cons another part;

But for those obstinate questionings Filling from time to time his "humorous Of sense and outward things, stage”

Fallings from us, vanishings; With all the persons, down to palsied Age, Blank misgivings of a creature That Life brings with her in her equipage; Moving about in worlds not realised, 145 As if his whole vocation

106 High instincts before which our mortal Were endless imitation.





[ocr errors]



are won.


Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised: Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might; But for those first affections,

I only have relinquished one delight 190 Those shadowy recollections,

To live beneath your more habitual sway. Which, be they what they may, 150

I love the brooks which down their chanAre yet the fountain light of all our day, nels fret, Are yet a master light of all our seeing; Even more than when I tripped lightly as Uphold us, cherish, and have power to they; make

The innocent brightness of a new-born day Our noisy years seem moments in the being

Is lovely yet;

195 Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake, The clouds that gather round the setting To perish never;

sun Which neither listlessness, nor mad en- Do take a sober coloring from an eye deavor,

That hath kept watch o'er man's morNor man nor boy,

tality; Nor all that is at enmity with joy, Another race hath been, and other palms Can utterly abolish or destroy! 160

Hence in a season of calm weather Thanks to the human heart by which we
Though inland far we be,

live, Our souls have sight of that immortal sea Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears, Which brought us hither,

To me the meanest flower that blows can Can in a moment travel thither, 165 give And see the children sport upon the shore, Thoughts that do often lie too deep for And hear the mighty waters rolling ever- tears. more. X

TO A SKY-LARK Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous Ethereal minstrel! pilgrim of the sky! song!

Dost thou despise the earth where cares And let the young lambs bound

abound? As to the tabor's sound!


Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and We in thought will join your throng,

Ye that pipe and ye that play, Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?
Ye that through your hearts to-day Thy nest which thou canst drop into at
Feel the gladness of the May!


5 What though the radiance which was once

Those quivering wings composed, that so bright


music still! Be now forever taken from my sight, Though nothing can bring back the Leave to the nightingale her shady wood; hour

A privacy of glorious light is thine; Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flower;

We will grieve not, rather find Of harmony, with instinct more divine; 10
Strength in what remains behind; 180 Type of the wise who soar, but never roam;
In the primal sympathy

True to the kindred points of Heaven and
Which having been must ever be;

In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;


SONNETS In the faith that looks through death, In years that bring the philosophic mind. ON THE EXTINCTION OF THE


Once did she hold the gorgeous east in fee; And 0 ye fountains, meadows, hills, and And was the safeguard of the west: the groves,

worth Forebode not any severing of our loves! Of Venice did not fall below her birth,




Venice, the eldest child of Liberty. All bright and glittering in the smokeless
She was a maiden city, bright and free; 5 air.
No guile seduced, no force could violate; Never did sun more beautifully steep
And, when she took unto herself a mate, In his first splendor, valley, rock, or hill;
She must espouse the everlasting sea. Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep! 11
And what if she had seen those glories The river glideth at his own sweet will:

Dear God! the very houses seem asleep; Those titles vanish, and that strength de- And all that mighty heart is lying still!

cay; Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid When her long life hath reached its final

ON THE SEA-SHORE NEAR CALAIS day: Men are we, and must grieve when even the shade

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free, Of that which once was great is passed

The holy time is quiet as a Nun

Breathless with adoration; the broad sun away.

Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven broods o'er
the Sea:

5 LONDON, 1802

Listen! the mighty Being is awake,

And doth with his eternal motion make Milton! thou should'st be living at this A sound like thunder-everlastingly. hour:

Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with England hath need of thee: she is a fen

me here, Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen, If thou appear untouched by solemn Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and thought, bower,

Thy nature is not therefore less divine: Have forfeited their ancient English Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the dower


year; Of inward happiness. We are selfish men; And worship’st at the temple's inner Oh! raise us up, return to us again;

shrine, And give us manners, virtue, freedom, God being with thee when we know it not.

power. Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart: Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like


Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
So didst thou travel on life's common way,

The world is too much with us: late and
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

soon, Getting and spending, we lay waste our


Little we see in Nature that is ours; COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER We have given our hearts away, a sordid BRIDGE, SEPT. 3, 1802


This Sea that bares her bosom to the Earth has not anything to show more moon; fair:

The winds that will be howling at all Dull would he be of soul who could pass by hours, A sight so touching in its majesty: And are up-gathered now like sleeping This city now doth, like a garment, wear flowers; The beauty of the morning; silent, bare, 5 For this, for everything, we are out of Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and tem- tune;

It moves us not.—Great God! I'd rather be Open unto the fields, and to the sky; | A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;

[ocr errors]


ples lie


« AnteriorContinuar »