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On thy bald awful head, O sovran Blanc! And you, ye five wild torrents fiercely The Arve and Arveiron at thy base
glad! Rave ceaselessly; but thou, most awful Who called you forth from night and utter Form!
death, Risest from forth thy silent sea of pines, From dark and icy caverns called you . How silently! Around thee and above
forth, Deep is the air and dark, substantial, Down those precipitous, black, jagged black,
rocks, An ebon mass: methinks thou piercest it Forever shattered and the same forever? As with a wedge! But when I look again, Who gave you your invulnerable life, It is thine own calm home, thy crystal Your strength, your speed, your fury, and shrine,
45 Thy habitation from eternity!
Unceasing thunder and eternal foam? o dread and silent Mount! I gazed upon And who commanded (and the silence thee,
came), Till thou, still present to the bodily sense, Here let the billows stiffen, and have rest? Didst vanish from my thought: entranced Ye ice-falls! ye that from the moun
tain's brow I worshipped the Invisible alone.
Adown enormous ravines slope amain- 50 Yet, like some sweet beguiling melody, Torrents, methinks, that heard a mighty So sweet, we know not we are listening voice, to it,
And stopped at once amid their maddest Thou, the meanwhile, wast blending with plunge! my thought,
Motionless torrents! silent cataracts! Yea, with my life and life's own secret Who made you glorious as the gates of joy:
Heaven Till the dilating Soul, enrapt, transfused, Beneath the keen full moon? Who bade Into the mighty vision passing—there,
55 As in her natural form, swelled vast to Clothe you with rainbows? Who, with Heaven!
living flowers Awake, my soul! not only passive praise Of loveliest blue, spread garlands at your Thou owest! not alone these swelling tears, feet?Mute thanks and secret ecstasy! Awake, God! let the torrents, like a shout of naVoice of sweet song! Awake, my heart, tions, awake!
Answer! and let the ice-plains echo, God! Green vales and icy cliffs, all join my God! sing, ye meadow-streams, with gladHymn.
some voice! Thou first and chief, sole sovran of the Ye pine-groves, with your soft and soulVale!
like sounds! O struggling with the darkness all the And they too have a voice, yon piles of night,
snow, And visited all night by troops of stars, And in their perilous fall shall thunder, Or when they climb the sky or when they God! sink:
Ye living flowers that skirt the eternal Companion of the morning-star at dawn,
frost! Thyself earth's rosy star, and of the dawn Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's Co-herald! wake, oh wake, and utter nest!
Ye eagles, play-mates of the mountainWho sank thy sunless pillars deep in storm! Earth?
Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the Who filled thy countenance with rosy clouds! light?
Ye signs and wonders of the element! Who made thee parent of perpetual Utter forth God, and fill the hills with streams?
Thou too, hoar Mount! with thy sky- (With swimming phantom light o'erpointing peaks,
spread Oft from whose feet the avalanche, un- But rimmed and circled by a silver heard,
thread) Shoots downward, glittering through the I see the old moon in her lap, foretelling pure serene
The coming-on of rain and squally Into the depth of clouds that veil thy
And oh! that even now the gust were Thou too again, stupendous Mountain! swelling,
And the slant night-shower driving That as I raise my head, awhile bowed loud and fast! low
Those sounds which oft have raised me, In adoration, upward from thy base
whilst they awed, Slow-travelling with dim eyes diffused And sent my soul abroad,
Might now perhaps their wonted impulse Solemnly seemest, like a vapory cloud,
give, To rise before me Rise, oh ever rise, Might startle this dull pain, and make it Rise like a cloud of incense, from the earth!
live! Thou kingly spirit throned among the hills,
81 Thou dread ambassador from earth to
A grief without a pang, void, dark, and heaven,
drear, Great hierarch! tell thou the silent sky,
A stifled, drowsy, unimpassioned grief, And tell the stars, and tell yon rising
Which finds no natural outlet, no relief,
In word, or sigh, or tearsun, Earth, with her thousand voices, praises O Lady! in this wan and heartless mood, 25 God.
To other thoughts by yonder throstle 85
wooed, All this long eve, so balmy and serene,
Have I been gazing on the western sky, DEJECTION: AN ODE
And its peculiar tint of yellow green:
And still I gaze-and with how blank an Late, late yestreen I saw the new Moon With the old Moon in her arms;
30 And I fear, I fear, my Master dear!
And those thin clouds above, in flakes and We shall have a deadly storm.
That give away their motion to the stars;
tween, Well! If the Bard was weather-wise, who
Now sparkling, now bedimmed, but almade
ways seen: The grand old ballad of Sir Patrick
Yon crescent moon, as fixed as if it grew 35 Spens,
In its own cloudless, starless lake of blue; This night, so tranquil now, will not go
I see them all so excellently fair, hence
I see, not feel, how beautiful they are! Unroused by winds, that ply a busier
III trade Than those which mould yon cloud in My genial spirits fail; lazy flakes,
And what can these avail 40 Or the dull sobbing draft, that moans and To lift the smothering weight from off my rakes
breast? Upon the strings of this Æolian lute, It were a vain endeavor, Which better far were mute;
Though I should gaze for ever For lo! the new-moon winter bright! On that green light that lingers in the And overspread with phantom light, 10
I may not hope from outward forms to And all misfortunes were but as the stuff win
Whence Fancy made me dreams of hapThe passion and the life, whose fountains piness: are within.
For hope grew round me, like the twining vine,
And fruits, and foliage, not my own, O Lady, we receive but what we give,
seemed mine. And in our life alone does Nature live: But now afflictions bow me down to Ours is her wedding garment, ours her
Nor care I that they rob me of my mirth; And what we ought behold, of higher But oh! each visitation worth,
50 Suspends what Nature gave me at my Than that inanimate cold world allowed
85 To the poor loveless ever-anxious crowd, My shaping spirit of Imagination.
Ah! from the soul itself must issue forth For not to think of what I needs must feel, A light, a glory, a fair luminous cloud But to be still and patient, all I can; Enveloping the earth
And haply by abstruse research to steal And from the soul itself must there be sent From my own nature all the natural A sweet and potent voice, of its own
This was my sole resource, my only Of all sweet sounds the life and element!
plan: Till that which suits a part infects the
whole, O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of And now is almost grown the habit of my
soul. What this strong music in the soul may be!
60 What, and wherein it doth exist,
Hence, viper thoughts, that coil around This light, this glory, this fair luminous
my mind, mist,
Reality's dark dream!
95 This beautiful and beauty-making power. I turn from you, and listen to the wind, Joy, virtuous Lady! Joy that ne'er was Which long has raved unnoticed. given,
What a scream Save to the pure, and in their purest hour, Of agony by torture lengthened out Life, and Life's effluence, cloud at once That lute sent forth! Thou Wind, that and shower,
ravest without, Joy, Lady! is the spirit and the power, Bare crag, or mountain-tairn, or blasted Which wedding Nature to us gives in tree, dower,
Or pine-grove whither woodman never A new earth and new heaven,
clomb, Undreamt of by the sensual and the Or lonely house, long held the witches' proud
home, Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous Methinks were fitter instruments for cloud
thee, We in ourselves rejoice!
Mad Lutanist! who in this month of And thence flows all that charms or ear
showers, or sight,
Of dark-brown gardens, and of peeping All melodies the echoes of that voice,
105 All colors a suffusion from that light. 75 Makest Devils' yule, with worse than
wintry song, VI
The blossoms, buds, and timorous leaves There was a time when, though my path
among was rough,
Thou Actor, perfect in all tragic sounds! This joy within me dallied with distress, | Thou mighty Poet, even to frenzy bold!
What tell'st thou now about?
YOUTH AND AGE 'Tis of the rushing of an host in rout,
Verse, a breeze mid blossoms straying, With groans of trampled men, with Where Hope clung feeding, like a beesmarting wounds,
Both were mine! Life went a-maying At once they groan with pain, and shudder With Nature, Hope, and Poesy, with the cold!
When I was young! But hush! there is a pause of deepest silence!
When I was young?-Ah, woeful When! And all that noise, as of a rushing Ah! for the change 'twixt Now and Then! crowd,
115 This breathing house not built with With groans and tremulous shudderings- hands, all is over
This body that does me grievous wrong, It tells another tale, with sounds less O'er aery cliffs and glittering sands, deep and loud!
How lightly then it flashed along:A tale of less affright,
Like those trim skiffs, unknown of yore, And tempered with delight,
On winding lakes and rivers wide, As Otway's self had framed the tender That ask no aid of sail or oar, lay;
That fear no spite of wind or tide! 15 'Tis of a little child
Nought cared this body for wind or Upon a lonesome wild,
weather Not far from home, but she hath lost her When Youth and I lived in't together.
way: And now moans low in bitter grief and Flowers are lovely; Love is flower-like; fear,
Friendship is a sheltering tree; And now screams loud, and hopes to make Oh! the joys, that came down showerher mother hear.
Ere I was old!
Which tells me, Youth's no longer here! Full seldom may my friend such vigils Youth! for years so many and sweet, 25 keep!
'Tis known, that thou and I were one, Visit her, gentle Sleep! with wings of I'll think it but a fond conceithealing,
It cannot be that thou art gone! And may this storm be but a mountain Thy vesper-bell hath not yet tolled:birth,
And thou wert aye a masker bold! 30 May all the stars hang bright above her What strange disguise hast now put on, dwelling,
To make believe, that thou art gone? Silent as though they watched the sleep- I see these locks in silvery slips, ing Earth!
This drooping gait, this altered size: With light heart may she rise,
But Spring-tide blossoms on thy lips, 35 Gay fancy, cheerful eyes,
And tears take sunshine from thine eyes! Joy lift her spirit, joy attune her Life is but thought: so think I will voice;
That Youth and I are house-mates still. To her may all things live, from pole to pole,
Dew-drops are the gems of morning, Their life the eddying of her living soul! But the tears of mournful eve!
O simple spirit, guided from above, Where no hope is, life's a warning Dear Lady! friend devoutest of my That only serves to make us grieve, choice,
When we are old: Thus mayest thou ever, evermore re- That only serves to make us grieve joice.
With oft and tedious taking-leave, 45
Like some poor nigh-related guest, us I do not recollect) that a series of poems That may not rudely be dismissed; might be composed of two sorts. In the Yet hath out-stayed his welcome while, one, the incidents and agents were to And tells the jest without the smile. be, in part at least, supernatural; and
the excellence aimed at was to consist (20
in the interesting of the affections by the WORK WITHOUT HOPE
dramatic truth of such emotions as would
naturally accompany such situations, supAll Nature seems at work. Slugs leave posing them real. And real in this sense their lair
they have been to every human being The bees are stirring—birds are on the who, from whatever source of delusion, wing
has at any time believed himself under And Winter slumbering in the open air, supernatural agency.
For the second Wears on his smiling face a dream of class, subjects were to be chosen from Spring!
ordinary life; the characters and [30 And I the while, the sole unbusy thing, 5 incidents were to be such as will be found Nor honey make, nor pair, nor build, nor in every village and its vicinity, where sing.
there is a meditative and feeling mind to
seek after them, or to notice them when Yet well I ken the banks where ama- they present themselves. ranths blow,
In this idea originated the plan of the Have traced the fount whence streams of Lyrical Ballads; in which it was agreed nectar flow.
that my endeavors should be directed to Bloom, O ye amaranths! bloom for whom persons and characters supernatural, or ye may,
at least romantic; yet so as to transfer [40 For me ye bloom not! Glide, rich streams, from our inward nature a human inaway!
terest and a semblance of truth sufficient With lips unbrightened, wreathless brow, to procure for these shadows of imaginaI stroll:
tion that willing suspension of disbelief And would you learn the spells that for the moment, which constitutes poetic drowse my soul?
faith. Mr. Wordsworth, on the other Work without Hope draws nectar in a hand, was to propose to himself as his sieve,
object, to give the charm of novelty to And Hope without an object cannot live. things of every day, and to excite a feeling
analogous to the supernatural, by 150
awakening the mind's attention from From the BIOGRAPHIA LITERARIA the lethargy of custom, and directing it
to the loveliness and the wonders of the CHAPTER XIV
world before us; an inexhaustible treasure, During the first year that Mr. Words- but for which, in consequence of the film worth and I were neighbors, our con- of familiarity and selfish solicitude, we versations turned frequently on the two have eyes, yet see not, ears that hear cardinal points of poetry, the power of not, and hearts that neither feel nor exciting the sympathy of the reader by understand. a faithful adherence to the truth of na- With this view I wrote The Ancient 160 ture, and the power of giving the interest Mariner, and was preparing, among other of novelty by the modifying colors of poems, The Dark Ladie, and the Chrisimagination. The sudden charm, which iabel, in which I should have more nearly accidents of light and shade, which (10 realized my ideal than I had done in my moonlight or sunset, diffused over a known first attempt. But Mr. Wordsworth's and familiar landscape, appeared to rep- industry had proved so much more sucresent the practicability of combining cessful, and the number of his poems so both. These are the poetry of nature. much greater, that my compositions, The thought suggested itself (to which of instead of forming a balance, appeared