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TO A LADY.
IN ANSWER TO A REQUEST THAT I WOULD WRITE HER
A POEM UPON SOME DRAWINGS THAT SHE HAD MADE
OF FLOWERS IN THE ISLAND OF MADEIRA.
FAIR Lady! can I sing of flowers
That in Madeira bloom and fade, I who ne'er sate within their bowers,
Nor through their sunny lawns have strayed ? How they in sprightly dance are worn
By Shepherd-groom or May-day queen, Or holy festal pomps adorn,
These eyes have never seen.
Yet though to me the pencil's art
No like remembrances can give,
And there for gentle pleasure live ;
Shall on some lovely Alien set A name with us endeared to hope,
To peace, or fond regret.
Still as we look with nicer care,
Some new resemblance we may trace; A Heart's-ease will perhaps be there,
A Speedwell may not want its place. And so may we, with charmed mind
Beholding what your skill has wrought, Another Star-of-Bethlehem find,
A new Forget-me-not.
From earth to heaven with motion fleet
A Holy-thistle here we meet,
And there a Shepherd's weather-glass ; And haply some familiar name
Shall grace the fairest, sweetest plant
Of English Emigrant.
Sad thoughts, and breathes with easier breath ; Alas! that meek, that tender smile
Is but a harbinger of death: And pointing with a feeble hand
She says, in faint words by sighs broken, Bear for me to my native land
This precious Flower, true love's last token.
What's in a Nume?
Brutas will start a Spirit as soon as Cæsar!
TO ROBERT SOUTHEY, ESQ., P. L., ETC. ETC. MY DEAR FRIEND,
The Tale of Peter Bell, which I now introduce to your notice, and to that of the Public, has, in its manuscript state, nearly survived its minority-for it first saw the light in the summer of 1798. During this long interval, pains have been taken at different times to make the produotion less unworthy of a favorable reception; or, rather, to fit it for filling permanently a station, bowever humble, in the Literatnre of our country. This has, indeed, been the aim of all my endeavors in Poetry, which, you know, have been sufficiently laborious to prove that I deem the Art not lightly to be approached ; and that the attainment of excel. lence in it, may laudably be made the principal object of intellectual pursuit by any man, who, with reasonable consideration of circumstances, has faith in his own impulses.
'The Poem of Peter Bell, as the Prologue will show, was composed under a belief that the Imagination not only does not require for its exercise the intervention of supernatural agency, but that, though such agency be excluded, the faculty may be called forth as imperiously and for kindred results of pleasure, by incidents, within the compass of poetic probability, in the bumblest departments of daily life. Since that Prologue was written, you have exhibited most splendid effects of judicious daring, in the opposite and usual conrse. Let this acknow. ledgment make my peace with the lovers of the supernatural; and I am persuaded it will be admitted, that to you, as a Master in that province of the art, the following Tale, whether from contrast or congruity, is not an inappropriate offering. Accept it, then, as a public testimony of affectionate admiration from one with whose name yours has been often coupled (to use your own words) for evil and for good; and believe me to be, with earnest wishes that life and health may be granted you to complete the many important works in which you are engaged, and with high respect,
Most faithfully yours,
WILLIAM ORDSWORTH. Rydal Mount, April 7, 1819.
THERE'S something in a flying horse,
There's something in a huge balloon;
And now I have a little Boat,
The woods, my Friends, are round you roaring,
have all a thousand fears
Meanwhile untroubled I admire
Away we go, my Boat and I-
Away we go—and what care we
Up goes my Boat among the stars Through many a breathless field of light, Through many a long blue field of ether, Leaving ten thousand stars beneath her: Up goes my little Boat so bright!
The Crab, the Scorpion, and the Bull,
The towns in Saturn are decayed,
Swift Mercury resounds with mirth,
Then back to Earth, the dear
Earth :if I here should roam, The world for my remarks and me Would not a whit the better be; I 've left my heart at home.
See! there she is, the matchless Earth!
Yon tawny slip is Libya's sands;
And see the town where I was born!
Never did fifty things at once