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LINES COMPOSED IN Á CONCERT-ROOM. 257

Or lies the purple evening on the bay
Of the calm glossy lake, O let me hide

Unheard, unseen, behind the alder-trees,
For round their roots the fisher's boat is tied,
On whose trim seat doth Edmund stretch at

ease, And while the lazy boat sways to and fro,

Breathes in his flute sad airs, so wild and slow, That his own cheek is wet with quiet tears.

But 0, dear Anne! when midnight wind careers, And the gust pelting on the out-house shed

Makes the cock shrilly on the rain storm crow,

To hear thee sing some ballad full of woe, Ballad of shipwrecked sailor floating dead,

Whom his own true-love buried in the sands ! Thee, gentle woman, for thy voice remeasures Whatever tones and melancholy pleasures

The things of Nature utter; birds or trees, Or moan of ocean-gale in weedy caves, Or where the stiff grass 'mid the heath-plant

waves, Murmur and music thin of sudden breeze.

1799.

VOL. I.

17

ANSWER TO A CHILD'S QUESTION.

Do you ask what the birds say ? The sparrow,

the dove, The linnet and thrush say, “ I love and I love !” In the winter they're silent—the wind is so

strong; What it

says, I don't know, but it sings à loud

song But green leaves, and blossoms, and sunny warm

weather, And singing, and loving—all come back together. But the lark is so brimful of gladness and love, The green fields below him, the blue sky above, That he sings, and he sings; and for ever sings

he“ I love my Love, and my Love loves mu ! ”

1798-9.

TO A LADY,

WITH FALCONER'S " SHIPWRECK.”

Ah! not by Cam or Isis, famous streams,

In arched groves, the youthful poet's choice; Nor while half-listening, 'mid delicious dreams,

To harp and song from lady's hand and voice;

Nor yet while gazing in sublimer mood

On cliff, or cataract, in Alpine dell; Nor in dim cave with bladdery sea-weed strewed,

Framing wild fancies to the ocean's swell;

Our sea-bard sang this song! which still he sings, And sings for thee, sweet friend! Hark, Pity,

hark! Now mounts, now totters on the tempest's wings,

Now groans, and shivers, the replunging bark !

Cling to the shrouds !” In vain! The breakers

roar

Death shrieks! With two alone of all his clan Forlorn the poet paced the Grecian shore,

No classic roamer, but a shipwrecked man!

Say then, what muse inspired these genial strains

And lit his spirit to so bright a flame? The elevating thought of suffered pains,

Which gentle hearts shall mourn; but chief, the

name

Of gratitude! remembrances of friend,

Or absent or no more! shades of the Past, Which Love makes substance! Hence to thee I

send, O dear as long as life and memory

last!

I send with deep regards of heart and head, Sweet maid, for friendship formed! this work to

thee: And thou, the while thou canst not choose but shed

A tear for Falconer, wilt remember me.

TO A YOUNG LADY,

ON HER RECOVERY FROM A FEVER,

Why need I say, Louisa dear!
How glad I am to see you here,

A lovely convalescent;
Risen from the bed of pain and fear,

And feverish heat incessant.

The sunny showers, the dappled sky;
The little birds that warble high,

Their vernal loves commencing,
Will better welcome you than I

With their sweet influencing.

Believe me, while in bed you lay,
Your danger taught us all to pray:
You made us grow

devouter! Each

eye
looked

and seemed to say, How can we do without her?

up

Besides, what vexed us worse, we knew, They have no need of such as you

In the place where you were going: This world has angels all too few, And Heaven is overflowing !

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