Imágenes de página




The village clock tolled six,-1 wheeled But now, relinquishing the scrip and staff, about,

And all enjoyment which the summer sun Proud and exulting like an untired horse Sheds round the steps of those who meet That cares not for his home. All shod

the day with steel,

With motion constant as his own, I went We hissed along the polished ice in games Prepared to sojourn in a pleasant town, 40 Confederate, imitative of the chase

435 Washed by the current of the stately Loire. And woodland pleasures,—the resounding Through Paris lay my readiest course, horn,

and there The pack loud chiming, and the hunted Sojourning a few days, I visited hare.

In haste, each spot of old or recent fame. So through the darkness and the cold we

flew, And not a voice was idle; with the din

Where silent zephyrs sported with the Smitten, the precipices rang aloud;

dust The leafless trees and every icy crag

Of the Bastille, I sate in the open sun, Tinkled like iron; while far distant hills

And from the rubbish gathered up a stone, Into the tumult sent an alien sound

And pocketed the relic, in the guise

70 Of melancholy not unnoticed, while the

Of an enthusiast: yet, in honest truth, stars

I looked for something that I could not Eastward were sparkling clear, and in the

find, west

Affecting more emotion than I felt;

445 The orange sky of evening died away.

For 'tis most certain, that these various Not seldom from the uproar I retired

sights, Into a silent bay, or sportively

However potent their first shock, with Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous

75 throng,

Appeared to recompense the traveller's To cut across the reflex of a star


450 That fled, and, flying still before me,

Less than the painted Magdalene of Le gleamed

Brun, Upon the glassy plain; and oftentimes, A beauty exquisitely wrought, with hair When we had given our bodies to the wind, Dishevelled, gleaming eyes, and rueful

cheek And all the shadowy banks on either side Came sweeping through the darkness, Pale and bedropped with overflowing


80 spinning still The rapid line of motion, then at once Have I, reclining back upon my heels, I stood 'mid those concussions, unconStopped short; yet still the solitary cliffs

cerned, Wheeled by me even as if the earth had Tranquil almost, and careless as a flower rolled

Glassed in a green-house, or a parlor With visible motion her diurnal round! 460

shrub Behind me did they stretch in solemn

That spreads its leaves in unmolested train,

peace, Feebler and feebler, and I stood and

While every bush and tree, the country watched Till all was tranquil as a dreamless sleep. Is shaking to the roots.

From Book IX
A band of military Officers,


Then stationed in the city, were the chief France lured me forth; the realm that I Of my associates: some of these wore had crossed

swords So lately, journeying toward the snow- That had been seasoned in the wars, and clad Alps.




[ocr errors]




Were men well-born; the chivalry of Tied to her arm, and picking thus from France.

the lane In age and temper differing, they had Its sustenance, while the girl with pallid yet


hands One spirit ruling in each heart; alike Was busy knitting in a heartless mood 515 (Save only one, hereafter to be named) Of solitude, and at the sight my friend Were bent upon undoing what was done: In agitation said, " 'Tis against that This was their rest and only hope; there- That we are fighting," I with him believed with

That a benignant spirit was abroad No fear had they of bad becoming worse, Which might not be withstood, that For bad to them was come; nor would poverty

520 have stirred,

136 Abject as this would in a little time Or deemed it worth a moment's thought to Be found no more, that we should see the stir,

earth In anything, save only as the act

Unthwarted in her wish to recompense Looked thitherward. One, reckoning by The meek, the lowly, patient child of toil, years, All institutes for ever blotted out

525 Was in the prime of manhood, and ere- That legalised exclusion, empty pomp while

140 Abolished, sensual state and cruel power He had sate lord in many tender hearts; Whether by edict of the one or few; Though heedless of such honors now, and And finally, as sum and crown of all, changed:

Should see the people having a strong His temper was quite mastered by the hand

530 times,

In framing their own laws; whence better And they had blighted him, had eaten days away

To all mankind.
The beauty of his person, doing wrong 145
Alike to body and to mind: his port,

Which once had been erect and open,

RESIDENCE IN FRANCE (continued) Was stooping and contracted, and a face Cheered with this hope, to Paris I reEndowed by Nature with her fairest gifts turned, Of symmetry and light and bloom, ex- And ranged, with ardor heretofore unfelt, pressed,

150 The spacious city, and in progress passed As much as any that was ever seen, The prison where the unhappy Monarch A ravage out of season, made by thoughts lay,

51 Unhealthy and vexatious. .

Associate with his children and his wife 'Twas in truth an hour In bondage; and the palace, lately stormed Of universal ferment; mildest men

With roar of cannon by a furious host. Were agitated; and commotions, strife I crossed the square (an empty area then!) Of passion and opinion, filled the walls Of the Carrousel, where so late had lain 56 Of peaceful houses with unquiet sounds. 165 The dead, upon the dying heaped, and The soil of life was, at that time,

gazed Too hot to tread upon.

On this and other spots, as doth a man
Upon a volume whose contents he knows

Are memorable, but from him locked up, Along that very Loire, with festal Being written in a tongue he cannot read, mirth

431 So that he questions the mute leaves Resounding at all hours, and innocent yet

with pain,

62 Of civil slaughter, was our frequent walk. And half upbraids their silence. But that

And when we chanced night One day to meet a hunger-bitten girl, 510 I felt most deeply in what world I was, Who crept along fitting her languid gait What ground I trod on, and what air Unto a heifer's motion, by a cord

I breathed.



[ocr errors]





High was my room and lonely, near the The mountains have all opened out themroof

selves, Of a large mansion or hotel, a lodge And made a hidden valley of their own. That would have pleased me in more quiet No habitation can be seen: but they times;

Who journey thither find themselves alone Nor was it wholly without pleasure then. With a few sheep, with rocks and stones, With unextinguished taper I kept watch, and kites Reading at intervals; the fear gone by 71 That overhead are sailing in the sky. Pressed on me almost like a fear to come. It is in truth an utter solitude; I thought of those September massacres,

Nor should I have made mention of this Divided from me by one little month,

Dell Saw them and touched: the rest was con- But for one object which you might pass jured up 75 by,

15 From tragic fictions or true history, Might see and notice not. Beside the Remembrances and dim admonishments. brook The horse is taught his manage, and no Appears a straggling heap of unhewn star

stones! Of wildest course but treads back his own And to that simple object appertains steps;

A story, unenriched with strange events, For the spent hurricane the air provides 80 Yet not unfit, I deem, for the fireside, As fierce a successor; the tide retreats Or for the summer shade. It was the first But to return out of its hiding-place Of those domestic tales that spake to me In the great deep; all things have second Of shepherds, dwellers in the valleys, men birth;

Whom I already loved; not verily The earthquake is not satisfied at once; For their own sakes, but for the fields and And in this way I wrought upon myself, 85 hills

25 Until I seemed to hear a voice that cried, Where was their occupation and abode. To the whole city, “Sleep no more. And hence this Tale, while I was yet a boy The trance

Careless of books, yet having felt the Fled with the voice to which it had given power birth;

Of Nature, by the gentle agency But vainly comments of a calmer mind Of natural objects, led me on to feel Promised soft peace and sweet forgetful- For passions that were not my own, and ness.


think The place, all hushed and silent as it was, (At random and imperfectly indeed) Appeared unfit for the repose of night, On man, the heart of man, and human Defenceless as a wood where tigers roam. life.

Therefore, although it be a history

Homely and rude, I will relate the same 35 MICHAEL

For the delight of a few natural hearts;

And, with yet fonder feeling, for the sake A PASTORAL POEM

Of youthful Poets who among these hills If from the public way you turn your

Will be


second self when I am gone. steps

Upon the forest-side in Grasmere Vale Up the tumultuous brook of Greenhead There dwelt a Shepherd, Michael was his Ghyll,

name; You will suppose that with an upright | An old man, stout of heart, and strong of path

limb. Your feet must struggle; in such bold His bodily frame had been from youth to ascent

age The pastoral mountains front you face to Of an unusual strength: his mind was keen, face.

5 Intense, and frugal, apt for all affairs, 45 But courage! for around that boisterous And in his shepherd's calling he was brook



41 50

And watchful more than ordinary men. Of antique form, this large for spinning Hence had he learned the meaning of all wool, winds,

That small for flax; and if one wheel had Of blasts of every tone; and, oftentimes, rest, When others heeded not, he heard the It was because the other was at work. 85 South

The pair had but one inmate in their Make subterraneous music, like the noise house, Of bagpipers on distant Highland hills. An only child, who had been born to The Shepherd, at such warning, of his them flock

When Michael, telling o'er his years, Bethought him, and he to himself would began say,

To deem that he was old,-in shepherd's “The winds are now devising work for me!” phrase, And truly, at all times, the storm, that with one foot in the grave. This only drives 56 son,

00 The traveller to a shelter, summoned him with two brave sheep-dogs tried in many Up to the mountains; he had been alone a storm, Amid the heart of many thousand mists, The one of an inestimable worth, That came to him and left him on the Made all their household. I may truly heights.


say, So lived he till his eightieth year was That they were as a proverb in the vale past.

For endless industry. When day was And grossly that man errs, who should gone,

95 suppose

And from their occupations out of doors That the green valleys, and the streams The son and father were come home, even and rocks,

then, Were things indifferent to the Shepherd's i Their labor did not cease; unless when thoughts.

all Fields, where with cheerful spirits he had Turned to the cleanly supper-board, and breathed

65 there, The common air; hills, which with vigor- Each with a mess of pottage and skimmed ous step

milk, He had so often climbed; which had im- Sat round the basket piled with oaten pressed

incidents upon
his mind

And their plain home-made cheese. Yet
Of hardship, skill or courage, joy or fear; when the meal
Which like a book preserved the memory Was ended, Luke (for so the son was
Of the dumb animals whom he had named)


And his old father both betook themHad fed or sheltered, linking to such acts, selves The certainty of honorable gain;

To such convenient work as might employ Those fields, those hills—what could they Their hands by the fire-side; perhaps to less?-had laid


100 Strong hold on his affections, were to him Wool for the housewife's spindle, or reA pleasurable feeling of blind love, 76 pair The pleasure which there is in life itself. Some injury done to sickle, fail, or scythe, His days had not been passed in single- or other implement of house or field.

Down from the ceiling by the chimney's His helpmate was a comely matron, old


110 Though younger than himself full twenty That in our ancient uncouth country years.

80 style She was a woman of a stirring life, With huge and black projection overWhose heart was in her house: two wheels browed she had

Large space beneath, as duly as the light


So many



Of day grew dim the housewife hung a Brings hope with it; and forward looking lamp;

thoughts, An aged utensil, which had performed 115 And stirrings of inquietude, when they Service beyond all others of its kind. By tendency of nature needs must fail. 150 Early at evening did it burn and late, Exceeding was the love he bare to him, Surviving comrade of uncounted hours, His heart and his heart's joy! For oftenWhich going by from year to year had times found

Old Michael, while he was a babe in arms, And left the couple neither gay perhaps Had done him female service, not alone Nor cheerful, yet with objects and with For pastime and delight, as is the use 155 hopes,

Of fathers, but with patient mind enLiving a life of eager industry.

forced And now, when Luke had reached his

To acts of tenderness; and he had rocked eighteenth year,

His cradle as with a woman's gentle hand. There by the light of this old lamp they And, in a later time, ere yet the boy sat,

Had put on boy's attire, did Michael Father and son, while far into the night love,

160 The housewife plied her own peculiar Albeit of a stern unbending mind, work,

126 To have the young one in his sight, when Making the cottage through the silent he hours

Wrought in the field, or on his shepherd's Murmur as with the sound of summer stool flies.

Sat with a fettered sheep before him This light was famous in its neighbor- stretched, hood,

Under the large old oak, that near his And was a public symbol of the life 130 door

165 That thrifty pair had lived. For, as it Stood single, and, from matchless depth chanced,

of shade, Their cottage on a plot of rising ground Chosen for the shearer's covert from the Stood single, with large prospect, north sun, and south,

Thence in our rustic dialect was called High into Easedale, up to Dunmail- The Clipping Tree, a name which yet it Raise,

bears. And westward to the village near the There, while they two were sitting in the lake;


And from this constant light, so regular With others round them, earnest all and
And so far seen, the house itself, by all blithe,
Who dwelt within the limits of the vale, Would Michael exercise his heart with
Both old and young, was named The looks
Evening Star.

Of fond correction and reproof bestowed Thus living on through such a length of Upon the child, if he disturbed the sheep years

140 By catching at their legs, or with his The Shepherd, if he loved himself, must shouts

175 needs

Scared them, while they lay still beneath Have loved his helpmate; but to Mi- the shears, chael's heart

And when by Heaven's good grace the This son of his old age was yet more boy grew up dear

A healthy lad, and carried in his cheek Less from instinctive tenderness, the same Two steady roses that were five years old, Fond spirit that blindly works in the blood Then Michael from a winter coppice cut of all

145 With his own hand a sapling, which he Than that a child, more than all other hooped

181 gifts

With iron, making it throughout in all That earth can offer to declining man, Due requisites a perfect shepherd's staff,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »