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A lane at Sweet was the walk along the narrow lane
evening fa noon, the bank and hedgerows all the way
1792 Shagged with wild pale-green tufts of fragrant Hay,
Caught by the hawthorns from the loaded Wain,
Which Age, with many a slow stoop, strove to gain;
And Childhood, seeming still more busy, took
His little rake with cunning sidelong look,
Sauntering to pluck the strawberries wild unseen.
Now, too, on Melancholy's idle dreams
Musing, the lone spot with my soul agrees
Quiet and dark; for through the thick-wove trees
Scarce peeps the curious Star till solemn gleams
The clouded Moon, and calls me forth to stray
Through tall green silent woods and ruins grey.
Composed at Degenerate Douglas! oh, the unworthy Lord!
Nidpath Whom mere despite of heart could so far please, Castle, 1803 An(j jove 0f navoc (for with such disease
Fame taxes him) that he could send forth word
To level with the dust a noble horde,
A brotherhood of venerable Trees,
Leaving an ancient dome, and towers like these,
Beggared and outraged !—Many hearts deplored
The fate of those old Trees; and oft with pain
The traveller, at this day, will stop and gaze
On wrongs, which Nature scarcely seems to heed:
For sheltered places, bosoms, nooks, and bays,
And the pure mountains, and the gentle Tweed,
And the green silent pastures, yet remain.
Fly, some kind Harbinger, to Grasmere-dale! Returning
Say that we come, and come by this day's light; f1-0TM a To jf
Fly upon swiftest wing round field and height, tnocouana,
But chiefly let one Cottage hear the tale;
There let a mystery of joy prevail,
The kitten frolic, like a gamesome sprite,
And Rover whine, as at a second sight
Of near-approaching good that shall not fail:
And from that Infant's face let joy appear;
Yea, let our Mary's one companion child—
That hath her six weeks' solitude beguiled
With intimations manifold and dear,
While we have wandered over wood and wild—
Smile on his Mother now with bolder cheer.
I Am not One who much or oft delight Personal
To season my fireside with personal talk,— Talk
Of friends, who live within an easy walk,
Or neighbours, daily, weekly, in my sight:
And, for my chance-acquaintance, ladies bright,
Sons, mothers, maidens withering on the stalk,
These all wear out of me, like Forms with chalk
Painted on rich men's floors, for one feast-night.
Better than such discourse doth silence long,
Long, barren silence, square with my desire;
To sit without emotion, hope, or aim,
In the loved presence of my cottage-fire,
And listen to the flapping of the flame,
Or kettle whispering its faint undersong.
Personal " Yet life," you say, "islife; we have seen and see,
Talk And with a living pleasure we describe;
And fits of sprightly malice do but bribe
The languid mind into activity.
Sound sense, and love itself, and mirth and glee
Are fostered by the comment and the gibe."
Even be it so: yet still among your tribe,
Our daily world's true Worldlings, rank not me!
Children are blest, and powerful; their world lies
More justly balanced; partly at their feet,
And part far from them:—sweetest melodies
Are those that are by distance made more sweet;
Whose mind is but the mind of his own eyes,
He is a Slave; the meanest we can meet!
Personal W Ings have we,—and as far as we can go
Talk We may find pleasure: wilderness and wood,
Blank ocean and mere sky, support that mood
Which with the lofty sanctifies the low.
Dreams, books, are each a world; and books, we
Are a substantial world, both pure and good:
Round these, with tendrils strongas flesh and blood,
Our pastime and our happiness will grow.
There find I personal themes, a plenteous store,
Matter wherein right voluble I am,
To which I listen with a ready ear;
Two shall be named, pre-eminently dear,—
The gentle Lady married to the Moor;
And heavenly Una with her milk-white Lamb.
Nor can I not believe but that hereby Personal
Great gains are mine; for thus I live remote **"alk
From evil-speaking; rancour, never sought,
Comes to me not; malignant truth, or lie.
Hence have I genial seasons, hence have I
Smooth passions, smooth discourse, and joyous
And thus from day to day my little boat
Rocks in its harbour, lodging peaceably.
Blessings be with them—and eternal praise,
Who gave us nobler loves, and nobler cares—
The Poets, who on earth have made us heirs
Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays!
Oh! might my name be numbered among theirs,
Then gladly would I end my mortal days.
Discourse was deemed Man's noblest attribute,
And written words the glory of his hand;
Then followed Printing with enlarged command
For thought—dominion vast and absolute
For spreading truth, and making love expand.
Now prose and verse sunk into disrepute
Must lacquey a dumb Art that best can suit
The taste of this once-intellectual Land.
A backward movement surely have we here
From manhood—back to childhood; for the
Back towards caverned life's first rude career.
Avaunt this vile abuse of pictured page!
Must eyes be all in all, the tongue and ear
Nothing? Heaven keep us from a lower stage!
Illustrated books and newspapers
Dedication to Oft, through thy fair domains, illustrious Peer! "The_Ex- ln youth I roamed, on youthful pleasures bent; cursion Ancj musWi w rocky cell or sylvan tent,
4 Beside swift-flowing Lowther's current clear.
—Now, by thy care befriended, I appear
Before thee, Lonsdale, and this Work present,
A token (may it prove a monument!)
Of high respect and gratitude sincere.
Gladly would I have waited till my task
Had reached its close; but Life is insecure,
And Hope full oft fallacious as a dream:
Therefore, for what is here produced, I ask
Thy favour; trusting that thou wilt not deem
The offering, though imperfect, premature.
On a Portrait We gaze—nor grieve to think that we must die,
Isatf Ha ^ut prec'ous 'ove f"end natn sown
Fen wick Within our hearts, the love whose flower hath New Year's blown Day, 1840 Bright as if heaven were ever in its eye, Will pass so soon from human memory; And not by strangers to our blood alone, But by our best descendants be unknown, Unthought of—this may surely claim a sigh. Yet, blessed Art, we yield not to dejection; Thou against Time so feelingly dost strive. Where'er, preserved in this most true reflection, An image of her soul is kept alive, Some lingering fragrance of the pure affection, Whose flower with us will vanish, must survive.