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It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs Was green and woody, and refresh'd the eye.
The Valley of Seclusion! once I saw
|(Hallowing his Sabbath-day by quietness) Such a soft floating witchery of sound
A wealthy son of commerce saunter by, As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve Bristowa's citizen: methought, it calm'd Voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-Land,
His thirst of idle gold, and made him muse Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers, With wiser feelings; for he paused, and look'd Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,
With a pleased sadness, and gazed all around, Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untamed wing! Then eyed our cottage, and gazed round again, O the one life within us and abroad,
And sigh'd, and said, it was a blessed place. Which meets all motion and becomes its soul, And we were bless'd. Oft with patient ear A light in sound, a sound-like power in light, Long-listening to the viewless sky-lark's note Rhythm in all thought, and joyance everywhere- |(Viewless or haply for a moment seen Methinks, it should have been impossible
Gleaming on sunny wings), in whisperd tones Not to love all things in a world so fillid;
I've said to my beloved, “ Such, sweet girl!
Unearthly minstrelsy! then only heard
When the soul seeks to hear; when all is hushid, And thus, my love! as on the midway slope And the Heart listens !" Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon, Whilst through my half-closed eye-lids I behold
But the time, when first The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main, From that low dell, steep up the stony Mount And tranquil muse upon tranquillity;
I climb'd with perilous toil, and reach'd the top, Full many a thought uncallid and undetain'd,
Oh! what a goodly scene! Here the bleak Mount, And many idle flitting phantasies,
The bare bleak Mountain speckled thin with sheep Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
Gray clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields; As wild and various as the random gales
And River, now with bushy rocks o'erbrow'd, That swell and flutter on this subject lute!
Now winding bright and full, with naked banks ;
And Seats, and Lawns, the Abbey and the Wood, And what if all of animated nature
And Cots, and Hamlets, and faint City-spire ; Be but organic harps diversely framed,
The Channel there, the Islands and white Sails, That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps, Dim Coasts, and cloud-like Hills, and shoreless Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze,
Ocean— At once the Soul of each, and God of All ? It seem'd like Omnipresence! God, methought,
Had built him there a Temple: the whole World
Blest hour! It was a luxury,—to be!
Ah! quiet dell; dear cot, and Mount sublime!
I was constrain’d to quit you. Was it right, These shapings of the unregenerate mind;
While my unnumber'd brethren toil'd and bled, Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
That I should dream away the intrusted hours On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring. For never guiltless may I speak of him,
On rose-leaf beds, pampering the coward heart
With feelings all too delicate for use ? The Incomprehensible! save when with awe
Sweet is the tear that from some Howard's eye I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels ;
Drops on the cheek of One he lifts from Earth: Who with his saving mercies healed me,
And He that works me good with unmoved face, A sinful and most miserable Man, Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess
Does it but half: he chills me while he aids, Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honor'd Maid! My Benefactor, not my Brother Man:
Yet even this, this cold beneficence,
Praise, praise it, O my Soul ! oft as thou scann'st
Who sigh for wretchedness, yet shun the wretched. REFLECTIONS ON HAVING LEFT A PLACE Nursing in some delicious solitude
Their slothful loves and dainty Sympathies !
I therefore go, and join head, heart, and hand,
Active and firm, to fight the bloodless fight
Of Science, Freedom, and the Truth in Christ.
Low was our pretty Cot: our tallest rose
Yet oft, when after honorable toil
WITH SOME POEMS.
Ah!had none greater! And that all had such! Loved as a brother, as a son revered thee!
Oh! 't is to me an ever-new delight,
of the shrill winter, rattling our rude sash,
Endears the cleanly hearth and social bowl ;
We, in our sweet sequester'd orchard-plot,
Stirr'd by the faint gale of departing May,
Nor dost not thou sometimes recall those hours,
When with the joy of hope thou gavest thine ear Hor. Carm. lib. i. 2.
To my wild firstling-lays. Since then my song
Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem
Or such as, tuned to these tumultuous times,
Cope with the tempest's swell!
These various strains And haply views his tottering little ones
Which I have framed in many a various mood, Embrace those aged knees and climb that lap,
Accept, my Brother! and (for some perchance On which first kneeling his own infancy
Will strike discordant on thy milder mind) Lisp'd its brief prayer. Such, O my earliest Friend! If aught of Error or intemperate Truth Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy.
Should meet thine ear, think thou that riper age At distance did ye climb Life's upland road,
Will calm it down, and let thy love forgive it! Yet choer'd and cheering: now fraternal love Hath drawn you to one centre. Be your days Holy, and blest and blessing may ye live!
INSCRIPTION FOR A FOUNTAIN ON A HEATH. To me th' Eternal Wisdom hath dispensed A different fortune and more different mind This Sycamore, oft musical with bees Me from the spot where first I sprang to light Such tents the Patriarchs loved ! O long unharm'd Too soon transplanted, ere my soul had fix'd May all its aged boughs o'er-canopy Iis first domestic loves ; and hence through life The small round basin, which this jutting stone Chasing chance-started Friendships. A brief while Keeps pure from falling leaves! Long may the Spring, Some have preserved me from Life's pelting ills ; Quietly as a sleeping infant's breath, But, like a tree with leaves of feeble stem, Send up cold waters to the traveller If the clouds lasted, and a sudden breeze
With soft and even pulse! Nor ever cease Ruffled the boughs, they on my head at once Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance, Dropp'd the collected shower; and some most false, Which at the bottom, like a fairy's page, False and fair foliaged as the Manchineel,
As merry and no taller, dances still, Hlave tempted me to slumber in their shade Nor wrinkles the smooth surface of the Fount. E'en 'mid the storm; then breathing subtlest damps, Here twilight is and coolness : here is moss, Mix'd their own venom with the rain from Heaven, A soft seat, and a deep and ample shade. That I woke poison'd! But, all praise to Him Thou mayst toil far and find no second tree. Who gives us all things, more have yielded me Drink, Pilgrim, here! Here rest! and if thy heart Permanent shelter; and beside one Friend, Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh Beneath th' impervious covert of one Oak, Thy spirit, listening to some gentle sound, I've raised a lowly shed, and know the names Or passing gale or hum of murmuring bees! Of Husband and of Father; nor unhearing Of that divine and nightly-whispering Voice, Which from my childhood to maturer years Spake to me of predestinated wreaths, Bright with no fading colors !
A TOMBLESS EPITAPH.
"T is true, Idoloclastes Satyrane !
Yet at times (So call him, for so mingling blame with praise, My soul is sad, that I have roam'd through life And smiles with anxious looks, his earliest friends, Still most a stranger, most with naked heart Masking his birth-name, wont to character At mine own home and birth-place: chiefly then, His wild-wood fancy and impetuous zeal) When I remember thee, my earliest Friend! | "T is true that, passionate for ancient truths, 'I hee, who didst watch my boyhood and my youth ; And honoring with religious love the Great Didst trace my wanderings with a Father's eye; Of elder times, he hated to excess, And boding evil, yet still hoping good,
With an unquiet and intolerant scorn, Rebuked each fault, and over all my woes The hollow puppets of a hollow age, Sorrow'd in silence ! He who counts alone Ever idolatrous, and changing ever The beatings of the solitary heart,
Its worthless Idols! Learning, Power, and Time 'That Being knows, how I have loved thee ever, (Too much of all) thus wasting in vain war
Of fervid colloquy. Sickness, 't is true,
The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two isles Whole years of weary days, besieged him close, Of purple shadow! Yes, they wander on Even to the gates and inlets of his life!
In gladness all; but thou, methinks, most glad, But it is true, no less, that strenuous, firm,
My gentle-hearted Charles ! fur thou hast pined And with a natural gladness, he maintain'd Ard hunger'd after Nature, many a year, The citadel unconquer'd, and in joy
In the great city pent, winning thy way Was strong to follow the delightful Muse.
With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pair For not a hidden Path, that to the Shades
And strange calamity! Ah! slowly sink of the beloved Parnassian forest leads,
Behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun ! Lurk'd undiscover'd by him; not a rill
Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb, There issues from the fount of Hippocrene, Ye purple heath-flowers! richlier burn, ye clouds ! But he had traced it upward to its source, Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves ! Through open glade, dark glen, and secret dell. And kindle, thou blue Ocean! So my Friend, Knew the gay wild-flowers on its banks, and cull'& Struck with deep joy, may stand, as I have stood, Its med'cinable herbs. Yea, oft alone,
Silent with swimming sense; yea, gazing round Piercing the long-neglected holy cave,
On the wide landscape, guze till all doth seem The haunt obscure of old Philosophy,
Less gross than bodily; and of such hues
Spirits perceive his presence.
Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad Philosopher! contemning wealth and death, As I myself were there! Nor in this bower, Yet docile, childlike, full of life and love! This little lime-tree bower, have I not mark'd Here, rather than on monumental stone,
Much that has soothed me. Pale beneath the blaze This record of thy worth thy Friend inscribes, Hung the transparent foliage; and I watch'd Thoughtful, with quiet tears upon his cheek. Some broad and sunny leaf, and loved to see
The shadow of the leaf and stem above
Was richly tinged, and a deep radiance lay
Those fronting elms, and now, with blackest mass, In the June of 1797, some long-expected Friends paid a visit Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue
to the Author's Cottage; and on the morning of their ar- Through the late twilight: and though now the Bar
Sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall know
No plot so narrow, be but Nature there,
No waste so vacant, but may well employ This Lime-tree bower my prison! I have lost
Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart Beauties and feelings, such as would have been
Awake to Love and Beauty! and sometimes Most sweet to my remembrance, even when age
"T is well to be bereft of promised good, Had dimm'd mine eyes to blindness! They, mean- That we may lift the soul, and contemplate while,
With lively joy the joys we cannot share. Friends, whom I never more may meet again,
My gentle-hearted Charles ! when the last Rook On springy heath, along the hill-top edge,
Beat its straight path along the dusky air Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance,
Homewards, I blest it! deeming its black wing To that still roaring dell, of which I told :
(Now a dim speck, now vanishing in light) The roaring dell, o'erwooded, narrow, deep,
Had cross'd the mighty Orb’s dilated glory, And only speckled by the mid-day sun ;
While thou stood'st gazing; or when all was still, Where its slim trunk the Ash from rock to rock
Flew creakingt o'er thy head, and had a charm Flings arching like a bridge ;-—that branchless Ash, For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to whom Unsunn'd and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves No sound is dissonant which tells of Life. Ne'er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still, Fann:d by the waterfall! and there my friends Behold the dark-green file of long lank weeds,* That all at once (a most fantastic sight!) Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge
TO A FRIEND Of the blue clay-stone.
Now, my Friends emerge WHO HAD DECLARED HIS INTENTION OF WRITING Beneath the wide wide Heaven and view again
NO MORE POETRY. The many-steepled tract magnificent Of lully fields and meadows, and the sea, DEAR Charles! whilst yet thou wert a babe, I ween With some fair bark, perhaps, whose sails light up That Genius plunged thee in that wizard fount
The Asplenium Scolopendrium, called in some countries † Some months after I had written this line, it gave me plea: the Adder's Tongue, in others the Hart's Tongue; but With- sure to observe that Bartram bad observed the same circumering gives the Adder's Tongue as the trivial name of the stance of the Savanna Crane. "When these Birds move Ophioglossum only.
their wings in flight, their strokes are slow, moderate and
Hight Castalie: and (sureties of thy faith)
Of tides obedient to external force, That Pity and Simplicity stood by,
And currents self-determined, as might seem, And promised for thee, that thou shouldst renounces Or by some inner Power; of moments awful, The world's low cares and lying vanities,
Now in thy inner life, and now abroad, Stedfast and rooted in the heavenly Muse,
When Power stream'd from thee, and thy soul And wash'd and sanctified to Poesy.
Of Fancies fair, and milder hours of youth,
Native or outland, Lakes and famous Hills!
Were rising; or by secret Mountain-streams,
The Guides and the Companions of thy way'
of more than Fancy, of the Social Sense « Without the meed of one melodious tear ?"
Distending wide, and Man beloved as Man, Thy Burns, and Nature's own beloved Bard,
Where France in all her towns lay vibrating Who to the « Illustrioust of his native land
Like some becalmed bark beneath the burst • So properly did look for patronage."
Of Heaven's immediate thunder, when no cloud Ghost of Mecenas ! hide thy blushing face! Is visible, shadow on the Main. They snatch'd him from the Sickle and the Plow For thou wert there, thine own brows garlanded, To gauge Ale-Firkins.
Amid the tremor of a realm aglow,
Amid a mighty nation jubilant,
When from the general heart of human-kind
Hope sprang forth like a full-born Deity! There stands a lone and melancholy tree,
-Of that dear Hope afflicted and struck down Whose aged branches in the midnight blast
So summon'd homeward, thenceforth calm and sure Make solemn music: pluck its darkest bough,
From the dread watch-tower of man's absolute Sell,
Far on-herself a glory to behold,
A song divine of high and passionate thoughts, Knit in nice intertexture, so to twine
To their own music chanted !
O great Bard'
Of ever-enduring men. The truly Great
Have all one age, and from one visible space
Shed influence! They, both in power and act, COMPOSED ON THE NIGHT AFTER HIS RECITATION Are permanent, and Time is not with them, OF A POEM ON THE GROWTH OF AN INDIVIDUAL Save as it worketh for them, they in it.
Nor less a sacred roil, than those of old,
And to be placed, as they, with gradual fame FRIEND of the Wise! and Teacher of the Good! Among the archives of mankind, thy work Into my heart have I received that lay
Makes audible a linked lay of Truth, More than historic, that prophetic lay,
Of Truth profound a sweet continuous lay,
Ah! as I listen'd with a heart forlorn,
Life's joy rekindling roused a throng of pains, By vital breathings secret as the soul
Keen Pangs of Love, awakening as a babe Of vernal growth, oft quickens in the heart Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart; Thoughts all too deep for words
And Fears self-will’d, that shunn'd the eye of Hops
And Hope that scarce would know itself from Fear
Theme hard as high! Sense of past Youth, and Manhood corne in vain Of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears And Genius given, and knowledge won in vain The first-born they of Reason and twin-birth), And all which I had cull'd in wood-walks wild
And all which patient toil had reard, and all, regular; and even when at a considerabie distance or high Commune with thee had opend out-but flowers above us, we plainly hear the quill feathers; their shafts and Strew'd on my corse, and borne upon my bier, webs upon one another creak as the joints or working of a In the same coffin, for the self-same grave! vessel in a tempestuous sea."
* Vide Pind. Olymp. iii. 1. 156.
That way no more! and ill beseems it me vility and Geoiry of the Caledonian Hant.
Who came a welcomer in herald's guise.
Singing of Glory, and Futurity,
Most musical, most melancholy "'+ bird ! To wander back on such unhealthful road, A melancholy bird ? Oh! idle thought ! Plucking the poisons of self-harm! And ill In nature there is nothing melancholy. Such intertwine beseems triumphal wreaths But some night-wandering man, whose heart was Strew'd before thy advancing !
With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,
Nor do thou, Or slow distemper, or neglected love Sage Bard ! impair the memory of that hour (And so, poor Wretch! filled all things with himself Of my communion with thy nobler mind
And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale
of his own sorrow), he and such as he,
When he had better far have stretch'd his limbs
By Sun or Moon-light, to the influxes
Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements
A venerable thing ! and so his song
Should make all Nature lovelier, and itself
Be loved like Nature ! But 't will not be so;
Who lose the deepening twilights of the spring Fair constellated Foam,* still darting off
In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still, Into the darkness; now a tranquil sea,
Full of meek sympathy, must heave their sighs Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the Moon. O'er Philomela's pity-pleading strains.
And when–O Friend ! my comforter and guide! My friend, and thou, our Sister! we have learnt Strong in thyself, and powerful to‘give strength — A different lore: we may not thus profane Thy long sustained song finally closed,
Nature's sweet voices, always full of love And thy deep voice had ceased-yet thou thyself
And joyance! 'T is the merry Nightingale Wert still before my eyes, and round us both
That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates That happy vision of beloved faces
With fast thick warble his delicious notes, Scarce conscious, and yet conscious of its close
As he were fearful that an April night I sate, my being blended in one thought
Would be too short for him to utter forth Thought was it? or Aspiration? or Resolve ?) His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul Absorb’d, yet hanging still upon the sound
Of all its music!
And I know a grove
And the trim walks are broken up, and grass,
Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths A CONVERSATION POEM;
But never elsewhere in one place I knew
So many Nightingales ; and far and near,
In wood and thicket, over the wide grove,
They answer and provoke each other's song, No cloud, no relic of the sunken day
With skirmish and capricious passagings, Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip
And murmurs musical and swift jug jug, Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues. And one low piping sound more sweet than allCome, we will rest on this old mossy bridge! Stirring the air with such a harmony, You see the glimmer of the stream beneath, That should you close your eyes, you might almost But hear no murmuring: it flows silently, Forget it was not day! On moonlight bushes, O'er its soft bed of verdure. All is still,
Whose dewy leaflets are but half disclosed, A balmy night! and though the stars be dim, You may perchance behold them on the twigs, Yet let us think upon the vernal showers
Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both bright Triat gladden the green earth, and we shall find
and full, A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.
Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the shade And hark! the Nightingale begins its song, Lights up her love-torch.
“A beautiful white cloud of foam at momentary intervals This passage in Milton possesses an excellence far superio coursed by the side of the vessel with a roar, and little stars to that of mere description. It is spoken in the character of the of flame danced and sparkled and went out in it: and every melancholy man, and has therefore a dramatic propriety. The now and then light detachments of this white cloud-like foam author makes this remark, to rescue himself from the charge darted off from the vessel's side, each with its own small con- of having alluded with levity to a line in Milton: a charge than stellation, over the sen, anul scoured out of sight like a Tartar which none could be more painful to him, except perbaps than troud over u wilderuess."- The Friend, p. 220.
of having ridiculed his Bible.