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And dogs and boys, a gladsome crowd,
I would, I would that she were here !" Then ancient Skiddaw, stern and proud,
In sullen majesty replying,
(His voice was like an echo dying !) :“ She dwells belike in * scenes more fair, And scorns a mount so bleak and bare."
I only sigh'd when this I heard,
So sorely was I troubled !
But O the tears were doubled !
But ancient Skiddaw green and high
“Nay, but thou dost not know her might,
The pinions of her soul how strong!
Sending forth his ecstasy
In her divinest melody,
Unfetter'd by mortality !
Beside the threshold scourged with waves,
I too, methinks, might merit
To me too might belong
Which most resembles me,
Thus spake the mighty Mount, and I Made answer, with a deep-drawn sigh : “Thou ancient Skiddaw, by this tear,
I would, I would that she were here !" November, 1800.
* Now to the maniac while he raves-1801.
TO MR. PYE*
On his Carmen Seculare (a title which has by various
persons who have heard it, been thus translated, “ A Poem an age long”).
Your Poem must eternal be,
Eternal ! it can't fail,
And without head or tail ! †
* Morning Post, Jan. 24, 1800.
+ “The following anecdote will not be wholly out of place here, and may perhaps amuse the reader. An amateur performer in verse expressed to a common friend, a strong desire to be introduced to me, but hesitated in accepting my friend's immediate offer, on the score that “ he was, he must acknowledge, the author of a confounded severe epigram on my Ancient Mariner, which had given me great pain. I assured my friend that if the epigram was a good one, it would only increase my desire to become acquainted with the author, and begged to hear it recited: when, to my no less surprise than amusement, it proved to be one which I had myself some time before written and inserted in the Morning Post. To the author of the Ancient Mariner.
Your poem must eternal be,
Dear sir ! it cannot fail,
And without head or tail.” - Bingraphia Literaria, Lond. 1817, vol. i. p. 28. It would seem, however, from the above that it was an afterthought on the author's part to apply this epigram to himself and his Ancient Mariner.-ED.