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Such have I been deem'd. -
May my fears, My filial fears, be vain ! and may the vaunts And menace of the vengeful enemy Pass like the gust, that roard and died away In the distant tree : which heard, and only heard In this low dell, bow'd not the delicate grass.
But now the gentle dew-fall sends abroad The fruit-like perfume of the golden furze : The light has left the summit of the hill, Though still a sunny gleam lies beautiful, Aslant the ivied beacon.* Now farewell, Farewell, awhile, O soft and silent spot! On the green sheep-track, up the heathy hill, Homeward I wind my way; and lo! recallid From bodings that have well-nigh wearied me, I find myself upon the brow, and pause Startled! And after lonely sojourning In such a quiet and surrounded nook, This burst of prospect, here the shadowy main, Dim-tinted, there the mighty majesty Of that huge amphitheatre of rich And elmy fields, seems like societyConversing with the mind, and giving it A livelier impulse and a dance of thought ; And now, beloved Stowey! I behold Thy church-tower, and, methinks, the four huge
elms Clustering, which mark the mansion of my friend; And close behind them, hidden from my view, Is my own lowly cottage, where my babe And my babe's mother dwell in peace! With light And quicken'd footsteps thitherward I tend, Remembering thee, O green and silent dell! And grateful, that by Nature's quietness
* On the long-ivied beacon.-1798. + Scene.-10.
And solitary musings, all my heart
Nether Stowey, April 20th, 1798.
THE NIGHTINGALE :
A CONVERSATIONAL POEM, WRITTEN IN APRIL, 1798.*
Distinguishes the West, no long thin slip
* First printed in Lyrical Ballads, 1798.
† “ Most musical, most melancholy.” This passage in Milton possesses an excellence far superior to that of mere description: it is spoken in the character of the melancholy man, and has therefore a dramatic propriety. The author makes this remark to rescue himself from the charge of having alluded with levity to a line in Milton, a charge than which none could be more painful to him, except perhaps that of having ridiculed his Bible.
A melancholy bird ? Oh! idle thought !
My Friend, and thou, our Sister ! * we have
* My Friend and my Friend's Sister.—1798.
A different lore: we may not thus profane
And I know a grove Of large extent, hard by a castle huge, Which the great lord inhabits not; and so This grove is wild with tangling underwood, And the trim walks are broken up, and grass, Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths. 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 songs, With skirmish and capricious passagings, And murmurs musical and swift jug jug, And one low piping sound more sweet than allStirring the air with such an harmony, That should you close your eyes, you might almost Forget it was not day! On moonlight bushes, Whose dewy leafits are but half-disclosed, You may perchance behold them on the twigs, Their bright, bright eyes, their eyes both bright and
full, Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the shade Lights up her love-torch.