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IV. POEMS OF VARIED CHARACTER.
TO A YOUNG FRIEND,
ON HIS PROPOSING TO DOMESTICATE WITH THE AUTHOR.
COMPOSED IN 1796.
A MOUNT, not wearisome and bare and steep,
But a green mountain variously up-piled, Where o’er the jutting rocks soft mosses creep, Or coloured lichens with slow oozing weep; Where
cypress and the darker yew start wild ; And ’mid the summer torrent’s gentle dash Dance brightened the red clusters of the ash;
Beneath whose boughs, by those still sounds beguiled, Calm Pensiveness might muse herself to sleep;
Till haply startled by some fleecy dam, That rustling on the bushy cliff above, With melancholy bleat of anxious love,
Made meek enquiry for her wandering lamb:
Such a green mountain 'twere most sweet to climb, Een while the bosom ached with lonelinessHow more than sweet, if some dear friend should bless
The adventurous toil, and up the path sublime Now lead, now follow : the glad landscape round Wide and more wide, increasing without bound !
O then 'twere loveliest sympathy, to mark
Beneath the cypress, or the yew more dark,
Seated at ease, on some smooth
Till high o'er head his beckoning friend appears
Shouts eagerly : for haply there uprears That shadowing pine its old romantic limbs,
Which latest shall detain the enamoured sight Seen from below, when eve the valley dims,
Tinged yellow with the rich departing light;
And haply, basoned in some unsunned cleft, A beauteous spring, the rock's collected tears, Sleeps sheltered there, scarce wrinkled by the gale!
Together thus, the world's vain turmoil left, Stretched on the crag, and shadowed by the pine,
And bending o'er the clear delicious fount, Ah! dearest youth! it were a lot divine To cheat our noons in moralizing mood, While west-winds fanned our temples toil-bedewed :
Then downwards slope, oft pausing, from the mount,
Thus rudely versed in allegoric lore,
And many a stream, whose warbling waters pour
To glad and fertilize the subject plains ;
Where Inspiration, his diviner strains
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG MAN OF FORTUNE.
Low murmuring, lay; and starting from the rocks
And from the stirring world up-lifted high,
And oft the melancholy theme supply)
Pours all its healthful greenness on the soul,
As neighbouring fountains image, each the whole : Then when the mind hath drunk its fill of truth
We'll discipline the heart to pure delight, Rekindling sober joy's domestic flame. They whom I love shall love thee, honoured youth ! Now may
Heaven realize this vision bright !
ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG MAN OF FORTUNE
WHO ABANDONED HIMSELF TO AN INDOLENT AND
HENCE that fantastic wantonness of woe,
O Youth to partial Fortune vainly dear!
Go, and some hunger-bitten infant hear
Or when the cold and dismal fog-damps brood
Was slaughtered, where o'er his uncoffined linibs The flocking flesh-birds screamed! Then, while thy
heart Groans, and thine eye a fiercer sorrow dims, Know (and the truth shall kindle thy young mind) What nature makes thee mourn, she bids thee heal!
O abject! if, to sickly dreams resigned, All effortless thou leave life's common-weal
A prey to tyrants, murderers of mankind.
SONNET TO THE RIVER OTTER.
DEAR native brook! wild streamlet of the West !
How many various-fated years have past,
What happy, and what mournful hours, since last
I never shut amid the sunny ray,
Thy crossing plank, thy marge with willows grey, And bedded sand that, veined with various dyes, Gleamed through thy bright transparence! On my way,
Visions of childhood ! oft have ye beguiled Lone manhood's cares, yet waking fondest sighs
Ah! that once more I were a careless child !
THE FOSTER MOTHER'S TALE.
A DRAMATIC FRAGMENT.
The following Scene, as unfit for the stage, was taken from the tragedy in the year 1797, and published in the Lyrical Ballads.
Enter TERESA and SELMA.
Sel. Now blessings on the man, whoe'er he be,
you two little ones would stand, at eve, On each side of my chair, and make me learn
had learnt in the day; and how to talk In gentle phrase ; then bid me sing to you— 'Tis more like heaven to come, than what has been !
Ter. But that entrance, Selma ?
My husband's father told it me,