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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
The berries of the half-uprooted ash
Dripping and bright; and list the torrent's dash,-

Beneath the cypress, or the yew more dark,

Seated at ease, on some smooth

mossy

rock;
In social silence now, and now to unlock
The treasured heart; arm linked in friendly arm,
Save if the one, his muse’s witching charm
Muttering brow-bent, at unwatched distance lag ;

Till high o'er head his beckoning friend appears
And from the forehead of the topmost crag

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,
To some lone mansion, in some woody dale,
Where smiling with blue eye, domestic bliss
Gives this the husband's, that the brother's kiss !

Thus rudely versed in allegoric lore,
The Hill of Knowledge I essayed to trace;
That verdurous hill with many a resting-place,

And many a stream, whose warbling waters pour

To glad and fertilize the subject plains ;
That hill with secret springs, and nooks untrod,
And many a fancy-blest and holy sod

Where Inspiration, his diviner strains

ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG MAN OF FORTUNE.

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Low murmuring, lay; and starting from the rocks
Stiff evergreens, whose spreading foliage mocks
Want’s barren soil, and the bleak frosts of age,
And bigotry's mad fire-invoking rage !
O meek retiring spirit! we will climb,
Cheering and cheered, this lovely hill sublime;

And from the stirring world up-lifted high,
(Whose noises, faintly wafted on the wind,
To quiet musings shall attune the mind,

And oft the melancholy theme supply)
There, while the prospect through the gazing eye

Pours all its healthful greenness on the soul,
We'll smile at wealth, and learn to smile at fame,
Our hopes, our knowledge, and our joys the same,

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

CAUSELESS MELANCHOLY.

HENCE that fantastic wantonness of woe,

O Youth to partial Fortune vainly dear!
To plundered want's half-sheltered hovel go,

Go, and some hunger-bitten infant hear
Moan haply in a dying mother's ear :

Or when the cold and dismal fog-damps brood
O’er the rank church-yard with sear elm-leaves strewed,
Pace round some widow's grave, whose dearer part

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 skimmed the smooth thin stone along thy breast,
Numbering its light leaps ! yet so deep imprest
Sink the sweet scenes of childhood, that mine eyes

I never shut amid the sunny ray,
But straight with all their tints thy waters rise,

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.

All you

Enter TERESA and SELMA.
Ter. 'Tis said, he spake of you familiarly,
As mine and Alvar's common foster-mother.

Sel. Now blessings on the man, whoe'er he be,
That joined your names with mine! O my sweet Lady,
As often as I think of those dear times,
When

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 ?
Sel. Can no one hear? It is a perilous tale !
Ter. No one.
Sel.

My husband's father told it me,
Poor old Sesina-angels rest his soul ;
He was a woodman, and could fell and saw
With lusty arm. You know that huge round beam
Which props the hanging wall of the old chapel ?
Beneath that tree, while yet it was a tree,
He found a baby wrapt in mosses, lined
With thistle-beards, and such small locks of wool
As hang on brambles. Well, he brought him home,
And reared him at the then Lord Valdez' cost,
And so the babe grew up a pretty boy,

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