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Shut close the door; press down the latch;
Sleep in thy intellectual crust;
Nor lose ten tickings of thy watch
Near this unprofitable dust.
But who is He, with modest looks,
And clad in homely russet brown ?
He murmurs near the running brooks
A music sweeter than their own.
He is retired as noontide dew,
Or fountain in a noon-day grove ;
And you must love him, ere to you
He will seem worthy of your love.
The outward shows of sky and earth,
Of hill and valley, he has viewed ;
And impulses of deeper birth
Have come to him in solitude.
In common things that round us lie
Some random truths he can impart,-
The harvest of a quiet eye
That broods and sleeps on his own heart.
But he is weak; both Man and Boy,
Hath been an idler in the land;
Contented if he might enjoy
The things which others understand.
-Come hither in thy hour of strength;
Come, weak as is a breaking wave!
Here stretch thy body at full length;
Or build thy house upon this grave.
LUCY GRAY ; OR, SOLITUDE.
Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray :
And, when I crossed the wild,
I chanced to see at break of day
The solitary child.
No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
She dwelt on a wide moor,
-The sweetest thing that ever grew
Beside a human door!
You yet may spy the fawn at play,
The hare upon the green ;
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
Will never more be seen.
'To-night will be a stormy night-
You to the town must go ;
And take a lantern, Child, to light
Your mother through the snow.'
'That, Father! will I gladly do:
'Tis scarcely afternoon-
The minster-clock has just struck two,
And yonder is the moon !'
At this the Father raised his hook,
And snapped a faggot-band;
He plied his work ;-ạnd Lucy took
The lantern in her hand.
Not blither is the mountain roe :
With many a wanton stroke
Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
That rises up like smoke.
The storm came on before its time :
She wandered up and down ;
And many a hill did Lucy climb,
But never reached the town.
The wretched parents all that night
Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight
To serve them for a guide.
At day-break on a hill they stood
That overlooked the moor;
And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
A furlong from their door.
They wept—and, turning homeward, cried,
In heaven we all shall meet !'
-When in the snow the mother spied
The print of Lucy's feet.
Then downwards from the steep hill's edge
They tracked the footmarks small;
And through the broken hawthorn hedge,
And by the long stone-wall :
And then an open field they crossed ;
The marks were still the same ;
They tracked them on, nor ever lost;
And to the bridge they came.
They followed from the snowy bank
Those footmarks, one by one,
Into the middle of the plank;
And further there were none !
– Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child ;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild.
O’er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind ;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind.
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove, A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love :
A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye! -Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be ;
But she is in her grave, and, oh,
The difference to me!
Three years she grew in sun and shower,
Then Nature said, 'A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown ;
This Child I to myself will take,
She shall be mine, and I will make
A Lady of my own.
Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse : and with me
The Girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.
She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn
Or up the mountain springs;
And hers shall be the breathing balm,
And hers the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.
The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend ;
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the Storm
Grace that shall mould the Maiden's form
By silent sympathy,
The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.
And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell ;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell'
Thus Nature spake—The work was done-
How soon my Lucy's race was run !
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm, and quiet scene ;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.
A slumber did my spirit seal ;
I had no human fears :
She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.
No motion has she now, no force ;
She neither hears nor sees ;
Rolled round in earth's diurnal course,
With rocks, and stones, and trees.