« AnteriorContinuar »
Of Grasmere safe in its own privacy :
By sickness, gaunt and lean, with sunken cheeks And there myself and two beloved Friends, And wasted limbs, his legs so long and lean One calm September morning, ere the mist That for my single self I looked at them, Had altogether yielded to the sun,
Forgetful of the body they sustained.Sauntered on this retired and difficult way. Too weak to labour in the harvest field,
- Ill suits the road with one in haste; but we The Man was using his best skill to gain Played with our time; and, as we strolled along, | A pittance from the dead unfeeling lake It was our occupation to observe
That knew not of his wants. I will not say Such objects as the waves had tossed ashore What thoughts immediately were ours, nor how Feather, or leaf, or weed, or withered bough, The happy idleness of that sweet morn, Each on the other heaped, along the line
With all its lovely images, was changed Of the dry wreck. And, in our vacant mood, To serious musing and to self-reproach. Not seldom did we stop to watch some tuft Nor did we fail to see within ourselves Of dandelion seed or thistle's beard,
What need there is to be reserved in speech, That skimmed the surface of the dead calm lake, And temper all our thoughts with charity. Suddenly halting now-a lifeless stand !
- Therefore, unwilling to forget that day,
By a memorial name, uncouth indeed
And Point Rash-JUDGMENT is the name it bears. Alike indulged to all, we paused, one now,
TO M. H.
Our walk was far among the ancient trees:
There was no road, nor any woodman's path; On Grasmere's beach, than Naiad by the side
But a thick umbrage-checking the wild growth Of Grecian brook, or Lady of the Mere,
Of weed and sapling, along soft green turf Sole-sitting by the shores of old romance.
Beneath the branches of itself had made -So fared we that bright morning: from the fields,
A track, that brought us to a slip of lawn, Meanwhile, a noise was heard, the busy mirth
And a small bed of water in the woods.
All round this pool both flocks and herds might drink Of reapers, men and women, boys and girls. Delighted much to listen to those sounds,
On its firm margin, even as from a well, And feeding thus our fancies, we advanced
Or some stone-basin which the herdsman's hand Along the indented shore; when suddenly,
Had shaped for their refreshment; nor did sun, Through a thin veil of glittering haze was seen
Or wind from any quarter, ever come, Before us, on a point of jutting land,
But as a blessing to this calm recess, The tall and upright figure of a Man
This glade of water and this one green field. Attired in peasant's garb, who stood alone,
The spot was made by Nature for herself; Angling beside the margin of the lake.
The travellers know it not, and 'twill remain “ Improvident and reckless," we exclaimed,
Unknown to them; but it is beautiful; “ The Man must be, who thus can lose a day
And if a man should plant his cottage near, Of the mid harvest, when the labourer's hire
Should sleep beneath the shelter of its trees, Is ample, and some little might be stored
And blend its waters with his daily meal, Wherewith to cheer him in the winter time."
He would so love it, that in his death-hour Thus talking of that Peasant, we approached
Its image would survive among his thoughts : Close to the spot where with his rod and line
And therefore, my sweet Mary, this still Nook, He stood alone ; whereat he turned his head
With all its beeches, we have named from You!
1800. To greet us--and we saw a Man worn down
Much wondering how I could have sought in vain
WHEN, to the attractions of the busy world, Preferring studious leisure, I had chosen A habitation in this peaceful Vale, Sharp season followed of continual storm In deepest winter; and, from week to week, Pathway, and lane, and public road, were clogged With frequent showers of snow. Upon a hill At a short distance from my cottage, stands A stately Fir-grove, whither I was wont To hasten, for I found, beneath the roof Of that perennial shade, a cloistral place Of refuge, with an unincumbered floor. Here, in a safe covert, on the shallow snow, And, sometimes, on a speck of visible earth, The redbreast near me hopped; nor was I loth To sympathise with vulgar coppice birds That, for protection from the nipping blast, Hither repaired.-A single beech-tree grew Within this grove of firs ! and, on the fork Of that one beech, appeared a thrush's nest; A last year's nest, conspicuously built At such small elevation from the ground As gave sure sign that they, who in that house Of nature and of love had made their home Amid the fir-trees, all the summer long Dwelt in a tranquil spot. And oftentimes, A few sheep, stragglers from some mountain-flock, Would watch my motions with suspicious stare, From the remotest outskirts of the grove,Some nook where they had made their final stand, Huddling together from two fears—the fear Of me and of the storm. Full many an hour Here did I lose. But in this grove the trees Had been so thickly planted, and had thriven In such perplexed and intricate array; That vainly did I seek, beneath their stems A length of open space, where to and fro My feet might move without concern or care ; And, baffled thus, though earth from day to day Was fettered, and the air by storm disturbed, I ceased the shelter to frequent, and prized, Less than I wished to prize, that calm recess.
When thou hadst quitted Esthwaite's pleasant
shore, And taken thy first leave of those green hills And rocks that were the play-ground of thy youth, Year followed year, my Brother! and we two, Conversing not, knew little in what mould Each other's mind was fashioned ; and at length, When once again we met in Grasmere Vale, Between us there was little other bond Than common feelings of fraternal love. But thou, a School-boy, to the sea hadst carried Undying recollections ; Nature there Was with thee; she, who loved us both, she still Was with thee; and even so didst thou become A silent Poet; from the solitude Of the vast sea didst bring a watchful heart Still couchant, an inevitable ear, And an eye practised like a blind man's touch.
- Back to the joyless Ocean thou art gone; Nor from this vestige of thy musing hours Could I withhold thy honoured name,--and now I love the fir-grove with a perfect love. Thither do I withdraw when cloudless suns Shine hot, or wind blows troublesome and strong; And there I sit at evening, when the steep Of Silver-how, and Grasmere's peaceful lake, And one green island, gleam between the stems Of the dark firs, a visionary scene! And, while I gaze upon the spectacle of clouded splendour, on this dream-like sight Of solemn loveliness, I think on thee, My Brother, and on all which thou hast lost. Nor seldom, if I rightly guess, while Thou, Muttering the verses which I muttered first Among the mountains, through the midnight watch Art pacing thoughtfully the vessel's deck In some far region, here, while o'er my head,
The snows dissolved, and genial Spring returned To clothe the fields with verdure. Other haunts Meanwhile were mine ; till, one bright April day, By chance retiring from the glare of noon To this forsaken covert, there I found A hoary pathway traced between the trees, And winding on with such an easy line Ilong a natural opening, that I stood
At every impulse of the moving breeze,
1805. Note. This wish was not granted; the lamented Person not long after perished by shipwreck, in discharge of his duty as Commander of the Honourable East India Com. pany's Vessel, the Earl of Abergavenny.
Ever beheld. Up-led with mutual help,
gazed, The blooming heath their couch, gazed, side by
side, In speechless admiration. I, a witness And frequent sharer of their calm delight With thankful heart, to either Eminence Gave the baptismal name each Sister bore. Now are they parted, far as Death's cold hand Hath power to part the Spirits of those who love As they did love. Ye kindred Pinnacles That, while the generations of mankind Follow each other to their hiding-place In time's abyss, are privileged to endure Beautiful in yourselves, and richly graced With like command of beauty-grant your aid For Mary's humble, Sarah's silent, claim, That their pure joy in nature may survive From age to age in blended memory.
Forth from a jutting ridge, around whose base
POEMS OF THE FANCY.
Faithful, though swift as lightning, the meek dove ; A MORNING EXERCISE.
Yet more hath Nature reconciled in thee;
So constant with thy downward eye of love, Fancy, who leads the pastimes of the glad, Yet, in aërial singleness, so free; Full oft is pleased a wayward dart to throw; So humble, yet so ready to rejoice Sending sad shadows after things not sad, In power of wing and never-wearied voice. Peopling the harmless fields with signs of woe: Beneath her sway, a simple forest cry
To the last point of vision, and beyond, Becomes an echo of man's misery.
Mount, daring warbler!—that love-prompted strain,
("Twixt thee and thine a never-failing bond) Blithe ravens croak of death; and when the owl | Thrills not the less the bosom of the plain : Tries his two voices for a favourite strain
Yet might'st thou seem, proud privilege ! to sing Te-schit-Tu-whoo! the unsuspecting fowl
All independent of the leafy spring.
How would it please old Ocean to partake, Can thus pervert the evidence of joy.
With sailors longing for a breeze in vain,
The harmony thy notes most gladly make Through border wilds where naked Indians stray,
Where earth resembles most his own domain! | Myriads of notes attest her subtle skill;
Urania's self might welcome with pleased ear A feathered task-master cries, “ WORK AWAY!”
These matins mounting towards her native sphere. And, in thy iteration, “ WHIP POOR WILL * !”
Chanter by heaven attracted, whom no bars Is heard the spirit of a toil-worn slave,
To day-light known deter from that pursuit, Lashed out of life, not quiet in the grave.
'Tis well that some sage instinct, when the stars
Come forth at evening, keeps Thee still and mute; What wonder! at her bidding, ancient lays
For not an eyelid could to sleep incline Steeped in dire grief the voice of Philomel;
Wert thou among them, singing as they shine ! And that fleet messenger of summer days, The Swallow, twittered subject to like spell; But ne'er could Fancy bend the buoyant Lark To melancholy service-hark! O hark !
A FLOWER GARDEN,
AT COLEORTON HALL, LEICESTERSHIRE.
Tell me, ye Zephyrs ! that unfold, Glittering and twinkling near yon rosy cloud;
While fluttering o'er this gay Recess, Bright gem instinct with music, vocal spark ;
Pinions that fanned the teeming mould The happiest bird that sprang out of the Ark !
Of Eden's blissful wilderness,
Did only softly-stealing hours Hail, blest above all kinds !-Supremely skilled There close the peaceful lives of flowers ? Restless with fixed to balance, high with low, Thou leav'st the halcyon free her hopes to build Say, when the moving creatures saw On such forbearance as the deep may show;
All kinds commingled without fear, Perpetual Alight, unchecked by earthly ties,
Prevailed a like indulgent law Leav'st to the wandering bird of paradise.
For the still growths that prosper here?
Did wanton fawn and kid forbear * See Waterton's Wanderings in South America.
The half-blown rose, the lily spare ?
Or peeped they often from their beds
All summer-long the happy Eve
A WHIRL-BLAST from behind the hill
Yet, where the guardian fence is wound,
And, though the jealous turf refuse