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ADDRESS TO MY INFANT DAUGHTER, ON BEING REMINDED THAT SHE WAS A MONTH OLD ON
If you listen, all is still,
Yet, whate’er enjoyments dwell In the impenetrable cell Of the silent heart which Nature Furnishes to every creature ; Whatsoe'er we feel and know Too sedate for outward show, Such a light of gladness breaks, Pretty Kitten! from thy freaks,Spreads with such a living grace O'er my little Laura's face ; Yes, the sight so stirs and charms Thee, Baby, laughing in my arms, That almost I could repine That your transports are not mine, That I do not wholly fare Even as ye do, thoughtless pair ! And I will have my careless season Spite of melancholy reason, Will walk through life in such a way That, when time brings on decay, Now and then I may possess Hours of perfect gladsomeness.
- Pleased by any random toy ; By a kitten's busy joy, Or an infant's laughing eye Sharing in the ecstasy ; I would fare like that or this, Find my wisdom in my bliss ; Keep the sprightly soul awake, And have faculties to take, Even from things by sorrow wrought, Matter for a jocund thought, Spite of care, and spite of grief, To gambol with Life's falling Leaf.
- --Hast thou then survivedMild Offspring of infirm humanity, Meek Infant ! among all forlornest things The most forlorn-one life of that bright star, The second glory of the Heavens Thou hast; Already hast survived that great decay, That transformation through the wide earth felt, And by all nations. In that Being's sight From whom the Race of human kind proceed, A thousand years are but as yesterday ; And one day's narrow circuit is to Him Not less capacious than a thousand years. But what is time? What outward glory ? neither A measure is of Thee, whose claims extend Through heaven's eternal year.'- Yet hail to Thee, Frail, feeble, Monthling!—by that name, methinks, Thy scanty breathing-time is portioned out Not idly.—Hadst thou been of Indian birth, Couched on a casual bed of moss and leaves, And rudely canopied by leafy boughs, Or to the churlish elements exposed On the blank plains, the coldness of the night, Or the night's darkness, or its cheerful face Of beauty, by the changing moon adorned, Would, with imperious admonition, then Have scored thine age, and punctually timed Thine infant history, on the minds of those Who might have wandered with thee.-Mother's
love, Nor less than mother's love in other breasts, Will, among us warm-clad and warmly housed, Do for thee what the finger of the heavens Doth all too often harshly execute For thy unblest coevals, amid wilds Where fancy hath small liberty to grace The affections, to exalt them or refine; And the maternal sympathy itself, Though strong, is, in the main, a joyless tie Of naked instinct, wound about the heart. Happier, far happier is thy lot and ours ! Even now-to solemnise thy helpless state, And to enliven in the mind's regard Thy passive beauty-parallels have risen, Resemblances, or contrasts, that connect, Within the region of a father's thoughts, Thee and thy mate and sister of the sky. And first ;-thy sinless progress, through a world
By sorrow darkened and by care disturbed, | Apt likeness bears to hers, through gathered clouds,
Moving untouched in silver purity,
A mournful labour, while to her is given And cheering oft-times their reluctant gloom. Hope, and a renovation without end. Fair are ye both, and both are free from stain : -That smile forbids the thought; for on thy face But thou, how leisurely thou fill'st thy horn Smiles are beginning, like the beams of dawn, With brightness ! leaving her to post along, To shoot and circulate; smiles have there been seen; And range about, disquieted in change,
Tranquil assurances that Heaven supports And still impatient of the shape she wears.
The feeble motions of thy life, and cheers Once up, once down the hill, one journey, Babe Thy loneliness : or shall those smiles be called That will suffice thee; and it seems that now Feelers of love, put forth as if to explore Thou hast fore-knowledge that such task is thine ; | This untried world, and to prepare thy way Thou travellest so contentedly, and sleep'st
Through a strait passage intricate and dim? In such a heedless peace. Alas! full soon
Such are they; and the same are tokens, signs, Hath this conception, grateful to behold,
Which, when the appointed season hath arrived, Changed countenance, like an object sullied o'er Joy, as her holiest language, shall adopt ; By breathing mist; and thine appears to be | And Reason's godlike Power be proud to own.
In Cairo's crowded streets
CHARLES LAMB, ESQ.
MY DEAR FRIEND,
When I sent you, a few weeks ago, the Tale of Peter Bell, you asked why The WAGGONER was not added ?' -To say the truth,-from the higher tone of imagination, and the deeper touches of passion aimed at in the former, I apprehended, this little Piece could not accompany it without disadvantage. In the year 1806, if I am not mistaken, The WAGGONER was read to you in manuscript, and, as you have remembered it for so long a time, I am the more encouraged to hope, that, since the localities on which the Poem partly depends did not prevent its being interesting to you, it may prove acceptable to others. Being therefore in some measure the cause of its present appearance, you must allow me the gratification of inscribing it to you ; in acknowledgment of the pleasure I have derived from your Writings, and of the high esteem with which
I am very truly yours,
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. Rydal Mount, May 20, 1819.
The air, as in a lion's den,
Confiding Glow-worms, 'tis a night
Hush, there is some one on the stir!
Man and Maidens wheel,
Much did it taunt the humble Light
Who sate a ruler on his throne
Erected in the skies.
Thou shrink'st as momently thy rays
Are mastered by the breathing haze ;
While neither mist, nor thickest cloud
But not for this do I aspire
To match the spark of local fire,
That at my will burns on the dewy lawn,
Till, like thyself, I disappear
Before the purple dawn."
When this in modest guise was said,
Across the welkin seemed to spread Had closed upon his weary way,
A boding sound-for aught but sleep unfit! A lodging begged beneath a castle's roof;
! Hills quaked, the rivers backward ran; But him the haughty Warder spurned;
That Star, so proud of late, looked wan ; And from the gate the Pilgrim turned,
And reeled with visionary stir To seek such covert as the field
In the blue depth, like Lucifer Or heath-besprinkled copse might yield,
Cast headlong to the pit ! Or lofty wood, shower-proof.
Fire raged: and, when the spangled floor He paced along; and, pensively,
Of ancient ether was no more, Halting beneath a shady tree,
New heavens succeeded, by the dream brought forth: Whose moss-grown root might serve for couch or And all the happy Sonia that moe seat,
Transfigured through that fresh abode, Fixed on a Star his upward eye;
Had heretofore, in humble trust,
Shone meekly mid their native dust,
This knowledge, from an Angel's voice
Proceeding, made the heart rejoice The murmur of a neighbouring stream
Of Him who slept upon the open lea :
Waking at morn he murmured not ;
Was to the Pilgrim's soul endeared,
Where by that dream he had been cheered
1818 Intelligible sounds.