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Concealed from friends who might disturb Preserves her beauty mid autumnal leaves
And to her mournful habits fondly cleaves.
When files of stateliest plants have ceased to bloom, On barbarous plunder bent,
One after one submitting to their doom,
When her coevals each and all are fled, Rest, Mother-bird ! and when thy young What keeps her thus reclined upon her lonesome i Take flight, and thou art free to roam,
bed? When withered is the guardian Flower, And empty thy late home,
The old mythologists, more impressid than we ,
Of this late day by character in tree Think how ye prospered, thou and thine, Or herb, that claimed peculiar sympathy, Amid the unviolated grove
Or by the silent lapse of fountain clear,
Or with the language of the viewless air
By bird or beast made vocal, sought a cause
Nor doubt that something of their spirit swayed
The fancy-stricken Youth or heart-sick Maid, You call it, “ Love lies bleeding,"—so you may, Who, while each stood companionless and eyed Though the red Flower, not prostrate, only droops, This undeparting Flower in crimson dyed, As we have seen it here from day to day,
Thought of a wound which death is slow to cure,
SYLPH was it? or a Bird more bright
Than those of fabulous stock ! Spangled with drops of that celestial shower.
A second darted by ;-and lo! She suffered, as Immortals sometimes do ;
Another of the flock, But pangs more lasting far, that Lover knew
Through sunshine flitting from the bough Who first, weighed down by scorn, in some lone To nestle in the rock. bower
Transient deception ! a gay freak Did press this semblance of unpitied smart
Of April's mimicries !
Those brilliant strangers, hailed with joy
Proved last year's leaves, pushed from the spray thou wilt ever bear.
To frolic on the breeze.
Maternal Flora ! show thy face,
And let thy hand be seen,
That, as they touch the green,
In honour of their Queen.
That not in vain aspired
To be confounded with live growths,
Most dainty, most admired, Were only blossoms dropped from twigs
Of their own offspring tired.
Not such the World's illusive shows ;
Her wingless flutterings,
The floweret as it springs,
Are melancholy things :
With ever-varying wiles,
So well she reconciles,
Now she works with three or four,
'Tis a pretty baby-treat ; Nor, I deem, for me unmeet; Here, for neither Babe nor me, Other play-mate can I see. Of the countless living things, That with stir of feet and wings (In the sun or under shade, Upon bough or grassy blade) And with busy revellings, Chirp and song, and murmurings, Made this orchard's narrow space, And this vale so blithe a place ; Multitudes are swept away Never more to breathe the day : Some are sleeping ; some in bands Travelled into distant lands ; Others slunk to moor and wood, Far from human neighbourhood; And, among the Kinds that keep With us closer fellowship, With us openly abide, All have laid their mirth aside.
THE KITTEN AND FALLING LEAVES.
That way look, my Infant, lo ! What a pretty baby-show ! See the Kitten on the wall, Sporting with the leaves that fall, Withered leaves one-two-and threeFrom the lofty elder-tree ! Through the calm and frosty air Of this morning bright and fair, Eddying round and round they sink Softly, slowly: one might think, From the motions that are made, Every little leaf conveyed Sylph or Faery hither tending, To this lower world descending, Each invisible and mute, In his wavering parachute. - But the Kitten, how she starts, Crouches, stretches, paws, and darts ! First at one, and then its fellow Just as light and just as yellow ; There are many now-now oneNow they stop and there are none : What intenseness of desire In her upward eye of fire ! With a tiger-leap half way Now she meets the coming prey, Lets it go as fast, and then Has it in her power again :
Where is he that giddy Sprite, Blue-cap, with his colours bright, Who was blest as bird could be, Feeding in the apple-tree ; Made such wanton spoil and rout, Turning blossoms inside out ; Hung-head pointing towards the groundFluttered, perched, into a round Bound himself, and then unbound; Lithest, gaudiest Harlequin ! Prettiest Tumbler ever seen! Light of heart and light of limb; What is won become of Him? Lambs, that through the mountains went Frisking, bleating merriment, When the year was in its prime, They are sobered by this time. If you look to vale or hill,
ADDRESS TO MY INFANT DAUGHTER,
ON BEING REMINDED THAT SHE WAS A NUNTA 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.'- Yethail 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
Which, when the appointed season hath arrived,
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.
'Tis spent this burning day of June !
The air, as in a lion's den,
Confiding Glow-worms, 'tis a night
Hush, there is some one on the stir!