Imágenes de páginas
PDF
[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

And there they built up, without mortar or lime, “ Drink, pretty creature, drink,” she said in such A Man on the peak of the crag.

a tone

That I almost received her heart into my own. They built him of stones gathered up as they lay : They built him and christened him all in one day, 'Twas little Barbara Lewthwaite, a child of beauty An urchin both vigorous and hale ;

rare ! And so without scruple they called him Ralph Jones. I watched them with delight, they were a lovely pair. Now Ralph is renowned for the length of his bones; Now with her empty can the maiden turned away: The Magog of Legberthwaite dale.

But ere ten yards were gone her footsteps did she

I stay.
Jast half a week after, the wind sallied forth,
And, in anger or merriment, out of the north,

Right towards the lamb she looked ; and from a Coming on with a terrible pother,

shady place From the peak of the crag blew the giant away.

I unobserved could see the workings of her face: And what did these school-boys!—The very next

If Nature to her tongue could measured numbers day

bring, They went and they built up another.

Thus, thought I, to her lamb that little Maid might

sing : -Some little I've seen of blind boisterous works By Christian disturbers more savage than Turks,

“What ails thee, young One ? what? Why pull Spirits busy to do and undo :

so at thy cord ? At remembrance whereof my blood sometimes will

Is it not well with thee? well both for bed and board ? flag ;

Thy plot of grass is soft, and green as grass can be ; Then, light-hearted Boys, to the top of the crag;

Rest, little young One, rest; what is 't that aileth And I 'll build up a giant with you.

1801.

thee?

XIV.

What is it thou wouldst seek? What is wanting

to thy heart ?

Thy limbs are they not strong? And beautiful THE PET-LAMB.

thou art :

This grass is tender grass ; these flowers they have A PASTORAL

no peers ; The dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink; And that green corn all day is rustling in thy ears ! I heard a voice ; it said, “ Drink, pretty creature, drink!”

If the sun be shining hot, do but stretch thy woollen | And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied

chain, A snow-white mountain-lamb with a Maiden at its This beech is standing by, its covert thou canst gain; side.

For rain and mountain-storms! the like thou

need'st not fear, Nor sheep nor kine were near; the lamb was all The rain and storm are things that scarcely can alone,

come here. And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone; With one knee on the grass did the little Maiden

“ Rest, little young One, rest; thou hast forgot the day kneel,

When my father found thee first in places far away; While to that mountain-lamb she gave its evening

ng Many flocks were on the hills, but thou wert owned meal.

by none, The lamb, while from her hand he thus his supper | And thy mother from thy side for evermore was took,

gone. Seemed to feast with head and ears ; and his tail with pleasure shook.

He took thee in his arms, and in pity brought thee

home : the beautiful dale of Legberthwaite, along the high road | A blessed day for thee ! then whither wouldst between Keswick and Ambleside.

thou roam ?

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Thou know'st that twice a day I have brought thee

in this can Fresh water from the brook, as clear as ever ran; And twice in the day, when the ground is wet with

dew, I bring thee draughts of milk, warm milk it is and

new.

SIX YEARS OLD.
O THOU! whose fancies from afar are brought ;
Who of thy words dost make a mock apparel,
And fittest to unutterable thought
The breeze-like motion and the self-born carol;
Thou faery voyager ! that dost float
In such clear water, that thy boat
May rather seem
To brood on air than on an earthly stream;
Suspended in a stream as clear as sky,
Where earth and heaven do make one imagery;
O blessed vision ! happy child !
Thou art so exquisitely wild,
I think of thee with many fears
For what may be thy lot in future years.

Thy limbs will shortly be twice as stout as they

are now Then I'll yoke thee to my cart like a pony in the

plough ; My playmate thou shalt be ; and when the wind is

cold Our hearth shall be thy bed, our house shall be

thy fold.

It will not, will not rest!-Poor creature, can it be
That 'tis thy mother's heart which is working so

in thee?
Things that I know not of belike to thee are dear,
And dreams of things which thou canst neither see

nor hear.

Alas, the mountain-tops that look so green and fair !
I've heard of fearful winds and darkness that come

there;
The little brooks that seem all pastime and all play,
When they are angry, roar like lions for their prey.

I thought of times when Pain might be thy guest,
Lord of thy house and hospitality;
And Grief, uneasy lover! never rest
But when she sate within the touch of thee.
O too industrious folly!
O vain and causeless melancholy !
Nature will either end thee quite;
Or, lengthening out thy season of delight,
Preserve for thee, by individual right,
A young lamb's heart among the full-grown flocks.
What hast thou to do with sorrow,
Or the injuries of to-morrow?
Thou art a dew-drop, which the morn brings forth,
Ill fitted to sustain unkindly shocks,
Or to be trailed along the soiling earth;
A gem that glitters while it lives,
And no forewarning gives;
But, at the touch of wrong, without a strife
Slips in a moment out of life.

1802.

Here thou need'st not dread the raven in the sky;
Night and day thou art safe,-our cottage is hard by.
Why bleat so after me? Why pull so at thy chain?
Sleep-and at break of day I will come to thee

again!”

XVI.

-As homeward through the lane I went with lazy

feet,
This song to myself did I oftentimes repeat ;
And it seemed, as I retraced the ballad line by line,
That but half of it was hers, and one half of it was

mine.

INFLUENCE OF NATURAL OBJECTS

IN CALLING FORTH AND STRENGTHENING THE IMAGI

NATION IN BOYHOOD AND EARLY YOUTH.

YROM AN UNPUBLISHED POEM.

Again, and once again, did I repeat the song ; « Nay,” said I, “ more than half to the damsel [This extract is reprinted from "The FRIEND."] must belong,

WISDOM and Spirit of the universe ! For she looked with such a look, and she spake

| Thou Soul, that art the Eternity of thought ! with such a tone,

And giv'st to forms and images a breath That I almost received her heart into my own."

And everlasting motion ! not in vain, 1800.

By day or star-light, thus from my first dawn

Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me
The passions that build up our human soul;
Not with the mean and vulgar works of Man;
But with high objects, with enduring things,
With life and nature; purifying thus
The elements of feeling and of thought,
And sanctifying by such discipline
Both pain and fear,until we recognise
A grandeur in the beatings of the heart.

Stopped short; yet still the solitary cliffs
Wheeled by me-even as if the earth had rolled
With visible motion her diurnal round !
Behind me did they stretch in solemn train,
Feebler and feebler, and I stood and watched
Till all was tranquil as a summer sea.

1799.

XVII.

THE LONGEST DAY.

ADDRESSED TO — Let us quit the leafy arbour, And the torrent murmuring by; For the sun is in his harbour, Weary of the open sky.

Evening now unbinds the fetters
Fashioned by the glowing light;
All that breathe are thankful debtors
To the harbinger of night.

Nor was this fellowship vouchsafed to me With stinted kindness. In November days, When vapours rolling down the valleys made A lonely scene more lonesome; among woods At noon; and mid the calm of summer nights, When, by the margin of the trembling lake, Beneath the gloomy hills, homeward I went In solitude, such intercourse was mine : Mine was it in the fields both day and night, And by the waters, all the summer long. And in the frosty season, when the sun Was set, and, visible for many a mile, The cottage-windows through the twilight blazed, I heeded not the summons: happy time It was indeed for all of us; for me It was a time of rapture ! Clear and loud The village-clock tolled six-I wheeled about, Proud and exulting like an untired horse That cares not for his home.--All shod with steel We hissed along the polished ice, in games Confederate, imitative of the chase And woodland pleasures, the resounding horn, The pack loud-chiming, and the hunted hare. So through the darkness and the cold we flew, And not a voice was idle: with the din Smitten, the precipices rang aloud; The leafless trees and every icy crag Tinkled like iron; while far-distant hills Into the tumult sent an alien sound Of melancholy, not unnoticed while the stars, Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in the west The orange sky of evening died away.

Yet by some grave thoughts attended
Eve renews her calm career;
For the day that now is ended,
Is the longest of the year.

Laura ! sport, as now thou sportest,
On this platform, light and free;
Take thy bliss, while longest, shortest,
Are indifferent to thee!

Who would check the happy feeling
That inspires the linnet's song?
Who would stop the swallow, wheeling
On her pinions swift and strong ?

Yet at this impressive season, Words which tenderness can speak From the truths of homely reason, Might exalt the loveliest cheek;

Not seldom from the uproar I retired Into a silent bay, or sportively Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng, To cut across the reflex of a star ; Image, that, flying still before me, gleamed Upon the glassy plain: and oftentimes, When we had given our bodies to the wind, And all the shadowy banks on either side Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still The rapid line of motion, then at once lave I, reclining back upon my heels,

And, while shades to shades succeeding
Steal the landscape from the sight,
I would urge this moral pleading,
Last forerunner of Good night !”

SUMMER ebbs;--each day that follows
Is a reflux from on high,
Tending to the darksome hollows
Where the frosts of winter lie.

[blocks in formation]

Think, if thou on beauty leanest,
Think how pitiful that stay,
Did not virtue give the meanest
Charms superior to decay.

Duty, like a strict preceptor, Sometimes frowns, or seems to frown; Choose her thistle for thy sceptre, While youth's roses are thy crown.

Grasp it,-if thou shrink and tremble,
Fairest damsel of the green,
Thou wilt lack the only symbol
That proclaims a genuine queen ;

The hut stood finished by his pains, nor seemingly

lacked aught That skill or means of his could add, but the

architect had wrought Some limber twigs into a Cross, well-shaped with

fingers nice, To be engrafted on the top of his small edifice. That Cross he now was fastening there, as the sures

power and best For supplying all deficiencies, all wants of the red

nest In which, from burning heat, or tempest drivin:

far and wide, The innocent Boy, else shelterless, his lonely hea

must hide.

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinuar »