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POEMS

BY

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.

POEMS WRITTEN IN YOUTH.

of the Poems in this class, "THE EVENING WALK"and" DESCRIPTIVE SKETCH ES" were first published in 1793. They Le reprinted with some alterations that were chiefly made very soon after their publication.

This notice, which was written some time ago, scarcely applies to the Poem, " Descriptive Sketches," as it now stands. The corrections, though numerous, are not, however, such as to prevent its retaining with propriety a place in the dags of Juvenile Pieces.

1836.

EXTRACT

TRON THE CONCLUSION OF A POEM, COMPOSED IN ANTI

CIPATION OF LEAVING SCHOOL.

WRITTEN IN VERY EARLY YOUTH

DEAR native regions, I foretell,
From what I feel at this farewell,
That, wheresoe'er my steps may tend,
And whensoe'er my course shall end,
If in that hour a single tie
Survive of local sympathy,
My soul will cast the backward view,
The longing look alone on you.

Calm is all nature as a resting wheel.
The kine are couched upon the dewy grass ;
The horse alone, seen dimly as I pass,
Is cropping audibly his later meal :
Dark is the ground ; a slumber seems to steal
O'er vale, and mountain, and the starless sky.
Now, in this blank of things, a harmony,
Home-felt, and home-created, comes to heal
That grief for which the senses still supply
Fresh food; for only then, when memory
Is hushed, am I at rest. My Friends ! restrain
Those busy cares that would allay my pain ;
Oh ! leave me to myself, nor let me feel
The officious touch that makes me droop again.

Thus, while the Sun sinks down to rest
Far in the regions of the west,
Though to the vale no parting beam
Be given, not one memorial gleam,
A lingering light he fondly throws
On the dear hills where first he rose.

1786.

III.

But why, ungrateful, dwell on idle pain ?
To show what pleasures yet to me remain,
Say, will my Friend, with unreluctant ear,
The history of a poet's evening hear !

AN EVENING WALK.

ADDRESSED TO A YOUNG LADY.

General Sketch of the Lakes-Author's regret of his youth When, in the south, the wan noon, brooding still, which was passed amongst them-Short description of Breathed a pale steam around the glaring hill, Noon -Cascade - Noon-tide Retreat - Precipice and

And shades of deep-embattled clouds were seen, sloping Lights-Face of Nature as the Sun declines

Spotting the northern cliffs with lights between ; Mountain-farm, and the Cock-Slate-quarry-SunsetSuperstition of the Country connected with that moment When crowding cattle, checked by rails that make -Swans - Female Beggar - Twilight-sounds-Western A fence far stretched into the shallow lake, Lights - Spirits - Night - Moonlight-Hope - Night

Lashed the cool water with their restless tails, sounds-Conclusion.

Or from high points of rock looked out for fanning Far from my dearest Friend, 'tis mine to rove

gales ; Through bare grey dell, high wood, and pastoral cove; / When school-boys stretched their length upon the Where Derwent rests, and listens to the roar

green ; That stuns the tremulous cliffs of high Lodore ; And round the broad-spread oak, a glimmering Where peace to Grasmere's lonely island leads,

scene, To willowy hedge-rows, and to emerald meads; In the rough fern-clad park, the herded deer Leads to her bridge, rude church, and cottaged Shook the still-twinkling tail and glancing ear; grounds,

When horses in the sunburnt intake* stood, Her rocky sheepwalks, and her woodland bounds ; And vainly eyed below the tempting flood, Where, undisturbed by winds, Winander* sleeps Or tracked the passenger, in mute distress, Mid clustering isles, and holly-sprinkled steeps ; With forward neck the closing gate to pressWhere twilight glens endear my Esthwaite's shore, Then, while I wandered where the huddling rill And memory of departed pleasures, more.

Brightens with water-breaks the hollow ghyll +

As by enchantment, an obscure retreat Fair scenes, erewhile, I taught, a happy child,

Opened at once, and stayed my devious feet. The echoes of your rocks my carols wild :

While thick above the rill the branches close, The spirit sought not then, in cherished sadness, In rocky basin its wild waves repose, A cloudy substitute for failing gladness.

Inverted shrubs, and moss of gloomy green, In youth's keen eye the livelong day was bright, Cling from the rocks, with pale wood-weeds beThe sun at morning, and the stars at night,

tween ; Alike, when first the bittern's hollow bill

And its own twilight softens the whole scene, Was heard, or woodcockst roamed the moonlight Save where aloft the subtle sunbeams shine hill.

On withered briars that o'er the crags recline ;

Save where, with sparkling foam, a small cascade, In thoughtless gaiety I coursed the plain, Illumines, from within, the leafy shade; And hope itself was all I knew of pain ;

Beyond, along the vista of the brook, For then, the inexperienced heart would beat

Where antique roots its bustling course o'erlook, At times, while young Content forsook her seat,

The eye reposes on a secret bridge I And wild Impatience, pointing upward, showed,

Half grey, half shagged with ivy to its ridge ; Through passes yet unreached, a brighter road. There, bending o'er the stream, the listless swain Alas! the idle tale of man is found

Lingers behind his disappearing wain. Depicted in the dial's moral round;

--Did Sabine grace adorn my living line, Hope with reflection blends her social rays

Blandusia's praise, wild stream, should yield to To gild the total tablet of his days ;

thine! Yet still, the sport of some malignant power, He knows but from its shade the present hour.

* The word intake is local, and signifies a mountainNever shall ruthless minister of death

inclosure. * These lines are only applicable to the middle part of † Ghyll is also, I believe, a term confined to this counthat lake.

try: ghyll, and dingle, have the same meaning. † In the beginning of winter, these mountains are fre The reader who has made the tour of this country, will quented by woodcocks, which in dark nights retire into | recognise, in this description, the features which characthe woods.

terise the lower waterfall in the grounds of Rydal.

Tip their smooth ridges with a softer ray; 'Mid thy soft glooms the glittering steel unsheath; | And now the whole wide lake in deep repose No goblets shall, for thee, be crowned with flowers, Is hushed, and like a burnished mirror glows, No kid with piteous outcry thrill thy bowers; Save where, along the shady western marge, The mystic shapes that by thy margin rove Coasts, with industrious oar, the charcoal barge. A more benignant sacrifice approveA mind, that, in a calm angelic mood

Their panniered train a group of potters goad, Of happy wisdom, meditating good,

Winding from side to side up the steep road; Beholds, of all from her high powers required, The peasant, from yon cliff of fearful edge Much done, and much designed, and more desired, Shot, down the headlong path darts with his sledge; Harmonious thoughts, a soul by truth refined, Bright beams the lonely mountain-horse illume Entire affection for all human kind.

Feeding 'mid purple heath, “green rings,” and

broom; Dear Brook, farewell ! To-morrow's noon again While the sharp slope the slackened team confounds, Shall hide me, wooing long thy wildwood strain; Downward the ponderous timber-wain resounds ; But now the sun has gained his western road, In foamy breaks the rill, with merry song, And eve's mild hour invites my steps abroad. Dashed o'er the rough rock, lightly leaps along;

From lonesome chapel at the mountain's feet, While, near the midway cliff, the silvered kite Three humble bells their rustic chime repeat; In many a whistling circle wheels her flight ; Sounds from the water-side the hammered boat; Slant watery lights, from parting clouds, apace | And blasted quarry thunders, heard remote ! Travel along the precipice's base; Cheering its naked waste of scattered stone,

Even here, amid the sweep of endless woods, By lichens grey, and scanty moss, o'ergrown; Blue pomp of lakes, high cliffs, and falling floods, Where scarce the foxglove peeps, or thistle's beard; Not undelightful are the simplest charms, And restless stone-chat, all day long, is heard. Found by the grassy door of mountain-farms.

How pleasant, as the sun declines, to view

Sweetly ferocioust, round his native walks, The spacious landscape change in form and hue! | Pride of his sister-wives, the monarch stalks ; Here, vanish, as in mist, before a flood

Spur-clad his nervous feet, and firm his tread; Of bright obscurity, hill, lawn, and wood;

A crest of purple tops the warrior's head. There, objects, by the searching beams betrayed, Bright sparks his black and rolling eye-ball hurls Come forth, and here retire in purple shade ; | Afar, his tail he closes and unfurls ; Even the white stems of birch, the cottage white, On tiptoe reared, he strains his clarion throat, Soften their glare before the mellow light;

Threatened by faintly-answering farms remote : The skiffs, at anchor where with umbrage wide Again with his shrill voice the mountain rings, Yon chestnuts half the latticed boat-house hide, While, flapped with conscious pride, resound his Shed from their sides, that face the sun's slant beam, wings! Strong flakes of radiance on the tremulous stream: Raised by yon travelling flock, a dusty cloud | Where, mixed with graceful birch, the sombrous Mounts from the road, and spreads its moving shroud ;

And yew-tree o'er the silver rocks recline ; The shepherd, all involved in wreaths of fire, I love to mark the quarry's moving trains, Now shows a shadowy speck, and now is lost entire. Dwarf panniered steeds, and men, and numerous

wains : Into a gradual calm the breezes sink,

How busy all the enormous hive within, A blue rim borders all the lake's still brink; While Echo dallies with its various din ! There doth the twinkling aspen's foliage sleep, | Some (hear you not their chisels' clinking sound ?) And insects clothe, like dust, the glassy deep: And now, on every side, the surface breaks

* “ Vivid rings of green." – GREENWOOD'S POEM ON Into blue spots, and slowly lengthening streaks ;

SHOOTING. Here, plots of sparkling water tremble bright

"Dolcemente feroce."-TASSO.-In this description of

the cock, I remembered a spirited one of the same animal With thousand thousand twinkling points of light;

in L'Agriculture, ou Les Géorgiques Francoises, of M. There, waves that, hardly weltering, die away, Rossuet

pine

Toil, small as pigmies in the gulf profound; Has disappeared, and every trace is fled
Some, dim between the lofty cliffs descried, Of splendor-save the beacon's spiry head
O'erwalk the slender plank from side to side; Tipt with eve's latest gleam of burning red.
These, by the pale-blue rocks that ceaseless ring,
In airy baskets hanging, work and sing.

Now, while the solemn evening shadows sail,

On slowly-waving pinions, down the vale ; Just where a cloud above the mountain rears And, fronting the bright west, yon oak entwines, An edge all flame, the broadening sun appears ; Its darkening boughs and leaves, in stronger lines A long blue bar its ægis orb divides,

'Tis pleasant near the tranquil lake to stray And breaks the spreading of its golden tides ; Where, winding on along some secret bay, And now that orb has touched the purple steep | The swan uplifts his chest, and backward flings Whose softened image penetrates the deep. His neck, a varying arch, between his towering 'Cross the calm lake's blue shades the cliffs aspire, wings : With towers and woods, a “prospect all on fire ;" The eye that marks the gliding creature sees While coves and secret hollows, through a ray How graceful, pride can be, and how majestic, ease. Of fainter gold, a purple gleam betray.

While tender cares and mild domestic loves Each slip of lawn the broken rocks between With furtive watch pursue her as she moves, Shines in the light with more than earthly green: The female with a meeker charm succeeds, Deep yellow beams the scattered stems illume, And her brown little-ones around her leads, Far in the level forest's central gloom :

Nibbling the water lilies as they pass, Waving his hat, the shepherd, from the vale, Or playing wanton with the floating grass. Directs his winding dog the cliffs to scale,

She, in a mother's care, her beauty's pride The dog, loud barking, ʼmid the glittering rocks, Forgetting, calls the wearied to her side ; Hunts, where his master points, the intercepted Alternately they mount her back, and rest flocks.

Close by her mantling wings' embraces prest. Where oaks o'erhang the road the radiance shoots On tawny earth, wild weeds, and twisted roots; Long may they float upon this flood serene; The druid-stones a brightened ring unfold; Theirs be these holms untrodden, still, and green, And all the babbling brooks are liquid gold; Where leafy shades fence off the blustering gale, Sunk to a curve, the day-star lessens still,

And breathes in peace the lily of the vale ! Gives one bright glance, and drops behind the hill *. | Yon isle, which feels not even the milk-maid's feet,

Yet hears her song, "by distance made more sweet," In these secluded vales, if village fame,

Yon isle conceals their home, their hut-like bower ; Confirmed by hoary hairs, belief may claim; Green water-rushes overspread the floor ; When up the hills, as now, retired the light, Long grass and willows form the woven wall, Strange apparitions mocked the shepherd's sight. And swings above the roof the poplar tall.

Thence issuing often with unwieldy stalk, The form appears of one that spurs his steed They crush with broad black feet their flowery Midway along the hill with desperate speed;

walk; Unhurt pursues his lengthened flight, while all Or, from the neighbouring water, hear at morn Attend, at every stretch, his headlong fall.

The hound, the horse's tread, and mellow horn; Anon, appears a brave, a gorgeous show

Involve their serpent-necks in changeful rings, Of horsemen-shadows moving to and fro;

Rolled wantonly between their slippery wings, At intervals imperial banners stream,

Or, starting up with noise and rude delight, And now the van reflects the solar beam ;

Force half upon the wave their cumbrous Aight. The rear through iron brown betrays a sullen gleam. While silent stands the admiring crowd below, Fair Swan ! by all a mother's joys caressed, Silent the visionary warriors go,

Haply some wretch has eyed, and called thee Winding in ordered pomp their upward way +

blessed; Till the last banner of the long array

When with her infants, from some shady seat

By the lake's edge, she rose to face the noontide * From Thomson

heat; † See a description of an appearance of this kind in Clark's Survey of the Lakes, accompanied by vouchers of Or taught their limbs along the dusty road its veracity, that may amuse the reader.

A few short steps to totter with their load.

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