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And mineral crown, beside his jagged urn
Recumbent: him thou mayst behold, who hides
His lineaments by day, yet there presides,
Teaching the docile waters how to turn,
Or, if need be, impediment to spurn,
And force their passage to the salt-sea tides !

William Wordsworth.



In the vale of Grasmere, by the side of the old highway leading to Ambleside, is a gate which, time out of mind, has been called the Wishing-gate, from a belief that wishes formed or indulged there have a favorable issue.


OPE rules a land forever green:

All powers that serve the bright-eyed queen

Are confident and gay;
Clouds at her bidding disappear;
Points she to aught? — the bliss draws near,

And Fancy smooths the way.

Not such the land of Wishes, — there
Dwell fruitless day-dreams, lawless prayer,

And thoughts with things at strise ;
Yet how forlorn, should ye depart,
Ye superstitions of the heart,

How poor, were human life!

When magic lore abjured its might,
Ye did not forfeit one dear right,

One tender claim abate; Witness this symbol of your sway, Surviving near the public way,

The rustic Wishing-gate!

Inquire not if the faery race
Shed kindly influence on the place, -

Ere northward they retired;
If here a warrior left a spell,
Panting for glory as he fell;

Or here a saint expired.

Enough that all around is fair,
Composed with Nature's finest care,

And in her fondest love, –
Peace to embosom and content, -
To overawe the turbulent,

The selfish to reprove.

Yea! even the stranger from afar,
Reclining on this moss-grown bar,

Unknowing and unknown,
The infection of the ground partakes,
Longing for his beloved, who makes

All happiness her own.

Then why should conscious spirits fear The mystic stirrings that are here,

The ancient faith disclaim ? The local genius ne'er befriends

Desires whose course in folly ends,

Whose just reward is shame.

Smile if thou wilt, but not in scorn,
If some, by ceaseless pains outworn,

Here crave an easier lot;
If some have thirsted to renew
A broken vow, or bind a truc

With firmer, holier knot.

And not in vain, when thoughts are cast
Upon the irrevocable past,

Some penitent sincere
May for a worthier future sigh,
While trickles from his downcast eye

No unavailing tear.

The worldling, pining to be freed
From turmoil, who would turn or speed

The current of his fate,
Might stop before this favored scene,
At Nature's call, nor blush to lean

Upon the Wishing-gate.

The sage, who feels how blind, how weak Is man, though loath such help to seek,

Yet, passing, here might pause, And thirst for insight to allay Misgiving, while the crimson day

In quietness withdraws;

Or when the church-clock's knell profound
To Time's first step across the bound

Of midnight makes reply;
Time pressing on with starry crest,
To filial sleep upon the breast
Of dread Eternity.

William Wordsworth.





OUD is the Vale! the voice is up

With which she speaks when storms are gone, A mighty unison of streams ! Of all her voices, one !

Loud is the Vale! this inland depth
In peace is roaring like the sea;
Yon star upon the mountain-top
Is listening quietly.

Sad was I, even to pain deprest,
Importunate and heavy load!
The Comforter hath found me here,
Upon this lonely road;

And many thousands now are sad,
Wait the fulfilment of their fear;
For he must die who is their stay,
Their glory disappear.

A power is passing from the earth
To breathless Nature's dark abyss;
But when the great and good depart
What is it more than this,

That man, who is from God sent forth,
Doth yet again to God return ?
Such ebb and flow must ever be;
Then wherefore should we mourn ?

William Wordsworth.



VALE and lake, within your mountain urn

Smiling so tranquilly, and set so deep! Oft doth your dreamy loveliness return, Coloring the tender shadows of my sleep With light Elysian ; for the hues that steep Your shores in melting lustre seem to float On golden clouds from spirit-lands remote, Isles of the blest, and in our memory keep Their place with holiest harmonies. Fair scene, Most loved by evening and her dewy star! 0, ne'er may man, with touch unhallowed, jar The perfect music of thy charm serene ! Still, still unchanged, may one sweet region wear Smiles that subdue the soul to love and tears and prayer.

Felicia Hemans,

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