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Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in
the west The orange sky of evening died away.
Not seldom from the uproar I retired Into a silent bay, or sportively Glanced sideway, leaving the tumult
uous 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 Have I, reclining back upon my heels, 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.
Of jocund din! And, when there came
a pause Of silence such as baffled his best skill, Then, sometimes, in that silence, while
he hung Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise Has carried far into his heart the voice Of mountain-torrents ; or the visible
scene Would enter unawares into his mind With all its solemn imagery, its rocks, Its woods, and that uncertain heaven
received Into the bosom of the steady lake. This boy was taken from his mates,
and died In childhood, ere he was full twelve years
old. Pre-eminent in beauty is the vale Where he was born and bred : the church
yard hangs Upon a slope above the village-school ; And through that church-yard when my
way las led On summer-evenings, I believe, that
there A long half-hour together I have stood Mute--looking at the grave in which he lies !
THERE WAS A BOY
Written in Germany.
This is an extract from the men on my own poetical education. (Wordsworld. The poem referred to is The Prelude.) THERE was a Boy ; ye knew him well, ye
cliffs And islands of Winander !-many a time, Atevening, when the earliest stars began To move along the edges of the hills, Rising or setting, would he stand alone, Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering
lake; And there, with fingers interwoven, both
hands Pressed closely palm to palm and to his
mouth Uplifted, he, as through an instrument, Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls, That they might answer him.-And they
would shout Across the watery vale, and shout again, Responsive to his call,—with quivering
peals, And long halloos, and
A nutting-crook in hand ; and turned
my steps Tow'rd some far-distant wood, a Figure
quaint, Tricked out in proud disguise of cast-off
weeds Which for that service had been hus
banded, By exhortation of my frugal DameMotley accoutrement, of power to smile At thorns, and brakes, and brambles-
and, in truth, More ragged than need was !
O'er pathless rocks,
screams, and echoes loud Redoubled and redoubled ;
Through beds of matted fern, and tan- The silent trees, and saw the intruding gled thickets,
sky.Forcing my way, I came to one dear nook Then, dearest Maiden, move along these Unvisited, where not a broken bough
shades Drooped with its withered leaves, un- In gentleness of heart; with gentle ham, gracious sign
Touch-for there is a spirit in the woods Of devastation ; but the hazels rose
1799, 1800. Tall and erect, with tempting clusters
hung, A virgin scene!--A little while I stood,
STRANGE FITS OF PASSION HAVE Breathing with such suppression of the
I KNOWN heart As joy delights in ; and, with wise re- The next three poems were written in straint
Germany. (Wordsworth.) Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed
STRANGE fits of passion have I known: The banquet ;-or beneath the trees I
And I will dare to tell, sate
But in the Lover's ear alone,
What once to me befell.
Fresh as a rose in June,
Upon the moon I fixed my eye,
All over the wide lea ; And fade, unseen by any human eye;
With quickening pace my horse drew Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on
nigh For ever ; and I saw the sparkling foam, Those paths so dear to me. And--with my cheek on one of those
And now we reached the orchard-plot: green stones That, fleeced with moss, under the shady
And, as we climbed the hill,
The sinking moon to Lucy's cot trees, Lay round me, scattered like a flock of
Came near, and nearer still. sheep-
In one of those sweet dreams I slept, I heard the murmur and the murmuring
Kind Nature's gentlest boon! sound,
And all the while my eyes I kept In that sweet mood when pleasure loves
On the descending moon. Tribute to ease ; and, of its joy secure, My horse moved on ; hoof after hoof The heart luxuriates with indifferent He raised, and never stopped : things,
When down behind the cottage roor, Wasting its kindliness on stocks and
At once, the bright moon dropped. stones And on the vacant air. Then up I rose, What fond and wayward thoughts will And dragged to earth both branch and
slide bough, with crash
Into a Lover's head! And merciless ravage : and the shady O mercy!” to myself I cried, nook
“ If Lucy should be dead!” Of hazels, and the green and mossy
1799. 1800. bower, Deformed and sullied, patiently gave up
X Their quiet being: and, unless I now
SHE DWELT AMONG THE UNTRODConfound my present feelings with the
DEN WAYS past; Ere from the mutilated bower I turned SHE dwelt among the untrodden ways Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of Beside the springs of Dove, kings,
A Maid whom there were none to praise I felt a sense of pain when I beheld
And very few to love:
A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye! -Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
When Lucy ceased to be ;
The difference to me! 1799, 1800.
The floating clouds their state shall
lend To her ; for her the willow bend; Nor shall she fail to see Even in the motions of the Storm Grace that shall mould the Maiden's
form By silent sympathy.
“ The stars of midnight shall be dear
round, And beauty born of murmuring sound Shall pass
into her face.
I TRAVELLED AMONG UNKNOWN
In lands beyond the sea ;
What love I bore to thee.
Nor will I quit thy shore
To love thee more and more.
The joy of my desire ; And she I cherished turned her wheel
Beside an English fire.
" And vital feelings of delight
Thus Nature spake.- The work was
doneHow soon my Lucy's race was run! She died, and left to me This heath, this calm and quiet scene ; The memory of what has been, And never more will be. 1999. 1800.
X A SLUMBER DID MY SPIRIT SEAL
A SLUMBER did my spirit seal ;
I had no human fears : She seemed a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.
No motion has she now, no force ;
She neither hears nor sees ; Rolled round in earth's diurnal course, With rocks, and stones, and trees.
* THREE YEARS SHE GREW IN SUN
Myself will to my darling be
A POET'S EPITAPH
Art thou a Statist in the van
First learn to love one living man ; Then may'st thou think upon the dead.
A Lawyer art thou ?-draw not nigh !
Art thou a Man of purple cheer ?
But he is weak; both Man and Boy,
Or art thou one of gallant pride,
Physician art thou ? one all eyes, Philosopher ! a fingering slave, One that would peep and botanize Upon his mother's grave?
Wrapt closely in thy sensual fleece, () turn aside,-and take, I pray, That he below may rest in peace, Thy ever-dwindling soul away!
A Moralist perchance appears ;
In the School of -- is a tablet, on which are inscribed in gilt letters, the Names of the sev. eral persons who have been Schoolmasters there since the foundation of the School, with the time at which they entered upon and quitted their office. Opposite to one of those names the Author wrote the following lines.
Such a Tablet as is here spoken of continued to be preserved in Hawkshead School, though the inscriptions were not brought down to our time. This and other poems connected with Matthew would not gain by a literal detail of facts. Like the Wanderer in "The Excursion," this Schoolmaster was made up of several both of his class and men of other occupations. I do not ask pardon for what there is of untruth in such verses, considered strictly as matters of fact. It is enough if, being true and consistent in spirit, they move and teach in a manner not unworthy of a Poet's calling. (Wordsuorth.)
One to whose smooth-rubbed soul can
cling Nor form, nor feeling, great or small ! A reasoning, self-sufficing thing, An intellectual All-in-all !
IF Nature, for a favorite child,
Shut close the door ; press down the
Read o'er these lines ; and then review
The tears which came to Matthew's
eyes Were tears of light, the dew of gladness.
Yet, sometimes, when the secret cup
- Thou soul of God's best earthly mould!
" Nine summers had she scarcely seen, The pride of all the vale ; And then she sang ;—she would have
been A very nightingale. “* Six feet in earth my Emma lay ; And yet I loved her more, For so it seemed, than till that day I e'er had loved before. · And, turning from her grave, I met, Beside the church-yard yew, A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet With points of morning dew,
A basket on her head she bare ;
“There came from me a sigh of pain
THE TWO APRIL MORNINGS We walked along, while bright and red Cprose the morning sun ; And Matthew stopped, he looked, and
We talked with open heart, and tongue
match This water's pleasant tune With some old border-song, or catch That suits a summer's noon; “" Or of the church-clock and the chimes Sing here beneath the shade,
" let us