Imágenes de páginas

puld draw, when we had parted, vain

delight, "hile tears were thy best pastime, day

and night; And while my youthful peers before

my eyes Cach hero following his peculiar bent) repared themselves for glorious enter

prise y martial sports,-or, seated in the

tent, hieftains and kings in council were de

tained; Vhat time the fleet at Aulis lay en


The invisible world with thee hath sym

pathized ; Be thy affections raised and solemnized. * Learn, by a mortal yearning, to as

cendSeeking a higher object. Love was

given, Encouraged, sanctioned, chiefly for that

end ;

For this the passion to excess was

drivenThat self might be annulled : her bond

age prove The fetters of a dream, opposed to

love." Aloud she shrieked ! for Hermes reap



The wished-for wind was given :-

11 then revolved The oracle, upon the silent sea ; Ind, if no worthier led the way, re

solved Chat, of a thousand vessels, mine should

be The foremost prow in pressing to the

strand, Mine the first blood that tinged the Tro

jan sand.

r Yet bitter, oft-times bitter was the

pang When of thy loss I thought, beloved

Wife! On thee too fondly did my memory

hang, And on the joys we shared in mortal

life,The paths which we had trod-these

fountains, flowers, My new-planned cities, and unfinished


Round the dear Shade she would have

clung-t is vain : The hours are past-too brief had they

been years ; And him no mortal effort can detain : Swift, toward the realms that know not

earthly day, He through the portal takes his silent

way, And on the palace-floor a lifeless corse

she lay. Thus, all in vain exhorted and reproved, She perished ; and, as for a wilfulcrime, By the just Gods whom no weak pity

moved, Was dooined to wear out her appointed

time, Apart from happy Ghosts, that gather

flowers Of blissful quiet 'mid unfading bowers. -Yet tears to human suffering are due ; And mortal hopes defeated and o'er

thrown Are mourned by man, and not by man

alone, As fondly he believes.-Upon the side Of Hellespont (such faith was enter

tained) A knot of spiry trees for ages grew From out the tomb of him for whom she

died ; And ever, when such stature they had

gained That Ilium's walls were subject to their

view, The trees' tall summits withered at the

sight : A constant interchange of growth and blight!

1814. 1815.

But should suspense permit the Foe to

cry, Behold they tremble !-haughty their

array. Yet of their number no one dares to

die ?' In soul I swept the indignity away: Old frailties then recurred :--but lofty

thought, In act embodied, my deliverance

wrought. ** And Thou, though strong in love, art

all too weak In reason, in self-government too slow ; I counsel thee by fortitude to seek Our blest re-union in the shades below.


The unconquerable strength of love ; Bear witness, rueful Yarrow !


As mentioned in my verses on the death of the Ettrick Shepherd, my first visit to Yarrow was in his company. We had lodged the night be. fore at Traquhair, where Hogg had joined us

I seldom read or think of this poem without regretting that my dear Sister was not of the party, as she would have had so much delight in recalling the time when, travelling together in Scotland, we declined going in search of this celebrated stream, not altogether, I will frankly confess, for the reasons assigned in the poem on the occasion. (Wordsworth.)

And is this-Yarrow ?- This the Stream
Of which my fancy cherished,
So faithfully, a waking dream ?
An image that hath perished !
O that some Minstrel's harp were near,
To utter notes of gladness,
And chase this silence from the air,
That fills


heart with sadness!

But thou, that didst appear so fair
To fond imagination,
Dost rival in the light of day
Her delicate creation :
Meek loveliness is round thee spread,
A softness still and holy ;
The grace of forest charms decayed,
And pastoral melancholy.
That region left, the vale unfolds
Rich groves of lofty stature,
With Yarrow winding through the

Of cultivated nature ;
And, rising from those lofty groves,
Behold a Ruin hoary !
The shattered front of Newark's Towers,
Renowned in Border story.
Fair scenes for childhood's opening

bloom, For sportive youth to stray in ; For manhood to enjoy his strength; And age to wear away in ! Yon cottage seems a bower of bliss, A covert for protection Of tender thoughts, that nestle thereThe brood of chaste affection.

Yet why ?-a silvery current flows
With uncontrolled meanderings;
Nor have these eyes by greener hills
Been soothed, in all my wanderings.
And, through her depths, Saint Mary's

Is visibly delighted ;
For not a feature of those hills
Is in the mirror slighted.
A blue sky bends o'er Yarrow vale,
Save where that pearly whiteness
Is round the rising sun ditfused,
A tender hazy brightness ;
Mild dawn of promise! that excludes
All profitless dejection ;
Though not unwilling here to admit
A pensive recollection.
Where was it that the famous Flower
Of Yarrow Vale lay bleeding ?
His bed perchance was yon smooth

mound On which the herd is feeding : And haply from this crystal pool, Now peaceful as the morning, The Water-wraith ascended thriceAnd gave his doleful warning. Delicious is the Lay that sings The haunts of happy Lovers, The path that leads them to the grove, The leafy grove that covers : And Pity sanctifies the Verse That paints, by strength of sorrow,

How sweet, on this autumnal day,
The wild-wood fruits to gather,
And on my True-love's forehead plant
A crest of blooming heather!
And what if I enwreathed my own!
"Twere no offence to reason ;
The sober Hills thus deck their brows
To meet the wintry season.
I see—but not by sight alone,
Loved Yarrow, have I won thee;
A ray of fancy still survives -
Her sunshine plays upon thee!
Thy ever-youthful waters keep
A course of lively pleasure ;
And gladsome notes my lips can breathe,
Accordant to the measure.

The vapors linger round the Heights,
They melt, and soon must vanish;
One hour is theirs, nor more is mine-
Sad thought, which I would banish,
But that I know, where'er I go,
Thy genuine image, Yarrow !
Will well with me-to heighten joy,
And cheer my mind in sorrow,

1814. 1820.

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SURPRISED by joy-impatient as the

Wind I turned to share the traņsport-Oh!

with whom But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb, That spot which no vicissitude can find ? Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my

mindBut how could I forget thee? Through

what power, Even for the least division of an hour, Have I been so beguiled as to be blind To my most grievous loss ? - That

thought's return Was the worst pang that sorrow ever Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn, Knowing my heart's best treasure was

no more : That neither present time, nor years un

born Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

1815. 1815.


TO B. R. HAYDON B. R. Haydon, the painter, was for many years a friend of Wordsworth. On November 27, 1815, Haydon wrote: “I have benefited and have been supported in the troubles of life by your poetry.

. I will bear want, pain, misery, and blindness; but I will never yield one step I have gained on the mad I am determined to travel over.' Wordsworth's answer to this letter was the following sonnet. High is our calling, Friend !-Creative

Art (Whether the instrument of words she

use, Or pencil pregnant with ethereal hues.) Demands the service of a mind and heart, Though sensitive, yet, in their weakest

part, Heroically fashioned-to infuse Faith in the whispers of the lonely Muse, While the whole world seems adverse to

desert. And, oh! when Nature sinks, as oft she

may, Through long-lived pressure of obscure

distress, Still to be strenuous for the bright re

ward, And in the soul admit of no decay, Brook no continuance of weak-mindedGreat is the glory, for the strife is hard !

1815. 1816. NOVEMBER 1 How clear, how keen, how marvellously

bright The effluence from yon distant mount

ain's head, Which, strewn with snow smooth as the

sky can shed, Shines like another sun-on mortal sight Uprisen, as if to check approaching

Night, And all her twinkling stars. Who now

would tread, If so he might, yon mountain's glittering

headTerrestrial, but a surface, by the flight of sad mortality's earth-sullying wing, Unswept, unstained ? Nor shall the

aērial Powers Dissolve that beauty, destined to endure, White, radiant, spotless, exquisitely

pure, Through all vicissitudes, till genial

Spring Has filled the laughing vales with welcome flowers.

1815 1816.




Hast thou seen, with flash incessant,
Bubbles gliding under ice,
Bodied forth and evanescent,
No one knows by what device?

Such are thoughts !-A wind-swept

meadow Mimicking a troubled sea, Such is life; and death a shadow From the rock eternity! 1818. 1820.




Had this effulgence disappeared
With flying haste, I might have sent,
Among the speechless clouds, a look
Of blank astonishment;
But 'tis endued with power to stay,
And sanctify one closing day,
That frail Mortality may see-
What is ?-ah no, but what can be !
Time was when field and watery cove

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And if some traveller, weary of his road, Hath slept since noontide on the grassy

ground, Ye Genii! to his covert speed ; And wake him with such gentle heed As may attune his soul to meet the

dower Bestowed on this transcendent hour!



ness serve

No sound is uttered, -but a deep
And solemn harmony pervades
The hollow vale from steep to steep,
And penetrates the glades.
Far-distant images draw nigh,
Called forth by wondrous potency
Of beamy radiance, that imbues,
Whate'er it strikes, with gem-like hues !
In vision exquisitely clear,
Herds range along the mountain side ;
And glistening antlers are descried ;
And gilded flocks appear.
Thine is the tranquil hour, purpureal

But long as god-like wish, or hope

divine, Informs my spirit, ne'er can I believe That this magnificence is wholly thine ! --From worlds not quickened by the sun A portion of the gift is won ; An intermingling of Heaven's pomp is

spread On ground which British shepherds

tread !

Such hues from their celestial Urn
Were wont to stream before mine eye,
Where'er it wandered in the morn
Of blissful infancy.
This glimpse of glory, why renewed ?
Nay, rather speak with gratitude ;
For, if a vestige of those gleams
Survived, 'twas only in my dreams.
Dread Power ! whom peace and calm-
No less than Nature's threatening voice,
If aught unworthy be my choice,
From THEE if I would swerve ;
Oh, let thy grace remind me of the

light Full early lost, and fruitlessly deplored : Which, at this moment, on my waking

sight Appears to shine, by miracle restored ; My soul, though yet confined to earth, Rejoices in a second birth ! -"Íis past, the visionary splendour

fades ; And night approaches with her shades.

1818. 1820.

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And, if there be whom broken ties
Afflict, or injuries assail,
Yon hazy ridges to their eyes
Present a glorious scale,
Climbing suffused with sunny air,
To stop-no record hath told where!
And tempting Fancy to ascend,
And with immortal Spirits blend !
-Wings at my shoulders seem to play ;
But, rooted here, I stand and gaze
On those bright steps that heavenward

raise Their practicable way: Come forth, ye drooping old men, look

abroad, And see to what fair countries ye are

bound !

DEPARTING summer hath assumed
An aspect tenderly illumed,
The gentlest look of spring ;
That calls from yonder leafy shade
Unfaded, yet prepared to fade,
A timely carolling.
No faint and hesitating trill,
Such tribute as to winter chill
The lonely redbreast pays !
Clear, loud, and lively is the din,
From social warblers gathering in
Their harvest of sweet lays.

Nor doth the example fail to cheer
Me, conscious that my leaf is sere,
And yellow on the bough :-
Fall, rosy garlands, from my head !
Ye myrtle wreaths, your fragrance shed
Around a younger brow !

dies ;

Yet will I temperately rejoice;

I see what was, and is, and will abide ; Wide is the range, and free the choice Still glides the Stream, and shall for Of undiscordant themes ;

ever glide ; Which, haply, kindred souls may prize The Form remains, the Function never Not less than vernal ecstasies, And passion's feverish dreams.

While we, the brave, the mighty, and

the wise, For deathless powers to verse belong, We Men, who in our morn of youth deAnd they like Demi-gods are strong

fied On whom the Muses smile;

The elements, must vanish ;- be it so ! But some their function have dis

Enough, if something from our hands claimed,

have power Best pleased with what is aptliest | To live, and act, and serve the future framed

hour; To enervate and defile.

And if, as toward the silent tomb we

go, Not such the initiatory strains

Through love, through hope, and faith's Committed to the silent plains

transcendent dower, In Britain's earliest dawn :

We feel that we are greater than we Trembled the grores, the stars grew


18.20 1820. pale, While all-too-daringly the veil

MUTABILITY Of nature was withdrawn!

FROM low to high doth dissolution Nor such the spirit-stirring note

climb, When the live chords Alcæus smote,

And sink from high to low, along a Inflamed by sense of wrong:

scale Woe! woe to Tyrants ! from the lyre

Of awful notes, whose concord shall not Broke threateningly, in sparkles dire

fail; Of fierce vindictive song.

A musical but melancholy chime, And not unballowed was the page

Which they can hear who meddle not By winged Love inscribed, to assuage

with crime, The pangs of vain pursuit ;

Nor avarice, nor over-anxious care. Love listening while the Lesbian Maid

Truth fails not; but her outward forms With finest touch of passion swayed

that bear Her own Eolian lute.

The longest date do melt like frosty

rime, Oye, who patiently explore

That in the morning whitened hill and The wreck of Herculanean lore,

plain What rapture! could ye seize

And is no more ; drop like the tower Some Theban fragment, or unroll

sublime Due precious, tender-hearted, scroll Of yesterday, which royally did wear Of pure Simonides.

His crown of weeds, but could not even

sustain That were, indeed, a genuine birth Some casual shout that broke the silent of poesy : a bursting forth

air, Of genius from the dust:

Or the unimaginable touch of Time. What Horace gloried to behold.

18.21. 1822. What Maro loved, shall we enfold ? Can haughty Time be just !



Tax not the royal Saint with vain ex

pense, I THOUGHT of Thee, my partner and my With ill-matched aims the Architect guide,

who planned As being past away.–Vain sympathies ! Albeit laboring for a scanty band For, backward, Duddon, as I cast my Of white-robed Scholars only—this im



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