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For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine ;
A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
A Traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill:
A perfect Woman, nobly planned,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.
O NIGHTINGALE! thou surely art
A creature of a “fiery heart”:-
These notes of thine,—they pierce and pierce :
Tumultuous harmony and fierce !
Thou sing'st as if the God of wine
Had helped thee to a Valentine ;
A song in mockery and despite
Of shades, and dews, and silent night;
And steady bliss, and all the loves
Now sleeping in these peaceful groves.
I heard a Stock-dove sing or say
His homely tale, this very day;
His voice was buried among trees,
Yet to be come at by the breeze :
He did not cease ; but cooed — and cooed;
And somewhat pensively he wooed :
He sang of love, with quiet blending,
Slow to begin, and never ending;
Of serious faith, and inward glee;
That was the song, - the song for me!
THREE years she grew in sun and shower,
Then Nature said, “ A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown;
This Child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A Lady of my own.
“Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse : and with me
The Girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.
“ She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn
the mountain springs ;
And hers shall be the breathing balm,
And hers the silence and the calm
Of mute, insensate things.
“The floating clouds their state shall lend
To ber; 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
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
into her face.
“ And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell ;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell.”
Thus Nature spake.—The work was done. —
How 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.
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.
I WANDERED lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and bills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils ;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed, — and gazed, — but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought :
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude ;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.