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But thou, O Goddess ! in thy favorite Isle
(Freedom's impregnable redoubt,
The wide earth's storehouse fenced about
With breakers roaring to the gales
That stretch a thousand thousand sails)
Quicken the slothful, and exalt the vile! -
Thy impulse is the life of Fame;
Glad Hope would almost cease to be
If torn from thy society ;
And Love, when worthiest of his name,
Is proud to walk the earth with thee!
ON HER FIRST ASCENT TO THE SUMMIT OF HELVELLIN.
INMATE of a mountain dwelling,
Thou hast clomb aloft, and gazed
From the watch-towers of Helvellyn;
Awed, delighted, and amazed !
Potent was the spell that bound thee,
Not unwilling to obey ;
For blue Ether's arms, flung round thee,
Stilled the pantings of dismay.
Lo the dwindled woods and meadows !
What a vast abyss is there!
Lo the clouds, the solemn shadows,
And the glistenings, - heavenly fair!
And a record of commotion
Which a thousand ridges yield;
Ridge, and gulf, and distant ocean
Gleaming like a silver shield !
Maiden ! now take flight; — inherit
Alps or Andes, — they are thine !
With the morning's roseate Spirit,
Sweep their length of snowy line ;
Or survey their bright dominions
In the gorgeous colors drest
Flung from off the purple pinions
Evening spreads throughout the west !
Thine are all the coral fountains
Warbling in each sparry vault
Of the untrodden lunar mountains ;
Listen to their songs ! - or halt,
To Niphates' top invited,
Whither spiteful Satan steered ;
Or descend where the ark alighted,
When the green earth reappeared ; -
For the power of hills is on thee,
As was witnessed through thine eye
Then, when old Helvellyn won thee
To confess their majesty!
WHO HAD BEEN REPROACHED FOR TAKING LONG WALKS
IN THE COUNTRY.
DEAR Child of Nature, let them rail !
- There is a nest in a green dale,
A harbor and a hold;
Where thou, a Wife and Friend, shalt see
Thy own heart-stirring days, and be
A light to young and old.
There, healthy as a shepherd-boy,
And treading among flowers of joy
Which at no season fade,
Thou, while thy babes around thee cling,
Shalt show us how divine a thing
A Woman may be made.
Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die,
Nor leave thee, when gray hairs are nigh,
A melancholy slave;
But an old age serene and bright,
And lovely as a Lapland night,
Shall lead thee to thy grave.
“Let me be allowed the aid of verse to describe the evolutions
which these visitants sometimes perform, on a fine day towards the close of winter.” — Extract from the Author's Book on the Lakes.
MARK how the feathered tenants of the flood,
With grace of motion that might scarcely seem
Inferior to angelic, prolong
Their curious pastime! shaping in mid-air
(And sometimes with ambitious wing that soars
High as the level of the mountain-tops)
A circuit ampler than the lake beneath,
Their own domain ; but ever, while intent
On tracing and retracing that large round,
Their jubilant activity evolves
Hundreds of curves and circlets, to and fro,
Upward and downward, progress intricate
Yet unperplexed, as if one spirit swayed
Their indefatigable flight. 'T is done, —
Ten times, or more, I fancied it had ceased ;
But lo the vanished company again
Ascending ! they approach, — I hear their wings,
Faint, faint at first; and then an eager sound,
Past in a moment, — and as faint again!
They tempt the sun to sport amid their plumes;
They tempt the water, or the gleaming ice,
To show them a fair image ; 't is themselves,
Their own fair forms, upon the glimmering plain,
Painted more soft and fair as they descend
Almost to touch ; - then up again aloft,
Up with a sally and a flash of speed,
As if they scorned both resting-place and rest !
VIEW FROM THE TOP OF BLACK COMB.
This Height a ministering Angel might select :
For from the summit of BLACK COMB (dread name
Derived from clouds and storms !) the amplestrange
Of unobstructed prospect may be seen
That British ground commands:- low duskytracts,
Where Trent is nursed, far southward! Cambrian
To the southwest, a multitudinous show;
And, in a line of eyesight linked with these,
The hoary peaks of Scotland that give birth
To Tiviot's stream, to Annan, Tweed, and