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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!




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

Clyde :


Crowding the quarter whence the sun comes forth,
Gigantic mountains rough with crags; beneath,
Right at the imperial station's western base,
Main ocean, breaking audibly, and stretched
Far into silent regions blue and pale;
And visibly engirding Mona's Isle,
That, as we left the plain, before our sight
Stood like a lofty mount, uplifting slowly
(Above the convex of the watery globe)
Into clear view the cultured fields that streak
Her habitable shores, but now appears
A dwindled object, and submits to lie
At the spectator's feet. Yon azure ridge,
Is it a perishable cloud ? Or there
Do we behold the line of Erin's coast ?
Land sometimes by the roving shepherd-swain
(Like the bright confines of another world)
Not doubtfully perceived. — Look homeward now!
In depth, in height, in circuit, how serene
The spectacle, how pure!- Of Nature's works, ,
In earth, and air, and earth-embracing sea,
A revelation infinite it seems;
Display august of man's inheritance,
Of Britain's calm felicity and power!


Black Comb stands at the southern extremity of Cumberland: its base covers a much greater extent of ground than any other mountain in those parts; and, from its situation, the summit commands a more extensive view than any other point in Britain.




Those silver clouds collected round the sun
His midday warmth abate not, seeming less
To overshade than multiply his beams
By soft reflection, — grateful to the sky,
To rocks, fields, woods. Nor doth our human sense
Ask, for its pleasure, screen or canopy
More ample than the time-dismantled oak
Spreads o'er this tuft of heath, which now,

In the whole fulness of its bloom, affords
Couch beautiful as e'er for earthly use
Was fashioned ; whether by the hand of Art,
That Eastern Sultan, amid flowers enwrought
On silken tissue, might diffuse his limbs
In languor; or by Nature, for repose
Of panting Wood-nymph, wearied with the chase.
O Lady! fairer in thy Poet's sight
Than fairest spiritual creature of the groves,
Approach ; — and, thus invited, crown with rest
The noontide hour: though truly some there are
Whose footsteps superstitiously avoid
This venerable Tree; for, when the wind
Blows keenly, it sends forth a creaking sound
(Above the general roar of woods and crags)
Distinctly heard from far, a doleful note !
As if (so Grecian shepherds would have deemed)
The Hamadryad, pent within, bewailed
Some bitter wrong. Nor is it unbelieved,
By ruder fancy, that a troubled ghost
Haunts the old trunk; lamenting deeds of which
The flowery ground is conscious. But no wind
Sweeps now along this elevated ridge ;
Not even a zephyr stirs ; the obnoxious Tree
Is mute; and, in his silence, would look down,
O lovely Wanderer of the trackless hills,
On thy reclining form, with more delight
Than his coevals in the sheltered vale
Seem to participate, the while they view
Their own far-stretching arms and leafy heads
Vividly pictured in some glassy pool,
That, for a brief space, checks the hurrying stream!




Show me the noblest Youth of present time,
Whose trembling fancy would to love give birth ;
Some God or Hero, from the Olympian clime
Returned, to seek a Consort upon earth ;
Or, in no doubtful prospect, let me see
The brightest star of ages yet to be,
And I will mate and match him blissfully.

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I will not fetch a Naiad from a flood
Pure as herself, (song lacks not mightier power,)
Nor leaf-crowned Dryad from a pathless wood,
Nor Sea-nymph glistening from her choral bower
Mere Mortals bodied forth in vision still
Shall with Mount Ida's triple lustre fill
The chaster coverts of a British hill.

“Appear! - obey my lyre's command ! Come, like the Graces, hand in hand ! For ye, though not by birth allied, Are Sisters in the bond of love; Nor shall the tongue of envious pride Presume those interweavings to reprove In you, which that fair progeny of Jove Learned from the tuneful spheres that glide In endless union, earth and sea above.” - I sing in vain; the pines have hushed their

waving: A peerless Youth expectant at my side, Breathless as they, with unabated craving Looks to the earth, and to the vacant air ; And, with a wandering eye that seems to chide, Asks of the clouds what occupants they hide : But why solicit more than sight could bear, By casting on a moment all we dare ? Invoke we those bright Beings one by one ; And what was boldly promised, truly shall be


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