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That flowers themselves, whate'er their hue,
In the vale of Grasmere, by the side of the old highway lead
ing to Ambleside, is a gate, which, time out of mind, has been called the Wishing-gate, from a belief that wishes formed or indulged there have a favorable issue.
HOPE rules a land for ever green :
Are confident and gay ;
Clouds at her bidding disappear;
And Fancy smooths the way.
Not such the land of Wishes, — there
And thoughts with things at strife;
How poor, were human life!
When magic lore abjured its might,
One tender claim abate ;
The rustic Wishing-gate !
Inquire not if the Faery race
Ere northward they retired;
Or here a saint expired.
Enough that all around is fair,
And in her fondest love, -
The selfish to reprove.
Yea! even the Stranger from afar,
Unknowing, and unknown,
All happiness her own.
Then why should conscious Spirits fear
The ancient faith disclaim ?
Whose just reward is shame.
Smile if thou wilt, but not in scorn,
Here crave an easier lot;
With firmer, holier knot.
And not in vain, when thoughts are cast
Some Penitent sincere
No unavailing tear.
The Worldling, pining to be freed
The current of his fate,
Might stop before this favored scene,
Upon the Wishing-gate.
The Sage, who feels how blind, how weak Is man, though loth such help to seek,
Yet, passing, here might pause, And thirst for insight to allay Misgiving, while the crimson day
In quietness withdraws ;
Or when the church-clock's knell profound To Time's first step across the bound
Of midnight makes reply; Time pressing on with starry crest, To filial sleep upon the breast
Of dread eternity.
THE WISHING-GATE DESTROYED.
'T is gone, — with old belief and dream That round it clung, and tempting scheme
Released from fear and doubt ; And the bright landscape too must lie, By this blank wall from every eye
Relentlessly shut out.
Bear witness, ye who seldom passed
Upon the lake below,
Though reason might say no.
Blest is that ground, where, o'er the springs Of history, Glory claps her wings,
Fame sheds the exulting tear; Yet earth is wide, and many a nook Unheard of is, like this, a book
For modest meanings dear.
It was in sooth a happy thought
So confident a token
Which one harsh day has broken.
Alas for him who gave the word !
Derived from earth or heaven,
Which here was freely given?
Where, for the love-lorn maiden's wound, Will now so readily be found
A balm of expectation ?