Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

My EMMA, I will dedicate to thee.”
— Soon did the spot become my other home,
My dwelling, and my out-of-doors abode.
And, of the Shepherds who have seen me there,
To whom I sometimes in our idle talk
Have told this fancy, two or three, perhaps,
Years after we are gone and in our graves,
When they have cause to speak of this wild place,
May call it by the name of Emma's DELL.

1800.

11.

TO JOANNA.

Amid the smoke of cities did you pass
The time of early youth ; and there you learned,
From years of quiet industry, to love
The living Beings by your own fireside,
With such a strong devotion, that your heart
Is slow to meet the sympathies of them
Who look upon the hills with tenderness,
And make dear friendships with the streams and

groves.
Yet we, who are transgressors in this kind,
Dwelling retired in our simplicity
Among the woods and fields, we love you well,
Joanna ! and I guess, since you have been
So distant from us now for two long years,

That you will gladly listen to discourse,
However trivial, if you thence be taught
That they, with whom you once were happy, talk
Familiarly of you and of old times.

While I was seated, now some ten days past, Beneath those lofty firs, that overtop Their ancient neighbor, the old steeple-tower, The Vicar from his gloomy house hard by Came forth to greet me; and when he had asked, “ How fares Joanna, that wild-hearted Maid ? And when will she return to us ? ” he paused; And, and after short exchange of village news, He with grave looks demanded, for what cause, Reviving obsolete idolatry, I, like a Runic Priest, in characters Of formidable size had chiselled out Some uncouth name upon the native rock, Above the Rotha, by the forest-side. - Now, by those dear immunities of heart. Engendered between malice and true love, I was not loth to be so catechized, And this was my reply:— “ As it befell, One summer morning we had walked abroad At break of day, Joanna and myself. -’T was that delightful season when the broom, Full-flowered, and visible on every steep, Along the copses runs in veins of gold. Our pathway led us on to Rotha's banks; And when we came in front of that tall rock

Ock

That eastward looks, I there stopped short, and

stood Tracing the lofty barrier with my eye From base to summit; such delight I found To note in shrub and tree, in stone and flower, That intermixture of delicious hues, Along so vast a surface, all at once, In one impression, by connecting force Of their own beauty, imaged in the heart. - When I had gazed perhaps two minutes' space, Joanna, looking in my eyes, beheld That ravishment of mine, and laughed aloud. The Rock, like something starting from a sleep, Took up the Lady's voice, and laughed again ; That ancient Woman seated on Helm-crag Was ready with her cavern ; Hammar-scar, And the tall steep of Silver-how, sent forth A noise of laughter; southern Loughrigg heard, And Fairfield answered with a mountain tone; Helvellyn far into the clear blue sky Carried the Lady's voice, -old Skiddaw blew His speaking-trumpet; — back out of the clouds Of Glaramara southward came the voice ; And Kirkstone tossed it from his misty head. - Now whether” (said I to our cordial Friend, Who in the heyday of astonishment Smiled in my face) “ this were in simple truth A work accomplished by the brotherhood Of ancient mountains, or my ear was touched With dreams and visionary impulses

To me alone imparted, sure I am
That there was a loud uproar in the hills.
And while we both were listening, to my side
The fair Joanna drew, as if she wished
To shelter from some object of her fear.
- And hence, long afterwards, when eighteen

moons

Were wasted, as I chanced to walk alone.
Beneath this rock, at sunrise, on a calm
And silent morning, I sat down, and there,
In memory of affections old and true,
I chiselled out in those rude characters
Joanna's name deep in the living stone: -
And I, and all who dwell by my fireside,
Have called the lovely rock, JOANNA's Rock."

1800.

NOTE. - In Cumberland and Westmoreland are several inscriptions, upon the native rock, which, from the wasting of time, and the rudeness of the workmanship, have been mistaken for Runic. They are, without doubt, Roman.

The Rotha, mentioned in this poem, is the river which, flowing through the lakes of Grasmere and Rydale, falls into Wynandermere. On Helm-crag, that impressive single mountain at the head of the Vale of Grasmere, is a rock which from most points of view bears a striking resemblance to an old woman cowering. Close by this rock is one of those fissures or caverns, which in the language of the country are called dungeons. Most of the mountains here mentioned immediately surround the Vale of Grasmere; of the others, some are at a considerable distance, but they belong to the same cluster.

III.

THERE is an Eminence, -of these our hills
The last that parleys with the setting sun;
We can behold it from our orchard-seat ;
And, when at evening we pursue our walk
Along the public way, this Peak, so high
Above us, and so distant in its height,
Is visible; and often seems to send
Its own deep quiet to restore our hearts.
The meteors make of it a favorite haunt:
The star of Jove, so beautiful and large
In the mid-heavens, is never half so fair
As when he shines above it. 'Tis in truth
The loneliest place we have among the clouds.
And she who dwells with me, whom I have loved
With such communion, that no place on earth
Can ever be a solitude to me,
Hath to this lonely Summit given my Name.

1800.

IV.

A NARROW girdle of rough stones and crags,
A rude and natural causeway, interposed
Between the water and a winding slope
Of copse and thicket, leaves the eastern shore

« AnteriorContinuar »