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With weary pace is drawing nigh;
He sees the Ass, — and nothing living
Had ever such a fit of joy
As hath this little orphan Boy,
For he has no misgiving !
Forth to the gentle Ass he springs,
And up about his neck he climbs ;
In loving words he talks to him,
He kisses, kisses face and limb, -
He kisses him a thousand times!
This Peter sees, while in the shade He stood beside the cottage door ; And Peter Bell, the ruffian wild, Sobs loud, he sobs even like a child, “ O God, I can endure no more !”
Here ends my Tale: for in a trice Arrived a neighbor with his horse ; Peter went forth with him straightway; And, with due care, ere break of day, Together they brought back the Corse.
And many years did this poor Ass,
Whom once it was my luck to see
Cropping the shrubs of Leming Lane,
Help by his labor to maintain
The Widow and her family.
And Peter Bell, who till that night
Had been the wildest of his clan,
Forsook his crimes, renounced his folly,
And, after ten months' melancholy,
Became a good and honest man.
HAPPY the feeling from the bosom thrown
In perfect shape, (whose beauty Time shall spare
Though a breath made it,) like a bubble blown
For summer pastime into wanton air;
Happy the thought best likened to a stone
Of the sea-beach, when, polished with nice care,
Veins it discovers exquisite and rare,
Which for the loss of that moist gleam atone
That tempted first to gather it. That here,
O chief of Friends! such feelings I present
To thy regard, with thoughts so fortunate,
Were a vain notion; but the hope is dear,
That thou, if not with partial joy elate,
Wilt smile upon this gist with more than mild content!
Nuns fret not at their convent's narrow room;
And hermits are contented with their cells ;
And students with their pensive citadels ;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
High as the highest peak of Furness-fells,
Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells : .
In truth the prison, unto which we doom
Ourselves, no prison is : and hence for me,
· In sundry moods, 't was pastime to be bound
Within the Sonnet's scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some Souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
Should find brief solace there, as I have found.
Intended more particularly for the perusal of those who may
have happened to be enamored of some beautiful place of retreat, in the Country of the Lakes.
WELL mayst thou halt, and gaze with bright
The lovely Cottage in the guardian nook
Hath stirred thee deeply; with its own dear brook,
Its own small pasture, almost its own sky!
But covet not the Abode ; — forbear to sigh,
As many do, repining while they look ;
Intruders, who would tear from Nature's book
This precious leaf, with harsh impiety.
Think what the Home must be if it were thine,
Even thine, though few thy wants ! - Roof, win-
The very flowers are sacred to the Poor,
The roses to the porch which they entwine:
Yea, all, that now enchants thee, from the day
On which it should be touched, would melt away.
“ BELOVED VALE !” I said, “ when I shall con
Those many records of my childish years,
Remembrance of myself and of my peers
Will press me down: to think of what is gone
Will be an awful thought, if life have one.”
But when into the Vale I came, no fears
Distressed me; from mine eyes escaped no tears;
Deep thought, or dread remembrance, had I none,
By doubts and thousand petty fancies crost
I stood, of simple shame the blushing Thrall ;
So narrow seemed the brooks, the fields so small !
A Juggler's balls old Time about him tossed ;
I looked, I stared, I smiled, I laughed;
The weight of sadness was in wonder lost.
AT APPLETHWAITE, NEAR KESWICK.
1804. BEAUMONT! it was thy wish that I should rear A seemly Cottage in this sunny Dell, On favored ground, thy gift, where I might dwell In neighborhood with One to me most dear, That undivided we from year to year Might work in our high Calling, - a bright hope