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Ye living flowers that skirt she eternal frost! Ye wild goats sporting round the eagle's nest! Ye eagles, play-mates of the mountain-storms Ye lightnings, the dread arrows of the clouds! Ye signs and wonders of the element! Utter forth God, and fill the hills with praise!
Thou too, hoar Mount! with thy sky-pointing peaks, Oft from whose feet the Avalanche, unheard, Shoots downward, glittering through the pure serene Into the depth of clouds, that veil thy breast— Thou too again, stupendous Mountain thou That as I raise my head, awhile bow'd low In adoration, upward from thy base Slow travelling with dim eyes suffused with tears, Solemnly seemest, like a vapoury cloud, To rise before me—Rise, () ever rise, Rise like a cloud of incense, from the earth ! Thou kingly Spirit throned among the hills, Thou dread Ambassador from Earth to Ileaven, Great Hierarch' tell thou the silent sky, And tell the Stars, and tell von rising sun, Earth, with her thousand voices, praises God.
whitten IN The Albu M. At Elbingerode, IN THE Hartz for est.
Isroom on Brocken's sovran height, and saw
Woods crowding upon woods, hills over hills,
A surging scene, and only limited
By the blue distance. Ileavily my way
Downward I drago'd through fir-groves evermore,
Where bright green moss heaves in sepulchral forms
Speckled with sunshine; and, but seldom heard,
The sweet bird's song became a hollow sound;
And the breeze, murmuring indivisibly,
Preserved its solemn murmur most distinct
From many a note of many a waterfall,
And the brook's chatter; 'mid whose islet stones
The dingy kidling with its tinkling bell
Leap'd frolicsome, or old romantic goat
Sat, his white beard slow waving. I moved on
In low and languid mood: ” for I had found
That outward forms, the loftiest, still receive
Their finer influence from the Life within :
Fair ciphers else: fair, but of import vague
Or unconcerning, where the Heart not finds
History or prophecy of Friend, or Child,
Or gentle Maid, our first and early love,
Or Father, or the venerable name
Of our adored Country! 0 thou Queen,
Thou delegated Deity of Earth,
0 dear, dear England how my longing eye
Turn'd westward, shaping in the steady clouds
Thy sands and high white cliffs!
* The highest mountain in the Hartz, and indeed in North Ger
* ————— when I have gazed
From some high eminence on goodly vales,
And cots and villages embower'd below,
The thought would rise that all to me was strange
Amid the scenes so fair, nor one small spot
Where my tired mind might rest, and call it home.
Southey's Hymn to the Penates.
My native land! Fill'd with the thought of thee this heart was proud, Yea, mine eye swam with tears: that all the view From sovran Brocken, woods and woody hills, Floated away, like a departing dream, Feeble and dim! Stranger, these impulses Blame thou not lightly; nor will I profane, With hasty judgment or injurious doubt, That man's sublimer spirit, who can feel That God is everywhere! the God who framed Mankind to be one mighty Family, Himself our Father, and the World our Home.
oN observing A BLossovs on THE FIRST . OF FEBRUARY, 1796.
Sweet Flower' that peeping from thy russet stem
Unfoldest timidly (for in strange sort
This dark, frieze-coated, hoarse, teeth-chattering month
Hath borrowd Zephyr's voice, and gazed upon thee
With blue voluptuous eye), alas, poor Flower!
These are but flatteries of the faithless year.
Perchance, escaped its unknown polar cave,
Een now the keen North-East is on its way.
Flower that must perish : shall I liken thee
To some sweet girl of too too rapid growth,
Nipp'd by Consumption 'mid untimely charms?
or to Bristowa's Bard," the wondrous boy!
An Amaranth, which earth scarce seem'd to own,
Till Disappointment came, and pelting wrong
Beat it to earth? or with indignant grief
Shall I compare thee to poor Poland's Hope,
Bright slower of slope kill d in the opening bud?
Farewell, sweet blossom better fate be thine,
And mock my boding! Dim similitudes
Weaving in moral strains, I've stolen one hour
From anxious Self, Life's cruel Task-Master!
And the warm wooings of this sunny day
Tremble along my frame and harmonize
The attemper'd organ, that even saddest thoughts
Mix with some sweet sensations, like harsh tunes
Play'd deftly on a soft-toned instrument.
CoMposed AT clevedon, somefisetshire.
My pensive Sara! thy soft cheek reclined
Thus on mine arm, most soothing sweet it is
To sit beside our cot, our cot o'ergrown
With white-flower'd Jasmin, and the broad-leaved Myrtle,
(Meet emblems they of Innocence and Love!)
And watch the clouds, that late were rich with light,
Slow saddening round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should wisdom be)
Shine opposite! How exquisite the scents
Snatch'd from won bean-field' and the world so hush'd :
The stilly murmur of the distant Sea
Tells us of Silence.
And that simplest Lute, Placed length-wavs in the clasping casement, hark! Ilow by the desultory breeze caress'd, Like some coy maid half yielding to her lover,
It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs
Tempt to repeat the wrong! And now, its strings
Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes
Over delicious surges sink and rise,
Such a soft floating witchery of sound
As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve
Voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-Land,
Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers,
Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise,
Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untamed wing !
O the one life within us and abroad,
Which meets all motion and becomes its soul,
A light in sound, a sound-like power in light,
Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where—
Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a world so fill'd ;
Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air
Is Music slumbering on her instrument.
And thus, my love! as on the midway slope Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon, Whilst through my half-closed eye-lids I behold The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main, And tranquil muse upon tranquillity; Full many a thought uncall'd and undetain'd, And many idle slitting phantasies, Traverse my indolent and passive brain, As wild and various as the random gales That swell and slutter on this subject lute!
And what if all of animated nature Be but organic harps diversely framed, That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps, Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze, At once the Soul of each, and God of All?
But thy more serious eye a mild reproof Darts, O beloved woman! nor such thoughts Dim and unhallow'd dost thou not reject, And biddest me walk humbly with my God. Meek daughter in the family of Christ! Well hast thou said and holily dispraised These shapings of the unregenerate mind; Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring. For never guiltless may I speak of him, The Incomprehensible! save when with awe I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels; Who with his saving mercies healed me, A sinful and most miserable Man, Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honour'd Maid! '
REFLECTIONS ON HAVING LEFT A PLACE OF RETIREMENT.
Low was our pretty Cot: our tallest rose
Peep'd at the chamber-window. We could hear
At silent noon, and eve, and early morn,
The Sea's faint murmur. In the open air
Our myrtles blossom'd; and across the Porch
Thick jasmins twined: the little landscape round
was green and woody, and refresh'd the eye.
It was a spot which you might aptly call
The Valley of Seclusion! Once I saw
(Hallowing his Sabbath-day by quietness)
A wealthy son of commerce saunter by,
Bristowa's citizen : methought, it calm'd
His thirst of idle gold, and made him muse
With wiser feelings: for he paused, and look'd
With a pleased sadness, and gazed all around,
Then eyed our cottage, and gazed round again,
And sigh'd, and said, it was a blessed place.
And we were bless'd. Oft with patient ear
Long-listening to the viewless sky-lark's note
(Viewless or haply for a moment seen
Gleaming on sunny wings), in whisper'd tones
I've said to my beloved, a Such, sweet girl!
The inobtrusive song of Happiness,
Unearthly minstrelsy then only heard
When the soul seeks to hear; when all is hush'd,
And the Heart listens!»
But the time, when first From that low dell, steep up the stony Mount I climb'd with perilous toil and reach'd the top, Oh! what a goodly scene! Here the bleak Mount, The bare bleak Mountain speckled thin with sheep; Grey clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields; And River, now with bushy rocks o'erbrow'd, Now winding bright and full, with naked banks; And Seats, and Lawns, the Abbey and the Wood, And Cots, and Hamlets, and faint City-spire; The Channel there, the Islands and white Sails, Dim Coasts, and cloud-like Hills, and shoreless Ocean— It seem'd like Omnipresence! God, methought, Ilad built him there a Temple: the whole World Seem'd imaged in its vast circumference, No wish profaned my overwhelmed heart. Blest hour! It was a luxury, to be!
Ah! quiet dell; dear cot, and mount sublime! I was constrain'd to quit you. Was it right, While my unnumber'd brethren toil'd and bled, That I should dream away the entrusted hours On rose-leaf beds, pampering the coward heart With feelings all too delicate for use? Sweet is the tear that from some Howard's eye Drops on the cheek of One he lifts from Earth : And ile that works me good with unmoved face, Does it but half: he chills me while he aids, My Benefactor, not my Brother Man! Yet even this, this cold beneficence Praise, praise it, O my Soul: oft as thou scann'st The Sluggard Pity's vision-weaving tribes who sigh for wretchedness, yet shun the wretched, Nursing in some delicious solitude Their slothful loves and dainty Sympathies' I therefore go, and join head, heart, and hand, Active and firm, to fight the bloodless fight Of Science, Freedom, and the Truth in Christ.
Yet oft, when after honourable toil
Rests the tired mind, and waking loves to dream,
My spirit shall revisit thee, dear Cot!
Thy jasmin and thy window-peeping rose,
And myrtles fearless of the mild sea-air.
And I shall sigh fond wishes—sweet Abode'
A blessed lot hath he, who having pass'd
His youth and early manhood in the stir
And turmoil of the world, retreats at length,
With cares that move, not agitate the heart,
To the same dwelling where his father dwelt;
And haply views his tottering little ones
Embrace those aged knees and climb that lap,
On which first kneeling his own infancy
Lisp'd its brief prayer. Such, O my earliest Friend!
Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy.
At distance did ye climb Life's upland road,
Yet cheerd and cheering: now fraternal love
Hath drawn you to one centre. Be your days
Holy, and blest and blessing may ye live!
To me th' Eternal Wisdom hath dispensed A different fortune and more different mind— Me from the spot where first I sprang to light Too soon transplanted, ere my soul had fix’d Its first domestic loves; and hence through life Chasing chance-started Friendships. A brief while Some have preserved me from Life's pelting ills; But, like a tree with leaves of feeble stem, lf the clouds lasted, and a sudden breeze Ruffled the boughs, they on my head at once Dropp'd the collected shower; and some most false, False and fair foliaged as the Manchineel, Have tempted me to slumber in their shade E’en 'mid the storm; then breathing subtlest damps, Mix'd their own venom with the rain from Heaven, That I woke poison'd? But, all praise to Him Who gives us all things, more have yielded me Permanent shelter; and beside one Friend, Beneath th' impervious covert of one Oak, I've raised a lowly shed, and know the names Of IIusband and of Father; nor unhearing Of that divine and nightly-whispering Voice, Which from my childhood to maturer years Spake to me of predestinated wreaths, s Bright with no fading colours!
Yet at times My soul is sad, that I have roam'd through life Still most a stranger, most with naked heart At mine own home and birth-place: chiefly then, When I remember thee, my earliest Friend! Thee, who didst watch my boyhood and my youth; Didst trace my wanderings with a Father's eye; And boding evil, yet still hoping good, Rebuked each fault, and over all my woes Sorrow'd in silence . He who counts alone The beatings of the solitary heart, That Being knows, how I have loved thee ever,
Loved as a brother, as a son revered thee!
Oh!'t is to me an ever new delight,
To talk of thee and thine: or when the blast
Of the shrill winter, rattling our rude sash,
Endears the cleanly hearth and social bowl;
Or when as now, on some delicious eve,
We, in our sweet sequester'd orchard-plot, -
Sit on the tree crooked earth-ward; whose old boughs,
That lang above us in an arborous roof, -
Stirr'd by the faint gale of departing May,
Send their loose blossoms slanting o'er our heads!
Nor dost not thou sometimes recall those hours, When with the joy of hope thou gavest thine ear To my wild firstling-lays. Since then my song Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem Or that sad wisdom folly leaves behind, Or such as, tuned to these tumultuous times, Cope with the tempest's swell!
These various strains, Which I have framed in many a various mood, Accept, my Brother! and (for some perchance Will strike discordant on thy milder mind) If aught of Error or intemperate Truth Should meet thine ear, think thou that riper age Will calm it down, and let thy love forgive it!
INSCRIPTION FOR A FOUNTAIN ON A HEATH.
This Sycamore, oft musical with bees,—
Such tents the Patriarchs loved! O long unlarm'd
May all its aged boughs o'er-canopy
The small round basin, which this jutting stone
Keeps pure from falling leaves! Long may the Spring,
Quietly as a sleeping infant's breath,
Send up cold waters to the traveller
With soft and even pulse! Nor ever cease
Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance,
Which at the bottom, like a fairy's page,
As merry and no taller, dances still,
Nor wrinkles the smooth surface of the Fount.
Here twilight is and coolness: here is moss,
A soft seat, and a deep and ample shade.
Thou mayst toil far and find no second tree.
Drink, Pilgrim, here! Here rest! and if thy heart
Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh
Thy spirit, listening to some gentle sound,
Or passing gale or hum of murmuring bees'
'T is true, Idoloclastes Satyrane!
(So call him, for so mingling blame with praise,
And smiles with anxious looks, his earliest friends,
Masking his birth-name, wont to character
His wild-wood fancy and impetuous zeal)
'T is true that, passionate for ancient truths,
And honouring with religious love the Great
Of elder times, he hated to excess,
With an unquiet and intolerant scorn,
The hollow puppets of a hollow age,
Ever idolatrous, and changing ever
Its worthless Idols! Learning, Power, and Time,
(Too much of all) thus wasting in vain war
Of fervid colloquy. Sickness, "t is true, The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two isles
Whole years of weary days, besieged him close, Of purple shadow! Yes, they wander on
Even to the gates and inlets of his life! In thadness all; but thou, methinks, most glad,
But it is true, no less, that strenuous, firm, My genile-hearted Charles' for thou hast pined
And with a natural gladness, he maintain'd And hunger'd after Nature, many a year,
The citadel unconquer'd, and in joy In the great city pent, winning thy way
Was strong to follow the delightful Muse. With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain
For not a hidden Path, that to the Shades And strange calamity! Ah slowly sink
Of the beloved Parnassian forest leads, Behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun!
Lurk'd undiscover'd by him; not a rill Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb,
There issues from the fount of Hippocrene, Ye purple heath-flowers' richlier burn, we clouds!
But he had traced it upward to its source, Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves:
Through open glade, dark glen, and secret dell, And kindle, thou blue Ocean' So my Friend,
Knew the gay wild flowers on its banks, and cull'd Struck with deep joy, may stand, as I have stood,
Its med'cinable herbs. Yea, oft alone, - Silent with swimming sense; yea, gazing round
Piercing the long-neglected holy cave, On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem
The haunt obscure of old Philosophy, Less gross than bodily; and of such hues
He bade with lifted torch its starry walls As veil the Almighty Spirit, when yet he makes
Sparkle as erst they sparkled to the flame Spirits perceive his presence.
Of odorous lamps tended by Saint and Sage.
O framed for calmer times and nobler hearts!
O studious Poet, eloquent for truth !
Philosopher! contemning wealth and death,
Yet docile, childlike, full of life and love!
Here, rather than on monumental stone,
This record of thy worth thy Friend inscribes,
Thoughtful, with quiet tears upon his cheek.
Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad
As I myself were there! Nor in this bower,
This little lime-tree bower, have I not mark'd
Much that has soothed me. Pale beneath the blaze
slung the transparent foliage; and I watch'd
Some broad and sunny leaf, and loved to see
The shadow of the leaf and stem above
- Dappling its sunshine ! And that walnut-tree
This LiME-TREE BOWER MY PRISON. Was richly tinged, and a deep radiance lay
Full on the ancient Ivy, which usurps
In the June of 1797, some long-expected Friends paid * visit to the o, o: o: o o: so mass,
Author's Cottage; and on the morning of their arrival, he met || ". rk branches gleam a lighter hue
with an accident, which disabled him from walking durin; the Through the late twilight: and though now the Bat
whole time of their stay. One Evening, when they had left him Wheels silent by, and not a Swallow twitters,
for a few hours, he composed the following lines in the Garden Yet still the solitary humble Lee
Bower. - Sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall know
That Nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure:
No plot so narrow, be but Nature there,
No waste so vacant, but may well employ
Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart
Awake to Love and leauty' and sometimes
T is well to be bereft of promised good,
That we may lift the soul, and contemplate
With lively joy the joys we cannot share.
My gentle-hearted Charles' when the last Rook
Beat its straight path along the dusky air
Homewards, I blest it! deeming its black wing
(Now a dim speck, now vanishing in light)
Had cross'd the mighty Orb's dilated glory,
While thou stood'st gazing; or when all was still,
Flew creaking' o'er thy head, and had a charm
For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to whom
No sound is dissonant which tells of Life.
Well, they are gone, and here must I remain,
This Lime-tree bower my prison! I have lost
Beauties and feelings, such as would have been
Most sweet to my remembrance, even when age
IIad dimm'd mine eyes to blindness! They, meanwhile,
Friends, whom I never more may meet again,
on springy heath, along the hill-top edge,
Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance,
To that still roaring dell, of which I told :
The roaring dell, o'erwooded, narrow, deep,
And only speckled by the mid-day sun;
Where its slim trunk the Ash from rock to rock
Flings arching like a bridge;—that branchless Ash,
Unsunn'd and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves
Ne'er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still,
Fann'd by the water-fall! and there my friends
Behold the dark-green file of long lank weeds,'
That all at once (a most fantastic sight')
Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge
Of the blue clay-stone.
Wii O HAD DECi. An Ed His in TFNTION of writi Ng No Now, my Friends emerge More poetit Y. Beneath the wide wide Heaven—and view again The many-steepled tract magnificent Of hilly fields and meadows, and the sea, With some fair bark, perhaps, whose sails light up
DeAn Charles! whilst yet thou wert a babe, I ween
That Genius plunged thee in that wizard fount
* Some months after I had written this line, it gave me pleasure
' The Asplenium Scolopendrium, called in some countries the to observe that Bartram had observed the same circumstance of the Adder's Tongue, in others the Hart's Tongue; but withering gives Savanna Crane. . When these Birds move their wings in flight, the Adder's Tongue as the trivial name of the Ophioglossum only. their strokes are slow, moderate and regular; and even when at a
Hight Castalie; and (sureties of thy faith)
That Pity and Simplicity stood by,
And promised for thee, that thou shouldst renounce
The world's low cares and lying vanities,
Stedfast and rooted in the heavenly Muse,
And wash'd and sanctified to Poesy.
Yes—thou wert plunged, but with forgetful hand
Held, as by Thetis erst her warrior Son:
And with those recreant unbaptized heels
Thou 'rt flying from thy bounden ministeries—
So sore it seems and burthensome a task
To weave unwithering flowers! But take thou heed:
For thou art vulnerable, wild-eyed Boy,
And I have arrows mystically dipp'd,
Such as may stop thy speed. Is thy Burns dead?
And shall he die unwept, and sink to Earth
- Without the meed of one melodious tear?-
Thy Burns, and Nature's own beloved Bard,
Who to the Illustrious * of his native land
• So properly did look for patronage.”
Ghost of Maecenas' hide thy blushing face!
They snatch'd him from the Sickle and the Plough—
To gauge Ale-Firkins.
Oh! for shame return' On a bleak rock, midway the Aonian Mount, There stands a lone and melancholy tree, Whose aged branches in the midnight blast Make solemn music: pluck its darkest bough, Ere yet the unwholesome night-dew be exhaled, And weeping wreath it round thy Poet's tomb. Then in the outskirts, where pollutions grow, Pick the rank henbane and the dusky flowers Of night-shade, or its red and tempting fruit. These with stopp'd nostril and glove-guarded hand Knit in nice intertexture, so to twine The illustrious brow of Scotch Nobility.
COMPOSED ON the Night AFTen his Recitation OF A POEM on The GROWTh of An individual, MiN D.
FRIEND of the Wise! and Teacher of the Good!
Into my heart have I received that lay
More than historic, that prophetic lay,
Wherein (high theme by thee first sung aright)
Of the foundations and the building up
Of a Human Spirit thou hast dared to tell
What may be told, to the understanding mind
Revealable; and what within the mind,
By vital breathings secret as the soul
Of vernal growth, oft quickens in the heart
Thoughts all too deep for words!—
Theme hard as high . Of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears (The first-born they of Reason and twin-birth), Of tides obedient to external force,
considerable distance or high above us, we plainly hear the quillfeathers; their shafts and webs upon one another croak as the joints or working of a vessel in a tempestuous sea.” wide Pind. Olymp. iii, i. 156. * Verbatim from Burns's dedication of his Poems to the Nobility and Gentry of the Caledonian Hunt.
And currents self-determined, as might seem,
Or by some inner Power; of moments awful,
Now in thy inner life, and now abroad,
When Power stream'd from thee, and thy soul received
The light reflected, as a light bestow'd—
Of Fancies fair, and milder hours of youth,
Hyblean murmurs of poetic thought
Industrious in its joy, in Wales and Glens
Native or outland, Lakes and famous Hills!
Or on the lonely High-road, when the Stars
Were rising; or by secret Mountain-streams,
The Guides and the Companions of thy way!
Of more than Fancy, of the Social Sense Distending wide, and Man beloved as Man, Where France in all her towns iay vibrating Like some becalmed bark beneath the burst Of Heaven's immediate thunder, when no cloud Is visible, or shadow on the Main. For thou wert there, thine own brows garlanded, Amid the tremor of a realm aglow, Amid a mighty nation jubilant, When from the general heart of human kind Hope sprang forth like a full-born Deity --Of that dear Hope afflicted and struck down, So summond homeward, thenceforth calm and sure, From the dread watch-tower of man's absolute Self, With light unwaning on her eyes, to look Far on—herself a glory to behold, The Angel of the vision . Then (last strain) Of Duty, chosen laws controlling choice, Action and Joy!—An orphic song indeed, A song divine of high and passionate thoughts, To their own music chaunted! * O great Bard! Ere yet that last strain dying awed the air, With stedfast eye I view'd thee in the choir Of ever-enduring men. The truly Great Have all one age, and from one visible space Shed influence . They, both in power and act, Are permanent, and Time is not with them, Save as it worketh for them, they in it. Nor less a sacred roll, than those of old, And to be placed, as they, with gradual fame Among the archives of mankind, thy work Makes audible a linked lay of Truth, of Truth profound a sweet continuous lay, Not learnt, but native, her own natural notes! Ah! as I listen'd with a heart forlorn, The pulses of my being beat anew : And even as life returns upon the drown'd, Life's joy rekindling roused a throng of pains— Keen Pangs of Love, awakening as a babe Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart; And Fears self-will'd, that shunn'd the eye of Hope; And Hope that scarce would know itself from Fear; Sense of past Youth, and Manhood come in vain, And Genius given, and knowledge won in vain; And all which I had cull'd in wood-walks wild, And all which patient toil had rear'd, and all, Commune with thee had open'd out—but flowers Strew'd on my corse, and borne upon my bier, In the same coffin, for the self-same grave'
That way no more! and ill beseems it me, Who came a welcomer in herald's guise,