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Yet how?—for I, if there be truth
Short-liv'd likings may be bred
Unbleat distinctions! showered on me
The sylvan slopes with corn-clad fields Of what I was remains.
Are hung, as if with golden shields,
Like a fair sister of the sky,
Unruffled doth the blue Lake lie, A sister Queen, against the bent
The Mountains looking on. of law and holicst sympathy, Detains me-doubtful of the event;
And, sooth to say, yon vocal Grove Great God, who feelst for my distress,
Albeit uninspired by love, My thoughts are all that I possess,
By love untaught to ring,
May well afford to mortal ear
Than music of the Spring.
For that from turbulence and heat
Proceeds, from some uneasy seat of fears the prey, of hopes the sport,
In Nature's struggling frame, Nonght but the world-redeeming Cross
Some region of impatient life; Is able to supply my loss,
And jealousy, and quivering strife, My burthen to support.
Therein a portion claim.
This, this is holy;—while I hear Hark! the death-note of the year,
These vespers of another year, Sounded by the castle-clock !
This hymn of thanks and praise, From her sunk eyes a stagnant tear
My spirit seems to mount above
The anxieties of human love,
And earth's precarious days.
But list'—though winter-sto ms be nigh, Repor'd upon the block!
Unchecked is that soft harmony:
Even like the radiant Seraphim,
These Choristers confide.
FOUNDED UPON A BELIEF PREVALENT AMONG
THE PASTORAL VALES OF WESTMORELAND.
UPON THE SAME OCCASION.
Swiftly turn the murmuring wheel!
DEPARTING Summer hath assumed
Now, beneath the starry sky,
Nor doth the example fail to cheer The Conqueror, crowns the Conquer'd, on Me conscious that my leaf is sear,
this brow And yellow on the bough:
Planting his favourite silver diadem, Fall, rosy garlands, from my head !
Nor he, nor minister of his intent Ye myrtle-wreaths, your fragrance shed To run before bim, hath enrolled me yet, Around a younger brow!
Though not unmennced, among those who
lean Yet will I temperately rejoice;
Upon a living staff, with borrowed sight. Wide is the range, and free the choice -O my Antigone, beloved child ! Of undiscordant themes;
Should that day come—but hark! the birds Which, haply, kindred souls may prize
salute Not less than vernal extacies,
The cheerful dawn brightening for me the And passion's feverish dreams.
For me, thy natural Leader, once again For deathless powers to verse belong, Impatient to conduct thee, not as erst And they like Demi-gods are strong A tottering Infant, with compliant stoop On whom the Muses smile;
From flower to flower supported; but to But some their function have disclaimed,
curb Best pleased with what is aptliest framed Thy nymph-like step swift-bounding o'er To enervate and defile.
Along the loose rocks, or the slippery verge Not such the initiatory strains
Of foaming torrents. From thy orisons Committed to the silent plains
Come forth; and, while the morning-air In Britain's earliest dawn; Trembled the groves, the stars grew pale, Transparent as the soul of innocent youth, While all-too-daringly the veil
thy happy Guide, now point thy way, Of Nature was withirawn!
And now precede thee, winding to and fro,
Till we by perseverance gain the top Nor such the spirit-stirring note
Of some smooth ridge, whose brink preWhen the live chords Alcæus smote,
cipitous Inflamed by sense of wrong ;
Kindles intense desire for powers withheld Woe! woe to Tyrants! from the lyre From this corporeal frame; whereon who Broke threateningly, in sparkles dire
stands, Of fierce vindictive song.
Is seized with strong incitement to push forth
His arms, as swimmers use, and plungeAnd not anhallow'd was the page
dread thought! By winged Love inscrib'd, to assuage For pastime plunge into the abrupt The pangs of vain pursuit;
abyss, Love listening while the Lesbian Maid Where Ravens spread their plumy vans, at With passion's finest finger swayed
ease! Her own Aeolian lute.
And yet more gladly thee would I conduct
Through woods and spacious forests,—to 0 ye who patiently explore
behold The wreck of Herculanean lore,
There, how the Original of human art, What rapture could ye seize
Heaven-prompted Nature, measures and Some Theban fragment, or unroll
erects One precious, tender-hearted scroll
Her temples, fearless for the stately work, Of pure Simonides !
Though waves in every breeze its high
arched roor, That were, indeed, a genuine birth
And storms the pillars rock. But we such of poesy; a bursting forth
schools Of Genius from the dust:
Of reverential awe will chiefly seek What Horace boasted to behold,
In the still summer-noon, while beams of What Maro loved, shall we enfold ?
light, Can haughty Time be just!
Reposing here, and in the aisles beyond
Whose saintly radiance mitigates the gloom
To Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, “A LITTLE onward lend thy guiding hand
espoused. To these dark steps, a little further on!” Re-open now thy cverlasting gates, - What trick of memory to my voice hath Thou Fane of holy writ! Ye classic Domes,
To these glad orbs from darksome bondage This mournful iteration? For though Time,
OF XXXIII SONNETS.
Unfold again your portals ! Passage lles
III. Through you to heights more glorious still,
How shall I paint thee?—Be this naked stone More awful, where this Darling of my care, My seat while I give way to such intent; Advancing with me hand in hand, may learn Pleased could my verse, a speaking monuWithout forsaking a too earnest world,
ment, To calm the affections, elevate the soul, Make to the eyes of men thy features known. And consecrate her life to truth and love.
But as of all those tripping lambs not one
Peculiar grounds for hope to build upon.
To dignify the spot that gives thee birth,
Yet thou thyself hast round thee shed a The River Duddon rises upon Wrynose Fell, on
gleam the confines of Westmoreland, Cumberland, and of brilliant moss, instinct with freshness Lancashire; and, serving as a boundary to the
rare; two latter counties, for the space of about twenty: Prompt offering to thy Foster-mother, Earth! five miles, enters the Irish sea, between the Isle of Walncy and the lordship of Millum. 1.
IV. Not envying shades which haply yet may Taxe, cradled Nursling of the mountain, take
This parting glance, no negligent adieu! A grateful coolness round that rocky spring, A Protean change seems wrought while I Bandusia, once responsive to the string
pursue of the Horatian lyre with babbling flow;
The curves, a loosely-scattered chain doth Careless of flowers that in perennial blow Round the moist marge of Persian fountains or rather thou appearst a glistering snake,
Silent, and to the gazer's eye untrue, Heedless of Alpine torrents thundering,
Thridding with sinuous lapse the rushes, Through icy portals radiant as heaven's bow;
through I seek the birth-place of a native Stream.-" Dwarf willows gliding, and by ferny brake. All hail ye mountains, bail thou morning-Starts from a dizzy steep the undaunted Rill
Rob’d instantly in garb of snow-white foam; Better to breathe upon this aëry height
And laughing dares the Adventurer, who
hath clomb Than pass in needless sleep from dream to
So high, a rival purpose to fulfil; Pure flow the verse, pure, vigorous, free, Else let the Dastard backward wend, and and bright,
roam, For Duddon, long lov’d Duddon, is my theme! Seeking less bold achievement, where he
Child of the clouds! remote from every taint Sole listener, Duddon! to the breeze that Of sordid industry thy lot is cast;
play'd Thine are the honors of the lofty waste; With thy clear voice, I caught the fitful Not seldom, when with heat the valleys faint,
sound Thy hand-maid Frost with spangled tissue Wafted o'er sullen moss and craggy mound,
Unfruitful solitudes, that seem'd to upbraid Thy cradle decks ;-to chaunt thy birth, The sun in heaven!—but now, to form a thou hast
shade No meaner Poet than the whistling Blast, For Thee, green alders have together wound And Desolation is thy Patron-saint! Their foliage; ashes flung their arms around; She guards thee, ruthless Power! who And birch-trees risen in silver colonnade.
would not spare
And thou hast also tempted here to rise, Those mighty forests, once the bison's screen, 'Mid sheltering pines, this Cottage rude and Where stalk'd the huge deer to his shaggy
Whose ruddy children, by the mother's eyes Through paths and alleys roofed with sombre Carelessly watch’d, spori through the sungreen,
mer-day, Thousands of years before the silent air Thy pleas'd associates:- light as endless May Was pierced by whizzing shaft of hunter keen! On infant bosoms lonely Nature lies.
Than a soft record that whatever fruit
Of ignorance thou mightst witness heretoERE yet our course was graced with social
Thy function was to heal and to restore, It lacked not old remains of hawthorn-To soothe and cleanse, not madden and bowers,
The struggling Rill insensibly is grown And caught the fragrance which the sundry Into a Brook of loud and stately march,
Cross'd ever and anon by plank and arch; Fed by the stream with soft perpetual And, for like use, lo! what might seem a
showers, Plenteously yielded to the vagrant breeze.
Chosen for ornament; stone match'd with There bloomed the strawberry of the wil
In studied symmetry, with interspace The trembling eye-bright showed her sap- For the clear waters to pursue their race
Without restraint.-How swiftly have they The thyme her purple like the blush of
Succeeding still succeeding! Here the And, if the breath of some to no caress
Child Invited, forth they peeped so fair to view, Puts, when the high-swoln Flood runs fierce All kinds alike seemed favourites of Heaven.
and wild, His budding courage to the proof;—and here
Declining Manhood learns to note the sly VII.
And sure encroachments of infirmity,
Thinking how fast time runs, life's end how “CHANGE me, some God, into that breathing
near! rose!” The love-sick Stripling fancifully sighs,
X. The envied flower beholding, as it lies On Laura's breast, in exquisite repose; Not so that Pair whose youthful spirits Or he would pass into her Bird, that throws
dance The darts of song from out its wiry cage; With prompt emotion, urging them to pass; Enraptured,—could he for himself
engage A sweet confusion checks the Shepherd-lass; The thousandth part of what the Nymph Blushing she eyes the dizzy flood askance,
To stop ashamed-too timid to advance ; And what the little careless Innocent
She ventures once again-another pause! Ungraciously receives. Too daring choice! His outstretch'd hand He tauntingly withThere are whose calmer mind it would
She sues for help with piteous utterance! To be an unculled flow'ret of the glen, Fearless of plough and scythe; or darkling Both feel when he renews the wish’d-for aid:
Chidden she chides again; the thrilling touch wren,
Ah! if their fluttering hearts should stir too That tunes on Duddon's banks her slender
much, voice. Should beat too strongly, both may be
The frolic Loves who, from yon high rock, What aspect bore the Man who roved or The struggle, clap their wings for victory!
fled, First of his tribe, to this dark dell—who first In this pellucid Current slaked his thirst?
XI. What hopes came with him? what designs
were spread No fiction was it of the antique age: Along his path? His unprotected bed A sky-blue stone, within this sunless cleft, What dreams'encompassid ? Was the Intruder Is of the very foot-marks unbereft
on that In bideous usages, and rites accurs’d,
smooth stage That thinned the living and disturbed the Dancing with all their brilliant equipage
In secret revels-haply after theft No voice replies;—the earth, the air is mute; Of some sweet babe, flower stolen, and coarse And Thou, blue Streamlet, murmuring
weed left, yieldst no more For the distracted mother to assuage
Her grief with, as she might!—But, where, By fits and starts, yet this contents thee not.
Thee hath some awful Spirit impelled to Is traceable a vestige of the notes
leave, That ruled those dances, wild in character? Utterly to desert, the haunts of men, -Deep underground ?-Or in the upper air, Though simple thy companions were and few; On the shrill wind of midnight? or where And through this wilderness a passage cleave
Attended but by thy own voice, save when O'er twilight-fields the autumnal gossamer? | The Clouds and Fowls of the air thy way
XV. On, loitering Muse! — The swift Stream From this deep chasm-where quivering chides us-on!
sun-beams play Albeit his deep-worn channel doth immure Upon its loftiest crags--mine eyes behold Objects immense, portray'd in miniature, wild shapes for many a strange comparison ! A concave free from shrubs and mosses gray;
A gloomy Niche, capacious, blank, and cold; Niagaras, Alpine-passes, and anon
In semblance fresh, as if, with dire affray, Abodes of Naïads, calm abysses pure, Bright liquid mansions, fashion'd to endure For tutelary service, thence had rolled,
Some Statue, placed amid these regions old When the broad Oak drops, a leafless skeleton, Startling the flight of timid Yesterday! And the solidities of mortal pride, Palace and Tower, are crumbled into dust! of slow endeavour ! or abruptly cast
Was it by mortals sculptur’d-weary slaves The Bard who walks with Duddon for his Into rude shape by fire, with roaring blast
guide, Shall find such toys of Fancy thickly set:
Tempestuously let loose from central caves ?
Or fashioned by the turbulence of waves, Turn from the sight, enamour'd Muse—we Then, when o'er highest bills the Deluge must;
Such fruitless questions may not long beguile Hail to the fields-with Dwellings sprinkled or plague the fancy, 'mid the sculptured
shows o'er, And one small Hamlet, under a green hill, Conspicuous yet where Oroonoko flows; Cluster'd with barn and byer, and spouting Aim'd at the White Man's ignorance, the
There would the Indian answer with a smile
mill! A glance suffices,—should we wish for more of the Great Waters telling, how they rose,
while Gay June would scorn us;— but when bleak
Covered the plains, and wandering where Through the stiff lance-like shools of pollard Mounted through every intricate defile,
they chose, ash, Dread swell of sound! loud as the gusts O'er which his Fathers urged, to ridge and
Triumphant.-Inundation wide and deep,
that lash The matted forests of Ontario's shore
steep By wasteful steel unsmitten, then would i Else unapproachable, their buoyant way; Turn into port,-and, reckless of the gale, And carved, on mural cliff's undreaded side, Reckless of angry Duddon sweeping by,
Sun, moon, and stars, and beast of chase or While the warm hearth exalts the mantling Whate'er they sought, shunn'd, loved, or
prey ; ale,
deified! Laugh with the generous household heartily, At all the merry pranks of Donnerdale !
croaks; Nor would the nicest Anchorite exclude Aloft, the imperial Bird of Rome invokes A field or two of brighter green, or plot Departed ages, shedding where he flew Of tillage-ground, that seemeth like a spot Loose fragments of wild wailing that bestrew Of stationary sunshine :-- thou hast view'd The clouds, and thrill the chambers of the These only, Duddon! with their paths
rocks, renewid And into silence hush the timorous flocks,