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WRITTEN IN LONDON, SEPTEMBER, 1802.
As if you were her first-born birth,
And none had lived before you!"
One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake,
When life was sweet, I knew not why, For shew; mean handiwork of craftsman, cook,
To me my good friend Matthew spake,
And thus I made reply:
“ The eyezii tanni e choose but see; No grandeur now in Nature or in book
We cannot bithe ear be still; Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense,
Our bodies feet, where'er they be,
Against, or with our will.
Nor less I deem that there are powers
Which of themselves our minds impress; And pure religion breathing household laws.
That we can feed this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.
Think you, mid all this mighty sum
Of things for ever speaking, England hath need of thee: she is a fen
That nothing of itself will come,
But we must still be seeking?
-Then ask not wherefore, here, alone,
Conversing as I may,
I sit upon this old gray stone,
THE TABLES TURNED;
AN EVENING SCENE, ON THE SAME SUBJECT.
Up! up! my friend, and quit your books;
Why all this toil and trouble?
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.
Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet, But in magnanimous meekness. France,'tis strange,
How sweet his music! on my life
There's more of wisdom in it.
GREAT MEN HAVE BEEN AMONG US.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
EXPOSTULATION AND REPLY.
Enough of science and of art;
Howe'er disguised in its own majesty, Close up these barren leaves;
Is littleness; that he who feels contempt Come forth, and bring with you a heart
For any living thing, hath faculties
Which he has never used; that thought with him
Is ever on himself doth look on one,
The least of Nature's works, one who might move
The wise man to that scorn which wisdom holds Lest upon a seat in a Yew-tree, which stands near the Lake of Esthwaite, on a desolate Part of the
Unlawful ever. O be wiser, thou! Shore, commanding a beautiful Prospect.
Instructed that true knowledge leads to love,
True dignity abides with him alone Nay, traveller! rest. This lonely yew-tree stands
Who, in the silent hour of inward thought, Far from all human dwelling: what if here
Can still suspect, and still revere himself,
In lowliness of heart.
WRITTEN IN EARLY SPRING.
I heard a thousand blended notes,
While in a grove I sate reclin'd, First covered o'er, and taught this aged tree
In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts With its dark arms to form a circling bower,
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.
The human soul that through me ran;
And much it grieved my heart to think
What man has made of man.
Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower, And scorn,—against all enemies prepared,
The periwinkle trailed its wreaths; All but neglect. The world, for so it thought,
And 'tis my faith that every flower Owed him no service: wherefore he at once
Enjoys the air it breathes. With indignation turned himself away,
The birds around me hopped and play'd; And with the food of pride sustained his soul
Their thoughts I cannot measure: In solitude.-Stranger! these gloomy boughs
But the least motion which they made,
It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
The budding twigs spread out their fan,
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.
If this belief from Heaven is sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan, On the more distant scene,-how lovely 'tis
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man?
scribed, in gilt letters, the Names of the several Of kindred loveliness: then he would sigh
Persons who have been Schoolmasters there since With mournful joy, to think that others felt
the Foundation of the School, with the Time at What he must never feel: and so, lost man!
which they entered upon and quitted their Office. On visionary views would fancy feed,
Opposite one of those Names the Author wrote Till his eye streamed with tears. In this deep vale He died, this seat his only monument.
the following Lines.
If Nature, for a favourite child, If thou be one whose heart the holy forms
In thee hath tempered so her clay, Of young imagination have kept pure,
[pride, That every hour thy heart runs wild, Stranger! henceforth be warned; and know, that Yet never once doth go astray,
Read o'er these lines; and then review
And just above yon slope of coru This tablet, that thus humbly rears
Such colours, and no other, In such diversity of hue
Were in the sky, that April morn, Its history of two hundred years.
Of this the very brother. -When through this little wreck of fame,
With rod and line I sued the sport Cypher and syllable! thine eye
Which that sweet season gave, Has travelled down to Matthew's name,
And, coming to the church, stopped short Pause with no common sympathy.
Beside my daughter's grave. And, if a sleeping tear should wake,
Nine summers had she scarcely seen, Then be it neither checked nor stay'd:
The pride of all the vale; For Matthew a request I make
And then she sang;-she would have been Which for himself he had not made.
A very nightingale. Poor Matthew, all his frolics o'er,
Six feet in earth my Emma lay; Is silent as a standing pool;
And yet I loved her more, Far from the chimney's merry roar,
For so it seemed, than till that day
I e'er had loved before.
Beside the church-yard yew,
A blooming girl, whose hair was wet Were tears of light, the dew of gladness.
With points of morning dew. Yet, sometimes, when the secret cup
A basket on her head she bare; Of still and serious thought went round,
Her brow was smooth and white: It seemed as if he drank it up
To see a child so very fair, He felt with spirit so profound.
It was a pure delight! -Thou soul of God's best earthly mould !
No fountain from its rocky cave Thou happy soul! and can it be
E'er tripped with foot so free; That these two words of glittering gold
She seemed as happy as a wave Are all that must remain of thee?
That dances on the sea.
There came from me a sigh of pain
Which I could ill confine;
I looked at her, and looked again:
-And did not wish her mine."
Methinks, I see him stand,
As at that moment, with a bough
Of wilding in his hand.
We talked with open heart, and tongue
WRITTEN WHILE SAILING IN A BOAT AT EVENING.
tee That half-mad thing of witty rhymes *** Which you last April made !"
And, ere we came to Leonard's Rock,
He sang those witty rhymes In silence Matthew lay, and eyed
About the crazy old church clock, The spring beneath the tree;
And the bewildered chimes. elzs And thus the dear old man replied, EB The gray-liaired man of glee:
LINES “ Down to the vale this water steers,
How merrily it goes! nie 'Twill murmur on a thousand years,
How richly glows the water's breast bouAnd flow as now it flows.
Before us, tinged with evening hues,
While, facing thus the crimson west, And here, on this delightful day,
The boat her silent course pursues ! I cannot choose but think
And see how dark the backward stream! 5. How oft, a vigorous man, I lay
A little moment past so smiling! ha Beside this fountain's brink.
And still, perhaps, with faithless gleam,
Some other loiterers beguiling.
Such views the youthful bard allure ;
But, heedless of the following gloom, 1 Which in those days I heard.
He deems their colours shall endure Thus fares it still in our decay:
Till peace go with him to the tomb.
- And let him nurse his fond deceit, Dt. And yet the wiser mind
And what if he must die in sorrow! Mourns less for what age takes away
Who would not cherish dreams so sweet, Than what it leaves behind.
Though grief and pain may come to-morrow? The blackbird in the summer trees, The lark upon the hill,
REMEMBRANCE OF COLLINS, Let loose their carols when they please, Are quiet when they will.
COMPOSED UPON THE THAMES NEAR RICHMOND. 14 With Nature never do they wage
Glide gently, thus for ever glide,
o Thames! that other bards may see 28 A foolish strife; they see
As lovely visions by thy side A happy youth, and their old age
As now, fair river! come to me. Is beautiful and free:
O glide, fair stream! for ever so, d. But we are pressed by heavy laws;
Thy quiet soul on all bestowing, And often, glad no more,
Till all our minds for ever flow, We wear a face of joy, because
As thy deep waters now are flowing. We have been glad of yore.
Vain thought. Yet be as now thou art, If there is one who need bemoan
That in thy waters may be seen His kindred laid in earth,
The image of a poet's heart, The household hearts that were his own,
How bright, how solemn, how serene! It is the man of mirth..
Such as did once the poet bless,
Who, murmuring here a later ditty, My days, my friend, are almost gone,
Could find no refuge from distress My life has been approved,
But in the milder grief of pity. And
many love me; but by none Am I enough beloved."
Now let us, as we float along, « Now both himself and me he wrongs,
For him suspend the dashing oar; The man who thus complains!
And pray that never child of song I live and sing my idle songs
May know that poet's sorrows more.
How calm! how still! the only sound, Upon these happy plains,
The dripping of the oar suspended ! And, Matthew, for thy children dead
-The evening darkness gathers round I'll be a son to thee!”
By virtue's holiest powers attended. At this he grasped my hand, and said, “ Alas! that cannot be.”
ANIMAL TRANQUILLITY AND DECAY. We rose up from the fountain-side; And down the smooth descent Of the green sheep-track did we glide;
The little hedge-row birds, And through the wood we went;
That peck along the road, regard him not.
With light upon him from his father's eyes!
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
He travels on, and in his face, his step,
My heart is at your festival, His gait, is one expression; every limb,
My head hath its coronal, His look and bending figure, all bespeak
The fulness of your bliss, I feel-I feel it all. A man who does not move with pain, but moves
Oh evil day! if I were sullen With thought.-He is insensibly subdued
While the earth herself is adorning, To settled quiet: he is one by whom
This sweet May-morning; All effort seems forgotten; one to whom
And the children are pulling, Long patience hath such mild composure given,
On every side, That patience now doth seem a thing of which
In a thousand valleys far and wide, He hath no need. He is by nature led
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm, To peace so perfect, that the young behold
And the babe leaps up on his mother's arm:With envy, what the old man hardly feels.
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
-But there's a tree, of many one,
A single field which I have looked upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
The pansy at my feet 1.
Doth the same tale repeat:
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar;
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is nature's priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended ;
At length the man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
As to the tabor's sound,
And I again am strong.
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea
And with the heart of May
Thou child of joy
Ye to each other make; I see
And no unworthy aim,
Forget the glories he hath known,
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
A wedding or a festival,