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Wild though the dwelling; Room, thus rising fair, A midden stranger 'mid the sylvan scene, One spot of radiance on surrounding green, Human it is—and human souls are there! Look through that opening in the canvas
wall. Through which by fits the scarce-felt
breezes play, —I'pon three happy souls thine eyes will fall. The summer Iambs are not more blest than
they! On the green turf all motionless they lie, In dreams romantic an the dreams of sleep, The filmy air slow-glimmering on their eye, And in their ear the murmur of the deep. Or haply now by some wild-winding brook, Deep, silent pool, or waters rushing loud, In thought they visit many a fairy-nook That rising mists in rainbow colours shroud, And ply the Angler's sport involved in mountain-cloud!
Yes! dear to us that solitary trade, Mid vernal peace in peacefulness pursued, Through rocky glen, wild moor, and hanging wood, White - flowering meadow, and romantic
glade! The sweetest visions of our boyish years 1 "in<-to our spirits with a murmuring tone Of running waters,—and one stream appears, tlcmember'd all, tree, willow, bank, and
stone! How glad were we, when after sunny showers Its voice came to us issuing from the school! How fled the vacant, solitary hours, li; during rivulet, or silent pool! And nil I our souls retain in manhood's prime The love of joys our childish years that
blest; So now encircled by these hills sublime, We Anglers, wandering with a tranquil
breast, Bnild in this happy vale a fairy-bower of rest!
Within that bower are strewn in careless
isle one day, the angler's simple gear;
l.ini-s that, as fine as floating gossamer,
"r"pt softly on the stream the silken flies;
The limber rod that shook its trembling
Almost as airy as the line it threw,
1 '•( often bending in an arch of strength
"hen the tired salmon rose at last to view,
"•w lightly leans across the rushy bed,
On which at night we dream of sports by day;
Asd empty now, beside it close is laid
Th* goodly pannier framed of osiers gray;
And maple bowl in which we wont to bring
The limpid water from the morning-wave,
Or from jonif mossy and sequcster'd spring
To which dark rocks a grateful coolness
gave, Such as might Hermit use in solitary cave!
And ne'er did Hermit, with a purer breast, Amid the depths of sylvan silence pray, Than prayed we friends on that mild quiet
day, By God and man beloved, the day of rest! All passions in our souls were lull'd to sleep, Ev'n by the power of Nature's holy bliss; While Innocence her watch in peace did keep Over the spirit's thoughtful happiness! We view'd the green earth with a loving
look, Like us rejoicing in the gracious sky; A voice came to us from the running brook That seem'd to breathe a grateful melody. Then all things seem'd cmhucd with life and
sense, And as from dreams with kindling smiles to
wake, Happy in beauty and in innocence; While, pleased our inward quiet to partake, Lay hush'd, as in a trance, the scarcelybreathing lake.
Yet think not, in this wild and fairy spot, This mingled happiness of earth and heaven, Which to our hearts this Sabbath-day was
given, Think not, that far-off friends were quite
forgot. Helm-crag arose before our half-closed eyes With colours brighter than the brightening
dove; Beneath that guardian mount a cottage lies Encircled by the halo breathed from Love! And sweet that dwelling rests upon the brow (Beneath its sycamore) of Orest-hill, As if it smiled on Windermere below, Her green recesses and her islands still! Thus, gently-blendedmanya human thought With those that peace and solitude supplied, Till in our hearts the moving kindness
wrought With gradual influence, like a flowing tide, And for the lovely sound of human voice we
And hark! a laugh, with voices blended, stole Across the water, echoing from the shore! And during pauses short the beating oar firings the glad music closer to the soul. We leave our tent; and lo! a lovely sight Glides like a living creature through the air, For air the water seems thus passing bright, A living creature beautiful and fair! Nearer it glides; and now the radiant glow That on its radiant shadow seems to float. Turns to a virgin-hand, a glorions shew. Rowing with happy smiles a little boat.
Towards the tent their lingering course they
steer, And cheerful now upon the shore they stand, In maiden hashfulncss, yet free from fenr, And hy our side, gay-moving hand in hand, Into our tent they go, a beauteous sisterband!
Scarce from our hearts had gnhe the sweet surprise. Which this glad troop of rural maids awoke; Scarce had a more familiar kindness broke From the mild lustre of their smiling eyes, Ere the tent scem'd encircled by the sound Of many voices; in an instant stood Men, women, children, all the circle round, And with a friendly joy the strangers view'd. Strange was it to behold this gladsome crowd Our late so solitary dwelling fill; And strange to hear their greetings mingling
loud Where all before was undisturb'd and still. Yet was the stir delightful to our ear, And moved to happiness our inmost blood, The sudden change, the unexpected cheer, Breaking like sunshine on a pensive mood, This breath and voice of life in seeming solitude!
Hard task it was, in our small tent to find Seats for our quickly-gather'd company; But in them all was such a mirthful glee, I ween thry soon were seated to their mind! Some viewing with a hesitating look The panniers that contained our travelling
fare, On them at last their humble station took, Pleased at the thought, and with a smiling
air. Some on our low-framed beds then chose
their seat, Each maid the youth that loved her best
beside, While many a gentle look, and whisper sweet, Brought to the stripling's fare a gladsome
pride. The playful children on the velvet green, Soon as the first-felt bashfulness was fled, Smiled to each other at the wondrous scene, And whispcr'd words they to each other said, And raised in sportive fit the shining, golden
Then did we learn that this our strangertent, Seen hy the lake-side gleaming like 8 sail, Had quickly spread o'er mountain and o'er
vale A gentle shock of pleased astonishment. The lonely dwellers by the lofty rills (iav.ed in surprise upon th' unwonted sight, The wandering shepherds saw it from the hills,
And quick descended from their airy height.
and old. Their cluster'd hamlets in this deep recess. All join the throng, in conscious good-will
bold. Elate and smiling in their Sabbath-dress, A mingled various groupe of homely happiness!
And thus our tent a joyous scene became. Where loving hearts from distant vales did
meet As at some rural festival, and greet Each other with glnd voice and kindly name. Here a pleased daughter to her father smiled. With fresh affection in her soften'd eyes; He in return look'd back upon his child With gentle start and tone of mild surprise: And on his little grand-child, at her breast. An old man's blessing and a kiss bestow'd. Or to his cheek the lisping baby preat, Light'ning the mother of her darling load; While comely matrons, all sedately ranged Close to their husbands' or their children's
side, A neighbour's friendly greeting interchanged. And each her own with frequent glances
eyed, And raised her head in all a mother's harmless pride.
Happy were we among such happy hearts! And to inspire with kindliness and love Our simple guests, ambitiously we strove. With novel converse and endearing arte! We talk'd to them, and much they loved ta
hear. Of those sweet vales from which we late had
come; For though these vales are to each other
near. Seldom do dalesmen leave their own dear
home: Then would we speak of many a wondroas
sight Seen in great cities, — temple, tower, aad
spire, And winding streets at night-fall blaxiag
bright With many a star-like lamp of glimmering
fire. The gray-hair'd men with deep attrntiaa
heard, Viewing the speaker with a solemn face. While round our feet the playful children
stirr'd. And near their parents took their silent place. Listening with looks where wonder breathed
a glowing grace.
And much they gazed with never-tired
delight On Taroish'd rod, with joints that shone
like gold, ind sillcen line on glittering reel enroll'd, Tn in rant-anglers a most wondrous sight! Scarce could their chiding parents then
controul Their little hearts in harmless malice gay, But still one, holder than his fellows, stole To tonch the tempting treasures where they
lay. What rapture glistened in their eager eyes, When, with kind voice, we bade these
children take A precious store of well-dissembled flies, To use with caution for the strangers' sake! The nnlook'd-for gift we graciously bestow With sudden joy the leaping heart o'er
powers; They grasp the lines, while all their faces
glow Bright as spring - blossoms after sunny
showers, And wear them in their hats like wreaths of
Nor could they check their joyance and
surprise, When the clear crystal and the silver bowl Gleamed with a novel beauty on their soul, And the wine mantled with its rosy dies, for all onr pomp we shew'd with mickle glee, And choicest viands, fitly to regale, On «nch a day of rare festivity, Our guests thus wondering at their native
vale. Aid oft we pledged them, nor could they
decline The social enp we did our best to press, But mingled wishes with the joyful wine, "arm wishes for our health and happiness. And all.the while a low delightful sound Of voice soft - answering voice with music
fill'd Oar fairy-palace's enchanted pronnd, Snch tones as seem from blooming tree dia
"sere unseen bees repair their waxen cells
Lost Is we were in that most blessed mood "hirh Nature's sons alone can deeply prove, We lavish'd with free heart our kindest love On all who breath'd, — one common bro
thcrhood. Three faithful servants, men of low degree, Were with us.as we roamed the wilds among, And well it pleased their simple hearts to sec Tlieirmasters mingling with the rural throng. Oft to our guests they sought to speak aside, And, in the genial flow of gladness, told That we were free from haughtiness, or
Though scholars all, and rich in lands and
gold. We smiled to hear our praise thus rudely
siiiijr. (Well might such praise our modesty offend) Yet, we all strove, at once with eye and
tongue To speak, as if invited by a friend. And with our casual talk instruction's voice
Rumours of wars had reached this peaceful vale, And of the Wicked King, whom guilt hath
driven On earth to wage a warfare against Heaven, These sinless shepherds had heard many a
tale. Encircled as we were with smiles and joy, In quietness to Quiet's dwelling brought, To think of him whose bliss is to destroy, At such a season was an awful thought! We felt the eternal power of happiness And virtue's power; we felt with holy awe That in this world, in spite of chance-distress, Such is the Almighty Spirit's ruling law. And joyfully did we these shepherds tell To hear all rumours with n tranquil mind, For, in the end, that all would yet be well, Nor this had Monarch leave one trace behind, More than o'er yonder hills the idly-raving wind.
Then gravely smiled, in all the power of
age, A hoary-headed, venerable man, Like the mild chieftain of a peaceful clan, 'Mid simple spirits looked on as a sage. Much did he praise the holy faith we held. Which God, he said, to cheer the soul had
given, For even the very angels that rebelled, By sin performed the blessed work of Heaven. The Wicked King, of whom we justly spake, Was but an instrument in God's wise hand. And though the kingdoms of the earth might
quake, Peace would revisit every ravaged land. Even as the earthquake, in some former time, Scatter'd yon rugged mountain far and wide, Till years of winter's snow and summer's
prime, To naked cliffs fresh verdure have supplied— Now troops of playful lambs are bounding
on its side.
Pleased were the simple groupc to hear the sire Thus able to converse with men from far, And much did they of vaguely-rumoiir'd war, That long had raged in distant lands, inquire. Scarce could their hearts, at'peace with all mankind,
Believe wh.it bloody deeds on earth are done, That man of woman horn should he so blind At) walk in guilt beneath the blessed sun; And one, with thoughtful countenance, ex
prest A fear lest on some dark disastrous day, Across the sea might come that noisome pest, And make fair England's happy rales his
prey. Short lived that fear!—soon firmer thoughts
arise: Well could these dalesmen wield the patriot's
sword, And stretch the foe beneath the smiling
skies; In innocence they trust, and in the Lord, Whom they, that very morn, in gladness
But soon such thoughts to lighter speech give way; Wc in our turn a willing ear did lend To talc of sports, that made them blythely
spend The winter-evening and the summer-day. Smiling they told us of the harmless glee That bids the echoes of the mountains wake, When at the stated festival they see Their new-wash'd flocks come snow-white
from the lake; And joyful danceat neighbouring village-fair, Where lads and lasses, in their best attire, Go to enjoy that playful pastime rare, And careful statesmen shepherds new to hire! Or they would tell, how, at some neighbour's cot, When nights are long, and winter on the
earth. All cares are in the dnnce and song forgot, And round the fire quick flies the circling
mirth, When nuptial vows are pledged, or at an infant's birth!
Well did the roses blooming on their cheek, And eyes of laughing light, that glisten'd fair Beneath the artless ringlets of their hair, Each maiden's health and purity bespeak. Following the impulse of their simple will, No thought had they to give or take offence; Glad were their bosoms, yet sedate and still, And fearless in the strength of innocence. Oft as, in accents mild, we strangers spoke To these sweet maidens, an unconscious smile Like sudden sunshine o'er their faces broke, And with it struggling blushes mix'd the
while. And oft as mirth and glee went laughing
round, Breath'd in this maiden's ear some harmless jest Would make her, for one moment, on the
Her eyes let fall, as wishing from the rat To hide the sudden throb that beat within her breast.
Oh! not in vain have purest poets told, In elegies and hymns that ne'er shall die, How, in the fields of famous Arcady, Lived simple shepherds in the age of gold! They fabled not, in peopling rural shade* With all most beautiful in heart and frame; Where without guile swains woo'd their
happy maids, And love was friendship with a gentler
name. Such songs in truth and nature had their
birth. Their source was lofty and their aim was
pure, And still, in many a favour'd spot of earth. The virtues that awoke their voice endure! Bear witness thou! O, wild and beauteous
dell, To whom my gladden'd heart devotes this
strain; O! long may all who in thy bosom dwell Nature's primeval innocence retain, Nor e'er may lawless foot thy sanctitj
Sweet Maids! my wandering heart return to yon > And well the blush of joy, the courteous air. Words unrestrained, and open looks declare That fancy's day-dreams have not been untrue. It was indeed a beauteous thing, to see The virgin, while her bashful visagesmilei. As if she were a mother on her knee Take up, with many a kiss, the asking rhiU. And well, I ween, she play'd the mothers
part; For as she bended o'er the infant fair, A mystic joy scem'd stirring at her heart. A yearning fondness, and a silent prayer. Nor did such gentle maiden long refuse To cheer our spirits with some favourite
strain, Some simple ballad, framed by rustic muse. Of one who died for love, or, led by gainSail'd in a mighty ship to lands beyond (he main.
And must wc close this scone of nierrimesi* Lo! in the lake soft burns the star of ere. And the night-hawk hath warn'd our guest*
to leave. Ere darker shades descend, our happy I'"1 The Moon's bright edge is socn above the
hill; She comes lo light them on their honrwan
w«y; And every heart, I ween, now lira as sliu As on yon fleecy cloud her now-born raj
kindly by young and old our hands arc
press'd, And kindly we the gentle touch return; Each Tacc declares that deep in every breast Peace, virtue, friendship, and affection burn. At Inst beneath the silent air we part, And promise make that shall not lie in vain, A promise asked and given warm from the
heart, That we will visit all, on hill and plain, If e'er it be our lot to see this land again!
Backward they gazed, as slowly they withdrew,
With step reluctant, from the water-side;
And oft. with waving hand, at distance tried
Through the dim light to send a last adieu!
One lovely groupe still linger'd on the green,
The first to come, the last to go away;
While steep'din stillness of the moonlightscene,
Moor'd to a rock their little pinnace lay.
These laughing damsels climb its humble side,
Like fairy-elves that lov e the starry sea;
Nor e'er did billows with more graceful glide
Mid the wild main enjoy their liberty.
Their faces brightening in triumphant hue,
'lose to each maid their joyful lovers stand;
One gives the signal,—all the jovial crew
Let go, with tender press, the yielding hand;
-Down drop the oars at once,—away they push from land.
The boat hath left the silent bank, the
tone Of the retiring oar escapes the mind; Like mariners some ship hath left behind, "e feel, thus standing speechless and alone. One moment lives that melancholy trance— The mountains ring; oh! what a joy is
there! Ai hurries o'er their heights,in circling dance, jWloving Echo, Daughter of the Air. "it some spirit of night that wakes the
shout, A< o'er the cliffs, with headlong speed, she
ranges? '• it, on plain and steep, some fairy-rout Annrering each other in tumultuous changes? **«* serins amid the hills a playful war; frampet and clarion join the mystic noise; No» growing on the ear, now dying far! Great Gabel from his summit sends a voice, And the remotest depths of Ennerdalc rejoice!
0*! well I know what means this din of M mirth!
"s spirits arc they, who, trooping through . the sky,
"" cnorus swell that mountain-melody; -It comes from mortal children of the earth! These arc the voices that so late did chcar
Our tent with laughter; from the hills they
come With friendly sound unto onr listening ear, A jocund farewell to our glimmering home Loth are our guests, though they have
linger'd long, That our sweet tent at last should leave their
sight; So with one voice they sing a parting-song, Ere they descend behind the clouds of night. Nor are we mute; an answering shout we
.wake, At each short pause of the long, lengthening
sound, Till all is silent as the silent Lake, And every noise above, below, around, Seems in the brooding night-sky's depth of
Soon from that calm our spirits start again With lil vt her vigour; nought around we see Save lively images of mirth and glee, And playful fancies hurry through our brain. Shine not, sweet Moon! with such a haughty
. light; Ye stars! behind your veil of clouds retire; For we shall kindle on the earth, this night, To drown your feeble rays, a joyous fire. Bring the leaves withering in the holly-shade, The oaken branches sapless now and hoar, The fern no longer green, and whins that
fade 'Mid the thin sand that strews the rocky
shore. Heap them above that new-awaken'd spark; Soon shall a pyramid of flame arise; Now the first rustling of the vapour, hark! The kindling spirit from its prison flies, And in an instant mounts in glory to the
Far gleams the Lake, as in the light of day, Or when, from mountain-top, the setting sun, Ere yet his earth-delighting course is run, Sheds on the slumbering wave a purple ray. A bright'ning verdure runs o'er every field, As if by potent necromancer shed, And a dark wood is suddenly reveal'd, A glory resting oh its ancient head. And oh! what radiant beauty doth invest Our tent that seems to feci a conscious pride, Whiter by far than any cygnet's breast, Or cygnet's shadow floating with the tide. A warmer flush unto the moonlight cold, Winning its lovely way, is softly given, A silvery radiance tinged with vivid gold; While thousand mimic stars aregayly driven Through the bright glistening air, scarce known from those in Heaven.
Amid the flame our lurid figures stand, Or, through the shrouding vapour dimly view'd,