Графични страници
PDF файл

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.

M ISCELLANE-OUS POEMS.

FORESIGHT,

OR TRK CHARGE OF A CHILD TO Hid YOUNGER
COMPANION.

That is work of waste and ruin—
Do iis Charles and I are doing!
Straw berrj blossoms, one and all.
We mast spare them—here are many:
Look at it—the Flower is small,
Small and low, though fair as any:
Do not touch it! summers two
I am older, Anne, than you.

Pull the Primrose, Sister Anne!

Poll as many as you can.

—Here are Daisies, take your fill;

Pansies, and the Cuckow-flower:

Of the lofty Daffodil

Make your bed, and make your bower;

Fill your lap, and fill your bosom;

Only spare the Strawberry-blossom!

Primroses, the spring may love them—
Summer knows but little of them:
11..IrN. a barren kind,
Withered on the ground must lie;
Daisies leave no fruit behind
When the pretty flowerets die;
Plack them, and another year
Ai many will be blowing here.

God has given a kindlier power

To the favoured Strawberry-flower.

When the months of Spring are fled

Hither led us bend our walk;

Lurking berries, ripe and red,

Then will hang on every stalk,

Each within its leafy bower;

And for that promise spare the flower!

CHARACTERISTICS

Or A CHILD THREE YEARS OLD.

Lotins she is, and tractable, though wild; And Innocence bath privilege in her

To dignify arch looks and laughing eyes;
And feats of cunning; and the pretty round
Of trespasses, affected to provoke
Mock-chastisement and partnership in play.
And, as a faggot sparkles on the hearth,
Not less if unattended and alone
Than when both young and old sit gathered

round
And take delight in its activity,
Even so this happy Creature of herself
Is all sufficient: solitude to her
Is blithe society, who fills the air
With gladness and involuntary songs.
Light are her sallies as the tripping Fawn's
Forth-startled from the fern where she lay

couched; Unthoiight-of, unexpected, as the stir Of the soft breeze ruffling the meadowflowers; Or from before it chasing wantonly The many-coloured images impressed Upon the bosom of a placid lake.

WE ARE SEVEN. A Simple child

That lightly draws its breath And feels its life in every limb. What should it know of death?

I met a little cottage-girl:
She was eight years old, she said;
Her hair was thick with many a curl
That clustered round her head.

She had a rustic woodland-air
And she was wildly clad;
Her eyes were fair, and very fair;
Her beauty made me glad.

Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
How many may you be?
How many? Seven in all, she said
And wondering looked at me.

And where are they? I prey yon tell.
She answered: Seven are we;
And two of u« at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea.

Two of us in the church-yard lie,
My ni«ter and my brother;
And, in the church-yard-cottage, I
Dwell near them with my mother.

You nay that two at Conway dwell,
And two are gone to sea,
Yet ye are seven!—I pray you tell.
Sweet Maid, how thin may be?

Then did the little Maid reply:
Seven boys and girls are we;
Two of 11* in the church-y»rd lie,
Beneath the church-yard-tree.

You run about, my little Maid,
Your limb* they are alive;
If two are in the church-yard laid,
Then ye are only five.

Their graves are green, they may be seen,
The little maid replied,

Twelve steps or more from my mother's door,
And they are side by side.

My stockings there I often knit,
My kerchief there I hem;
And there upon the ground I sit—
I sit and sing to them.

And often after sunset, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.

The first that died was little Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.

So in the church-yard she was laid;
And all the summer dry
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.

And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side.

How many are you then, said I,
If they two are in Heaven?
The little Maiden did reply:
O Master we are seven.

But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in Heaven!
'Twas throwing words away: for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said: Nay, we are seven!

[merged small][ocr errors]

O Thou! whose fancies from afar are brought; Who of thy words dost make a mock-apparel. And fittest to unutterable thought Thebreeze-likemotion and the self-born carol; Thou faery Voyager! that dost float In such clear water, that thy Boat May rather seem

To brood on air than on an earthly stream; Suspended in a stream as clear as sky. Where earth and heaven do make one imagery;

0 blessed Vision! happy Child! That art so exquisitely wild,

1 think of thee with many fears

For what may be thy lot in future yean.

I thought of times when Pain might be thy guest.

Lord of thy house and hospitality;

And Grief, uneasy Lover! never rest

But when she sate within the touch of the*'.

Oh! too industrious folly!

Oh! vain and causeless melancholy!

Nature will either end thee quite;

Or, lengthening out thy season of delight.

Preserve for thee, by individual right,

A young Lamb's heart among the full grown flocks.

What hast Thou to do with sorrow.

Or the injuries of to-morrow?

Thou art a Dew-drop, which the morn brings forth.

Not doom'd to jostle with unkindly shocks;

Or to be trail'd along the soiling earth;

A Gem that glitters while it lives,

And no forewarning gives;

But, at the touch of wrong, without a strife

Slips in a moment out of life.

THE BLIND, HIGHLAND BOY.

(a Tali Told Bt Tiik Bibb-stdb.)

Now we are tired of boisterous joy.
We've riniip'd enough, my little Boy!
Jane hangs her head upon my breast.
And you shall bring your stool and rest,
.This corner is your own.

There! take your seat, and let me Mv-
That .you can listen quietly;
And as I promised I will tell
That strange adventure which befel
A poor blind Highland-Boy.

A Highland-Buy!—why call him Mo?
Because, my Darlings, ye must know.
In land where many a mountain towers,
Far higher hills than these of ours!
He from his birth had liv'il.

He ne'er had seen one earthly sight;
The sun, the day; the stars, the night;
Or tree, or butterfly, or flower,
Or fish in stream, or bird in bower,
Or woman, man, or child.

And yet he neither drooped nor pined,
Nor had a melancholy mind;
For God took pity on the Boy,
And was his friend; and gave him joy
Of which we nothing know.

His Mother, too, no doubt, above
Her other Children him did love:
For, was she here, or was she there,
She thought of him with constant care,
And more than Mother's love.

And proud she was of heart, when clad
In crimson stockings, tartan plaid,
And bonnet with a feather gay,
To Kirk he on the sabbath-day
Went hand in hand with her.

A Dog, too, had he; not for need.
Bat one to play with and to feed;
Which would have led him, if bereft
Of company or friends, and left
Without a better guide.

And then the bagpipes he could blow;
And thus from house to house would go,
And all were pleaN'd to hear and see;
For none made sweeter melody
Than did the poor blind Boy.

Vet he had many a restless dream;
Both when he heard the Eagles scream,
And when he heard the torrents roar,
And heard the water beat the shore
Near which their Cottage stood.

Betide a lake their Cottage stood.
Not small like ours, a peaceful flood;
But one of mighty size, and strange;
That, rough or smooth, is full of change,
And stirring in its bed.

for to this Lake, by night and day.
The great Sea-water finds its way
Through long, long windings of the hills;
And drinks up all the pretty rills
And rivers large and strong:

Then hurries back the road it came—
Returns, on errand still the same;
This did it when the earth was new;
And this for evermore will do,
As long as earth skill last.

And, with the coming of the Tide,
Come Boats und Ships, that sweetly ride,
Between the. woods and lofty rocks;
And to the Shepherds with their Flocks
Bring tales of distant Lands.

And of those tales, whate'er they were.
The blind Boy always had his share;
Whether of mighty Towns, or Vales
With warmer suns and softer gales,
Or wonders of the Deep.

Yet more it pleased him, more it stirr'd.
When from the water-side he heard
The shouting, and the jolly eheers,
The bustle of the mariners
In stillness or in storm.

But what do his desires avail?
For He must never handle sail;
Nor mount the mast, nor row, nor float
In Sailor's ship or Fisher's boat
Upon the rocking waves.

His Mother often thought, and said,
What sin would be upon her head
If she should suffer this: "My Son,
Whate'er you do, leave this undone.
The danger is so great."

Thus lived he by Loch Levin's side
Still sounding with the sounding tide,
And heard the billows leap and dance,
Without a shadow of mischance,
Till he was ten years old.

When one day (and now mark me well.
Yon soon shall know how this befel)
He's in a vessel of his own,
On the swift water hurrying down
Towards the mighty Sea.

In such a vessel ne'er before
Did human Creature leave the shore:
If this or that way he should stir,
Woe to the poor blind Mariner!
For death will be his doom.

But say what bears him?—Ye have seen
The Indian's bow, his arrows keen,
Rare beasts, and birds with plumage bright;
Gifts which, for wonder or delight
Are brought in ships from far.

Such gifts had those sea-Caring men
Spread round that Haven in the glen;
Each hut, perchance, might have its own.
And to the Boy they all were known,
He knew and prized Hum all.

And one, the rarest, was a shell
Which he, poor child! had studied well;
The shell of a green Turtle, thin
And hollow;—you might sit therein.
It was so wide and deep.

'Twas even tlie largest of its kind,
Large, thin, and light as l)ircli-tree-rind;
So light a shell that it would* s\t im
And gaily lift its fearless brim
Above the tossing waves.

And this the little blind Roy knew:
And he a story strange, yet true,
Had heard, how in a shell like this
An English boy, oh thought of bliss!
Had stoutly launched, from shore;

Launched from the margin of a bay
Among the Indian isles, where lay \

His father's ship, and had sailed far,
To join that gallant Ship of war
In his delightful shell.

Our Highland-Boy oft visited
The house which held this prize; and, led
By choice or chance, did thither come
One day when no one was at home,
And found the door unbarred.

While there he Bate alone and blind
That story flashed upon his mind;—
A bold thought rouzed him, and he took
The shell from out its secret nook
And bore it in his arms.

And with the happy burthen hied,
And pushed it from Loch Levin's siilr.—
Stepped into it; and without dread,
Following the fancies in his head,
He paddled up and down.

A while he stood upon his feet;
He felt the motion—took his seat;
And dallied thus, till from the shore
The tide retreating more and more
Had sucked, and sucked him in.

And there he is in face of Heaven!
How rapidly the Child is driven!
The fourth part of a mile I ween
He thus had gone, ere he was seen
By any human eye.

Rut when he was first seen, oh mc!
What shrieking and what miser}'!
For many saw ; among the rest
His Mother, she who loved liiin btwt,
She saw her poor blind Boy.

But for the Child, the sightless Boy,
It is the triumph of his joy!
The bravest Traveller in balloon.
Mounting as if to reach the moon,
Was never .half so bless'd.

And let him, let him go his way,
Alone, and innocent, and gay!
For, if good Angels love to wait
On the forlorn unfortunate.

This Child will take no harm.

But now the passionate lament,
Which from the crowd on shore was sent.
The cries which broke from old and young
In Gaelic, or the English tongue,
Arc stifled—all is still.

And quickly with a silent crew
A Boat is ready to pursue;
And from the shore their course they take.
And swiftly down the running Lake
They follow the blind Boy.

Hut soon they move with softer pace:
So have you seen the fowler chase
On Grasmere's clear unruffled breast
A youngling of the wild-duck's nest
With deftly-lifted oar.

Or as the wily sailors crept
To seize (while on the Deep it slept)
The hapless Creature which did dwell
Erewhile within the dancing shell,
They steal upon their prey.

With sound the least that can be made
They follow, more and more afraid.
More cautious as they draw more near;
But in his darkness he can hear,
And guesses their intent.

Lei-ghaLei-gha—then did he cry
hei-ghaLei-gha—most eagerly;
Thus did he cry, and thus did pray.
And what he meant was: Keep away,
And leave me to myself!

Alas! and when he felt their hands—
You've often heard of magic Wands,
That with a motion overthrow
A palace of the proudest show,
Or melt it into air:

So all bin dreams, that inward light
With which his soul had shone so bright.
All vanish'd,—'twas a heartfelt cross
To him, a heavy, bitter loss,
As he had ever know n

But hark! a gratulating voice
With which the very lrlU rejoice:
'Tis from the crowd, who trrmblingW
Had watch'd the event, and now can see
That he is safe at last.

And then, when he was brought to land.
Full sure they were a happy band.
Which gathering round did on the banks
Of that great Water give God thanks.
And welcom'd the poor Child.

And in the general joy of heart
The blind Boy's little Dog took pnrt.
He leapt about, and oft did kias
His master's hands in sign of bliss.
With sound like lamentation.

But most of all, his Mother dear,
She who had fainted with her fear,
Rejoiced when waking she espies
The Child; when she can trust her eyes,
And touches the blind Boy.

She led him home, and wept amain,
When he was in the house again:
Tears flowed in torrents from her eyes,
She could not blame him, or chastise:
She was too happy far.

Thus, after he had fondly braved
The perilous Deep, the Boy was saved;
And, though his fancies had been wild,
Yet he was pleased, and reconciled
To live in peace on shore.

And in the lonely Highland-dell
Still do they keep the turtle-shell;
And long the story will repeat
Of the blind Boy's adventurous feat,
And how he was preserved.

THE HORN OF EGREMONT CASTLE.

Wn»>- the Brothers reached the gateway,

Eustace pointed with his lance

To the Horn which there was hanging;

Horn of the inheritance.

Horn it was which none could sound,

No one upon living ground,

Save He who came as rightful Heir

To Egremont's Domains and Castle fair.

Heirs from ages without record

Had the House of Lucie born.

Who of right had claim'd the Lordship

By the proof upon the Horn:

Each at the appointed hour

Tried the Horn, it own'd his power;

He was acknowledged: and the blasi

Which good Sir Eustace sounded was the last.

With his lance Sir Eustace pointed,

And to Hubert thus said he:

What I speak this Horn shall witness

For thy better memory.

Hear, then, and neglect me not!

At this time, and on this spot,

The words are ntter'd from my heart,

As my last earnest prayer ere we depart.

On good service we are going

Life to risk by sea and land;

In which course if Christ our Saviour

Do my sinful soul demand,

Hither come thou back straightway,

Hubert, if alive that day;

Return, and sound the Horn, that we

May have a living House still left in thee.

Fear not, quickly answer'd Hubert;
A* I am tli v Father's son,

What thou askest, noble Brother,

With God's favour shall be done.

So were both right well content:

From the Castle forth they went.

And at the head of their Array

To Palestine the Brothers took their way.

Side by side they fought (the Lucies

Were a line for valour fain'd)

And where'er their strokes alighted

There the Saracens were tam'd.

Whence, then, could it come the thought.

By what evil spirit brought?

Oh! can a brave Man wish to take

H is Brother's life, for Land's and Castle's sake?

Sir! the Ruffians said to- Hubert,
Deep he lies in Jordan flood.—
Stricken by this ill assurance,
Pale and trembling Hubert stood.

Take your earnings Oh! that I

Could have seen my Brother die!
It was a pang that vex'd him then,
And oft returned, again, and yet again.

Months pass'd on, and no Sir Eustace!

Nor of him were tidings heard.

Wherefore, bold as day, the Murderer

Back again to England stccr'd.

To his Castle Hubert sped;

He has nothing now to dread.

But silent anil by stealth,he came,

And at an hour which nobody could name.

None could tell if it were night-time,

Night or day, at even or morn;

For the sound was heard by no one

Of the proclamation-horn.

But bold Hubert lives in glee:

Months and years went smilingly;

With plenty was his table spread;

And bright the Lady is who shares his bed.

Likewise he had Sons nnd Daughters;

And, as good men do, he sate

At his board by these surrounded,

Flourishing in fair estate.

And, while thus in open day

Once he sate, as old books say,

A blast was utter'd from the Horn,

Where by the Castle-gate it hung forlorn.

'Tin the breath of good Sir Eustace!
He is come to claim his right:
Ancient Castle, Woods, and Mountains
Hear the challenge with delight.
Hubert! though the blast be hjown
He is helpless and alone:
Thou hast a dungeon, speak the word!
And there he may be lodg'd, and thou be
Lord.

Speak !—astounded Hubert cannot;
And if power to speak he had.
All are daunted, all the household
Smitten to the heart, and sad.

« ПредишнаНапред »