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Yet how?—for I, if there be truth
In the world's voice, was passing fair;
And beauty, for confiding youth,
Those shocks of passion can prepare
That kill the bloom before its time,
And blanch, without the Owner's crime,
The most resplendent hair.

Unblest distinctions! showered on me
To bind a lingering; life in chains;
All that could quit my grasp, or flee,
Is gone;—but not the subtle stains
Fixed in the spirit;—for even here
Can I be proud that jealous fear
Of what I was remains.

A woman rules my prison's key;
A sister Queen, against the bent
Of law and holiest sympathy,
Detains me—doubtful of the event;
Great God, who feelst for my distress,
My thoughts are all that I possess,
O keep them innocent!

Farewell for ever human aid,
Which abject mortals vainly court!
By friends deceived, by foes betrayed,
Of fears the prey, of hours the sport,
Nought but the world-redeeming Cross
Is able to supply my loss,
My burthen to support.

Hark! the death-note^of the year,
Sounded by the castle-clock!—
From her sunk eyes a stagnant tear
Stole forth, unsettled by the shock;
But oft the woods renewed their green,
Ere the tir'd head of Scotland's Queen
Repos'd upon the block!



Swiftly turn the murmuring wheel!
Night has brought the welcome hour,
When the weary fingers feel
Help, as if from fairy-power;
Dewy night o'ershades the ground;
Turn the swift wheel round and round!

Now, beneath the starry sky,
Rest the widely-scatter'd sheep;—
Ply, the pleasant labour, ply!—
For the spindle, while they sleep.
With a motion smooth and fine
Gathers up a trustier line.

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The sylvan slopes with corn-clad fields
Are hung, as if with golden shields,
Bright trophies of the sun!
Like a fair sister of the sky,
Unruffled doth the blue Lake lie,
The Mountains looking on.

And, sooth to say, yon vocal Grove
Albeit uninspired by love,
By love untaught to ring,
May well afford to mortal ear
An impulse more profoundly dear
Than music of the Spring.

For lhut from turbulence and heat
Proceeds, from some uneasy seat
In Nature's struggling frame,
Some region of impatient life;
And jealousy, and quivering strife,
Therein a portion claim.

This, this is holy;—while I hear
These vespers of another year,
This hymn of thanks and praise,
My spirit seems to mount above
The anxieties of human love,
And earth's precarious days.

But list'—though winter-sto ms be nigh,
Unchecked is that soft harmony:
There lives Who can provide
For all his creatures; and in Him,
Even like the radiant Seraphim,
These Choristers confide.


Depabtino Summer hath assumed
An aspect tenderly illumed,
The gentlest look of Spring:
That calls from yonder leafy shade
Unfaded, yet prepared to fade,
A timely caroling.

No faint and hesitating trill,
Such tribute as to Winter chill
The lonely red-breast pays!
Clear, loud, and lively is the din,
From social warblers gathering in
Their harvest of sweet lays.

Nor doth the example fail to cheer

Mc conscious that my leaf is sear,

And yellow on the bough:—

Fall, rosy garlands, from my head!

Ye myrtle-wreaths, your fragrance ghed

Around a younger brow!

Yet will I temperately rejoice;

Wide is the range, and free the choice

Of undiscordant themes;

Which, haply, kindred souls may prize

Not less than vernal extacies,

And passion's feverish dreams.

For deathless powers to verse belong,
And they like Demi-gods are strong
On whom the Mnscs smile;
But some their function have disclaimed,
Best pleased with what is aptliest framed
To enervate and defile.

Not such the initiatory strains

Committed to the silent plains

In Britain's earliest dawn;

Trembled the groves, the stars grew pale,

While all-too-daringly the veil

Of Nature was withdrawn!

Nor such the spirit-stirring note
When the live chords Aictiih smote,
Inflamed by sense of wrong;
Wroc! woe to Tyrants! from the lyre
Broke threateningly, in sparkles dire
Of fierce vindictive song.

And not unhallow'd was the page
By winged L#ve inscrib'd, to assuage
The pangs of vain pursuit;
Love listening while the Lesbian Maid
With passion's finest finger swayed
Her own Aeolian lute.

O ye who patiently explore
The wreck of Herculancan lore,
What rapture could ye seize
Some Theban fragment, or unroll
One precious, tender-hearted scroll
Of pure Simonidcs!

That were, indeed, a genuine birth
Of poesy; a bursting forth
Of Genius from the dust:
What Horace boasted to behold.
What Maro loved, shall wc enfold?
Can haughty Time he just!


"A Little onward lend thy guiding hand To these dark steps, a little further on!" —What trick of memory to my voice hath

brought, This mournful iteration? For though Time,

The Conqueror, crowns the Conquer'd, on

this brow Planting his favourite silver diadem, Nor he, nor minister of his intent To run before him, hath enrolled mc yet. Though not unmennced, among those who

lean Upon a living staff, with borrowed sight. —O my Antigone, beloved child! Should that day come—but hark! the birds

salute The cheerful dawn brightening for me the

east; For me, thy natural Leader, once again Impatient to conduct thee, not as erst A tottering Infant, with compliant stoop From flower to flower supported; hut to

curb Thy nymph-like step swift-bounding o'er

the lawn, Along the loose rocks, or the slippery verge Of foaming torrents. — From thy orisons Come forth; and, while the morning-air

is yet Transparent as the soul of innocent youth. Let me, thy happy Guide, now point thy way, And now precede thee, winding to and fro. Till we by perseverance gain the top Of some smooth ridge, whose brink precipitous Kindles intense desire for powers withheld From this corporeal frame; whereon who

stands, Is seized with strong incitement to push forth His arms, as swimmers use, nnd plunge—

dread thought! For pastime plunge — into the abrupt

abyss, Where Ravens spread their plumy vans, at

ease! And yet more gladly thee would I conduct Through woods and spacious forests,—to

behold There, how the Original of human art. Heaven-prompted Nature, measures and

erects Her temples, fearless for the stately work, Though waves in every breeze its higharched root, And storms the pillars rock. But we such

schools Of reverential awe will chiefly seek In the still summer-noon, while beams of

light, Reposing here, and in the aisles beyond Traccably gliding through the dusk, recall To mind the living presences of nuns; A gentle, pensive, white-robed sisterhood. Whose saintly radiance mitigates the gloom Of those terrestrial fabrics, where they serve, To Christ, the Sun of Righteousness,

espoused. Re-open now thy everlnsting gates. Thou Fane of holy writ! Ye classic Domes, I'o these glad orbs from darksome bondage


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Not envying shades which haply yet may

throw A grateful coolness round that rocky spring, Randusia, once responsive to the string Of the Horatian lyre with babbling flow; Careless of flowers that in perennial blow Hound the moist marge of Persian fountains

cling; Heedless of Alpine torrents thundering Through icy portals radiant as heaven's how; I seek the birth-place of a native Stream.— All hail ye mountains, hail thou morninglight! Better to breathe upon this aery height Than pass in needless sleep from dream to

dream; Pure flow the verse, pure, vigorous, free,

and bright, For Duddon, long lov'd Duddon, is my theme!


Child of the clouds! remote from every taint
Of sordid industry thy lot is cast;
Thine are the honors of the lofty waste;
Not seldom, when with heat the valleys faint,
Thy hand-maid Frost with spangled tissue

quaint Thy cradle decks;—to ehaunt thy birth,

thou hast No meaner Poet than the whistling Blast, And Desolation is thy Patron-saint! She guards thee, ruthless Power! who

would not spare Those mighty forests, once the bison's screen, Where stalk'il the huge deer to his shaggy

lair Through paths and alleys roofed with sombre

green, 1 lioimands of years before the silent air M'aspierccd by whizzing shaft of hunter keen!


How shall I paint thee?— Be this naked stone
My scat while I give way to such intent;
Pleased could my verse, a speaking monu-
Make to the eyes of men thy features known.
But as of all those tripping lambs not one
Outruns his fellows, so hath nature lent
To thy beginning nought that doth present
Peculiar grounds for hope to build upon.
To dignify the spot that gives thee birth,
No sign of hoar Antiquity's esteem
Appears, and none of modern Fortune's care;
Yet thou thyself hast round thee shed a

gleam Of brilliant moss, instinct with freshness

rare; Prompt offering to thy Foster-mother, Earth!


Take, cradled Nursling of the mountain, take
This parting glance, no negligent adieu!
A Protean change seems wrought while I

pursue The curves, a loosely-scattered chain doth

make; Or rather thou appcarst a glistering snake, Silent, and to the gazer's eye untrue, Thridding with sinuous lapse the rushes,

through Dwarf willows gliding, and by ferny brake. Starts from a dizzy steep the undaunted Rill Rob'd instantly in garb of snow-white foain; And laughing dares the Adventurer, who

hath clomb So high, a rival purpose ito fulfil; Else let the Dastard backward wend, nnd

roam. Seeking less bold achievement, where he


Sole listener, Duddon! to the breeze that

play'd With thy clear voice, I caught the fitful

sound Wafted o'er sullen moss and craggy mound, Unfruitful solitudes, that seem'd to upbraid The sun in heaven!—but now, to form a

shade For The^ green alders have together wound Their foliage; ashes flung their arms around; And birch-trees risen in silver colonnade. And thou hast also tempted here to rise, 'Mid sheltering pines, this Cottage rude and


Whose ruddy children, by the mother's oyes
Carelessly watch'd, sport through the sum-
Thy pleas'd associates:—light as endless May
On infant bosoms lonely Nature lies.


Ebb yet our course was graced with social trees

It lacked not old remains of hawthornbowers,

Where small birds warbled to their paramours;

And, earlier still, was heard the hum of bees;

I saw them ply their harmless robberies,

And caught the fragrance which the sundry flowers,

Fed by the stream with soft perpetual showers,

Plenteously yielded to the vagrant breeze.

There bloomed the strawberry of the wilderness;

The trembling eye-bright showed her sapphire blue,

The thyme her purple like the blush of even;

And, if the breath of some to no caress

Invited, forth they peeped so fair to view,

All kinds alike seemed favourites of Heaven.


"chance me, some God, into that breathing

rose!" The love-sick Stripling fancifully sighs, The envied flower beholding, as it lies On Laura's breast, in exquisite repose; Or he would pass into her Bird, that throws The darts of song from out its wiry cage; Enraptured,—could he for himself engage The thousandth pnrt of what the Nymph

bestows, And what the little careless Innocent Ungraciously receives. Too daring choice! There are whose calmer mind it would

content To be an unculled flow'ret of the glen, Fearless of plough and scythe; or darkling

wren, That tunes on Duddon's banks her slender



What aspect bore the Man who roved or

fled, First of his tribe, to this dark dell—who first In this pellucid Current slaked his thirst? What hopes came with him? what designs

were spread Along his path? His unprotected bed Whntdreamsencompnss'd? Was the Intruder

nurs'd In hideous usages, and rites accurs'd, That thinned the living and disturbed .the

dead? No voice replies;—the earth, the air is mute; And Thou, blue Streamlet, murmuring

v ieliUt no more

Than a soft record that whatever fruit Of ignorance thou mightst witness heretofore, Thy function was to heal and to restore, To soothe and cleanse, not madden and pollute!


The struggling Rill insensibly is grown
Into a Brook of loud and stately march,
Cross'd ever and anon by plank and arch;
And, for like use, lo! what might seem a

zone Chosen for ornament; stone match'd with

stone In studied symmetry, with interspace For the clear waters to pursue their race Without restraint.—How swiftly have they

flown! Succeeding — still succeeding! Here the

Child Puts, when the high-swoln Flood rnns fierce

and wild, His budding courage to the proof;—and here Declining Manhood learns to note the sly And sure encroachments of infirmity, Thinking how fast time rnns, life's end how


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Not Bo that Pair whose youthful spirit* danco

With prompt emotion, urging them to pass;

A sweet confusion checks the Shepherd-lass;

Blushing she eyes the dizzy flood askance,—

To stop ashamed—too timid to advance;

She ventures once again—another pause!

His outstrctch'd hand lie tauntingly withdraws—

She sues for help with piteons utterance!

Chidden she chides again; the thrilling touch

Both feci when he renews the wish'd-foraid:

Ah! if their fluttering hearts should stir too much,

Should beat too strongly, both may be betrayed.

The frolic Loves who, from yon high rock, see

The struggle, clap their wings for victory!


No fiction was it of the antique age:
A sky-blue stone, within this sunless cleft,
Is of the very foot-marks unbereft
Which tiny Elves imprcss'd; — on that

smooth stage
Dancing with all their brilliant equipage
In secret revels—haply after theft
Of some sweet babe, flower stolen, and coarse

weed left, For the distracted mother to assuage Her grief with, as she might!—Bat, where,

oh where Is traceable a vestige of the notes That ruled those dances, wild in character? —Deep underground ¥—Or in the upper air, On the shrill wind of midnight? or where

floats O'er twilight-fields the autumnal gossamer?


Oh, loitering Muse ! — The swift Stream

chides us—on! Albeit his deep-worn channel doth immure Objects immense, portray'd in miniature, Wild shapes for many a strange comparison! Niagaras, Alpine-passes, and anon Abodes of Naiads, calm abysses pure, Bright liquid mansions, fashidn'd to endure When the broad Oak drops, a leafless skeleton, And the solidities of mortal pride, Palace and Tower, are crumbled into dust! The Bard who walks with Duddon for his

guide, Shall find such toys of Fancy thickly set:— Tarn from the sight, enamour'd Muse—we

must; Leave them—and, if thou canst, without



Hin to the fields—with Dwellings sprinkled

o'er, And one small Hamlet, under a green hill, Cluatcr'd with barn and bycr, and spouting

mill! A glance suffices,—should we wish for more, Gay June would scorn us;—but when bleak

winds roar Through the stiff lancc-likeshoots of pollard

ash, Dread swell of sound! loud as the gusts

that lash The matted forests of Ontario's shore By wasteful steel unsmitten, then would I Turn into port,—and, reckless of the gale, Reckless of angry Duddon sweeping by, While the warm hearth exalts the mantling

ale, l-iitgh with the generous household heartily, At all the merry pranks of Donnerdale!


O Mountain-Stream! thcShepherd and hisCot
Are privileged Inmates of deep solitude;
Nor would the nicest Anchorite exclude
A field or two of brighter green, or plot
Of tillage-ground, that seemeth like a spot
Of stationary sunshine:—thou hast view'd
These only, Duddon! with their paths

By fits and starts, yet this contents thee not. Thee hath some awful Spirit impelled to

leave, Utterly to desert, the haunts of men, «

Though simple thy companions were and few; And through this wilderness a passage cleave Attended but by thy own voice, save when The Clouds and Fowls of the air thy way



From this deep chasm—where quivering

sun-beams play Upon its loftiest crags—mine eyes behold A gloomy Niche, capacious, blank, and cold; A concave free from shrubs and mosses gray; In semblance fresh, as if, with dire affray, Some Statue, placed amid these regions old For tutelary service, thence had rolled, Startling the flight of timid Yesterday! Was it by mortals sculptur'd—weary slaves Of slow endeavour! or abruptly cast Into rude shape by fire, with roaring blast Tempestuously let loose from central caves? Or fashioned by the turbulence of waves, Then, when o'er highest hills the Deluge past?


Such fruitless questions may not long beguile Or plague the fancy, 'mid the sculptured

shows Conspicuous yet where Oroonoko flows; There would the Indian answer with a smile' Aim'd at the White Man's ignorance, the

while Of the Great Waters telling, how they rose, Covered the plains, and wandering where

they chose, Mounted through every intricate defile, Triumphant.—Inundation wide and deep, O'er which his Fathers urged, to ridge and

steep Else unapproachable, their buoyant way; And carved, on mural cliff's undreaded side, Sun, moon, and stars, and beast of chase or

prey; WhatcVr they sought, shunn'd, loved, or



A Dark plume fetch me from yon blasted

Yew Perched on whose top the Danish Raven


Aloft, the imperial Bird of Rome invokes Departed ages, shedding where he flew Loose fragments of wild wailing that bestrew The clouds, and thrill the chambers of the

rocks, And into silence hush the timorous flocks,

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