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WRITTEN IN LONDON, SEPTEMBER, 1802.
As if you were her first-born birth, O Friend! I know not which way I must look
And none had lived before you!" For comfort, being as I am opprest,
One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake, To think that now our life is only drest
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 eye il cannot choose but see; No grandeur now in Nature or in book
We cannot bid the 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, Of inward happiness. We are selfish men.
Conversing as I may,
I sit upon this old gray stone,
THE TABLES TURNED;
AN EVENING SCENE, ON THE SAME SUBJECT. In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
Up! up! my friend, and quit your books; The lowliest duties on herself did lay.
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my friend, and clear your looks; Great men have been among us; hands that penn'd
Why all this toil and trouble?
above the mountain's head, The later Sydney, Marvel, Harrington,
A freshening lustre mellow
His first sweet evening yellow.
Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
And hark ! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things, But equally a want of books and men !
Let Nature be your teacher.
She has a world of ready wealth, EXPOSTULATION AND REPLY.
Our minds and hearts to blessWhy, William, on that old gray stone,
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health, Thus for the length of half a day,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Than all the sages can.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect You look round on your mother earth,
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things: As if she for no purpose bore you;
-We murder to dissect.
GREAT MEN HAVE BEEN AMONG US.
WRITTEN IN EARLY SPRING.
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 Left upon a seat in a Yew-tree, which stands near
Unlawful ever. O be wiser, thou! the Lake of Esthwaite, on a desolate Part of the 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.
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, I well remember. He was one who owned
Bring sad thoughts to the mind. No common soul. In youth by science nursed,
To her fair works did Nature link And led by nature into a wild scene
The human soul that through me ran; Of lofty hopes, he to the world went forth
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 jiy, to think that others felt
the Foundation of the School, with the Time at What he must never feel: and so,
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
the following Lines. He died, this seat his only monument.
If Nature, for a favourite child,
In thee hath tempered so her clay,
Read o'er these lines; and then review
And just above yon slope of corn 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 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 THE TWO APRIL MORNINGS.
Which I could ill confine; We walked along, while bright and red
I looked at her, and looked again: Uprose the morning sun;
-And did not wish her mine." And Matthew stopped, he looked, and said, Matthew is in his grave, yet now, “ The will of God be done!"
Methinks, I see him stand, A village schoolmaster was he,
As at that moment, with a bough
Of wilding in his hand.
We talked with open heart, and tongue
Affectionate and true, A day among the hills.
A pair of friends, though I was young, “ Our work,” said I, “ was well begun;
And Matthew seventy-two.
We lay beneath a spreading oak,
Beside a mossy seat;
And from the turf a fountain broke,
And gurgled at our feet.
“ Now, Matthew !" said I, “ let us match To me he made reply:
This water's pleasant tune
With some old border-song, or catch, “ Yon cloud with that long purple cleft
That suits a summer's noon. Brings fresh into
mind A day like this which I have left
Or of the church-clock and the chimes Full thirty years behind.
Sing here beneath the shade,
That half-mad thing of witty rhymes
And, ere we came to Leonard's Rock,
sang those witty rhymes In silence Matthew lay, and eyed
About the crazy old church clock,
And the bewildered chimes.
LINES « Down to the vale this water steers,
WRITTEN WBILE SAILING IN A BOAT AT EVENING. How merrily it goes! 'Twill murmur on a thousand years,
How richly glows the water's breast And 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! How oft, a vigorous man, I lay
A little moment past so smiling! 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, 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,
And what if he must die in sorrow!
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, Let loose their carols when they please,
REMEMBRANCE OF COLLINS, Are quiet when they will.
COMPOSED UPON THE THAMES NEAR RICHMOND, With Nature never do they wage
Glide gently, thus for ever glide,
o Thames! that other bards may see 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, 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 thoughtl-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
But in the milder grief of pity.
Now let us, as we float along,
For him suspend the dashing oar; « Now both himself and me he
And pray that never child of song
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.
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 war, 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
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 sunshine is a glorious birth;
The youth, who daily farther from the east But yet I know, where'er I go,
Must travel, still is nature's priest, That there hath passed away a glory from the earth.
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended ;
At length the man perceives it die away,
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own; A timely utterance gave that thought relief, Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind, And I again am strong.
And, even with something of a mother's mind, The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep,
And no unworthy aim,
The homely nurse doth all she can
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.
Behold the child among his new-born blisses, Doth every beast keep holiday ;
A six years' darling of a pigmy size !
See, where mid work of his own hand he lies, Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
(shepherd boy! With light upon him from his father's eyes! IV.
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life, Ye blessed creatures, I have heard the call
Shaped by himself with newly-learned art; Ye to each other make; I see
A wedding or a festival, The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee ;
A mourning or a funeral;