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others were added upon occasional visits to the Stream, his own more comprehensive design, and induce him or as recollections of the scenes upon its banks to fulfil it? -There is a sympathy in streams, awakened a wish to describe them. In this manner I one calleth to another;" and, I would gladly believe, had proceeded insensibly, without perceiving that I that "The Brook" will, ere lung, murmur in concert was trespassing upon ground pre-occupied, at least as with "The Duddon." But, asking pardon for this far as intention went, by Mr. Coleridge; who, more fancy, I need not scruple to say, that those verses than twenty years ago, used to speak of writing a rural must indeed be ill-fated which can enter upon such Poem, to be entitled "The Brook," of which he has pleasant walks of nature, without receiving and giving given a sketch in a recent publication. But a par- inspiration. The power of waters over the minds of ticular subject cannot, I think, much interfere with a Poets has been acknowledged from the earliest ages; general one; and I have been further kept from en--through the "Flumina amem sylvasque inglorius" of Virgil, down to the sublime apostrophe to the great rivers of the earth, by Armstrong, and the simple ejaculation of Burns, (chosen, if I recollect right, by Mr. Coleridge, as a motto for his embryo "Brook,")
croaching upon any right Mr. C. may still wish to exercise, by the restriction which the frame of the Sonnet imposed upon me, narrowing unavoidably the range of thought, and precluding, though not without its advantages, many graces to which a freer movement of verse would naturally have led.
May I not venture, then, to hope, that, instead of being a hinderance, by anticipation of any part of the subject, these Sonnets may remind Mr. Coleridge of
YARROW REVISITED, AND OTHER POEMS,
COMPOSED (TWO EXCEPTED) DURING A TOUR IN SCOTLAND, AND ON
THE ENGLISH BORDER, IN THE AUTUMN OF 1831.
A TESTIMONY OF FRIENDSHIP,
AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF INTELLECTUAL OBLIGATIONS,
ARE AFFECTIONATELY INSCRIBED
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. RYDAL MOUNT, Dec. 11, 1834.
[The following Stanzas are a memorial of a day passed with Sir Walter Scott, and other Friends visiting the Banks of the Yarrow under his guidance, immediately before his departure from Abbotsford, for Naples.
The title Yarrow Revisited will stand in no need of explanation, for Readers acquainted with the Autnor's previous poems suggested by that celebrated stream See pp. 202 and 210.]
THE gallant Youth, who may have gained,
Or seeks, a Winsome Marrow,"
Was but an Infant in the lap
When first I looked on Yarrow;
"The Muse nae Poet ever fand her,
Till by himsel' he learned to wander,
Adown some trotting burn's meander,
AND NA' THINK LANG."
Past, present, future, all appeared
In harmony united,
Like guests that meet, and some from far, By cordial love invited.
And if, as Yarrow, through the woods
And down the meadow ranging,
Did meet us with unaltered face,
Though we were changed and changing; If, then, some natural shadows spread
Our inward prospect over,
The soul's deep valley was not slow Its brightness to recover.
Eternal blessings on the Muse,
And her divine employment! The blameless Muse, who trains her Sons For hope and calm enjoyment; Albeit sickness lingering yet
Has o'er their pillow brooded And Care waylay their steps-a sprite Not easily eluded.
For thee, O SCOTT! compelled to change
Green Eildon-hill and Cheviot
For warm Vesuvio's vine-clad slopes;
And leave thy Tweed and Teviot
For mild Sorento's breezy waves;
May classic Fancy, linking
With native Fancy her fresh aid,
Preserve thy heart from sinking!
O! while they minister to thee,
Each vying with the other,
May Health return to mellow Age,
With Strength, her venturous brother;
And Tiber, and each brook and rill
Renowned in song and story,
With unimagined beauty shine,
Nor lose one ray of glory!
For Thou, upon a hundred streams,
By tales of love and sorrow,
Of faithful love, undaunted truth,
Hast shed the power of Yarrow;
And streams unknown, hills yet unseen,
Where'er thy path invite thee,
At parent Nature's grateful call,
With gladness must requite Thee.
A gracious welcome shall be thine,
Such looks of love and honour
As thy own Yarrow gave to me
When first I gazed upon her;
Beheld what I had feared to see,
Unwilling to surrender
Dreams treasured up from early days,
The holy and the tender.
And what, for this frail world, were all That mortals do or suffer
Did no responsive harp, no pen, Memorial tribute offer?
Yea, what were mighty Nature's self? Her features, could they win us, Unhelped by the poetic voice.
That hourly speaks within us?
Nor deem that localized Romance
Plays false with our affections;
Unsanctifies our tears-made sport
For fanciful dejections:
Ah, no! the visions of the past
Sustain the heart in feeling
Life as she is our changeful Life,
With friends and kindred dealing.
Bear witness, Ye, whose thoughts that day
In Yarrow's groves were center'd;
Who through the silent portal arch
Of mouldering Newark entered,
And clomb the winding stair that once
Too timidly was mounted
By the "last Minstrel," (not the last)
Ere he his Tale recounted
Flow on for ever, Yarrow Stream!
Fulfil thy pensive duty,
Well pleased that future Bards should chant
For simple hearts thy beauty,
To dream-light dear while yet unseen,
Dear to the common sunshine,
And dearer still, as now I feel,
To memory's shadowy moonshine!
ON THE DEPARTURE OF SIR WALTER SCOTT FROM ABBOTSFORD, FOR NAPLES.
A TROUBLE, not of clouds, or weeping rain,
Nor of the setting sun's pathetic light
Engendered, hangs o'er Eildon's triple height:
Spirits of Power, assembled there, complain
For kindred Power departing from their sight;
While Tweed, best pleased in chanting a blithe strain,
Saddens his voice again, and yet again.
Lift up your hearts, ye mourners! for the might
Of the whole world's good wishes with him goes;
Blessings and prayers in nobler retinue
Than sceptred King or laurelled Conqueror knows,
Follow this wondrous Potentate. Be true,
Ye winds of ocean, and the midland sea,
Wafting your Charge to soft Parthenope!
A PLACE OF BURIAL IN THE SOUTH OF SCOTLAND.
PART fenced by man, part by a ragged steep
That curbs a foaming brook, a Grave-yard lies;
The Hare's best couching-place for fearless sleep
Which moonlit Elves, far seen by credulous eyes,
Enter in dance. Of Church, or Sabbath ties,
No vestige now remains; yet thither creep
Bereft Ones, and in lowly anguish weep
Their prayers out to the wind and naked skies.
Proud tomb is none; but rudely-sculptured knights,
By humble choice of plain old times, are seen
Level with earth, among the hillocks green:
Union not sad, when sunny daybreak smites
The spangled turf, and neighbouring thickets ring
With jubilate from the choirs of spring!
ON THE SIGHT OF A MANSE IN THE SOUTH OF
Aught that more surely by its aspect fills
Pure minds with sinless envy, than the Abode
Of the good Priest; who, faithful through all hours
To his high charge, and truly serving God,
Has yet a heart and hand for trees and flowers,
Enjoys the walks his Predecessors trod,
Nor covets lineal rights in lands and towers.
COMPOSED IN ROSLIN CHAPEL, DURING A STORM.
THE wind is now thy organist; - a clank
(We know not whence) ministers for a bell
To mark some change of service. As the swell
Of music reached its height, and even when sank
The notes, in prelude, ROSLIN! to a blank
Of silence, how it thrilled thy sumptuous roof,
Pillars, and arches, not in vain time-proof,
Though Christian rites be wanting! From what bank
Came those live herbs? by what hand were they sown
Where dew falls not, where rain-drops seem unknown?
Yet in the Temple they a friendly niche
Share with their sculptured fellows, that, green-grown,
Copy their beauty more and more, and preach,
Though mute, of all things blending into one.
THERE's not a nook within this solemn Pass,
But were an apt confessional for One
Taught by his summer spent, his autumn gone,
That Life is but a tale of morning grass,
Withered at eve. From scenes of art that chase
That thought away, turn, and with watchful eyes
Feed it 'mid Nature's old felicities,
THE Pibroch's note, discountenanced or mute;
The Roman kilt, degraded to a toy
SAY, ye far-travelled clouds, far-seeing hills,
Among the happiest-looking Homes of men
Scatter'd all Britain over, through deep glen,
On airy upland, and by forest rills,
Of quaint apparel for a half-spoilt boy;
The target mouldering like ungathered fruit;
The smoking steam-boat eager in pursuit,
As eagerly pursued; the umbrella spread
And o'er wide plains whereon the sky distils
Her lark's loved warblings; does aught meet your ken To weather-fend the Celtic herdsman's head
More fit to animate the Poet's pen,
All speak of manners withering to the root,
And some old honours, too, and passions high:
Then may we ask, though pleased that thought should
Rocks, rivers, and smooth lakes more clear than glass
Untouched, unbreathed upon. Thrice-happy Quest,
If from a golden perch of aspen spray
(October's workmanship to rival May)
The pensive warbler of the ruddy breast
This moral sweeten by a heaven-taught lay,
Lulling the year, with all its cares, to rest.
COMPOSED IN THE GLEN OF LOCH ETIVE.
THIS Land of Rainbows, spanning glens whose walls
Rock-built, are hung with rainbow-coloured mists,
Of far-stretched Meres, whose salt flood never rests,
Of tuneful caves and playful waterfalls,
Of mountains varying momently their crests
Proud be this Land! whose poorest Huts are Halls
Where Fancy entertains becoming guests;
While native song the heroic Past recalls.
Thus, in the net of her own wishes caught,
The Muse exclaimed; but Story now must hide
Her trophies, Fancy crouch;-the course of pride
Has been diverted, other lessons taught,
That make the Patriot-spirit bow her head
Where the all-conquering Roman feared to tread.
COMPOSED AFTER READING A NEWSPAPER OF
chains are severing link by link;
Soon shall the Rich be levelled down-the Poor
Meet them half way." Vain boast! for These, the more
They thus would rise, must low and lower sink
Till, by repentance stung, they fear to think;
While all lie prostrate, save the tyrant few
Bent in quick turns each other to undo,
And mix the poison, they themselves must drink.
Mistrust thyself, vain Country! cease to cry,
'Knowledge will save me from the threatened woe."
For, if than other rash ones more thou know,
Yet on presumptuous wing as far would fly
Above thy knowledge as they dared to go,
Thou wilt provoke a heavier penalty.
COMPOSED AT DUNOLLIE CASTLE IN THE BAY
DISHONOURED Rock and Ruin! that, by law
Tyrannic, keep the Bird of Jove embarred
Like a lone criminal whose life is spared.
Vexed is he, and screams loud. The last I saw
Was on the wing; stooping, he struck with awe
Man, bird, and beast; then, with a Consort paired,
From a bold headland, their loved eiry's guard,
Flew high above Atlantic waves, to draw
Light from the fountain of the setting sun.
Such was this Prisoner once; and, when his plumes
The sea-blast ruffles as the storm comes on,
In spirit, for a moment, he resumes
His rank 'mong freeborn creatures that live free,
His power, his beauty, and his majesty.
On rock and ruin darkening as we go, —
Spots where a word, ghost-like, survives to show
What crimes from hate, or desperate love, have sprung;
From honour misconceived, or fancied wrong,
What feuds, not quenched but fed by mutual woe:
Yet, though a wild vindictive Race, untamed
By civil arts and labours of the pen,
Could gentleness be scorned by these fierce Men,
Who, to spread wide the reverence that they claimed
For patriarchal occupations, named
Yon towering Peaks, "Shepherds of Etive Glen?"*
*In Gaelic, Buachaill Eite.
ENOUGH of garlands, of the Arcadian crook,
And all that Greece and Italy have sung
Of Swains reposing myrtle groves among!
Ours couched on naked rocks, will cross a brook
Swoln with chill rains, nor ever cast a look
This way or that, or give it even a thought
More than by smoothest pathway may be brought
Into a vacant mind. Can written book
Teach what they learn? Up, hardy Mountaineer!
And guide the Bard, ambitious to be One
Of Nature's privy council, as thou art,
On cloud-sequestered heights, that see and hear
To what dread Power He delegates his part
On earth, who works in the heaven of heavens, alone.
THE EARL OF BREADALBANE'S RUINED MANSION
AND FAMILY BURIAL-PLACE, NEAR KILLIN.
WELL Sang the Bard who called the Grave, in strains
Thoughtful and sad, the "Narrow House." No style
Of fond sepulchral flattery can beguile
Grief of her sting; nor cheat, where he detains
The sleeping dust, stern Death: how reconcile
With truth, or with each other, decked Remains
Of a once warm Abode, and that new Pile,
For the departed, built with curious pains
And mausolean pomp! Yet here they stand
Together,'mid trim walks and artful bowers,
To be looked down upon by ancient hills,
That, for the living and the dead, demand
And prompt a harmony of genuine powers;
Concord that elevates the mind, and stills.
IN THE SOUND OF MULL.
TRADITION, be thou mute! Oblivion, throw
Thy veil, in mercy, o'er the records hung
Round strath and mountain, stamped by the ancient Who, that has gained at length the wished-for Height,
REST AND BE THANKFUL, AT THE HEAD OF
DOUBLING and doubling with laborious walk,
This brief this simple way-side call can slight,
And rests not thankful? Whether cheered by talk
With some loved Friend, or by the unseen Hawk
Whistling to clouds and sky-born streams, that shine
At the sun's outbreak, as with light divine,
Ere they descend to nourish root and stalk
Of valley flowers. Nor, while the limbs repose,
Will we forget that, as the Fowl can keep
Absolute stillness, poised aloft in air,
And Fishes front, unmoved, the torrent's sweep,
So may the Soul, through powers that Faith bestows,
Win rest, and ease, and peace, with bliss that Angels
In the gray sky hath left his lingering Ghost,
Perplexed as if between a splendour lost
And splendour slowly mustering. Since the Sun,
The absolute, the world-absorbing One,
Relinquished half his empire to the Host
Emboldened by thy guidance, holy Star,
Holy as princely, who that looks on thee
Touching, as now, in thy humility
SEE what gay wild flowers deck this earth-built Cot,
Whose smoke, forth-issuing whence and how it may,
Shines in the greeting of the Sun's first ray
Like wreaths of vapour without stain or blot.
The limpid mountain rill avoids it not;
And why shouldst thou? If rightly trained and bred, The mountain borders of this seat of care,
Humanity is humble, - finds no spot
Can question that thy countenance is bright,
Which her Heaven-guided feet refuse to tread.
Celestial Power, as much with love as light?
The walls are cracked, sunk is the flowery roof,
Undressed the pathway leading to the door;
But love, as Nature loves, the lonely Poor;
Search, for their worth, some gentle heart wrong-proof,
Meek, patient, kind, and, were its trials fewer,
Belike less happy. - Stand no more aloof!*
Upon a small island, not far from the head of Loch Lomond, are some remains of an ancient building, which was for several years the abode of a solitary Individual, one of the last survivors of the Clan of Macfarlane, once powerful in that neighbourhood. Passing along the shore opposite this island in the year 1814, the Author learned these particulars, and that this person then living there had acquired the appellation of "The Brownie." (See "The Brownie's Cell," p. 207, to which the following Sonnet is a sequel.
IMMURED in Bothwell's Towers, at times the Brave
(So beautiful is Clyde) forgot to mourn
The liberty they lost at Bannock bourn.
Once on those steeps I roamed at large, and have
In mind the landscape, as if still in sight;*
The river glides, the woods before me wave;
But, by occasion tempted, now I crave
Needless renewal of an old delight.
Better to thank a dear and long-past day
For joy its sunny hours were free to give
Than blame the present, that our wish hath crost.
Memory, like Sleep, hath powers which dreams obey,
Dreams, vivid dreams, that are not fugitive:
How little that she cherishes is lost!
PICTURE OF DANIEL IN THE LIONS' DEN AT
AMID a fertile region green with wood
And fresh with rivers, well doth it become
The Ducal Owner, in his Palace-home
To naturalize this tawny Lion brood;
Children of Art, that claim strange brotherhood,
Couched in their Den, with those that roam at large
Over the burning wilderness, and charge
The wind with terror while they roar for food.
But these are satiate, and a stillness drear
Calls into life a more enduring fear;
Yet is the Prophet calm, nor would the cave
Daunt him if his Companions, now be-drowsed
Yawning and listless, were by hunger toused:
Man placed him here, and God, he knows, can save