Sidor som bilder

The very Doe of other years!

The pleading look the lady viewed,
And, by her gushing thoughts subdued,
She melted into tears-

A flood of tears, that flowed apace,
Upon the happy Creature's face.

Oh, moment ever blest! O Pair!
Beloved of Heaven, Heaven's choicest care,
This was for you a precious greeting,
For both a bounteous, fruitful meeting.
Joined are they, and the sylvan Doe
Can she depart? can she forego,
The Lady, once her playful Peer,
And now her sainted Mistress dear?
And will not Emily receive
This lovely Chronicler of things
Long past, delights and sorrowings?
Lone Sufferer! will not she believe
The promise in that speaking face,
And take this gift of Heaven with grace?

That day, the first of a re-union
Which was to teem with high communion,
That day of balmy April weather,
They tarried in the wood together.
And when, ere fall of evening dew,
She from this sylvan haunt withdrew,
The White Doe tracked with faithful pace

The Lady to her Dwelling-place;
That nook where, on paternal ground,

A habitation she had found,

The Master of whose humble board

Once owned her Father for his Lord;

A Hut by tufted trees defended,

Where Rylstone Brook with Wharf is blended.

When Emily by morning light

Went forth, the Doe was there in sight. She shrunk:- with one frail shock of pain,

Received and followed by a prayer,

Did she behold- saw once again;
Shun will she not, she feels, will bear;
But, wheresoever she looked round,
All now was trouble-haunted ground.
So doth the Sufferer deem it good
Even once again this neighbourhood
To leave. Unwooed, yet unforbidden,
The White Doe followed up the Vale,
Up to another Cottage-hidden
In the deep fork of Amerdale; *
And there may Emily restore
Herself, in spots unseen before.

Why tell of mossy rock, or tree,

By lurking Dernbrook's pathless side,
Haunts of a strengthening amity
That calmed her, cheered, and fortified?
For she hath ventured now to read

Of time, and place, and thought, and deed, Endless history that lies

In her silent Follower's eyes!

Who with a power like human Reason
Discerns the favourable season,

Skilled to approach or to retire,
From looks conceiving her desire,
From look, deportment, voice, or mien,
That vary to the heart within.

If she too passionately wreathed
Her arms, or over-deeply breathed,
Walked quick or slowly, every mood
In its degree was understood;
Then well may their accord be true,
And kindly intercourse ensue.

-Oh! surely 't was a gentle rousing
When she by sudden glimpse espied
The White Doe on the mountain browsing,
Or in the meadow wandered wide!

How pleased, when down the Straggler sank Beside her, on some sunny bank!

How soothed, when in thick bower enclosed,
They like a nested Pair reposed!

Fair Vision! when it crossed the Maid
Within some rocky cavern laid,
The dark cave's portal gliding by,
White as whitest cloud on high,
Floating through an azure sky.

- What now is left for pain or fear?
That Presence, dearer and more dear,
Did now a very gladness yield
At morning to the dewy field,
While they, side by side, were straying.
And the Shepherd's pipe was playing;
And with a deeper peace endued
The hour of moonlight solitude.

With her Companion, in such frame
Of mind, to Rylstone back she came;
And, wandering through the wasted groves,
Received the memory of old Loves,
Undisturbed and undistrest,
Into a soul which now was blest
With a soft spring-day of holy,
Mild, delicious, melancholy;
Not sunless gloom or unenlightened,
But by tender fancies brightened.

"At the extremity of the parish of Burnsal, the valley of Wharf forks off into two great branches, one of which retains the name of Wharfdale, to the source of the river; the other is usually called Littondale, but more anciently and properly, Amerdale. Dern-brook, which runs along an *On one of the bells of Rylstone church, which seems coeval obscure valley from the N. W., is derived from a Teutonic with the building of the tower, is this cypher, 3. R. for John word, signifying concealment."-DR. WHITAKER.

Norton, and the motto, "God us ayde."

When the Bells of Rylstone played Their Sabbath music- "God us ayde!*

That was the sound they seemed to speak;! Inscriptive legend which I ween

May on those holy Bells be seen,

That legend and her Grandsire's naine;
And oftentimes the Lady meek

Had in her Childhood read the same,
Words which she slighted at that day;
But now, when such sad change was wrought
And of that lonely name she thought,
The Bells of Rylstone seemed to say,
While she sate listening in the shade,
With vocal music, “Ged us ande;"
And all the Hills were glad to bear
Their part in this effectual prayer.

Nor lacked She Reason's firmest power;
But with the White Doe at her side
Up doth she climb to Norton Tower,
And thence looks round her far and wide;
Her fate there measures, all is stilled, -
The Feeble hath subdued her heart;
Behold the prophecy fulfilled,
Fulfilled, and she sustains her part!
But here her Brother's words have failed;
Here hath a milder doom prevailed;
That she, of him and all bereft,
Hath yet this faithful Partner left;
This single Creature that disproves
His words, remains for her, and loves.
If tears are shed, they do not fall
For loss of him- for one, or all;
Yet, sometimes, sometimes doth she weep,
Moved gently in her soul's soft sleep;
A few tears down her cheek descend
For this her last and living Friend.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Which is thus described by Dr. Whitaker:-"On the plain summit of the hill are the foundations of a strong wall stretching from the S. W. to the N. E. corner of the tower, and to the edge of a very deep glen, From this glen, a ditch, several hundred yards long, runs south to another deep and rugged ravine. On the N. and W. where the banks are very steep, no wall or mound is discoverable, paling being the only fence that could stand on such ground.

"From the Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border, it appears that such pounds for deer, sheep, &c. were far from being uncommon in the south of Scotland. The principle of them was something like that of a wire mouse-trap. On the declivity of a steep hill, the bottom and sides of which were fenced so as to be impassable, a wall was constructed nearly level with the surface on the outside, yet so high within, that without wings it was impossible to escape in the opposite direction. Care was

So beautiful the spotless Thrall
(A lovely youngling white as foam)
That it was brought to Rylstone-hall;
Her youngest Brother led it home,
The youngest, then a lusty Boy,
Brought home the prize-and with what joy!

But most to Bolton's sacred Pile,

On favouring nights, she loved to go:
There ranged through cloister, court, and aisle,
Attended by the soft-paced Doe;

Nor feared she in the still moonshine
To look upon Saint Mary's shrine;
Nor on the lonely turf that showed
Where Francis slept in his last abode.
For that she came; there oft and long
She sate in meditation strong:

And, when she from the abyss returned
Of thought, she neither shrunk nor mourned;
Was happy that she lived to greet
Her mute Companion as it lay
In love and pity at her feet;
How happy in its turn to meet
That recognition! the mild glance
Beamed from that gracious countenance;
Communication, like the ray

Of a new morning, to the nature
And prospects of the inferior Creature!

A mortal Song we frame, by dower
Encouraged of celestial power;
Power which the viewless Spirit shed
By whom we were first visited;

Whose voice we heard, whose hand and wings

Swept like a breeze the conscious strings,
When, left in solitude, erewhile
We stood before this ruined Pile
And, quitting unsubstantial dreams,
Sang in this presence kindred themes;
Distress and desolation spread
Through human hearts, and pleasure dead,
Dead but to live again on Earth,
A second and yet nobler birth;
Dire overthrow, and yet how high
The re-ascent in sanctity!
From fair to fairer day by day
A more divine and loftier way!
Even such this blessed Pilgrim trod,
By sorrow lifted tow'rds her God:

Uplifted to the purest sky

Of undisturbed mortality.

Her own thoughts loved she; and could bend A dear look to her lowly Friend,

probably taken that these enclosures should contain better feed than the neighbouring parks or forests; and whoever is acquainted with the habits of these sequacious animals, will easily conceive, that if the leader was once tempted to descend into the snare, an herd would follow."

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]


Here wanders like a gliding Ghost,
And every Sabbath here is found;
Comes with the People when the Bells
Are heard among the moorland dells,
Finds entrance through yon arch, where way

Lics open on the Sabbath-day;
Here walks amid the mournful waste


DURING the month of December, 1820, I accompanied a much-loved and honoured Friend in a walk through different parts of his Estate, with a view to fix upon the Site of a New Church which he intended to erect. It was one of the most beautiful mornings of a mild season, our feelings were in harmony with the cherishing influences of the scene; and, such being Jur purpose, we were naturally led to look back upon past events with wonder and gratitude, and on the future with hope. Not long afterwards, some of the Sonnets which will be found towards the close of this

Of prostrate altars, shrines defaced,
And floors encumbered with rich show
Of fret-work imagery laid low;
Paces softly, or makes halt,

By fractured cell, or tomb, or vault,
By plate of monumental brass

Dim gleaming among weeds and grass,

And sculptured Forms of Warriors brave;
But chiefly by that single grave,
That one sequestered hillock green,
The pensive Visitant is seen.
There doth the gentle Creature lie
With those adversities unmoved;
Calm Spectacle, by earth and sky
In their benignity approved!
And aye, methinks, this hoary Pile,
Subdued by outrage and decay,
Looks down upon her with a smile,
A gracious smile, that seems to say,
"Thou, thou art not a Child of Time,
But Daughter of the Eternal Prime!"*


"A verse may catch a wandering Soul, that flies
Profounder Tracts, and by a blest surprise
Convert delight into a Sacrifice."

[blocks in formation]

I took up the subject, and what I now offer to the | Did holy Paul† a while in Britain dwell,
Reader was the result.*
And call the Fountain forth by miracle,
And with dread signs the nascent Stream invest!
Or IIe, whose bonds dropped off, whose prison doors
Flew open, by an Angel's voice unbarred?
Or some of humbler name, to these wild shores
Storm-driven, who having seen the cup of woe
Pass from their Master, sojourned here to guard
The precious Current they had taught to flow?

When this work was far advanced, I was agreeably surprised to find that my Friend, Mr. Southey, was engaged, with similar views, in writing a concise History of the Church in England. If our Productions, thus unintentionally coinciding, shall be found to illustrate each other, it will prove a high gratification to me, which I am sure my Friend will participate. W. WORDSWORTH.

RYDAL MOUNT, January 24, 1822.



SCREAMS round the Arch-druid's brow the Searnewtwhite


As Menai's foam; and tow'rd the mystic ring
Where Augurs stand, the future questioning,

FROM THE INTRODUCTION OF CHRISTIANITY INTO Slowly the Cormorant aims her heavy flight,

Portending ruin to each baleful rite,




I, WHO accompanied with faithful pace
Cerulean Duddon from his cloud-fed spring,
And loved with Spirit ruled by his to sing
Of mountain quiet and boon nature's grace;
I, who essayed the nobler Stream to trace
Of Liberty, and smote the plausive string
Till the checked Torrent, proudly triumphing,
Won for herself a lasting resting-place;



If there be prophets on whose spirits rest
Past things, revealed like future, they can tell
What Powers, presiding o'er the sacred Well
Of Christian Faith, this savage Island blessed
With its first bounty. Wandering through the West,

[ocr errors][merged small]

That, in the lapse of ages, hath crept o'er
Diluvian truths, and patriarchal lore.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Now seek upon the heights of Time the source
Of a HOLY RIVER, on whose banks are found

MERCY and Love have met thee on thy road,

Sweet pastoral flowers, and laurels that have crowned Thou wretched Outcast, from the gift of fire
Full oft the unworthy brow of lawless force;
Where, for delight of him who tracks its course,
Immortal amaranth and palms abound.

And food cut off by sacerdotal ire,
From every sympathy that Man bestowed!
Yet shall it claim our reverence, that to God,
Ancient of Days! that to the eternal Sire
These jealous Ministers of Law aspire,
As to the one sole fount whence Wisdom flowed,
Justice, and Order. Tremblingly escaped,
As if with prescience of the coming storm,
That intimation when the stars were shaped;
And still, 'mid yon thick woods, the primal truth
Glimmers through many a superstitious form
That fills the Soul with unavailing ruth.


+ Stillingfleet adduces many arguments in support of this opinion, but they are unconvincing. The latter part of this Sonnet refers to a favourite notion of Catholic Writers, that Joseph of Arimathea and his companions brought Christianity into Britain, and built a rude Church at Glastonbury; alluded to hereafter, in a passage upon the dissolution of Monasteries.

This water-fowl was, among the Druids, an emblem of those traditions connected with the deluge that made an important part of their mysteries. The Cormorant was a bird of bad omen.



DARKNESS surrounds us; seeking, we are lost
On Snowdon's wilds, amid Brigantian coves,
Or where the solitary Shepherd roves

Along the Plain of Sarum, by the Ghost
Of Time and Shadows of Tradition, crost;
And where the boatman of the Western Isles
Slackens his course to mark those holy piles
Which yet survive on bleak Iona's coast.
Nor these, nor monuments of eldest fame,
Nor Taliesin's unforgotten lays

Nor characters of Greek or Roman fame,
To an unquestionable Source have led;
Enough if eyes that sought the fountain-head,
In vain, upon the growing Rill may gaze.



LAMENT! for Dioclesian's fiery sword
Works busy as the lightning: but instinct
With malice ne'er to deadliest weapon linked,
Which God's ethereal store-houses afford:
Against the Followers of the incarnate Lord
It rages;
- some are smitten in the field
Some pierced beneath the ineffectual shield
Of sacred home; -with pomp are others gored
And dreadful respite. Thus was Alban tried,
England's first Martyr, whom no threats could shake:
Self-offered Victim, for his friend he died,
And for the faith- nor shall his name forsake
That Hill, whose flowery platform seems to rise
By Nature decked for holiest sacrifice.


As, when a storm hath ceased, the birds regain
Their cheerfulness, and busily retrim
Their nests, or chant a gratulating hymn
To the blue ether and bespangled plain;
Even so, in many a re-constructed fane,
Have the Survivors of this storm renewed
Their holy rites with vocal gratitude:
And solemn ceremonials they ordain

*This hill at St. Alban's must have been an object of great Interest to the imagination of the venerable Bede, who thus describes it, with a delicate feeling, delightful to meet with in that rude age, traces of which are frequent in his works:-"Variis herbarum floribus depictus imò usquequaque vestitus, in quo nihil repentè arduum, nihil præceps, nihil abruptum, quem

lateribus longè latèque deductum in modum æquoris natura complanat, dignum videlicet eum pro insitâ sibi specie venustatis jam olim reddens, qui beati martyris cruore dicaretur."

To celebrate their great deliverance;
Most feelingly instructed 'mid their fear,
That persecution, blind with rage extreme,
May not the less, through Heaven's mild countenance
Even in her own despite, both feed and cheer;
For all things are less dreadful than they seem.


WATCH, and be firm! for soul-subduing vice,
Heart-killing luxury, on your steps await.
Fair houses, baths, and banquets delicate,
And temples flashing, bright as polar ice,
Their radiance through the woods, may yet suffice
To sap your hardy virtue, and abate

Your love of Him upon whose forehead sate

The crown of thorns; whose life-blood flowed, the


Of your redemption. Shun the insidious arts

That Rome provides, less dreading from her frown Than from her wily praise, her peaceful gown, Language, and letters; - these, though fondly viewed As humanizing graces, are but parts

And instruments of deadliest servitude!


THAT heresies should strike (if truth be scanned
Presumptuously) their roots both wide and deep,
Is natural as dreams to feverish sleep.
Lo! Discord at the Altar dares to stand
Uplifting tow'rd high Heaven her fiery brand,
A cherished Priestess of the new-baptized!
But chastisement shall follow peace despised.
The Pictish cloud darkens the enervate land
By Rome abandoned; vain are suppliant cries,
And prayers that would undo her forced fareweli
For she returns not.-Awed by her own knell,
She cast the Britons upon strange Allies,
Soon to become more dreaded enemies
Than heartless misery called them to repel.



RISE!- they have risen: of brave Aneurin ask
How they have scourged old foes, perfidious frienas.
The spirit of Caractacus defends
The Patriots, animates their glorious task;
Amazement runs before the towering casque
Of Arthur, bearing through the stormy field

The Virgin sculptured on his Christian shield.
Stretched in the sunny light of victory, bask

[ocr errors]
« FöregåendeFortsätt »