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Easily a pious training
And a stedfast outward power
Yes, the wild girl of the mountains To their echoes gave the sound, Notice punctual as the minute, Warning solemn and profound.
She, fulfilling her sire's office, Rang alone the far-heard knell, Tribute, by her hand, in sorrow, Paid to one who loved her well.
When his spirit was departed On that service she went forth; Nor will fail the like to render When his corse is laid in earth.
What then wants the child to temper, In her breast, unruly fire,
To control the froward impulse
And restrain the vague desire?
My heart leaps up when I behold A rainbow in the sky!
Note 1, p. 73.
[These lines are quoted by Coleridge in The Friend,' to illustrate a principle expressed in a passage of that work, which may be here inserted as a reciprocal illustration. "Men laugh at the falsehoods imposed on them during their childhood, because they are not good and wise enough to contemplate the past in the present, and so to produce by a virtuous and thoughtful sensibility that continuity in their self-consciousness, which nature has made the law of their animal life. Ingratitude, sensuality, and hardness of heart, all flow from this source. Men are ungrateful to others only when they have ceased to look back on their former selves with joy and tenderness. They exist in fragments. Annihilated as to the past, they are dead to the future, or seek for the proofs of it everywhere, only not (where alone it can be found) in themselves. A contemporary poet has expressed and illustrated this sentiment with equal fineness of thought and tenderness of feeling:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man:
So let it be when I grow old,
Or let me die.
Would supplant the weeds and cherish, In their stead, each opening flower.
Thus the fearless lamb-deliv'rer,
Woman-grown, meek-hearted, sage,
May become a blest example
For her sex, of every age.
Watchful as a wheeling eagle,
Constant as a soaring lark,
Should the country need a heroine,
She might prove our Maid of Arc.
POEMS REFERRING TO THE PERIOD OF CHILDHOOD.
Leave that thought; and here be uttered
Prayer that grace divine may raise
Her humane courageous spirit,
Up to heaven, thro' peaceful ways.
The child is father of the man, And I would wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety. WORDSWORTH.
"I am informed, that these very lines have been cited as a specimen of despicable puerility. So much the worse for the citer: not willingly in his presence would I behold the sun setting behind our mountains, or listen to a tale of distress or virtue; I should be ashamed of the quiet tear on my own cheek. But let the dead bury the dead! The poet sang for the living ..... I was always pleased with the motto placed under the figure of the rosemary in old herbals: 'Sus apage! Haud tibi spiro.""
'The Friend,' Vol. I. p. 58. — H. R.]
Note 2, p. 81.
[The impression made by the poem referred to upon the mind of Coleridge is in some measure shown by the fact that this extract and another on the French Revolution were first published in 'The Friend.' A record of his feelings-of the manner in which his spirit was moved by the perusal - may be found in his Poetical Works; and it forms so precious a comment -the best of all kinds-poet responding to poet-that I have appended it in this note. It is due to a poem so
worthy of its lofty theme, and of him who wrote and The hand of man, however, has endeavoured to impress him who is addressed. In thus appending it, I cannot but hope that I am rendering a grateful service to every reflecting reader of this volume—a service too, which a restraining modesty might prevent Mr. Wordsworth from rendering in his own edition. — H. R.
upon it a character still more interesting, by adding a religious feeling to the respect which its age naturally inspires.
The lower part of its hollow trunk has been transformed into a chapel of six or seven feet in diameter, carefully wainscoted and paved, and an open iron gate guards the humble sanctuary.
The poem by Coleridge, referred to in the above note, is transferred in this edition to what has become a more appropriate place, and will be found as an introduction to THE PRElude.'. • -H. R.]
Leading to it there is a staircase, which twists round the body of the tree. At certain seasons of the year divine service is performed in this chapel.
The summit has been broken off many years, but there is a surface at the top of the trunk, of the diameter of a very large tree, and from it rises a pointed roof, covered with slates, in the form of a steeple, which is surmounted with an iron cross, that rises in a picturesque manner from the middle of the leaves, like an ancient hermitage above the surrounding wood.
Over the entrance to the chapel an inscription apThe height of this tree does not answer to its girth; pears, which informs us it was erected by the Abbé du the trunk, from the roots to the summit, forms a com- Détroit, Curate of Allonville, in the year 1696; and over plete cone; and the inside of this cone is hollow a door is another, dedicating it To Our Lady of throughout the whole of its height. Peace.""
Such is the Oak of Allonville, in its state of nature.
Vide 14 No. Saturday Magazine.
Note 3, p. 82.
"The Norman Boy.'
"Among ancient trees there are few, I believe, at least in France, so worthy of attention as an oak which may be seen in the 'Pays de Caux,' about a league from Yvetot, close to the church, and in the burialground of Allonville.
FOUNDED ON THE AFFECTIONS.
His expectations to the fickle winds
And perilous waters, with the mariners 'THESE Tourists, Heaven preserve us! needs must A fellow-mariner, — and so had fared
Through twenty seasons; but he had been reared
Among the mountains, and he in his heart
Was half a Shepherd on the stormy seas.
Oft in the piping shrouds had Leonard heard
The tones of waterfalls, and inland sounds
A profitable life: some glance along,
Rapid and gay, as if the earth were air,
And they were butterflies to wheel about
Long as the summer lasted: some, as wise,
Perched on the forehead of a jutting crag,
Pencil in hand and book upon the knee,
Will look and scribble, scribble on and look,
Until a man might travel twelve stout miles,
Or reap an acre of his neighbour's corn.
But, for that moping Son of Idleness,
Why can he tarry yonder? - In our church-yard
Is neither epitaph nor monument,
Tombstone nor name-only the turf we tread
And a few natural graves." To Jane, his wife,
Thus spake the homely Priest of Ennerdale.
It was a July evening; and he sate
Upon the long stone-seat beneath the eaves
Of his old cottage, as it chanced, that day,
Employed in winter's work. Upon the stone
His Wife save near him, teasing matted wool,
While, from the twin cards toothed with glittering
He fed the spindle of his youngest Child,
Who turned her large round wheel in the open air
With back and forward steps. Towards the field
In which the Parish Chapel stood alone,
Girt round with a bare ring of mossy wall,
While half an hour went by, the Priest had sent
Many a long look of wonder; and at last,
Risen from his seat, beside the snow-white ridge
Of carded wool which the old man had piled
He laid his implements with gentle care,
Each in the other locked; and, down the path
That from his cottage to the church-yard led,
He took his way, impatient to accost
The Stranger, whom he saw still lingering there.
"T was one well known to him in former days, A Shepherd-lad;- who ere his sixteenth year Had left that calling, tempted to entrust
This Poem was intended to conclude a series of pastorals, the scene of which was laid among the mountains of Cumberand and Westmoreland. I mention this to apologise for the ab ruptness with which the poem begins
Of caves and trees: — and, when the regular wind
Between the tropics filled the steady sail,
And blew with the same breath through days and
Lengthening invisibly its weary line
Along the cloudless Main, he, in those hours
Of tiresome indolence, would often hang
Over the vessel's side, and gaze and gaze;
And, while the broad green wave and sparkling foam
Flashed round him images and hues that wrought
In union with the employment of his heart.
He, thus by feverish passion overcome,
Even with the organs of his bodily eye,
Below him, in the bosom of the deep,
Saw mountains,-saw the forms of sheep that grazed
On verdant hills-with dwellings among trees,
And shepherds clad in the same country gray
Which he himself had worn.t
And now, at last,
From perils manifold, with some small wealth
Acquired by traffic 'mid the Indian Isles,
To his paternal home he is returned,
With a determined purpose to resume
The life he had lived there; both for the sake
Of many darling pleasures, and the love
Which to an only brother he has borne
In all his hardships, since that happy time
When, whether it blew foul or fair, they two
Were brother Shepherds on their native hills.
-They were the last of all their race: and now,
When Leonard had approached his home, his heart
Failed in him; and, not venturing to enquire
Tidings of one whom he so dearly loved,
Towards the church-yard he had turned aside;
That, as he knew in what particular spot
His family were laid, he thence might learn
+ This description of the Calenture is sketched from an imperfect recollection of an admirable one in prose, by Mr. Gilbert, author of The Hurricane
If still his Brother lived, or to the file
Another grave was added. He had found
near which a full half-hour
He had remained; but, as he gazed, there grew
Such a confusion in his memory,
That he began to doubt; and hope was his
That he had seen this heap of turf before,
That it was not another grave; but one
But, surely, yonder —
Ay, there, indeed, your memory is a friend
That does not play you false. On that tall pike
(It is the loneliest place of all these hills)
There were two Springs which bubbled side by side,
He had forgotten. He had lost his path,
As up the vale, that afternoon, he walked
Through fields which once had been well known to him: As if they had been made that they might be
Companions for each other: the huge crag
Was rent with lightning-one hath disappeared;
The other, left behind, is flowing still.*
And oh what joy the recollection now
Sent to his heart! He lifted up his eyes,
And, looking round, imagined that he saw
Strange alteration wrought on every side
Among the woods and fields, and that the rocks
And everlasting hills themselves were changed.
For accidents and changes such as these,
By this the Priest, who down the field had come,
Unseen by Leonard, at the church-yard gate
Stopped short, and thence, at leisure, limb by limb
Perused him with a gay complacency.
Ay, thought the Vicar, smiling to himself,
"T is one of those who needs must leave the path
Of the world's business to go wild alone:
His arms have a perpetual holiday;
The happy man will creep about the fields,
Following his fancies by the hour, to bring
Tears down his cheek, or solitary smiles
Into his face, until the setting sun
Write Fool upon his forehead. Planted thus
Beneath a shed that over-arched the gate
Of this rude church-yard, till the stars appeared
The good Man might have communed with himself,
But that the Stranger, who had left the grave,
Approached; he recognised the Priest at once,
And, after greetings interchanged, and given
By Leonard to the Vicar as to one
Unknown to him, this dialogue ensued.
You live, Sir, in these dales, a quiet life:
Your years make up one peaceful family;
And who would grieve and fret, if, welcome come
And welcome gone, they are so like each other,
They cannot be remembered? Scarce a funeral
Comes to this church-yard once in eighteen months;
And yet, some changes must take place among you:
And you, who dwell here, even among these rocks,
Can trace the finger of mortality,
And see, that with our threescore years and ten
We are not al. that perish. - I remember,
(For many years ago I passed this road)
There was a foot-way all along the fields
By the brook-side-'t is gone - and that dark cleft!
To me it does not seem to wear the face
Which then it had.
Nay, Sir, for aught I know,
That chasm is much the same
We want not store of them; a water-spout
Will bring down half a mountain; what a feast
For folks that wander up and down like you,
To see an acre's breadth of that wide cliff
One roaring cataract! a sharp May-storm
Will come with loads of January snow,
And in one night send twenty-score of sheep
To feed the ravens; or a Shepherd dies
By some untoward death among the rocks:
The ice breaks up and sweeps away a bridge-
A wood is felled:-and then for our own homes!
A Child is born or christened, a Field ploughed,
A Daughter sent to service, a Web spun,
The old House-clock is decked with a new face;
And hence, so far from wanting facts or dates
To chronicle the time, we all have here
A pair of diaries, one serving, Sir,
For the whole dale, and one for each fire-side
Yours was a stranger's judgment: for Historians,
Commend me to these valleys!
Yet your Church-yard
Seems, if such freedom may oe used with you,
To say that you are heedless of the past:
An orphan could not find his mother's grave:
Here's neither head nor foot-stone, plate of brass.
Cross-bones nor skull, - type of our earthly state
Nor emblem of our hopes: the dead man's home
Is but a fellow to that pasture field.
Why, there, Sir, is a thought that's new to me!
The Stone-cutters, 't is true, might beg their bread
If every English Church-yard were like ours;
Yet your conclusion wanders from the truth:
We have no need of names and epitaphs;
We talk about the dead by our fire-sides.
And then, for our immortal part! we want
No symbols, Sir, to tell us that plain tale:
The thought of death sits easy on the man
Who has been born and dies among the mountains.
*This actually took place upon Kidstow Pike at the head of Haweswater
Your Dalesmen, then, do in each other's thoughts
Possess a kind of second life: no doubt
You, Sir, could help me to the history
Of half these Graves.
For eight-score winters past,
With what I've witnessed, and with what I've heard,
Perhaps I might; and, on a winter-evening,
If you were seated at my chimney's nook,
By turning o'er these hillocks one by one,
We two could travel, Sir, through a strange round;
Yet all in the broad highway of the world.
Now there's a grave-your foot is half upon it, -
It looks just like the rest; and yet that Man
'Tis a common case.
We'll take another: who is he that lies
Beneath yon ridge, the last of those three graves?
It touches on that piece of native rock
Left in the church-yard wall.
He had as white a head and fresh a cheek
As ever were produced by youth and age
Engendering in the blood of hale fourscore.
Through five long generations had the heart
Of Walter's forefathers o'erflowed the bounds
Of their inheritance, that single cottage-
You see it yonder!-and those few green fields.
They toiled and wrought, and still, from Sire to Son,
Each struggled, and each yielded as before
A little yet a little and old Walter,
They left to him the family heart, and land
With other burthens than the crop it bore.
Year after year the old man still kept up
A cheerful mind, - and buffeted with bond,
Interest, and mortgages; at last he sank,
And went into his grave before his time.
Poor Walter! whether it was care that spurred him
God only knows, but to the very last
He had the lightest foot in Ennerdale :
His pace was never that of an old man :
I almost see him tripping down the path
With his two Grandsons after him:- but You,
Unless our Landlord be your host to-night,
Have far to travel, and on these rough paths
Even in the longest day of midsummer-
They, notwithstanding, had much love to spare,
And it all went into each other's hearts.
That's Walter Ewbank. Leonard, the elder by just eighteen months,
Was two years taller: 't was a joy to see,
To hear, to meet them! - From their house the Schoo.
Is distant three short miles and in the time
Of storm and thaw, when every water-course
And unbridged stream, such as you may have noticed
Crossing our roads at every hundred steps,
Was swoln into a noisy rivulet,
Would Leonard then, when elder boys perhaps
Remained at home, go staggering through the fords,
Bearing his Brother on his back. I have seen him,
On windy days, in one of those stray brooks,
Ay, more than once I have seen him, mid-leg deep,
Their two books lying both on a dry stone,
Upon the hither side: and once I said,
As I remember, looking round these rocks
And hills on which we all of us were born,
That God who made the great book of the world
Would bless such piety —
The old man was a father to the boys,
Two fathers in one father: and if tears,
Shed when he talked of them where they were not,
And haunting from the infirmity of love,
Are aught of what makes up a mother's heart,
This old Man, in the day of his old age,
Was half a mother to them. If you weep, Sir,
To hear a Stranger talking about Strangers,
Heaven bless you when you are among your kindred!
Ay-you may turn that way—it is a grave
Which will bear looking at.
These Boys-I hope They loved this good old Man?
They did — and truly:
But that was what we almost overlooked,
They were such darlings of each other. For,
Though from their cradles they had lived with Walter,
The only Kinsman near them, and though he
Inclined to them by reason of his age,
With a more fond, familiar tenderness,
Never did worthier lads break English bread;
The finest Sunday that the Autumn saw
With all its mealy clusters of ripe nuts,
Could never keep these boys away from church,
Or tempt them to an hour of sabbath breach.
Leonard and James! I warrant, every corner
Among these rocks, and every hollow place
Where foot could come, to one or both of them
Was known as well as to the flowers that grow there.
Like Roe-bucks they went bounding o'er the hills;
They played like two young Ravens on the crags: