Sidor som bilder



Amid the smoke of cities did you pass
Your time of early youth, and there you learn'd,
From years of quiet industry, to love
The living Beings by your own fire-side,
With such a strong devotion, that your heart
Is slow towards the sympathies of them
Who look upon the hills with tenderness,
And make dear friendships with the streams and groves.
Yet we who are transgressors in this kind,
Dwelling retired in our simplicity
Among the woods and fields, we love you well,
Joanna! and I guess, since you have been

So distant from us now for two long years,

will gladly listen to discourse
However trivial, if you thence are taught
That they, with whom you once were bappy, talk
Familiarly of you and of old times.

While I was seated, now sorne ten days past,
Beneath those lofty firs, that overtop
Their ancient neighbour, the old Steeple tower,
The Vicar from his gloomy house hard by
Came forth to greet me, and when he had ask'd,
How fares Joanna, that wild-hearted Maid !
And when will she return to us ?" he paus’d,
And after short exchange of village news,
He with grave looks demanded, for what cause,
Reviving obsolete Idolatry,
I like a Runic Priest, in characters
Of formidable size, had chisel'd out
Some uncouth name upon the native rock,

Above the Rotha, by the forest side.
-Now, by those dear immunities of heart
Engender'd betwixt malice and true love,
I was not loth to be so catechiz'd,
And this was my reply.—" As it befel,
One summer morning we had walk'd abroad
At break of day, Joanna and myself.
--'Twas that delightful season, when the broom,
Full flower'd, and visible on every steep,
Along the copses runs in veins of gold.
Our pathway led us on to Rotha's banks,
And when we came in front of that tall rock
Which looks towards the East, I there stopp'd short,
And trac'd the lofty barrier with my eye
From base to summit; such delight I found
To note in shrub and tree, in stone and flower,
That intermixture of delicious hues,
Along so vast a surface, all at once,
In one impression, by connecting force

Of their own beauty, imag'd in the heart. -When I had gaz'd perhaps two minutes' space, Joanna, looking in my eyes, beheld That ravishment of mine, and laugh'd aloud. The rock, like something starting from a sleep, Took up the Lady's voice, and laugh'd again : That ancient Woman seated on Helm-crag Was ready with her cavern ; Hammar-Scar, And the tall Steep of Silver-How sent forth A noise of laughter; southern Loughrigg heard, And Fairfied answer'd with a mountain tone: Helvellyn far into the clear blue sky Carried the Lady's voice,-old Skiddaw blew His speaking trumpet ;-back out of the clouds Of Glaramara southward came the voice; And Kirkstore toss'd it from his misty head. Now whether, (said I to our cordial Friend Who in the hey-day of astonishment Smild in my face) this were in simple truth

A work accomplish'd by the brotherhood
Of ancient mountains, or my ear was touch'd
With dreams and visionary impulses,
Is not for me to tell; but sure I am
That there was a loud uproar in the hills.
And, while we both were listening, to my side
The fair Joanna drew, is if she wish'd
To shelter from some object of her fear.
-And hence, long afterwards, when eighteen moons
Were wasted, as I chanc'd to walk alone
Beneath this rock, at sun-rise, on a calm
And silent morning, I sate down, and there,
In memory of affections old and true,
I chissel'd out in those rude characters
Joanna's name upon the living stone.
And I, and all who dwell by my fire-side
Have call'd the lovely rock, Joanna's Rock."

NOTE. In Cumberland and Westmoreland are several Inscriptions upon the native rock which from the wasting of Time and

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