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True beanty dwells in deep retreats,
Whose veil is unremoved 1'ill heart with heart in concord beats,
And the lover is beloved.* [1824.
TO THE CUCKOO.
0 Blithe N'cw-comer! I have heard,
1 hear thee and rejoice.
0 Cnckoot uh-All 1 call thee Bird,
While I am lying on the grass
Though babbling only to the Vale,
Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring!
Even yet thon art in urn
Ko bird, but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery;
The same whom in my school-boy days
1 listen'd to; that Cry
Which made mo look a thousand ways la bush, and tree, and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove
And I cnn listen to thee yet;
O blessed Bird! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial, faeiy place;
That is flt home for Thee 1 [1304.
THE LOXCiEST DAY.
AlHlRKSSKU TO MY DAUGHTER.
Let us quit the leafy arbour,
4 These stanzas are supposed to be addressed to the author's wile.
Evening now unbinds the fetters
Yet by some grave thoughts attended
Dora I sport, as now thou sportnst.
Who would check the happy feeling
Yet, at this impressive eeason,
And, while shades to shades succeeding
SL'MMERebbs; — each day that follows
He who governs the ereation,
Yet we mark it not; — fruits redden.
And the heart is loth to deaden
Be thou wiser, youthful Maiden I
Now, even now, ere wrapp'd in slumber
Follow thou the flowing river
Through the year's successive portals;
Thus when thou with Time hast travell'd
Think, if thou on beanty leanest,
Duty, like a strict preceptor,
Grasp it, —ifthou shrink and tremble.
And ensures those palms of honour
"To-night -will be a stormy night,—
" That, Father, will I gladly do:
At this the Father raised his hook,
Xot blither is the mountain roe:
The storm came on before its time:
The wretehed parents all that night
At day-break on a hill they stood
They wept; and, turning homeward.
Then downwards from the steep hill's
And then an open HoM they erossW:
They follow'd from the snowy bank
Yet some maintain that to this day
O'er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind.9 [1799
WE ARE SEVEN.
- A simple Child,
That lightly draws its breath,
I met a little cottage Girl:
She had a rustic, woodland air,
" Sisters and brothers, little Maid,
" And where are they ? I pray you tell."
Two of us in the chureh-yard lie,
" Yon say that two at Conway dwell,
Then did the little Maid reply,
6 Founded on a circumstance related to mo by my sister, of a little girl who, not far from Halifax in Yorkshire, was bewildered in a snow-storm. Her footsteps were traced by her parents to the middle of the lock of a canal, and no other vestige of her, backward or forward, could be traced. Her body however was found in the canal. — Author's Kottt.
My stockings there I often knit,
And often after sun-set, Sir,
The first that died was sister Jane:
So In the church-yard she was laid;
And when the ground was white with
My brother John was foreed to go;
" How many are you, then," said I,
" But they are dead; those two are dead I
7 The author tells us that he composed 'Ma poem while walking in a grove at AU bxden, and that the little Kirfwho is the ieroine was met by him within the area of Goodrich Castle m 1793. The piece was published in the first volume of Lyrical Ballads, 17!i8. — In his notes, the anthor relates how a friend, who had got «i;rht of the poem as it was going through llm >ress, remonstrated with him agaiiist ,rinting it: ."One evening he came lime with a grave face, and said,' Wordiworth, I have seen the volume that yu
ON HEB FIRST ASCENT TO TUB SUMMIT
Inmate of a mountain-dwelling,
Potent was the spell that bound thee
J.o! the dwindled woods and meadows;
And a record of commotion
Maiden, now take flight;—inherit
Or survey their bright dominions
Thine are all the coral fountains
To Niphates' top invited,
are about to publish. There is one poem in it which I earnestly entreat you will cancel; for, i!'published, it will make you everlastingly ridiculous.' I answered that I felt much obliged by the interest he took in my good name as a writer, and begged to know what was the unfortunate piece he alluded to. He said, • It is called We are Seven.' Nay, said 1, that shall take its chance however; and he lellmo in despair. 1 have only to add that in the Spring of 1S41 1 revisited Goodrich Castle, not having seen that part of the Wye since 1 met the little girl therein 17!i3. It would have given me greater ]"leasnrc to have found in the neighbourmg hamlet some traces of one who had interested me so much; but thai was impossible, as unlbrnately 1 did not even know her name."
Or descend where th' ark alighted.
For the power of hills is on thee,
She was a Phantom of delight
I saw her upon nearer view,
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A Being breathing thoughtful breath,
A Traveller between life and death; ''
The reason firm, the temperate will.
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly plann'd I
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light." [1801.
8 The ladv was Miss Blackett, then residing with far. Montague Burgoyne at Fox-Ghyll. We were tempted to remain oo long upon the mountain; and I, nnH'udently. with the hope of shortening .he way, led her among the erags and lown a steep slope, which entangled iis n difiiculties that were met by her with uuch spirit and courage.'—Author's AVifc,s.
ii This great little poem, for such it ruly is, refers, throughout, to the author's vile. He himself says, "it was written rom my heart, as is sufficiently obvious.>' — See p'age 130, note -t.
0 Nightingale I thou surely art
A. ereature of a " fiery heart":— [pierce
1 heard a Stock-dove sing or say
He did not cease; but coo'd and coo'd;
Three years she grew in sun and shower
Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
The Girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.
She shall be sportive as the fawn
The floating clouds their state shall lend
ITie stars of midnight shall be dear
Vhere rivulets fiance their wayward
And beanty born of murmuring sound
And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell :
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
Here in this happy dell."
Thus Nature spake,—The work was douo;
How soon my Lucy's race was runl
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.1 [1709i
I Wander"!) lonely as a cloud
Continuous as the stars that shine
The waves beside them danced; but they
.n such a jocund company:
gazed—and gazed —but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
1 Another great little poem. I have ometimes thought it the happiest of all
Wordsworth's smaller pieces; nor do I ee how felicity of thought and language an go further. Ituskin justly aseribes to ', the quality of "exquisite Tightness."
2 These two lines have been laulteu, erhaps justly, as being disproportionate o the occasion. Coleridge, in the superb riticism on Wordsworth m bis ftiographia Atemria, cites them as an instance of
thoughts and images too great for the ubject." " It is a well-known fact," says e, '' that bright colours in motion both nakc and leave the strongest impressions n the eye. Nothing is more likely, too.