Sidor som bilder

Inquire not if the faery race

Shed kindly influence on the place,

Ere northward they retired; If here a warrior left a spell, Panting for glory us be tell;

Or here a saint expired.

"Inougn that all i.round is fair,
Composed with Nature's finest caret

And in her fondest love,
Peace to embosom and content, —
to overawe the turbulent,

The selfish to reprove.

lei. ! even the Stranger from afar, inclining on this moss-grown bar,

Unknowing and unknown, "V infection of the ground partakes, Muging for his Belov'd, — who makes

All happiness her own.

Or when the chureh-clock's knell pi ofound
To Time's ilrst step aeross the bound

Of midnight makes reply;
Time pressing on with starry erest,
To filial sleep upon the breast

Of dread eternity)

why should conscious Spirits fear The mystic stirrings that are here,

The ancient faith disclaim?
The local Genins ne'er befriends
Desires whose course in folly ends,

Whose just reward is shame.

Smile if thou wilt, but not in scorn,
If some, by ceaseless pains outworn,

Here erave an easier lot;
If some have thirsted to renew
A broken vow, or bind a true

With firmer, holier knot.

And not in vain, when thoughts are cast
Upon th' irrevocable past,

Some Penitent sincere
May for a worthier future sigh,
While trickles from his downcast eye

No unavailing tear.

The Worldling, pining to be freed
From turmoil, who would turn or speed

The current of his fate,
Might stop before the favourM scene,
At Nature's call, nor blush to lean

Upon the Wishing -gate.

The Sage, who feels how blind, how weak Is man, though loth such help to seek,

Yet, passing, here might panse, And thirst for insight to allay Misgiving, while the crimson day

In quietness withdraws;


Tis gone, —with old belief and dream That round it clung, and temp tmg scheme

Released from fear and doubt; And the bright landscape too must lie, By this blank wall, from every eye,

Relentlessly shut out.

Bear witness ye who seldom pass'd
That opening, but a look ye cast

Upon the lake below.
What spirit-stirring power it gain'd
From faith which here was cntertaiu'd.

Though reason might say no.

Blest is that ground, where, o'er the Of history, Glory claps her wings,[springs

Fame sheds th' exulting tear; Yet eai-th is wide, and many a nook Unheard of is, like this, a book

For modest meanings dear.

It was in sooth a happy thought
That grafted, on so fair a spot,

So confident a token
Of coming good; — the charm is fled;
Indulgent centuries spun a thread.

Which one harsh day has broken.

Alas, for him who gave the wordl
Could he no sympathy afford,

Derived from Earth or Heaven,
To hearts so oft by hope bctray'd,
Their very wishes wanted aid,

Which here was freely given ?

Where, for the love-lorn maiden's wound
Will now so readily be found

A balm of expectation ?
Anxious for far-off children, where
Shall mothers breathe a like sweet air

Of home-felt consolation?

And not unfelt will prove the 'ibs
'Mid trivial care and petty er< j
And each day's shallow g. ef;
Though the most easily beguiled
Were oft among the first that smiled
At their own fond belief.

If still the reckless change we mourn,
A reconciling thought may turn

To harm that might lurk here, Ere judgment prompted from within F't aims, with courage to begin,

And strength to persevere.

Not Fortune's slave is Man: our state
Enjoins, while firm resolves await

On wishes just and wise,
That strenuous action follow both,
And life be one perpetual growth

Of heaven-ward enterprise.

So tanght, so train'd, we boldly face
All accidents of time and place;

Whatever props may fail,
Trust in that sovereign law can spread
New glory o'er the mountain's head,

Fresh beanty through the vale.

That truth informing mind and heart, The simplest cottager may part,

Ungricved, with charm and spell; And yet, lost Wishing-gate, to thee The voice of grateful memory

Shall bid a kind farewell! »


The soaring lark is blest as proud

When at Heaven's gate she sings;
The roving bee proclaims aloud

Her flight by vocal wings;
While Ye, In lasting durance pent,

Your silent lives employ
For something more than dull content,

Though haply less than joy.

Tet might your glassy prison seem

A place where joy is known, Where golden flash and silver gleam

Have meanings of their cim;

1 Having been told, upon what I thought good anthority, thiit this gate had been destroyed, and the 01 «ning, where it bung, walled up, I gave vent immediately to my feelings In these stanzas. Rut, going to the place some time after, I found, with much delight, my old favourite unmo'ed.

While, high and low, and all about.
Your motions, glittering Elves I

Ye weave,—no danger from without,
And peace among yourselves.

Type of a sunny human breast

Is your transparent cell;
Where Fear is but a transient guest,

No sullen Humours dwell;
Where, sensitive ofevery ray

That smites this tiny sea, Your scaly panoplies repay

The loan with usury.

How beantiful! —Yet none knows why
This ever-graceful change,

Kenew'd—renew'd incessantly—-
Within your quiet range.

Is it that ye with conscious skill
For mutual pleasure glide;

And sometimes, not without jour will,
Are dwarTd or magnified?

Fays, Genii of gigantic size I

And now, in twilight dim, Clustering like constellated eyes,

In wings of Cherubim, When the fierce orbs abate their glare;

Whate'er your forms express, Whate'er ye seem, whate'er ye are, —

All leads to gentleness.

Cold though your nature be, 'tis pure;

Your birthright is a fence
From all that hanghtier kinds endure

Through tyranny of sense.
Ah I not alone by colours bright

Are Ye to Heaven allied,
When, like essential Forms of light.

Ye mingle, or divide.

For day-dreams soft as e'er beguiled

Day-thoughts while limbs repose; For moonlight fascinations mild,

Your gift, ere shutters close,— Accept, mute Captives I thanks anJ

And may this tribute prove [praise; That gentle admirations raise

Delight reoembling love. [1839

EXPOSTULATION AND REPLY. Why, William, on that old grey st me, Thus for the length of half a day, Why, William, sit you thus alone, And dream your time away ?

Where are your books? that light !«:


To Beings else forlorn and blind I
Up! up! and drink the spirit breathed
From dead men to their kind.

You look round on your Mother Earth,
As it' she for no purpose bore you;
As if you were her first-born birth,
And none had Jived before you I"

One morning thns, by Esthwaite lake,
When life was s\vcct, I knew not why,
To me my good friend Matthew spake,
And thus I made reply:

"The eye — it cannot choose but see;
We cannot bid the ear be still;
Our bodies feel, where'er they be,
Against or with our will.

Nor less I deem that there are Powers
Which of themselves our minds impress;
That we can feed this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.

Think yon, 'mid all this mighty sum
Of things for ever speaking,
That nothing of itself will come,
But we must still be seeking?

Then ask not wherefore, here, alone,

Conversing as I may,

I sit upon this old grey stone,

And dream my time away." [1798.



Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks
Why all this toil and trouble?

The Sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow [spread
Through all the long green fields has
His first sweet evening yellow.

Books 1 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life.
There's more of wisdom In it.

And hark, how blithe the throstle sings)
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth.
Our minds and hearts to bless, —
Spontaneous wisdom breathed bj health.
Truth breathed by cheerfulnet s.

One impulse from a vernal wood
klay teach you more of man.
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brmgs; )i\r meddling intellect [tilings:

Ills-shapes the beanteous foruia ol We murder to dissect.

Enough of Science and of Art;

lose up those barren leaves; Come forth, and bring with you a hivirt That watehes and receives. [17:*

I Heard a thousand blended note».
While in a grove I sate reclined, [Umng'Ur
In that sweet mood when pleasam
Bring sad thoughts to the mind.

To her fair works did Nature link
The human soul that through me- ran;
And much it grieved my heart to thiuk
What man has made of man.

Thro' primrose tufts, in that green liowei
The periwinkle trail'd its wre:H!is;
And 'tis my faith that every flower
Enjoys the air it breathes.

The birds around me hopp'd and pluy'd,
Their thoughts I cannot measure; —
But the least motion which they made,
It sccm'd a thrill of pleasure.

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
To cateh the breezy air;
And I must think, do all I can,
That there was pleasure there.

If this belief from Heaven he sent,
If such be Nature's holy plan,
Have I not reason to lament
What man has made of man ?

Ir is the first mild day of March:
Each minnte sweeter than before
The redbreast sings from the tall lareh
That stands beside our door.

There is a blessing in the air,
Which seems a sense of joy to yield
To the bare trees, and mountains bare,
Am) grass in the green fleld.

My eisterl ('tis a wish of mine,)
Now that our morning meal is done,
Make haste, your morning task resign;
Come forth and feel the sun.

Edward will come with yon; — and, pray,
Pnt on with speed your woodland dress;
And bring no book: for this one day
We'll give to idleness.

ITo joyless forms shall regulate
Our living calendar:
Wo from to-day, my Friend, will date
The opening of the year.

Love, now a universal birth,
From heart to heart is stealing,
From earth to man, from man to earth:
It is the hour of I'ecling.

One moment now may give us more
Than years of toiling reason:
Our minds shall drink at every pore
The spirit of the season.

Some silent laws our hearts will make,
Which they shall long obey:
We for the year to come may take
Our temper from to-day.

And from the blessed power that rolls
Abont, below, above,
We'll frame the measure of our souls:
They shall bo tuned to love.

Then come, my Sister I come, I pray. With speed pnt on your woodland dress; And bring no book: for this one day We'll give to idleness.' [l798.



In the sweet shire of Cardigan,
Sot far from pleasant Ivor-hall,
An old Man dwells, a little man,—
'Tis said he once was tall.
Full flve-and-thirty years he lived
iV running huntsman merry;
And still the centre of his cheek
Is red as a ripe cherry.

Xo man like him the horn could soui.d,
And hill and valley rang with glee
When Echo bandied, round and round,
Th' halloo of Simon Lee.
j In those prond days, he little cared
For husbandry or tillage;
To blither tasks did Simon rouse
The sleepers of the village.

He all the country could ontrun,

Could leave both man and horse behind;

And often, ere the chase was done,

He reel'd, and was stone-blind.

And still there's something in the world

At which his heart rejoices;

For when the chiming hounds are ont.

He dearly loves their voices I

Bnt, O the heavy change! — bereft

Of health, strength, friends, and kindred,

Old Simon to the world is left [fue.

In liveried poverty.

His Master's dead,—and no one now

Dwells in the Hall of Ivor;

Men, dogs, and horses, all are dead;

He is the sole survivor.

And he is lean and he is sick;
His body, dwindled and awry,
Hosts upon ankles swoln and thick;
His legs are thin and dry.
One prop he has, and only one;
His wife, an aged woman.
Lives with him, near the waterfall,
Upon the village Common.

a Composed in front of Alfoxden House. My little boy-mes^'JTJger on this occasion was the sou o? Lasil Montalru. The lareh mentioned in the ftrst stanza was standing when I revisited the place in May, I84I, more than forty years after. A lew score yards from this tree, grew one

of the most remarkable beech-trees ever , seen. It was of immense Kize, and threw . ont arms that struck into the sod, like 'those of the banyan-tree, and rose again : from it. Two of the branches Hms insort| ed themselves twice; which gave to each

the appearance of a serpent moving along

by gathering itself up in folds. — Autlwrl!


Beside their moss-grown hut of clay,
Not twenty paces from the door,
A serap of land they have, but they
Are poorest of the poor.
This serap of land he from the heath
Enclosed when he was 'tronger;
Iiut what to them avails the land
Which he can till no longer?

Oft, working hy her Husband's side,

Rnth does what Simon cannot do;

For she, with scanty canse for pride,

Is stouter of the t\vo.

And, though you with your utmost skill

From labour could not wean them,

"1'is little, very little, all

That they can do between them.

Few months of life has he in store,
As he to you will tell;
For still, the more he works, the more
Do his weak ankles swell.—
My gentle Header, I perceive
How patiently you've waited.
And now I fear that you expect
Some tale will be related.

O Reader! had you in your mind
Such stores as silent thought can bring,

O gentle Reader! you would find
A tale in every thing.

What more I have to say is short,
And you must kindly take it:
It is no tale; but, should yon think,
Perhaps a tale you'll make it.

One summer-day I chanced to see
This old Man doing all he could
To unearth the root of an old tree,
A stump of rotten wood.
The mattock totter'd in his hand;
So vain was his endeavour.
That at the root of the old tree
He might have work'd for ever.

" You're overtask'd, good Simon Lee,
Give me your tool," to him I said;
And at the word right gladly he
Received my proffer'd aid.

1 struck, and writh a single blow
The tangled root I sever'd,

At which the poor old Man so long
And vainly had endeavour'd.

The tears into his eyes were brought,
A mi thanks and praises seem'd to run

So fast out of his heart, I the. light

They never would have done.—

I've heard of hearts unkind, kind deeds

With coldness still returning;

Alas! the gratitude of men

Hath oftener left me mourning.' [1798.


Flatter'd with promise of escape

From every hurtful blast, Spring takes, O sprightly May I thy shape,

Her loveliest and her last.

Less fair is Summer riding high

In fierce solstitial power,
Less fair than when a lenient sky

Brings on her parting hour.

When earth repays with golden sheaves

The labours of the plough,
And ripening fruits and forest leaves

All brighten on the bough;

What pensive beanty Autumn shows.

Before she hears the sound Of Winter rushing in, to close

The emblematic round!

Such be our Spring, our Summer;

So may our Autumn blend
With hoary Winter, and Life touch,

Through Heaven-born hope, her end! [182).


Art thou a Statist in the van
Of public conflicts train'd and bred?
First learn to love one living man;
Then mayst thou think upon the dead.

3 Mourning, probably becanse the gratitude was so litUe deaeru'd, or so disproportionate to the occasion.—I hove inote again from the poet's mites: " Th s ol man hud been huntsman to the squi Alfoxden, which, at the time \vc oce it, belonged to a minor. It is nm sary to add, the fact was as mentioned ii the poem; and I have, after an interval o forty-five years, the image of the old man as fresh as if I had seen him yesterday. The expression when the hounds are out, 'I dearly love their voice,' was word-foi' word from his own lips."

« FöregåendeFortsätt »