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No door the tenement requires,
And seldom needs a laboured roof;
Yet is it to the fiercest sun
Impervious and storm-proof.

So warm, so beautiful withal,
In perfect fitness for its aim,
That to the Kind by special grace
Their instinct surely came.

And when for their abodes they seek An opportune recess,

The Hermit has no finer eye

For shadowy quietness.

These find, 'mid ivied Abbey walls, A canopy in some still nook; Others are pent-housed by a brae That overhangs a brook.

There to the brooding Bird her Mate
Warbles by fits his low clear song;
And by the busy Streamlet both
Are sung to all day long.

Or in sequestered lanes they build,
Where, till the flitting Bird's return,
Her eggs within the nest repose,
Like relics in an urn.

But still, where general choice is good,
There is a better and a best;
And, among fairest objects, some
Are fairer than the rest;

This, one of those small builders prove In a green covert, where, from out The forehead of a pollard oak,

The leafy antlers sprout;

For She who planned the mossy Lodge,
Mistrusting her evasive skill,

Had to a Primrose looked for aid
Her wishes to fulfil.

High on the trunk's projecting brow,
And fixed an infant's span above
The budding flowers, peeped forth the nest
The prettiest of the grove!

The treasure proudly did I show

To some whose minds without disdain Can turn to little things, but once Looked up for it in vain:

"T is gone -a ruthless Spoiler's prey, Who heeds not beauty, love, or song, 'Tis gone! (so seemed it) and we grieved Indignant at the wrong.

Just three days after, passing by

In clearer light the moss-built cell I saw, espied its shaded mouth, And felt that all was well.

The Primrose for a veil had spread The largest of her upright leaves; And thus, for purposes benign,

A simple Flower deceives.

Concealed from friends who might disturb
Thy quiet with no ill intent,

Secure from evil eyes and hands
On barbarous plunder bent,

Rest, mother bird! and when thy young Take flight, and thou art free to roam, When withered is the guardian flower, And empty thy late home,

Think how ye prospered, thou and thine,
Amid the unviolated grove
Housed near the growing primrose tuft,
In foresight or in love.


You call it, "Love lies bleeding,". so you may,
Though the red flower, not prostrate, only droops,
As we have seen it here from day to day,
From month to month, life passing not away:
A flower how rich in sadness! Even thus stoops,
(Sentient by Grecian sculpture's marvellous power)
Thus leans, with hanging brow and body bent
Earthward in uncomplaining languishment,
The dying Gladiator. So, sad flower!
("T is Fancy guides me willing to be led,
Though by a slender thread,)

So drooped Adonis bathed in sanguine dew
Of his death-wound, when he from innocent air
The gentlest breath of resignation drew;
While Venus in a passion of despair
Rent, weeping over him, her golden hair
Spangled with drops of that celestial shower.
She suffered, as immortals sometimes do;
But pangs more lasting far, that Lover knew
Who first, weighed down by scorn, in some lone


Did press this semblance of anpitied smart

Into the service of his constant heart,

His own dejection, downcast flower! could share

With thine, and gave the mournful name which thou


wilt ever bear.

COMPANION TO THE FOREGOING. NEVER enlivened with the liveliest ray That fosters growth or checks or cheers decay, Nor by the heaviest rain-drops more deprest, This flower, that first appeared as summer's guest, Preserves her beauty mid autumnal leaves And to her mournful habits fondly cleaves. When files of stateliest plants have ceased to bloom, One after one submitting to their doom, When her coevals each and all are fled, What keeps her thus reclined upon her lonesome bed?

The old mythologists, more impress'd than we

Of this late day by character in tree
Or herb, that claimed peculiar sympathy,

Or by the silent lapse of fountain clear,
Or with the language of the viewless air
By bird or beast made vocal, sought a cause
To solve the mystery, not in nature's laws
But in man's fortunes. Hence a thousand tales
Sung to the plaintive lyre in Grecian vales.
Nor doubt that something of their spirit swayed
The fancy-stricken youth or heart-sick maid,
Who, while each stood companionless and eyed
This undeparting flower in crimson dyed,
Thought of a wound which death is slow to cure,
A fate that has endured and will endure,
And, patience coveting yet passion feeding
Called the dejected Lingerer, Love lies bleeding.


SYLPH was it? or a bird more bright
Than those of fabulous stock?

A second darted by; - and lo!

Another of the flock,

Through sunshine flitting from the bough To nestle in the rock.

Transient deception! a gay freak

Of April's mimicries!

Those brilliant strangers, hailed with joy Among the budding trees,

Proved last year's leaves, pushed from the spray To frolic on the breeze.

Maternal Flora! show thy face,

And let thy hand be seen,
Thy hand here sprinkling tiny flowers,
That, as they touch the green,

Take root (so seems it) and look up
In honour of their queen.
Yet, sooth, those little starry specks
That not in vain aspired

To be confounded with live growths,
Most dainty, most admired,
Were only blossoms dropped from twigs
Of their own offspring tired.

Not such the world's illusive shows; Her wingless flutterings,

Her blossoms which, though shed, outbrave The floweret as it springs,

For the undeceived, smile as they may, Are melancholy things:

But gentle nature plays her part With ever-varying wiles,

And transient feignings with plain truth So well she reconciles,

That those fond idlers most are pleased Whom oftenest she beguiles.



HAST thou then survived

Mild offspring of infirm humanity,

Meek infant! among all forlornest things


The most forlorn - one life of that bright star,
The second glory of the Heavens?—Thou hast;
Already hast survived that great decay,
That transformation through the wide earth felt,
And by all nations. In that Being's sight
From whom the Race of human kind proceed,
A thousand years are but as yesterday;
And one day's narrow circuit is to Him
Not less capacious than a thousand years.
But what is time? What outward glory? neither
A measure is of Thee, whose claims extend
Through "Heaven's eternal year."-Yet hail to Thee,
Frail, feeble, monthling!-by that name, methinks,

Thy scanty breathing-time is portioned out
Not idly. Hadst thou been of Indian birth,
Couched on a casual bed of moss and leaves,
And rudely canopied by leafy boughs,
Or to the churlish elements exposed

On the blank plains, — the coldness of the night,
Or the night's darkness, or its cheerful face
Of beauty, by the changing moon adorned,
Would, with imperious admonition, then
Have scored thine age, and punctually timed
Thine infant history, on the minds of those
Who might have wandered with thee.-Mother's love,
Nor less than mother's love in other breasts,
Will, among us warmn-clad and warmly housed,
Do for thee what the finger of the heavens
Doth all too often harshly execute
For thy unblest coevals, amid wilds
Where fancy hath small liberty to grace
The affections, to exalt them or refine;
And the maternal sympathy itself,
Though strong, is, in the main, a joyless tie
Of naked instinct, wound about the heart.
Happier, far happier is thy lot and ours!
Even now to solemnise thy helpless state,
And to enliven in the mind's regard

Thy passive beauty-parallels have risen,

Resemblances, or contrasts, that connect,
Within the region of a father's thoughts,
Thee and thy mate and sister of the sky.
And first; thy sinless progress, through a world
By sorrow darkened and by care disturbed,
Apt likeness bears to hers, through gathered clouds,
Moving untouched in silver purity,

And cheering ofttimes their reluctant gloom.
Fair are ye both, and both are free from stain:
But thou, how leisurely thou fill'st thy horn
With brightness! leaving her to post along,
And range about, disquieted in change,
And still impatient of the shape she wears.
Once up, once down the hill, one journey, babe
That will suffice thee; and it seems that now
Thou hast fore-knowledge that such task is thine;
Thou travellest so contentedly, and sleep'st
In such a heedless peace. Alas! full soon
Hath this conception, grateful to behold,
Changed countenance, like an object sullied o'er
By breathing mist; and thine appears to be
A mournful labour, while to her is given
Hope and a renovation without end.

That smile forbids the thought; for on thy face
Smiles are beginning, like the beams of dawn,
To shoot and circulate; smiles have there been seen;
Tranquil assurances that Heaven supports
The feeble motions of thy life, and cheers
Thy loneliness: or shall those smiles be called
Feelers of love, put forth as if to explore
This untried world, and to prepare thy way
Through a strait passage intricate and dim?
Such are they; and the same are tokens, signs,
Which, when the appointed season hath arrived,
Joy, as her holiest language, shall adopt;
And reason's godlike power be proud to own.


In Cairo's crowded streets

The impatient Merchant wondering waits in vain,
And Mecca saddens at the long delay.



WHEN I sent you, a few weeks ago, the Tale of Peter Bell, you asked "why THE WAGGONER was not

*Several years after the event that forms the subject of the poem, in company with my friend, the late Mr. Coleridge, I happened to fall in with the person to whom the name of Benjamin is given. Upon our expressing regret that we had not, for a long time, seen upon the road either him or his waggon, he said: "They could not do without me; and as to the man who was put in my place, no good could come out of him; he was a man of no ideas."


added?"-To say the truth,- from the higher tone of imagination, and the deeper touches of passion aimed at in the former, I apprehend, this little Piece could not accompany it without disadvantage. In the year

The fact of my discarded hero's getting the horses out of a great difficulty with a word, as related in the poem, was told me by an eye-witness.


["Due honour is done to Peter Bell, at this time, by students of poetry in general; but some, even of Mr. Wordsworth's greatest admirers, do not quite satisfy me in their admiration of The Waggoner, a poem which my dear uncle, Mr. Southey, preferred even to the former. Ich will meine Denkungsart hierin niemanden aufdringen, as Lessing says; I will force my way of thinking on nobody, but take the liberty, for my own gratification, to express it. The sketches of hill and valley in this poem have a lightness and spirit, an allegro touch, -distinguishing them from the grave and elevated splendour which characterizes Mr. Wordsworth's representations of nature in general, and from the pensive tenderness of those in The White Doe, while it harmonizes well with the human interest of the piece; indeed, it is the harmonious sweetness of the composition which is most dwelt upon by its special admirers. In its course it describes, with bold brief touches, the striking mountain tract from Grasmere to Keswick; it commences with an evening storm among the mountains, presents a lively interior of a country inn during midnight, and concludes after bringing us in sight of St. John's Vale and the Vale of Keswick seen by day break. Skiddaw touched with rosy light,' and the pros pect from Nathdale Fell, 'hoar with the frost-like dews of dawn' thus giving a beautiful and well contrasted panorama, produced by the most delicate and masterly strokes of the pencil. Well may Mr. Ruskin, a fine observer and eloquent describer of various classes of natural appearances, speak of Mr. Wordsworth as the great poetic landscape painter of the age. But Mr. Ruskin has found how seldom the great landscape painters are powerful in expressing human passions and affections on canvass, or even successful in the introduction of human figures into their foregrounds; whereas in the poetic paintings of Mr. Wordsworth, the landscape is always subordinate to a higher interest; certainly, in The Waggoner, the little sketch of human nature which occupies, as it were, the front of that encircling background, the picture of Benjamin and his temptations, his humble friends and the mute companions of his way, has a character of its own, combining with sportiveness, a homely pathos, which must ever be delightful to some of those who are thoroughly conversant with the spirit of Mr. Wordsworth's poetry. It may be compared with the ale-house scene in Tam O'Shanter, parts of Voss's Luise, or Ovid's Baucis and

Philemon; though it differs from each of them as much as they differ from each other. The Epilogue carries on the

feeling of the piece very beautifully."—S. C.

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This fine criticism-worthy of the Sire-is from the pen of the daughter of Coleridge, the widow of Henry Nelson Coleridge; it is part of a note in Coleridge's "Biographia Literaria.' Edition of 1847. Vol. II. p. 183. See also a letter from Coleridge to Southey, April 13, 1801, in which an account is given of the "master" in this poem. His name was Jackson. Southey's Life and Correspondence, Vol. II. p. 148, Chap. viii., where in a note it is added that the circumstances of the poem, are accurately correct.-H. R.]

The Horses have worked with right good-wili,
And now have gained the top of the hill,
He was patient- they were strong-
And now they smoothly glide along,
Gathering breath, and pleased to win
The praises of mild Benjamin.

1806, if I am not mistaken, THE Waggoner was read
to you in manuscript; and, as you have remembered it
for so long a time, I am the more encouraged to hope,
that, since the localities on which it partly depends did
not prevent its being interesting to you, it may prove
acceptable to others. Being therefore in some measure
the cause of its present appearance, you must allow me | Heaven shield him from mishap and snare!
the gratification of inscribing it to you: in acknowledg- But why so early with this prayer?
ment of the pleasure I have derived from your Writings, Is it for threatenings in the sky?
and of the high esteem with which I am
Or for some other danger nigh!
No, none is near him yet, though he
Be one of much infirmity;

Very truly yours,

For at the bottom of the Brow,
Where once the Dove and OLIVE-BOUGH
Offered a greeting of good ale

To all who entered Grasmere Vale;
And called on him who must depart
To leave it with a jovial heart;
There, where the Dove and OLIVE-BOUGH
Once hung, a Poet harbours now,
A simple water-drinking Bard;
Why need our Hero then (though frail
His best resolves) be on his guard? -
He marches by, secure and bold, -
Yet while he thinks on times of old,
It seems that all looks wondrous cold;
He shrugs his shoulders-shakes his head-
And, for the honest folk within,
It is a doubt with Benjamin
Whether they be alive or dead!

RYDAL MOUNT, May 20, 1819.


Tis spent-this burning day of June!
Soft darkness o'er its latest gleams is stealing;
The dor-hawk, solitary bird,

Round the dim crags on heavy pinions wheeling,
Buzzes incessantly, a tiresome tune;
That constant voice is all that can be heard
In silence deeper far than that of deepest noon!

Confiding Glow-worms! 't is a night
Propitious to your earth-born light;
But where the scattered stars are seen
In hazy straits the clouds between,
Each, in his station twinkling not
Seems changed into a pallid spot.
The air, as in a lion's den,

Is close and hot; -and now and then
Comes a tired and sultry breeze
With a haunting and a panting,
Like the stifling of disease;

The mountains rise to wondrous height,
And in the heavens there hangs a weight;

But the dews allay the heat,

And the silence makes it sweet.

Hush, there is some one on the stir!
'Tis Benjamin the Waggoner;
Who long hath trod this toilsome way,
Companion of the night and day.
That far-off tinkling's drowsy cheer,
Mixed with a faint yet grating sound
In a moment lost and found,
The Wain announces by whose side,
Along the banks of Rydal Mere,
He paces on, a trusty Guide, -
Listen! you can scarcely hear!
Hither he his course is bending;-
Now he leaves the lower ground,
And up the craggy hill ascending
Many a stop and stay he makes,
Many a breathing-fit he takes;-
Steep the way and wearisome,
Yet all the while his whip is dumb!

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Here is no danger,- none at all!
Beyond his wish is he secure;
But pass a mile- and then for trial,
Then for the pride of self-denial;
If he resist that tempting door,
Which with such friendly voice will call,
If he resist those casement panes,
And that bright gleam which thence will fall
Upon his Leaders' bells and manes,
Inviting him with cheerful lure:
For still, though all be dark elsewhere,
Some shining notice will be there,
Of open house and ready fare.

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The place to Benjamin full well
Is known, and by as strong a spell
As used to be that sign of love
And hope the OLIVE-BOUGH and DOVE,
He knows it to his cost, good Man!
Who does not know the famous SWAN?
Uncouth although the object be,
An image of perplexity;
Yet not the less it is our boast,
For it was painted by the Host;
His own conceit the figure planned,

"T was coloured all by his own hand;

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