Puslapio vaizdai
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Along the river's stony marge

The sand-lark chants a joyous song;
The thrush is busy in the wood,
And carols loud and strong.

A thousand lambs are on the rocks,
All newly born! both earth and sky
Keep jubilee, and more than all,
Those boys with their green coronal;
They never hear the cry,

That plaintive cry! which up the hill
Comes from the depth of Dungeon-Ghyll.
Said Walter, leaping from the ground,
"Down to the stump of yon old yew
We'll for our whistles run a race.'

-Away the shepherds flew ;

They leapt they ran-and when they came
Right opposite to Dungeon-Ghyll,
Seeing that he should lose the prize,
"Stop!" to his comrade Walter cries-
James stopped with no good will:
Said Walter then, exulting; "Here
You'll find a task for half a year.
Cross, if you dare, where I shall cross-
Come on, and tread where I shall tread."
The other took him at his word,
And followed as he led.

It was a spot which you may see

If ever you to Langdale go;

Into a chasm a mighty block

Hath fallen, and made a bridge of rock:
The gulf is deep below;

And, in a basin black and small,
Receives a lofty waterfall.

With staff in hand across the cleft
The challenger pursued his march;
And now, all eyes and feet, hath gained
The middle of the arch.

When list! he hears a piteous moan-
Again !-his heart within him dies-
His pulse is stopped, his breath is lost,
He totters, pallid as a ghost,
And, looking down, espies
A lamb, that in the pool is pent
Within that black and frightful rent.
The lamb had slipped into the stream,
And safe without a bruise or wound
The cataract had borne him down
Into the gulf profound.

His dam had seen him when he fell,
She saw him down the torrent borne;
And, while with all a mother's love
She from the lofty rocks above
Sent forth a cry forlorn,

The lamb, still swimming round and round,
Made answer to that plaintive sound.
When he had learnt what thing it was,
That sent this rueful cry; 1 ween
The Boy recovered heart, and told
The sight which he had seen.

Both gladly now deferred their task;
Nor was there wanting other aid-
A Poet, one who loves the brooks
Far better than the sages' books,
By chance had thither strayed;,
And there the helpless lamb he found
By those huge rocks encompassed round.
He drew it from the troubled pool,
And brought it forth into the light:
The Shepherds met him with his charge,

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ANECDOTE FOR FATHERS.

"Retine vim istam, falsa enim dicam, si coges." EUSEBIUS

I HAVE a boy of five years old;
His face is fair and fresh to see;
His limbs are cast in beauty's mould,
And dearly he loves me.

One morn we strolled on our dry walk,
Our quiet home all full in view,
And held such intermitted talk
As we are wont to do.

My thoughts on former pleasures ran;
I thought of Kilve's delightful shore,
Our pleasant home when spring began,
A long, long year before.

A day it was when I could bear
Some fond regrets to entertain,
With so much happiness to spare,
I could not feel a pain.

The green earth echoed to the feet
Of lambs that bounded through the glade,
From shade to sunshine, and as fleet
From sunshine back to shade.
Birds warbled round me-and each trace
Of inward sadness had its charm;
Kilve, thought I, was a favoured place,
And so is Liswyn farm.

My boy beside me tripped, so slim
And graceful in his rustic dress!
And, as we talked, I questioned him,
In very idleness.

"Now tell me, had you rather be,"

I said, and took him by the arm,
"On Kilve's smooth shore, by the green sea,
Or here at Liswyn farm?"

In careless mood he looked at me,
While still I held him by the arm,
And said, "At Kilve I'd rather be
Than here at Liswyn farm."
"Now, little Edward, say why so:
My little Edward, tell me why."
"I cannot tell, I do not know.'
"Why, this is strange," said I ;

"For, here are woods, hiils smooth and warm:
There surely must some reason be

Why you would change sweet Liswyn farm
For Kilve by the green sea."

At this, my boy hung down his head,
He blushed with shame, nor made reply;
And three times to the child I said,
"Why, Edward, tell me why?"
His head he raised-there was in sight,
It caught his eye, he saw it plain-
Upon the house-top, glittering bright.
A broad and gilded vane.

D

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The Magog of Legberthwaite dale.

Just half a week after, the wind sallied forth, And, in anger or merriment, out of the north, Coming on with a terrible pother,

From the peak of the crag blew the giant away. And what did these school-boys? The very next day

They went and they built up another.

Some little I've seen of blind boisterous works By Christian disturbers more savage than Turks, Spirits busy to do and undo:

At remembrance whereof my blood sometimes will flag;

Then, light-hearted Boys, to the top of the crag ; And I'll build up a giant with you.

1801.

XIV.

THE PET-LAMB.

A PASTORAL.

THE dew was falling fast, the stars began to blink:

I heard a voice; it said, "Drink, pretty creature, drink!"

And, looking o'er the hedge, before me I espied A snow-white mountain-lamb with a Maiden at its side.

Nor sheep nor kine were near the lamb was all alone,

And by a slender cord was tethered to a stone; With one knee on the grass did the little Maiden kneel,

While to that mountain-lamb she gave its evening meal.

* GREAT How is a single and conspicuous hill, which rises towards the foot of Thirlmere, on the western side of the beautiful dale of Legberthwaite.

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THOU! whose fancies from afar are brought: Who of thy words dost make a mock apparel, And fittest to unutterable thought

The breeze-like motion and the self-born carol;
Thou faery voyager! that dost float
In such clear water, that thy boat
May rather seem

To brood on air than on an earthly stream;
Suspended in a stream as clear as sky,
Where earth and heaven do make one imagery;
O blessed vision! happy child!
Thou art so exquisitely wild,

I think of thee with many fears
For what may be thy lot in future years.

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INFLUENCE OF NATURAL OBJECTS

IN CALLING FORTH AND STRENGTHENING THE
IMAGINATION IN BOYHOOD AND
EARLY YOUTH.

FROM AN UNPUBLISHED POEM.

[This extract is reprinted from "THE FRIEND."]
WISDOM and Spirit of the universe!
Thou Soul, that art the Eternity of thought!
And giv'st to forms and images a breath
And everlasting motion! not in vain,
By day or star-light, thus from my first dawn
Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me
The passions that build up our human soul,
Not with the mean and vulgar works of Man;
But with high objects, with enduring things,
With life and nature; purifying thus
The elements of feeling and of thought,
And sanctifying by such discipline
Both pain and fear,- until we recognise
A grandeur in the beatings of the heart.

Nor was this fellowship vouchsafed to me
With stinted kindness. In November days,
When vapours rolling down the valleys made
A lonely scene more lonesome: among woods
At noon; and mid the calm of summer nights,
When, by the margin of the trembling lake,
Beneath the gloomy hills, homeward I went
In solitude, such intercourse was mine
Mine was it in the fields both day and night,
And by the waters, all the summer long.
And in the frosty season, when the sun
Was set, and, visible for many a mile,
The cottage-windows through the twilight
blazed,

I heeded not the summons: happy time
It was indeed for all of us; for me
It was a time of rapture! Clear and loud
The village-clock tolled six-I wheeled about,
Proud and exulting like an untired horse
That cares not for his home. -All shod with

steel

We hissed along the polished ice, in games Confederate, imitative of the chase

And woodland pleasures,-the resounding

horn,

The pack loud-chiming, and the hunted hare.
So through the darkness and the cold we flew,
And not a voice was idle: with the din
Smitten, the precipices rang aloud;
The leafless trees and every icy crag
Tinkled like iron; while far-distant hills
Into the tumult sent an alien sound

Of melancholy, not unnoticed while the stars,
Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in the west
The orange sky of evening died away.

Not seldom from the uproar I retired Into a silent bay, or sportively. Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng,

To cut across the reflex of a star:

Image, that, flying still before me, gleamed
Upon the glassy plain: and oftentimes,
When we had given our bodies to the wind,
And all the shadowy banks on either side
Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning
still

The rapid line of motion, then at once
Have I, reclining back upon my heels,
Stopped short; yet still the solitary cliffs
Wheeled by me-even as if the earth had rolled
With visible motion her diurnal round!
Behind me did they stretch in solemn train,
Feebler and feebler, and I stood and watched
Till all was tranquil as a summer sea.
$799.

XVII.

THE LONGEST DAY.
ADDRESSED TO MY DAUGHTER.

LET us quit the leafy arbour,
And the torrent murmuring by;
For the sun is in his harbour,
Weary of the open sky.

Evening now unbinds the fetters
Fashioned by the glowing light;
All that breathe are thankful debtors
To the harbinger of night.

Yet by some grave thoughts attended
Eve renews her calm career;
For the day that now is ended,

Is the longest of the year.

Dora! sport, as now thou sportest,
On this platform, light and free;
Take thy bliss, while longest, shortest,
Are indifferent to thee!

Who would check the happy feeling
That inspires the linnet's song?
Who would stop the swallow, wheeling
On her pinions swift and strong?

Yet at this impressive season,
Words which tenderness can speak
From the truths of homely reason
Might exalt the loveliest cheek;

And, while shades to shades succeeding
Steal the landscape from the sight,
I would urge this moral pleading,
Last forerunner of "Good night!"
SUMMER ebbs :-each day that follows
Is a reflux from on high,

Tending to the darksome hollows
Where the frosts of winter lie.
He who governs the creation,
In his providence, assigned
Such a gradual declination
To the life of human kind.

Yet we mark it not ;-fruits redden,
Fresh flowers blow, as flowers have blown,
And the heart is loth to deaden
Hopes that she so long hath known.
Be thou wiser, youthful Maiden!
And when thy decline shall come,
Let not flowers, or boughs fruit-laden,
Hide the knowledge of thy doom.
Now, even now, ere wrapped in slumber,
Fix thine eyes upon the sea
That absorbs time, space, and number;
Look thou to Eternity!

Follow thou the flowing river

On whose breast are thither borne
All deceived, and each deceiver,
Through the gates of night and morn;
Through the year's successive portals;
Through the bounds which many a star
Marks, not mindless of frail mortals,
When his light returns from far.

Thus when thou with Time hast travelled
Toward the mighty gulf of things,
And the mazy stream unravelled
With thy best imaginings;
Think, if thou on beauty leanest,
Think how pitiful that stay,
Did not virtue give the meanest
Charins superior to decay.
Duty, like a strict preceptor,

Sometimes frowns, or seems to frown;
Choose her thistle for thy sceptre,
While youth's roses are thy crown.
Grasp it,-if thou shrink and tremble,
Fairest damsel of the green,
Thou wilt lack the only symbol
That proclaims a genuine queen;

And ensures those palms of honour
Which selected spirits wear,
Bending low before the Donor,
Lord of heaven's unchanging year!
1817.

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His flock, along the woodland's edge with relics sprinkled o'er

Of last night's snow, beneath a sky threatening the fall of more,

Where tufts of herbage tempted each, were busy at their feed,

And the poor Boy was busier still, with work of anxious heed.

There was he, where of branches rent and withered and decayed,

For covert from the keen north wind, his hands a hut had made.

A tiny tenement, forsooth, and frail, as needs must be

A thing of such materials framed, by a builder

such as he.

The hut stood finished by his pains, nor seemingly lacked aught

That skill or means of his could add, but the architect had wrought Some limber twigs into a Cross, well-shaped with fingers nice,

To be engrafted on the top of his small edifice. That Cross he now was fastening there, as the surest power and best

For supplying all deficiencies, all wants of the rude nest

In which, from burning heat, or tempest driving far and wide,

The innocent Boy, else shelterless, his lonely head must hide.

That Cross belike he also raised as a standard

for the true

And faithful service of his heart in the worst

that might ensue

Of hardship and distressful fear, amid the houseless waste

Where he, in his poor self so weak, by Providence was placed.

-Here, Lady! might I cease; but nay, let as before we part

With this dear holy shepherd-boy breathe a prayer of earnest heart,

That unto him, where'er shall lie his life's appointed way,

The Cross, fixed in his soul, may prove an allsufficing stay.

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The Child, as if the thunder's voice spake with articulate call,

Bowed meekly in submissive fear, before the Lord of All;

His lips were moving; and his eyes, upraised to sue for grace,

With soft illumination cheered the dimness of that place.

How beautiful is holiness!-what wonder if the sight,

Almost as vivid as a dream, produced a dream at night?

It came with sleep and showed the Boy, no cherub, not transformed,

But the poor ragged Thing whose ways my human heart had warmed.

Me had the dream equipped with wings, so I took him in my arms,

And

And

By

lifted from the grassy floor, stilling his faint alarms,

bore him high through yielding air my debt of love to pay,

giving him, for both our sakes, an hour of holiday.

I whispered, "Yet a little while, dear Child! thou art my own,

To show thee some delightful thing, in country

or in town.

What shall it be? a mirthful throng? or that holy place and calm

St Denis, filled with royal tombs, or the Church of Notre Dame?

"St Ouen's golden Shrine? Or choose what else would please thee most

Of any wonder, Normandy, or all proud France, can boast!"

"My Mother," said the Boy, was born near to a blessed Tree,

The Chapel Oak of Allonville; good Angel, show it me!'

On wings, from broad and stedfast poise let loose by this reply,

For Allonville, o'er down and dale, away then did we fly;

O'er town and tower we flew, and fields in May's fresh verdure drest;

The wings they did not flag; the Child, though grave, was not deprest.

But who shall show, to waking sense,

of light that broke

the gleam

Forth from his eyes, when first the Boy looked

down on that huge oak,

For length of days so much revered, so famous where it stands

For

twofold hallowing-Nature's care, and

work of human hands?

Strong as an Eagle with my charge I glided round and round

The wide-spread boughs, for view of door, window, and stair that wound Gracefully up the gnarled trunk; nor left we unsurveyed

The pointed steeple peering forth from the centre of the shade.

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