Puslapio vaizdai

Gray clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields;
And river, now with bushy rocks o'erbrowed,
Now winding bright and full, with naked banks;
And seats, and lawns, the abbey, and the wood,
And cots, and hamlets, and faint city spire:
The channel there, the islands and white sails,
Dim coasts and cloud-like hills and shoreless ocean,—
It seem'd like Omnipresence! God, methought,
Had built him there a temple: the whole world
Seem'd imag'd in its vast circumference.
No wish profan'd my overwhelmed heart.
Blest hour! It was a luxury-to be !

Ah! quiet dell! dear cot! and mount sublime!
I was constrain'd to quit you. Was it right,
While my unnumber'd brethren toil'd and bled,
That I should dream away the entrusted hours,
On rose-leaf beds, pampering the coward heart
With feelings all too delicate for use?

Sweet is the tear that from some Howard's eye,
Drops on the cheek of one, he lifts from earth:
And he, that works me good with unmov'd face
Does it but half: he chills me while he aids;
My benefactor, not my brother man.
Yet even this, this cold beneficence
Seizes my praise, when I reflect on those,
The Sluggard Pity's vision-weaving tribe!
Who sigh for wretchedness, yet shun the wretched,
Nursing in some delicious solitude

Their slothful loves and dainty sympathies,
I therefore go, and join head, heart, and hand,
Active and firm, to fight the bloodless fight
Of science, freedom, and the truth in Christ.

Yet oft when after honorable toil

Rests the tired mind, and waking, loves to dream,
My spirit shall revisit thee, dear cot!

Thy Jasmin and thy window-peeping rose,
And Myrtles, fearless of the mild sea-air.
And I shall sigh fond wishes-sweet abode !
Ah! had none greater! And that all had such!
It might be so-but the time is not yet.
Speed it, O Father! Let thy kingdom come!


THIS Sycamore, oft musical with bees,

The small round basin, which this jutting-stone
Keeps pure from falling leaves! Long may the spring,
Quietly as a sleeping infant's breath,

Send up cold waters to the traveller

With soft and even pulse! Nor ever cease
Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance;
Which at the bottom, like a Fairy's Page,
As merry and no taller, dances still,

Nor wrinkles the smooth surface of the fount.
Here twilight is and coolness: here is moss,
A soft seat, and a deep and ample shade.
Thou may'st toil for and find no second tree.
Drink, pilgrim, here! Here rest! and if thy heart
Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh
Thy spirit, list'ning to some gentle sound,
Or passing gale or hum of murmuring bees!


In the June of 1797, some long expected friends paid a visit to the author's cottage; and on the morning of their arrival, he met with an accident which disabled him from walking during the whole time of their stay. One evening, when they had left him for a few hours, he composed the following lines in the garden-bower.

WELL, they are gone, and here must I remain,
This lime-tree bower my prison! I have lost
Such beauties and such feelings, as had been
Most sweet to my remembrance, even when age
Had dimm'd mine eyes to blindness! they, meanwhile,
My friends, whom I may never meet again,

On springy heath, along the hill-top edge,

Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance,
To that still roaring dell, of which I told;
The roaring dell, o'er wooded, narrow, deep,
And only speckled by the mid-day sun;

Where its slim trunk the ash from rock to rock
Flings arching like a bridge; that branchless ash,
Unsunn'd and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves
Ne'er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still
Fann'd by the water-fall! And there, my friends,
Behold the dark-green file of long lank weeds,
That all at once (a most fantastic sight!)
Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge
Of the blue clay-stone.

Now my friends emerge

Beneath the wide, wide heaven, and view again

The many-steepled track magnificent

Of hilly fields and meadows, and the sea
With some fair bark perhaps whose sails light up
The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two isles
Of purple shadow! Yes! they wander on
In gladness all; but thou, methinks most glad,
My gentle-hearted Charles! for thou hast pin'd
And hunger'd after Nature many a year
In the great city pent, winning thy way
With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain,
And strange calamity! Ah slowly sink
Behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun!
Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb,
Ye purple heath-flowers! richlier burn, ye clouds!
Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves!
And kindle, thou blue ocean!-So my friend
Struck with deep joy may stand, as I have stood,
Silent with swimming sense; yea, gazing round
On the wild landscape, gaze till all doth seem
Less gross than bodily, living thing,

Which acts upon the mind-and with such hues
As clothe the Almighty Spirit, when he makes
Spirits perceive his presence.

A delight

Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad
As I myself were there! Nor in this bower,
This little lime-tree bower have I not mark'd
Much that has sooth'd me. Pale beneath the blaze
Hung the transparent foliage; and I watch'd
Some broad and sunny leaf, and lov'd to see
The shadow of the leaf and stem above
Dappling its sunshine! And that walnut tree
Was richly ting'd; and a deep radiance lay
Full on the ancient ivy which usurps

Those fronting elms, and now with blackest mass
Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue
Through the late twilight: and though now the bat
Wheels silent by, and not a swallow twitters,
Yet still the solitary humble bee,

Sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall know
That Nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure.
No scene so narrow but may well employ
Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart
Awake to love and beauty! And sometimes
"T is well to be bereft of promis'd good,
That we may lift the soul and contemplate
With lively joy the joy we cannot share.
My gentle-hearted Charles! when the last rook
Beat its straight path along the dusky air
Homewards, I blest it! deeming its black wing

(Now a dim speck, now vanishing in the light)
Had cross'd the mighty orb's dilated glory
While thou stood'st gazing; or when all was still,
Flew creeking o'er thy head, and had a charm
For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles! to whom
No sound is dissonant, which tells of life.

My Alvar loved sad music from a child.-
Once he was lost; and after weary search,
We found him in an open place in the wood,
To which spot he had followed a blind boy,
Who breathed into a pipe of sycamore
Some strangely moving notes: and these, he said,
Were taught him in a dream. Him we first saw,
Stretch'd on the broad top of a sunny heath-bank:
And lower down poor Alvar, fast asleep,

His head upon the blind boy's dog. It pleas'd me
To mark how he had fastened round the pipe
A silver toy his grandam had late given him.
Methinks I see him now as he then looked-
Even so! He had outgrown his infant dress,
Yet still he wore it.


In the presence of his brother, who once attempted to murder him, and supposed he had succeeded in the attempt, Alvar, unknown, and in the assumed character of a Moorish sorcerer, invokes himself as if he were a disembodied spirit.


WITH no irreverent voice, or uncouth charm,
I call up the departed! Soul of Alvar,
Hear our soft suit, and heed my milder spell!
So may the gates of Paradise, unbarred,
Cease thy swift toils! Since haply thou art one
Of that innumerable company,

Who in broad circle, lovelier than the rainbow,
Girdle this round earth in a dizzy motion,
With noise too vast and constant to be heard:
Fitliest unheard! For oh, ye numberless,
And rapid travellers! what ear unstunned,
What sense unmadden'd, might bear up against
The rushing of your congregated wings?
Even now your living wheel turns o'er my head!
[Music expressive of the movements and images, that follow.
Ye, as ye pass, toss high the desart sands,
That roar and whiten like a burst of waters,


A sweet appearance, but a dread illusion,
To the parched caravan that roams by night!
And ye build up on the becalmned waves
That whirling pillar, which from earth to heaven
Stands vast, and moves in blackness! Ye too split
The ice-mount! and with fragments many and huge
Tempest the new-thaw'd sea, whose sudden gulphs
Suck in, perchance, some Lapland wizard's skiff!
Then round and round the whirlpool's marge ye dance,
Till from the blue-swoll'n corse the soul toils out,

And joins your mighty army.

Here, behind the scenes, a voice sings

the three words, Hear sweet Spirit.

Soul of Alvar!

Hear the mild spell, and tempt no blacker charm!
By sighs unquiet, and the sickly pang
Of a half-dead, yet still undying hope,
Pass visible before our mortal sense!

So shall the church's cleansing rites be thine,
Her knells and masses, that redeem the dead!


Behind the scenes, accompanied by the same instruments as before.

HEAR, Sweet Spirit, hear the spell,
Lest a blacker charm compel!
So shall the midnight breezes swell,
With thy deep, long-lingering knell.

And at evening evermore,
In a chapel on the shore,

Shall the chaunters, sad and saintly,
Yellow tapers burning faintly,
Doleful masses chaunt for thee,
Miserere Domine !*

Hark! the cadence dies away,
On the yellow moonlight sea:

The boatmen rest their oars and say,
Miserere Domine !

* Shew pity, O Lord; words from a Roman Catholic Chaunt.

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