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It is a beauteous Evening, calm and free;
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven is on the Sea :
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder - everlastingly.
Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear’st untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest “ in Abraham's bosom" all the year;
And worshipp'st at the Temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.
COMPOSED ON THE EVE OF THE MARRIAGE OF A FRIEND, IN
THE VALE OF GRASMERE.
What need of clamorous bells, or ribbands gay,
These humble Nuptials to proclaim or grace ?
Angels of Love, look down upon the place,
Shed on the chosen Vale a sun-bright day!
Even for such omen would the Bride display
No mirthful gladness:— serious is her face,
Modest her mien; and she, whose thoughts keep
With gentleness, in that becoming way
Will thank you. Faultless does the Maid appear,
No disproportion in her soul, no strife:
But, when the closer view of wedded life
Hath shewn that nothing human can be clear
From frailty, for that insight may the Wife
To her indulgent Lord become more dear.
ON APPROACHING HOME AFTER A TOUR IN SCOTLAND, 1803.
Fly, some kind Spirit, fly to Grasmere Vale!
Say that we come, and come by this day's light;
Glad tidings !- spread them over field and height;
But chiefly let one Cottage hear the tale;
There let a mystery of joy prevail,
The Kitten frolic with unruly might,
And Rover whine, as at a second sight
Of near-approaching good that shall not fail ;
And from that Infant's face let joy appear;
Yea, let our Mary's one Companion Child,
That hath her six weeks' solitude beguiled
With intimations manifold and dear,
While we have wandered over wood and wild,
Smile on his Mother now with bolder cheer.
From the dark chambers of dejection freed,
Spurning the unprofitable yoke of care
Rise, Gillies, rise: the gales of youth shall bear
Thy genius forward like a winged steed.
Though bold Bellerophon (so Jove decreed
In wrath) fell headlong from the fields of air,
Yet a high guerdon waits on minds that dare,
If aught be in them of immortal seed,
And reason govern that audacious flight
Which heav'n-ward they direct. — Then droop not
Erroneously renewing a sad vow
In the low dell mid Roslin's fading grove :
A cheerful life is what the Muses love,
A soaring spirit is their prime delight.
TO THE MEMORY OF RAISLEY CALVERT.
CALVERT! it must not be unheard by them
Who may respect my name, that I to thee
Owed many years of early liberty,
This care was thine when sickness did condemn
Thy youth to hopeless wasting, root and stem:
That I, if frugal and severe, might stray
Where'er I liked; and finally array
My temples with the Muse's diadem.
Hence, if in freedom I have loved the truth,
If there be aught of pure, or good, or great,
In my past verse, - or shall be, in the lays
Of higher mood, which now I meditate,
It gladdens me, O worthy, short-lived Youth!
To think how much of this will be thy praise.