Page images

Shut close the door; press down the latch;

Sleep in thy intellectual crust;

Nor lose ten tickings of thy watch

Near this unprofitable dust.

But who is He, with modest looks,
And clad in homely russet brown?
He murmurs near the running brooks
A music sweeter than their own.

He is retired as noontide dew,
Or fountain in a noon-day grove;
And you must love him, ere to you
He will seem worthy of your love.

The outward shows of sky and earth,
Of hill and valley, he has viewed;
And impulses of deeper birth
Have come to him in solitude.

In common things that round us lie
Some random truths he can impart,

-The harvest of a quiet eye

That broods and sleeps on his own heart.

But he is weak, both Man and Boy,

Hath been an idler in the land;
Contented if he might enjoy

The things which others understand.

-Come hither in thy hour of strength; Come, weak as is a breaking wave! Here stretch thy body at full length; Or build thy house upon this grave.



"WHY, William, on that old gray stone,

"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 bequeathed

"To beings else forlorn and blind!

[ocr errors]

Up! up! and drink the spirit breathed "From dead men to their kind.

"You look round on your mother earth,
"As if she for no purpose bore you;
"As if you were her first-born birth,
"And none had lived before you!"

One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake,
When life was sweet, 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,

[blocks in formation]

"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 you, 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 gray stone,

“And dream my time away."




UP! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;

Why all this toil and trouble?

Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books,

Or surely you'll grow double.

The sun, above the mountain's head,

A freshening lustre mellow

Through all the long green fields has spread,

His first sweet evening yellow.

Books! '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.

« PreviousContinue »