Page images



“ As the cold aspect of a sunless way Strikes through the Traveller's frame with deadlier

chill, Oft as appears a grove, or obvious hill, Glistening with unparticipated ray, Or shining slope where he must never stray; So joys, remembered without wish or will, Sharpen the keenest edge of present ill, On the crushed heart a heavier burthen lay. Just Heaven, contract the compass of my mind To fit proportion with my altered state ! Quench those felicities whose light I find Burning within my bosom all too late! O be my spirit, like my thraldom, strait ; And like mine eyes that stream with sorrow, blind!"


' gives to airy nothing A local habitation and a name."

Though narrow be that Old Man's cares, and near, The poor

Old Man is greater than he seems : For he hath waking empire, wide as dreams; An ample sovereignty of eye and ear. Rich are his walks with supernatural cheer ; The region of his inner spirit teems With vital sounds, and monitory gleams Of high astonishment and pleasing fear. He the seven birds hath seen, that never part, Seen the Seven WHISTLERS in their nightly rounds, And counted them: and oftentimes will startFor overhead are sweeping GABRIEL's Hounds, Doomed, with their impious Lord, the flying Hart To chase for ever, on aërial grounds.



I am not One who much or oft delight
To season my fireside with personal talk,
Of Friends, who live within an easy walk,
Or Neighbours, daily, weekly, in my sight :
And, for my chance-acquaintance, Ladies bright,
Sons, Mothers, Maidens withering on the stalk,
These all wear out of me, like Forms, with chalk
Painted on rich men's floors, for one feast-night.
Better than such discourse doth silence long,
Long, barren silence, square with my desire ;
To sit without emotion, hope, or aim,
In the loved presence of my cottage-fire,
And listen to the flapping of the flame,
Or kettle, whispering its faint undersong.



Yer life," you say, " is life; we have seen and see,
And with a living pleasure we describe;
And fits of sprightly malice do but bribe
The languid mind into activity.
Sound sense, and love itself, and mirth and glee,
Are fostered by the comment and the gibe.”
Even be it so: yet still among your tribe,
Our daily world's true Worldlings, rank not me!
Children are blest, and powerful; their world lies
More justly balanced; partly at their feet,
And part far from them :- sweetest melodies
Are those that are by distance made more sweet;
Whose mind is but the mind of his own eyes
He is a Slave: the meanest we can meet !



Wings have we,

and as far as we can go We may find pleasure: wilderness and wood, Blank ocean and mere sky, support that mood Which with the lofty sanctifies the low: Dreams, books, are each a world; and books, we

know, Are a substantial world, both pure and good: Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood, Our pastime and our happiness will grow. There do I find a never-failing store Of personal themes, and such as I love best ; Matter wherein right voluble I am: Two will I mention, dearer than the rest ; The gentle Lady, married to the Moor ; And heavenly Una with her milk-white Lamb.

« PreviousContinue »