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in thee too fondly did my memory hang,
The mountains have all opened out themselves, nd on the joys we shared in mortal life,
And made a hidden valley of their own. he paths which we had trod—these fountains, No habitation there is seen; but such flowers;
As journey thither find themselves alone sy new-planned cities, and unfinished towers. With a few sheep, with rocks and stones, and kites
That overhead are sailing in the sky. But should suspense permit the foe to cry,
It is in truth an utter solitude; Behold they tremble !_haughty their array, Nor should I have made mention of this dell et of their number no one dares to die?'
But for one object which you might pass by, soul I swept the indignity away:
Might see and notice not. Beside the brook d frailties then recurred:—but lofty thought
There is a straggling heap of unhewn stones! act embodied my deliverance wrought.
And to that place a story appertains, And thou, though strong in love, art all too weak
Which, though it be ungarnished with events, reason, in self-government too slow;
Is not unfit, I deen, for the fireside, ounsel thee by fortitude to seek
Or for the summer shade. It was the first, ir blest re-union in the shades below.
The earliest of those tales that spake to me je invisible world with thee hath sympathized;
Of shepherds, dwellers in the valleys, men thy affections raised and solemnized.
Whom I already loved;—not verily
For their own sakes, but for the fields and hills Learn by a mort al yearning to ascend
Where was their occupation and abode. wards a higher object :-Love was given, And hence this tale, while I was yet a boy couraged, sanctioned, chiefly for this end: Careless of books, yet having felt the power r this the passion to excess was driven
Of Nature, by the gentle agency lat self might be annulled; her bondage prove Of natural objects led me on to feel le fetters of a dream, opposed to love."
For passions that were not my own, and think
(At random and imperfectly indeed) oud she shrieked! for Hermes re-appears! (vain :
On man, the heart of man, and human life. und the dear shade she would have clung—'tis
Therefore, although it be a history e hours are past,—too brief had they been years;
Homely and rude, I will relate the same id him no mortal effort can detain: rift, tow'rd the realms that know not earthly day,
For the delight of a few natural hearts; through the portal takes his silent way
And, with yet fonder feeling, for the sake id on the palace floor a lifeless corse she lay.
Of youthful poets, who among these hills
Will be my second self when I am gone. 1, judge her gently who so deeply loved! s, who, in reason's spite, yet without crime,
Upon the forest-side in Grasmere Vale as in a trance of passion thus removed;
There dwelt a shepherd, Michael was his name; livered from the galling yoke of time,
An old man, stout of heart, and strong of limb. id these frail elements—to gather flowers
His bodily frame had been from youth to age blissful quiet ʼmid unfading bowers.
Of an unusual strength: his mind was keen,
Intense and frugal, apt for all affairs, ?t tears to human suffering are due ;
And in his shepherd's calling he was prompt ad mortal hopes defeated and o'erthrown
And watchful more than ordinary men. e mourned by man, and not by man alone, Hence he had learned the meaning of all winds, i fondly he believes.-Upon the side
Of blasts of every tone, and, oftentimes, Hellespont (such faith was entertained)
When others heeded not, he heard the south knot of spiry trees for ages grew
Make subterraneous music, like the noise com out the tomb of him for whom she died; Of bagpipers on distant Highland hills. nd ever, when such stature they had gained The shepherd, at such warning, of his flock nat llium's walls were subject to their view, Bethought him, and he to himself would
say, ne trees' tall summits withered at the sight; “ The winds are now devising work for me!” constant interchange of growth and blight! And truly, at all times, the storm—that drives
The traveller to a shelter-summoned him
Up to the mountains: he had been alone
Amid the heart of many thousand mists,
So lived he till his eightieth year was past.
And grossly that man errs, who should suppose the tumultuous brook of Green-head Ghyll, That the green valleys, and the streams and rocks ou will suppose that with an upright path Were things indifferent to the shepherd's thoughts. our feet must struggle; in such bold ascent Fields, where with cheerful spirits he had breathed ne pastoral mountains front you, face to face.
The cominon air; the hills, which he so oft (pressed et courage! for beside that boisterous brook
Had climbed with vigorous steps; which had im
A PASTORAL POEM.
So many incidents upon his mind
Murmur as with the sound of summer flies. Of hardship, skill or courage, joy or fear;
This light was famous in its neighbourhood, Which like a book preserved the memory
And was a public symbol of the life Of the dumb animals, whom he had saved,
The thrifty pair had lived. For, as it chanced, Had fed or sheltered, linking to such acts,
Their cottage on a plot of rising ground So grateful in themselves, the certainty
Stood single, with large prospect, north and south, Of honourable gain; these fields, these hills, High into Easedale, up to Dunmal-Raise, Which were his living being, even more
And westward to the village near the lake; Than his own blood—what could they less? had laid And from this constant light, so regular Strong hold on his affections, were to him
And so far seen, the house itself, by all A pleasurable feeling of blind love,
Who dwelt within the limits of the vale, The pleasure which there is in life itself.
Both old and young, was named The Evening Star. His days had not been passed in singleness. Thus living on through such a length of years, His helpmate was a comely matron, old
The shepherd, if he loved himself, must needs Though younger than himself full twenty years. Have loved his help-mate; but to Michael's heart She was a woman of a stirring life,
This son of his old age was yet more dearWhose heart was in her house: two wheels she had Effect which might perhaps have been produced Of antique form, this large for spinning wool, By that instinctive tenderness, the same That small for tlax; and if one wheel had rest, Blind spirit, which is in the blood of allIt was because the other was at work.
Or that a child, more than all other gifts, The pair had but one inmate in their house, Brings hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts, An only child, who had been born to them
And stirrings of inquietude, when they
By tendency of nature needs must fail.
Of the old man his only son was now
Exceeding was the love he bare to him,
Old Michael, while he was a babe in arms,
Had done him female service, not alone And from their occupations out of doors
For dalliance and delight, as is the use
To acts of tenderness; and he had rocked
Had work by his own door, or when he sat
With sheep before him on his shepherd's stool, Their hands by the fire-side; perhaps to card Beneath that large old oak, which near their door Wool for the housewife's spindle, or repair
Stood,-and, from its enormous breadth of shade Some injury done to sickle, flail, or scythe, Chosen for the shearer's covert from the sun, Or other implement of house or field.
Thence in our rustic dialect was called Down from the cieling, by the chimney's edge, The Clipping Tree, a name which yet it bears. Which in our ancient uncouth country style There, while they two were sitting in the shade, Did with a huge projection overbrow
With others round them, earnest all and blithe, Large space beneath, as duly as the light
Would Michael exercise his heart with looks
Upon the child, if he disturbed the sheep
By catching at their legs, or with his shouts Early at evening did it burn and late,
Scared them, while they lay still beneath the shears. Surviving comrade of uncounted hours,
And when by Heaven's good grace the boy grew up Which going by from year to year had found A healthy lad, and carried in his check And left the couple neither gay perhaps
Two steady roses that were five years old,
With his own hand a sapling, which he hooped
And gave it to the boy, wherewith equipt
And, to his office prematurely called,
Another kinsman-he will be our friend There stood the urchin, as you will divine,
In this distress. He is a prosperous man, Something between a hindrance and a help; Thriving in trade—and Luke to him shall go, And for this cause not always, I believe,
And with his kinsman's help and his own thrift Receiving from his father hire of praise;
He quickly will repair this loss, and then Though nought was left undone which staff or voice, May come again to us. If here he stay, Or looks, or threatening gestures could perform. What can be done? Where every one is poor
But soon as Luke, full ten years old, could stand What can be gained ?" At this the old man paused, Against the mountain blasts, and to the heights, And Isabel sat silent, for her mind Not fearing toil, nor length of weary ways,
Was busy, looking back into past times. He with his father daily went, and they
There's Richard Bateman, thought she to herself, Were as companions, why should I relate
He was a parish-boy-at the church-door That objects which the shepherd loved before They made a gathering for him, shillings, pence, Were dearer now? that from the boy there came And halfpennies, wherewith the neighbours bought Feelings and emanations—things which were A basket, which they filled with pedlar's wares; Light to the sun and music to the wind;
And with this basket on his arm, the lad And that the old man's heart seemed born again. Went up to London, found a master there, Thus in his father's sight the boy grew up:
Who out of many chose the trusty boy And now when he had reached his eighteenth year, To go and overlook his merchandize He was his comfort and his daily hope.
Beyond the seas, where he grew wondrous rich,
And left estates and monies to the poor, While in this sort the simple household lived And at his birth-place built a chapel Moored From day to day, to Michael's ear there came With marble, which he sent from foreign lands. Distressful tidings. Long before the time
These thoughts, and many others of like sort, Of which I speak, the shepherd had been bound Passed quickly through the mind of Isabel, In surety for his brother's son, a man
And her face brightened. The old man was glad, Of an industrious life, and ample means,
And thus resumed :—" Well, Isabel! this scheme But unforeseen misfortunes suddenly
These two days has been meat and drink to me. Had pressed upon him,-and old Michael now Far more than we have lost is left us yet. Was summoned to discharge the forfeiture,
-We have enough-I wish indeed that I A grievous penalty, but little less
Were younger,--but this hope is a good hope. Than half his substance. This unlooked-for claim, - Make ready Luke's best garments, of the best At the first hearing, for a moment took
Buy for him more, and let us send him forth More hope out of his life than he supposed
To-morrow, or the next day, or to-night: That any old man ever could have lost.
-If he could go, the boy should go to-night.” As soon as he had gathered so much strength Here Michael ceased, and to the fields went forth That he could look his trouble in the face,
With a light heart. The housewife for five days It seemed that his sole refuge was to sell
Was restless morn and night, and all day long A portion of his patrimonial fields.
Wrought on with her best fingers to prepare Such was his first resolve; he thought again, Things needful for the journey of her son. And his heart failed him. Isabel,” said he, But Isabel was glad wheu Sunday came Two evenings after he had heard the news,
To stop her in her work: for, when she lay “ I have been toiling more than seventy years,
By Michael's side, she through the two last nights And in the open sunshine of God's love
Heard him, how he was troubled in his sleep: Have we all lived; yet if these fields of ours And when they rose at morning she could see Should pass into a stranger's hand, I think
That all his hopes were gone. That day at noon That I could not lie quiet in my grave.
She said to Luke, while they two by themselves Our lot is a hard lot; the sun itself
Were sitting at the door, " Thou must not go: Has scarcely been more diligent than I,
We have no other child but thee to lose, And I have lived to be a fool at last
None to remember-do not go away, To my own family. An evil man
For if thou leave thy father he will die." That was, and made an evil choice, if he
The youth made answer with a jocund voice; Were false to us; and, if he were not false,
And Isabel, when she had told her fears, There are ten thousand to whom loss like this Recovered heart. That evening her best fare Had been no sorrow. I forgive him—but
Did she bring forth, and all together sat "Twere better to be dumb than to talk thus.
Like happy people round a Christmas fire. When I began, my purpose was to speak
With daylight Isabel resumed her work; Of remedies and of a cheerful hope.
And all the ensuing week the house appeared Our Luke shall leave us, Isabel; the land
As cheerful as a grove in Spring: at length Shall not go from us, and it shall be free.
The expected letter from their kinsman came, He shall possess it, free as is the wind
With kind assurances that he would do That passes over it. We have, thou know'st, His utmost for the welfare of the boy;
To which requests were added that forthwith But 'tis a long time to look back, my son,
These fields were burthened when they came to me;
Than half of my inheritance was mine. A prouder heart than Luke's. When Isabel I toiled and toiled; God blessed me in my work, Had to her house returned, the old man said, And till these three weeks past the land was free. “ He shall depart to-morrow.” To this word - It looks as if it never could endure The housewife answered, talking much of things Another master. Heaven forgive me, Luke, Which, if at such short notice he should go, If I judge ill for thee, but it seems good Would surely be forgotten. But at length
That thou shouldst go.” At this the old man paus'd; She gave consent, and Michael was at ease. Then, pointing to the stones near which they stood,
Near the tumultuous brook of Green-head Ghyll, Thus, after a short silence, he resumed: In that deep valley, Michael had designed
“ This was a work for us; and now, my son, To build a sheep-fold; and, before he heard It is a work for me. But, lay one stoneThe tidings of bis melancholy loss,
Here, lay it for me, Luke, with thine own hands. For this same purpose he had gathered up
Nay, boy, be of good hope ;-we both may live A heap of stones, which by the streamlet's edge To see a better day. At eighty-four Lay thrown together, ready for the work.
I still am strong and stout;—do thou thy part, With Luke that evening thitherward he walked; I will do mine.-I will begin again And soon as they had reached the place he stopped, With many tasks that were resigned to thee; And thus the old man spake to him:-“ My son, Up to the heights, and in among the storms, To-morrow thou wilt leave me: with full heart Will I without thee go again, and do I look upon thee, for thou art the same
All works which I was wont to do alone, That wert a promise to me ere thy birth,
Before I knew thy face.-Heaven bless thee, boy! And all thy life hast been my daily joy.
Thy heart these two weeks has been beating fast I will relate to thee some little part
With many hopes—It should be so—Yes-yesOf our two histories; 'twill do thee good
I knew that thou couldst never have a wish
What will be left to us !-But, I forget
Be thy companions, think of me, my son,
And of this moment; hither turn thy thoughts, Than when I heard thee by our own fire-side And God will strengthen thee: amid all fear First uttering, without words, a natural tune; And all temptation, Luke, I pray that thou When thou, a feeding babe, didst in thy joy Mayst bear in mind the life thy fathers lived, Sing at thy mother's breast. Month followed month, Who, being innocent, did for that cause And in the open fields my life was passed
Bestir them in good deeds. Now, fare thee wellAnd on the mountains, else I think that thou When thou return'st, thou in this place wilt see Hadst been brought up upon thy father's knees. A work which is not here: a covenant But we were playmates, Luke: among these hills, 'Twill be between us- -But, whatever fate As well thou know'st, in us the old and young Befal thee, I shall love thee to the last, Have played together, nor with me didst thou And bear thy memory with me to the grave." Lack any pleasure which a boy can know."
The shepherd ended here; and Luke stooped Luke had a manly heart; but at these words And, as his father had requested, laid (down, He sobbed aloud. The old man grasped his hand, The first stone of the sheep-fold. At the sight And said, “ Nay, do not take it so I see
The old man's grief broke from him, to his heart That these are things of which I need not speak. He pressed his son, he kissed him and wept; -Even to the utmost I have been to thee
And to the house together they returned. A kind and a good father: and herein
-Hushed was that house in peace, or seeming peace, I but repay a gift which I myself
Ere the night fell:-with morrow's dawn the boy Received at other's hands; for, though now old Began his journey, and when he had reached Beyond the common life of man, I still
The public way, he put on a bold face; Remember them who loved me in my youth. And all the neighbours as he passed their doors Both of them sleep together: here they lived, Came forth with wishes and with farewell prayers, As all their forefathers had done; and when That followed him till he was out of sight. At length their time was come, they were not loth A good report did from their kinsman come, To give their bodies to the family mold.
Of Luke and his well-doing: and the boy I wished that thou shouldst live the life they lived. Wrote loving letters, full of wondrous news,
Which, as the housewife phrased it, were throughout When soothed awhile by milder airs, “ The prettiest letters that were ever seen."
Thee Winter in the garland wears Both parents read them with rejoicing hearts.
That thinly shades his few grey hairs; So, many months passed on: and once again
Spring cannot shun thee; The shepherd went about his daily work
Whole Summer fields are thine by right; With confident and cheerful thoughts; and now
And Autumn, melancholy wight! Sometimes when he could find a leisure hour
Doth in thy crimson head delight He to that valley took his way, and there
When rains are on thee. Wrought at the sheep-fold. Meantime Luke began
In shoals and bands, a morrice train, To slacken in his duty; and at length
Thou greet'st the traveller in the lane ; He in the dissolute city gave himself
If welcomed once thou count'st it gain; To evil courses: ignominy and shame
Thou art not daunted, Fell on him, so that he was driven at last
Nor car'st if thou be set at nought:
And oft alone in pooks remote
We meet thee, like a pleasant thought, 'Twill make a thing endurable, which else
When such are wanted.
Be Violets in their secret mews.
The flowers the wanton Zephyrs choose ; Years after he had heard this heavy news.
Proud be the Rose, with rains and dews His bodily frame had been from youth to age
Her head'impearling; Of an unusual strength. Among the rocks
Thou liv'st with less ambitious aim, He went, and still looked up upon the
Yet hast not gone without thy fame; And listened to the wind; and as before
Thou art indeed by many a claim Performed all kinds of labour for his sheep,
The Poet's darling And for the land his small inheritance.
If to a rock from rains he fly, And to that hollow dell from time to time
Or, some bright day of April sky, Did he repair, to build the fold of which
Imprisoned by hot sunshine lie His flock had need. 'Tis not forgotten yet
Near the green holly, The pity which was then in every heart
And wearily at length should fare ; For the old man-and 'tis believed by all
He needs but look about, and there That many and many a day he thither went,
Thou art! a friend at hand, to scare
A hundred times, by rock or bower,
Ere thus I have lain couched an hour, The length of full seven years from time to time
Have I derived from thy sweet power He at the building of this sheep-fold wrought,
Some apprehension ; And left the work unfinished when he died.
Some steady love; some brief delight; Three years, or little more, did Isabel
Some memory that had taken flight; Survive her husband : at her death the estate
Some chime of fancy wrong or right; Was sold, and went into a stranger's hand:
Or stray invention. The cottage which was named The Evening Star
If stately passions in me burn, Is gone-the ploughshare has been through the
And one chance look to thee should turn, ground
I drink out of an humbler urn On which it stood; great changes have been wrought
A lowlier pleasure ; In all the neighbourhood :—yet the oak is left
The homely sympathy that heeds That grew beside their door; and the remains
The common life our nature breeds; Of the unfinished sheep-fold may be seen
A wisdom fitted to the needs Beside the boisterous brook of Green-head Ghyll..
Of hearts at leisure.
TO THE DAISY.
Most pleased when most uneasy;
Of thee, sweet Daisy!
When, smitten by the morning ray,
With kindred gladness:
Of careful sadness.
And all day long 1 number yet,