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As if you were her first-born birth, O Friend! I know not which way I must look

And none had lived before you!" For comfort, being as I am opprest,

One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake, To think that now our life is only drest

When life was sweet, I knew not why, For shew; mean handiwork of craftsman, cook,

To me my good friend Matthew spake,
Or groom !—We must run glittering like a brook

And thus I made reply:
In the open sunshine, or we are unblest:
The wealthiest man among us is the best:

“ The eye il cannot choose but see; No grandeur now in Nature or in book

We cannot bid the ear be still; Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense,

Our bodies feet, where'er they be,
This is idolatry; and these we adore:

Against, or with our will.
Plain living and high thinking are no more:
The homely beauty of the good old cause

Nor less I deem that there are powers
Is gone; our peace, our fearful innocence,

Which of themselves our minds impress; And pure religion breathing household laws.

That we can feed this mind of ours

In a wise passiveness.
LONDON, 1802.

Think you, mid all this mighty sum
Milton! thou shouldst be living at this hour:

Of things for ever speaking, England hath need of thee: she is a fen

That nothing of itself will come,
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword and pen,

But we must still be seeking?
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower

-Then ask not wherefore, here, alone, Of inward happiness. We are selfish men.

Conversing as I may,
Oh! raise us up, return to us again ;

I sit upon this old gray stone,
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power. And dream my time away.”
Thy soul was like a star, and dwelt apart:
Thou had'st a voice whose sound was like the sea;
Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,

So didst thou travel on life's common way,

AN EVENING SCENE, ON THE SAME SUBJECT. In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart

Up! up! my friend, and quit your books; The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

Or surely you'll grow double:

Up! up! my friend, and clear your looks; Great men have been among us; hands that penn'd

Why all this toil and trouble?
And tongues that uttered wisdom, better none :


above the mountain's head, The later Sydney, Marvel, Harrington,

A freshening lustre mellow
Young Vane and others who called Milton friend. Through all the long green fields has spread,
These moralists could act and comprehend:

His first sweet evening yellow.
They knew how genuine glory was put on;
Taught us how rightfully a nation shone (bend

Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:

In splendour: what strength was, that would not Come, hear the woodland linnet,
But in magnanimous meekness. France, 'tis strange, How sweet his music! on my life
Hath brought forth no such souls as we had then. There's more of wisdom in it.
Perpetual emptiness! unceasing change!

And hark ! how blithe the throstle sings!
No single volume paramount, no code,
No master spirit, no determined road;

He, too, is no mean preacher:

Come forth into the light of things, But equally a want of books and men !

Let Nature be your teacher.

She has a world of ready wealth, EXPOSTULATION AND REPLY.

Our minds and hearts to blessWhy, William, on that old gray stone,

Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health, Thus for the length of half a day,

Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
Why, William, sit you thus alone,
And dream your time away?

One impulse from a vernal wood

May teach you more of man,
Where are your books ?—that light bequeathed Of moral evil and of good,
To beings else forlorn and blind!

Than all the sages can.
Up! up! and drink the spirit breathed
From dead men to their kind.

Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;

Our meddling intellect You look round on your mother earth,

Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things: As if she for no purpose bore you;

-We murder to dissect.




Enough of science and of art;

Howe'er disguised in its own majesty, Close up these barren leaves;

Is littleness; that he who feels contempt Come forth, and bring with you a heart

For any living thing, hath faculties
That watches and receives.

Which he has never used; that thought with him
Is in its infancy. The man whose eye

Is ever on himself doth look on one,

The least of Nature's works, one who might move

The wise man to that scorn which wisdom holds Left upon a seat in a Yew-tree, which stands near

Unlawful ever. O be wiser, thou! the Lake of Esthwaite, on a desolate Part of the Shore, commanding a beautiful Prospect.

Instructed that true knowledge leads to love,

True dignity abides with him alone Nay, traveller! rest. This lonely yew-tree stands

Who, in the silent hour of inward thought, Far from all human dwelling: what if here

Can still suspect, and still revere himself,
No sparkling rivulet spread the verdant herb ?

In lowliness of heart.
What if these barren boughs the bee not loves ?
Yet, if the wind breathe soft, the curling waves,
That break against the shore, shall lull thy mind

By one soft impulse saved from vacancy.
Who he was

I heard a thousand blended notes,
That piled these stones, and with the mossy sod

While in a grove I sate reclin'd, First covered o'er, and taught this aged tree

In that sweet mood when pleasant thoughts With its dark arms to form a circling bower, I well remember. He was one who owned

Bring sad thoughts to the mind. No common soul. In youth by science nursed,

To her fair works did Nature link And led by nature into a wild scene

The human soul that through me ran; Of lofty hopes, he to the world went forth

And much it grieved my heart to think
A favoured being, knowing no desire

What man has made of man.
Which genius did not hallow,-'gainst the taint
Of dissolute tongues, and jealousy, and hate,

Through primrose tufts, in that sweet bower, And scorn,—against all enemies prepared,

The periwinkle trailed its wreaths; All but neglect. The world, for so it thought,

And 'tis my faith that every flower Owed him no service: wherefore he at once

Enjoys the air it breathes. With indignation turned himself away,

The birds around me hopped and play'd; And with the food of pride sustained his soul

Their thoughts I cannot measure:In solitude.—Stranger! these gloomy boughs

But the least motion which they made,
Had charms for him; and here he loved to sit, .

It seemed a thrill of pleasure.
His only visitants a straggling sheep,
The stone-chat, or the glancing sand-piper :

The budding twigs spread out their fan,
And on these barren rocks, with fern and heath, To catch the breezy air ;
And juniper and thistle, sprinkled o'er,

And I must think, do all I can,
Fixing his downcast eye, he many an hour

That there was pleasure there.
A morbid pleasure nourished, tracing here
An emblem of his own unfruitful life:

If this belief from Heaven is sent,
And lifting up his head, he then would gaze

If such be Nature's holy plan, On the more distant scene,-how lovely 'tis

Have I not reason to lament
Thou seest,—and he would gaze till it became

What man has made of man?
Far lovelier, and his heart could not sustain
The beauty, still more beauteous! Nor, that time,
When Nature had subdued him to herself,

Would he forget those beings, to whose minds, In the School of is a Tablet, on which are in-
Warm from the labours of benevolence,
The world, and man himself, appeared a scene

scribed, in gilt letters, the Names of the several Of kindred loveliness: then he would sigh

Persons who have been Schoolmasters there since With mournful jiy, to think that others felt

the Foundation of the School, with the Time at What he must never feel: and so,

lost man!

which they entered upon and quitted their Office. On visionary views would fancy feed,

Opposite one of those Names the Author wrote Till his eye streamed with tears. In this deep vale

the following Lines. He died, this seat his only monument.

If Nature, for a favourite child,
If thou be one whose heart the holy forms

In thee hath tempered so her clay,
Of young imagination have kept pure, (pride, That every hour thy heart runs wild,
Stranger! henceforth be warned; and know, that Yet never once doth go astray,


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Read o'er these lines; and then review

And just above yon slope of corn This tablet, that thus humbly rears

Such colours, and no other, In such diversity of hue

Were in the sky, that April morn, Its history of two hundred years.

Of this the very brother. -When through this little wreck of fame,

With rod and line I sued the sport Cypher and syllable! thine eye

Which that sweet season gave, Has travelled down to Matthew's name,

And, coming to the church, stopped short Pause with no common sympathy.

Beside my daughter's grave. And, if a sleeping tear should wake,

Nine summers had she scarcely seen, Then be it neither checked nor stay'd:

The pride of all the vale; For Matthew a request I make

And then she sang;-she would have been Which for himself he had not made.

A very nightingale. Poor Matthew, all his frolics o'er,

Six feet in earth my Emma lay; Is silent as a standing pool ;

And yet I loved her more, Far from the chimney's merry roar,

For so it seemed, than till that day
And murmur of the village school.

I e'er had loved before.
The sighs which Matthew heaved were sighs And, turning from her grave, I met,
Of one tired out with fun and madness;

Beside the church-yard yew,
The tears which came to Matthew's eyes

A blooming girl, whose hair was wet Were tears of light, the dew of gladness.

With points of morning dew. Yet, sometimes, when the secret cup

A basket on her head she bare; Of still and serious thought went round,

Her brow was smooth and white: It seemed as if he drank it up

To see a child so very fair, He felt with spirit so profound.

It was a pure delight! - Thou soul of God's best earthly mould !

No fountain from rocky cave Thou happy soul! and can it be

E'er tripped with foot so free; That these two words of glittering gold

She seemed as happy as a wave Are all that must remain of thee?

That dances on the sea.

There came from me a sigh of pain THE TWO APRIL MORNINGS.

Which I could ill confine; We walked along, while bright and red

I looked at her, and looked again: Uprose the morning sun;

-And did not wish her mine." And Matthew stopped, he looked, and said, Matthew is in his grave, yet now, “ The will of God be done!"

Methinks, I see him stand, A village schoolmaster was he,

As at that moment, with a bough
With hair of glittering gray;

Of wilding in his hand.
As blithe a man as you could see
On a spring holiday.

And on that morning, through the grass,
And by the steaming rills,
We travelled merrily, to pass

We talked with open heart, and tongue

Affectionate and true, A day among the hills.

A pair of friends, though I was young, “ Our work,” said I, “ was well begun;

And Matthew seventy-two.
Then, from thy breast what thought
Beneath so beautiful a sun,

We lay beneath a spreading oak,
So sad a sigh has brought?".

Beside a mossy seat;

And from the turf a fountain broke,
A second time did Matthew stop;

And gurgled at our feet.
And fixing still his eye
Upon the eastern mountain-top,

“ Now, Matthew !" said I, “ let us match To me he made reply:

This water's pleasant tune

With some old border-song, or catch, “ Yon cloud with that long purple cleft

That suits a summer's noon. Brings fresh into


mind A day like this which I have left

Or of the church-clock and the chimes Full thirty years behind.

Sing here beneath the shade,


That half-mad thing of witty rhymes
Which you last April made !"

And, ere we came to Leonard's Rock,

sang those witty rhymes In silence Matthew lay, and eyed

About the crazy old church clock,
The spring beneath the tree;

And the bewildered chimes.
And thus the dear old man replied,
The gray-liaired man of glee:

LINES « Down to the vale this water steers,

WRITTEN WBILE SAILING IN A BOAT AT EVENING. How merrily it goes! 'Twill murmur on a thousand years,

How richly glows the water's breast And flow as now it flows.

Before us, tinged with evening hues,

While, facing thus the crimson west, And here, on this delightful day,

The boat her silent course pursues ! I cannot choose but think

And see how dark the backward stream! How oft, a vigorous man, I lay

A little moment past so smiling! Beside this fountain's brink.

And still, perhaps, with faithless gleam,

Some other loiterers beguiling.
My eyes are dim with childish tears,
My heart is idly stirred,

Such views the youthful bard allure;
For the same sound is in my ears

But, heedless of the following gloom, Which in those days I heard.

He deems their colours shall endure Thus fares it still in our decay:

Till peace go with him to the tomb.

-And let him nurse his fond deceit,
And yet the wiser mind
Mourns less for what age takes away

And what if he must die in sorrow!

Who would not cherish dreams so sweet, Than what it leaves behind.

Though grief and pain may come to-morrow? The blackbird in the summer trees, The lark upon the hill, Let loose their carols when they please,

REMEMBRANCE OF COLLINS, Are quiet when they will.

COMPOSED UPON THE THAMES NEAR RICHMOND, With Nature never do they wage

Glide gently, thus for ever glide,

o Thames! that other bards may see A foolish strife; they see

As lovely visions by thy side A happy youth, and their old age

As now, fair river! come to me. Is beautiful and free:

O glide, fair stream/ for ever so, But we are pressed by heavy laws;

Thy quiet soul on all bestowing, And often, glad no more,

Till all our minds for ever flow, We wear a face of joy, because

As thy deep waters now are flowing. We have been glad of yore.

Vain thoughtl-Yet be as now thou art, If there is one who need bemoan

That in thy waters may be seen His kindred laid in earth,

The image of a poet's heart, The household hearts that were his own,

How bright, how solemn, how serene! It is the man of mirth..

Such as did once the poet bless,

Who, murmuring here a later ditty, My days, my friend, are almost gone,

Could find no refuge from distress
My life has been approved,

But in the milder grief of pity.
And many love me; but by none
Am I enough beloved."

Now let us, as we float along,

For him suspend the dashing oar; « Now both himself and me he


And pray that never child of song
The man who thus complains !
I live and sing my idle songs

May know that poet's sorrows more.

How calm! how still! the only sound, Upon these happy plains,

The dripping of the oar suspended ! And, Matthew, for thy children dead

-The evening darkness gathers round I'll be a son to thee!"

By virtue's holiest powers attended. At this he grasped my hand, and said, “ Alas! that cannot be.”

ANIMAL TRANQUILLITY AND DECAY. We rose up from the fountain-side; And down the smooth descent Of the green sheep-track did we glide;

The little hedge-row birds, And through the wood we went;

That peck along the road, regard him not.


He travels on, and in his face, his step,

My heart is at your festival, His gait, is one expression; every limb,

My head hath its coronal, His look and bending figure, all bespeak

The fulness of your bliss, I feel I feel it all. A man who does not move with pain, but moves

Oh evil day! if I were sullen With thought.-He is insensibly subdued

While the earth herself is adorning, To settled quiet: he is one by whom

This sweet May-morning; All effort seems forgotten; one to whom

And the children are pulling, Long patience hath such mild composure given,

On every side, That patience now doth seem a thing of which

In a thousand valleys far and wide, He hath no need. He is by nature led

Fresh flowers; while the sun shines war, To peace so perfect, that the young behold

And the babe leaps up on his mother's arm :With envy, what the old man hardly feels.

I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!

-But there's a tree, of many one,

A single field which I have looked upon,

Both of them speak of something that is gone:

The pansy at my feet

Doth the same tale repeat:
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream, Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
The earth, and every common sight,

Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
To me did scem

Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.

Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
It is not now as it hath been of yore;

The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Turn wheresoe'er I may,

Hath had elsewhere its setting,
By night or day,

And cometh from afar;
The things which I have seen I now can see no more!

Not in entire forgetfulness,

And not in utter nakedness,

But trailing clouds of glory do we come
The rainbow comes and goes,

From God, who is our home :
And lovely is the rose,

Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
The moon doth with delight

Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Look round her when the heavens are bare ;

Upon the growing boy,
Waters on a starry night

But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
Are beautiful and fair;

He sees it in his joy ; The sunshine is a glorious birth;

The youth, who daily farther from the east But yet I know, where'er I go,

Must travel, still is nature's priest, That there hath passed away a glory from the earth.

And by the vision splendid

Is on his way attended ;

At length the man perceives it die away,
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song, And fade into the light of common day.
And while the young lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound,

To me alone there came a thought of grief;

Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own; A timely utterance gave that thought relief, Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind, And I again am strong.

And, even with something of a mother's mind, The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep,

And no unworthy aim,
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong:

The homely nurse doth all she can
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng, To make her foster-child, her inmate man,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,

Forget the glories he hath known,
And all the earth is gay;

And that imperial palace whence he came.
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,

And with the heart of May

Behold the child among his new-born blisses, Doth every beast keep holiday ;

A six years' darling of a pigmy size !
Thou child of joy

See, where mid work of his own hand he lies, Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,

(shepherd boy! With light upon him from his father's eyes! IV.

See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,

Some fragment from his dream of human life, Ye blessed creatures, I have heard the call

Shaped by himself with newly-learned art; Ye to each other make; I see

A wedding or a festival, The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee ;

A mourning or a funeral;

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