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VIII.

COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPT. 3. 1803.

Earth has not any thing to shew more fair:Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendor valley, rock, or hill;Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!The river glideth at his own sweet will:Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;And all that mighty heart is lying still!

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Pelion and Ossa flourished side by side,

Together in immortal books enrolled:

His ancient dower Olympus hath not sold;

And that inspiring Hill, which "did divide

Into two ample horns his forehead wide,"

Shines with poetic radiance as of old;

While not an English Mountain we behold

By the celestial Muses glorified.

Yet round our sea-girt shore they rise in crowds:

What was the great Parnassus' self to Thee,

Mount Skiddaw? In his natural sovereignty

Our British Hill is fairer far: He shrouds

His double-fronted head in higher clouds,

And pours forth streams more sweet than Castaly.

Brook! whose society the Poet seeks
Intent his wasted spirits to renew;
And whom the curious Painter doth pursue
Through rocky passes, among flowery creeks,
And tracks thee dancing down thy water-breaks;
If I some type of thee did wish to view,
Thee, —and not thee thyself, I would not do
Like Grecian Artists, give thee human cheeks,
Channels for tears; no Naiad should'st thou be,
Have neither limbs, feet, feathers, joints, nor hairs;
It seems the Eternal Soul is clothed in thee
With purer robes than those of flesh and blood,
And hath bestowed on thee a better good;
Unwearied joy, and life without its cares.

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Hail Twilight, — sovereign of one peaceful hour!Not dull art Thou as undiscerning Night;But studious only to remove from sight Day's mutable distinctions. — Ancient Power!Thus did the waters gleam, the mountains lower] To the rude Briton, when, in wolf-skin vest Here roving wild, he laid him down to rest On the bare rock, or through a leafy bower Looked ere his eyes were closed. By him was seen The self-same Vision which we now behold, At thy meek bidding, shadowy Power, brought forth; — These mighty barriers, and the gulph between;
The floods, —the stars; — a spectacle as old
As the beginning of the heavens and earth!

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The Shepherd, looking eastward, softly said,"Bright is thy veil, O Moon, as thou art bright!" Forthwith, that little Cloud, in ether spread, And penetrated all with tender light, She cast away, and shewed her fulgent head Uncovered; — dazzling the Beholder's sight As if to vindicate her beauty's right, Her beauty thoughtlessly disparaged. Meanwhile that Veil, removed or thrown aside, Went, floating from her, darkening as it went;And a huge Mass, to bury or to hide, Approached this glory of the firmament;Who meekly yields, and is obscured; — content With one calm triumph of a modest pride.

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