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INSCRIPTION FOR A SEAT IN THE What wonder if his being thus became
Sublime and comprehensive! Low desires,
Low thoughts had there no place; yet was his heart BENEATH yon eastern ridge, the craggy bound, Lowly; for he was meek in gratitude, Rugged and high, of Charnwood's forest ground,
Oft as he call'd those ecstasies to mind, [quired Stand yet—but, stranger! hidden from thy view And whence they flow'd ; and from them he acThe ivied ruins of forlorn Grace Dieu ;
Wisdom, which works through patience; thence he Erst a religious house, which day and night In oft recurring hours of sober thought, [learn'd With hymos resounded, and the chanted rite: To look on nature with an humble heart, And when those rites had ceased, the spot gave birth Self-question'd where it did not understand, To honourable men of various worth:
And with a superstitious eye of love. There, on the margin of a streamlet wild, Did Francis Beaumont sport, an eager child ; There, under shadow of the neighbouring rocks, Sang youthful tales of shepherds and their flocks; EVENING IN THE MOUNTAINS. Unconscious prelude to heroic themes, Heart-breaking tears, and melancholy dreams Has not the soul, the being of your life, Of slighted love, and scorn, and jealous rage,
Received a shock of awful consciousness, With which his genius shook the buskin’d stage.
In some calm season, when these lofty rocks, Communities are lost, and empires die,
At night's approach, bring down th' unclouded sky And things of holy use unhallow'd lie;
To rest upon their circumambient walls; They perish;—but the intellect can raise,
A temple framing of dimensions vast,
Of human anthems—choral song, or burst
To glorify the Eternal! What if these
Here, if the solemn nightingale be mute,
And the soft woodlark here did never chant
Her vespers, Nature fails not to provide
Sends inspiration from the shadowy heights, Rise up, and bathe the world in light! He look'd And blind recesses of the cavern'd rocks; Ocean and earth, the solid frame of earth
The little rills and waters numberless, And ocean's liquid mass, beneath him lay
Inaudible by daylight, blend their notes In gladness and deep joy. The clouds were touch'd, With the loud streams: and often, at the hour And in their silent faces could he read
When issue forth the first pale stars, is heard, Unutterable love. Sound needed none,
Within the circuit of this fabric huge, Nor any voice of joy ; his spirit drank
One voice-one solitary raven, flying The spectacle : sensation, soul, and form
Athwart the concave of the dark-blue dome, All melted into him; they swallowed up
Unseen, perchance above the power of sightHis animal being: in them did he live,
An iron knell! With echoes from afar,
Not seldom from the uproar I retired
To cross the bright reflection of a star, Such intercourse was his, and in this sort
Image that, dying still before me, gleam'd
Upon the glassy plain : and oftentimes
Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still The mystery, the life which cannot die;
The rapid line of motion, then at once But in the mountains did he feel his faith. Have I, reclining back upon my heels, All things, responsive to the writing, there Stopp'd short; yet still the solitary cliffs Breathed immortality, revolving life,
Wheeld by me, even as if the earth had rollid, And greatness still revolving; infinite;
With visible motion, her diurnal round! There littleness was not; the least of things Behind me did they stretch in solemn train, Seem'd infinite; and then his spirit shaped Feebler and feebler; and I stood and watch'd Her prospects, nor did he believe,-he saw. Till all was tranquil as a summer sea.
ON REVISITING THE WYE.
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
CLOUDS AFTER A STORM.
Taese beauteous forms,
In body, and become a living soul ;
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
Wherever nature led : more like a man | Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, : Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite; a feeling and a love
-A single step which freed me from the skirts Of the blind vapour, open’d to my view Glory beyond all glory ever seen By waking sense or by the dreaming soulThe appearance instantaneously disclosed, Was of a mighty city-boldly say A wilderness of building, sinking far And self-withdrawn into a wondrous depth Far sinking into splendour-without end! Fabric it seem'd of diamond and of gold, With alabaster domes and silver spires ; And blazing terrace upon terrace high Uplifted: here serene pavilions bright In avenues disposed; there towers begirt With battlements that on their restless fronts Bore stars, illumination of all gems ! Oh 'twas an unimaginable sight;
[turf, Clouds, mists, streams, watery rocks, and emerald Clouds of all tincture, rocks and sapphire sky, Confused, commingled, mutually inflamed, Molten together, and composing thus, Each lost in each, that marvellous array Of temple, palace, citadel, and huge Fantastic pomp of structure without name, In fleecy folds voluminous enwrapp'd. Right in the midst, where interspace appear’d Of open court, an object like a throne Beneath a shining canopy of state Stood fix'd; and fix'd resemblances were seen To implements of ordinary use, But vast in size, in substance glorified ; Such as by Hebrew prophets were beheld In vision-forms uncouth of mightiest power, For admiration and mysterious awe!
MAN NEVER TO BE SCORNED.
"Tis nature's law That none, the meanest of created things, or forms created the most vile and brute, The dullest or most noxious, should exist Divorced from good—a spirit and pulse of good, A life and soul, to every mode of being Inseparably link’d. Then be assured Thai least of all can aught—that ever own'd The heaven-regarding eye and front sublime Which man is born to-sink, howe'er depress’d, So low as to be scorn'd without a sin; Without offence to God cast out of view; Like the dry remnant of a garden flower Whose seeds are shed, or as an implement Worn out and worthless.
I THOUGHT of Chatterton, the marvellous boy, The sleepless soul that perish'd in his pride;
Of him who walk'd in glory and in joy Following his plough, along the mountain side ; By our own spirits we are deified; We poets in our youth begin in gladness, But thereof come in the end despondency and
PICTURE OF A BEGGAR.
OBEDIENCE AND HUMILITY.
Glorious is the blending Of light affections climbing or descending Along a scale of light and life, with cares Alternate; carrying holy thoughts and prayers Up to the sovereign seat of the Most High; Descending to the worm in charity; Like those good angels whom a dream of night Gave, in the field of Luz, to Jacob's sight; All, while he slept, treading the pendant stairs Earthward or heavenward, radiant messengers, That, with a perfect will in one accord Of strict obedience, served the Almighty Lord; And with antired humility forbore To speed their errand by the wings they wore.
The aged man Had placed bis staff across the broad, smooth stone That overlays the pile; and from a bag All white with flour, the dole of village dames, He drew his scraps and fragments, one by one, And scann'd them with a fix'd and serious look Of idle computation. In the sun, Upon the second step of that small pile, Surrounded by these wild, unpeopled hills, He sat, and ate his food in solitude; And ever, scatter'd from his palsied hand, That, still attempting to prevent the waste, Was baffled still, the crumbs in little showers Fell on the ground; and the small mountain birds, Not venturing yet to pick their destined meal, Approach'd within the length of half his staff.
ARABIAN fiction never fill'd the world With half the wonders that were wrought for him. Earth breathed in one great presence of the spring; Life turn'd the meanest of her implements Before his eyes to price above all gold; The house she dwelt in was a sainted shrine; Her chamber window did surpass in glory The portal of the dawn; all paradise Could, by the simple opening of a door, Let itself in upon him; pathways, walks, Swarm'd with enchantment, till his spirit sank, Surcharged, within him-overblest to move Beneath a sun that walks a weary world To its dull round of ordinary cares; A man too happy for mortality.
A DESERTED WIFE.
EVERMORE Her eyelids droop'd, her eyes were downward cast, And, when she at her table gave me food, She did not look at me! Her voice was low, Her body was subdued. In every act Pertaining to her house affairs, appear'd The careless stillness of a thinking mind Self-occupied ; to which all outward things Are like an idle matter. Still she sigh'd, But yet no motion of the breast was seen, No heaving of the heart. While by the fire We sate together, sighs came on my ear, I knew not how, and hardly whence they came.
Her infant babe
LONGING FOR REUNION WITH THE
Full oft the innocent sufferer sees Too clearly; feels too vividly; and longs To realize the vision with intense And over-constant yearning; there—there lies The excess by which the balance is destroy'd. Too, too contracted are these walls of flesh, This vital warmth too cold, these visual orbs, Though inconceivably endow'd, too dim, For any passion of the soul that leads To ecstasy; and, all the crooked paths Of time and change disdaining, takes its course Along the line of limitless desires.
A CHILD, WITH A SHELL.
I HAVE seen A curious child, who dwelt upon a tract Of inland ground, applying to his ear The convolutions of a smooth-lipp'd shell; To which, in silence hush'd, his very soul Listen'd intensely! and his countenance soon Brighten'd with joy ; for murmurings from within Were heard, sonorous cadences ! whereby, To his belief, the monitor express'd Mysterious union with its native sea. Even such a shell the universe itself Is to the ear of faith.
COMMUNION WITH NATURE.
Nature never did betray The heart that loved her: 'tis her privilege, Through all the years of this our life, to lead From joy to joy : for she can so inform The mind that is within us, so impress With quietness and beauty, and so feed With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues, Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men, Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all The dreary intercourse of daily life, Shall e'er prevail against us, nor disturb Our cheerful faith, that all which we behold Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon Shine on thee in thy solitary walk; And let the misty mountain-winds be free To blow against thee: and in after years, When these wild ecstasies shall be matured Into a sober pleasure ; when thy mind Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms, Thy memory be as a dwelling-place For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief, Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts Of tender joy wilt thou remember me, And these my exhortations !
APOSTROPHE TO THE DEITY.
FROM A POEM ON THE POWER OF
Thoo, dread source Prime, self-existing cause and end of all That in the scale of being fill their place ; Above our human region, or below, Set and sustain'd;—Thou, who didst wrap the
cloud Of infancy around us, that Thyself, Therein with our simplicity a while Might'st hold, on earth, communion undisturb’d; Who from the anarchy of dreaming sleep, Or from its deathlike void, with punctual care, And touch as gentle as the morning light, Restorest us, daily, to the powers of sense, And reason's steadfast rule-Thou, Thou alone Art everlasting, and the bless'd spirits, Which thou includest, as the sea her waves : For adoration thou endurest; endure For consciousness the motions of thy will; For apprehension those transcendent truths Of the pure intellect, that stand as laws (Submission constituting strength and power) Even to Thy Being's infinite majesty! This universe shall pass away--a work Glorious! because the shadow of thy might, A step, or link, for intercourse with thee. Ah! if the time must come, in which my feet No more shall stray where meditation leads, By flowing stream, through wood, or craggy wild, Loved haunts like these; the unimprison'd mind May yet have scope to range among her own, Her thoughts, her images, her high desires. If the dear faculty of sight should fail, Still, it may be allow'd me to remember What visionary powers of eye and soul In youth were mine; when, station'd on the top Of some huge hill-expectant I beheld The sun rise up, from distant climes return'd Darkness to chase, and sleep; and bring the day His bounteous gift! or saw him toward the deep Sink, with a retinue of Alaming clouds Attended ; then, my spirit was entranced With joy exalted to beatitude ; The measure of my soul was fill'd with bliss, And holiest love; as earth, sea, air, with light, With pomp, with glory, with magnificence !
-Tae gift to King Amphion
That wall’d a city with its melody
Could humanize the creatures of the sea, Where men were monsters. A last grace he craves,
Leave for one chant;-the dulcet sound Steals from the deck o'er willing waves,
And listening dolphins gather round. Self-cast, as with a desperate course,
Mid that strange audience, he bestrides A proud one, docile as a managed horse;
And singing, while the accordant hand Sweeps his harp, the master rides;
So sball he touch at length a friendly strand, And he, with his preserver, shine star-bright In memory, through silent night. The pipe of Pan, to shepherds
Couch'd in the shadow of Mænalian pines, Was passing sweet; the eyeballs of the leopards · That in high triumph drew the Lord of Vines, How did they sparkle to the cymbal's clang!
While Fauns and Satyrs beat the ground In cadence, and Silenus swang
This way and that, with wild-flowers crown'd. To life, to life give back thine ear:
Ye who are longing to be rid
The little sprinkling of cold earth that fell
The convict's summons in the steeple's knell ; “The vain distress-gun” from a leeward shore Repeated-heard and heard no more!
Fair is the swan, whose majesty, prevailing
O'er breezeless water, on Locano's lake, Bears him on, while proudly sailing
He leaves behind a moon-illumined wake: Behold! the mantling spirit of reserve Fashions his neck into a goodly curve; An arch thrown back between luxuriant wings
Of whitest garniture, like fir-tree boughs,
A flaky weight of winter's purest snows!
Nor less the homage that was seen to wait
Or Plato's genius, from its lofty sphere,
Softening their inbred dignity austere ;
Help, under every change of adverse fate.
Five thousand warriors-oh, the rapturous day! Each crown'd with flowers, and arm'd with spear
and shield, Or ruder weapon which their course might yield,
To Syracuse advance in bright array. Who leads thein on!-- The anxious people see
Long-exiled Dion marching at their head, He also crown'd with flowers of Sicily,
And in a white, far-beaming corslet clad ! Pure transport, undisturb'd by doubt or tear,
The gazers feel; and, rushing to the plain,
Salute those strangers as a holy train
That brought their precious liberty again.
Down the long street, rich goblets filla with wine In seemly order stand, On tables set, as if for rites divine
And, as the great deliverer marches by, He looks on festal ground with fruits bestrown; And flowers are on his person thrown
In boundless prodigality; Nor doth the general voice abstain from prayer, Invoking Dion's tutelary care, As if a very deity he wore!
Mourn, bills and groves of Attica! and mourn
Not on the breath of popular applause,
But through dependence on the sacred laws Framed in the schools where wisdom dwelt retired, Intent to trace the ideal path of right (More fair than heaven's broad causeway paved
with stars) Which Dion learn'd to measure with delight;
But he hath overleap'd the eternal bars ; And, following guides whose craft holds no consent With aught that breathes the ethereal element, Hath stain'd the robes of civil power with blood, Unjustly shed, though for the public good. Whence doubts that come too late, and wishes vain, Hollow excuses, and triumphant pain; And oft his cogitations sink as low
As, through the abysses of a joyless heart, The heaviest plummet of despair can go;
But whence that sudden check! that fearful start! He hears an uncouth sound
Anon his lifted eyes
A shape of more than mortal size
His force on Caspian foam to try;
That skins the plains of Thessaly,
The sullen spectre to her purpose bow'd,
No pause admitted, no design avow'd! “ Avaunt, inexplicable guest !-avaunt!"
Exclaim'd the chieftain,—“Let me rather see The coronal that coiling vipers make; The torch that flames with many a lurid flake,
And the long train of doleful pageantry Which they behold, whom vengeful furies haunt;
Who, while they struggle from the scourge to flee, Move where the blasted soil is not unworn, And, in their anguish, bear what other minds have
borne! But shapes that come not at an earthly call,
Will not depart when mortal voices bid;
Lords of the visionary eye, whose lid
The spots that to my soul adhere;
They will not, cannot disappear;
l'pon the ruins of thy glorious name ;
• See Plutarch.