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Or what need of explanation, Parley or interrogation ! For the Master sees, alas! That unhappy Figure near him, Limping o'er the dewy grass, Where the road it fringes, sweet, Soft and cool to wayworn feet; And, O indignity! an Ass, By his noble Mastiff's side, Tethered to the Waggon's tail; And the Ship, in all her pride, Folk wing after in full sail ! Not to speak of Babe and Mother, Who, contented with each other, And snug as birds in leafy arbour, Find, within, a blessed harbour!
With eager eyes the Master pries; Looks in and out -- and through and through ; Says nothing - till at last he spies A wound upon the Mastiff's head, A wound - where plainly might be read What feats an Ass's hoof can do! But drop the rest :--this aggravation, This complicated provocation, A board of grievances unsealed; All past forgiveness it repealed; — And thus, and through distempered blood On both sides, Benjamin the good, The patient, and the tender-hearted, Was from his Team and Waggon parted : When duty of that day was o'er, laid down his whip- and served no more. — Nor could the Waggon long survive Which Benjamin had ceased to drive: It lingered on ;-Guide after Guide Ambitiously the office tried; But each unmanageable hill Called for his patience and his skill ;And sure it is, that through this night, And what the morning brought to light, Two losses had we to sustain, We lost both WAGGONER and WAIN!
! Nor is it I who play the part,
with rosy light.
, O Friend, for praise or blame, The gift of this adventurous song ; A record which I dared to frame, Though tiinid scruples checked me long; They checked me and I left the theme l'ntouched — in spite of many a gleam Of fancy which thereon was shed, Like pleasant sunbeams shifting still Upon the side of a distant hill: But Nature might not be gainsaid; For what I have and what I miss I sing of these it makes my bliss !
Am grieved for that unhappy sin Which robbed us of good Benjamin ;
And of his stately Charge, which none Could keep alive when he was gone!
But Benjamin in his vexation, Possesses inward consolation; He knows his ground, and hopes to find A spot with all things to his mind, An upright mural block of stone, Moist with pure water trickling down. A slender spring; but kind to man It is a true Samaritan; Close to the highway, pouring out Its offering from a chink or spout; Whence all, howe'er athirst, or drooping With toil, may drink, and without stooping.
Cries Benjamin “Where is it, where? Voice it hath none, but must be near." -A star declining towards the west, Upon the watery surface threw Its image tremulously imprest, That just marked out the object and withdrew: Right welcome service!
ROCK OF NAMES! Light is the strain, but not unjust To Thee and thy memorial-trust That once seemed only to express Love that was love in idleness; Tokens, as year hath followed year How changed, alas, in character ! For they were graven on thy smooth breast By hands of those my soul loved best ; Meek women, men as true and brave As ever went to a hopeful grave: Their hands and mine, when side by side With kindred zeal and mutual pride, We worked until the Initials took Shapes that defied a scornful look.– Long as for us a genial feeling Survives, or one in need of healing, The power, dear Rock, around thee cast, Thy monumental power, shall last For me and mine! O thought of pain, That would impair it or profane! Take all in kindness then, as said With a staid heart but playful head; And fail not Thou, loved Rock! to keep Thy charge when we are laid asleep.'
POEMS OF THE FANCY.
*To the Daisy.'
Though it happe me to rehersin -
• The Seven Sisters.'
• The night-hawk is singing his frog-like tune,
Twirling his watchman's rattle about — but from unwillingness to startle the reader at the outset by so bold a mode of expression, the passage was altered as it now stands.
Page 158. After this line, • Can any mortal clog come to her,' followed in the MS. an incident which has been kept back. Part of the suppressed verses shall here be given as a gratification of private feeling, which the welldisposed reader will find no difficulty in excusing. They are now printed for the first time.
•Can any mortal clog come to her? It can:
POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION.
Potent was the spell that bound thee,
Lo! the dwindled woods and meadows!
There was a Boy ; ye knew him well, ye Cliffs And islands of Winander ! - many a time, At evening, when the earliest stars began Tc move along the edges of the hills, Rising or setting, would he stand alone, Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake; And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands Pressed closely palm to palm and to his mouth ('plifted, he, as through an instrument, Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls, That they might answer him. — And they would shout Across the watery vale, and shout again, Responsive to his call, — with quivering peals, And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud Redoubled and redoubled; concourse wild Of mirth and jocund din! And, when it chanced That pauses of deep silence mocked his skill, Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise Has carried far into his heart the voice Of mountain torrents; or the visible scene Would enter unawares into his mind With all its solemn imagery, its rocks, Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, received Into the bosom of the steady lake.
And a record of commotion
- Take thy flight;— possess, inherit Alps or Andes — they are thine! With the morning's roseate Spirit, Sweep their length of snowy line;
Or survey the bright dominions
Thine are all the coral fountains
This Boy was taken from his Mates, and died In childhood, ere he was full twelve years old. Fair is the spot, most beautiful the Vale Where he was born : the grassy Church-yard hangs l'pon a slope above the village-school; And, through that Church-yard wben my way has led At evening, I believe, that oftentimes A long half-hour together I have stood Mute - looking at the grave in which he lies!
To Niphate's top invited,
For the power of hills is on ee,
Built round by those white clouds, enormous clouds,
" Let me be allowed the aid of verse to describe the evola tions which these visitants sometimes perform, on a fine day towards the close of winter."— Extract from the Author's Book on the Lakes.
Mark how the feathered tenants of the flood, With grace of motion that might scarcely seem Inferior to angelical, prolong Their curious pastime! shaping in mid air (And sometimes with ambitious wing that soars High as the level of the mountain tops) A circuit ampler than the lake beneath, Their own domain;- but ever, while intent On tracing and retracing that large round, Their jubilant activity evolves Hundreds of curves and circlets, to and fro, Upward and downward, progress intricate Yet unperplexed, as if one spirit swayed Their indefatigable flight. — 'T is done — Ten times, or more,
I fancied it had ceased ; But lo! the vanished company again Ascending ; — they approach - I hear their winge Faint, faint at first; and then an eager sound Past in a moment — and as faint again! They tempt the sun to sport amid their plumes ; They tempt the water, or the gleaming ice, To show them a fair image;- 't is themselves, Their own fair forms, upon the glimmering plain, Painted more soft and fair as they descend Almost to touch ;- then up again aloft, Up with a sally and a flash of speed, As if they scorned both resting-place and rest !
While I am lying on the grass
Though babbling only, to the Vale,
To seek thee did I often rove
And I can listen to thee yet ;
The sky is overcast
There is a Yew-tree, pride of Lorton Vale,
Land sometimes by the roving shepherd-swain Of form and aspect too magnificent To be destroyed. But worthier still of note
(Like the bright confines of another world) Are those fraternal Four of Borrowdale,
Not doubtfully perceived. — Look homeward now ! Joined in one solemn and capacious grove;
In depth, in height, in circuit, how serene Huge trunks !--and each particular trunk a growth The spectacle, how pure!- Of Nature's works, Of intertwisted fibres serpentine
In earth, and air, and earth-embracing sea, l'p-coiling, and inveterately convolved,
A revelation infinite it seems; Nor uninformed with Phantasy, and looks
Display august of man's inheritance,
Of Britain's calm felicity and power!
It seems a day
(I speak of one from many singled out) Silence and Foresight — Death the Skeleton
One of those heavenly days which cannot die; And Time the Shadow,--there to celebrate,
When, in the eagerness of boyish hope, As in a natural temple scattered o'er
I left our Cottage-threshold, sallying forth With altars undisturbed of mossy stone,
With a huge wallet o'er my shoulders slung, United worship; or in mute repose
A nutting-crook in hand, and turned my steps To lie, and listen to the mountain flood
Toward the distant woods, a Figure quaint,
Tricked out in proud disguise of cast-off weeds
Motley accoutrement, of power to smile
At thorns, and brakes, and brambles, — and, in truth, Ters Height a ministering Angel might select: More ragged than need was! Among the woods, For from the summit of Black COMB (dread name And o'er the pathless rocks, I forced my way Derived from clouds and storms !) the amplest range Until, at length, I came to one dear nook Of unobstructed prospect may be seen
Unvisited, where not a broken bough That British ground commands: - low dusky tracts, Drooped with its withered leaves, ungracious sign Where Trent is nursed, far southward! Cambrian Of devastation, but the hazels rose His
Tall and erect, with milk-white clusters hung,
A virgin scene!- A little while I stood,
As joy delights in; and, with wise restraint
A temper known to those, who, after long Main Ocean, breaking audibly, and stretched And weary expectation, have been blest Far into silent regions blue and pale;
With sudden happiness beyond all hope. – And visibly engirding Mona's Isle
Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose leaves That, as we left the Plain, before our sight
The violets of five seasons re-appear Stood like a lofty Mount, uplifting slowly
And fade, unseen by any human eye; (Above the convex of the watery globe)
Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on Into clear view the cultured fields that streak
For ever, — and I saw the sparkling foam, but now appears
And with my cheek on one of those green stones Adwindled object, and submits to lie
That, fleeced with moss, beneath the shady trees, At the Spectator's feet. - Yon azure Ridge,
Lay round me, scattered like a flock of sheep, Is it a perishable cloud? Or, there
I heard the murmur and the murmuring sound, Do we behold the line of Erin's Coast?
In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to pay
Tribute to ease; and, of its joy secure, * Black Comb stands at the southem extremity of Cumber. The heart luxuriates with indifferent things, land is true covers a much greater extent of ground than any Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones
, other mountain in these parts; and, from its situation, the sumpel cornmands a moro extensive view than any other point in And on the vacant air. Then up I rose,
And dragged to earth both branch and bough, with crash
'ler habitable shores;