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By something cognizably shaped;
Mockery — or model roughly hewn,
And left as if by earthquake strewn,
Or from the Flood escaped :
Altars for Druid service fit;
(But where no fire was ever lit,
Unless the glow-worm to the skies
Thence offer nightly sacrifice;)
Wrinkled Egyptian monument;
Green moss-grown tower; or hoary tent;
Tents of a camp that never shall be raised;
On which four thousand years have gazed :


Ye plough-shares sparkling on the slopes!
Ye snow-white lambs that trip
Imprisoned 'mid the formal props
Of restless ownership !
Ye trees, that may to-morrow fall
To feed the insatiate Prodigal
Lawns, houses, chattels, groves, and fields.
All that the fertile valley shields;
Wages of folly — baits of crime, –
Of life's uneasy game the stake,
Playthings that keep the eyes awake
Of drowsy, dotard Time; —
O care : O guilt – O vales and plains,
Here, 'mid his own unvexed domains,
A Genius dwells, that can subdue
At once all memory of You, -
Most potent when mists veil the sky,
Mists that distort and magnify;
While the coarse rushes, to the sweeping breeze,
Sigh forth their ancient melodies!


List to those shriller notes! — that march
Perchance was on the blast,
When, through this Height's inverted arch,
Rome's earliest legion passed :
— They saw, adventurously impelled,
And older eyes than theirs beheld,
This block — and yon, whose Church-like frame
Gives to the savage Pass its name.
Aspiring Road that lov'st to hide
Thy daring in a vapoury bourn,
Not seldom may the hour return
When thou shalt be my Guide:
And I (as often we find cause,
When life is at a weary pause,
And we have panted up the hill
Of duty with reluctant will)
Be thankful, even though tired and faint,
For the rich bounties of Constraint.
Whence oft invigorating transports flow
That Choice lacked courage to bestow!



But, of his scorn repenting soon, he drew
My soul was grateful for delight

A juster judgment from a calmer view;
That wore a threatening brow;

And, with a spirit freed from discontent,
A veil is lifted — can she slight

Thankfully took an effort that was meant
The scene that opens now?

Not with God's bounty, nature's love, to vie,
Though habitation none appear,

Or made with hope to please that inward eye
The greenness tells, man must be there;

Which ever strives in vain itself to satisfy,
The shelter - that the perspective

But to recal the truth by some faint trace
Is of the clime in which we live;

Of power ethereal and celestial grace,
Where Toil pursues his daily round;

That in the living creature find on earth a place.
Where Pity sheds sweet tears, and Love,
In woodbine bower or birchen grove,
Inflicts his tender wound.


Not a breath of air
Who comes not hither ne'er shall know
How beautiful the world below;

Ruffles the bosom of this leafy glen.
Nor can he guess how lightly leaps

From the brook's margill, wide around, the trees The brook adown the rocky steeps.

Are stedfast as the rocks; the brook itself, Farewell, thou desolate Domain !

Old as the hills that feed it from afar, Hope, pointing to the cultured Plain,

Doth rather deepen than disturb the calm Carols like a shepherd boy;

Where all things else are still and motionless

. And who is she? - Can that be Joy !

And yet, even now, a little breeze, perchance Who, with a sunbeam for her guide,

Escaped from boisterous winds that rage

without, Smoothly skims the meadows wide;

Has entered, by the sturdy oaks unfelt, While Faith, from yonder opening cloud,

But to its gentle touch how sensitive To hill and vale proclaims aloud,

Is the light ash! that, pendent from the brow “ Whate'er the weak may dread, the wicked dare,

Of yon dim cave, in seeming silence makes
Thy lot, O Man, is good, thy portion fair !"

A soft eye-music of slow-waving boughs,
Powerful almost as vocal harmony

To stay the wanderer's steps and soothe his thoughits

The gentlest poet, with free thoughts endowed,
And a true master of the glowing strain,

Wouldst thou be taught, when sleep has taken fligini

, Might scan the narrow province with disdain

By a sure voice that can most sweetly tell, That to the painter's skill is here allowed.

How far-off yet a glimpse of morning light, This, this the Bird of Paradise ! disclaim

And if to lure the truant back be well, The daring thought, forget the name;

Forbear to covet a repeater's stroke, This the sun's bird, whom Glendoveers might own

That, answering to thy touch will sound the hour; As no unworthy partner in their flight

Better provide thee with a Cuckoo-clock Through seas of ether, where the ruffling sway

For service hung behind thy chamber-door; Of nether air's rude billows is unknown;

And in due time the soft spontaneous shock, Whom sylphs, if e'er for casual pastime they

The double-note, as if with living power, Through India's spicy regions wing their way,

Will to composure lead

in bower. Might bow to as their Lord. What character, O sovereign Nature! I appeal to thee,

List, Cuckoo — Cuckoo! - oft tho' tempests howl, Of all thy feathered progeny

Or nipping frost remind thee trees are bare, Is so unearthly, and what shape so fair ?

How cattle pine, and droop the shivering fowl, So richly decked in variegated down,

Thy spirits will seem to feed on balmy air: Green, sable, shining yellow, shadowy brown, I speak with knowledge, – by that voice beguiled, Tints softly with each other blended,

Thou wilt salute old memories as they throng
Hues doubtfully begun and ended;

Into thy heart; and fancies, running wild
Or intershooting, and to sight
Lost and recovered, as the rays of light

Through fresh green fields, and budding groves arnong,

Will make thee happy, happy as a child ; Glance on the conscious plumes touched here and there? Of sunshine wilt thou think, and flowers, and song Full surely, when with such proud gifts of life

And breathe as in a world where nothing can go wrong. Began the pencil's strife, D'erweening art was caught as in a snare.

And know — that, even for him who shuns the day

And nightly tosses on a bed of pain;
A sense of seemingly presumptuous wrong Whose joys, from all but memory swept away,
Gave the first impulse to the poet's song;

Must come unhoped for, if they come again;

- or make thee blithe as bird

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Koow - that, for him whose waking thoughts, severe Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
As hls distress is sharp, would scorn my theme, And passing even into my purer mind,
The mimic notes striking upon his ear

With tranquil restoration : — feelings too
In sleep, and intermingling with his dream,

Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps, Could from sad regions send him to a dear

As have no slight or trivial influence Delightful land of verdure, shower and gleam,

On that best portion of a good man's life, To mock the wandering voice beside some haunted His little, nameless, unremembered acts stream.

Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
O bounty without measure! while the grace To them I may have owed another gift,
Of Heaven doth in such wise, from humblest springs, Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
Pour pleasure forth, and solaces that trace

In which the burthen of the mystery,
A mazy course along familiar things,

In which the heavy and the weary weight
Well may our hearts have faith that blessings come, Of all this unintelligible world,
Streaming from founts above the starry sky,

Is lightened :— that serene and blessed mood,
With angels when their own untroubled home In which the affections gently lead us on,
They leave, and speed on nightly embassy

Until the breath of this corporeal frame
To visit earthly chambers, — and for whom?

And even the motion of our human blood
Yea, both for souls who God's forbearance try,
And those that seek his help, and for his mercy sigh.

Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
In body, and become a living soul :
While with an eye made quiet by the power

Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
We see into the life of things.

If this

Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft,
JULY 13, 1798.

In darkness, and amid the many shapes
Five years have past ; five summers, with the length

Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir Of five long winters! and again I hear

Unprofitable, and the fever of the world, These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs

Have hung upon the beatings of my heart, With a sweet inland murmur.* – Once again

How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee, Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,

O sylvan Wye! Thou wanderer thro' the woods, That on a wild secluded scene impress

How often has my spirit turned to thee ! Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect And now, with gleams of half-extinguished thought, The landscape with the quiet of the sky.

With many recognitions dim and faint, The day is come when I again repose

And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view

The picture of the mind revives again :
These plots of cottage-ground, these orchard-tufts, While here I stand, not only with the sense
Which at this season, with their unripe fruits,

Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves

That in this moment there is life and food
Among the woods and copses, nor disturb

For future years. And so I dare to hope,
The wild green landscape. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines

Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first

I came among these hills; when like a roe Of sportive wood run wild: these pastoral farms,

I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke

Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams, Sent up, in silence, from among the trees

Wherever nature led: more like a man With some uncertain notice, as might seem

Flying from something that he dreads, than one vagrant Dwellers in the houseless woods, Or of sorne Hermit's cave, where by his fire

Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,

And their glad animal movements all gone by)
These beauteous Forms,

To me was all in all. — I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract

Haunted me like a passion : the tall rock,
But oft, in lonely rooms, and 'mid the din

The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite ; a feeling and a love,

That had no need of a remoter charm,
in the river is not effected by the tides a few miles above By thought supplied, or any interest
Unborrowed from the eye. - That time is past,

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The Hermit sits alone.

Through a long absence, have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:

Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,


When these wild ecstacies 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 ! Nor, perchance
If I should be where I no more can hear
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams
Of past existence, wilt thou then forget
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love, oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake!



What's in a Name?

Brutus will start a Spirit as soon as Casas!



&c. &c.

MY DEAR FRIEND. The Tale of Peter Bell, which I now introduce to your notice, and to that of the Public, has, in its Manuscript state, nearly survived its minority ; — for it first saw the light in the summer of 1798. During this long interval, pains have been taken at different times to make the production less unworthy of a favourable reception; or, rather, to fit it for filling permanently a station, however hunble, in the Literature of my Country. This has, indeed, been the aim of all my endeavours in Poetry, which, you know, have been sufficiently laborious to prove that I deem the Art nok lightly to be approached ; and that the attainment of excellence in it

, may laudably be made the principal object of intellectual pursuit by any man, who, with reasonable consideration of circumstances, has faith in his own impulses.

The Poem of Peter Bell, as the Prologue will show, was composed under a belief that the Imagination not


And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts
Have followed, for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompense. For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth ; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,
And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth ; of all the mighty world
Of eye and ear, both what they half create*,
And what perceive; well pleased to recognise
In nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.

Nor perchance,
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay :
For thou art with me, here, upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou, my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend, and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former eart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear Sister! and this prayer

I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; 't is 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, or 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,

* This line has a close resemblance to an admirable line of Young, the exact expression of which I do not recollect.

Away we go — and what care we
For treasons, tumults, and for wars!
We are as calm in our delight
As is the crescent moon so bright
Among the scattered stars.

only does not require for its exercise the intervention of supernatural agency, but that, though such agency Je excluded, the faculty may be called forth as imperiously, and for kindred results of pleasure, by incidents, within the compass of poetic probability, in the humblest departments of daily life. Since that Prologue was written, you have exhibited most splendid effects of judicious daring, in the opposite and usual course. Let this acknowledgment make my peace with the lovers of the supernatural; and I am persuaded it will be admitted, that to you, as a Master in that province of the art, the following Tale, whether from contrast 07 congruity, is not an unappropriate offering. Accept it, then, as a public testimony of affectionate admiration from one with whose name yours has been often coupled (to use your own words) for evil and for good; and believe me to be, with earnest wishes that life and health may be granted you to complete the many important works in which you are engaged, and with

Up goes my Boat among the stars Through many a breathless field of light, Through many a long blue field of ether, Leaving ten thousand stars beneath her. Up goes my little Boat so bright !

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The Crab — the Scorpion — and the Bull -
We pry among them all — have shot
High o'er the red-haired race of Mars,
Covered from top to toe with scars;
Such company I like it not !

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high respect,

The towns in Saturn are decayed,
And melancholy Spectres throng them;
The Pleiads, that appear to kiss
Each other in the vast abyss,
With joy I sail among them!

Most faithfully yours,


XTDAL Mount, April 7, 1819.

Swift Mercury resounds with mirth, Great Jove is full of stately bowers; But these, and all that they contain, What are they to that tiny grain, That little Earth of ours ?


There's something in a flying horse,
There's something in a huge balloon;
But through the clouds I'll never float
Until I have a little Boat,
Whose shape is like the crescent-moou.

Then back to Earth, the dear green Earth;
Whole ages if I here should roam,
The world for my remarks and me
Would not a whit the better be;
I've left my heart at home.

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