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By something cognizably shaped;
Ye plough-shares sparkling on the slopes!
List to those shriller notes! — that march
But, of his scorn repenting soon, he drew
A juster judgment from a calmer view;
And, with a spirit freed from discontent,
Thankfully took an effort that was meant
Not with God's bounty, nature's love, to vie,
Or made with hope to please that inward eye
Which ever strives in vain itself to satisfy,
But to recal the truth by some faint trace
Of power ethereal and celestial grace,
That in the living creature find on earth a place.
Not a breath of air
Ruffles the bosom of this leafy glen.
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
A soft eye-music of slow-waving boughs,
To stay the wanderer's steps and soothe his thoughits
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
Into thy heart; and fancies, running wild
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;
Must come unhoped for, if they come again;
- or make thee blithe as bird
TIL BANKS OF THE WYE DURING A TOUR.
Koow - that, for him whose waking thoughts, severe Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
With tranquil restoration : — feelings too
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,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Is lightened :— that serene and blessed mood,
Until the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood
Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,
Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft,
In darkness, and amid the many shapes
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,
The picture of the mind revives again :
Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food
For future years. And so I dare to hope,
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
And their glad animal movements all gone by)
To me was all in all. — I cannot paint
Haunted me like a passion : the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
The Hermit sits alone.
Through a long absence, have not been to me
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
When these wild ecstacies shall be matured
What's in a Name?
Brutus will start a Spirit as soon as Casas!
ROBERT SOUTHEY Esq. P.L
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,
* 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
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 !
The Crab — the Scorpion — and the Bull -
The towns in Saturn are decayed,
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,
Then back to Earth, the dear green Earth;