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Mysterious havoc ! but serene his brow,

When from October clouds a milder light Where daylight lingers ’mid perpetual snow; Fell, where the blue flood rippled into white, Glitter the stars above, and all is black below.

Methought from every cot the watchfal bird

Crowed with ear-piercing power till then unheard; At such an hour I heaved a pensive sigh,

Each clacking mill, that broke the murmuring streains, When roared the sullen Arve in anger by,

Rocked the charmed thought in more delightfri That not for thy reward, delicious Vale!

dreams; Waves the ripe harvest in the autumnal gale;

Chasing those long, long dreams, the falling leaf That thou, the slave of slaves, art doomed to pine;

Awoke a fainte; pang of moral grief; Hard lot!—for no Italian arts are thine,

The measured echo of the distant flail To soothe or cheer, to soften or refine.

Wound in more welcome cadence down the vale; Beloved Freedom! were it mine to stray,

A more majestic tidet the water rolled,
With shrill winds roaring round my lonely way, And glowed the sun-gilt groves in richer gold.
O'er the bleak sides of Cumbria's heath-clad moors, - Though Liberty shall soon, indignant, raise
Or where dank sea-weed lashes Scotland's shores; Red on the hills his beacon's comet blaze;
To scent the sweets of Piedmont's breathing rose, Bid from on high his lonely cannon sound,
And orange gale that o'er Lugano blows;

And on ten thousand hearths his shout rebound;
In the wide range of many a varied round,

His larum-bell from village tower to tower Fleet as my passage was, I still have found

Swing on the astounded ear its dull undying roar; That where despotic courts their gems display, Yet, yet rejoice, though Pride's perverted ire The lillies of domestic joy decay,

Rouse Hell's own aid, and wrap thy hills in fire! While the remotest hamlets blessings share,

Lo! from the innocuous flames, a lovely birth, In thy dear presence known, and only there!

With its own Virtues springs another earth: The casement's shed more luscious woodbine binds, Nature, as in her prime, her virgin reign And to the door a neater pathway winds;

Begins, and Love and Truth compose her train; At early morn, the careful housewife, led

While, with a pulseless hand, and steadfast gaze, To cull her dinner from its garden bed,

Unbreathing Justice her still beam surveys.
Of weedless herbs a healthier prospect sees,
While hum with busier joy her happy bees;

Oh give, great God, to Freedom's waves to ride In brighter rows her table wealth aspires,

Sublime o'er Conquest, Avarice, and Pride, And laugh with merrier blaze her evening fires ;

To sweep where Pleasure decks her guilty bowers, Her infants' cheeks with fresher roses glow,

And dark Oppression builds her thick-ribbed towers And wilder graces sport around their brow;

- Give them, beneath their breast while gladnese By clearer taper lit, a cleanlier board

springs, Receives at supper hour her tempting hoard;

To brood the nations o'er with Nile-like wings; The chamber hearth with fresher boughs is spread,

And grant that every sceptred Child of clay, And whiter is the hospitable bed.

Who cries, presumptuous, "Here their tides shall stay," And oh, fair France ! though now along the shade, Swept in their anger from the affrighted shore, Where erst at will the gray-clad peasant strayed,

With all his creatures sink-to rise no more!
Gleam war's discordant vestments through the trees,
And the red banner fluctuates in the breeze;

To-night, my friend, within this humble cot
Though martial songs have banished songs of love, Be the dead load of mortal ills forgot
And nightingales forsake the village grove,

In timely sleep; and, when at break of day,
Scared by the fife and rumbling drum’s alarms, On the tall peaks the glistening sunbeams play,
And the short thunder, and the flash of arms;

With lighter heart our course we may renew, While, as Night bids the startling uproar die, The first whose footsteps print the mountain dew. Sole sound, the Sourd* renews his mournful cry! -- Yet, hast thou found that Freedom spreads her + The duties upon many parts of the French rivers were so power

exorbitant, that the poorer people, deprived of the benefit of Beyond the cottage hearth, the cottage door :

water carriage were obliged to transport their goods by land. All nature smiles, and owns beneath her eyes Her fields peculiar, and peculiar skies. Yes, as I roamed where Loiret's waters glide Through rustling aspens heard from side to side,

* An insect is so called, which emits a short, melancholy cry, heard at the close of the summer evenings, on the banks of the Loire.

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Such as did once the Poet bless,

Who murmuring here a later* ditty,
Calm is all nature as a resting wheel.

Could find no refuge from distress
The kine are couched upon the dewy grass;

But in the milder grief of pity.
The horse alone, seen dimly as I pass,

Now let us, as we float along,
Is cropping audibly his later meal:

For him suspend the dashing oar;
Dark is the ground; a slumber seems to steal
O'er vale, and mountain, and the starless sky.

And pray that never child of song
Now, in this blank of things, a harmony

May know that Poet's sorrows more.

How calm! how still! the only sound,
Homefelt, and home created, seems to heal
That grief for which the senses still supply

The dripping of the oar suspended !
Fresh food; for only then, when memory

– The evening darkness gathers round Is hushed, am I at rest. My Friends! restrain

By virtue's holiest Powers attended.t
Those busy cares that would allay my pain;
Oh! leave me to myself, nor let me feel
The officious touch that makes me droop again.

Left upon a Seat in a Yew-tree, which stands near the Lake
of Esthwaite, on a desolate part of the Shore, commanding a


beautiful Prospect. LINES

Nay, Traveller! rest. This lonely Yew-tree stands
WRITTEN WHILE SAILING IN A BOAT AT EVENING. Far from all human dwelling; what if here
How richly glows the water's breast

No sparkling rivulet spread the verdant herb?
Before us, tinged with evening hues,

What if the bee love not these barren boughs ?
While, facing thus the crimson west,

Yet, if the wind breathe soft, the curling waves, The boat her silent course pursues !

That break against the shore, shall lull thy mind
And see how dark the backward stream!

By one soft impulse saved from vacancy.
A little moment passed so smiling!
And still, perhaps, with faithless gleam,

-Who he was
Some other loiterers beguiling.

That piled these stones, and with the mossy sod

First covered, and here taught this aged Tree Such views the yoathful bard allure;

With its dark arms to form a circling bower, But, heedless of the following gloom,

I well remember. - He was one who owned He dreams their colours shall endure

No common soul. In youth by science nursed, Till peace go with him to the tomb.

And led by nature into a wild scene -- And let him nurse his fond deceit,

Of lofty hopes, he to the world went forth And what if he must die in sorrow!

A favoured Being, knowing no desire Who would not cherish dreams so sweet,

Which genius did not hallow; 'gainst the taint
Though grief and pain may come to-morrow?

Of dissolute tongues, and jealousy, and hate,
And scorn, – against all enemies prepared,
All but neglect. The world, for so it thought,

Owed him no service; wherefore he at once

With indignation turned himself away,

And with the food of pride sustained his soul

In solitude. - Stranger! these gloomy boughs
Had charms for him; and here he loved to sit,

His only visitants a straggling sheep,
may see

The stone-chat, or the glancing sand-piper:
As lovely visions by thy side

And on these barren rocks, with fern and heath,
And juniper and thistle, sprinkled o'er,
Fixing his downcast eye, he many an hour


GLIDE gently, thus for ever glide,
O Thames! that other bards

As now, fair river! come to me.
O glide, fair stream! for ever so,
Thy quiet soul on all bestowing,
Till all our minds for ever flow
As thy deep waters now are flowing.

Voin thought!-Yet be as now thou art,
That in thy waters may be seen
The image of a poet's heart,
How bright, how solemn, how serene !

* Collins's Ode on the Death of Thomson, the last written,
I believe, of the poems which were published during his
lifetime. This Ode is also alluded to in the next stanza.
t["* Remembrance oft shall haunt the shore

When Thames in summer wreaths is drest,
And oft suspend the dashing oar,
To bid his gentle spirit resti!”



A morbid pleasure nourished, tracing here
An emblem of his own unfruitful life:
And, lifting up his head, he then would gaze
On the more distant scene,- how lovely 'tis

Thou seest,- and he would gaze till it became
Far lovelier, and his heart could not sustain
"The beauty, still more beauteous! Nor, that time,
When nature had subdued him to herself,
Would he forget those Beings to whose minds,
Warm from the labours of benevolence,
The world and human life appeared a scene
Of kindred loveliness: then he would sigh,
Inly disturbed, to think that others felt
What he must never feel: and so, lost Man!
On visionary views would fancy feed,
Till his eye streamed with tears. In this deep vale
He died, - this seat his only monument.

sistible arms of Great Britain being added to those of the allies, . was assured in my own mind would be of long continuance, and productive of distress and misery beyond all possible calculation This conviction was pressed upon me by having been a witness, during a long residence in revolutionary France, of the spirit which prevailed in that country. After leaving the Isle of Wight, I spent two days in wandering on foot over Salisbury Plain, which, though cultivation was then widely spread through parts of it, had upon the whole a still more impressive appearance than it now retains.

The monuments and traces of antiquity, scattered in abundance over that region, led ine unavoidably to compare what we know or guess of those remote times with certain aspects of modern society, and with calamities, principally those consequent upon war, to which, more than other classes of men, the poor are those reflections, joined with particular facts that had come to my knowledge, the following stanzas originated.

In conclusion, to obviato nome distraction in the minds of those who are well acquainted with Salisbury Plain, it may be proper 10 say, that of the features described as belonging to it, one or two are taken from other desolate parts of England.

If Thou be one whose heart the holy forms
Of young imagination have kept pure
Stranger! henceforth be warned; and know that pride,
Howe'er disguised in its own majesty,
Is littleness; that he who feels contempt
For any living thing, hath faculties
Which he has never used; that thought with him
Is in its infancy. The man whose eye
Is ever on himself doth look on one,
The least of Nature's works, one who might move
The wise man to that scorn which wisdom holds
Unlawful, ever. O be wiser, thou !
Instructed that true knowledge leads to love;
True dignity abides with him alone
Who, in the silent hour of inward thought,
Can still suspect, and still revere himself,
In lowliness of heart.

A TRAVELLER on the skirt of Sarum's Plain
Pursued his vagrant way, with feet half bare;
Stooping his gait, but not as if to gain
Help from the staff he bore; for mien and air
Were hardy, though his cheek seemed worn with care
Both of the time to come, and time long fled:
Down fell in straggling locks his thin grey hair ;
A coat he wore of military red,
But faded, and stuck o'er with many a patch and shred


While thus he journeyed, step by step led on,
He saw and passed a stately inn, full sure
That welcome in such house for him was none.
No board inscribed the needy to allure
Hung there, no bush proclaimed to old and poor
And desolate, “ Here you will find a friend!"
The pendent grapes glittered above the door;-
On he must pace, perchance 'till night descend,
Where'er the dreary roads their bare white lines extend.



bugun 179


The gathering clouds grew red with stormy fire,
In streaks diverging wide and mounting high;

That inn he long had passed; the distant spire,

Which oft as he looked back had fixed his eye,

Was lost, though still he looked, in the blank sky. ADVERTISEMENT,

Perplexed and comfortless he gazed around, PREFIXED TO THE FIRST EDITION OF THIS POEM, PUBLISHED IN 1842. And scarce could any trace of man descry,

Save cornfields stretched and stretching without bound; Not less than one-third of the following poem, though it has But where the sower dwelt was nowhere to be found. from time to time been altered in the expression, was published so far back as the year 1798, under the title of "The Female Vagrant." The extract is of such length that an apology seems to be required No tree was there, no meadow's pleasant green, for reprinting it here: but it was necessary to restore it to its origi. nal position, or the rest would have been unintelligible. The whole

No brook to wet his lip or soothe his ear; was written before the close of the year 1794, and I will detail, Long files of corn-stacks here and there were seen, rather as matter of literary biography than for any other reason, the circumstances under which it was produced.

But not one dwelling-place his heart to cheer. During the latter part of the summer of 1793, having passed a

Some labourer, thought he, may perchance be near; month in the Isle of Wight, in view of the fleet which was then And so he sent a feeble shout- in vain; preparing for sea off Portsmouth at the commencement of the war, No voice made answer, he could only hear i left the place with melancholy forebodings. The American war was still fresh in memory. The struggle which was beginning, and

Winds rustling over plots of unripe grain, which many thought would be brought to a speedy close by the irre. I or whistling thro' thin grass along the unfurrowed plain,


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Of the mind's phantoms, horrible as vain.

The stones, as if to cover him from day,
long had he fancied each successive slope

Rolled at his back along the living plain;
Concealed some cottage, whither he might turn

He fell, and without sense or motion lay;
And rest ; but now along heaven's darkening cope

But, when the trance was gone, feebly pursued his way.
The crows rushed by in eddies, homeward borne.
Thus warned he sought some shepherd's spreading thorn
Or hovel from the storm to shield his head,

As one whose brain habitual phrensy fires
But sought in vain; for now, all wild, forlorn,

Owes to the fit in which his soul hath tossed
And vacant, a huge waste around him spread;

Profounder quiet, when the fit retires,
The wet cold ground, he feared, must be his only bed.

Even so the dire phantasma which had crossed

His sense, in sudden vacancy quite lost,
And be it so — for to the chill night shower

Left his mind still as a deep evening stream.
And the sharp wind his head he oft hath bared ; Nor, if accosted now, in thought engrossed,
A Sailor he, who many a wretched hour

Moody, or inly troubled, would he seem
Hath told; for, landing after labour hard,

To traveller who might talk of any casual theme.
Full long endured in hope of just reward,
He to an armed fleet was forced away
By seamen, who perhaps themselves had shared

Hurtle the clouds in deeper darkness piled,
Like fate; was hurried off, a helpless prey,

Gone is the raven timely rest to seek; "Gainst all that in his heart, or theirs perhaps

, said nay. He seemed the only creature in the wild

On whom the elements their rage might wreak;

Save that the bustard, of those regions bleak
For years the work of carnage did not cease,
And death's dire aspect daily he surveyed,

Shy tenant, seeing by the uncertain light
Death's minister; then came liis glad release,

A man there wandering, gave a mournful shriek, And hope returned, and pleasure fondly made

And half upon the ground, with strange affright, Her dwelling in his dreams. By Fancy's aid

Forced hard against the wind a thick unwieldy flight. The happy husband Aies, his arms to throw

Round his wife's neck; the prize of victory laid
In her full lap, he sees such sweet tears flow

All, all was cheerless to the horizon's bound;

The weary eye — which, wheresoe'er it strays, As if thenceforth nor pain nor trouble she could know. Marks nothing but the red sun’s setting round,

Or on the earth strange lines, in former days Vain hope! for fraud took all that he had earned.

Left by gigantic arms — at length surveys The lion roars and gluts his tawny brood

What seems an antique castle spreading wide; Eren in the desert's heart; but he, returned,

Hoary and naked are its walls, and raise Bears not to those he loves their needful food.

Their brow sublime: in shelter there to bide His home approaching, but in such a mood

He turned, while rain poured down smoking on every That frorn his sight his children might have run,

side. He met a traveller, robbed him, shed his blood; And when the miserable work was done

Pile of Stone-henge! so proud to hint yet keep He fled, a vagrant since, the murderer's fate to shun.

Thy secrets, thou that lov'st to stand and hear

The plain resounding to the whirlwind's sweep.
From that day forth no place to him could be,

Inmate of lonesome Nature's endless year;
Even if thou saw'st the giant wicker rear
For sacrifice its throngs of living men,
Before thy face did ever wretch appear,
Who in his heart had groaned, with deadlier pain
Than he who, tempest-driven, thy shelter now would





So lonely, but that thence might come a pang
Brught from without to inward misery.
Now, as he plodded on, with sullen clang
A sound of chains along the desert rang;
He looked, and saw upon a gibbet high
A human body that in irons swang,
Uplifted by the tempest whirling by ;
Aod, hovering, round it often did a raven fly.*


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Within that fabric of mysterious form,
Winds met in conflict, each by turns supreme;
And, from the perilous ground dislodged, through store
And rain he wildered on, no moon to stream
From gulf of parting clouds one friendly beam,
Nor any friendly sound nis footsteps led ;
Once did the lightning's faint disastrous gleam
Disclose a naked guide-post's double head,
Sight which tho' lost at once a gleam of pleasure shed.

See Note 2.







Her he addressed in words of cheering sound; No swinging sign-board creaked from cottage elm Recovering heart, like answer did she make; To stay his steps with faintness overcome;

And well it was that, of the corse there found, 'Twas dark and void as ocean's watery realm

In converse that ensued she nothing spake; Roaring with storms beneath night's starless gloom; She knew not what dire pangs in him such tale could No gipsy cower'd o'er fire of furze or broom;

wake. No labourer watched his red kiln glaring bright,

But soon his voice and words of kind intent
Nor ta per glimmered dim from sick man's room;

Banished that dismal thought; and now the wind
Along the waste no line of mournful light
From lamp of lonely toll-gate streamed athwart the In fainter howlings told its rage was spent :

Meanwhile discourse ensued of various kind,

Which by degrees a confidence of mind

And mutual interest failed not to create,
At length, though hid in clouds, the moon arose;
The downs were visible - and now revealed

And, to a natural sympathy resigned,
A structure stands, which two bare slopes enclose.

In that forsaken building where they sate
It was a spot, where, ancient vows fulfilled,

The woman thus retraced her own untoward fate.
Kind pious hands did the virgin build
A lonely spital, the belated swain

“ By Derwent's side my father dwelt – a man
From the night terrors of that waste to shield: Of virtuous life, by pious parents bred;
But there no human being could remain,

And I believe that, soon as I began And now the walls are named the “Dead House" of the To lisp, he made me kneel beside my bed, plain.

And in his hearing there my prayers I said:

And afterwards, by my good father taught, Though he had little cause to love the abode

I read, and loved the books in which I read; Of man, or covet sight of mortal face,

For books in every neighbouring house I sought, Yet when faint heams of light that ruin showed, And nothing to my mind a sweeter pleasure brought. How glad he was at length to find some trace Of human shelter in that dreary place!

A little croft we owned a plot of corn, Till to his flock the early shepherd goes,

A garden stored with peas, and mus, and thyme, Here shall much-needed sleep his frame embrace.

And flowers for posies, oft on Sunday morn In a dry nook where fern the floor bestrows

Plucked while the church bells rang their earliest chime. He lays his stiffened limbs, — his eyes begin to close;

Can I forget our freaks at shearing time!

My hen's rich nest through long grass scarce espied ; When hearing a deep sigh, that seemed to come The cowslip's gathering in June's dewy prime; From one who mourned in sleep, he raised his head, The swans that with white chests upreared in pride And saw a woman in the naked room

Rushing and racing came to meet me at the water-side' Outstretched, and turning on a restless bed: The moon a wan dead light around her shed.

The staff I well remember which upbore He waked her — spake in tone that would not fail,

The bending body of my active sire; He hoped, to calm her mind; but ill he sped,

His seat beneath the honied sycamore For of that ruin she had heard a tale

Where the bees hummed, and chair by winter fire; Which now with freezing thoughts did all her powers When market-inorning came, the neat attire assail ;

With which, though bent on haste, myself I decked ;

Our watchful house-dog, that would tease and tire Had heard of one who, forced from storms to shroud,

The stranger till its barking fit I checked; Felt the loose walls of this decayed retreat

The red-breast, known for years, which at my casement Rock to incessant neighings shrill and loud,

pecked. While his horse pawed the floor with furious heat; Till on a stone, that sparkled to his feet,

The suns of twenty summers danced along,
Struck, and still struck again, the troubled horse : Too little marked how fast they rolled away:
The man half raised the stone with pain and sweat,

But, through severe mischance and cruel wrong,
Half raised, for well his arm might lose its force My father's substance fell into decay:
Disclosing the grim head of a late murdered corse.

We toiled and struggled, hoping for a day

When fortune might put on a kinder look; Such tale of this lone mansion she had learned,

But vain were wishes, efforts vain as they ; And, when that shape, with eyes in sleep half drowned, He from his old hereditary nook By the moon's sullen lamp she first discerned, Must part; the summons came;-our final leave we Cold stony horror all her senses bound.







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