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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 BENEATI 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, squired 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 hymns 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
Did never break the stillness that prevails
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 beard, 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
Into a silent bay, or sportively That made him ; it was blessedness and love! Glanced sideways, leaving the tumultuous throng, A herdsman on the lonely mountain top,
To cross the bright reflection of a star, Such intercourse was his, and in this sort
Image that, dying still before me, gleam'd Was his existence oftentimes possessed.
Upon the glassy plain : and oftentimes Oh then how beautiful, how bright appear'd
When we had given our bodies to the wind, The written promise! Early had he learned And all the shadowy banks on either side To reverence the volume that displays
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
Faint I, nor mourn, nor murmur; other gifts TAESE beauteous forms,
Have follow'd; for such loss I would believe Through a long absence, have not been to me Abundant recompense. For I have learn'd As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
To look on nature, not as in the hour But oft, in lonely rooms, and mid the din
Of thoughtless youth, but hearing oftentimes Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
The still sad music of humanity, In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Not harsh nor grating, but of amplest power Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
To soften and subdue. And I have felt And passing even into my purer mind,
A passion that disturb'd me with the joy With tranquil restoration :-feelings, too,
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps, Of something far more deeply interposed, As have no slight or trivial influence
Whose dwelling is the light of setting sun, [ On that best portion of a good man's life,
And the round ocean, and the living air, ! His little, nameless, unremember'd acts
And the blue sky, and on the mind of man: Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust, A motion and a spirit, that impels To them I may have owed another gift
All thinking things, all objects and all thought, Of aspect more sublime ; that blesses most
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still In which the burden of the mystery,
A lover of the meadows and the woods, In which the heavy and the weary weight
And mountains; and of all that we behold Of all this unintelligible world
From this green earth; of all the mighty world Is lighten'd:--that serene and blessed mood, Of eye and ear, both what they half create In which the affections gently lead us on
And what perceive; well-pleased to recognise, Until the breath of this corporeal frame,
In nature and the language of the sense, And even the motion of our human blood
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, Almost suspended, we are laid asleep
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul In body, and become a living soul;
Of all my moral being.
CLOUDS AFTER A STORM.
-A SINGLE step which freed me from the skirts Of joyless daylight; when the fretful stir
Of the blind vapour, open'd to my view Unprofitable, and the fever of the world
Glory beyond all glory ever seen Has hung upon the beatings of my heart
By waking sense or by the dreaming soul-
The appearance instantaneously disclosed,
| A wilderness of building, sinking far
Far sinking into splendour-without end ! And somewhat of a sad perplexity,
Fabric it seem'd of diamond and of gold, The picture of the mind revives again :
With alabaster domes and silver spires; While here I stand, not only with the sense And blazing terrace upon terrace high Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts, Uplifted : here serene pavilions bright That in this moment there is life and food
In avenues disposed; there towers begirt For future years. And so I dare to hope, sfirst With battlements that on their restless fronts Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when Bore stars, illumination of all gems! I came among these hills; when like a roe Oh 'twas an unimaginable sight;
turf, I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides Clouds, mists, streams, watery rocks, and emerald Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
Clouds of all tincture, rocks and sapphire sky, Wherever nature led: more like a man
| Confused, commingled, mutually inflamed, Flying from something that he dreads, than one Molten together, and composing thus, Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then Each lost in each, that marvellous array (The coarser pleasures of my boyish days, | Of temple, palace, citadel, and huge And their glad varied moments all gone by) Fantastic pomp of structure without name, To me was all in all. I cannot paint
In fleecy folds voluminous enwrapp'd. What then I was. The sounding cataract Right in the midst, where interspace appear'd Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
Of open court, an object like a throne The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, Beneath a shining canopy of state Their colours and their forms, were then to me Stood fix'd ; and fix'd resemblances were seen An appetite; a feeling and a love
To implements of ordinary use, That had no need of a remoter charm,
But vast in size, in substance glorified ; By thought supplied, nor any interest
Such as by Hebrew prophets were beheld Unborrow'd from the eye. That time is past, In vision-forms uncouth of mightiest power, And all its aching joys are now no more,
For admiration and mysterious awe!
MAN NEVER TO BE SCORNED.
CHATTERTON. 'Tis nature's law
I Thought of Chatterton, the marvellous boy, That none, the meanest of created things,
The sleepless soul that perish'd in his pride; Of forms created the most vile and brute,
Of him who walk'd in glory and in joy The dullest or most noxious, should exist
Following his plough, along the mountain side; Divorced from good-a spirit and pulse of good,
By our own spirits we are deified; A life and soul, to every mode of being
We poets in our youth begin in gladness, Inseparably link'd. Then be assured
But thereof come in the end despondency and That least of all can aught—that ever own'd
PICTURE OF A BEGGAR.
The aged man
Had placed his staff across the broad, smooth stone Worn out and worthless.
That overlays the pile; and from a bag
And scann'd them with a fix'd and serious look OBEDIENCE AND HUMILITY. Of idle computation. In the sun, - Glorious is the blending
Upon the second step of that small pile,
Surrounded by these wild, unpeopled hills, Of light affections climbing or descending
He sat, and ate his food in solitude; Along a scale of light and life, with cares
And ever, scatter'd from his palsied hand, Alternate; carrying holy thoughts and prayers
That, still attempting to prevent the waste, Up to the sovereign seat of the Most High;
Was baffled still, the crumbs in little showers Descending to the worm in charity;
Fell on the ground; and the small mountain birds, Like those good angels whom a dream of night
Not venturing yet to pick their destined meal, Gave, in the field of Luz, to Jacob's sight;
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.
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; - EVERMORE
Her chamber window did surpass in glory
Could, by the simple opening of a door,
Let itself in upon him; pathways, walks, Her body was subdued. In every act
Swarm’d with enchantment, till his spirit sank, Pertaining to her house affairs, appear'd
Surcharged, within him-overblest to move
Beneath a sun that walks a weary world
A man too happy for mortality.
LONGING FOR REUNION WITH THE I knew not how, and hardly whence they came.
DEAD. - I return'd, And took my rounds along this road again
- Full oft the innocent sufferer sees Ere on its sunny bank the primrose flower
Too clearly; feels too vividly; and longs Peep'd forth, to give an earnest of the spring. To realize the vision with intense I found her sad and drooping; she had learn'd And over-constant yearning; there—there lies No tidings of her husband; if he lived,
The excess by which the balance is destroy'd. She knew not that he lived ; if he were dead, | Too, too contracted are these walls of flesh, She knew not he was dead. She seem'd the same This vital warmth too cold, these visual orbs, In person and appearance; but her house
Though inconceivably endow'd, too dim,
For any passion of the soul that leads
To ecstasy; and, all the crooked paths
Along the line of limitless desires.
A CHILD WITH A SHELL.
COMMUNION WITH NATURE.
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.
- 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
- Thou, 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,
-The 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'shall 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!
O'er breezeless water, on Locano's lake,
He leaves behind a moon-illumined wake:
Of whitest garniture, like fir-tree boughs,
A flaky weight of winter's purest snows!
Nor less the homage that was seen to wait
Of Plato's genius, from its lofty sphere,
Softening their inbred dignity austere ;
Help, under every change of adverse fate.
Five thousand warriors-ob, 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.
Long-exiled Dion marching at their head,
And in a white, far-beaming corslet clad ! Pure transport, undisturb’d by doubt or fear,
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 fill'd 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 were !
Mourn, hills 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
And the long train of doleful pageantry
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;
Upon the ruins of thy glorious name;
* See Plutarch.