« AnteriorContinuar »
That comes and goes-will sometimes leap
From hiding-places ten years' deep;
Or haunts me with familiar face-
Returning, like a ghost unlaid,
Until the debt I owe be paid.
Forgive me, then; for I had been
Oo friendly terms with this Machine:
In him, while he was wont to trace
Our roads, through mauy a long year's space,
A living Almanack had we;
We had a speaking Diary,
That, in this uneventful place,
Gave to the days a mark and name
By which we knew them when they came.
-Yes, I, and all about me here,
Through all the changes of the year,
Had seen liim through the mountains go,
In pomp of mist or pomp of snow,
Majestically huge and slow:
Or, with a milder grace adorning
The Landscape of a summer's morning;
While Grasmere smoothed her liquid plain
The moving image to detain ;
And mighty Fairtield, with a chime
Of echoes, to liis marchi kept time;
When lille other business stirra,
And little other sound was heard;
In that delicious hour of balm,
Stillness, solitude, and calm,
Wbile yet the Valley is array'd,
On this side with a sober shade;
On that is prodigally bright
Crag, lawn, and wood-with rosy light. -
But most of all, thou lordly Wain!
I wish to have thee here again,
When windows flap and chimney roars,
And all is dismal out of doors;
And sitting by my fire, I see
Eight sorry Carts, no less a train!
Unworthy Successors of thee,
Come straggling through the wind and rain :
And oft, as they pass slowly on,
Beneath my window-one by one-
See, perch'd upon the naked height
The summit of a cumbrous freight,
A single Traveller-and there
Another—then perhaps a Pair-
The lame, the sickly, and the old;
Men, Women, heartless with the cold;
And Babes in wet and starveling plight ;
Which once, be weather as it might,
Had still a post withio a nest,
Thy shelter-and their Mother's breast!
Then most of all, then far the most,
Do I regret what we have lost;
Am grieved for that uvhappy sin
Which robb'd us of good Benjamin;-
And of his stately Charge, which none
Could keep alive when he was gone!
Fancy, who leads the pastimes of the glad, Full oft is pleased a wayward dart to throw; Sending sad shadows after things not sad, Peopling the harmless fields with signs of woe: Beneath her sway, a simple forest cry Becomes an echo of Man's misery.
Chanter by Heaven attracted, whom no bars To day-light known deter from that pursuit, *T is well that some sage instinct, when the stars Come forth at evening, keeps Thee still and mule; For not an eyelid could to sleep incline Wert thou among them, singing as they shinc !
Blithe Ravens croak of death ; and when the Owl Tries his two voices for a favourite strain| Tu-whit-Tu-whoo! the unsuspecting fowl
Forebodes mishap, or seems but to complain ; | Fancy, intent to harass and annoy, 1
Cau thus pervert the evidence of joy. | Through border wilds where naked Indians stray,
Myriads of votes attest her subile skill; | A feathered Task-master cries « WORK AWAY !» | And, in thy iteration, « WHIP POOR WILL,» !
Is heard the Spirit of a toil-worn Slave, | Lashed out of life, not quiet in the grave!
Her! divine skill taught me this,
That from every thing I saw
I could some instruction draw,
And raise pleasure to ibe height
Through the meanest object's sigbt.
By the murmur of a spring
Or the least bougl's rustelling;
By a Daisy whose leaves spread
Shut when Titan goes to bed ;
Or a shady bush or tree;
She could more infuse in me
Than all Nature's beauties can
In some other wiser map.
See Waterton's Wanderings in South America.
From year to year the spacious floor
With withcred leaves is covered o'er,
And all the year the bower is green.
But see! where'er the hailstones drop,
The withered leaves all skip and hop,
There's not a breeze-no breath of air-
Yet here, and there, and every where
Along the floor, beneath the shade
By those embowering hollies made,
The leaves in myriads jump and spring,
As if with pipes and music rare
Some Robin Good-fellow were there,
And all those leaves, in festive glee,
Were dancing to the minstrelsy.
Beneath these fruit-tree boughs that shed Their snow-white blossoms on my head, With brightest sunshine round me spread
Of spring's unclouded weather, In this scqucstered nook how sweet To sit upon my Orcliard-seat! And Birds and Flowers once more to greet,
My last year's Friends together.
One have I marked, the happiest Guest
In all this covert of the blest:
Hail to Thee, far above the rest
In joy of voice and pinion,
Thon, Linnet! in thy green array,
Presiding Spirit here to-day,
Dost Icad the revels of the May,
And this is thy dominion.
While Birds, and Butterflies, and Flowers
Make all one Band of Paramours,
Thou, ranging up and down the bowers,
Art sole in thy employment;
A Life, a Presence like the Air,
Scattering thy gladness without care,
Too blest with any one to pair,
Thyself thy own enjoyment.
Upon yon tuft of hazel trees,
That twinkle to the gusty breeze,
Behold him perched in ecstasies,
Yet sceming still to hover;
There! where the flutter of his wings
Upon his back and body tlings
Shadows and sunny glimmerings,
That cover him all over.
My sight he dazzles, half deceives,
A Bird so like the dancing Leaves ;
Then flits, and from the Cottage eaves
Pours forth his song in gushes;
As if by that exulting strain
He mocked and treated with disdain
The voiceless Form he chose to feign,
While fluttering in the bushes.
Poets, vain men in their mood !
Travel with the multitude :
Never heed them; I aver
That they all are wanton Wooers;
But the thrifty Cottager,
Who stirs lille out of doors,
Joys to spy thee near hier home;
Spriog is coming, Thou art come!
This moss-lined shed, green, soft, and dry,
Harbours a selfcontented Wren,
Not shunning man's abode, though shy,
Almost as thought itself, of human ken.
Strange places, coverts unendeared
She never tried; the very nest
In which this Child of Spring was reared,
Is warmed, thro' winter, by her feathery breast.
To the bleak winds she sometimes gives
A slender unexpected strain;
That tells the Hermitess still lives,
Though she appear not, and be sought in vain.
Say, Dora! tell me by yon placid Moon,
If called to choose between the favoured pair,
Which would you be,-the Bird of the Saloon,
By Lady fingers tended with nice care,
Caressed, applauded, npon dainties fed,
Or Nature's DARKLING of this mossy Shed ?
Comfort have thou of thy merit,
Kindly, unassuming Spirit!
Careless of thy neighbourhood,
Thou dost shew thy pleasant face
On the moor, and in the wood,
In the lane-there's not a place,
Howsoever mean it be,
But 't is good enough for thee.
Ill befall the yeilow Flowers,
Children of the flaring hours!
Buttercups, that will be seen,
Whether we will see or no;
Others, too, of lofty inien;
They have done as worldlings do,
Taken praise that should be thine,
Little, bumble Celandine!
TO THE SMALL CELANDINE.' PARSIES, Lilies, Kingcups, Daisies, Let them live upon their praises ; Long as there's a sun that sets Primroses will bave their glory;
+ Common Pilewort.
Prophet of delight and mirth,
Scorned and slighted upon earth!
Herald of a mighty band,
Of a joyous train ensuing,
Singing at my heart's command,
In the lanes my thoughts pursuing,
I will sing, as doth behove,
Hymos in praise of what I love!
That, all bespattered with his foam, And dancing high and dancing low, Was living, as a child might know, In an unhappy bome.
«Dost thou presume my course to block?
Off, off! or, puny Thing!
I'll hurl thee headlong with the rock
To which thy fibres cling.»
The Flood was tyrannous and strong;
The patient Briar suffered long,
Nor did he utter groan or sigh,
Hoping the danger would be past :
But, seeing no relief, at last
He ventured to reply.
« Ah!» said the Briar, « blame me not;
Why should we dwell in strife?
We who in this sequestered spot
Once lived a happy life!
You stirred me on my rocky bed-
What pleasure through my veias you spread!
The Summer long, from day to day,
My leaves you freshened and bedewed ;
Nor was it common gratitude
That did your cares repay.
« When Spring came on with bud and bell,
Among these rocks did I
Before you hang my wreatlis, to tell
That gentle days were nigla!
And in the sultry summer lours,
I sheltered you with leaves and flowers,
And in my leaves-now shed and gone,
The Linnet lodged, and for us two
Chanted his pretty songs, when You
Had little voice or none.
« But now proud thoughts are in your breast-
Wliat grief is mine you see.
Ah! would you think, even yet low blest
Together we might be!
Though of both leaf and flower bereft,
Some ornaments to me are left-
Rich store of scarlet hips is mine,
With which I, in my humble way,
Would deck you many a winter's day,
A happy Eglantine!»
What more he said I cannot tell.
The Torrent thundered down the dell
With aggravated haste;
I listened, nor auglit else could hear ;
The Briar quaked--aud much I fear
Those accents were his last.
His simple truths did Andrew glean
Beside the babbling rills;
A careful student he had been
Among the woods and bills.
One winter's night, wlien through the trees
The wind was roaring, on luis knees