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Me this unchartered freedom tires;
I feel the weight of chance desires :
My hopes no more must change their name,
I long for a repose that ever is the same.
Stern lawgiver ! yet thou dost wear
The Godhead's most benignant grace;
Nor know we anything so fair
As is the smile upon thy face:
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds;
And fragrance in thy footing treads:
Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong:
And the most ancient heavens, through thee, are fresh
To humbler functions, awful power!
I call thee: I myself commend
Unto thy guidance from this hour;
Oh, let my weakness have an end !
Give unto me, made lowly wise,
The spirit of self-sacrifice;
The confidence of reason give;
And in the light of truth thy bondman let me live!
POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION.
THERE was a boy; ye knew him well, ye cliffs
And islands of Winander! many a time, At evening, when the earliest stars began To move along the edges of the hills, Rising or setting, would he stand alone, Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake; And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands Pressed closely palm to palm and to his mouth Uplifted, he, as through an instrument, Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls, That they might answer him.- And they would shout Across the watery vale, and shout again, Responsive to his call, --with quivering peals, And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud Redoubled and redoubled ; concourse wild Of mirth and jocund din! And, when it chanced That pauses of deep silence mocked his skill, Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise Has carried far into his heart the voice Of mountain torrents; or the visible scene Would enter unawares into his mind With all its solemn imagery, its rocks, Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, received Into the bosom of the steady lake.
This boy was taken from his mates, and died
In childhood, ere he was full twelve years old.
Fair is the spot, most beautiful the vale
Where he was born : the grassy churchyard hangs
Upon a slope above the village school;
And through that churchyard when my way has led
At evening, I believe, that oftentimes
A long half-hour together I have stood
Mute-looking at the grave in which he lies !
ON HER FIRST ASCENT TO THE SUMMIT OF HELVELLYX.
INMATE of a mountain-dwelling,
Thou hast clomb aloft, and gazed,
From the watch-towers of Helvellyn :
Awed, delighted, and amazed !
Potent was the spell that bound thee,
Not unwilling to obey ;
For blue ether's arms, flung round thee,
Stilled the pantings of dismay.
Lo! the dwindled woods and meadows !
What a vast abyss is there!
Lo! the clouds, the solemn shadows,
And the glistenings-heavenly fair!
And a record of commotion
Which a thousand ridges yield;
Ridge, and gulf, and distant ocean
Gleaming like a silver shield !
Take thy Alight;--possess, inherit
Alps or Andes—they are thine !
With the morning's roseate spirit,
Sweep their length of snowy line;
Or survey the bright dominions
In the gorgeous colours drest,
Flung from off the purple pinions
Evening spreads throughout the west !
Thine are all the choral fountains
Warbling in each sparry vault
Of the untrodden lunar mountains;
Listen to their songs !-or halt,
To Niphate's top invited,
Whither spiteful Satan steered:
Or descend where the ark alighted,
When the green earth re-appeared :
For the power of hills is on thee,
As was witnessed through thine eye
Then, when old Helvellyn won thee
To confess their majesty!
TO THE CUCKOO.
O blithe new-comer ! I have heard,
I hear thee and rejoice.
O Cuckoo ! shall I call thee bird,
Or but a wandering voice?
While I am lying on the grass
Thy twofold shout I hear,
From hill to hill it seems to pass
At once far off and near.
Though babbling only, to the vale,
Of sunshine and of flowers,
Thou bringest unto me a tale
Of visionary hours.
Thrice welcome, darling of the spring !
Even yet thou art to me
No bird: but an invisible thing,
A voice, a mystery.
The same whom in my schoolboy days
I listened to; that cry
Which made me look a thousand ways
In bush, and tree, and sky.
To seek thee did I often rove
Through woods and on the green;
And thou wert still a hope, a love;
Still longed for, never seen.
And I can listen to thee yet;
Can lie upon the plain
And listen, till I do beget
That golden time again.
O blessed bird! the earth we pace
Again appears to be
An unsubstantial fairy place;
That is fit home for thee!
The sky is overcast With a continuous cloud of texture close, Heavy and wan, all whitened by the moon, Which through that veil is indistinctly seen, A dull, contracted circle, yielding light So feebly spread, that not a shadow falls, Chequering the ground from rock, plant, tree, or tower. At length a pleasant instantaneous gleam Startles the pensive traveller while he treads His lonesome path, with unobserving eye Bent earthwards : he looks up the clouds are split