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'Tis a note of enchantment : what ails her? She sees
A mountain ascending, a vision of trees;
Bright volumes of vapour through Lothbury glide,
And a river flows on through the vale of Cheapside.
Green pastures she views in the midst of the dale,
Down which she so often has tripped with her pail;
And a single small cottage, a nest like a dove's,
The one only dwelling on earth that she loves.
She looks, and her heart is in heaven : but they fade,
The mist and the river, the hill and the shade :
The stream will not flow, and the hill will not rise,
And the colours have all passed away from her eyes.
An Orpheus ! an Orpheus !-yes, faith may grow bold,
And take to herself all the wonders of old ;-
Near the stately Pantheon you 'll meet with the same
In the street that from Oxford hath borrowed its name.
His station is there ;-and he works on the crowd,
He sways them with harmony merry and loud;
He fills with his power all their hearts to the brim-
Was aught ever heard like his fiddle and him ?
What an eager assembly! what an empire is this!
The weary have life and the hungry have bliss;
The mourner is cheered, and the anxious have rest;
And the guilt-burthened soul is no longer oppressed.
As the moon brightens round her the clouds of the night,
So he, where he stands, is a centre of light;
It gleams on the face, there, of dusky-browed Jack,
And the pale-visaged baker's, with basket on back.
That errand-bound 'prentice was passing in hasteWhat matter! he's caught-and his time runs to waste The newsman is stopped, though he stops on the fret, And the half-breathless lamplighter--he's in the net!
The porter sits down on the weight which he bore ;
The lass with her barrow wheels hither her store ;-
If a thief could be here he might pilfer at ease;
She sees the musician, 'tis all that she sees !
He stands backed by the wall ;-he abates not his din ;
His hat gives him vigour, with boons dropping
From the old and the young, from the poorest; and there!
The one-pennied boy has his penny to spare.
Oh, blest are the hearers, and proud be the hand
Of the pleasure it spreads through so thankful a band ;
I am glad for him, blind as he is !--all the while
If they speak 'tis to praise, and they praise with a smile.
That tall man, a giant in bulk and in height,
Not an inch of his body is free from delight;
Can he keep himself still, if he would ? oh, not he;
The music stirs in him like wind through a tree.
Mark that cripple who leans on his crutch; like a tower
That long has leaned forward, leans hour after hour!-
That mother, whose spirit in fetters is bound,
While she dandles the babe in her arms to the sound.
Now, coaches and chariots! roar on like a stream; Here are twenty souls happy as souls in a dream : They are deaf to your murmurs—they care not for you, Nor what ye are flying, nor what ye pursue !
What crowd is this? what have we here? we must not
pass it by; A telescope upon its frame, and pointed to the sky: Long is it as a barber's pole, or mast of little boat, Some little pleasure-skiff, that doth on Thames's waters
float. The showman chooses well his place, 'tis Leicester's
busy Square, And is as happy in his night, for the heavens are blue
and fair ; Calm, though impatient, is the crowd ; each stands
ready with the fee, And envies him that's looking --what an insight must
it be! Yet, showman, where can lie the cause ? Shall thy
implement have blame, A boaster, that when he is tried, fails, and is put to
shame? Or is it good as others are, and be their eyes in fault? Their eyes, or minds? or, finally, is this resplendent
vault? Is nothing of that radiant pomp so good as we have here? Or gives a thing but small delight that never can be dear? The silver moon with all her vales, and hills of mightiest
fame, Doth she betray us when they're seen ! or are they but
a name? Or is it rather that conceit rapacious is and strong, And bounty never yields so much but it seems to do
Or is it that when human souls a journey long have had, And are returned into themselves they cannot but be
Or must we be constrained to think that these spectators
rude, Poor in estate, of manners base, men of the multitude, Have souls which never yet have risen, and therefore
prostrate lie? No, no, this cannot be---men thirst for power and
Does, then, a deep and earnest thought the blissful
mind employ Of him who gazes, or has gazed ? a grave and steady joy. That doth reject all show of pride, admits no outward
sign, Because not of this noisy world, but silent and divine !
Whatever be the cause, 'tis sure that they who pry and
pore Seem to meet with little gain, seem less happy than
before ; One after one they take their turn, nor have I one espied That doth not slackly go away, as if dissatisfied.
THOSE silver clouds collected round the sun
His midday warmth abate not, seeming less
To overshade than multiply his beams
By soft reflection--grateful to the sky,
To rocks, fields, woods. Nor doth our human sense
Ask, for its pleasure, screen or canopy
More ample than the time-dismantled oak
Spreads o'er this tuft of heath, which now, attired
In the whole fulness of its bloom, affords
Couch beautiful as e'er for earthly use
Was fashioned; whether by the hand of art,
That eastern sultan, amid flowers enwrought
On silken tissue, might diffuse his limbs
In languor ; or, by nature, for repose
Of panting wood-nymph wearied by the chase.
O lady! fairer in thy poet's sight
Than fairest spiritual creature of the groves,
Approach-and thus invited crown with res
The noontide hour;—though truly some there are
Whose footsteps superstitiously avoid
This venerable tree; for, when the wind
Blows keenly, it sends forth a creaking sound
(Above the general roar of woods and crags)
Distinctly heard from far-a doleful note !
As if (so Grecian shepherds would have deemed)
The Hamadryad, pent within, bewailed
Some bitter wrong. Nor is it unbelieved,
By ruder fancy, that a troubled ghost
Haunts this old trunk ; lamenting deeds of which
The flowery ground is conscious. But no wind
Sweeps now along this elevated ridge ;
Not even a zephyr stirs ;-the obnoxious tree
Is mute,-and, in his silence, would look down,
O lovely wanderer of the trackless hills,
On thy reclining form with more delight
Than his coevals, in the sheltered vale
Seem to participate, the whilst they view
Their own far-stretching arms and leafy heads
Vividly pictured in some glassy pool,
That, for a brief space, checks the hurrying stream!