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“ Shame on you,” cried my little Boat,
“ Was ever such a heartless loon,
Within a living Boat to sit
And make no better use of it,
A Boat twin-sister of the crescent-moon!
Out – out -- and, like a brooding hen,
Beside your sooty hearth-stone cower ;
Go, creep along the dirt, and pick
Your way with your good walking-stick,
Just three good miles an hour !
Ne'er in the breast of full-grown Poet
Fluttered so faint a heart before -
Was it the music of the spheres
That overpowered your mortal ears?
- Such din shall trouble them no more.
These nether precincts do not lack
Charms of their own ; – then come with me
I want a comrade, and for you
There's nothing that I would not do ;
Nought is there that you shall not see..
Haste! and above Siberian snows
We'll sport amid the boreal morning,
Will mingle with her lustres gliding
Among the stars, the stars now hiding
And now the stars adorning.
I know the secrets of a land
Where human foot did never stray ;
Fair is the land as evening skies,
And cool, — though in the depth it lies -
Of burning Africa.
Or we'll into the realm of Faery,
Among the lovely shades of things;
The shadowy forms of mountains bare,
And streams, and bowers, and ladies fair
The shades of palaces and kings !
Or, if you thirst with hardy zeal
Less quiet regions to explore,
Prompt voyage shall to you reveal
How earth and heaven are taught to feel
The might of magic lore !"
“ My little vagrant Form of light,
My gay and beautiful Canoe,
Well have you played your friendly part ;
As kindly take what from my heart
Experience forces - then adieu !
Temptation lurks among your words ;
But, while these. pleasures you're pursuing
Without impediment or let,
My radiant Pinnace, you forget
What on the earth is doing.
There was a time when all mankind
Did listen with a faith sincere
To tuneful tongues in mystery versed;
Then Poets fearlessly rehearsed
The wonders of a wild career.
Go- but the world's a sleepy world,
And 'tis, I fear, an age too late ;
Take with you some ambitious Youth,
For I myself, in very truth,
Am all unfit to be your mate.
Long have I loved what I behold,
The night that calms, the day that cheers:
The common growth of mother earth
Suffices me her tears, her mirth,
Her humblest mirth and tears.
The dragon's wing, the magic ring,
I shall not covet for my dower,
If I along that lowly way .
With sympathetic heart may stray
And with a soul of power.
These given, what more need I desire,
To stir - to soothe - or elevate ?
What nobler marvels than the mind
May in life's daily prospect find,
May find or there create ?
A potent wand doth Sorrow wield;
What spell so strong as guilty Fear!
Repentance is a tender sprite;
If aught on earth have heavenly might,
'Tis lodged within her silent tear.
But grant my wishes, - let us now
Descend from this ethereal height;
Then take thy way; adventurous Skiff,
More daring far than Hippogriff,
And be thy own delight !
To the stone-table in my garden,
Loved haunt of many a-summer hour,
The Squire is come; his daughter Bess
Beside him in the cool recess
Sits blooming like a flower.
With these are many more convened;
They know not I have been so far
I see them there, in number nine,
Beneath the spreading Weymouth pine -
I see them — there they are !
There sits the Vicar, and his Dame;
And there my good friend, Stephen Otter ;
And, ere the light of evening fail,
To them I must relate the Tale
Of Peter Bell the Potter."