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'Tis spent — this burning day of June!
Soft darkness o'er its latest gleams is stealing;
The dor-hawk, solitary bird,
Round the dim crags on heavy pinions wheeling,
Buzzes incessantly, a tiresome tune;
That constant voice is all that can be heard
In silence deeper far than that of deepest noon!
Confiding Glow-worms, 'tis a night Propitious to your earth-born light! But, where the scattered stars are seen In hazy straits the clouds between, Each, in his station twinkling not, Seems changed into a pallid spot.'
The air, as in a lion's den,
Is close and hot; — and now and then
Comes a tired and sultry breeze
With a haunting and a panting,
Like the stifling of disease;
The mountains rise to wonderous height,
And in the heavens there is a weight;
But the dews allay the heat,
And the silence makes it sweet.
Hush, there is some one on the stir f 'Tis Benjamin the Waggoner;Who long hath trod this toilsome way, Companion of the night and day. That far-off tinkling's drowsy cheer, Mixed with a faint yet grating sound In a moment lost and found, The Wain announces — by whose side, Along the banks of Rydal Mere, He paces on, a trusty Guide, — Listen! you can scarcely hear! Hither he his course is bending; — Now he leaves the lower ground, And up the craggy hill ascending
Many a stop and stay he makes,
The Horses have worked with right good-will,
There, where the Dove and Olive-bough
Once hung, a Poet harbours now, —
A simple water-drinking Bard;
Why need our Hero then (though frail
His best resolves) be on his guard ? —
He marches by, secure and bold, —
Yet, while he thinks on times of old,
It seems that all looks wonderous cold;
He shrugs his shoulders — shakes his head —
And, for the honest folk within,
It is a doubt with Benjamin
Whether they be alive or dead!
Here is no danger, — none at all! Beyond his wish is he secure; But pass a mile — and then for trial, — Then for the pride of self-denial; If he resist that tempting door, Which with such friendly voice will call, If he resist those casement panes, And that bright gleam which thence will fall Upon his Leaders' bells and manes, Inviting him with cheerful lure; For still, though all be dark elsewhere,
Some shining notice will be there,
The place to Benjamin full well
Well! that is past — and in despite Of open door and shining light. * This rude piece of self-taught art (such is the progress of refinement) has been supplanted by a professional production.