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And tracks thee dancing down thy water-breaks : If wish were mine some type of thee to view, Thee, and not thee thyself, I would not do Like Grecian artists, give thee human cheeks, Channels for tears ; no naiad shouldst thou be, Have neither limbs, feet, feathers, joints nor hairs ; It seems the eternal soul is clothed in thee With purer robes than those of flesh and blood, And hath bestowed on thee a better good; Unwearied joy, and life without its cares. COMPOSED ON THE BANKS OF A ROCKY
STREAM. DOGMATIC teachers of the snow-white fur ! Ye wrangling schoolmen of the scarlet hood ! Who with a keenness not to be withstood, Press the point home, -or falter and demur, Checked in your course by many a teasing burr ; These natural council seats your acrid blood Might cool ;-and as the genius of the flood Stoops willingly to animate and spur Each lighter function slumbering in the brain, Yon eddying balls of foam-these arrowy gleams, That o'er the pavement of the surging streams Welter and flash-a synod might detain With subtle speculations, haply vain, But surely less so than your far-fetched themes !
“PURE ELEMENT OF WATERS.” Pure element of waters ! wheresoe'er Thou dost forsake thy subterranean haunts, Green herbs, bright flowers, and berry-bearing plants, Rise into life and in thy train appear: And, through the sunny portion of the year, Swift insects shine, thy hovering pursuivants ;
And, if thy bounty fail, the forest pants;
MALHAM COVE. Was the aim frustrated by force or guile, When giants scooped from out the rocky ground Tier under tier--this semicirque profound? (Giants--the same who built in Erin's isle That causeway with incomparable toil!) Oh, had this vast theatric structure wound With finished sweep into a perfect round, No mightier work had gained the plausive smile Of all-beholding Phoebus! But, alas. Vain earth !--false world !- Foundations must be laid In heaven; for, mid the wreck of is and was, Things incomplete, and purposes betrayed, Make sadder transits o'er Truth's mystic glass Than noblest objects utterly decayed.
And mineral crown, beside his jagged urn
LONG MEG AND HER DAUGHTERS.
COMPOSED AFTER A JOURNEY ACROSS
THE HAMILTON HILLS. DARK and more dark the shades of evening fell; The wished-for point was reached, but late the hour; And little could be gained from all that dower Of prospect, whereof many thousands tell.
• This megalithic monument is near the river Eden. The daughters of Long Meg, placed in a perfect circle, eighty yards in diameter, are seventy-two in number, and from more than three yards above ground, to less than so many feet : a little way out of the circle stands Long Meg herself, a single stone, eighteen feet high.
Yet did the glowing west in all its power
These words were uttered as in pensive mood
COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE.
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Never did sun more beautifully steep
OXFORD. Ye sacred nurseries of blooming youth! In whose collegiate shelter England's flowers Expand-enjoying through their vernal hours The air of liberty, the light of truth; Much have ye suffered from Time's gnawing tooth, Yet, O ye spires of Oxford ! domes and towers ! Gardens and groves ! your presence overpowers The soberness of reason; till, in sooth, Transformed, and rushing on a bold exchange, I slight my own beloved Cam, to range Where silver Isis leads my stripling feet ; Pace the long avenue, or glide adown The stream-like windings of that glorious street, An eager novice robed in fluttering gown!
Shame on this faithless heart! that could allow Such transport--though but for a moment's space; Not while-to aid the spirit of the placeThe crescent moon clove with its glittering prow The clouds, or night-bird sang from shady bough, But in plain daylight :-She too, at my side, Who, with her heart's experience satisfied, Maintains inviolate its slightest vow ! Sweet fancy ! other gifts must I receive; Proofs of a higher sovereignty I claim; Take from her brow the withering flowers of eve, And to that brow life's morning wreath restore: