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And you, my offspring! that do still remam.
Yet may outstrip me in the appointed race.
If e'er, through fault of mine, in mutual pain
We breathed together for a moment's space,
The wrong, by love provoked, let love arraign,
And only love keep in your hearts a place.


[Painted at Rydal Mount, by W. Pickersgill, for St. John's
College, Cambridge. ]

Go, faithful portrait! and where long hath knelt
Margaret, the saintly foundress, take thy place;
And, if time spare the colours for the grace
Which to the work surpassing skill hath dealt,
Thou, on thy rock reclined, though kingdoms melt
And states be torn up by the roots, wilt seem
To breathe in rural peace, to hear the stream,
To think and feel as once the poet felt.
Whate'er thy fate, those features have not grown
Unrecognised through many a household tear,
More prompt, more glad to fall, than drops of dew
By morning shed around a flower half blown;
Tears of delight, that testified how true
To Hfe thou art, and, in thy truth, how dear!


Whv art thou silent? Is thy love a plant
Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air
Of absence withers what was once so fair?
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant?
Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigila'it,
As would my deeds have been, with hourly care,

The mind's least generous wish a mendicant

For nought but what thy happiness could spare.

Speak, though this soft warm heart, once free to hold

A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,

Be left more desolate, more dreary cold

Than a forsaken bird's nest filled with snow

Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine;

Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know'


Tax not the royal saint with vain expense,

With ill-matched aims the architect who planned,

Albeit labouring for a scanty band

Of white-robed scholars only, this immense

And glorious work of fine intelligence!

Give all thou canst; high Heaven rejects the lore

Of nicely-calculated less or more;

So deemed the man who fashioned for the sense

These lofty pillars, spread that branching roof

Self-poised, and scooped into ten thousand cells,

Where light and shade repose, where music dwells

Lingering—and wandering on as loth to die;

Like thoughts whose very sweetness yieldeth proof

That they were born for immortality.

What awful perspective! while from our sight With gradual stealth the lateral windows hide Their portraitures, their stone-work glimmers, dyed In the soft chequerings of a sleepy light. Martyr, or king, or sainted eremite, Whoe'er ye be, that thus—yourselves unseen— Imbue your prison-bars with solemn sheen, Shine on! until ye fade with coming night! But, from the arms of silence—list! oh, list! The music bursteth into second life;

The notes luxuriate—every stone is kissed
By sound, or ghost of sound, in mazy strife:
Heart-thrilling strains, that cast before the eye
Of the devout a veil of ecstasy!

They dreamt not of a perishable home
Who thus could build. Be mine, in hours of fear
Or grovelling thought, to seek a refuge here;
Or through the aisles of Westminster to roam;
Where bubbles burst, and folly's dancing foam
Melts, if it cross the threshold; where the wreath
Of awe-struck wisdom droops: or let my path
Lead to that younger pile, whose sky-like dome
Hath typified by reach of daring art
Infinity's embrace; whose guardian crest,
The silent cross, among the stars shall spread
As now, when she hath also seen her breast
Filled with mementos, satiate with its part
Of grateful England's overflowing dead.


Thev called thee 'merry England,' in old time;

A happy people won for thee that name

With envy heard in many a distant clime;

And, spite of change, for me thou keep'st the same

Endearing title, a responsive chime

To the heart's fond belief, though some there are

Whose sterner judgments deem that word a snare

For inattentive Fancy, like the lime

Which foolish birds are caught with. Can, I ask,

This face of rural beauty be a mask

For discontent, and poverty, and crime;

These spreading towns a cloak for lawless will;

Forbid it, Heaven !—that ' merry England ' still

May be thy rightful name, in prose and rhyme!


Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes

To pace the ground if path there be or none,

While a fair repose round the traveller lies,

Which he forbears again to look upon;

Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene,

The work of fancy or some happy tone

Of meditation, stepping in between

The beauty coming and the beauty gone.

If thought and love desert us, from that day

Let us break off all commerce with the muse;

With thought and love companions of our way,

Whatever the senses take or may refuse,

The mind's internal heaven shall shed her dews

Of inspiration on the humblest lay.



A MID the smoke of cities did you pass

The time of early youth; and there you learned.
From years of quiet industry, to love
The living beings by your own fireside,
With such a strong devotion, that your heart
Is slow towards the sympathies of them
Who look upon the hills with tenderness,
And make dear friendships with the streams and groves.
Yet we, who are transgressors in this kind,
Dwelling retired in our simplicity
Among the woods and fields, we love you well,
Joanna! and I guess, since you have been
So distant from us now for two long years,
That you will gladly listen to discourse
However trivial, if you thence are taught
That they, with whom you once were happy, talk
Familiarly of you and of old times.

While I was seated, now some ten days past,
Beneath those lofty firs, that overtop
Their ancient neighbour, the old steeple tower,
The vicar from his gloomy house hard by
Came forth to greet me ; and when he had asked,
"How fares Joanna; that wild-hearted maid!

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