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COMPOSED ON THE EVE OF THE MARRIAGE OF A
FRIEND IN THE VALE OF GRASMERE, 1812. What need of clamorous bells, or ribands gay, These humble nuptials to proclaim or grace ? Angels of love, look down upon the place; Shed on the chosen vale a sun-bright day! Yet no proud gladness would the Bride display 5 Even for such promise:-serious is her face, Modest her mien ; and she, whose thoughts
keep pace With gentleness, in that becoming way Will thank you. Faultless does the Maid
appear; No disproportion in her soul, no strife: 10 But, when the closer view of wedded life Hath shown that nothing human can be clear From frailty, for that insight may the Wife To her indulgent Lord become more dear.
Yes! hope may with my strong desire keep
pace, And I be undeluded, unbetrayed ; For if of our affections none finds grace In sight of Heaven, then, wherefore hath God
made The world which we inhabit? Better plea 5 Love cannot have than that in loving thee Glory to that eternal Peace is paid, Who such divinity to thee imparts As hallows and makes pure all gentle hearts. His hope is treacherous only whose love dies 10 With beauty, which is varying every hour; But in chaste hearts, uninfluenced by the power Of outward change, there blooms a deathless
flower, That breathes on earth the air of paradise.
FROM THE SAME.
No mortal object did these eyes behold
5 Beyond the visible world she soars to seek (For what delights the sense is false and weak) Ideal Form, the universal mould. The wise man, I affirm, can find no rest In that which perishes : nor will he lend 10 His heart to aught which doth on time depend. 'Tis sense, unbridled will, and not true love, That kills the soul: love betters what is best, Even here below, but more in heaven above.
FROM THE SAME. TO THE SUPREME BEING.
The prayers I make will then be sweet indeed
XXVII. SURPRISED by joy-impatient as the Wind I turned to share the transport-Oh! with
whom But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb, That spot which no vicissitude can find ? Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind - 5 But how could I forget thee? Through what
power, Even for the least division of an hour, Have I been so beguiled as to be blind To my most grievous loss !—That thought's
return Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore, 10 Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn, Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more ; That neither present time, nor years unborn Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.
METHOUGHT I saw the footsteps of a throne Which mists and vapours from mine eyes did
shroudNor view of who might sit thereon allowed;
But all the steps and ground about were strown
cloud, “Thou art our king, O Death! to thee we
groan.” Those steps I clomb; the mists before me gave Smooth way; and I beheld the face of one 10 Sleeping alone within a mossy cave, With her face up to heaven; that seemed to
have Pleasing remembrance of a thought foregone; A lovely Beauty in a summer grave!
II. EVEN so for me a Vision sanctified The sway of Death; long ere mine eyes had Thy countenance—the still rapture of thy
mienWhen thou, dear Sister! wert become Death's
Bride: No trace of pain or languor could abide 5 That change :-age on thy brow was smoothed
thy cold Wan cheek at once was privileged to unfold A loveliness to living youth denied. Oh! if within me hope should e'er decline, The lamp of faith, lost Friend! too faintly
Then may that heaven-revealing smile of thine, The bright assurance, visibly return:
And let my spirit in that power divine
Xxx. It is a beauteous evening, calm and free, The holy time is quiet as a Nun Breathless with adoration; the broad sun Is sinking down in its tranquillity; The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the Sea : 5 Listen! the mighty Being is awake, And doth with his eternal motion make A sound like thunder-everlastingly. Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with me
here, If thou appear untouched by solemn thought, 10 Thy nature is not therefore less divine: Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year; And worshipp'st at the Temple's inner shrine, God being with thee when we know it not.
WHERE lies the Land to which yon Ship must
Fresh as a lark mounting at break of day,