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How sweet it is, when mother Fancy rocks
The wayward brain, to saunter through a wood!
An old place, full of many a lovely brood,
Tall trees, green arbours, and ground-flowers in flocks;
And wild rose tip-toe upon hawthorn stocks,
Like to a bonny Lass, who plays her pranks
At Wakes and Fairs with wandering Mountebanks,
When she stands cresting the Clown's head, and mocks
The crowd beneath her. Verily, I think,
Such place to me is sometimes like a dream
Or map of the whole world: thoughts, link by link,
Enter through ears and eyesight, with such gleam
Of all things, that at last in fear I shrink,
And leap at once from the delicious stream.
Where lies the Land to which yon Ship must go? .,
Festively she puts forth in trim array;
As vigorous as a Lark at break of day:
Is she for tropic suns, or polar snow ?
What boots the enquiry ? -Neither friend nor foe
She cares for; let her travel where she may,
She finds familiar names, a beaten way
Ever before her, and a wind to blow.
Yet still I ask, what Haven is her mark?
And, almost as it was when ships were rare, i
(From time to time, like Pilgrims, here and there
Crossing the waters) doubt, and something dark,
Of the old Sea some reverential fear,
Is with me at thy farewell, joyous Bark!
Even as a dragon's eye that feels the stress
Of a bedimming sleep, or as a lamp
Sullenly glaring through sepulchral damp,
So burns yon Taper mid its black recess
Of mountains, silent, dreary, motionless :
The Lake below reflects it not; the sky
Muffled in clouds affords no company
To mitigate and cheer its loneliness.
Yet round the body of that joyless Thing,
Which sends so far its melancholy light,
Perhaps are seated in domestic ring
A gay society with faces bright,
Conversing, reading, laughing ;-or they sing,
While hearts and voices in the song unite.
Mark the concentred Hazels that enclose
Yon old grey Stone, protected from the ray 2. Of noontide suns :—and even the beams that play
And glance, while wantonly the rough wind blows,
Are seldom free to touch the moss that grows
Upon that roof—amid embowering gloom
The very image framing of a Tomb, .
In which some ancient Chieftain finds repose
Among the lonely mountains.-Live, ye Trees!
And Thou, grey Stone, the pensive likeness keep
Of a dark chamber where the Mighty sleep:
For more than Fancy to the influence bends
When solitary Nature condescends
To mimic Time's forlorn humanities.
COMPOSED AFTER A JOURNEY ACROSS THE
HAMILTON HILLS, YORKSHIRE.
Dark, and more dark, the shades of Evening fell;
The wish’d-for poiut was reach'd—but late the hour;
And little could we see of all that power
Of prospect, whereof many thousands tell.
The western sky did recompencé us well
With Grecian Temple, Minaret, and Bower;
And, in one part, a Minster with its Tower
Substantially expressed-a place for Bell
Or Clock to toll from! Many a glorious pile
Did we behold, fair sights that might repay
All disappointment! and, as such, the eye
Delighted in them; but we felt, the while,
We should forget them:—they are of the sky,
And from our earthly memory fade away.