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When, to the attractions of the busy World
Preferring studious leisure, I had chosen
A habitation in this peaceful Vale,
Sharp season followed of continual storm
In deepest winter; and, from week to week,
Path-way, and lane, and public road were clogged
With frequent showers of snow, Upon a hill
At a short distance from my Cottage, stands
A stately Fir-grove, whither I was wont
To hasten, for I found, beneath the roof
Of that perennial shade, a cloistral place
Of refuge, with an unincumbered floor.
Here, in safe covert, on the shallow snow,
And, sometimes, on a speck of visible earth,
The redbreast near me hopped; nor was I loth
To sympathize with vulgar coppice Birds
That, for protection from the nipping blast,
Hither repaired.-A single beech-tree grew

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Within this grove of firs; and, on the fork
Of that one beech, appeared a thrush's nest;
A last year's nest, conspicuously built
At such small elevation from the ground
As gave sure sign that they, who in that house
Of nature and of love had made their home
Amid the fir-trees, all the summer long
Dwelt in a tranquil spot. And oftentimes,
A few sheep, stragglers from some mountain flock,
Would watch my motions with suspicious stare,
From the remotest outskirts of the grove,-
Some nook where they had made their final stand,
Huddling together from two fears—the fear
Of me and of the storm. Full many an hour
Here did I lose. But in this grove the trees
Had been so thickly planted, and had thriven
In such perplexed and intricate array,
That vainly did I seek, between their stems,
A length of open space, where to and fro
My feet might move without concern or care:
And, baffled thus, before the storm relaxed,
I ceased that Shelter to frequent,—and prized,
Less than I wished to prize, that calm recess.

The snows dissolved, and genial Spring returned To clothe the fields with verdure. Other haunts

Meanwhile were mine ; till, one bright April day,
By chance retiring from the glare of noon
To this forsaken covert, there I found
A hoary path-way traced between the trees,
And winding on with such an easy line
Along a natural opening, that I stood
Much wondering at my own simplicity
How I could e'er have made a fruitless search
For what was now so obvious. At the sight
Conviction also flashed upon my mind
That this same path (within the shady grove
Begun and ended) by my Brother's steps
Had been impressed.—To sojourn a short while
Beneath my roof He from the barren seas
Had newly come-a cherished Visitant!
And much did it delight me to perceive
That, to this opportune recess allured,
He had surveyed it with a finer eye,
A heart more wakeful; that, more loth to part
From place so lovely, he had worn the track
By pacing here, unwearied and alone,
In that habitual restlessness of foot
With which the Sailor measures o’er and o'er
His short domaiņ upon the Vessel's deck
While she is travelling through the dreary Sea.

When Thou hadst quitted Esthwaite's pleasant shore, And taken thy first leave of those green hills And rocks that were the play-ground of thy Youth, Year followed year, my Brother, and we two, Conversing not, knew little in what mould Each other's minds were fashioned; and at length, When once again we met in Grasmere Vale, Between us there was little other bond Than common feelings of fraternal love, But thou, a school-boy, to the sea hadst carried Undying recollections ; Nature there Was with thee; she, who loved us both, she still Was with thee; and even so didst thou become A silent Poet; from the solitude Of the vast sea didst bring a watchful heart Still couchant, an inevitable ear, And an eye practised like a blind man's touch. -Back to the joyless Ocean thou art gone; And now I call the path-way by thy name, And love the fir-grove with a perfect love. Thither do I withdraw when cloudless suns Shine hot, or wind blows troublesome and strong : And there I sit at evening, when the steep Of Silver-how, and Grasmere's placid Lake,

And one green Island, gleam between the stems
Of the dark firs, a visionary scene;
And, while I gaze upon the spectacle
Of clouded splendour, on this dream-like sight
Of solemn loveliness, I think on thee,
My Brother, and on all which thou hast lost.
Nor seldom, if I rightly guess, while Thou,
Muttering the Verses which I muttered first
Among the mountains, through the midnight watch
Art pacing to and fro the Vessel's deck
In some far region, here, while o'er my head
At every impulse of the moving breeze
The fir-grove murmurs with a sea-like sound,
Alone I tread this path ;-for aught I know,
Timing my steps to thine ; and, with a store
Of undistinguishable sympathies,
Mingling most earnest wishes for the day
When we, and others whom we love, shall meet
A second time, in Grasmere's happy Vale.

Note. This wish was not granted; the lamented Person, not long after, perished by shipwreck, in discharge of his duty as Commander of the Honourable East India Company's Vessel, the Earl of Abergavenny.

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