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SONNET XXIII.

I thank my God because my hairs are grey!
But have grey hairs brought wisdom ? Doth the flight
Of summer birds, departed while the light
Of life is lingering on the middle way,
Predict the harvest nearer by a day?
Will the rank weeds of hopeless appetite
Droop at the glance and venom of the blight
That made the vermeil bloom, the flush so gay,
Dim and unlovely as a dead worm's shroud ?
Or is my heart, that, wanting hope, has lost
The strength and rudder of resolve, at peace ?
Is it no longer wrathful, vain, and proud ?
Is it a Sabbath, or untimely frost,
That makes the labour of the soul to cease?

SONNET XXIV.

It must be so,-my infant love must find
In my own breast a cradle and a grave;
Like a rich jewel hid beneath the wave,
Or rebel spirit bound within the rind
Of some old wreathed oak, or fast enshrined
In the cold durance of an echoing cave :-
Yea, better thus than cold disdain to brave :-
Or worse,—to taint the quiet of that mind,
That decks its temple with unearthly grace.
Together must we dwell, my dream and I,-
Unknown must live, and unlamented die,
Rather than soil the lustre of that face,
Or drive that laughing dimple from its place,
Or heave that white breast with a painful sigh.

SONNET XXV.

FROM COUNTRY TO TOWN.

WRITTEN IN LEEDS, JULY, 1832.

I left the land where men with nature dwelling,
Know not how much they love her lovely forms
Nor heed the history of forgotten storms,
On the blank folds inscribed of drear Helvellyn ;
I sought the town, where toiling, buying, selling-
Getting and spending, poising hope and fear,
Make but one season of the live-long year-
Now for the brook from moss-girt fountain welling,
I see the foul stream hot with sleepless trade,
For the slow creeping vapours of the morn,
Black hurrying smoke in opake mass up-borne,
O’er dinning engines hangs, a stifling shade-
Yet nature lives e'en here, and will not part
From her best home, the lowly-loving heart.

SONNET XXVI.

CONTINUED.

'Tis strange to me, who long have seen no face,
That was not like a book, whose every page
I knew by heart, a kindly common-place-
And faithful record of progressive age
To wander forth, and view an unknown race;
Of all that I have been, to find no trace,
No footstep of my by-gone pilgrimage.
Thousands I

pass,
and no one stays

his

pace To tell me that the day is fair, or rainyEach one his object seeks with anxious chase, And I have not a common hope with anyThus like one drop of oil upon a flood, In uncommunicating solitudeSingle am I amid the countless many.

SONNET XXVII.

IF I have sinn'd in act, I may repent;
If I have err'd in thought, I may disclaim
My silent error, and yet feel no shame
But if my soul, big with an ill intent,
Guilty in will, by fate be innocent,
Or being bad, yet murmurs at the curse
And incapacity of being worse
That makes my hungry passion still keep Lent
In keen expectance of a Carnival;
Where, in all worlds, that round the sun revolve
And shed their influence on this passive ball,
Abides a power that can my soul absolve?
Could any sin survive, and be forgiven-
One sinful wish would make a hell of heaven.

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