The Prelude, Or, Growth of a Poet's Mind: An Autobiographical Poem

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E. Moxon, 1850 - 374 pages
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Page 18 - Wisdom and Spirit of the universe ! Thou Soul that art the eternity of thought, That givest to forms and images a breath And everlasting motion, not in vain By day or star-light thus from my first dawn Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me The passions that build up our human soul ; Not with the mean and vulgar works of man, But with high objects, with enduring things — With life and nature — purifying thus The elements of feeling and of thought, And sanctifying, by such discipline, Both...
Page 19 - And not a voice was idle : with the din Smitten, the precipices rang aloud; The leafless trees and every icy crag Tinkled like iron; while the distant hills Into the tumult sent an alien sound Of melancholy, not unnoticed while the stars, Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in the west The orange sky of evening died away.
Page 120 - There was a Boy : ye knew him well, ye cliffs And islands of Winander !—many a time At evening, when the earliest stars began To move along the edges of the hills, Rising or setting, would he stand alone Beneath the trees or by the glimmering lake. And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands Pressed closely palm to palm, and to his mouth Uplifted, he, as through an instrument, Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls, That they might answer him...
Page 12 - Was it for this That one, the fairest of all rivers, loved To blend his murmurs with my nurse's song, And, from his alder shades and rocky falls, And from his fords and shallows, sent a voice That flowed along my dreams? For this, didst thou, O Derwent ! winding among grassy holms Where I was looking on, a babe in arms, Make ceaseless music that composed my thoughts To more than infant softness, giving me Amid the fretful dwellings of mankind A foretaste, a dim earnest, of the calm That Nature breathes...
Page 16 - I dipped my oars into the silent lake, And, as I rose upon the stroke, my boat Went heaving through the water like a swan ; When, from behind that craggy steep till then The horizon's bound, a huge peak, black and huge, As if with voluntary power instinct, Upreared its head.
Page 351 - The Moon hung naked in a firmament Of azure without cloud, and at my feet Rested a silent sea of hoary mist. A hundred hills their dusky backs upheaved All over this still ocean...
Page 357 - This spiritual Love acts not nor can exist Without Imagination, which, in truth, Is but another name for absolute power And clearest insight, amplitude of mind, And Reason in her most exalted mood.
Page 96 - And in the meadows and the lower grounds Was all the sweetness of a common dawn — Dews, vapors, and the melody of birds, And laborers going forth to till the fields. Ah ! need I say, dear Friend...
Page 58 - To every natural form, rock, fruit or flower, Even the loose stones that cover the high-way, I gave a moral life : I saw them feel, Or linked them to some feeling : the great mass Lay bedded in a quickening soul, and all That I beheld respired with inward meaning.
Page 299 - Did both find helpers to their hearts' desire, And stuff at hand, plastic as they could wish, — Were called upon to exercise their skill, Not in Utopia, — subterranean fields, — Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where ! But in the very world, which is the world Of all of us, — the place where, in the end, We find our happiness, or not at all...

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