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Child of the Child of the clouds ! remote from
taint Clouds Of sordid industry thy lot is cast;
Thine are the honours of the lofty waste ;
Not seldom, when with heat the valleys faint,
Thy handmaid Frost with spangled tissue quaint
Thy cradle decks ;—to chant thy birth, thou hast
No meaner Poet than the whistling Blast,
And Desolation is thy Patron-saint !
She guards thee, ruthless Power! who would not
Those mighty forests, once the bison's screen,
Where stalked the huge deer to his shaggy lair
Through paths and alleysroofed with darkest green;
Thousands of years before the silent air
Was pierced by whizzing shaft of hunter keen !
How shall I How shall I paint thee ?—Be this naked stone paint thee? My seat, while I give way to such intent ;
Pleased could my verse, a speaking monument,
Make to the eyes of men thy features known.
But as of all those tripping lambs not one
Outruns his fellows, so hath Nature lent
To thy beginning nought that doth present
Peculiar ground for hope to build upon.
To dignify the spot that gives thee birth,
No sign of hoar Antiquity's esteem
Appears, and none of modern Fortune's care ;
Yet thou thyself hast round thee shed a gleam
Of brilliant moss, instinct with freshness rare ;
Prompt offering to thy Foster-mother, Earth!
TAKE, cradled Nursling of the mountain, take Cradled
This parting glance, no negligent adieu !
A Protean change seems wrought while I pursue
The curves, a loosely-scattered chain doth make;
Or rather thou appear’st a glistering snake,
Şilent, and to the gazer's eye untrue,
Thridding with sinuous lapse the rushes, through
Dwarf willows gliding, and by ferny brake.
Starts from a dizzy steep the undaunted Rill
Robed instantly in garb of snow-white foam;
And laughing dares the Adventurer, who hath
So high, a rival purpose to fulfil ;
Else let the dastard backward wend, and roam,
Seeking less bold achievement, where he will !
Sole listener, Duddon! to the breeze that played Thou leavest
With thy clear voice, I caught the fitful sound the solitary
Wafted o'er sullen moss and craggy mound-
Unfruitful solitudes, that seemed to upbraid
The sun in heaven !—but now, to form a shade
For Thee, green alders have together wound
Their foliage ; ashes flung their arms around;
And birch-trees risen in silver colonnade.
And thou hast also tempted here to rise,
'Mid sheltering pines, this Cottage rude and grey;
Whose ruddy children, by the mother's eyes
Carelessly watched, sport through the summer day,
Thy pleased associates :- light as endless May
On infant bosoms lonely Nature lies.
Flowers Ere yet our course was graced with social trees
It lacked not old remains of hawthorn bowers,
Where small birds warbled to their paramours ;
And, earlier still, was heard the hum of bees;
I saw them ply their harmless robberies,
And caught the fragrance which the sundry flowers,
Fed by the stream with soft perpetual showers,
Plenteously yielded to the vagrant breeze.
There bloomed the strawberry of the wilderness;
The trembling eyebright showed her sapphire blue,
The thyme her purple, like the blush of Even;
And if the breath of some to no caress
Invited, forth they peeped so fair to view,
All kinds alike seemed favourites of Heaven.
The calmer “CHANGE me, some God, into that breathing rose!" mind The love-sick Stripling fancifully sighs,
The'envied flower beholding, as it lies
On Laura's breast, in exquisite repose;
Or he would pass into her bird, that throws
The darts of song from out its wiry cage;
Enraptured, --could be for himself engage
The thousandth part of what the Nymph bestows;
And what the little careless innocent
Ungraciously receives. Too daring choice!
There are whose calmer mind it would content
To be an unculled floweret of the glen,
Fearless of plough and scythe; or darkling wren
That tunes on Duddon's banks her slender voice.
WHAT aspect bore the Man who roved or fled, Primeval
First of his tribe, to this dark dell—who first
In this pellucid Current slaked his thirst?
What hopes came with him ? what designs were
Along his path ? His unprotected bed
What dreams encompassed? Was theintrudernursed
In hideous usages, and rites accursed,
That thinned the living and disturbed the dead?
No voice replies ;—both air and earth are mute;
And Thou, blue Streamlet, murmuring yield'st
Than a soft record, that, whatever fruit
Of ignorance thou might'st witness heretofore,
Thy function was to heal and to restore,
To soothe and cleanse, not madden and pollute !
THE struggling Rill insensibly is grown
The Into a Brook of loud and stately march,
Crossed ever and anon by plank or arch ;
And, for like use, lo! what might seem a zone
Chosen for ornament-stone matched with stone
In studied symmetry, with interspace
For the clear waters to pursue their race
Without restraint. How swiftly have they flown,
Succeeding-still succeeding! Here the Child
Puts, when the high-swoln Flood runs fierce
His budding courage to the proof; and here
Declining Manhood learns to note the sly
And sure encroachments of infirmity,
Thinking how fast time runs, life's end how near!
Love at the Not so that Pair whose youthful spirits dance
Stepping. With prompt emotion, urging them to pass ;
A sweet confusion checks the Shepherd-lass ;
Blushing she eyes the dizzy food askance;
To stop ashamed—too timid to advance ;
She ventures once again—another pause !
His outstretched hand He tauntingly withdraws~
She sues for help with piteous utterance !
Chidden she chides again; the thrilling touch
Both feel, when he renews the wished-for aid :
Ah! if their fluttering hearts should stir too much,
Should beat too strongly, both may be betrayed.
The frolic Loves, who, from yon high rock, see
The struggle, clap their wings for victory!
The Faery No fiction was it of the antique age :
Chasm A sky-blue stone, within this sunless cleft,
Is of the very foot-marks unbereft
Which tiny Elves impressed;—on that smooth stage
Dancing with all their brilliant equipage
In secret revels— haply after theft
Of some sweet BabeFlower stolen, and coarse
For the distracted Mother to assuage
Her grief with, as she might !- But, where, oh!
Is traceable a vestige of the notes
That ruled those dances wild in character ?
Deep underground? Or in the upper air,
On the shrill wind of midnight ? or where floats
O'er twilight fields the autumnal gossamer?