« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Though he to no one give the fortitude
And circumspection needful to preserve
His present blessings, and to husband up
The respite of the season, he, at least-
And 'tis no vulgar service-makes them felt.
Yet further.-Many, I believe, there are
Who live a life of virtuous decency,
Men who can hear the Decalogue and feel
No self-reproach : who of the moral law
Established in the land where they abide
Are strict observers : and not negligent,
Meanwhile, in any tenderness of heart
Or act of love to those with whom we dwell,
Their kindred, and the children of their blood.
Praise be to such, and to their slumbers peace !
-But of the poor man ask, the abject poor,
Go, and demand of him, if there be here
In this cold abstinence from evil deeds,
And these inevitable charities,
Wherewith to satisfy the human soul ?
No-man is dear to man; the poorest poor
Long for some moments in a weary life
When they can know and feel that they have been
Themselves the fathers and the dealers-out
Of some small blessings ; have been kind to such
As needed kindness, for this single cause,
That we have all of us one human heart.
Such pleasure is to one kind being known,
My neighbour, when with punctual care, each week
Duly as Friday comes, though pressed herself
By her own wants, she from her store of meal
Takes one unsparing handful for the scrip
Of this old mendicant, and from her door
Returning with exhilarated heart,
Sits by her fire, and builds her hope in heaven.
Then let him pass, a blessing on his head ! And while in that vast solitude to which The tide of things has borne him, he appears To breathe and live but for himself aloneUnblamed, uninjured, let him bear about The good which the benignant law of Heaven Has hung around him : and, while life is his, Still let him prompt the unlettered villagers To tender offices and pensive thoughts. ---Then let him pass, a blessing on his head ! And, long as he can wander, let him breathe The freshness of the valleys : let his blood Struggle with frosty hair and winter snows : And let the chartered wind that sweeps the heath Beat his gray locks against his withered face. Reverence the hope whose vital anxiousness Gives the last human interest to his heart. May never House, misnamed of Industry, Make him a captive ! for that pent-up din, Those life-consuming sounds that clog the air, Be his the natural silence of old age ! Let him be free of mountain solitudes; And have around him, whether heard or not, The pleasant melody of woodland birds. Few are his pleasures : if his eyes have now Been doomed so long to settle on the earth, That not without some effort they behold The countenance of the horizontal sun, Rising and setting_let the light at least
Find a free entrance to their languid orbs.
And let him, where and when he will, sit down
Beneath the trees, or by the grassy bank
Of highway side, and with the little birds
Share his chance-gathered meal; and, finally,
As in the eye of Nature he has lived,
So in the eye of Nature let him die !
Composed at Grasmere, during a walk, one evening after a stormy
day, the author having just read in a newspaper that the dissolution of Mr. Fox was hourly expected.
Loud is the vale ! the voice is up
With which she speaks when storms are gone,
A mighty unison of streams !
Of all her voices, one !
Loud is the vale !-this inland depth
In peace is roaring like the sea :
Yon star upon the mountain-top
Is listening quietly.
Sad was I, even to pain deprest
Importunate and heavy load !
The comforter hath found me here,
Upon this lonely road;
And many thousands now are sad-
Wait the fulfilment of their fear;
For he must die who is their stay,
Their glory disappear.
A power is passing from the earth
To breathless Nature's dark abyss ;
And when the mighty pass away,
What is it more than this,
That man, who is from God sent forth,
Doth yet again to God return ?
Such ebb and flow must ever be ;
Then wherefore should we mourn?