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Me this unchartered freedom tires;
Stern lawgiver ! yet thou dost wear
To humbler functions, awful power!
POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION.
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.-And they would shout Across the watery vale, and shout again, Responsive to his call, --with quivering peals, And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud Redoubled and redoubled ; concourse wild Of mirth and jocund din! And, when it chanced That pauses of deep silence mocked his skill, Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise Has carried far into his heart the voice Of mountain torrents; or the visible scene Would enter unawares into his mind With all its solemn imagery, its rocks, Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, received Into the bosom of the steady lake.
This boy was taken from his mates, and died
ON HER FIRST ASCENT TO THE SUMMIT OF HELVELLYN.
INMATE of a mountain-dwelling,
survey the bright dominions In the gorgeous colours drest, Flung from off the purple pinions Evening spreads throughout the west ! Thine are all the choral fountains Warbling in each sparry vault Of the untrodden lunar mountains; Listen to their songs !-or halt, To Niphate's top invited, Whither spiteful Satan steered; Or descend where the ark alighted, When the green earth re-appeared ; For the power of hills is on thee, As was witnessed through thine eye Then, when old Helvellyn won thee To confess their majesty!
TO THE CUCKOO.
Though babbling only, to the vale,
Thrice welcome, darling of the spring !
The sky is overcast With a continuous cloud of texture close, Heavy and wan, all whitened by the moon, Which through that veil is indistinctly seen, A dull, contracted circle, yielding light So feebly spread, that not a shadow falls, Chequering the ground-from rock, plant, tree, or tower. At length a pleasant instantaneous gleam Startles the pensive traveller while he treads His lonesome path, with unobserving eye Bent earthwards: he looks up-the clouds are split