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LONDON, 1802 Milton! thou shouldst be living at this
hour : England hath need of thee; she is a fen Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and
pen, Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and
bower, Have forfeited their ancient English
dower Oi inward happiness. We are selfish
men ; Oh! raise us up, return to us again; And give us manners, virtue, freedom,
power. Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt
apart: Thou hadst a voice whose sound was
like the sea: Pure as the naked heavens, majestic,
free, So didst thou travel on life's common
way: In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart The lowliest duties on herself did lay.
Of the world's praise, from dark an:
tiquity Hath flowed,“ with pomp of waters, un
withstood." Roused though it be full often to a mood Which spurns the check of salutary
·bands, That this most famous stream in bogs
and sands Should perish; and to evil and to good Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung Armory of the invincible Knights of
old: We must be free or die, who speak the
tongue That Shakspeare spake; the faith and
morals hold Which Milton held.-In everything we
are sprung Of Earth's first blood, have titles mani.
fold. 1802 or 1803. April 16, 1803.
GREAT MEY HAVE BEEN
AMONG US GREAT men have been among us; hands
that penned And tongues that uttered wisilom--bet
ter none: The later Sidney, Marvel, Harrington, Young Vane, and others who called
Milton friend. These moralists could act and compre
hend: They knew how genuine glory was put
on; Taught us how rightfully a nation shone In splendor: what strength was, that
would not bend But in magnanimous meekness. France,
'tis strange, Hath brought forth no such souls as we
had then. Perpetual emptiness! unceasing change! No single volume paramount. no code, No master spirit, no determined road; But equally a want of books and men!
WHEN I HAVE BORNE IN
MEMORY WHEN I have borne in memory what has
tamed Great Nations, how ennobling thoughts
depart When men change swords for ledgers,
and desert The student's bower for gold, some fears
unnamed I lad, my Country !am I to be
blamed? Now, when I think of thee, and what
thou art, Verily, in the bottom of my heart, Of those un filial fears I am ashamed. For dearly must we prize thee; we who
find In thee a bulwark for the cause of meu: And I by my affection was beguiled : What wonder if a Poet now and then, Among the many movements of his
mind, Felt for thee as a lover or a child !
1802 or 1803. Sept. 17, 1803.
TO HARTLEY COLERIDGE
SIX YEARS OLD
IT IS NOT TO BE THOUGHT OF It is not to be thought of that the
Flood Of British freedom, which, to the open sea
1:0 THOU! whose fancies from afar are
brought; Who of thy words dost make mor:k
apparel, And fittest to unutterable thought The breeze-like motion and the self
born carol ;
Pleased at his greeting thee again;
Yet nothing daunted. Nor grieved if thou be set at nought : And oft alone in nooks remote We meet thee, like a pleasant thought,
When such are wantei.
Thou faery voyager! that dost float
stream; Suspended in a stream as clear as sky, Where earth and beaven do make one
imagery ; O blessed vision! happy child ! Thou art so exquisitely wild. I think of thee with many fears For what may be thy lot in future years. I thought of times when Pain might
be thy guest, Lord of thy liouse and hospitality ; And Grief, uneasy lover! never rest But when she sate within the touch of
thee. () too industrious folly ! O vain and causeless melancholy ! Natwe will either end thee quite; Or, lengthening out thy season of delight, Preserve for thee, by individual right, A young lamb's heart among the full
grown tocks. What hast thou to do with sorrow, Or the injuries of to-morrow ? Thou art a dew-drop, which the morn
brings forth, Ill fitted to sustain unkindly shocks, Or to be trailed along the soiling earth; A gem that glitters while it lives, And no forewarning gives; But, at the touch of wrong, without a
strife Slips in a moment out of life.
Be violets in their secret mews
Her head impearling;
The Poet's darling.
Near the green holly,
llis melancholy. A hundred times, by rock or bower, Ere thus I have lain couched an hour, Ilave I derived from thy sweet power
Some apprehension ; Some steady love; some brief delight; Some memory that had taken flight; Some chime of fancy wrong or right;
Or stray invention.
A lowlier pleasure;
Of hearts at leisure.
With kindred gladness :
Of careful sadness.
TO THE DAISY
Most pleased when most uneasy ;
Of Thee, sweet Daisy !
That she may sun thee; Whole Summer-fields are thine by right; And Autumn, melancholy "light! Doth in thy crimson head delight
When rains are on thee. In shoals and bands, a morrice train, Thon greet'st the traveller in the lane ;
And all day long I number yet,
To thee am owing ;
Nor whither going.
Child of the Year! that round dost run Thy pleasant course, - when day's begun As ready to salute the sun
As lark or leveret, Thy long-lost praise thou shalt regain ;' Nor be less dear to future men Than in old time; thou not in vain
Art Nature's favorite.1 1802. 1807.
Bright Flower! for by that name at lasty
Sweet silent creature!
, with me in sun and air, Do thou, as thou art wont, repair My heart with gladness, and a share Of thy meek nature ! 1802. 1807.
TO TIIE DAISY
TO THE SAME FLOWER With little here to do or see Of things that in the great world be, Daisy ! again I talk to thee,
For thou art worthy, Thou unassuming Common-place of Nature, with that liomely face, And yet with something of a grace,
Wbich Love makes for thee?
BRIGHT Flower! wbose home is every
where, Bold in maternal Nature's care, And all the long year through, the heir
Of joy or sorrow ;.
The forest thorough!
Oft on the dappled turf at ease
Thoughts of thy raising :
While I am gazing.
Of all temptations ;
The freak is over,
In fight to cover!
In heaven above thee!
Who shall reprove thee!
Is it that Man is soon deprest ?
Or on his reason, And Thou would'st teach him how to
find A shelter under every wind, A hope for times that are unkind
And every season?
Yet pleased and willing;
In peace fulfilling. 1802. 1807.
: See, in Chaucer and the elder Poets, the hon )rs formerly paid to this flower.
One have I marked, the happiest guest
In joy of voice and pinion!
Thou, Linnet! in thy green array,
And this is thy dominion.
While birds, and butterflies, and flow.
ers, Make all one band of paramours, Thou, ranging up and down the bowers.
Art sole in thy employment : A Life, a Presence like the Air, Scattering thy gladness without care, Too blest with any one to pair ;
Thyself thy own enjoyment.
Amid yon tuft of hazel trees,
Yet seeming still to hover;
That cover him all over.
Are those fraternal Four of Borrow dale, Joined in one solemn and capacious
grove ; Huge trunks; and each particular trunk
a growth Of intertwisted fibres serpentine Up-coiling, and inveterately convolved ; Nor uninformed with Phantasy, and
looks That threaten the profane ;-a pillared
shade, Upon whose grassless floor of red-brown
hue, By sheddings from the pining umbrage
tinged Perennially--beneath whose sable roof Of boughs, as if for festal purpose,
decked With unrejoicing berries-ghostly
Shapes May meet at noontide ; Fear and trem
bling Hope, Silence and Foresight; Death the Skele.
ton And Time the Shadow ;-there to cele
brate, As in a natural temple scattered o'er With altars undisturbed of mossy stone, United worshir; or in mute repose To lie, and listen to the moutain flood Murmuring from Glaramara's inmost
My dazzled sight he oft deceives,
Pours forth his song in gushes;
AT THE GRAVE OF BURNS
Compare the note on A Vight-Piece.
SEVEN YEARS AFTER HIS DEATH
For illustration, see my Sister's Journal, (orilsworth). I SHIVER, Spirit fierce and bold, At thought of what I now behold : As vapors breathed from dungeons
Strike pleasure dead,
Where Burns is laid.
THERE is a Yew-tree, pride of Lorton
Vale, Which to this day stands single, in the
midst Of its own darkness, as it stood of
yore; Not lóth to furnish weapons for the
bands Of Umfraville or Percy ere they marched To Scotland's leaths; or those that
crossed the sea And drew their sounding bows at Azin
Cour, Perhaps at earlier Crecy, or Poictiers. Of vast circumference and gloom pro
found This solitary Tree! a living thing Produced too slowly ever to decay ; Of form and aspect too magnificent To be destroyed. But worthier still of
And have I then thy bones so near,
I shrink with pain;
Alike are vain.
away Dark thoughts !--they came, but not to
With chastened feelings would I pay
The tribute due To him, and aught that hides his clay
From mortal view.
Fresh as the flower, whose modest worth
For so it seems,
With matchless beams.
The piercing eye, the thoughtful brow, The struggling heart, where be they
The prompt, the brave,
And silent grave.
And showed my youth How Verse may build a princely throne
On humble truth.
There, too, a Son, his joy and pride, (Not three weeks past the Stripling
died,) Lies gathered to his Father's side,
Some sad delight:
Wronged, or distrest ;
That such are blest.
Where Man is laid
For which it prayed !
A ritual hymn,
TO A HIGHLAND GIRL
AT INVERSNEYDE, UPON LOCH LOMOND
Alas! where'er the current tends,
By Skiddaw seen,-.
We might have been ; True friends though diversely inclined ; But heart with heart and mind with
mind, Where the main fibres are entwined,
Through Nature's skill, May even by contraries be joined
More closely still.
This delightful creature and her demeanor are particularly described in my Sister's Journal. (Wordsworth.)
The tear will start, and let it flow;
Might we together
Or on wild heather.
SWEET Highland Girl, a very shower
Whial treasures would have then been
placed Within my reach ; of knowledge graced By fancy what a rich repast !
But why go on?Oh! spare to sweep, thou mournful
His grave grass-grown.