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Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in
the west The orange sky of evening died away.
Not seldom from the uproar I retired Into a silent bay, or sportively Glanced sideway, leaving the tumult
uous throng, To cut across the reflex of a star ; Image, that, flying still before me,
gleamed Upon the glassy plain : and oftentimes, When we had given our bodies to the
wind, And all the shadowy banks on either
side Came sweeping through the darkness,
spinning still The rapid line of motion, then at once Have I, reclining back upon my heels, Stopped short; yet still the solitary cliffs Wheeled by me-even as if the earth
had rolled With visible motion her diurnal round ! Behind me did they stretch in solemn
train, Feebler and feebler, and I stood and
watched Till all was tranquil as a summer sea.
Of jocund din! And, when there came
a pause Of silence such as baffled his best 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 In childhood, ere he was full twelve years
old. Pre-eminent in beauty is the vale Where he was born and bred : the church
yard hangs Upon á slope above the village-school; And through that church-yard when my
way has led On summer-evenings, I believe, that
there A long half-hour together I have stood Mute-looking at the grave in which he lies!
THERE WAS A BOY
Written in Germany ; intended as part of a poem on my own life. out struck out as not being wanted there. .. (Wordsworth).
Written in Germany. This is an extract from the poem on my own poetical education. (Wordsvoorth. The poem referred to is The Prelude.) 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 fong halloos, and screams, and
echoes loud Redoubled and redoubled ;
It seems a day (I speak of one from many singled out) One of those heavenly days that cannot When, in the eagerness of boyish hope, I left our cottage-threshold, sallying
forth With a huge wallet o'er my shoulders
slung, A nutting-crook in hand ; and turned
my steps Tow'rd some far-distant wood, a Figure
quaint, Tricked out in proud disguise of cast-off
weeds Which for that service had been hus
banded, By exhortation of my frugal DameMotley accoutrement, of power to smile At thorns, and brakes, and brambles
and, in truth, More ragged than need was! O'er
The silent trees, and saw the intruding
sky.-Then, dearest Maiden, move along these
shades In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand Touch-for there is a spirit in the woods.
STRANGE FITS OF PASSION HAVE
Through beds of matted fern, and tan
gled thickets, Forcing my way, I came to one dear nook Unvisited, where not a broken bough Drooped with its withered leaves, un
gracious sign Of devastation ; but the hazels rose Tall and erect, with tempting clusters
hung, A virgiu scene!--A little while I stood, Breathing with such suppression of the
heart As joy delights in ; and, with wise re
straint Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed The banquet ;-or beneath the trees I
sate Among the flowers, and with the flowers
I played ; A temper known to those, who, after
long And weary expectation, have been blest With sudden happiness beyond all hope. Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose
leaves The violets of five seasons re-appear And fade, unseen by any human eye; Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on For ever; and I saw the sparkling foam, And—with my cheek on one of those
green stones That, fleeced with moss, under the shady
trees, Lay round me, scattered like a flock of
sheep-I heard the murmur and the murmuring
sound, In that sweet mood when pleasure loves
The next three poems were written in
Germany. (Wordsworth.) STRANGE fits of passion have I known: And I will dare to tell, But in the Lover's ear alone, What once to me befell. When she I loved looked every day Fresh as a rose in June, I to her cottage bent my way, Beneath an evening-moon. Upon the moon I fixed my eye, All over the wide lea ; With quickening pace my horse drew
nigh Those paths so dear to me. And now we reached the orchard-plot; And, as we climbed the hill, The sinking moon to Lucy's cot Came near, and nearer still, In one of those sweet dreams I slept, Kind Nature's gentlest boon ! And all the while my eyes I kept On the descending moon. My borse moved on ; hoof after hoof He raised, and never stopped : When down behind the cottage roos, At once, the bright moon dropped. What fond and wayward thoughts will
slide Into a Lover's head !
O mercy !” to myself I cried, “ If Lucy should be dead!”
Tribute to ease ; and, of its joy secure, The heart luxuriates with indifferent
things, Wasting its kindliness on stocks and
stones And on the vacant air. Then up I
rose, And dragged to earth both branch and
bough, with crash And merciless ravage : and the shady
nook Of hazels, and the green and mossy
bower, Deformed and sullied, patiently gave up Their quiet being: and, unless I now Confound my present feelings with the
past; Ere from the mutilated bower I turned Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of
kings, I felt a sense of pain when I beheld
SHE DWELT AMONG THE UNTROD
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove, A Maid whom there were none to praise
And very few to love:
A SLUMBER did my spirit seal ;
I had no human fears :
The touch of earthly years.
She neither hears nor sees;
THREE YEARS SHE GREW IN SUN
AND SHOWER. THREE years she grew in sun and shower, Then Nature said, “ A lovelier flower On earth was never sown ; This Child I to myself will take ; She shall be mine, and I will make A Lady of my own. “Myself will to my darling be Both law and impulse : and with me The Girl, in rock and plain, In earth and heaven, in glade and
bower, Shall feel an overs
erseeing power To kindle or restrain, "She shall be sportive as the fawn That wild with glee across the lawn, Or
up the mountain springs; And hers shall be the breathing balm, And hers the silence and the calm of mute insensate things.
Art thou a Man of purple cheer ?
But he is weak; both Man and Boy,
-Come hither in thy hour of strength;
Or art thou one of gallant pride,
Physician art thou ? one all eyes, Philosopher! a fingering slave, One that would peep and botanize Upon his mother's grave ?
Wrapt closely in thy sensual fleece, () turn aside, -and take, I pray, That he below may rest in peace, Thy ever-dwindling soul away!
A Moralist perchance appears ;
In the School of --- is a tablet, on which are inscribed in gilt letters, the Names of the sev. eral persons who have been Schoolmasters there since the foundation of the School, with the time at which they entered upon and quitted their office. Opposite to one of those names the Author wrote the following lines.
Such a Tablet as is here spoken of continued to be preserved in Hawkshead School, though the inscriptions were pot brought down to our time. This and other poems connected with Matthew would not gain by a literal detail of facts. Like the Wanderer in "The Excursion," this Schoolmaster was made up of several both of his class and men of other occupations. I do not ask pardon for what there is of untruth in such verses, considered strictly as matters of fact. It is enough if, being true and consistent in spirit, they move and teach in a manner not unworthy of a Poet's calling. (Wordsworth.)
One to whose smooth-rubbed soul can
cling Nor form, nor feeling, great or small ! A reasoning, self-sufficing thing, An intellectual All-in-all!
IF Nature, for a favorite child,
a In thee hath tempered so her clay, That every hour thy heart runs wild, Yet never once doth go astray,
Shut close the door; press down the
But who is he, with modest looks,
Read o'er these lines ; and then review
He is retired as noontide dew,
Poor Matthew, all his frolics o'er,
In common things that round us lie
The sighs which Matthew heaved were
siglis Of one tired out with fun and madness;
- No fountain from its rocky cave
“ There came from me a sigh of pain
Matthew is in his grave, yet now,
A village schoolmaster was he, With hair of glittering gray; As blithe a man as you could see On a spring holiday. And on that morning, through the grass, And by the steaming rills, We travelled merrily, to pass A day among the hills. “Our work,” said I, was well begun, Then, from thy breast what thought, Beneath so beautiful a sun, So sad a sigh has brought ?” A second time did Matthew stop ; And fixing still his eye Upon the eastern mountain-top, To me he made reply: “ Yon cloud with that long purple cleft Brings fresh into my mind A day like this which I have left Full thirty years behind. “ And just above yon slope of corn Such colors, and no other, Were in the sky, that April morn, Of this the very brother. “ With rod and line I snied the sport Which that sweet season gave, And, to the church-yard come, stopped
short Besile my daughter's grave.
We talked with open heart, and tongue
“Now, Matthew !” said I, “ let us
match This water's pleasant tune With some old border-song, or catch That suits a summer's noon ; “ Or of the church-clock and the chimes Sing here beneath the shade,