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While my Fellow-traveller and I were walk. ing by the side of Loch Ketterine, one fine even. ing after sunset, in our road to a Hut where, in the course of our Tour, we had been hospitably entertained some weeks before, we met, in one of the loneliest parts of that solitary region, two well-dressed Women, one of whom said to us by way of greeting, “What, you are stepping west. ward ? (Wordsworth.)
With earnest feeling I shall pray For thee when I am far away : For never saw I mien, or face, In which more plainly I could trace Benignity and home-bred sense Ripening in perfect innocence. Here scattered, like a random seed, Remote from men, Thou dost not need The embarrassed look of shy distress, And maidenly shamefacedness : Thou wear'st upon thy forehead clear The freedom of a Mountaineer : A face with gladness overspread ! Soft smiles, by human kindness bred ! And seemliness complete, that sways Thy courtesies, about thee plays ; With no restraint, but such as springs From quick and eager visitings of thoughts that lie beyond the reach of thy few words of English speech: A bondage sweetly brooked, a strife That gives thy gestures grace and life! So have I, not unmoved in mind, Seen birds of tempest-loving kind-Thus beating up against the wind.
What hand but would a garland cull For thee who art so beautiful ? O happy pleasure! here to dwell Beside thee in some heathy dell; Adopt your homely ways, and dress, A Shepherd, thou a Shepherdess ! But I could frame a wish for thee More like a grave reality : Thou art to me but as a wave Of the wild sea ; and I would have Some claim upon thee, if I could, Though but of common neighborhood. What joy to hear thee, and to see! Thy elder Brother I would be, Thy Father--anything to thee! Now thanks to Heaven ! that of its
grace Hath led me to this lonely place. Joy have I had ; and going hence I bear away my recompense. In spots like these it is we prize Our Memory, feel that she hath eyes: Then, why should I be loth to stir ? I feel this place was made for her; To give new pleasure like the past, Continued long as life shall last. Nor am I loth, though pleased at heart, Sweet Highland Girl! from thee to part: For I, methinks, till I grow old, As fair before me shall behold, As I do now, the cabin small, The lake, the bay, the waterfall; And Thee, the spirit of them all!
" What, you are stepping westward ?*
" Yea.” -"Twould be a wildish destiny, If we, who thus together roam In a strange Land, and far from home, Were in this place the guests of Chance: Yet who wouid stop, or fear to advance Though home or shelter he had none, With such a sky to lead him on? The dewy ground was dark and cold ; Behind, all gloomy to behold ; And stepping westward seemed to be A kind of heavenly destiny: I liked the greeting ; 't was a sound Of something without place or bound; And seemed to give me spiritual right To travel through that region bright. The voice was soft, and she who spake Was walking by her native lake: The salutation had to me The very sound of courtesy : Its power was felt; and while my eye Was fixed upon the glowing Sky, The echo of the voice en wrought A human sweetness with the thought Of travelling through the world that lay Before me in my endless way.
THE SOLITARY REAPER
BEHOLD her, single in the field,
Will no one tell me what she sings ?
Whate'er the theme, the maiden sang
See the various Poems the scene of which is laid upon the banks of the Yarrow; in particu. lar, the exquisite Ballad of Hamilton beginning * Busk ye, busk ye, my bonny, bonny Bride,-
Busk ye, busk ye, my winsome Marrow " (Wordsworth).
-Strange words they seemed of slight
and scorn My True-love sighed for sorrow; And looked me in the face, to think I thus could speak of Yarrow ! “Oh! green,” said I,“ are Yarrow's
FROM Stirling castle we had seen
“Let Yarrow folk, frae Selkirk town,
INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY FROM REC
OLLECTIONS OF EARLY CHILDHOOD
“There's Galla Water, Leader Haughs, Both lying right before us ; And Dryborough, where with chiming
Tweed The lintwhites sing in chorus ; There's pleasant Tiviot-dale, a land Made blithe with plough and barrow : Why throw away a needful day To go in search of Yarrow ? “ What's Yarrow but a river bare, That glides the dark hills under? There are a thousand such elsewhere As worthy of your wonder.”
“In my Ode on the Intimations of Immor. tality in Childhood, I do not profess to give a literal representation of the state of the affections and of the moral being in childhood. I re. cord my own feelings at that time--my absolute spirituality, my 'all-soulness,' if I may so speak At that time I could not believe that I should lie down quietly in the grave, and that my body would mouliler into dust.' (Knight's Woris. worth, II, 326. See also, in the Encyclopædia Britannica, the article Poetry.")
I THERE was a time when meadow, grove,
The Rainbow comes and goesel
The Moon doth with delight c Look round her when the heavens are bare;
Are beautiful and fair ;
But yet I know, where'ér I gó,
Oh evil day ! if I were sullen
This sweet May-morning,
On every side,
warm, And the Babe leaps up on his Mother's
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear !
- But there's a Tree, of many, one, A single Field which I have looked
upon, Both of them speak of something that is
Doth the same tale repeat:
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous
song, And while the young lambs bound
As to the tabor's sound, To me alone there came a thought of
grief ; A timely utterance gave that thought
And I again am strong: The cataracts blow their trumpets from
the steep ; No more sball grief of mine the season
wrong ; I hear the Echoes through the moun
tains throng, The Winds come to me from the fields
Land and sea
And with the heart of May
Thou Child of Joy, Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Shepherd-boy!
IV Ye blessed Creatures, I have heard the
Ye to each other make; I see
My head bath its coronal,
Our birth is but a sleep and a forget.
ting : The Soul that rises with us, our life's
And cometh from afar:
And not in utter nakedness,
From God, who is our home: Heaven lies about us in our infancy ! Shades of the prison-house begin to
Upon the growing Boy, But he beholds the light, and whence it
He sees it in nis joy ; The Youth, who daily farther from the
east Must travel, still is Nature's Priest, And by the vision splendid
Is on liis way attended ; At length the Man perceives it die
away, And fade into the light of common day.
VI Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her
own ; Yearnings she bath in her own natural
kind, And, even with something of a Mother's
The homely Nuse doth all she can To make her Foster-child, her Inmate
Thou little Child, yet glorious in the
might Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's
height, Why with such earnest pains dost thou
provoke The years to bring the inevitable yoke, Thus blindly with thy blessedness at
strife? Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly
freight, And custom lie upon thee with a
weight, Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!
Forget the glories he hath known, And that imperial palace whence he came.
VII Behold the Child among his new-born
blisses, A six years' Darling of a pigmy size ! See, where 'mid work of his own hand
he lies, Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses, With light upon him from his father's
eyes! See, at his feet, some little plan or
chart, Some fragment from his dream of hu
man life, Shaped by himself with newly-learned
And this hath now his heart,
Then will be fit his tongue
But it will not be long
And with new joy and pride
ous stage" With all the Persons, down to palsied
belie Thy Soul's immensity; Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost
keep Thy heritage, thou Eye among the
blind, That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal
deep, Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,
Mighty Prophet! Seer blest! On whom those truths do rest. Which we are toiling all our lives to
find, in darkness lost, the darkness of the
grave; Thou, over whom thy Immortality Broods like the Day, a Master o'er a
Slave, A Presence which is not to be put by ;
O joy! that in our embers
What was so fugitive !
doth breed Perpetual benediction : not indeed For that which is most worthy to be
in his breast :
The song of thanks and praise ; But for those obstinate questionings Of sense and outward things, Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a Creature Moving about in worlds not realized, High instincts before which our mortal
Those shadowy recollections,
to make Our noisy years seem moments in the
being Of the eternal Silence: truths that
To perish never ; Which neither listlessness, nor mad en.
Nor Man nor Boy,
Hence in a season of calm weather
Our Souls have sight of that immortal
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither, And see the Children sport upon the
shore, And hear the mighty waters rolling
Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous
As to the tabor's sound !
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Feel the gladness of the May !
once so bright Be now forever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the
hour Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the
death, In years that bring the philosophic
Thanks to the human heart by which
we live, Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and
fears, To me the meanest flower that blows
can give Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
1803-6. 1807. TO THE CUCKOO O BLITHE New-comer! I have heard, I hear thee and rejoice. O Cuckoo ! shall I call thee Bird, Or but a wandering Voice ? While I am lying on the grass Thy twofold shout I hear, From hill to bill it seems to pass, At once far off, and near. Though babbling only to the Vale, Of sunshine and of flowers, Thou bringest unto ine a tale Of visionary hours. Thrice welcome, darling of the Spring! Even yet thou art to me No bird, but an invisible thing, A voice, a mystery ; The same whom in my school-boy days I listened to; that Cry Which made me look a thousand ways In bush, and tree, and sky. To seek thee did I often rove Through woods and on the green ; And thou wert still a hope, a love; Still longed for, never seen. And I can listen to thee yet; Can lie upon the plain And listen, till I do beget That golden time again. O blessed Bird! the earth we pace Again appears to be An unsubstantial, faery place; That is fit home for Thee!
1802. 1807. SHE WAS A PHANTOM OF
And 0 ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills,
and Groves, Forebode not any severing of our loves ! Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your
might ; I only have relinquished one delight To live beneath your more habitual
sway. I love the Brooks which down their
channels fret, Even more than when I tripped lightly
as they ; The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
Is lovely yet ; The Clouds that gather round the set
ting sun Do take a sober coloring from an eye That hath kept watch o'er man's mor
tality ; Another race hath been, and other
palms are won.
Written at Town-end, Grasmere. The germ of this poem was four lines composed as a part of the verses on the Highland Girl. Though begin. ning in this way, it was written from my heart. as is sufficiently obvious. (Wordsworth.) She was a Phantom of delight
a When first she gleamed upon my sight;