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Could draw, when we had parted, vain
delight, While tears were thy best pastime, day
and night; “And while my youthful peers before
my eyes (Each hero following his peculiar bent) Prepared themselves for glorious enter
prise By martial sports,-or, seated in the
tent, Chieftains and kings in council were de
tained ; What time the fleet at Aulis lay en
“The wished-for wind was given :-I
then revolved The oracle, upon the silent sea ; And, if no worthier led the way, re
solved That, of a thousand vessels, mine should
be The foremost prow in pressing to the
strand,Mine the first blood that tinged the Tro
The invisible world with thee hath sym:
pathized; Be thy affections raised and solemnized. “Learn, by a mortal yearning, to as
cendSeeking a higher object. Lore was
given, Encouraged, sanctioned, chiefly for that For this the passion to excess was
drivenThat self might be annulled : her bond.
age prove The fetters of a dream, opposed to
love." Aloud she shrieked ! for Hermes reap
pears! Round the dear Shade she would have
clung—'t is vain : The hours are past-too brief had they
been years ; And him no mortal effort can detain : Swift, toward the realms that know not
earthly day, He througl. the portal takes his silent
way, And on the palace-floor a lifeless corse
she lay. Thus, all in vain exhorted and reproved, She perished; and, as for a wilful crime, By the just Gods whom no weak pity
moved, Was dooined to wear out her appointed
time, Apart from happy Ghosts, that gather
flowers Of blissful quiet ʼmid unfading bowers. -Yet tears to human suffering are due ; And mortal hopes defeated and o'er
thrown Are mourned by man, and not by man
alone, As fondly he believes.-Upon the side Of Hellespont (such faith was enter.
tained) A knot of spiry trees for ages grew From out the tomb of him for whom she
“ Yet bitter, oft-times bitter was the
pang When of thy loss I thought, beloved
Wife ! On thee too fondly did my memory
hang, And on the joys we shared in mortal
life, The paths which we had trod—these
fountains, flowers, My new-planned cities, and unfinished
“But should suspense permit the Foe to
cry, * Behold they tremble !-haughty their
array, Yet of their number no one dares to
die ?' In soul I swept the indignity away: Old frailties then recurred :—but lofty
thought, In act embodied, my deliverance
wrought. “And Thou, though strong in love, art
all too weak In reason, in self-government too slow; I counsel thee by fortitude to seek Our blest re-union in the shades below.
And ever, when such stature they had
gained That Ilium's walls were subject to their
view, The trees' tall summits withered at the
sight: A constant interchange of growth and blight!
The unconquerable strength of love ; Bear witness, rueful Yarrow !
As mentioned in my verses on the death of the Ettrick Shepherd, my first visit to Yarrow was in his company. We had lodged the night be. fore at Traquhair, where Hogg had joined us
I seldom read or think of this poem without regretting that my dear Sister was not of the party, as she would have had so much delight in recalling the time when, travelling together in Scotland, we declined going in search of this celebrated stream, not altogether. I will frankly confess, for the reasons assigned in the poem on the occasion. (Wordsworth.)
AND is this-Yarrow ?-This the Stream
But thou, that didst appear so fair
bloom, For sportive youth to stray in ; For manhood to enjoy his strength; And age to wear away in ! Yon cottage seems a bower of bliss, A covert for protection Of tender thoughts, that nestle thereThe brood of chaste affection.
A blue sky bends o'er Yarrow vale,
How sweet, on this autumnal day,
SURPRISED BY JOY – IMPATIENT
AS THE WIND
This was in fact suggested by my daughter Catherine long after her death. (Wordsworth.)
TO B. R. HAYDON B. R. Haydon, the painter, was for many years a friend of Wordsworth. On November 4, 181.5, Haydon wrote: "I have'benefited and have been supported in the troubles of life by your poetry.
I bear want, pain, misery, and blindress; but I will never yielt one step I have gained on the road I am determined to travel over." Wordsworth's answer to this letter was the following sonnet. High is our calling, Friend !--Creative
Art (Whether the instrument of words she
use, Or pencil pregnant with ethereal hues.) Deinands the service of a mind and heart, Though sensitive, yet, in their weakest
part, Heroically fashioned-to infuse Faith in the whispers of the lonely Muse, While the whole world seems adverse to
desert. Aud, oh! when Nature sinks, as oft she
may, Through long-lived pressure of obscure
distress, Still to be strenuous for the bright re
ward, And in the soul admit of no decay, Brook no continuance of weak-minded
nessGreat is the glory, for the strife is hard !
SURPRISED by joy-impatient as the
Wind I turned to share the transport-Oh!
with whom But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb, That spot which no vicissitude can find ? Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my
minde But how could I forget thee? Through
what power, Even for the least division of an hour, Have I been so beguiled as to be blind To my most grievous loss? - That
thought's return Was the worst pang that sorrow ever
bore, Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn, Knowing my heart's best treasure was
no more ; That neither present time, nor years un
born Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.
1815 | 1815.
HAST THOU SEEN, WITH FLASH
Hast thou seen, with flash incessant,
Such are thoughts!-A wind-swept
meadow Mimicking a troubled sea, Such is life; and death a shadow From the rock eternity! 1818. 1820.
How clear, how keen, how marvellously
bright The effluence from yon distant mount
ain's head, Which, strewn with snow smooth as the
sky can shed, Shines like another sun-on mortal sight Uprisen, as if to check approaching
Night, And all her twinkling stars. Who now
would tread, If so he might, yon mountain's glittering
headTerrestrial, but a surface, hy the flight Of sad mortality's earth-sullying wing, Unswept, unstained ? Nor shall the
aërial Powers Dissolve that beauty, destined to endure, White, radiant, spotless, exquisitely
pure, Through all vicissitudes, till genial
Spring Has filled the laughing vales with wel
come flowers. 1815. 1816.
COMPOSED UPON AN EVENING OF EXTRAORDINARY SPLENDOR AND BEAUTY
I Had this effulgence disappeared With flying haste, I might have sent, Among the speechless clouds, a look Of blank astonishment; But 'tis endued with power to stay, And sanctify one closing day, That frail Mortality may seeWhat is ?-ah no, but what can be ! Time was when field and watery cove
With modulated echoes rang,
sovereign height, Warbled, for heaven above and earth
below, Strains suitable to both.-Such holy rite, Methinks, if audibly repeated now From hill or valley, could not move Sublimer transport, purer love, Than doth this silent spectacle — the
gleamThe shadow-and the peace supreme !
And if some traveller, weary of his road, Hath slept since noontide on the grassy
ground, Ye Genii! to his covert speed ; And wake him with such gentle lieed As may attune his soul to meet the
dower Bestowed on this transcendent hour!
No sound is uttered, -but a deep
divine, Informs my spirit, ne'er can I believe That this magnificence is wholly thine! --Froin worlds not quickened by the sun A portion of the gift is won ; An intermingling of Heaven's pomp is
spread On ground which British shepherds
Such hues from their celestial Urn
light Full early lost, and fruitlessly deplored ; Which, at this moment, on my waking
sight Appears to shine, by miracle restored ; My soul, though yet confined to earth, Rejoices in a second birth ! - Tis past, the visionary splendour
fades ; And night approaches with her shades.
DEPARTING summer hath assumed
And, if there be whom broken tien
raise Their practicable way. Come forth, ye drooping old men, look
abroad, And see to what fair countries ye are
No faint and hesitating trill,
Nor doth the example fail to cheer
I see what was, and is, and will abide ; Still glides the Stream, and shall for
ever glide ; The Form remains, the Function never
dies ; While we, the brave, the mighty, and
the wise, We Men, who in our morn of youth de
fied The elements, must vanish ;-be it so ! Enough, if something from our hands
have power To live, and act, and serve the future
hour; And if, as toward the silent tomb we
go, Through love, through hope, and faith's
transcendent dower, We feel that we are greater than we know,
Yet will I temperately rejoice;
claimed, Best pleased with what is aptliest
framed To enervate and defile. Not such the initiatory strains Committed to the silent plains In Britain's earliest dawn: Trembled the groves, the stars grew
pale, While all-too-daringly the veil Of nature was withdrawn! Nor such the spirit-stirring note When the live chords Alcæus smote, Inflamed by sense of wrong ; Woe! woe to Tyrants ! from the lyre Broke threateningly, in sparkles dire Of fierce vindictive song. And not unhallowed was the page By winged Love inscribed, to assuage The pangs of vain pursuit; Love listening while the Lesbian Maid With finest touch of passion swayed Her own Æolian lute. O ye, who patiently explore The wreck of Herculanean lore, What rapture ! could ye seize Some Theban fragment, or unroll One precious, tender-hearted, scroll Of pure Simonides. That were, indeed, a genuine birth Of poesy ; a bursting forth Of genius from the dust : What Horace gloried to behold, What Maro loved, shall we enfold ? Can haughty Time be just !
FROM low to high doth dissolution
climb, And sink from high to low, along a
scale Of awful notes, whose concord shall not
fail; A musical but melancholy chime, Which they can hear who meddle not
with crime, Nor avarice, nor over-anxious care. Truth fails not; but her outward forms
that bear The longest date do melt like frosty
rime, That in the morning whitened hill and
plain And is no more; drop like the tower
sublime Of yesterday, which royally did wear His crown of weeds, but could not even
sustain Some casual shout that broke the silent
air, Or the unimaginable touch of Time.
INSIDE OF KING'S COLLEGE
CHAPEL, CAMBRIDGE Tax not the royal Saint withı vain ex
pense, With ill-matched aims the Architect
who planned, Albeit laboring for a scanty band Of white-robed Scholars only--this im.
I THOUGHT of Thee, my partner and my
guide, As being past away.–Vain sympathies ! For, backward, Duddon, as I cast my