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Composed, almost extempore, in a short walk on the western side of Rydal Lake. (Wordsworth.)

That smooths foregone distress, the

lines Of lingering care subdues, Long-vanished happiness refines, And clothes in brighter hues ; Yet, like a tool of Fancy, works Those Spectres to dilate That startle Conscience, as she lurks Within her lonely seat. Oh! that our lives, which flee so fast, In purity were such, That not an image of the past Should fear that pencil's touch! Retirement then might hourly look Upon a soothing scene, Age steal to his allotted nook Contented and serene; With heart as calm as lakes that sleep, In frosty moonlight glistening ; Or mountain rivers, where they creep Along a channel smooth and deep, To their own far-off murmurs listening.

1823, 1827.

SCORx not the Sonnet; Critic, you have

frowned, Mindless of its just honors; with this

key Shakspeare unlocked his heart; the

melody Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's

wound; A thousand times this pipe did Tasso

sound; With it Camöens soothed an exile's

grief; The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf Amid the cypress with which Dante

crowned His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp, It cheered mild Spenser, called from

Faeryland To struggle through dark ways; and,

when a damp Fell round the path of Milton, in his

hand The Thing became a trumpet; whence

he blew Soul-animating strains-alas, too few!

1827 1827.

THE PRIMROSE OF THE ROCK Written at Rydal Mount. The Rock stands on the right hand a little way leading up the middle road from Rydal to Grasmere. We have been in the habit of calling it the glow-worm rock from the number of glow-worms we have often seen hanging on it as described. The tuft of primrose bas, I fear, beeu washed away by the heavy rains. (Wordsworth)

See Dorothy Wordsworth's Journal, April 24th, 180.. A ROCK there is whose homely front

The passing traveller slights; Yet there the glow-worms hang their

lamps, Like stars, at various heights ; And one coy Primrose to that Rock

The vernal breeze invites.
What hideous warfare bath been waged,

What kingdoms overthrown,
Since first I spied that Primrose-tuft

And marked it for my own;
A lasting link in Nature's chain

From highest heaven let down!
The flowers, still faithful to the stems,

Their fellowship renew;
The stems are faithful to the root,

That worketh out of view;
And to the rock the root adheres

In every fibre true.
Close clings to earth the living rock,

Though threatening still to fall;
The earth is constant to her sphere;

And God upholds them all : So blooms this lonely Plant, nor dreads

Her annual funeral,

Sin-blighted though we are, we too,

The reasoning Sons of Men, From one oblivious winter called

Shall rise, and breathe again : And in eternal summer lose

Our threescore years and ten. To humbleness of heart descends

This prescience from on high, The faith that elevates the just,

Before and when they die; And makes each soul a separate heaven, A court for Deity. 1831. 1835.

YARROW REVISITED The following Stanzas are a memorial of a day passed with Sir Walter Scott and other Friends visiting the Banks of the Yarrow under his guidance, immediately before his departure from Abbotsford, for Naples.

The title Yarrow Revisited will stand in no need of explanation for Readers acquainted with the Author's previous poems suggested by that celebrated Stream. (Wordsworth.) THE gallant Youth, who may have

gained, Or seeks, a winsome Marrow," Was but an Infant in the lap

When first I looked on Yarrow ; Once more, by Newark's Castle-gate

Long left without a warder, I stood, looked, listened, and with Tl:ee,

Great Minstrel of the Border ! Grave thoughts ruled wide on that

sweet day, Their dignity installing In gentle bosoms, while sere leaves

Were on the bough, or falling ; But breezes played, and

sunshine gleamedThe forest to em bolden ; Reddened the fiery hues, and shot

Transparence through the golden.
For busy thoughts the Stream flowed on

In foamy agitation ;
And slept in many a crystal pool

For quiet contemplation :
No public and no private care

The freeborn mind enthralling, We made a day of happy hours,

Our happy days recalling. Brisk Youth appeared, the Morn of

youth, With freaks of graceful folly,Life's temperate Noon, her sober Eve,

Her Night not melancholy ; Past, present, future, all appeared

In harmony united,


Here closed the meditative strain ;

But air breathed soft that day, The hoary mountain-heights

cheered, The sunny vale looked gay; And to the Primrose of the Rock

I gave this after-lay. I sang-Let myriads of bright flowers,

Like Thee, in field and grove Revive unenvied ;-mightier far,

Than tremblings that reprove Our vernal tendencies to hope,

Is God's redeeming love; That love which changed-for wan dis

For sorrow that had bent
O'er hopeless dust, for withered age--

Their moral element,
And turned the thistles of a curse

To types beneficent.

Like guests that meet, and some from Did no responsive harp, no pen, far,

Memorial tribute offer By cordial love invited.

Yea, what were mighty Nature's self?

Her features, could they win us, And if, as Yarrow, through the woods

Unhelped by the poetic voice
And down the meadow ranging,

That hourly speaks within us?
Did meet us with unaltered face,
Though we were changed and change | Nor deem that localized Romance

Plays false with our affections ;
If, then, some natural shadows spread Unsanctifies our tears-made sport
Our inward prospect over,

For fanciful dejections :
The soul's deep valley was not slow Ah, no! the visions of the past
Its brightness to recover,

Sustain the heart in feeling

Life as she is--our changeful Life, Eternal blessings on the Muse,

With friends and kindred dealing. And her divine employment! The blameless Muse, who trains her Sons Bear witness, Ye, whose thoughts that For hope and calm enjoyment;

day Albeit sickness, lingering yet,

In Yarrow's groves were centred ; Has o'er their pillow brooded ;

Who through the silent portal arch And Care waylays their steps--a Sprite Of mouldering Newark entered ; Not easily eluded.

And clomb the winding stair that once For thee, O SCOTT! compelled to change

Too timidly was mounted

By the " last Minstrel," (not the last !) Green Eildon-hill and Cheviot For warm Vesuvio's vine-clad slopes ;

Ere he his Tale recounted. And leave thy Tweed and Tiviot

Flow on for ever, Yarrow Stream ! For mild Sorrento's breezy waves;

Fulfil thy pensive duty, May classic Fancy, linking

Well pleased that future Bards should With native Fancy her fresh aid,

chant Preserve thy heart from sinking!

For simple hearts thy beauty ; Oh! while they minister to thee,

To dream-light dear while yet unseen,

Dear to the common sunshine,
Each vying with the other,

And dearer still, as now I feel,
May Health return to mellow Age
With Strength, her venturous brother;

To memory's shadowy moonshine!

1831. 1835. And Tiber, and each brook and rill Renowned in song and story,

With unimagined beauty shine,
Nor lose one ray of glory!

As recorded in my sister's Journal, I had first

seen the Trosachs in her and Coleridge's com. For Thou, upon a hundred streams, pany. The sentiment that runs through this By tales of love and sorrow

Sonnet was natural to the season in which I Of faithful love, undaunted truth,

again saw this beautiful spot ; but this and soine

other sonnets that follow were colored by the Hast shed the power of Yarrow ;

remembrance of my recent visit to Sir Walter And streams unknown, hills yet unseen, Scott, and the melancholy errand on which he Wherever they invite Thee,

was going. (Wordsworth.) At parent Nature's grateful call,

THERE's not a nook within this solemn With gladness must requite Thee.

Pass, A gracious welcome shall be thine,

But were an apt confessional for One Such looks of love and honor

Taught by his summer spent, his autumn As thy own Yarrow gave to me

gone, When first I gazed upon her ;

That Life is but a tale of morning grass Belield what I had feared to see,

Withered at ere. From scenes of art Unwilling to surrender

which chase Dreams treasured up from early days,

That thought away, turn, and with

watchful eyes The holy and the tender.

Feed it ’mid Nature's old felicities, And what, for this frail world, were all Rocks, rivers, and smooth lakes more That mortals do or suffer,

clear than glass

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Untouched, unbreathed upon. Thrice

happy quest, If from a golden perch of aspen spray (October's workmanship to rival May) The pensive warbler of the ruddy breast That moral sweeten by a heaven-taught

lay, Lulling the year, with all its cares, to rest!

1831. 1835.



** Is Mosgiel Farm; and that's the very

field Where Burns ploughed up the Daisy."

Far and wide A plain below stretched seaward, wbile,

descried Above sea-clouds, the Peaks of Arran

rose ; And, by that simple notice, the repose Of earth, sky, sea and air, was vivified. Beneath “the random bield of clod or Myriads of daisies have shone forth in

flower Near the lark's nest, and in their natural

hour Have passed away ; less happy than the

One That, by the unwilling ploughshare, died

to prove The tender charm of poetry and love.

1833. 1835.


IF thou indeed derive thy light from

Heaven, Then, to the measure of that heaven

born light, Shine, Poet ! in thy place, and be content: The stars pre-eminent in magnitude, And they that from the zenith dart their

beams, (Visible though they be to half the earth, Though half a sphere be conscious of

their brightness) Are yet of no diviner origin, No purer essence, than the one that

burns, Like an untended watch-fire on the ridge Of some dark mountain ; or than those

which seem Humbly to bang, like twinkling winter

lamps, Among the branches of the leafless trees. All are the undying offspring of one Sire: Then, to the measure of the light vouch

safed, Shine, Poet! in thy place, and be content.

1832. 1836.



UPLIFTED EYES Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes To pace the ground, if path be there or While a fair region round the traveller

lies Which he forbears again to look upon ; Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene, The work of Fancy, or some happy tone Of meditation, slipping in between The beauty coming and the beauty gone. If Thought and Love desert us, from that

day Let us break off all commerce with the

Muse : With Thought and Love companions of

our way, Whate'er the senses take or may refuse, The Mind's internal heaven shall shed her

dews Of inspiration on the humblest lay.


DEATH OF JAMES HOGG1 WHEN first, descending from the moor

lands, I saw the Stream of Yarrow glide


IF this great world of joy and pain

Revolve in one sure track ;
If freedom, set, will rise again,

And virtue, flown, come back ;
Woe to the purblind crew who fill

The heart with each day's care ; Nor gain, from past or future, skill To bear, and to forbear !

1833. 1835.


POINTING WITH MEET PRIDE “ THERE !” said a Stripling, pointing

with meet pride Towards a low roof with green trees

half concealea,

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1 Walter Scott
S. T. Coleridge
Charles Lamb.
Geo. Crabbe
Felicia Hemans

died Sept. 21, 1892

July 25, 1834
Dec. 27, 1831

3, 1832 " May 10, 1834

Along a bare and open valley,
The Éttrick Shepherd was my guide.



When last along its banks I wandered Through groves that had begun to shed Their golden leaves upon the pathways, My steps the Border-minstrel led.

The mighty Minstrel breathes no longer,
Mid mouldering ruins low he lies;
And death upon the braes of Yarrow,
Has closed the Shepherd-poet's eyes :
Nor has the rolling year twice measured,
From sign to sign, its steadfast course,
Since every mortal power of Coleridge
Was frozen at its marvellous source;
The rapt One, of the godlike forehead,
The heaven-eyed creature sleeps in

earth :
And Lamb, the frolic and the gentle,
Has vanished from his lonely hearth.

A Poet !-He bath put his heart to

school, Nor dares to move unpropped upon the

staff Which Art hath lodged within his hand

--must laugh By precept only, and shed tears by rule. Thy Art be Nature; the live current

quaff, And let the groveller sip his stagnant

pool, In fear that else, when Critics grave and

cool Have killed him, Scorn should write his

epitaph. How does the Meadow-flower its bloom

unfold ? Because the lovely little flower is free Down to its root, and, in that freedom,

bold; And so the grandeur of the Forest-tree Comes not by casting in a formal mould, But from its own divine vitality.

18427 1842.

Like clouds that rake the mountain

summits, Or waves that own no curbing hand, How fast has brother followed brother From sunshine to the sunless land !



Yet I, whose lids from infant slumber
Were earlier raised, remain to hear
A timid voice, that asks in whispers,
" Who next will drop and disappear ? "

So fair, so sweet, withal so sensitive, Would that the little Flowers were born

to live, Conscious of half the pleasure which

they give;

Our haughty life is crowned with dark

ness, Like London with its own black wreath, On which with thee, O Crabbe! forth

looking I gazed from Hampstead's breezy heath. As if but yesterday departed, Thou too art gone before ; but why, O'er ripe fruit, seasonably gathered, Should frail survivors heave a sigh?

That to this mountain-daisy's self were

known The beauty of its star-shaped shadow,

thrown On the smooth surface of this naked


Mourn rather for that holy Spirit, Sweet as the spring, as ocean deep; For Her who, ere her summer faded, Hlas sunk into a breathless sleep.

And what if bence a bold desire should

mount High as the Sun, that he could take

account Of all that issues from his glorious


No more of old romantic sorrows,
For slaughtered Youth or love-lorn

Maid !
With sharper grief is Yarrow smitten,
And Ettrick mourns with her their Poet

dead. Nov. 1835. Dec. 1835.

So might he ken how by his sovereign

aid These delicate companionships

made; And how he rules the pomp of light

and shade;


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