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Should give me life, his childhood shall grow up
· FROST AT MIDNIGHT.
The Frost performs its secret ministry, Unhelp'd by any wind. The owlet's cry Came loud-and hark, again ! loud as before. The inmates of my cottage, all at rest, Have left me to that solitude, which suits Abstruser musings : save that at my side My cradled infant slumbers peacefully. 'Tis calm indeed ! so calm, that it disturbs And vexes meditation with its strange And extreme silentness. Sea, hill, and wood, This populous village! Sea, and hill, and wood, With all the numberless goings on of life, Inaudible as dreams! the thin blue flame Lies on my low burnt fire, and quivers not; Only that film, which flutter'd on the grate, Still Autters there, the sole unquiet thing. Methinks, its motion in this hush of nature Gives it dim sympathies with me who live, Making it a companionable form,
To which the living spirit in our frame,
How oft, at school, with most believing mind, Presageful, have I gaz'd upon the bars, To watch that fluttering stranger! and as oft With unclosed lids, already had I dreamt Of my sweet birth-place, and the old church-tower, Whose bells, the poor man's only music, rang From morn to evening, all the hot fair day, So sweetly, that they stirred and haunted me With a sweet pleasure, falling on mine ear Most like articulate sounds of things to come! So gaz'd I, till the soothing things, I dreamt, Lull'd me to sleep, and sleep prolong'd my dreams! And so I brooded all the following morn, Aw'd by the stern preceptor's face, mine eye Fix'd with mock study on my swimming book : Save if the door half open'd, and I snatch'd A hasty glance, and still my heart leapt up, For still I hop'd to see the stranger's face, Townsman, or aunt, or sister more beloved, My play-mate when we both were cloth'd alike!
Dear Babe, that sleepest cradled by my side, Whose gentle breathings, heard in this dead calm, Fill’d up the interspersed vacancies And momentary pauses of the thought ! My Babe so beautiful! it fills my heart With tender gladness, thus to look at thee, And think that thou shalt learn far other lore And in far other scenes! For I was rear'd In the great city, pent ’mid cloisters dim, And saw nought lovely but the sky and stars. But thou, my babe! shalt wander like a breeze By lakes and sandy shores, beneath the crags Of ancient mountain, and beneath the clouds Which image in their bulk both lakes and shores And mountain crags : so shalt thou see and hear The lovely shapes and sounds intelligible Of that eternal language, which thy God Utters, who from eternity doth teach Himself in all, and all things in himself. Great universal Teacher ! he shall mould Thy spirit, and by giving make it ask.
Therefore all seasons shall be sweet to thee, Whether the summer clothe the general earth With greenness, or the redbreast sit and sing