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It seems a day,
(I speak of one from many singled out)
One of those heavenly days which cannot die,
When forth I sallied from our Cottage-door*,
And with a wallet o'er my

shoulder slung,
A nutting crook in hand, I turned my steps
Towards the distant woods, a Figure quaint,
Tricked out in proud disguise of Beggar's weeds
Put on for the occasion, by advice
And exhortation of my frugal Dame.
Motley accoutrement! of power to smile

* The house at which I was boarded during the time I was 2t School.

At thorns, and brakes, and brambles, and, in truth,
More ragged thau need was. Among the woods,
And o'er the pathless rocks, I forced my way
Until, at length, I came to one dear nook
Unvisited, where not a broken bough
Drooped with its withered leaves, ungracious sign
Of devastation, but the hazels rose
Tall and erect, with milk-white clusters hung,
A virgin scene !-A little while I stood,
Breathing with such suppression of the heart
As joy delights in ; and with wise restraint
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 blessed
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

That, fleeced with moss, beneath 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 to pay
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


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, Even then, when from the bower I turned away Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings,

1 felt a sense of pain when I beheld
The silent trees and the intruding sky-

Then, dearest Maiden! nove along these shades In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand Touch, for there is a Spirit in the woods.

Three years


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 overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.

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