Изображения страниц

That in their keeping it might lie, From beauty infinitely growing
To crown their abbey's sanctity.

Upon a mind with love o'erflowing ;
So had they rushed into the grot

To sound the depths of every art
Of sense despised, a world forgot,

That seeks its wisdom through the heart?
And torn him from his loved retreat,
Where altar-stone and rock-hewn seat

Thus (where the intrusive pile, ill-graced
Still hint that quiet best is found,

With baubles of theatric taste,
Even by the living, under ground;

O'erlooks the torrent breathing showers
But a bold knight, the selfish aim

On motley bands of alien flowers,
Defeating, put the monks to shame,

In stiff confusion set or sown,
There where you see his image stand

Till nature cannot find her own,
Bare to the sky, with threatening brand

Or keep a remnant of the sod
Which lingering Nid is proud to show

Which Caledonian heroes trod)
Reflected in the pool below.

I mused ; and, thirsting for redress,

Recoiled into the wilderness.
Thus, like the men of earliest days,
Our sires set forth their grateful praise ;
Uncouth the workpianship, and rude !

But, nursed in mountain solitude,

Might some aspiring artist dare
To seize whate'er, through misty air, AND is this Yarrow?- This the stream
A ghost, by glimpses, may present Of which my fancy cherished,
Of imitable lineament,

So faithfully, a waking dream?
And give the phantom such array

An image that hath perished !
As less should scorn the abandoned clay : Oh, that some minstrel's harp were near,
Then let him hew, with patient stroke, To utter notes of gladness,
An Ossian out of mural rock,

And chase this silence from the air,
And leave the figurative man

That fills my heart with sadness!
Upon thy margin, roaring Bran!
Fixed, liked the Templar of the steep, Yet why?-A silvery current flows
An everlasting watch to keep ;

With uncontrolled meanderings ;
With local sanctities in trust;

Nor have these eyes by greener hills
More precious than a hermit's dust; Been soothed, in all my wanderings.
And virtues through the mass infused, And, through her depths, Saint Mary's Lake
Which old idolatry abused.

Is visibly delighted ;

For not a feature of those hills
What though the granite would deny Is in the mirror slighted.
All fervour to the sightless eye ;
And touch from rising suns in vain A blue sky bends o'er Yarrow vale,
Solicit a Memnonian strain ;

Save where that pearly whiteness
Yet, in some fit of anger sharp,

Is round the rising sun diffused,
The wind might force the deep-grooved harp A tender hazy brightness ;
To utter melancholy moans

Mild dawn of promise! that excludes
Not unconnected with the tones

All profitless dejection ;
Of soul-sick flesh and weary bones ; 'Though not unwilling here to admit
While grove and river notes would lend, A pensive recollection.
Less deeply sad, with these to blend !

Where was it that the famous flower
Vain pleasures of luxurious life, Or Yarrow vale lay bleeding?
For ever with yourselves at strife ; His bed perchance was yon smooth mound
Through town and country both deranged On which the herd is feeding :
By affectations interchanged,

And haply from this crystal pool,
And all the perishable gauds

Now peaceful as the morning.
That heaven-deserted man applauds ; The water-wraith ascended thrice-
When will your hapless patrons learn And gave his doleful wurning.
To watch and ponder- to discern
The freshness, the eternal youth,

Delicious is the lay that sings
Of admiration sprung írom truth;

The haunts of happy lovers,

[ocr errors]

The path that leads them to the grove,

| Yon cottage seems a bower of bliss, The leafy grove that covers :

A covert for protection And pity sanctifies the verse

Of tender thoughts that nestle there,
That paints, by strength of sorrow,

The brood of chaste affection.
The unconquerable strength of love ;
Bear witness, rueful Yarrow !

How sweet, on this autumnal day,
The wild-wood fruits to gather,

And on my true love's forehead plant
But thou, that didst appear so fair A crest of blooming heather !
To fond imagination,

And what if I enwreathed my own!
Dost rival in the light of day

"Twere no offence to reason ; Her delicate creation :

The sober hills thus deck their brows
Meek loveliness is round thee spread, To meet the wintry season.
A softness still and holy;
The grace of forest charms decayed, I see—but not by sight alone,
And pastoral melancholy.

Loved Yarrow, have I won thee !

A ray of sancy still survivesThat region left, the vale unfolds

Her sunshine plays upon thee ! Rich groves of lofty stature,

Thy ever youthful waters keep With Yarrow winding through the pomp

A course of lively pleasure ; Of cultivated nature ;

And gladsome notes my lips can breathe And, rising from those lofty groves,

According to the measure.
Behold a ruin hoary !
The shattered front of Newark's towers,

The vapours linger round the heights,
Renowned in Border story.

They melt-and soon must vanish;
One hour is theirs, no more is mine-

Sad thought, which I would banish,
Fair scenes for chi dhood's opening bloom, But that I know where'er I go,
For sportive youth to stray in ;

Thy genuine image, Yarrow !
For manhood to enjoy his strength; Will dwell with me to heightened joy,
And age to wear away in !

And cheer my mind in sorrow.

Poems on the Naming of places.


have given to such places a private and

peculiar interest. From a wish to give By persons resident in the country and at some sort of record to such incidents, or tached to rural objects, many places will be renew the gratification of such feelings. found unnamed or of unknown names, names have been given to places by the where little incidents must have occurred, author and some of his friends, and the or feelings been experienced, which will following poems written in consequence.

It was an April morning: fresh and clear. And hopes and wishes, from all living The rivulet, delighting in its strength,

things Ran with a young man's speed ; and yet Went circling, like a multitude of sounds. the voice

The budding groves appeared as if in haste Of waters which the winter had supplied To spur the steps of June; as if their Was softened down into a vernal tone.

shades The spirit of enjoyment and desire, Of various green were hindrances that stood



[ocr errors]

Between them and their object : yet, mean-, Is slow towards the sympathies of them while,

Who look upon the hills with tenderness, There was such deep contentment in the air, And make dear friendships with the streams That every naked ash and tardy tree

and groves. Yet leafiess, seemed as though the counte-Yet we, who are trangressors in this kind,

Dwelling retired in our simplicity With which it looked on this delightful day Among the woods and fields, we love you Were native to the summer.-Up the brook well, I roamed in the confusion of my heart, Joanna ! and I guess, since you have been Alive to all things and forgetting all.

So distant from us now for two long years, At length I to a sudden turning came That you will gladly listen to discourse In this continuous glen, where down a rock However trivial, if you thence are taught The stream, so ardent in its course before, That they, with whom you once were Sent forth such sallies of glad sound, that all happy, talk Which I till then had heard, appeared the Familiarly of you and of old times. voice

(lamb, Of common pleasure: beast and bird, the While I was seated, now some ten days The shepherd's dog, the linnet and the past, thrush

Beneath those lofty firs, that overtop Vied with this waterfall, and made a song Their ancient neighbour, the old steeple Which, while I listened, seemed like the wild tower, growth

The vicar from his gloomy house hard by Or like some natural produce of the air, Came forth to greet me ; and when ht had That could not cease to be. Green leaves asked,

(maid' were here;

How fares Joanna; that wild-hearted Put 'twas the foliage of the rocks, the birch, And when will she return to us?" he The yew, the holly, and the bright green paused ; thorn,

And, after short exchange of village news. With hanging islands of resplendent furze : He with grave looks demanded, for what And on a summit, distant a short space,

By any who should look beyond the dell, Reviving obsolete idolatry,
A single mountain cottage might be seen. 1, like a Runic priest, in characters
I gaz-d and gazed, and io myself I said,

Of formidable size had chiselled out "Our thoughts at least are ours; and this Some uncouth name upon the native rock, wild nook,

Above the Rotha, by the forest side. My Emma, I will dedicate to thee." Now by those dear immunities of heart Soon did the spot become my other home, Engendered betwixt malice and true love, My dwelling, and my out-of-doors abode. I was not loth to be so catechised, And, of the shepherds who have seen me And this was my reply :-"As it befel, there,

One summer morning we had walked To whom I sometimes in our idle talk

abroad Have told this fancy, two or three, perhaps, At break of day. Joanna and myself. Years after we are gone and in our graves. 'Twas that delightful season when the When they have cause to speak of this wild broom, place,

Full-flowered, and visible on every steep, May call it by the name of Emma's Dell. Along the copses runs in veins of gold.

Our pathway led us on to Rotha's banks ;
And when we came in front of that tall rock

Which looks toward the east, I there stopped


And traced the lofty barrier with my eye AMID the smoke of cities did you pass

From base to summit ; such delight I found The time of early youth; and there you To note in shrub and tree, in stone and learned,

flower, From years of quiet industry, to love That intermixture of delicious hues, The living beings by your own fire-side, Along so vast a surface, all at once, With such a strong devotion, that your In one impression, by connecting force beart

Of their own beauty, imaged in the heart. M

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

When I had gazed perhaps two minutes And when at evening we pursue our walk space,

Along the public way, this clift, so high Joanna, looking in my eyes, beheld Above us, and so distant in its height, That ravishment of mine, and laughed | Is visible ; and often seems to send aloud.

(sleep, Its own deep quiet to restore our hearts. The rock, like something starting from a The meteors make of it a favourite haunt : Took up the lady's voice, and laughed The star of Jove, so beautiful and large again :

In the mid heavens, is never half so fair That ancient woman seated on Helm-Crag | As when he shines above it. 'Tis in iruth Was ready with her cavern : Hammer-Scar, The loneliest place we have among the And the tall steep of Silver-how, sent forth clouds.

(loved A noise of laughter ; southern Loughrigs And she who dwells with me, whom I have heard,

stone With such communion, that no place on And Fairfield answered with a mountain Can ever be a solitude to me, (earth Helvellyn far into the clear blue sky Hath to this lonely summit given my name. Carried the lady's voice, old Skiddaw blew

[clouds His speaking trumpet ;-back out of the Of Glaramara southward came the voice :

A NARROW girdle of rough stones and And Kirkstone tossed it from his misty head.

crags, Now whether (said I to our cordial friend, Between the water and a winding slope

A rude and natural causeway, interposed Who in the hey-day of astonishment Smiled in my face) this were in simple truth Of copse and thicket, leaves the eastern

shore A work accomplished by the brotherhood Of ancient mountains, or my ear was touched And

there, myself and two beloved friends,

Of Grasmere safe in its own privacy.
With dreams and visionary impulses
To me alone imparted, sure I am

One calm September morning, ere the mist
That there was a loud uproar in the hills : Had altogether yielded to the sun,
And, while we both were listening, to my | Ill suits the road with one in haste, but we

Sauntered on this retired and difficult way. side The fair Joanna drew, as if she wished

Played with our time ; and, as we strolled To shelter from some object of her fear.

It was our occupation to observe (along, And hence, long afterwards, when eighteen Feather, or leaf, or weed, or withered

Such objects as the waves had tossed ashore, Were wasted, as I chanced to walk alone

bough, Beneath this rock, at sunrise, on a calm

Each on the other heaped, along the line And silent morning, I sat down, and there,

Of the dry wreck. And, in our vacant

mood. In memory of affections, old and true, I chiselled out in those rude characters

Not seldom did we stop to watch some tuft Joanna's name upon the living stone.

Of dandelion seed or thistle's beard, And I, and all who dwell by my fire-side,

That skimmed the surface of the dead

calm lake, Have called the lovely rock, Joanna's Suddenly halting now-a lifeless stand! Rock."

And starting off again with freak as

sudden; There is an eminence, -of these our hills Making report of an invisible breeze

In all its sportive wanderings, all the while, The last that parleys with the setting sun. We can behold it from our orchard-seat ;

That was its wings, its chariot, and its



* In Cumberland and Westmoreland are seve the head of the vale of Grasmere, is a rock ral inscriptions, upon the native rock, which, which from most points of view bears a striking from the wasting of time, and the rudeness of resemblance to an old woman cowering. Close the workmanship, have been mistaken for Runic. by this rock is one of those fissures of caverns, They are, without doubt, Roman

which in the language of the country are called The Rotha, mentioned in this poem, is the dungeons. Most of the mountains here men. river which, flowing through the lakes of Gras- tioned immediately surround the vale of Gras mere and Rydal, falls into Wynander -On mere ; of the others, some are at a considerable Helm-Crag. that impressive single mountain at distance, but they belong to the same cluster.

Its playmate, rather say its moving soul. What need there is to be reserved in And often, trifting with a privilege

speech, Alike indulged to all, we paused, one now. And iemper all our thoughts with charity. And now the other, to point out, per. Therefore, unwilling to forget that day, chance

My friend, myself, and she who then To pluck, some flower or water-weed, too received Either to be divided from the place (fair | The same admonishment, nave called ihe On which it grew, or to be left alone

place To its own beauty. Many such there are, By a memorial name, uncouth indeed Fair ferns and flowers, and chiefly that tall As e'er by mariner was given to bay tern,

Or foreland, on a new-discovered coast ; So stately, of the Queen Osmunda named; And Point Rash Judgment is the name it Piant lovelier in its own retired abode

bears. On Grasmere's beach, than naiad by the



Of Grecian brook, or lady of the mere,

TO M. H. Sole-sitting by the shores of old romance, So fared we that bright morning : from OUR walk was far among the ancient trees; the helds,

(mirth | There was no road, nor any woodman's Meanwhile, a noise was heard, the busy path ; of reapers, men and women, boys and But the thick umbrage, checking the wild girls.

growth Delighted much to listen to those sounds, Of weed and sapling, along soft green turf And feeding thus our fancies, we advanced Beneath the branches, of itseli had made Along the indented shore ; when suddenly, A track, that brought us to a slip of lawn, Through a thin veil of glittering haze was And a small bed of water in the woods.

All round this pool both flocks and herds Before us, on a point of jutting land,

might drink The tall and upright figure of a man On its firm margin, even as from a well, Atured in peasant's garb, who stood alone, Or some stone-basin which the herdsman's Angling beside the margin of the lake.


|did sun, Improvident and reckless, we exclaimed, Had shaped for their refreshment; nor The man must be, who thus can lose a Or wind from any quarter, ever come, day

(hire But as a blessing to this calm recess, of the mid-harvest, when the labourer's This glade of water and this one green Is ample, and some little might be stored field. Wherewith to cheer him in the winter time. The spot was made by nature for herself, Thus talking of that peasant, we ap- The travellers know it not, and 'twill proached

remain Close to the spot where with his rod and Unknown to them : but it is beautiful : line

[head And if a man should plant his cottage near Le siood alone; whereat be turned his Should sleep beneath the shelter of its To greet us—and we saw a man worn down trees, By sickness, gaunt and lean, with sunken And blend its waters with his daily meal, cheeks

(lean He would so love it, that in his death hour And wasted limbs, his legs so long and Its image would survive among his thoughis; Thai for my single self I looked at them, And therefore, my sweet Mary, this still Forgetful of the body they sustained. - nook,

you, Too weak to labour in the harvest field, With all its beeches, we have named from The man was using his best skill to gain A pittance from the dead unfeeling lake That knew not of his wants. I will not say What thoughts immediately were ours, nor When, to the attractions of the busy

world, The happy idleness of that sweet morn,

Preferring studious leisure, I had chosen With all its lovely images, was changed A habitation in this peaceful vale, To serious musing and to self-reproach. Sharp season followed of continual storm Nor did we fail to see within ourselves In deepest winter; and, from week to week,


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »