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"When I began, my purpose was to
Of remedies and of a cheerful hope.
Another kinsman-he will be our friend
And with his kinsman's help and his own thrift
He quickly will repair this loss, and then He may return to us. If here he stay, What can be done? Where every one is poor,
What can be gained?"
At this the old Man paused, "And Isabel sat silent, for her mind Was busy, looking back into past times. There's Richard Bateman, thought she to herself,
He was a parish-boy-at the church door They made a gathering for him, shillings, pence
And halfpennies, wherewith the neighbors bought
A basket, which they filled with pedlar's
And, with this basket on his arm, the lad Went up to London, found a master there,
Who, out of many, chose the trusty boy To go and overlook his merchandise Beyond the seas; where he grew wondrous rich,
And left estates and monies to the poor And, at his birthplace, built a chapel, floored
With marble which he sent from foreign
These thoughts, and many others of like sort.
Passed quickly through the mind of Isabel,
And her face brightened. The old Man was glad.
And thus resumed :-" Well, Isabel! this scheme
These two days, has been meat and drink to me.
Far more than we have lost is left us yet. -We have enough--I wish indeed that I Were younger;-but this hope is a good hope.
-Make ready Luke's best garments, of the best
A prouder heart than Luke's. When Isabel
Had to her house returned, the old Man said,
"He shall depart to-morrow." To this word
The Housewife answered, talking much of things
Which, if at such short notice he should go,
Would surely be forgotten. But at length
She gave consent, and Michael was at
Near the tumultuous brook of Greenhead Ghyll,
In that deep valley, Michael had designed
To build a Sheepfold; and, before he heard
The tidings of his melancholy loss,
A heap of stones, which by the streamlet's edge
Lay thrown together, ready for the work. With Luke that evening thitherward he walked :
And soon as they had reached the place he stopped,
And thus the old Man spake to him:"My Son,
To-morrow thou wilt leave me: with full heart
I look upon thee, for thou art the same That wert a promise to me ere thy birth, And all thy life hast been my daily joy. I will relate to thee some little part
Of our two histories; 'twill do thee good When thou art from me, even if I should touch
On things thou canst not know of.—— After thou
First cam'st into the world-as oft befalls To new-born infants-thou didst sleep away
Two days, and blessings from thy Father's tongue
Then fell upon thee. Day by day passed
And God will strengthen thee: amid all fear
And all temptation, Luke, I pray that thou
May'st bear in mind the life thy Fathers lived,
Who, being innocent, did for that cause Bestir them in good deeds. Now, fare thee well
When thou return'st, thou in this place wilt see
A work which is not here: a covenant "Twill be between us; but, whatever fate Befall thee, I shall love thee to the last, And bear thy memory with me to the grave.
The Shepherd ended here; and Luke stooped down,
And, as his Father had requested, laid The first stone of the Sheepfold. At the
The old Man's grief broke from him; to his heart
He pressed his Son, he kissed him and wept ;
And to the house together they returned. -Hushed was that House in peace, or seeming peace,
Ere the night fell :-with morrow's dawn the Boy
Began his journey, and when he had reached
The public way, he put on a bold face; And all the neighbors, as he passed their doors,
Came forth with wishes and with fare well prayers,
That followed him till he was out of sight.
A good report did from their Kinsman
He went, and still looked up to sun and cloud,
And listened to the wind; and, as before, Performed all kinds of labor for his sheep,
And for the land, his small inheritance. And to that hollow dell from time to time Did he repair, to build the Fold of which His flock had need. "Tis not forgotten yet The pity which was then in every heart For the old Man-and 'tis believed by all That many and many a day he thither went,
And never lifted up a single stone.
There, by the Sheepfold, sometimes
was he seen
Sitting alone, or with his faithful Dog, Then old, beside him, lying at his feet. The length of full seven years. from time to time,
He at the building of this Sheep fold wrought,
And left the work unfinished when he died.
Three years, or little more, did Isabel Survive her Husband: at her death the estate
Was sold, and went into a stranger's hand.
The Cottage which was named the EVENING STAR
Is gone-the ploughshare has been through the ground
On which it stood; great changes have been wrought
In all the neighborhood:-yet the oak is left
That grew beside their door; and the
Of the unfinished Sheepfold may be seen Beside the boisterous brook of Greenhead Ghyll. 1800. 1800.
THE SPARROWS' NEST
Written in the Orchard, Town-end, Grasmere. At the end of the garden of my father's house at Cockermouth was a high terrace that commanded a fine view of the river Derwent and Cockermouth Castle. This was our favorite play-ground. The terrace-wall, a low one, was covered with closely-clipt privet and roses, which gave an almost impervious shelter to birds that built their nests there. The latter of these stanzas alludes to one of those nests. (Wordsworth.)
BEHOLD, within the leafy shade,
Those bright blue eggs together laid!
WHILE RESTING ON THE BRIDGE AT THE FOOT OF BROTHER'S WATER
Extempore. This little poem was a favorite with Joanna Baillie. (Wordsworth)
Compare the description of the same scene by Wordsworth's sister: "There was the gentle flowing of the stream, the glittering, lively lake, green fields without a living creature to be seen on them; behind us, a flat pasture with fortytwo cattle feeding; to our left, the road leading to the hamlet. No smoke there, the sun shone on the bare roofs. The people were at work ploughing, harrowing, and sowing; ... a dog barking now and then, cocks crowing, birds twittering, the snow in patches at the top of the highest hills, yellow palms, purple and green twigs on the birches, ashes with their glittering spikes, stems quite bare. The hawthorn a bright green, with black stems under the oak. The moss of the oak glossy. We went on. William finished his poem before we got to the foot of Kirkstone." (Dorothy Wordsworth's Jour nal, April 16, 1802.)
THE Cock is crowing,
1 Dorothy Wordsworth, called Emmeline also in the poem To a Butterfly. See the beautiful lines To my Sister, p. 8, the last lines of the Sonnet p. 31, and notes on the Sonnets of 1802.
Written at Town-end, Grasmere. It is remarkable that this flower, coming out so early in the spring as it does, and so bright and beauti ful, and in such profusion, should not have been noticed earlier in English verse. What adds much to the interest that attends it is its habit of shutting itself up and opening out according to the degree of light and temperature of the air. (Wordsworth.)
PANSIES, lilies, kingcups, daisies,
Eyes of some men travel far
Up and down the heavens they go,
Modest, yet withal an Elf
Ere a leaf is on a bush,
In the time before the thrush
Has a thought about her nest,
Poets, vain men in their mood!
Who stirs little out of doors,
Comfort have thou of thy merit,
But 'tis good enough for thee.
Ill befall the yellow flowers,
Prophet of delight and mirth,
TO THE SAME FLOWER PLEASURES newly found are sweet When they lie about our feet: February last, my heart
First at sight of thee was glad;
Thou must needs, I think, have had,
Praise of which I nothing know.
I have not a doubt but he,