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ERE yet our course was graced with social trees
It lacked not old remains of hawthorn bowers,
Where small birds warbled to their paramours;
And, earlier still, was heard the hum of bees;
I saw them ply their harmless robberies,

And caught the fragrance which the sundry flowers,
Fed by the stream with soft perpetual showers,
Plenteously yielded to the vagrant breeze.

There bloomed the strawberry of the wilderness;
The trembling eyebright showed her sapphire blue,
The thyme her purple, like the blush of even;
And, if the breath of some to no caress

Invited, forth they peeped so fair to view,

All kinds alike seemed favourites of Heaven.


"CHANGE me, some God, into that breathing rose !"
The love-sick Stripling fancifully sighs,
The envied flower beholding, as it lies
On Laura's breast, in exquisite repose;
Or he would pass into her Bird, that throws
The darts of song from out its wiry cage;

Enraptured, could he for himself engage

The thousandth part of what the Nymph bestows, And what the little careless Innocent

Ungraciously receives. Too daring choice!

There are whose calmer mind it would content To be an unculled floweret of the glen,

Fearless of plough and scythe; or darkling wren, That tunes on Duddon's banks her slender voice.


WHAT aspect bore the Man who roved or fled,
First of his tribe, to this dark dell - who first
In this pellucid Current slaked his thirst?

What hopes came with him? what designs were spread
Along his path? His unprotected bed

What dreams encompassed? Was the intruder nursed

In hideous usages, and rites accursed,

That thinned the living and disturbed the dead?
No voice replies; the earth, the air is mute;
And Thou, blue Streamlet, murmuring yield'st no more
Than a soft record that whatever fruit

Of ignorance thou might'st witness heretofore,
Thy function was to heal and to restore,

To soothe and cleanse, not madden and pollute!



THE struggling Rill insensibly is grown
Into a Brook of loud and stately march,
Crossed ever and anon by plank and arch;

And, for like use, lo! what might seem a zone
Chosen for ornament; stone matched with stone
In studied symmetry, with interspace

For the clear waters to pursue their race

Without restraint.

How swiftly have they flown,

Succeeding still succeeding! Here the Child

Puts, when the high-swoln Flood runs fierce and wild, His budding courage to the proof; — and here

Declining Manhood learns to note the sly

And sure encroachments of infirmity,

Thinking how fast time runs, life's end how near!



NoT so that Pair whose youthful spirits dance
With prompt emotion, urging them to pass;
A sweet confusion checks the Shepherd-lass;
Blushing she eyes the dizzy flood askance, —

To stop ashamed too timid to advance ;

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She ventures once again — another pause!
His outstretched hand He tauntingly withdraws
She sues for help with piteous utterance!
Chidden she chides again; the thrilling touch
Both feel when he renews the wished-for aid:
Ah! if their fluttering hearts should stir too much,
Should beat too strongly, both may be betrayed.
The frolic Loves who, from yon high rock, see

The struggle, clap their wings for victory!

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