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When Virtue weeps in agony of woe,
So shall thy sire, whilst hope his breast inspires, And wakes anew life’s glimmering trembling fires, Hear Britain's sons rehearse thy praise with joy, Look up to heaven, and bless his darling boy. 102 If e'er these precepts quell’d the passions' strife, If e'er they smooth'd the rugged walks of life, If e'er they pointed forth the blissful way
105 That guides the spirit to eternal day, Do thou, if gratitude inspire thy breast, Spurn the soft fetters of lethargic rest. Awake, awake! and snatch the slumbering lyre, 109 Let this bright morn and Sandys the song inspire.'
" I look'd obedience: the celestial Fair Smiled like the morn, and vanish'd into air."
SONNET, ON SEEING MISS HELEN MARIA WILLIAMS WEEP AT A TALE OF DISTRESS.
From “The European Magazine," vol. xi.—for 1787–p. 202. In a
MS. note to a copy of "An Evening Walk," 1793, Wordsworth says, " This is the first of my Poems with the exception of a sonnet written when I was a school-boy and published in The European Magazine' in June or July, 1786, and signed ' Axiologuis.''._Knight, “Wordsworth's Poet. Works," vol. i. p. X..-ED.
She wept.—Life's purple tide began to flow
full heart was swell’d to dear delicious pain.
That call'd the wanderer home, and home to rest.
nant pow'r, That only wait the darkness of the night To cheer the wand'ring wretch with hospitable light.
Sent in MS. by Dorothy Wordsworth to Miss Pollard in a letter
dated Forncett, May 6, 1792. “It is only valuable to me," she writes, “ because the lane which gave birth to it was the favourite evening walk of my dear William and me." First printed in Professor Knight's ed, of “Poet. Works," vol. iv. p. 23. -ED.
SWEET was the walk along the narrow lane
10 Quiet and dark; for through the thick-wove trees Scarce peeps the curious Star till solemn gleams The clouded Moon, and calls me forth to stray Through tall green silent woods and ruins grey.
THE BIRTH OF LOVE.
Translated from some French stanzas signed " Anon” in “Poems
by Francis Wrangham, M.A.," 1795; the translation being signed "Wordsworth." ED.
WHEN Love was born of heavenly line,
What dire intrigues disturbed Cythera's joy!
Till VENUS cried, “A mother's heart is mine;
None but myself shall nurse my boy.”
But, infant as he was, the child
In that divine embrace enchanted lay; And, by the beauty of the vase beguil'd,
Forgot the beverage-and pin'd away.
“And must my offspring languish in my sight?" (Alive to all a mother's pain,
10 The Queen of Beauty thus her court address’d)
'No: Let the most discreet of all my train Receive him to her breast :
Think all, he is the God of young delight.”
Then TENDERNESS with CANDOUR join'd,
15 And GAIETY the charming office sought; Nor even DELICACY stayed behind :
But none of those fair Graces brought Wherewith to nurse the child—and still he pin'd. Some fond hearts to COMPLIANCE seem'd inclin'd; But she had surely spoil'd the boy :
21 And sad experience forbade a thought On the wild Goddess of VOLUPTUOUS JOY.
Long undecided lay th’important choice,
Tis said ENJOYMENT (who averr'd
The charge belong'd to her alone) Jealous that HOPE had been preferr'd
Laid snares to make the babe her own.
Of INNOCENCE the garb she took,
And came her services to proffer:
Accepted of the offer.
It happen'd that, to sleep inclin'd,
Deluded HOPE for one short hour
To that false INNOCENCE's power Her little charge consign'd.
The Goddess then her lap with sweetmeats fill’d And gave, in handfuls gave, the treacherous
store : A wild delirium first the infant thrillid;
But soon upon her breast he sunk—to wake no
Pablished in " Lyrical Ballads," 1798, and omitted after 1798.--ED. The glory of evening was spread through the west;
- On the slope of a mountain I stood, While the joy that precedes the calm season of
rest Rang loud through the meadow and wood.
“And must we then part from a dwelling so fair ? " In the pain of my spirit I said,
6 And with a deep sadness I turned, to repair
To the cell where the convict is laid.
The thick-ribbed walls that o'ershadow the gate
10 I pause; and at length, through the glimmering
grate, That outcast of pity behold.
His black matted hair on his shoulder is bent,
And deep is the sigh of his breath, And with stedfast dejection his eyes are intent 15
On the fetters that link him to death.
'Tis sorrow enough on that visage to gaze,
That body dismiss'd from his care;
Yet my fancy has pierced to his heart, and pour
trays More terrible images there.
His bones are consumed, and his life-blood is dried,
With wishes the past to undo; And his crime, through the pains that o'erwhelm
him, descried, Still blackens and grows on his view.
When from the dark synod, or blood-reeking field, To his chamber the monarch is led,
26 All soothers of sense their soft virtue shall yield,
And quietness pillow his head.
But if grief, self-consumed, in oblivion would doze, And conscience her tortures appease,
30 'Mid tumult and uproar this man must repose ;
In the comfortless vault of disease.
When his fetters at night have so press'd on his
limbs, That the weight can no longer be borne, If, while a half-slumber his memory bedims, 35
The wretch on his pallet should turn,
While the jail-mastiff howls at the dull clanking
chain, From the roots of his hair there shall start A thousand sharp punctures of cold-sweating pain, And terror shall leap at his heart.
But now he half-raises his deep-sunken eye,
And the motion unsettles a tear ;
And asks of me why I am here.
* Poor victim ! no idle intruder has stood 45 With o'erweening complacence our state to com
pare, But one, whose first wish is the wish to be good,
Is come as a brother thy sorrows to share.