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By spectral shapes of guilt, or to the ground, 150
Advancing Summer, Nature's law fulfilled, The choristers in every grove had stilled; 155 But we, we lacked not music of our own, For lightsome Fanny had thus early thrown, Mid the gay prattle of those infant tongues, Some notes prelusive, from the round of songs With which, more zealous than the liveliest bird
That in wild Arden's brakes was ever heard, Her work and her work's partners she can cheer, The whole day long, and all days of the year.
Thus gladdened from our own dear Vale we pass
And soon approach Diana's Looking-glass! 165 To Loughrigg-tarn, round clear and bright as heaven,
Such name Italian fancy would have given,
Ah, Beaumont! when an opening in the road Stopped me at once by charm of what it showed, The encircling region vividly exprest Within the mirror's depth a world at rest— Sky streaked with purple, grove and craggy bield,1
And the smooth green of many a pendent field, And, quieted and soothed, a torrent small,
A word common in the country, signifying shelter, as in Scotland.
A little daring would-be waterfall,
Fondly embosomed in the tranquil flood,
But time, irrevocable time, is flown,
Not far we travelled ere a shout of glee, Startling us all, dispersed my reverie; Such shout as many a sportive echo meeting 205 Oft-times from Alpine chalets sends a greeting. Whence the blithe hail? behold a Peasant stand On high, a kerchief waving in her hand! Not unexpectant that by early day Our little Band would thrid this mountain way,
Before her cottage on the bright hill side
With door left open makes a gloomy spot, 220
Rich prospect left behind of stream and vale, And mountain-tops, a barren ridge we scale; Descend and reach, in Yewdale's depths, a plain With haycocks studded, striped with yellowing grain
An area level as a Lake and spread
Aloft the Raven hangs a visible nest, 230 Fearless of all assaults that would her brood molest.
Hot sunbeams fill the steaming vale; but hark, At our approach, a jealous watch-dog's bark, Noise that brings forth no liveried Page of state, But the whole household, that our coming wait.
With Young and Old warm greetings we exchange,
And jocund smiles, and toward the lowly Grange Press forward by the teasing dogs unscared. Entering, we find the morning meal prepared: So down we sit, though not till each had cast 240 Pleased looks around the delicate repast—
Rich cream, and snow-white eggs fresh from the nest,
With amber honey from the mountain's breast; Strawberries from lane or woodland, offering wild
Of children's industry, in hillocks piled;
Kind Hostess! Handmaid also of the feast, If thou be lovelier than the kindling East, 251 Words by thy presence unrestrained may speak Of a perpetual dawn from brow and cheek Instinct with light whose sweetest promise lies, Never retiring, in thy large dark eyes, Dark but to every gentle feeling true, As if their lustre flowed from ether's purest blue.
Let me not ask what tears may have been wept By those bright eyes, what weary vigils kept, Beside that hearth what sighs may have been heaved
For wounds inflicted, nor what toil relieved
More could my pen report of grave or gay 270 That through our gipsy travel cheered the way; But, bursting forth above the waves, the Sun
Laughs at my pains, and seems to say, "Be done."
Yet, Beaumont, thou wilt not, I trust, reprove This humble offering made by Truth to Love, Nor chide the Muse that stooped to break a spell 276
Which might have else been on me yet:
UPON PERUSING THE FOREGOING
SooN did the Almighty Giver of all rest
Moved by the touch of kindred sympathies.
The joys of the Departed-what so fair
Note.-LOUGHRIGG TARN, alluded to in the foregoing Epistle, resembles, though much smaller in compass, the Lake Nemi, or Speculum Dianæ as it is often called, not only in its clear waters and circular