« AnteriorContinuar »
And the Sea-horse, though the ocean
Yield him no domestic cave,
Slumbers without sense of motion,
Couched the rocking wave.
If on windy days the Raven
Gambol like a dancing skiff,
Not the less she loves her haven
In the bosom of the cliff.
The fleet Ostrich, till day closes,
Vagrant over desert sands,
Brooding on her eggs reposes
When chill night that care demands.
Day and night my toils redouble,
Never nearer to the goal;
Night and day, I feel the trouble
Of the Wanderer in
-Pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall Ande'
[SUGGESTED on the Thames by the sight of one of those floating
mills that used to be seen there. This I noticed on the Surrey side between Somerset House and Blackfriars' Bridge. Charles Lamb was with me at the time, and I thought it remarkable that I should have to point out to him, an idolatrous Londoner, a sight so interesting as the happy group dancing on the platform. Mills of this kind used to be, and perhaps still are, not uncommon on the Continent. I noticed several upon the river Saone in the year 1799, particularly near the town of Chalons, where my friend Jones and I halted a day when we crossed France ; so far on foot: there we embarked, and floated down to Lyons.]
By their floating mill,
That lies dead and still, Behold
Prisoners three, The Miller with two Dames, on the breast of the Thames! The platform is small, but gives room for them all; And they're dancing merrily,
From the shore come the notes
To their mill where it floats, To their house and their mill tethered fast: To the small wooden isle where, their work to beguile, They from morning to even take whatever is given ;And many a blithe day they have past.
In sight of the spires,
All alive with the fires
Of the sun going down to his rest,
In the broad open eye of the solitary sky,
They dance,-there are three, as jocund as free,
While they dance on the calm river's breast.
Man and Maidens wheel,
They themselves make the reel,
And their music's a prey which they seize;
It plays not for them,-what matter? 'tis theirs;
And if they had care, it has scattered their cares,
While they dance, crying, “ Long as ye please!"
They dance not for me,
Yet mine is their glee!
Thus pleasure is spread through the earth
In stray gifts to be claimed by whoever shall find;
Thus a rich loving-kindness, redundantly kind,
Moves all nature to gladness and mirth.
The showers of the spring
Rouse the birds, and they sing; If the wind do but stir for his proper delight, Each leaf, that and this, his neighbour will kiss ; Each wave, one and t’ other, speeds after his brother: They are happy, for that is their right!
OR, THE STAR AND THE GLOW-WORM,
[I DISTINOTLY recollect the evening when these verses were suggested
in 1818. It was on the road between Rydal and Grasmere,
where Glow-worms abound. A Star was shining above the
ridge of Loughrigg Fell, just opposite. I remember a critic,
in some review or other, crying out against this piece.
“What so monstrous," said he, “as to make a star talk to a
glow-worm !” Poor fellow ! we know from this sage observa-
tion what the “primrose on the river's brim was to him.”]
A PILGRIM, when the summer day
Had closed upon his weary way,
A lodging begged beneath a castle's roof;
But him the haughty Warder spurned;
And from the gate the Pilgrim turned,
To seek such covert as the field
Or heath-besprinkled copse might yield,
Or lofty wood, shower-proof.
He paced along; and, pensively,
Halting beneath a shady tree,
Whose moss-grown root might serve for couch or seat,
Fixed on a Star his upward eye ;
Then, from the tenant of the sky
He turned, and watched with kindred look,
A Glow-worm, in a dusky nook,
Apparent at his feet.
The murmur of a neighbouring stream
Induced a soft and slumbrous dream,
A pregnant dream, within whose shadowy bounds
He recognised the earth-born Star,
And That which glittered from afar;
And (strange to witness!) from the frame
Of the ethereal Orb, there came
Much did it taunt the humble Light
That now, when day was fled, and night
Hushed the dark earth, fast closing weary eyes,
A very reptile could presume
To show her taper in the gloom,
As if in rivalship with One
Who sate a ruler on his throne
Erected in the skies.
“ Exalted Star!” the Worm replied,
“ Abate this unbecoming pride,
Or with a less uneasy lustre shine;
Thou shrink'st as momently thy rays
Are mastered by the breathing haze;
While neither mist, nor thickest cloud
That shapes in heaven its murky shroud,
Hath power to injure mine.
But not for this do I aspire
To match the spark of local fire,
That at my will burns on the dewy iawn,
With thy acknowledged glories ;-No!
Yet, thus upbraided, I may show