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Against the ancient pine-trees of the grove
And the Land's humblest comforts.

Now her mood

Recals the transformation of the flood,
Whose rage the gentle skies in vain reprove,
Earth cannot check. O terrible excess

Of headstrong will! Can this be Piety?
No-some fierce Maniac hath usurped her name;
And scourges England struggling to be free:
Her peace destroyed! her hopes a wilderness!
Her blessings cursed-her glory turned to shame!

XLV.

LAUD *.

PREJUDGED by foes determined not to spare,
An old weak Man for vengeance thrown aside,
Laud, 'in the painful art of dying' tried,
(Like a poor bird entangled in a snare

Whose heart still flutters, though his wings forbear
To stir in useless struggle) hath relied

On hope that conscious innocence supplied,
And in his prison breathes celestial air.

Why tarries then thy chariot? Wherefore stay,
O Death! the ensanguined yet triumphant wheels,
Which thou prepar'st, full often, to convey
(What time a State with madding faction reels)
The Saint or Patriot to the world that heals
All wounds, all perturbations doth allay?

* See Note.

XLVI.

AFFLICTIONS OF ENGLAND.

HARP! could'st thou venture, on thy boldest string,
The faintest note to echo which the blast
Caught from the hand of Moses as it passed
O'er Sinai's top, or from the Shepherd-king,
Early awake, by Siloa's brook, to sing

Of dread Jehovah; then, should wood and waste
Hear also of that name, and mercy cast

Off to the mountains, like a covering

Of which the Lord was weary. Weep, oh! weep,
Weep with the good, beholding King and Priest
Despised by that stern God to whom they raise
Their suppliant hands; but holy is the feast
He keepeth; like the firmament his ways:
His statutes like the chambers of the deep.

PART III.

FROM THE RESTORATION TO THE PRESENT TIMES.

[WHEN I came to this part of the series I had the dream described in this Sonnet. The figure was that of my daughter, and the whole passed exactly as here represented. The Sonnet was composed on the middle road leading from Grasmere to Ambleside it was begun as I left the last house of the vale, and finished, word for word as it now stands, before I came in view of Rydal. I wish I could say the same of the five or six hundred I have written: most of them were frequently retouched in the course of composition, and, not a few, laboriously.

I have only further to observe that the intended Church which prompted these Sonnets was erected on Coleorton Moor towards the centre of a very populous parish between three and four miles from Ashby-de-la-Zouch, on the road to Loughborough, and has proved, I believe, a great benefit to the neighbourhood.]

I.

I SAW the figure of a lovely Maid

Seated alone beneath a darksome tree,
Whose fondly-overhanging canopy

Set off her brightness with a pleasing shade.
No Spirit was she; that my heart betrayed,
For she was one I loved exceedingly;

But while I gazed in tender reverie

(Or was it sleep that with my Fancy played ?)
The bright corporeal presence-form and face-
Remaining still distinct grew thin and rare,
Like sunny mist;—at length the golden hair,
Shape, limbs, and heavenly features, keeping pace
Each with the other in a lingering race
Of dissolution, melted into air.

II.

PATRIOTIC SYMPATHIES.

LAST night, without a voice, that Vision spake
Fear to my Soul, and sadness which might seem
Wholly dissevered from our present theme;
Yet, my beloved Country! I partake
Of kindred agitations for thy sake;

Thou, too, dost visit oft my midnight dream;
Thy glory meets me with the earliest beam
Of light, which tells that Morning is awake.
If aught impair thy beauty or destroy,
Or but forebode destruction, I deplore
With filial love the sad vicissitude;

If thou hast fallen, and righteous Heaven restore
The prostrate, then my spring-time is renewed,
And sorrow bartered for exceeding joy.

III.

CHARLES THE SECOND.

WHO Comes with rapture greeted, and caressed

-

With frantic love-his kingdom to regain?

Him Virtue's Nurse, Adversity, in vain

Received, and fostered in her iron breast:

For all she taught of hardiest and of best,
Or would have taught, by discipline of pain
And long privation, now dissolves amain,
Or is remembered only to give zest
To wantonness.-Away, Circean revels!

But for what gain? if England soon must sink
Into a gulf which all distinction levels—

That bigotry may swallow the good name,

And, with that draught, the life-blood: misery, shame, By Poets loathed; from which Historians shrink!

IV.

LATITUDINARIANISM.

YET Truth is keenly sought for, and the wind Charged with rich words poured out in thought's

defence;

Whether the Church inspire that eloquence,

Or a Platonic Piety confined

To the sole temple of the inward mind;
And One there is who builds immortal lays,
Though doomed to tread in solitary ways,
Darkness before and danger's voice behind;
Yet not alone, nor helpless to repel

Sad thoughts; for from above the starry sphere
Come secrets, whispered nightly to his ear;
And the pure spirit of celestial light

Shines through his soul-'that he may see and tell
Of things invisible to mortal sight.'

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