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of its aspect; but walking under it, you admire the beauty of its details. It is vulgarly called Holme-scar, probably from the insulated pasture by the waterside below it.-I. F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."-ED.

AERIAL Rock-whose solitary brow

From this low threshold daily meets my sight;
When I step1 forth to hail the morning light;
Or quit the stars with a lingering farewell-how 2
Shall Fancy pay to thee a grateful vow?
How, with the Muse's aid, her love attest?
-By planting on thy naked head the crest 3
Of an imperial Castle, which the plough

Of ruin shall not touch. Innocent scheme !
That doth presume no more than to supply
A grace the sinuous vale and roaring stream
Want, through neglect of hoar Antiquity.
Rise, then, ye votive Towers! and catch a gleam
Of golden sunset, ere it fade and die.

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Compare the sonnet No. XXVII. of the Duddon Series, beginning "Fallen, and diffused into a shapeless heap," as it was evidently written with reference to the old (traditional) Hall of Rydal. If an

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embattled House, whose massy Keep

Flung from yon cliff a shadow large and cold,

stood in "the sinuous vale" of Rydal, there was no "neglect of hoar Antiquity."—ED.

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THE WILD DUCK'S NEST

Composed 1819.-Published 1819

[I observed this beautiful nest on the largest island of Rydal Water.-I. F.]

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."-ED.

THE imperial1 Consort of the Fairy-king
Owns not a sylvan bower; or gorgeous cell 2
With emerald floored, and with purpureal shell
Ceilinged and roofed; that is so fair a thing 3
As this low structure, for the tasks of Spring,
Prepared by one who loves the buoyant swell
Of the brisk waves, yet here consents to dwell;
And spreads in steadfast peace her brooding wing.
Words cannot paint the o'ershadowing yew-tree bough,
And dimly-gleaming Nest,—a hollow crown
Of golden leaves inlaid with silver down,
Fine as the mother's softest plumes allow : 5

I gazed—and, self-accused while gazing, sighed
For human-kind, weak slaves of cumbrous pride! 6

1 1819.

Imperial

MS.

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1837.

I gaze-and almost wish to lay aside

Humanity, weak slave of cumbrous pride! MS. and 1819.

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Composed 1819.-Published 1819

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."-ED.

WHILE flowing rivers yield a blameless sport,
Shall live the name of Walton: Sage benign!
Whose pen, the mysteries of the rod and line
Unfolding, did not fruitlessly exhort

To reverend watching of each still report
That Nature utters from her rural shrine.
Meek, nobly versed in simple discipline-
He found the longest summer day too short,
To his loved pastime given by sedgy Lee,

Or down the tempting maze of Shawford brook—
Fairer than life itself, in this 2 sweet Book,

The cowslip-bank3 and shady willow-tree ;

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And the fresh meads-where flowed, from every nook Of his full bosom, gladsome Piety!

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O nobly versed in simple discipline,

Meek, thankful soul, the vernal day how short
To thy

1819.

O, nobly versed in simple discipline-
Who found'st the longest summer day too short,
To thy

1837.

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CAPTIVITY—MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS1
Composed 1819.-Published 1819

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."-ED.

"As the cold aspect of a sunless way

Strikes through the Traveller's frame with deadlier chill,
Oft as appears a grove, or obvious hill,
Glistening with unparticipated ray,

mind

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Or shining slope where he must never stray;
So joys, remembered without wish or will,
Sharpen the keenest edge of present ill,-
On the crushed heart a heavier burthen lay.
Just Heaven, contract the compass of my
To fit proportion with my altered state!
Quench those felicities whose light I find
Reflected in 2 my bosom all too late!—
O be my spirit, like my thraldom, strait;
And, like mine eyes that stream with sorrow, blind!"
Compare the Lament of Mary Queen of Scots, p. 162.

Why this sonnet was printed, from 1819 (in which year it appeared in The Waggoner, a Poem, to which are added Sonnets,) to the last edition of 1849, within inverted commas, I have never been able to discover.-ED.

TO A SNOW-DROP 3

Composed 1819.-Published 1819

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."-ED.

LONE Flower, hemmed in with snows and white as they

But hardier far, once more I see thee bend

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To a snow-drop, appearing very early in the season. 1819.

Thy forehead, as if fearful to offend,
Like an unbidden guest. Though day by day,1
Storms, sallying from the mountain-tops, way-lay
The rising sun, and on the plains descend ;
Yet art thou welcome, welcome as a friend2
Whose zeal outruns his promise! Blue-eyed May
Shall soon behold this border thickly set
With bright jonquils, their odours lavishing
On the soft west-wind and his frolic peers;
Nor will I then thy modest grace forget,3
Chaste Snow-drop, venturous harbinger of Spring,
And pensive monitor of fleeting years!

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"WHEN HAUGHTY EXPECTATIONS
PROSTRATE LIE”

Composed 1819.-Published 1820

One of the "Miscellaneous Sonnets."-ED.

WHEN haughty expectations prostrate lie,*
And grandeur crouches like a guilty thing,
Oft shall the lowly weak, till nature bring
Mature release, in fair society
Survive, and Fortune's utmost anger try;

1 1827.

But hardier far, though modestly thou bend
Thy front as if such presence could offend !

Who guards thy slender stalk while, day by day, 1819.

2 1827.

Accept the greeting that befits a friend

1819.

1819.

3 1827.

Yet will I not thy gentle grace forget,

* In the edition of 1820 this sonnet was entitled,

On seeing a tuft of Snow-drops in a Storm;

and, in the edition of 1827, the title was,

Composed a few days after the foregoing;

the "foregoing" sonnet being that addressed To a Snow-drop.-ED.

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