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Along the floor, beneath the shade
And all those leaves, that jump and spring,
2 In edd. 1800 to 1805, the following lines are added—
That I may never cease to find,
Even in appearances like these
Enough to nourish and to stir my mind!
[This poem is a favourite among the Quakers, as I have learned on many occasions. It was composed in front of the house at Alfoxden, in the spring of 1798.]
WHY, William, on that old grey stone
Thus for the length of half a day,
Why, William, sit you thus alone,
And dream your time away?
Where are your books?-that light bequeathed
To Beings else forlorn and blind!
Up! up! and drink the spirit breathed
From dead men to their kind.
You look round on your Mother Earth,
One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake,
"The eye-it cannot choose but see;
Nor less I deem that there are Powers
That we can feed this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.
Think you, 'mid all this mighty sum
Of things for ever speaking,
But we must still be seeking?
-Then ask not wherefore, here, alone,
Conversing as I may,
I sit upon this old grey stone,
And dream my time away."
THE TABLES TURNED.
AN EVENING SCENE ON THE SAME SUBJECT.
Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;1
Or surely you'll grow double:
Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Up! up! my friend, and clear your looks,
Up! up! my friend, and quit your books,
The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
Books! 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music! on my life,
There's more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:1
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.
She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless-
One impulse from a vernal wood
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things:-
And he is no mean preacher.
THE COMPLAINT OF A FORSAKEN INDIAN WOMAN.
Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up those barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.
When a Northern Indian, from sickness, is unable to continue his journey with his companions, he is left behind, covered over with deerskins, and is supplied with water, food, and fuel, if the situation of the place will afford it. He is informed of the track which his companions intend to pursue, and if he be unable to follow, or overtake them, he perishes alone in the desert; unless he should have the good fortune to fall in with some other tribes of Indians. The females are equally, or still more, exposed to the same fate. See that very interesting work, "Hearne's Journey from Hudson's Bay to the Northern Ocean." In the high northern latitudes, as the same writer informs us, when the northern lights vary their position in the air, they make a rustling and a crackling noise, as alluded to in the following poem.
BEFORE I see another day,
Oh let my body die away!
In sleep I heard the northern gleams;
I saw the crackling flashes drive;
THE COMPLAINT OF A FORSAKEN INDIAN WOMAN. 241
My fire is dead: it knew no pain;
All stiff with ice the ashes lie;
And they are dead, and I will die.
When I was well, I wished to live,
Alas ye might have dragged me on
Too soon I yielded to despair;
Why did ye listen to my prayer? 1
When ye were gone my limbs were stronger;
For strong and without pain I lay,
My Child they gave thee to another,
Too soon despair o'er me prevailed,