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Along the floor, beneath the shade
By those embowering hollies made,
The leaves in myriads jump and spring,
As if with pipes and music rare
Some Robin Good-fellow were there,
And all those leaves, in festive glee,
Were dancing to the minstrelsy.1 2

And all those leaves, that jump and spring,
Were each a joyous living thing.

2 In edd. 1800 to 1805, the following lines are added—
Oh! grant me Heaven a heart at ease

That I may never cease to find,

Even in appearances like these

Enough to nourish and to stir my mind!

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[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.]

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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,
As if she for no purpose bore you;
As if you were her first-born birth,
And none had lived before you!"

One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake,
When life was sweet, I knew not why,
To me my good friend Matthew spake,
And thus I made reply:

"The eye-it cannot choose but see;
We cannot bid the ear be still;
Our bodies feel, where'er they be,
Against, or with our will.

Nor less I deem that there are Powers
Which of themselves our minds impress;

That we can feed this mind of ours

In a wise passiveness.

Think you, 'mid all this mighty sum

Of things for ever speaking,
That nothing of itself will come,

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."



Comp. 1798.

Pub. 1798.

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Up! up! my Friend, and quit your books;1

Or surely you'll grow double:

Up! up! my Friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble?

Up! up! my friend, and clear your looks,
Why all this toil and trouble?

Up! up! my friend, and quit your books,
Or surely you'll grow double.


The sun, above the mountain's head,

A freshening lustre mellow

Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.

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-
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.

One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,

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:-
We murder to dissect.



And he is no mean preacher.




Enough of Science and of Art;

Close up those barren leaves;

Come forth, and bring with you a heart

That watches and receives.

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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.

1 1827.


BEFORE I see another day,

Oh let my body die away!

In sleep I heard the northern gleams;
The stars, they were among my dreams;
In rustling conflict through the skies,

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I saw the crackling flashes drive;
I heard and saw the flashes drive;





My fire is dead: it knew no pain;
Yet is it dead, and I remain :

All stiff with ice the ashes lie;

And they are dead, and I will die.

When I was well, I wished to live,
For clothes, for warmth, for food, and fire;
But they to me no joy can give,
No pleasure now, and no desire.
Then here contented will I lie!
Alone, I cannot fear to die.


Alas ye might have dragged me on
Another day, a single one!

Too soon I yielded to despair;

Why did ye listen to my prayer? 1

When ye were gone my limbs were stronger;
And oh, how grievously I rue,
That, afterwards, a little longer,
My friends, I did not follow you!

For strong and without pain I lay,
Dear friends, when ye were gone away.


My Child they gave thee to another,
A woman who was not thy mother.
When from my arms my Babe they took,
On me how strangely did he look!



Too soon despair o'er me prevailed,
Too soon my heartless spirit failed


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