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WHEN I sent you, a few weeks ago, the Tale of Peter Bell, you asked why THE WAGGONER was not added? '—To say the truth, from the higher tone of imagination, and the deeper touches of passion aimed at in the former, I apprehended, this little Piece could not accompany it without disadvantage. In the year 1806, if I am not mistaken, THE WAGGONER was read to you in manuscript, and, as you have remembered it for so long a time, I am the more encouraged to hope, that, since the localities on which the Poem partly depends did not prevent its being interesting to you, it may prove acceptable to others. Being therefore in some measure the cause of its present appearance, you must allow me the gratification of inscribing it to you; in acknowledgment of the pleasure I have derived from your Writings, and of the high esteem with which

I am

Very truly yours,


Rydal Mount, May 20, 1819.



'Tis spent this burning day of June!
Soft darkness o'er its latest gleams is stealing;
The dor-hawk, solitary bird,

Round the dim crags on heavy pinions wheeling,
With untired voice sings an unvaried tune;
Those burring notes are all that can be heard
In silence deeper far than that of deepest noon!

Now that the children's busiest schemes Do all lie buried in blank sleep,

Or only live in stirring dreams,

The glow-worms fearless watch may keep ;
Rich prize as their bright lamps would be,
They shine, a quiet company,
On mossy bank by cottage-door,
As safe as on the loneliest moor.
In hazy straits the clouds between,
And in their stations twinkling not,

Some thinly-sprinkled stars are seen,

Each changed into a pallid spot.

The mountains against heaven's grave weight
Rise up, and grow to wondrous height.
The air, as in a lion's den,

Is close and hot ;-and now and then
Comes a faint and sultry breeze
With a haunting and a panting,
Like the stifling of disease;
But welcome dews allay the heat,
And the silence makes it sweet.

Hush, there is some one on the stir! "Tis Benjamin the Waggoner;

Who long hath trod this toilsome way,
Companion of the night or day.
That far-off tinkling's drowsy cheer,
Mixed with a faint yet grating sound
In a moment lost and found,

-by whose side,

The Wain announces

Along the banks of Rydal Mere,
He paces on, a trusty Guide,-
Listen! you can hardly hear!
Now he has left the lower ground,
And up the hill his course is bending,
With many a stop and stay ascending ;-
Steep the way and wearisome,

Yet all the while his whip is dumb!

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