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I gazed, and, self-accused while gazing, sighed

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For human-kind, weak slaves of cumbrous pride.

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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 fruitless 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 sweet Book,

The cowslip-bank and shady willow-tree;

And the fresh meads, where flowed, from every nook

Of his full bosom, gladsome Piety!

XVII.

TO THE POET, JOHN DYER.

BARD of the Fleece, whose skilful genius made That work a living landscape fair and bright; Nor hallowed less with musical delight

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Than those soft scenes through which thy child

hood strayed,

Those southern tracts of Cambia, "deep embayed,
With green hills fenced, with ocean's murmur

lulled ";

Though hasty Fame hath many a chaplet culled
For worthless brows, while in the pensive shade
Of cold neglect she leaves thy head ungraced,
Yet pure and powerful minds, hearts meek and still,
A grateful few, shall love thy modest Lay,
Long as the shepherd's bleating flock shall stray
O'er naked Snowdon's wide aërial waste;
Long as the thrush shall pipe on Grongar Hill!

XVIII.

ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED THE PUBLICATION
OF A CERTAIN POEM.

See Milton's Sonnet, beginning, "A Book was writ of late called Tetrachordon.'"

A Book came forth of late, called PETER BELL;
Not negligent the style; the matter? --- good
As aught that song records of Robin Hood;
Or Roy, renowned through many a Scottish dell;
But some (who brook those hackneyed themes
full well,

Nor heat, at Tam O'Shanter's name, their blood)
Waxed wroth, and with foul claws, a harpy brood,
On Bard and Hero clamorously fell.

Heed not, wild Rover once through heath and glen,

Who mad'st at length the better life thy choice,
Heed not such onset! nay, if praise of men
To thee appear not an unmeaning voice,
Lift up that gray-haired forehead, and rejoice
In the just tribute of thy Poet's pen!

XIX.

GRIEF, thou hast lost an ever ready friend
Now that the cottage Spinning-wheel is mute;
And Care, a comforter that best could suit
Her froward mood, and softliest reprehend;
And Love, a charmer's voice, that used to lend,
More efficaciously than aught that flows

From harp or lute, kind influence to compose
The throbbing pulse, else troubled without end:
Even Joy could tell, Joy craving truce and rest
From her own overflow, what power sedate
On those revolving motions did await
Assiduously, to soothe her aching breast;
And, to a point of just relief, abate

The mantling triumphs of a day too blest.

XX.

TO S. II.

EXCUSE is needless when with love sincere

Of occupation, not by fashion led,

Thou turn'st the Wheel that slept with dust o'er

spread ;

My nerves from no such murmur shrink, though

near,

Soft as the Dorhawk's to a distant ear,

When twilight shades darken the mountain's head.
Even She who,toils to spin our vital thread
Might smile on work, O Lady, once so dear
To household virtues. Venerable Art,

Torn from the Poor! yet shall kind Heaven protect
Its own; though Rulers, with undue respect,
Trusting to crowded factory and mart
And proud discoveries of the intellect,
Heed not the pillage of man's ancient heart.

XXI.

COMPOSED IN ONE OF THE VALLEYS OF WESTMORELAND, ON EASTER SUNDAY

WITH each recurrence of this glorious morn

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That saw the Saviour in his human frame
Rise from the dead, erewhile the Cottage-dame
Put on fresh raiment, till that hour unworn:
Domestic hands the home-bred wool had shorn,
And she who span it culled the daintiest fleece,
In thoughtful reverence to the Prince of Peace,
Whose temples bled beneath the platted thorn.
A blest estate when piety sublime

These humble props disdained not! O green dales!
Sad may I be who heard your Sabbath chime
When Art's abused inventions were unknown;
Kind Nature's various wealth was all your own;
And benefits were weighed in Reason's scales !

XXII.

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DECAY OF PIETY.

OFT have I seen, ere Time had ploughed my cheek,
Matrons and Sires, who, punctual to the call
Of their loved Church, on fast or festival
Through the long year the House of Prayer would
seek:

By Christmas snows, by visitation bleak

Of Easter winds, unscared, from hut or hall
They came to lowly bench or sculptured stall,
But with one fervor of devotion meek.
I see the places where they once were known,
And ask, surrounded even by kneeling crowds,
Is ancient Piety for ever flown?

Alas! even then they seemed like fleecy clouds
That, struggling through the western sky, have won
Their pensive light from a departed sun!

XXIII.

COMPOSED ON THE EVE OF THE MARRIAGE OF A FRIENL
IN THE VALE OF GRASMERE, 1812.

WHAT need of clamorous bells, or ribbons gay,
These humble nuptials to proclaim or grace?
Angels of love, look down upon the place;
Shed on the chosen vale a sun-bright day!
Yet no proud gladness would the Bride display
Even for such promise :— serious is her face,

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