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From the Southwest Coast of Cumberland. - 1811.


FAR from our home by Grasmere's quiet Lake,
From the Vale's peace which all her fields partake,
Here on the bleakest point of Cumbria's shore
We sojourn stunned by Ocean's ceaseless roar;
While, day by day, grim neighbor! huge Black

Frowns, deepening visibly his native gloom,
Unless, perchance rejecting in despite

What on the Plain we have of warmth and light,
In his own storms he hides himself from sight.
Rough is the time; and thoughts, that would be

From heaviness, oft fly, dear Friend, to thee; Turn from a spot where neither sheltered road Nor hedge-row screen invites my steps abroad;

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Where one poor Plane-tree, having as it might
Attained a stature twice a tall man's height,
Hopeless of further growth, and brown and sere
Through half the summer, stands with top cut sheer,
Like an unshifting weathercock which proves
How cold the quarter that the wind best loves,
Or like a sentinel, that, evermore,

Darkening the window, ill defends the door
Of this unfinished house, a Fortress bare,
Where strength has been the Builder's only care;
Whose rugged walls may still for years demand
The final polish of the Plasterer's hand.

This Dwelling's Inmate more than three weeks'


And oft a Prisoner in the cheerless place,
I of whose touch the fiddle would complain,
Whose breath would labor at the flute in vain,
In music all unversed, nor blessed with skill
A bridge to copy, or to paint a mill,
Tired of my books, a scanty company !

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And tired of listening to the boisterous sea
Pace between door and window, muttering rhyme,
An old resource to cheat a froward time!
Though these dull hours (mine is it, or their

shame ?)

Would tempt me to renounce that humble aim. But if there be a Muse who, free to take

Her seat upon Olympus, doth forsake

Those heights, (like Phoebus when his golden locks He veiled, attendant on Thessalian flocks,)

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