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And somewhat of a sad perplexity,

The picture of the mind revives again:
While here I stand, not only with the sense

Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts
That in this moment there is life and food

For future years. And so I dare to hope

Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when first
I came among these hills; when like a roe

I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides
Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,
Wherever Nature led: more like a man

Flying from something that he dreads, than one
Who sought the thing he loved. For Nature then
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,
And their glad animal movements all gone by,)
To me was all in all.-I cannot paint
What then I was. The sounding cataract
Haunted me like a passion: the tall rock,
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood,
Their colours and their forms, were then to me
An appetite a feeling and a love,
That had no need of a remoter charm,
By thought supplied, or any interest
Unborrowed from the eye.-That time is past,
And all its aching joys are now no more,
And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this
Faint I, nor mourn nor murmer; other gifts
Have followed, for such loss, I would believe,
Abundant recompence. For I have learned
To look on Nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,

Not harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
A motion and a spirit, that impels

All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still
A lover of the meadows and the woods,

And mountains; and of all that we behold
From this green earth; of all the mighty world
Of eye and ear, both what they half create,*
And what perceive; well pleased to recognize
In Nature and the language of the sense,
The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse,
The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul
Of all my moral being.

This line has a close resemblance to an admirable line of Young the exact ex. pression of which I cannot recollect.

Nor perchance,
If I were not thus taught, should I the more
Suffer my genial spirits to decay.

For thou art with me, here, upon the banks
Of this fair river; thou, my dearest friend,
My dear, dear friend, and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting lights
Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while
May I behold in thee what I was once,
My dear, dear sister! And this prayer I make,
Knowing that Nature never did betray
The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege,
Through all the years of this our life, to lead
From joy to joy: for she can so inform
The mind that is within us, so impress
With quietness and beauty, and so feed
With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues,
Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men
Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all
The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Our cheerful faith that all which we behold
Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
And let the misty mountain winds be free
To blow against thee: and, in after years,
When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
Into a sober pleasure, when thy mind
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place

For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then,

If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief,

Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts

Of tender joy wilt thou remember me,

And these iny exhortations! nor, perchance,

If I should be where I no more can here

Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleams

Of past existence, wilt thou then forget

That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came,
Unwearied in that service: rather say
With warmer love, oh! with far deeper zeal
Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget,
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs,
And this green pastoral landscape, were to me
More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake.

1798.

THE sun has long been set:

The stars are out by twos and threes;
The little birds are piping yet
Among the bushes and trees;

There's a cuckoo, and one or two thrushes;

And a noise of wind that rushes,

With a noise of water that gushes;

And the cuckoo's sovereign cry

Fills all the hollow of the sky!

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POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND

REFLECTION.

EXPOSTULATION AND REPLY.

"WHY, William, on that old gray 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 gray stone,

And dream my time away."

THE TABLES TURNED;

AN EVENING SCENE, ON THE SAME SUBJECT.

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:

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.

Enough of science and of art;

Close up these barren leaves;

Come forth, and bring with you a heart

That watches and receives.

TO THE SPADE OF A FRIEND.

(AN AGRICULTURIST.)

COMPOSED WHILE WE WERE LABOURING TOGETHER IN HIS

PLEASURE-GROUND.

SPADE! with which Wilkinson hath tilled his lands,
And shaped these pleasant walks by Emont's side,

Thou art a tool of honour in my hands;

I press thee, through the yielding soil, with pride.

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