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RESIDENCE IN LONDON.
Şıx changeful years have vanished since I first
* See Note.
And part through outward hindrance. But I
heard, After the hour of sunset yester-even, Sitting within doors between light and dark, A choir of redbreasts gathered somewhere near My threshold, minstrels from the distant woods Sent in on Winter's service, to announce, With preparation artful and benign, That the rough lord had left the surly North On his accustomed journey. The delight, Due to this timely notice, unawares Smote me, and, listening, I in whispers said, “ Ye heartsome Choristers, ye and I will be Associates, and, unscared by blustering winds, Will chant together.” Thereafter, as the shades Of twilight deepened, going forth. I spied A glow-worm underneath a dusky plume Or canopy of yet unwithered fern, Clear-shining, like a hermit's taper seen Through a thick forest. Silence touched me here No less than sound had done before; the child Of Summer, lingering, shining, by herself, The voiceless worm on the unfrequented hills, Seemed sent on the same errand with the choir Of Winter that had warbled at my door, And the whole year breathed tenderness and
The last night's genial feeling overflowed Opon this morning, and my favorite grove,
Tossing in sunshine its dark boughs aloft,
Returned from that excursion,* soon I bade
Yet, undetermined to what course of life I should adhere, and seeming to possess A little space of intermediate time At full command, to London first I turned, In no disturbance of excessive hope, By personal ambition unenslaved, Frugal as there was need, and, though self-willed, From dangerous passions free. Three years had
flown Since I had felt in heart and soul the shock Of the huge town's first presence, and had paced Her endless streets, a transient visitant: Now, fixed amid that concourse of mankind
* See p. 136.