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Some close behind, some side to side,
Like clouds in stormy weather ;
They run, and cry, "Nay, let us die,
And let us die together.”
A lake was near; the shore was steep;
There never foot had been;
They ran, and with a desperate leap
ogether plunged into the deep,
Nor ever more were seen.
Sing, mournfully, oh! mournfully,
The solitude of Binnorie.
The stream that flows out of the lake,
As through the glen it rambles,
Repeats a moan o'er moss and stone,
For those seven lovely Campbells.
Seven little Islands, green and bare,
Have risen from out the deep:
The fishers say, those sisters fair,
By faeries all are buried there,
And there together sleep.
Sing, mournfully, oh! mournfully,
The solitude of Binnorie!
Who fancied what a pretty sight
This Rock would be if edged around
With living snow-drops ? circlet bright!
How glorious to this orchard-ground !
Who loved the little Rock, and set
Upon its head this coronet ?
Was it the humour of a child ?
Or rather of some gentle maid,
Whose brows, the day that she was styled
The shepherd-queen, were thus arrayed ?
Of man mature, or matron sage ?
Or old man toying with his age!
I asked—'twas whispered; The device
To each and all might well belong :
It is the Spirit of Paradise
That prompts such work, a Spirit strong,
That gives to all the self-same bent
Where life is wise and innocent.
THE REDBREAST CHASING THE BUTTERFLY.
[OBSERVED, as described, in the then beautiful orchard, Town-end,
ABT thou the bird whom Man loves best,
The pious bird with the scarlet breast,
Our little English Robin ;
The bird that comes about our doors
When Autumn-winds are sobbing ?
Art thou the Peter of Norway Boors ?
Their Thomas in Finland,
And Russia far inland ?
The bird, that by some name or other
All men who know thee call their brother,
The darling of children and men ?
Could Father Adam*
And see this sight beneath the skies,
He'd wish to close them again.
-If the Butterfly knew but his friend,
Hither his flight he would bend;
And find his way to me,
Under the branches of the tree;
In and out, he darts about;
Can this be the bird, to man so good,
That, after their bewildering,
Covered with leaves the little children,
So painfully in the wood ?
What ailed thee, Robin, that thou could'st pursue
A beautiful creature,
That is gentle by nature ?
Beneath the summer sky
From flower to flower let him fly;
'Tis all that he wishes to do.
The cheerer Thou of our in-door sadness,
He is the friend of our summer gladness :
What hinders, then, that ye should be
Playmates in the sunny weather,
And fly about in the air together!
His beautiful wings in crimson are drest,
A crimson as bright as thine own:
Would'st thou be happy in thy nest,
O pious Bird! whom man loves best,
Love him, or leave him alone!
SONG FOR THE SPINNING WHEEL.
FOUNDED UPON A BELIEF PREVALENT AMONG THE PASTORAL VALES
[The belief on which this is founded I have often heard expressed
by an old neighbour of Grasmere.]
SWIFTLY turn the murmuring wheel!
Night has brought the welcome hour,
When the weary fingers feel
Help, as if from faery power;
Dewy night o'ershades the ground;
Turn the swift wheel round and round !
Now, beneath the starry sky,
Couch the widely-scattered sheep;-
Ply the pleasant labour, ply!
For the spindle, while they sleep,
Runs with speed more smooth and fine,
Gathering up a trustier line.
Short-lived likings may be bred
By a glance from fickle eyes;
But true love is like the thread
Which the kindly wool supplies,
When the flocks are all at rest
Sleeping on the mountain's breast.
FOR CERTAIN POLITICAL PRETENDERS,
[BUNCHES of fern may often be seen wheeling about in the wind as
here described. The particular bunch that suggested these verses was noticed in the Pass of Dunmail Raise. The verses were composed in 1817, but the application is for all times and places.]
“Who but hails the sight with pleasure
When the wings of genius rise,
Their ability to measure
With great enterprise ;
But in man was ne'er such daring
As yon Hawk exhibits, pairing
His brave spirit with the war in
The stormy skies !