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Again, and once again, did I repeat the song;
"Nay," said I, more than half to the damsel must
For she looked with such a look, and she spake with
such a tone,
That I almost received her heart into my own."
TO H. C.
SIX YEARS OLD
THOU! whose fancies from afar are
Who of thy words dost make a
And fittest to unutterable thought
The breeze-like motion and the self-born carol;
Thou faery voyager! that dost float
In such clear water, that thy boat
May rather seem
To brood on air than on an earthly stream ;
Suspended in a stream as clear as sky,
Where earth and heaven do make one imagery;
O blessed vision! happy child!
I think of thee with many fears
For what may be thy lot in future years.
I thought of times when Pain might be thy
Lord of thy house and hospitality;
And Grief, uneasy lover! never rest
But when she sate within the touch of thee.
O too industrious folly!
O vain and causeless melancholy!
Nature will either end thee quite;
Or, lengthening out thy season of delight,
A young lamb's heart among the full-grown flocks.
What hast thou to do with sorrow,
Or the injuries of to-morrow?
Thou art a dewdrop, which the morn brings forth,
Ill fitted to sustain unkindly shocks,
Or to be trailed along the soiling earth;
A gem that glitters while it lives,
And no forewarning gives;
But, at the touch of wrong, without a strife
INFLUENCE OF NATURAL OBJECTS
IN CALLING FORTH AND STRENGTHENING THE IMAGINATION IN BOYHOOD AND EARLY YOUTH
FROM AN UNPUBLISHED POEM.
[This extract is reprinted from The Friend."]
ISDOM and Spirit of the universe!
Thou soul, that art the eternity of thought!
And giv'st to forms and images a
And everlasting motion! not in vain,
By day or star light, thus from my first dawn
With life and nature; purifying thus
Both pain and fear,- until we recognise
Nor was this fellowship vouchsafed to me With stinted kindness. In November days, When vapours rolling down the valleys made A lonely scene more lonesome; among woods At noon and 'mid the calm of summer nights, When, by the margin of the trembling lake, Beneath the gloomy hills, homeward I went In solitude, such intercourse was mine: Mine was it in the fields both day and night, And by the waters, all the summer long; And in the frosty season, when the sun
Was set, and, visible for many a mile,
The cottage windows through the twilight blazed,
I heeded not the summons: happy time
It was indeed for all of us; for me
It was a time of rapture! Clear and loud
That cares not for his home. -All shod with steel
And woodland pleasures,-the resounding horn,
Of melancholy, not unnoticed, while the stars,
Not seldom from the uproar I retired
Into a silent bay, or sportively
Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng,
To cut across the reflex of a star;
Image, that, flying still before me, gleamed
Upon the glassy plain : and oftentimes,
And all the shadowy banks on either side
Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still