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O happy garden! whose seclusion deep
Hath been so friendly to industrious hours;
And to soft slumbers, that did gently steep
Our spirits, carrying with them dreams of flowers,
And wild notes warbled among leafy bowers;
Two burning months let summer overleap,
And, coming back with her who will be ours,
Into thy bosom we again shall creep.

1802.

STANZAS

WRITTEN IN MY POCKET-COPY OF THOMSON'S
CASTLE OF INDOLENCE

[graphic]

ITHIN our happy castle there dwelt

one

Whom without blame I may not

overlook;

Fornever sun on living creature shone

Who more devout enjoyment with us took :
Here on his hours he hung as on a book,
On his own time here would he float away,

As doth a fly upon a summer brook;

But go to-morrow, or belike to-day,

Seek for him, he is fled; and whither none can say.

Thus often would he leave our peaceful home,
And find elsewhere his business or delight;

Out of our valley's limits did he roam :

Full many a time, upon a stormy night,

His voice came to us from the neighbouring height:

Oft could we see him driving full in view

At mid-day when the sun was shining bright;
What ill was on him, what he had to do,

A mighty wonder bred among our quiet crew.

Ah! piteous sight it was to see this man
When he came back to us, a withered flower,—
Or like a sinful creature, pale and wan.

Down would he sit; and without strength or power
Look at the common grass from hour to hour:

And oftentimes, how long I fear to say,

Where apple-trees in blossom made a bower,
Retired in that sunshiny shade he lay;

And, like a naked Indian, slept himself away.

Great wonder to our gentle tribe it was
Whenever from our valley he withdrew ;
For happier soul no living creature has

Than he had, being here the long day through.

Some thought he was a lover, and did woo:

Some thought far worse of him, and judged him wrong:
But verse was what he had been wedded to;
And his own mind did like a tempest strong

Come to him thus, and drove the weary wight along.

With him there often walked in friendly guise,

Or lay upon the moss by brook or tree,
A noticeable man with large grey eyes,
And a pale face that seemed undoubtedly
As if a blooming face it ought to be;
Heavy his low-hung lip did oft appear,

Deprest by weight of musing phantasy;

Profound his forehead was, though not severe ;

Yet some did think that he had little business here.

Sweet Heaven forefend! his was a lawful right;

Noisy he was, and gamesome as a boy;

His limbs would toss about him with delight

Like branches when strong winds the trees annoy.
Nor lacked his calmer hours device or toy

To banish listlessness and irksome care;

He would have taught you how you might employ Yourself; and many did to him repair,

And certes not in vain; he had inventions rare.

Expedients, too, of simplest sort he tried:

Long blades of grass, plucked round him as he lay,
Made to his ear attentively applied—

A pipe on which the wind would deftly play;
Glasses he had, that little things display,

The beetle panoplied in gems and gold,
A mailed angel on a battle day;

The mysteries that cups of flowers enfold,

And all the gorgeous sights which fairies do behold.

He would entice that other man to hear

His music, and to view his imagery:

And, sooth, these two were each to the other dear:

No livelier love in such a place could be:
There did they dwell-from earthly labour free,

As happy spirits as were ever seen;

If but a bird, to keep them company,

Or butterfly sate down, they were, I ween,

As pleased as if the same had been a maiden queen.

1802.

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When she I loved looked every day

Fresh as a rose in June,

I to her cottage bent my way,

Beneath an evening moon.

Upon the moon I fixed my eye,

All over the wide lea;

With quickening pace my horse drew nigh

Those paths so dear to me.

And now we reached the orchard plot;

And, as we climbed the hill,

The sinking moon to Lucy's cot

Came near, and nearer still.

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