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s a huge stone is sometimes seen to lie
My former thoughts returned: the fear that kills; puched on the bald top of an eminence;
And hope that is unwilling to be fed ; onder to all who do the same espy,
Cold, pain, and labour, and all fleshly ills; y what means it could thither come, and whence; And mighty poets in their misery dead.
that it seems a thing endued with sense : -Perplexed, and longing to be comforted, ike a sea-beast crawled forth, that on a shelf My question eagerly did I renew, f rock or sand reposeth, there to suu itself; “ How is it that you live, and what is it you do ?" uch seemed this man, not all alive nor dead,
He with a smile did then his words repeat; or all asleep; in his extreme old age:
And said, that, gathering leeches, far and wide is body was bent double, feet and head
He travelled; stirring thus about his feet oming together in life's pilgrimage;
The waters of the ponds where they abide. s if some dire constraint of pain, or rage
“ Once I could meet with them on every side; f sickness felt by him in times long past,
But they have dwindled long by slow decay; more than human weight upon his frame had cast. Yet still I persevere, and find them where I may." imself he propped, his body, limbs, and face,
While he was talking thus, the lonely place, pon a long grey staff of shaven wood:
The old man's shape, and speech, all troubled me: nd, still as I drew near with gentle pace,
In my mind's eye I seemed to see him pace pon the margin of that moorish flood
About the weary moors continually, lotionless as a cloud the old man stood,
Wandering about alone and silently. hat heareth not the loud winds when they call,
While I these thoughts within myself pursued, nd moveth all together, if it move at all.
He, having made a pause, the same discourse re
newed. t length, himself unsettling, he the pond
And soon with this he other matter blended, tirred with his staff, and fixedly did look pon the muddy water, which he conned
Cheerfully uttered, with demeanour kind, is if he had been reading in a book :
But stately in the main; and when he ended,
I could have laughed myself to scorn, to find ind now a stranger's privilege I took;
In that decrepid man so firm a mind. nd, drawing to his side, to him did say,
“ God,” said I, “ be my help and stay secure; This morning gives us promise of a glorious day."
I'll think of the leech-gatherer on the lonely moor!" i gentle answer did the old man make, n courteous speech which forth he slowly drew:
THE THORN. ind him with further words I thus bespake, What occupation do you there pursue ?
“ There is a thorn—it looks so old, This is a lonesome place for one like you."
In truth, you'd find it hard to say le answered, while a flash of mild surprise
How it could ever have been young, Broke from the sable orbs of his yet vivid eyes. It looks so old and gray.
Not higher than a two years' child lis words came feebly, from a feeble chest,
It stands erect, this aged thorn; 3ut each in solemn order followed each,
No leaves it has, no thorny points; With something of a lofty utterance drest;
It is a mass of knotted joints, Choice word, and measured phrase; above the reach
A wretched thing forlorn. Of ordinary men; a stately speech;
It stands erect, and like a stone Such as grave Livers do in Scotland use,
With lichens it is overgrown. Religious men, who give to God and man their dues.
Like rock or stone, it is o'ergrown He told me that he to this pond had come
With lichens to the very top, To gather leeches, being old and poor:
And hung with heavy tufts of moss, Employment hazardous and wearisome!
A melancholy crop : And he had many hardships to endure:
Up from the earth these mosses creep, From pond to pond he roamed, from moor to moor;
And this poor thorn they clasp it round Housing, with God's good help, by choice or chance:
So close, you'd say that they were bent And in this way he gained an honest maintenance.
With plain and manifest intent
To drag it to the ground; 'The old man still stood talking by my side;
And all had joined in one endeavour
To bury this poor thorn for ever.
High on a mountain's highest ridge,
Where oft the stormy winter gale Or like a man from some far region sent, [ment. Cuts like a scythe, while through the clouds To give me human strength by strong admonish- It sweeps from vale to vale;
Not five yards from the mountain path,
And wherefore does she cry!This thorn you on your left espy;
Oh wherefore? wherefore: tell me why And to the left, three yards beyond,
Does she repeat that doleful cry?" You see a little muddy pond Of water, never dry;
“I cannot tell; I wish I could; Though but of compass small, and bare
For the true reason no one knows: To thirsty suns, and parching air.
But if you'd gladly view the spot,
The spot to which she goes; And, close beside this aged thorn,
The heap that's like an infant's grave, There is a fresh and lovely sight,
The pond--and thorn, so old and gray; A beauteous heap, a hill of moss,
Pass by her door—'tis seldom shutJust half a foot in height.
And, if you see her in her hut, All lovely colours there you see,
Then to the spot away! All colours that were ever seen;
I never heard of such as dare And mossy net-work too is there,
Approach the spot when she is there." As if by hand of lady fair The work had woven been;
“ But wherefore to the mountain-top And cups, the darlings of the eye,
Can this unhappy woman go, So deep is their vermilion dye.
Whatever star is in the skies,
Whatever wind may blow?" Ah me! what lovely tints are there!
“ 'Tis known, that twenty years are pased Of olive green and scarlet bright,
Since she (her name is Martha Ray) In spikes, in branches, and in stars,
Gave with a maiden's true good will Green, red, and pearly white.
Her This heap of earth o'ergrown with moss,
company to Stephen Hill;
And she was blithe and gay, Which close beside the thorn you see,
While friends and kindred all approved So fresh in all its beauteous dyes, Is like an infant's grave in size,
Of him whom tenderly she lored. As like as like can be :
And they had fixed the wedding-day, But never, never any where,
The morning that must wed then both; An infant's grave was half so fair.
But Stephen to another maid
Had sworn another oath;
And with this other maid to church You must take care and choose your
Unthinking Stephen wentThe mountain when to cross.
Poor Martha! on that woeful day For oft there sits between the heap
A pang of pitiless dismay
Into her soul was sent;
A fire was kindled in her breast,
Which mnight not burn itself to rest. And to herself she cries,
full six months after this, “Oh misery! oh misery!
While yet the summer leaves were green, Oh woe is me! oh misery!"
She to the mountain-top would go, At all times of the day and night
And there was often seen. This wretched woman thither
'Tis said, her lamentable state
goes; And she is known to every star,
Even to a careless eye was plain; And every wind that blows;
She was with child, and she was mad; And there, beside the thorn, she sits
Yet often she was sober sad When the blue daylight's in the skies,
From her exceeding pain. And when the whirlwind's on the hill,
O guilty father,-would that death Or frosty air is keen and still,
Had saved him from that breach of faith! And to herself she cries,
Sad case for such a brain to hold “ Oh misery! oh misery! Oh woe is me! oh misery!"
Communion with a stirring child!
Sad case, as you may think, for one “ Now wherefore, thus, by day and night,
Who had a brain so wild! In rain, in tempest, and in snow,
Last Christmas-eve we talked of this, Thus to the dreary mountain-top
And gray-haired Wilfred of the glen Does this poor woman go?
Held that the unborn infant wrought And why sits she beside the thorn
About its mother's heart, and brought When the blue daylight's in the sky,
Her senses back again : Or when the whirlwind's on the hill,
And when at last her time drew near, Or frosty air is keen and still,
Her looks were calm, her senses clear.
25 No more I know, I wish I did,
“ I cannot tell; but some will say by And I would tell it all to you,
She hanged her baby on the tree; 10 For what became of this poor child
Some say she drowned it in the pond, There's none that ever knew :
Which is a little step beyond: 16. And if a child was born or no,
But all and each agree, 11 There's no one that could ever tell;
The little babe was buried there, And if 'twas born alive or dead,
Beneath that hill of moss so fair. ve There's no one knows, as I have said; < But some remember well,
I've heard, the moss is spotted red That Martha Ray about this time
With drops of that poor infant's blood:
But kill a new-born infant thus, se Would up the mountain often climb.
I do not think she could! And all that winter, when at night
Some say, if to the pond you go, The wind blew from the mountain-peak,
And fix on it a steady view, 'Twas worth your while, though in the dark,
The shadow of a babe you trace, The church-yard path to seek:
A baby and a baby's face, For many a time and oft were heard
And that it looks at you; Cries coming from the mountain-head:
Whene'er you look on it, 'tis plain Some plainly living voices were;
The baby looks at you again.
And some had sworn on oath that she
Should be to public justice brought;
And for the little infant's bones They had to do with Martha Ray.
With spades they would have sought. But that she goes to this old thorn,
But then the beauteous hill of moss 1:24. The thorn which I've described to you,
Before their eyes began to stir! And there sits in a scarlet cloak,
And for full fifty yards around, * I will be sworn is true.
The grass,-it shook upon the ground! For one day with my telescope,
But all do still aver LE To view the ocean wide and bright,
The little babe is buried there,
Beneath that hill of moss so fair.
I cannot tell how this may be:
But plain it is, the thorn is bound No object higher than my knee.
With heavy tufts of moss, that strive
To drag it to the ground; 'Twas mist and rain, and storm and rain,
And this I know, full many a time, No screen, no fence could I discover,
When she was on the mountain high, And then the wind ! in faith, it was
By day, and in the silent night, A wind full ten times over.
When all the stars shone clear and bright, I looked around, I thought I saw
That I have heard her cry, A jutting crag,—and off I ran,
“ Oh misery! oh misery! Head foremost, through the driving rain,
Oh woe is me! oh misery!"
PART I, I did not speak-I saw her face;
The knight had ridden down from Wensley moor Her face!-it was enough for me;
With the slow motion of a summer's cloud; I turned about and heard her cry,
He turned aside towards a vassal's door, “ Oh misery! oh misery!"
And“ Bring another horse!” he cried aloud. And there she sits, until the moon
“ Another horse !"
That shout the vassal heard Through half the clear blue sky will go;
And saddled his best steed, a comely gray; And, when the little breezes make
Sir Walter mounted him; he was the third
Which he had mounted on that glorious day.
Joy sparkled in the prancing courser's eyes; “Oh misery! oh misery!"
The horse and horseman are a happy pair; “ But what's the thorn ? and what's the pond ?
But, though Sir Walter like a falcon flies,
There is a doleful silence in the air.
A rout this morning left Sir Walter's hall,
That as they galloped made the echoes roar;
But horse and man are vanished, one and all; And, in the summer-time when days are long, Such race, I think, was never seen before.
I will come hither with my paramour;
And with the dancers and the minstrel's song Sir Walter, restless as a veering wind,
We will make merry in that pleasant boxer. Calls to the few tired dogs that yet remain : Brach, Swift, and Music, noblest of their kind, Till the foundations of the mountains fail, Follow, and up the weary mountain strain.
My mansion with its arbour shall endure;
The joy of them who till the fields of Swale, The knight hallooed, he chid and cheered them on
And them who dwell among the woods of Cire." With suppliant gestures and upbraidings stern ; But breath and eye-sight fail; and one by one, Then home he went, and left the Hart, stod det, The dogs are stretched among the mountain fern.
With breathless nostrils stretched abore the sprit. Where is the throng, the tumult of the race?
-Soon did the knight perform what he had said,
And far and wide the fame thereof did ring. The bugles that so joyfully were blown? —This chace it looks not like an earthly chace; Ere thrice the moon into her port had steered, Sir Walter and the Hart are left alone.
A cup of stone received the living well; The poor Hart-toils along the mountain-side;
Three pillars of rude stone Sir Walter reared, I will not stop to tell how far he fled,
And built a house of pleasure in the dell. Nor will I mention by what death he died;
And near the fountain, flowers of stature tall But now the knight beholds him lying dead.
With trailing plants and trees were intertwin'.,Dismounting then, he leaned against a thorn;
Which soon composed a little sylvan ball, He had no follower, dog, nor man, nor boy:
A leafy shelter from the sun and wind. He neither cracked his whip, nor blew his horn,
And thither, when the summer-days were logo But gazed upon the spoil with silent joy. .
Sir Walter led his wondering paramour; Close to the thorn on which Sir Walter leaned,
And with the dancers and the miastrel's song Stood his dumb partner in this glorious feat;
Made merriment within that pleasant bower. Weak as a lamb the hour that it is yeaned;
The knight, Sir Walter, died in course of lise, And white with foam as if with cleaving sleet. And his bones lie in his paternal vale.Upon his side the Hart was lying stretched :
But there is matter for a second rhyme, His nostril touched a spring beneath a hill,
And I to this would add another tale. And with the last deep groan his breath had fetched
PART 11. The waters of the spring were trembling still.
The moving accident is not my trade: And now, too happy for repose or rest,
To freeze the blood I have no ready arts : (Never had living man such joyful lot!)
'Tis my delight, alone in summer shade, Sir Walter walked all round, north, south, and west, And gazed and gazed upon that darling spot.
To pipe a simple song for thinking hearts.
As I from Hawes to Richmond did repair, And climbing up the hill-it was at least
It chanced that I saw standing in a dell
Three aspens at three corners of a square; Had left imprinted on the grassy ground.
And one, not four yards distant, near a well. Sir Walter wiped his face and cried, “ Till now
What this imported I could ill divine: Such sight was never seen by living eyes:
And, pulling now the rein my horse to stop, Three leaps have borne him from this lofty brow,
I saw three pillars standing in a line, Down to the very fountain where he lies.
The last stone pillar on a dark hill-top. I'll build a pleasure-house upon this spot,
The trees were gray, with neither arms nor head; And a small arbour, made for rural joy;
Half-wasted the square mound of tawny green; 'Twill be the traveller's shed, the pilgrim's cot,
So that you just might say, as then I said
, A place of love for damsels that are coy.
“ Here in old time the hand of man hath bees." A cunning artist will I have to frame
I looked upon the hill both far and near, A bason for that fountain in the dell!
More doleful place did never eye survey; And they, who do make mention of the same
It seemed as if the spring-time came not bere, From this day forth, shall call it Hart-leap Well.
And Nature here were willing to decay. And, gallant brute! to make thy praises known,
I stood in various thoughts and fancies lost, Another monument shall here be raised;
When one, who was in shepherd's garb attired. Three several pillars, each a rough-hewn stone,
Came up the hollow:-Him did I accost, And planted where thy hoofs the turf have grazed.
And what this place might be I then inquired.
The shepherd stopped, and that same story told
She leaves these objects to a slow decay, Which in my former rhyme I have rehearsed.
That what we are, and have been, may be known; A jolly place,” said he, “ in times of old !
But, at the coming of the milder day, But something ails it now; the spot is cursed.
These monuments shall all be overgrown. You see these lifeless stumps of aspen wood
One lesson, shepherd, let us two divide, Some say that they are beeches, others elms- Taught both by what she shews, and what conceals, These were the bower; and here a mansion stood, Never to blend our pleasure or our pride The finest palace of a hundred realms!
With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels."
Composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey, on
revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour. There's neither dog nor heifer, horse nor sheep,
July 13, 1798.
Five years have passed; five summers,with the length This water doth send forth a dolorous groan. Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs Some say that here a murder has been done,
With a sweet inland murmur.-Once again And blood cries out for blood : but, for my part,
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs, l've guessed, when I've been sitting in the sun, Which on a wild secluded scene impress That it was all for that unhappy Hart.
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect What thoughts must through the creature's brain
The landscape with the quiet of the sky. have past!
The day is come when I again repose Even from the top-most stone, upon the steep,
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view Are but three bounds—and look, sir, at this last- These plots of cottage ground, these orchard-tufts, -O master! it has been a cruel leap.
Which, at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves For thirteen hours he ran a desperate race;
Among the woods and copses, nor disturb And in my simple mind we cannot tell
The wild green landscape. Once again I see What cause the Hart might have to love this place, These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines And come and make his death-bed near the well. Of sportive wood run wild;. these pastoral farms
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke Here on the grass perhaps asleep he sank,
up, in silence, from among the trees! Lulled by this fountain in the summer-tide; With some uncertain notice, as might seem, This water was perhaps the first he drank
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods; When he had wandered from his mother's side.
Or of some hermit's cave, where by his fire
The hermit sits alone. In April here beneath the scented thorn
Though absent long, He heard the birds their morning carols sing;
These forms of beauty have not been to me And he, perhaps, for aught we know, was born
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye: Not half a furlong from that self-same spring.
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ’mid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them, But now here's neither grass nor pleasant shade;
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet, The sun on drearier hollow never shone;
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart; So will it be, as I have often said,
And passing even into my purer mind, Till trees, and stones, and fountain all are gone."
With tranquil restoration :-feelings too Gray-headed shepherd, thou hast spoken well;
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts His death was mourned by sympathy divine.
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust, The Being, that is in the clouds and air,
To them I may have owed another gift, That is in the green leaves among the groves,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world The pleasure-house is dust:-behind, before,
Is lightened :--that serene and blessed mood, This is no common waste, no common gloom;
In which the affections gently lead us on.. But Nature, in due course of time, once more
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame Shall here put on her beauty and her bloom.
And even the motion of our human blood