图书图片
PDF
ePub

I was a Traveller then upon the moor;
I saw the hare that raced about with joy ;
I heard the woods and distant waters roar ;
Or heard them not, as happy as a boy :
The pleasant season did my heart employ :
My old remembrances went from me wholly ;
And all the ways of men, so vain and melan-

choly.

But, as it sometimes chanceth, from the might
Of joy in minds that can no further go,
As high as we have mounted in delight
In our dejection do we sink as low,
To me that morning did it happen so;
And fears and fancies thick upon me came;
Dim sadness—and blind thoughts, I knew not,

nor could name.

I heard the sky-lark warbling in the sky;
And I bethought me of the playful hạre :
Even such a happy Child of earth am I;
Even as these blissful creatures do I fare ;
Far from the world I walk, and from all care,
But there may come another day to me-
Solitude, pain of heart, distress, and poverty.
My whole life I have lived in pleasant thought,
As if life's business were a summer mood;
As if all needful things would come unsought
To genial faith, still rich in genial good ;

But how can He expect that others should Build for him, sow for him, and at his call Love him, who for himself will take no heed at

all ?

I thought of Chatterton, the marvellous Boy,
The sleepless soul that perished in his pride;
Of Him who walked in glory and in joy
Following his plough, along the mountain-side:
By our own spirits are we deified :
We Poet's in our youth begin in gladness;
But thereof come in the end despondency and

madness.

Now, whether it were by peculiar grace,
A leading from above, a something given,
Yet it befel, that, in this lonely place,
When I with these untoward thoughts had

striven,
Beside a pool bare to the eye of heaven
I saw a Man before me unawares :
The oldest man he seemed that ever wore grey

hairs.

As a huge stone is sometimes seen to lie
Couched on the bald top of an eminence;
Wonder to all who do the same espy,
By what means it could thither come, and

whence;
So that it seems a thing endued with sense :

Like a sea-beast crawled forth, that on a shelf Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun itself;

Such seemed this Man, not all alive nor dead,
Nor all asleep-in his extreme old age :
His body was bent double, feet and head
Coming together in life's pilgrimage ;
As if some dire constraint of pain, or rage
Of sickness felt by him in times long past,
A more than human weight upon his frame had

cast.

Himself he propped, limbs, body, and pale face,
Upon a long grey staff of shaven wood :
And, still as I drew near with gentle pace,
Jpon the margin of that moorish flood
Motionless as a cloud the old Man stood;
That heareth not the loud winds when they

call;
And moveth all together, if it move at all.
At length, himself unsettling, he the pond
Stirred with his staff, and fixedly did look
Upon the muddy water, which he conned,
As if he had been reading in a book :
And now a stranger's privilege I took ;
And, drawing to his side, to him did say,
This morning gives us promise of a glorious

day."

A gentle answer did the old Man make,
In courtcous speech which forth he slowly

drew :
And him with further words I thus bespake,
“What occupation do you there pursue ?
This is a lonesome place for one like you."
Ere he replied, a flash of mild surprise
Broke from the sable orbs of his yet vivid eyes.
His words came feebly, from a feeble chest,
But each in solemn order followed each,
With something of a solemn utterance drest-
Choice word and measured phrase, above the

reach Of ordinary men; a stately speech ; Such as grave Livers do in Scotland use, Religious men, who give to God and man their

dues.

He told, that to these waters he had come
To gather leeches, being old and poor :
Employment hazardous and wearisome!
And he had many hardships to endure:
From pond to pond he roamed, from moor to

moor ;

Housing, with God's good help, by choice of

chance ; And in this way he gained an honest main.

tenance,

The old Man still stood talking by my side; But now his voice to me was like a stream Scarce heard ; nor word from word could I

divide; And the whole body of the Man did seem Like one whom I had met with in a dream; Or like a man from some far region sent, To give me human strength, by apt admonish

ment.

My former thoughts returned: the fear that

kills; And hope that is unwilling to be fed ; Cold, pain, and labour, and all fleshly ills; And mighty Poets in their misery dead. -Perplexed, and longing to be comforted, My question eagerly did I renew, “How is it that you live, and what is it you

do?"

He with a smile did then his words repeat;
And said, that, gathering leeches, far and wide
He travelled ; stirring thus about his feet
The waters of the pools where they abide.
“Once I could meet with them on every side ;
But they have dwindled long by slow decay ;
Yet still I persevere, and find them where I

may."

« 上一页继续 »