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And that simplest Lute, Placed length-ways in the clasping casement, hark! How by the desultory breeze caressed, Like some coy maid half yielding to her lover, It pours such sweet upbraiding, as must needs Tempt to repeat the wrong ' And now, its strings Boldlier swept, the long sequacious notes Over delicious surges sink and rise, Such a soft floating witchery of sound As twilight Elfins make, when they at eve Voyage on gentle gales from Fairy-Land, Where Melodies round honey-dropping flowers, Footless and wild, like birds of Paradise, Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untamed wing! O the one life within us and abroad, Which meets all motion and becomes its soul, A light in sound, a sound-like power in light Rhythm in all thought, and joyance every where— Methinks, it should have been impossible Not to love all things in a world so filled; Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air, Is Music slumbering on her instrument.
And thus, my love as on the midway slope Of yonder hill I stretch my limbs at noon, Whilst through my half-closed eye-lids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
And tranquil muse upon tranquillity;
Full many a thought uncalled and undetained,
And many idle flitting phantasies,
Traverse my indolent and passive brain,
As wild and various as the random gales
That swell and flutter on this subject lute!
And what if all of animated nature Be but organic harps diversely framed, That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze, At once the Soul of each, and God of All?
But thy more serious eye a mild reproof
Darts, O beloved woman nor such thoughts
Dim and unhallowed dost thou not reject,
And biddest me walk humbly with my God.
Meek daughter in the family of Christ!
Well hast thou said and holily dispraised
These shapings of the unregenerate mind;
Bubbles that glitter as they rise and break
On vain Philosophy's aye-babbling spring.
For never guiltless may I speak of him,
The Incomprehensible! save when with awe
I praise him, and with Faith that inly feels;
Who with his saving mercies healed me,
A sinful and most miserable Man,
Wildered and dark, and gave me to possess
Peace, and this Cot, and thee, heart-honoured Maid!
REFLECTIONS ON HAVING LEFT A PLACE OF RETIREMENT.
Low was our pretty Cot: our tallest Rose
Peeped at the chamber-window. We could hear
At silent noon, and eve, and early morn,
The Sea's faint murmur. In the open air
Our Myrtles blossomed; and across the Porch
Thick jasmins twined: the little landscape round
Was green and woody, and refreshed the eye.
It was a spot which you might aptly call
The VALLEY of SEcLusion I Once I saw
(Hallowing his Sabbath-day by quietness)
A wealthy son of commerce saunter by,
Bristowa's citizen: methought, it calmed
His thirst of idle gold, and made him muse
With wiser feelings: for he paused, and looked
With a pleased sadness, and gazed all around,
Then eyed our Cottage, and gazed round again,
And sighed, and said, it was a Blessed Place.
And we were blessed. Oft with patient ear
Long-listening to the viewless sky-lark's note
(Viewless, or haply for a moment seen
Gleaming on sunny wings) in whispered tones
I've said to my beloved, “Such, sweet girl!
“The inobstrusive song of Happiness,
“ Unearthly minstrelsy! then only heard
“When the soul seeks to hear; when all is hushed,
“And the Heart listens!”
But the time, when first
From that low Dell, steep up the stony Mount
I climbed with perilous toil and reached the top,
Oh! what a goodly scene! Here the bleak Mount,
The bare bleak Mountain speckled thin with sheep;
Grey clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields;
And River, now with bushy rocks o'erbrowed,
Now winding bright and full, with naked banks;
And Seats, and Lawns, the Abbey, and the Wood,
And Cots, and Hamlets, and faint City-spire:
The Channel there, the Islands and white Sails,
Dim Coasts, and cloud-like Hills, and shoreless