網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

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, and strong admonishme

My former thoughts return’d: the fear that kills;
The hope that is unwilling to be fed;
Cold, pain, and labour, and all fleshly ills ;
And mighty Poets in their misery dead.
And now, not knowing what the Old Man had said,
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

[ocr errors]

The waters of the Ponds 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.

While he was talking thus, the lonely place,
The Old Man's shape, and speech, all troubled me :
In my mind's eye I seem’d to see him pace
About the weary moors continually,
Wandering about alone and silently.
While I these thoughts within myself pursued,
He, having made a pause, the same discourse renewed

purse rene

And soon with this he other matter blended,
Chearfully attered, with demeanour kind,
But stately in the main ; and, when he ended,
I could have laugh'd myself to scorn, to find
In that decrepit Man so firm a mind.
"God,” said I, “be my help and stay secure;
I'll think of the Leech-gatherer on the lonely moor."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

Scorn not the Sonnet ; Critic, you have frowned,
Mindless of its just honours; with this key
Shakspeare unlocked his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch's wound;
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;
With it Camöens soothed an exile's grief ;
The Sonnet glittered a gay myrtle leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crowned
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp,
It cheered mild Spenser, called from Faery-land
To struggle through dark ways; and when a damp
Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blev
Soul-animating strains-alas, too few!

« 上一頁繼續 »