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But thy more serious eye a mild reproof Darts, O beloved woman! nor such thoughts Dim and unhallow'd 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 disprais'd 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, Th' 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, Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess Peace, and this cot, and thee, heart-honor'd Maid!
ON HAVING LEFT A PLACE OF RETIREMENT.
Low was our pretty cot: our tallest rose Peep'd 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 blossom'd; and across the porch Thick jasmins twined: the little landscape round
Was green and woody, and refresh'd the eye. It was a spot which you might aptly call The VALLEY of SECLUSION! Once I saw
(Hallowing his Sabbath-day by quietness) A wealthy son of commerce saunter by, Bristowa's citizen: methought, it calm'd His thirst of idle gold, and made him muse With wiser feelings: for he paus'd, and look'd
With a pleased sadness, and gazed all around, Then eyed our cottage, and gazed round again,
And sigh'd, 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 wing) in whisper'd tones I've said to my beloved: Such, sweet girl! The inobtrusive song of Happiness, Unearthly minstrelsy! then only heard When the soul seeks to hear; when all is hush'd,
And the heart listens! But the time, when first From that low dell, steep up the stony mount I climb'd with perilous toil and reach'd the top,
Oh! what a goodly scene! Here the bleak mount, The bare bleak mountain speckled thin with sheep; Gray clouds, that shadowing spot the sunny fields;
And river, now with bushy rocks o'erbrow'd, 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 ocean
It seem'd like Omnipresence! God, methought, Had built him there a Temple: the whole world
Seem'd imag'd in its vast circumference. No wish profan'd my overwhelmed heart. Blest hour! It was a luxury,—to be!
Ah! quiet dell! dear cot! and mount sublime!
I was constrain'd to quit you. Was it right, While my unnumber'd brethren toil'd and bled,
That I should dream away th' entrusted hours | Me from the spot where first I sprung to
On rose-leaf beds, pampering the coward heart
With feelings all too delicate for use? Sweet is the tear that from some Howard's eye
Drops on the cheek of One he lifts from earth:
And He, that works me good with unmov'd
Does it but half: he chills me while he aids,
The sluggard Pity's vision-weaving tribe,
Nursing in some delicious solitude
Too soon transplanted, ere my soul had fix'd Its first domestic loves; and hence through life
Chasing chance-started friendships. A brief while
Some have preserv'd me from life's pelting
But, like a tree with leaves of feeble stem,
False and fair foliag'd as the Manchineel,
Mixt their own venom with the rain from
That I woke poison'd! But, all praise to Him
Yet oft when after honorable toil Rests the tir'd mind, and waking loves to Of that divine and nightly-whispering voice,
My spirit shall revisit thee, dear cot!
It might be 80— -but the time is not yet.
Which from my childhood to maturer years
Still most a stranger, most with naked heart At mine own home and birth-place: chiefly then,
When I remember thee, my earliest Friend! Thee, who didst watch my boyhood and my youth;
Didst trace my wanderings with a father's eye;
TO THE REV. GEORGE COLERIDGE And boding evil, yet still hoping good,
WITH SOME POEMS.
Notus in fratres animi paterni.
A BLESSED lot hath he, who having past
And haply views his tott'ring little ones
Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy.
Rebuk'd each fault, and over all my woes
Lov'd as a brother, as a son rever'd thee!
That hang above us in an arborous roof.
Nor dost not thou sometimes recall those hours, When with the joy of hope thou gav'st thine
To me th' Eternal Wisdom hath dispens'd A different fortune and more different mind- To my wild firstling-lays. Since then my song
Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem | Its worthless Idols! Learning, Power, and
Which I have fram'd in many a various mood,
Accept, my Brother! and (for some perchance
Will strike discordant on thy milder mind) If aught of error or intemperate truth Should meet thine ear, think thou that riper age
Will calm it down, and let thy love forgive it!
FOR A FOUNTAIN ON A HEATH.
THIS Sycamore, oft musical with Bees,Such tents the Patriarchs lov'd! O long unharm'd
May all its aged boughs o'er-canopy
Keeps pure from falling leaves! Long may the spring, Quietly as a sleeping infant's breath, Send up cold waters to the traveller With soft and even pulse! Nor ever cease Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance, Which at the bottom, like a Fairy's Page, As and no taller, dances still, merry Nor wrinkles the smooth surface of the fount.
Here twilight is and coolness: here is moss, A soft seat, and a deep and ample shade. Thou mayst toil far and find no second tree; Drink, Pilgrim, here! Here rest! and if thy
Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh Thy spirit, list'ning to some gentle sound, Or passing gale, or hum of murmuring bees!
A TOMBLESS EPITAPH.
'Tis true, Idoloclastes Satyrane! (So call him, for so mingling blame with praise
And smiles with anxious looks, his earliest friends,
Masking his birth-name, wont to character
(Too much of all) thus wasting in vain war Of fervid colloquy. Sickness, 'tis true, Whole years of weary days, besieged him close,
Even to the gates and inlets of his life!
Its med'cinable herbs. Yea, oft alone,
WELL, they are gone, and here must I remain, This Lime-Tree-Bower my Prison! I have lost
Beauties and feelings, such as would have been Most sweet to my remembrance, even when age
Had dimmed mine eyes to blindness! They, meanwhile, Friends, whom I never more may meet again, On springy heath, along the hill-top-edge, Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance,
To that still roaring dell, of which I told; The roaring dell, o'erwooded, narrow, deep, And only speckled by the mid-day Sun; Where its slim trunk the Ash from rock to rock
Flings arching like a bridge;-that branchless Ash,
Unsunn'd and damp, whose few poor yellow | That we may lift the soul, and contemplate With lively joy the joys we cannot share. My gentle-hearted Charles! when the last rook
Ne'er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still, Fann'd by the waterfall! and there my friends Behold the dark green file of long lank weeds, That all at once (a most fantastic sight!) Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge Of the blue clay-stone. Now, my friends
Beneath the wide wide heaven-and view again
The many-steepled track magnificent
Beat its straight path along the dusky air Homewards, I blest it! deeming, its black wing
(Now a dim speck, now vanishing in light) Had cross'd the mighty Orb's dilated glory, While thou stoodst gazing; or when all was still,
Flew creeking o'er thy head, and had a charm
For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to
The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two No sound is dissonant which tells of life.
Of purple shadow! Yes! they wander on
And hunger'd after Nature, many a year,
And strange calamity! Ah! slowly sink Behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun! Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb Ye purple heath-flowers! richlier burn, ye clouds!
Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves! And kindle, thou blue Ocean! So my Friend Struck with deep joy may stand, as I have stood,
Silent with swimming sense; yea, gazing round On the wide landscape, gaze till all doth seem Less gross than bodily and of such hues As veil the almighty Spirit, when he makes Spirits perceive his presence. A delight Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad As I myself were there! Nor in this bower, This little lime-tree-bower, have I not mark'd Much that has sooth'd me. Pale beneath the blaze
Hung the transparent foliage; and I watch'd Some broad and sunny leaf, and lov'd to see The shadow of the leaf and stem above Dappling its sunshine! And that walnut-tree Was richly ting'd, and a deep radiance lay Full on the ancient ivy, which usurps Those fronting elms, and now, with blackest
Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue
Through the late twilight: and though now the bat
Wheels silent by, and not a swallow twitters,
That Nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure,
TO A FRIEND
WHO HAD DECLARED HIS INTENTION OF WRITING NO MORE POETRY.
DEAR Charles! whilst yet thou wert a babe, I ween
That Genius plunged thee in that wizard-
The world's low cares and lying vanities,
Held, as by Thetis erst her warrior Son:
So sore it seems and burthensome a task To weave unwithering flowers! But take thou heed:
For thou art vulnerable, wild-eyed Boy,
And shall he die unwept, and sink to Earth
To gauge Ale-Firkins.-Oh! for shame return!
And weeping wreath it round thy Poet's tomb Then in the outskirts, where pollutions grow, Pick the rank henbane and the dusky flowers
Of night - shade, or its red and tempting | From the dread watch-tower of man's ab
fruit. These with stopped nostril and gloveguarded hand
Knit in nice intertexture, so to twine
TO A GENTLEMAN.
COMPOSED ON THE NIGHT AFTER HIS RECITATION OF A POEM ON THE GROWTH OF AN IN
FRIEND of the Wise! and Teacher of the
Into my heart have I received that Lay
Of the foundations and the building up
Of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears (The first-born they of Reason and twinbirth)
Of tides obedient to external force,
The light reflected, as a light bestow'd-
Of more than fancy, of the social sense Distending wide, and man belov'd as man, Where France in all her towns lay vibrating Even as a bark becalm'd beneath the burst Of heaven's immediate thunder, when no cloud
Is visible, or shadow on the main.
With light unwaning on her eyes, to look
Ah! as I listen'd with a heart forlorn
Keen pangs of love, awakening as a babe
Sense of past youth, and manhood come in vain,
And genius given, and knowledge won in vain; And all which I had cull'd in wood-walks wild,
And all which patient toil had rear'd, and all, Commune with thee had open'd out-but flowers
Strew'd on my corse, and borne upon my bier, In the same coffin, for the self-same grave!
That way no more! and ill beseems it me,
For thou wert there, thine own brows gar- Of thy communion with my nobler mind
By pity or grief, already felt too long! Nor let my words import more blame than
The tumult rose and ceas'd: for peace is nigh Where wisdom's voice has found a listening heart.
Amid the howl of more than wintry storms, The Halcyon hears the voice of vernal Hours Already on the wing!-Eve following eve,