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(Meet emblems they of innocence and love!)

And watch the clouds, that late were rich with REFLECTIONS ON HAVING LEFT A PLACE


Slow saddening round, and mark the star of eve
Serenely brilliant (such should wisdom be)
Shine opposite! How exquisite the scents

Snatch'd from yon bean-field! and the world so

The stilly murmur of the distant sea

Tells us of silence.

And that simplest lute,

Placed length-ways in the clasping casement,


How by the desultory breeze caress'd,

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

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 gentler gales from Fairy-land,
Where melodies round honey-dropping flowers,
Footless and wild, like birds of paradise,


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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 paused, 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 bless'd. Oft with patient ear
Long listening to the viewless sky-lark's note,

Nor pause, nor perch, hovering on untamed wing! (Viewless, or haply for a moment seen
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 everywhere-
Methinks, it should have been impossible
Not to love all things in a world so fill'd;
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 eyelids I behold
The sunbeams dance, like diamonds, on the main,
And tranquil muse upon tranquillity;
Full many a thought uncall'd and undetain'd,
And many idle, flitting fantasies,
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 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 dispraised
These shapings of th' 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,
Wilder'd and dark, and gave me to possess
Peace, and this cot, and thee, heart-honour'd

Gleaming on sunny wings,) 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,
O! 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


It seem'd like Omnipresence! God, methought,
Had built him there a temple: the whole world
Seem'd imaged in its vast circumference,
No wish profaned 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' intrusted hours
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 unmoved face,
Does it but half: he chills me while he aids,
My benefactor, not my brother man!
Yet even this, this cold beneficence,

Praise, praise it, O my soul! oft as thou scann'st
The sluggard pity's vision-weaving tribe!
Who sigh for wretchedness, yet shun the wretched,
Nursing in some delicious solitude

Their slothful loves and dainty sympathies!
I therefore go, and join head, heart, and hand,
Active and firm, to fight the bloodless fight
Of science, freedom, and the truth in Christ.
Yet oft, when after honourable toil

Rests the tired mind, and waking loves to dream,
My spirit shall revisit thee, dear cot!
Thy jasmin and thy window-peeping rose,
And myrtles fearless of the mild sea-air.
And I shall sigh fond wishes-sweet abode !
Ah-had none greater! And that all had such!
It might be so-but the time is not yet.
Speed it, O Father! Let thy kingdom come!



Notus in fratres animi paterni.

Hor. Carm. lib. i. 2.

A BLESSED lot hath he, who having pass'd
His youth and early manhood in the stir
And turmoil of the world, retreats at length,
With cares that move, not agitate the heart,
To the same dwelling where his father dwelt;
And haply views his tottering little ones
Embrace those aged knees and climb that lap,
On which first kneeling his own infancy
Lisp'd its brief prayer. Such, O my earliest friend!
Thy lot, and such thy brothers too enjoy.
At distance did ye climb life's upland road,
Yet cheer'd and cheering; now fraternal love
Hath drawn you to one centre. Be your days
Holy, and blest, and blessing may ye live!

To me th' Eternal Wisdom hath dispensed
A different fortune and more different mind-
Me from the spot where first I sprang to light
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 preserved me from life's pelting ills;
But, like a tree with leaves of feeble stem,
If the clouds lasted, and a sudden breeze
Ruffled the boughs, they on my head at once
Dropp'd the collected shower; and some most false,
False and fair-foliaged as the manchineel,
Have tempted me to slumber in their shade

E'en 'mid the storm; then breathing subtlest damps,

Mix'd their own venom with the rain from heaven,
That I woke poison'd! But, all praise to Him
Who gives us all things, more have yielded me
Permanent shelter; and beside one friend,
Beneath th' impervious covert of one oak,
I've raised a lowly shed, and know the names
Of husband and of father; nor unhearing
Of that divine and nightly-whispering voice,
Which from my childhood to maturer years
Spake to me of predestinated wreaths
Bright with no fading colours!

Yet at times
My soul is sad, that I have roam'd through life
Still most a stranger, most with naked heart

At mine own home and birthplace: 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;
And boding evil, yet still hoping good,
Rebuked each fault, and over all my woes
Sorrow'd in silence! He who counts alone
The beatings of the solitary heart,

That Being knows, how I have loved thee ever,
Loved as a brother, as a son revered thee!
O! 'tis to me an ever-new delight,

To talk of thee and thine: or when the blast
Of the shrill winter, rattling our rude sash,
Endears the cleanly hearth and social bowl;
Or when as now, on some delicious eve,
We, in our sweet sequester'd orchard plot,
Sit on the tree crook'd earthward; whose old

That hang above us in an arborous roof,
Stirr'd by the faint gale of departing May,
Send their loose blossoms slanting o'er our heads!
Nor dost not thou sometimes recall those hours,
When with the joy of hope thou gavest thine ear
To my wild firstling-lays? Since then my son
Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem
Or that sad wisdom folly leaves behind,
Or such as, tuned to these tumultuous times
Cope with the tempest's swell!

These various strains,
Which I have framed 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!


'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
His wild-wood fancy and impetuous zeal,)
'Tis true that, passionate for ancient truths,
And honouring with religious love the great
Of elder times, he hated to excess,
With an unquiet and intolerant scorn,
The hollow puppets of a hollow age,
Ever idolatrous, and changing ever

Its worthless idols! Learning, power, and time,
(Too much of all,) thus wasting in vain war
Of fervid colloquy. Sickness, 'tis true,
Whole years of weary days, besieged him close,
E'en to the gates and inlets of his life!
But it is true, no less, that strenuous, firm,
And with a natural gladness, he maintained
The citadel unconquer'd, and in joy
Was strong to follow the delightful muse,
For not a hidden path, that to the shades
Of the beloved Parnassian forest leads,
Lurk'd undiscover'd by him; not a rill
There issues from the fount of Hippocrene,
But he had traced it upward to its source,
Through open glade, dark glen, and secret dell
Knew the gay wild-flowers on its banks, and cull'a

Its med'cinable herbs. Yea, oft alone,
Piercing the long-neglected holy cave,
The haunt obscure of old philosophy,
He bade with lifted torch its starry walls
Sparkle as erst they sparkled to the flame
Of odorous lamps tended by saint and sage.
O framed for calmer times and nobler hearts!
O studious poet, eloquent for truth!
Philosopher! contemning wealth and death,
Yet docile, childlike, full of life and love!
Here, rather than on monumental stone,,
This record of thy worth thy friend inscribes,
Thoughtful, with quiet tears upon his cheek.


THIS Sycamore, oft musical with bees,-
Such tents the patriarchs loved! O long unharm'd
May all its aged boughs o'er-canopy
The small round basin, which this jutting stone
Keeps pure from falling leaves! Long may the
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 merry and no taller, dances still,

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 heart

Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh
Thy spirit, listening to some gentle sound,
Or passing gale, or hum of murmuring bees!


In the June of 1797, some long-expected friends paid a visit to the author's cottage; and on the morning of their arrival, he met with an accident, which disabled him from walking during the whole time of their stay. One evening, when they had left him for a few hours, he composed the following lines in the garden bower.

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 remembrace, e'en when age
Had dimm'd mine eyes to blindness! They, mean-

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 leaves
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 emerge

Beneath the wide, wide heaven-and view again
The many-steepled tract magnificent

Of hilly fields and meadows, and the sea,
With some fair bark, perhaps, whose sails light up
The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two isles
Of purple shadow! Yes, they wander on
In gladness all; but thou, methinks, most glad,
My gentle-hearted Charles; for thou hast pined
And hunger'd after nature, many a year,
In the great city pent, winning thy way
With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain
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 th' Almighty Spirit, when yet he makes
Spirits perceive his presence.

A delight

Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad
As I myself was there! Nor in this bower,
This little lime-tree bower, have I not mark'd

Much that has soothed me. Pale beneath the blaze
Hung the transparent foliage; and I watch'd
Some broad and sunny leaf, and loved to see
The shadow of the leaf and stem above
Dappling its sunshine! And that walnut tree
Was richly tinged, and a deep radiance lay
Full on the ancient ivy, which usurps
Those fronting elms, and now, with blackest mass,
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,
Yet still the solitary humble bee

Sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall


That nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure:
No plot so narrow, be but nature there,
No waste so vacant, but may well employ
Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart
Awake to love and beauty! and sometimes
"Tis well to be bereft of promised good,
That we may lift the soul, and contemplate
With lively joy the joys we cannot share.
My gentle-hearted Charles! when the last rook
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,

The asplenium scolopendrium, called in some countries the adder's tongue, in others the hart's tongue; but Withering gives the adder's tongue as the trivial name of the ophioglossum only.

While thou stood'st gazing; or when all was still,
Flew creaking o'er thy head, and had a charm
For thee, my gentle-hearted Charles, to whom
No sound is dissonant which tells of life.



FRIEND of the wise! and teacher of the good!
Into my heart have I received that lay
More than historic, that prophetic lay,
Wherein (high theme by thee first sung aright)
Of the foundations and the building up
Of a human spirit, thou hast dared to tell
What may be told, to the understanding mind
Revealable; and what within the mind,
By vital breathings secret as the soul
Of vernal growth, oft quickens in the heart
Thoughts all too deep for words!-

Theme hard as high!
Of smiles spontaneous, and mysterious fears,
(The first-born they of reason and twin birth,)
Of tides obedient to external force,
And currents self-determined, as might seem,
Or by some inner power; of moments awful,
Now in thy inner life, and now abroad,

Action and joy!-An orphic song, indeed,
A song divine, of high and passionate thoughts,
To their own music chanted!

O great bard!
Ere yet that last strain dying awed the air,
With steadfast eye I view'd thee in the choir
Of e'er-enduring men. The truly great
Have all one age, and from one visible space
Shed influence! They, both in power and act,
Are permanent, and time is not with them,
Save as it worketh for them, they in it.
Nor less a sacred roll, than those of old,
And to be placed, as they, with gradual fame
Among the archives of mankind, thy work
Makes audible a linked lay of truth,
Of truth profound a sweet continuous lay,
Not learnt, but native, her own natural notes!
Ah! as I listen'd with a heart forlorn,
The pulses of my being beat anew:

And e'en as life returns upon the drown'd,
Life's joy rekindling roused a throng of pains-
Keen pangs of love, awakening as a babe
Turbulent, with an outcry in the heart;
And fears self-will'd, that shunn'd the eye of hope;
And hope that scarce would know itself from fear,
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

When power stream'd from thee, and thy soul re- Strew'd on my corse, and borne upon my bier,


The light reflected, as a light bestow'd-
Of fancies fair, and milder hours of youth,
Hyblean murmurs of poetic thought
Industrious in its joy, in vales and glens
Native or outland, lakes and famous hills!
Or on the lonely high-road, when the stars
Were rising; or by secret mountain streams,
The guides and the companions of thy way!
Of more than fancy, of the social sense
Distending wide, and man beloved as man,
Where France in all her towns lay vibrating
Like some becalmed bark beneath the burst
Of heaven's immediate thunder, when no cloud
Is visible, or shadow on the main.

For thou wert there, thine own brows garlanded,
Amid the tremor of a realm aglow,
Amid a mighty nation jubilant,
When from the general heart of human kind
Hope sprang forth like a full-born deity;

Of that dear hope afflicted and struck down,
So summon'd homeward, thenceforth calm and sure
From the dread watch-tower of man's absolute self,
With light unwaning on her eyes, to look
Far on-herself a glory to behold,
The angel of the vision! Then (last strain)
Of duty, chosen laws controlling choice,

• Some months after I had written this line, it gave me pleasure to observe that Bartram had observed the same circumstance of the Savanna crane. "When these birds move their wings in flight, their strokes are slow, moderate, and regular; and even when at a considerable distance, or high above us, we plainly hear the quill-feathers; their shafts and webs upon one another creak as the joints or working of a vessel in a tempestuous sea.'

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Into the darkness; now a tranquil sea,
Outspread and bright, yet swelling to the moon.

And when-O friend! my comforter and guide!
Strong in thyself, and powerful to give strength!—
Thy long-sustained song finally closed,

And thy deep voice had ceased-yet thou thyself
Wert still before my eyes, and round us both
That happy vision of beloved faces-
Scarce conscious, and yet conscious of its close
I sate, my being blended in one thought,
(Thought was it? or aspiration? or resolve?)
Absorb'd, yet hanging still upon the sound-
And when I rose, I found myself in prayer.



DEAR Charles! whilst yet thou wert a babe, I


That genius plunged thee in that wizard fount,
Hight Castalie: and (sureties of thy faith)
That pity and simplicity stood by,

And promised for thee, that thou shouldst renounce
The world's low cares and lying vanities,
Steadfast and rooted in the heavenly muse,
And wash'd and sanctified to poesy.

Yes, thou wert plunged, but with forgetful hand
Held, as by Thetis erst her warrior son:
And with those recreant unbaptized heels
Thou'rt flying from thy bounden ministeries-
So sore it seems and burthensome a task

To weave unwithering flowers! But take thou

For thou art vulnerable, wild-eyed boy,
And I have arrows mystically dipp'd,
Such as may stop thy speed. Is thy Burns dead?
And shall he die unwept, and sink to earth
"Without the meed of one melodious tear?"
Thy Burns, and nature's own beloved bard,
Who to the "Illustrious+ of his native land
So properly did look for patronage."
Ghost of Mæcenas! hide thy blushing face!
They snatch'd him from the sickle and the plough,
To gauge ale-firkins.

O! for shame, return!

On a bleak rock, midway th' Aonian mount,
There stands a lone and melancholy tree,
Whose aged branches in the midnight blast
Make solemn music: pluck its darkest bough,
Ere yet th' unwholesome night-dew be exhaled,
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 fruit.
These with stopp'd nostril and glove-guarded hand,
Knit in nice intertexture, so to twine

Th' illustrious brow of Scotch nobility.


* Vide Pind. Olymp. iii. 1. 156.


No cloud, no relic of the sunken day
Distinguishes the west, no long thin slip
Of sullen light, no obscure trembling hues.
Come, we will rest on this old mossy bridge!
You see the glimmer of the stream beneath,
But hear no murmuring: it flows silently,
O'er its soft bed of verdure. All is still,
A balmy night! and though the stars be dim,
Yet let us think upon the vernal showers
That gladden the green earth, and we shall find
A pleasure in the dimness of the stars.
And hark! the nightingale begins its song,
"Most musical, most melancholy"+ bird!
A melancholy bird? O! idle thought!
In nature there is nothing melancholy.
But some night-wandering man, whose heart was

With the remembrance of a grievous wrong,
Or slow distemper, or neglected love,

(And so, poor wretch! fill'd all things with him-

And made all gentle sounds tell back the tale
Of his own sorrow,) he, and such as he,
First named these notes a melancholy strain.
And many a poet echoes the conceit;
Poet who hath been building up the rhyme
When he had better far have stretch'd his limbs
Beside a brook in mossy forest dell,
By sun or moonlight, to the influxes
Of shapes and sounds and shifting elements
Surrendering his whole spirit, of his song
And of his frame forgetful! so his fame
Should share in nature's immortality,
A venerable thing! and so his song
Should make all nature lovelier, and itself
Be loved like nature! But 'twill not be so;
And youths and maidens most poetical,
Who lose the deepening twilights of the spring
In ball-rooms and hot theatres, they still,
Full of meek sympathy, must heave their sighs
O'er Philomela's pity-pleading strains.

My friend, and thou, our sister! we have learnt
A different lore: we may not thus profane
Nature's sweet voices, always full of love
And joyance! 'Tis the merry nightingale
That crowds, and hurries, and precipitates
With fast thick warble his delicious notes,
As he were fearful that an April night
Would be too short for him to utter forth
His love-chant, and disburthen his full soul
Of all its music!

And I know a grove
Of large extent, hard by a castle huge,

This passage in Milton possesses an excellence far superior to that of mere description. It is spoken in the character of the melancholy man, and has therefore a dramatic propriety. The author makes this remark, to rescue himself from the charge of having alluded with levity to a line in Milton; a charge than which none

+ Verbatim from Burns's dedication of his Poem to the could be more painful to him, except perhaps that of hay Nobility and Gentry of the Caledonian Hunt.

ing ridiculed his Bible.

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