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Which from my childhood to maturer years
Yet at times My soul is sad, that I have roamed through life 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: And boding evil yet still hoping good, Rebuked each fault, and over all my woes Sorrowed 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! Oh! '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 sequestered orchard-plot Sit on the tree crooked earth-ward ; whose old
boughs, That hang above us in an arborous roof, Stirred 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 gav’st thine ear To my wild firstling-lays. Since then my song Hath sounded deeper notes, such as beseem Or that sad wisdom folly leaves behind,
Or such as, tuned to these tumultuous times.
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!
FOR A FOUNTAIN ON A HEATH.
THIS Sycamore, oft musical with bees,
Such tents the Patriarchs loved! O long un.
cold waters to the traveller
may'st toil far and find no second tree.
Drink, Pilgrim, here ; Here rest! and if thy heart
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 His wild-wood fancy and impetuous zeal,) 'Tis true that, passionate for ancient truths, And honoring 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 with 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! But it is true, no less, that strenuous, firm, And with a natural gladness, he maintained The citadel unconquered, 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, Lurked undiscovered 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,
THIS LIME-TREE BOWER MY PRISON.
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 remembrance, even when age Had dimmed mine eyes to blindness! They, mean
The roaring dell, o'erwooded, narrow, deep,
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 hungered 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 !
Of long, lank weeds ] 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 naine of the ophinglossum only.