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1. Of truth profound a sweet continuous lay,
Not learnt, but native, her own natural notes !
That way no more! and ill beseems it me,
Nor do thou, Sage Bard! impair the memory of that hour Of thy communion with my nobler mind By pity or grief, already felt too long ! Nor let my words import more blame than needs. The tumult rose and ceased ; 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
Eve following eve, Dear tranquil time, when the sweet sense of Home Is sweetest! moments for their own sake hailed And more desired, more precious for thy song, In silence listening, like a devout child, My soul lay passive, by thy various strain Driven as in surges now beneath the stars, With momentary stars of my own birth, Fair constellated foam,* still darting off 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 ?) Absorbed, yet hanging still upon the soundAnd when I rose, I found myself in prayer.
* " A beautiful white cloud of fuam at momentary intervals coursed by the side of the vessel with a roar, and little stars of flame danced and sparkled and went out in it; and every now and then light detachments of this white cloud-like foam darted off from the vessel's side, each with its own small constellation, over the sea, and scoured out of sight like a Tartar troop over a wilderness.”—Biographia Literaria, p. 197
A CONVERSATION POEM.
No cloud, no relique 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! Oh! idle thought ! In nature there is nothing melancholy. But some night-wandering man whose heart was
pierced With the remembrance of a grievous wrong, Or slow distemper, or neglected love, (And so, poor wretch ! filled all things with him
“ Most musical, most melancholy." 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 matic propriety. he author makes this remark, to rescue himself from the charge of having alluded with levity, to a line in Milton.
And many a poet echoes the conceit:
My Friend, and thou, our Sister! we have learnt
And I know a grove Of large extent, hard by a castle huge, Which the great lord inhabits not; and so This grove is wild with tangling underwood, And the trim walks are broken up, and grass, Thin grass and king-cups grow within the paths.
But never elsewhere in one place I knew
your eyes, you might almost
full, Glistening, while many a glow-worm in the shade Lights up her love-torch.
A most gentle Maid,