« PrécédentContinuer »
Wild though the dwelling seem, thus | To which dark rocks a grateful coolness rising fair,
gave, A sudden stranger 'mid the sylvan scene, Such as might Hermit use in solitary cave! One spot of radiance on surrounding green, Human it is--and human souls are there! Look through that opening in the canvas And ne'er did Hermit, with a purer breast,
Amid the depths of sylvan silence pray, Through which by fits the scarce-felt Than prayed we friends on that mild quiet breezes play,
day, -Upon three happy souls thine eyes will fall. By God and man beloved, the day of rest! The summer lambs are not more blest than All passions in our souls were lull'd to sleep,
Ev'n by the power of Nature's holy bliss; On the green turf all motionless they lie, While Innocence her watch in peace did keep In dreams romantic as the dreams of sleep, Over the spirit's thoughtful happiness ! The filmy air slow-glimmering on their eye, We view'd the green earth with a loving And in their ear the murmur of the deep.
Happy in beauty and in innocence; Yes! dear to us that solitary trade, While, pleased our inward quiet to partake, 'Mid vernal peace in peacefulness pursued, Lay hush'd, as in a trance, the scarcelyThrough rocky glen, wild moor, and hang
breathing lake. ing wood, White - flowering meadow, and roinantic glade!
Yet think not, in this wild and fairy spot, The sweetest visions of our boyish years This mingled happiness of earth and heaven, Come to our spirits with a murmuring tone Which to our hearts this Sabbath-day was Of running waters,—and one stream appears,
given, Remember'd all, tree, willow, bank, and Think not, that far-off friends were quite stone!
forgot. How glad were we, when after sunny showers Helm-crag arose before our half-closed eyes Its voice came to us issuing from the school! With colours brighter than the brightening How fled the vacant, solitary hours,
dove; By dancing rivulet, or silent pool!
Beneath that guardian mount a cottage lies And still our souls retain in manhood's prime Encircled by the halo breathed from Love! The love of joys our childish years that and sweet that dwelling rests upon the brow
(Beneath its sycamore) of Orest-hill, So now encircled by these hills sublime, As if it smiled on Windermere below, We Anglers, wandering with a tranquil Her green recesses and her islands still!
Thus, gently-blended many a human thought Build in this happy vale a fairy-bower of With those that peace and solitude supplied,
Till in our hearts the moving kindness
With gradual influence, like a flowing tide, Within that bower are strewn in careless And for the lovely sound of human voice we
guise, Idle one day, the angler's simple gear; Lines that, as fine as floating gossamer, Dropt softly on the stream the silken Aies ; And hark! a laugh, with voices blended, The limber rod that shook its trembling
Across the water, echoing from the shore ! Almost as airy as the line it threw, And during pauses short the beating oar Yet often bending in an arch of strength Brings the glad music closer to the soul. When the tired salmon rose at last to view, We leave our tent; and lo! a lovely sight Now lightly leans across the rushy bed, Glides like a living creature through the air, On which at night we dream of sports by day; For air the water seems thụs passing bright, And empty now, beside it close is laid A living creature beautiful and fair! The goodly pannier framed of osiers gray; Nearer it glides; and now the radiant glow And maple bowl in which we wont to bring That on its radiant shadow seems to float, The limpid water from the morning-wave, Turns to a virgin-band, a glorions shew, Or from some mossy and sequester'd spring Rowing with happy smiles a little boat.
Towards the tent their lingering course they | And quick descended from thelr alry height.
Soon as the voice of simple song and prayer And cheerful now upon the shore they stand, Ceased in the little chapel of the dell, In maiden bashfulness, yet free from fear, The congregation did in peace repair And by our side, gay-moving hand in hand, To the lake-side, to view our wondrous cell. Into our tent they go, a beauteous sister-While leaving, for one noon, both young band !
and old, Their cluster'd hamlets in this deep recess,
All join the throng, in conscious good-will Scarce from our hearts had gone the sweet
Elate and smiling in their Sabbath-dress, Which this glad troop of rural maids awoke; A mingled various groupe of homely hapScarce had a more familiar kindness broke
And thus our tent a joyous scene became, Men, women, children, all the circle round, Where loving hearts from distant vales did And with a friendly joy the strangers viewd.
meet Strange was it to behold this gladsome crowd As at some rural festival, and greet late so solitary dwelling fill;
Each other with glad voice and kindly name. And strange to hear their greetings mingling Here a pleased daughter to her father smiled,
With fresh affection in her soften'd eyes; Where all before was undisturb’d and still. He in return look’d back upon his child Yet was the stir delightful to our ear, With gentle start and tone of mild surprise: And moved to happiness our inmost blood, And on his little grand-child, at her breast, The sudden change, the unexpected cheer, An old man's blessing and a kiss bestow'd, Breaking like sunshine on a pensive mood, Or to his cheek the lisping baby prest, This breath and voice of life in seeming Light'ning the mother of her darling load;
While comely matrons, all sedately ranged
eyed, I ween they soon were seated to their mind! And raised her head in all a mother's barmSome viewing with a hesitating look
less pride. The panniers that contained our travelling
fare, On them at last their humble station took, Happy were we among such happy hearts ! Pleased at the thought, and with a smiling And to inspire with kindliness and love
Our simple guests, ambitiously we strove, Some on our low-framed beds then chose With novel converse and endearing arts !
We talk'd to them, and much they loved to Each maid the youth that loved her best
Of those sweet vales from which we late had While many a gentle look, and whisper sweet,
come; Brought to the stripling's face a gladsome For though these vales are to each other
pride. The playful children on the velvet green, Seldom do dalesmen leave their own dear Soon as the first-felt bashfulness was fled,
home: Smiled to each other at the wondrous scene, Then would we speak of many a wondrous And whisper'd words they to each other said,
sight And raised in sportive fit the shining, golden Seen in great cities, – temple, tower, and head!
spire, And winding streets at night - fall blazing
bright Then did we learn that this our stranger- With many a star-like lamp of glimmering tent,
fire. Seen by the lake-side gleaming like a sail, The gray - haird men with deep attention Had quickly spread o'er mountain and o'er
Viewing the speaker with a solemn face, A gentle shock of pleased astonishment. While round our feet the playful children The lonely dwellers by the lofty rills
stirr'd, Gazed in surprise upon th’unwonted sight, And near their parents took their silent place. The wandering shepherds saw it from thc Listening with looks where wonder breathed hills,
a glowing grace.
And much they gazed with never-tired Though scholars all, and rich in lands and delight
gold. On varnish'd rod, with joints that shone We smiled to hear our praise thus rudely like gold,
sung, And silken line on glittering reel enroll’d, (Well might such praise our modesty offend) To infant-anglers most wondrous sight! Yet, we all strove, at once with eye and Scarce could their chiding parents then
To speak, as if invited by a friend, Their little hearts in harmless malice gay, And with our casual talk'instruction's voice But still one, bolder than his fellows, stole
to blend. To touch the tempting treasures where they
lay. What rapture glistened in their eager eyes,
Rumours of wars had reached this peaceWhen, with kind voice, we bade these
ful vale, children take And of the Wicked King, whom guilt hath A precious store of well-dissembled flies,
driven To use with caution for the strangers' sake! On earth to wage a warfare against Heaven, The unlook’d-for gift we graciously bestow These sinless shepherds had heard many a With sudden joy the leaping heart o'er
tale. powers ;
Encircled as we were with smiles and joy, They grasp the lines, while all their faces In quietness to Quiets dwelling brought,
To think of him whose bliss is to destroy, Bright as spring - blossoms after sunny At such a season was an awful thought!
We felt the eternal power of happiness And wear them in their hats like wreaths of And virtue's power; we felt with holy awe
valley-flowers! That in this world, in spite of chance-distress,
Such is the Almighty Spirit's ruling law.
And joyfully did we these shepherds tell Nor could they check their joyance and To hear all rumours with a tranquil mind,
For, in the end, that all would yet be well, When the clear crystal and the silver bowl Nor this bad Monarch leave one trace behind, Gleamed with a novel beauty on their soul, More than o'er yonder hills the idly-raving And the wine mantled with its rosy dies.
Then gravely smiled, in all the power of Our guests thus wondering at their native
A hoary-headed, venerable man, And oft we pledged them, nor could they Like the mild chieftain of a peaceful clan,
'Mid simple spirits looked on as a sage. The social cap we did our best to press, Much did he praise the holy faith we held, But mingled wishes with the joyful wine, Which God, he said, to cheer the soul had Warm wishes for our health and happiness.
given, And all the while a low delightful sound For even the very angels that rebelled, Of voice soft - answering voice with music By sin performed the blessed work of Heaven.
The Wicked King, of whom we justly spake, Our fairy-palace's enchanted ground, Was but an instrument in God's wise hand, Such tones as seem from blooming tree dis- And though the kingdoms of the earth might tillid,
quake, Where unseen bees repair their waxen cells Peace would revisit every ravaged land.
Even as the earthquake, in some former time,
Till years of winter's snow and summer's Lost as we were in that most blessed mood
prime, Which Nature's sons alone can deeply prove, To naked cliffs fresh verdure have supplied We lavish'd with free heart our kindest love Now troops of playful lambs are bounding On all who breath'd , -one common bro
on its side. therhood. Three faithful servants, men of low degree, Were with us,as we roamed the wilds among,
Pleased were the simple groupe to hear And well it pleased their simple hearts to sec
the sire Their masters mingling with the rural throng. Thus able to converse with men from far, Oft to our guests they sought to speak aside, and much did they of vaguely-rumour'd war, And, in the genial flow of gladness, told That long had raged in distant lands, inquire. That we were free from haughtiness or Scarce could their hearts, at peace with all pride,
Believe what bloody deeds on earth are done, Her eyes let fall, as wishing from the rest That man of woman born should be so blind To hide the sudden throb that beat within As walk in guilt beneath the blessed sun;
her breast. And one, with thoughtful countenance, ex
prest A fear lest on some dark disastrous day, Oh! not in vain have purest poets told, Across the sea might come that noisome pest, In elegies and hymns that ne'er shall die, And make fair England's happy vales his How, in the fields of famous Arcady,
Lived simple shepherds in the age of gold! Short lived that fear !—800n firmer thoughts They fabled not, in peopling rural shades
With all most beautiful in heart and frame; Well could these dalesmen wield the patriot's Where without guile swains woo'd their sword,
happy maids, And stretch the foe beneath the smiling And love was friendship with a gentler
skies; In innocence they trust, and in the Lord, Such songs in truth and nature had their Whom they, that very morn, in gladness
birth, had adored! Their source was lofty and their aim was
And still, in many a favour'd spot of earth, But soon such thoughts to lighter speech The virtues that awoke their voice endure!
Bear witness thou! 0, wild and beauteous Wc in our turn a willing ear did lend
dell, To tale of sports, that made them blythely To whom my gladden'd heart devotes this spend
strain ;, The winter-evening and the summer-day. 0! long may all who in thy bosom dwell Smiling they told us of the harmless glce Nature's primeval innocence retain, That bids the echoes of the mountains wake, Nor e'er may lawless foot thy sanctity When at the stated festival they see
profane! Their new-wash'd flocks come snow-white
from the lake; And joyful dance at neighbouring village-fair, Sweet Maids! my wandering heart returns Where lads and lasses, in their best attire,
to you; Go to enjoy that playful pastime rare, And well the blush of joy, the courteous air, And careful statesmen shepherds new to hire! Words unrestrained, and open looks declare Or they would tell, how, at some neigh- That fancy's day-dreams have not been unbour's cot,
true. When nights are long, and winter on the It was indeed a beauteous thing, to see
The virgin, while her bashful visage siniled, All cares are in the dance and song forgot, As if she were a mother on her knee And round the fire quick flies the circling Take up, with many a kiss, the asking child.
And well, I ween, she play'd the mother's When nuptial vows are pledged, or at an
A mystic joy seem'd stirring at her heart,
A yearning fondness, and a silent prayer. Well did the roses blooming on their Nor did such gentle maiden long refuse
To cheer our spirits with some favourite And eyes of laughing light, that glistend fair
strain, Beneath the artless ringlets of their hair, Some simple ballad, framed by rustic muse, Each maiden's health and purity bespeak. Of one who died for love, or, led by gain, Following the impulse of their simple will, Sail'd in a mighty ship to lands beyond the No thought bad they to give or take offence;
main. Glad were their bosoms, yet sedate and still, And fearless in the strength of innocence. Oft as, in accents mild, we strangers spoke And must we close this scene of merriment? To these sweet maidens, an unconscious smile Lo! in the lake soft burns the star of eve, Like sudden sunshine o'er their faces broke, And the night-hawk hath warn'd our guests And with it struggling blushes mix'd the
to leave, while.
Ere darker shades descend, our happy trat. And oft as mirth and glee went laughing The Moon's bright edge is seen above the round,
hill; Breath'd in this majden's ear some barm- She comes to light them on their homeward
way ; Would make her, for one moment, on the And every heart, I ween, now lies as still
As on yon fleecy cloud her new-born ray.
Kindly by young and old our hands are Our tent with laughter; from the hills they
press’d, And kindly we the gentle touch return; With friendly sound unto our listening ear, Each face declares that deep in every breast A jocund farewell to our glimmering home Peace, virtue, friendship, and affection burn. Loth are our guests, though they have At last beneath the silent air we part,
linger'd long, And promise make that shall not be in vain, That our sweet tent at last should leave their A promise asked and given warm from the
So with one voice they sing a parting-song, That we will visit all, on hill and plain, Ere they descend behind the clouds of night. If e’er it be our lot to see this land again! Nor are we mute; an answering shout we
At each short pause of the long, lengthening Backward they gazed, as slowly they
Till all is silent as the silent Lake, With step reluctant, from the water-side ; And every noise above, below, around, And oft, with waving hand, at distance tried Seems in the brooding night-sky's depth of Through the dim light to send a last adieu!
slumber drown'd! One lovely groupe still linger'd on the green, The first to come, the last to go away ; While steep'd in stillness of the moonlight- Soon from that calm our spirits start again
With blyther vigour; nought around we sec Moor'd to a rock their little pinnace lay. Save lively images of mirth and glee, These laughing damsels climb its humble And playful fancics hurry through our brain.
Shine not, sweet Moon! with such a haughty Like fairy-elves that love the starry sea;
light; Nor e'er did billows with more graceful glide Ye stars! behind your veil of clouds retire; Mid the wild main enjoy their liberty.
For we shall kindle on the earth, this night, Their faces brightening in triumphant hue, To drown your feeble rays, a joyous fire. Close to each maid their joyful lovers stand; Bring the leaves withering in the holly-shade, One gives the signal,—all the jovial crew The oaken branches sapless now and hoar, Let go, with tender press, the yielding hand; The fern no longer green, and whins that -Down drop the oars at once,-away they
fade push from land. 'Mid the thin sard that strews the rocky
Heap them above that new-awaken'd spark; The boat hath left the silent bank, the Soon shall a pyramid of flame arise; tone
Now the first rustling of the vapour, hark! of the retiring oar escapes the mind; The kindling spirit from its prison flies, Like mariners some ship hath left behind, And in an instant mounts in glory to the We feel, thus standing speechless and alone.
skies! One moment lives that melancholy tranceThe mountains ring; oh! what a joy is there!
Far gleams the Lake, as in the light of day, As hurries o’er their heights,in circling dance, Or when, from mountain-top, the setting sun, Cave-loving Echo, Daughter of the Air. Ere yet his earth-delighting course is run, Is it some spirit of night that wakes the Sheds on the slumbering wave a purple ray.
A bright'ning verdure runs o’er every field, As o’er the cliffs, with headlong speed, she As if by potent necromancer shed,
And a dark wood is suddenly reveal’d, ls it, on plain and steep, some fairy-rout A glory resting on its ancient head. Answering each other in tumultuons changes? And oh! what radiant beauty doth invest There seems amid the hills a playful war; Our tent that seems to feel a conscious pride, Trumpet and clarion join the mystic noise; Whiter by far than any cygnet's breast
, Now growing on the ear, now dying far! Or cygnet's shadow floating with the tide. Great Gabel from his summit sends à voice, A warmer flush unto the moonlight cold, And the remotest depths of Ennerdale rejoice! Winning its lovely way, is softly given,
A silvery radiance tinged with vivid gold;
While thousand mimic stars are gayly driven Oh! well I know what means this din of Through the bright glistening air, scarce mirth!
known from those in Heaven. No spirits are they, who, trooping through
the sky, In chorus swell that mountain-melody; Amid the flame our lurid figures stand,
It comes from inortal children of the earth! Or, through the shrouding vapour dimly These are the voices that so late did chear