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* I took the oars : the Pilot's boy,
Who now doth crazy go,
Laugh'd loud and long, and all the while
His
eyes

went to and fro.
“Ha! ha!” quoth he, " full plain I see
The Devil knows how to row.”

• And now,

all in my own countree, I stood on the firm land ! The Hermit stepp'd forth from the boat, And scarcely he could stand. ““ O shrieve me, shrieve me, holy man!” The Hermit cross'd his brow, "Say quick," quoth he, “ I bid thee sayWhat manner of man art thou ?” • Forthwith this frame of mine was wrench'd With a woful agony, Which forced me to begin my tale ; And then it left me free.

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Since then, at an uncertain hour,
That agony returns :
And till my ghastly tale is told,
This heart within me burns.
'I pass, like night, from land to land ;
I have strange power of speech ;
That moment that his face I see,
I know the man that must hear me :
To him my

tale I teach.
-What loud uproar bursts from that door!
The wedding guests are there :
But in the garden-bower the bride
And bridesmaids singing are :
And hark the little vesper bell,
Which biddeth me to prayer !

O Wedding-Guest! this soul hath been
Alone on a wide, wide sea :
So lonely 'twas, that God Himself
Scarce seemed there to be.

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"O sweeter than the marriage-feast,
'Tis sweeter far to me,
To walk together to the kirk
With a goodly company -

6

To walk together to the kirk,
And all together pray,
While each to his great Father bends,
Old men, and babes, and loving friends,
And youths and maidens gay!

'-Farewell, farewell ! but this I tell
To thee, thou Wedding-Guest!
He prayeth well who loveth well
Both man and bird and beast.

'He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.'

-The Mariner, whose eye is bright,
Whose beard with age is hoar,
Is gone : and now the Wedding-Guest
Turn'd from the bridegroom's door.

He went like one that hath been stunn'd,
And is of sense forlorn :
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn.

Coleridge.

49

The Snare

I HEAR a sudden cry of pain !

There is a rabbit in a snare :
Now I hear the cry again,

But I cannot tell from where.

But I cannot tell from where

He is calling out for aid ;
Crying on the frighten'd air,

Making everything afraid.

Making everything afraid,

Wrinkling up his little face,
As he cries again for aid ;

And I cannot find the place !

And I cannot find the place

Where his paw is in the snare :
Little one! Oh, little one !
I am searching everywhere !

James Stephens

50 The Reverie of Poor Susan At the corner of Wood Street, when daylight appears, Hangs a Thrush that sings loud, it has sung for three

years :

Poor Susan has pass’d by the spot, and has heard
In the silence of morning the song of the Bird.

'Tis a note of enchantment; what ails her ? She sees
A mountain ascending, a vision of trees ;
Bright volumes of vapour through Lothbury glide,
And a river flows on through the vale of Cheapside.

Lothbury] oth pronounced as in both.

Green pastures she views in the midst of the dale, Down which she so often has tripp'd with her pail ; And a single small cottage, a nest like a dove's, The one only dwelling on earth that she loves.

She looks, and her heart is in heaven : but they fade,
The mist and the river, the hill and the shade :
The stream will not flow, and the hill will not rise,
And the colours have all pass'd away from her eyes !

Wordsworth, 1797.

51

A widow bird sate mourning for her love

Upon a wintry bough;
The frozen wind crept on above,

The freezing stream below.

There was no leaf upon the forest bare,

No flower upon the ground,
And little motion in the air
Except the mill-wheel's sound.

Shelley.

52*

The Recollection

I

We wander'd to the Pine Forest

That skirts the Ocean's foam,
The lightest wind was in its nest,

The tempest in its home.
The whispering waves were half asleep,

The clouds were gone to play,
And on the bosom of the deep

The smile of Heaven lay ;

It seem'd as if the hour were one

Sent from beyond the skies, Which scatter'd from above the sun

A light of Paradise.

II

We paused amid the pines that stood

The giants of the waste, Tortured by storms to shapes as rude

As serpents interlaced, And soothed by every azure breath

That under Heaven is blown,
To harmonies and hues beneath,

As tender as its own ;
Now all the tree-tops lay asleep,

Like green waves on the sea,
As still as in the silent deep

The ocean woods may be.

III

How calm it was !—the silence there

By such a chain was bound That even the busy woodpecker

Made stiller by her sound The inviolable quietness;

The breath of peace we drew With its soft motion made not less

The calm that round us grew. There seem'd from the remotest seat

Of the white mountain waste,
To the soft flower beneath our feet,

A magic circle traced,—
A spirit interfused around,

A thrilling, silent life,
To momentary peace it bound
Our mortal nature's strife

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