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II.

AN EVENING VOLUNTARY,
In youth we love the darksome lawn
Brush'd by the owlet's wing;

COMPOSED ON AN EVENING OF EXTRAORThen Twilight is preferr'd to Dawn,

DINARY SPLENDOUR AND BEAUTY. And Autumn to the Spring.

I. Sad fancies do we then affect,

HAD this effulgence disappear'd In luxury of disrespect

With flying haste, I might have sent, To our own prodigal excess

Among the speechless clouds, a look Of too familiar happiness.

Of blank astonishment; Lycoris, (if such name befit

But 'tis endued with power to stay, Thee, thee my life's celestial sign!)

And sanctify one closing day, When Nature marks the year's decline,

That frail Mortality may seeBe ours to welcome it;

What is ? - ah no, but what can be! Pleased with the harvest hope that runs

Time was when field and watery cove Before the path of milder suns;

With modulated echoes rang, Pleased while the sylvan world displays While choirs of fervent Angels sang Its ripeness to the feeding gaze;

Their vespers in the grove; Pleased when the sullen winds resound

Or, crowning, star-like, each some soverthe knell

eign height,

[low, Of the resplendent miracle.

Warbled, for Heaven above and Earth beIII.

Strains suitable to both. - Such holy rito, But something whispers to my heart

Methinks, if audibly repeated now That, as we downward tend,

From hill or valley, could not move Lycoris ! life requires an art

Sublimer transport, purer love, To which our souls must bend;

Than doth this silent spectacle--the gleam, A skill, to balance and supply;

The shadow, and the peace supreine! And, ere the flowing fount be dry,

II. As soon it must, a sense to sip,

No sound is utter'd, - but a deep Or drink, with no fastidious lip.

And solemn harmony pervades
Then welcome, above all, the Guest

The hollow vale from steep to steep,
Whose smiles, diffused o'er land and sea,
Seem to recal the Deity

And penetrates the glades.
Of youth into the breast:

Far-distant images draw nigh,

Callid forth by wondrous potency
May pensive Autumn ne'er present
A claim to her disparagement!

Of beamy radiance, that imbues
While blossoms and the budding spray

Whate'er it strikes, with gem-like hues! Inspire us in our own decay,

In vision exquisitely clear, Still, as we nearer draw to life's dark goal, IIerds range along the mountain side; Be hopeful Spring the favourite of the

And glistening antlers are descried;

And gilded flocks appear. -
Soul15

Thine is the tranquil hour, purpureal Eve! Lycoris, which — with some readers who But long as god-like wish, or hope divine; think mythology and classical allusion Informs my spirit, ne'er can I believe too far-fetched, and therefore more or less unnatural and affected — will tend to unrealize the sentiment that pervades these One day a stranger, having walked round verses. But surely one who has written the garden and grounds of Rydal Mount, so much in verse as I have done may be asked of one of the female servants, who allowed to retrace his steps in the regions happened to be at the door, permission to of fancy which delighted him in his boy- see her master's study. This,' said she, hood, when he first became acquainted leading him forward, is my master's libwith the Greek and Latin Poets. - Au- rary, where he keeps his books; but his thor's Notes.

study is out of doors,' After a long ab. 5 In his notes on this poem, the author sence from home, it has more than once has the following: “Nine tenths of my happened that some one of my cottage verses have been murmured out in the neighbours has said, “Well, there he is: open air. And here let me repeat what I we are glad to hear him booing about believe has already appeared in print: again."

That this magnificence is wholly thine! appears to shine, by miracle restored :
From worlds not quicken'd by the Sun My soul, though yet confined to Earth,
A portion of the gift is won; [spread Rejoices in a second birth! -
An intermingling of Heaven's pomp is 'Tis past, the visionary splendour fades;
On ground which British shepherds tread! And night approaches with her shades.?

And, if there be whom broken ties

THE SOMNAMBULIST. Aflict, or injuries assail,

List, ye who pass by Lyulph's Tower Yon hazy ridges to their eyes Present a glorious scale,

At eve; how softly then Climbing suffused with sunny air,

Doth Aira-force, that torrent hoarse,

Speak from the woody glen! To stop - no record hath told where!

Fit music for a solemn vale! And tempting Fancy to ascend,

And holier seems the ground
And with immortal Spirits blend! -

To him who catches on the gale
Wings at my shoulders seem to play;
But, rooted here, I stand and gaze

The spirit of a mournful tale,

Embodied in the sound.
On those bright steps that heaven-ward
Their practicable way.6– [raise Not far from that fair site whereon
Come forth, ye drooping old men, look

The Pleasure-house is rcard,
abroad,

[bound!

As story says, in antique days
And see to what fair countries ye are

A stern-brow'd house appear'd;
And if some traveller, weary of his road, Foil to a Jewel rich in light
Hath slept since noon-tide on the grassy

There set, and guarded well;
Ye Genii, to his covert speed; [ground, Cage for a Bird of plumage bright,
And wake him with such gentle heed

Sweet.voiced, nor wishing for a flight As may attune his soul to meet the dower

Beyond her native dell. Bestow'd on this transcendent hour!

To win this bright Bird from her cage, IV.

To make this Gem their own, Such hues from their celestial Urn

Came Barons bold, with store of gold, Were wont to stream before mine eye,

And Knights of high renown: Where'er it wander'd in the morn

But one She prized, and only one; Of blissful infancy.

Sir Eglamore was he:This glimpse of glory, why renew'd?

Full happy season, when was known, Nay, rather speak with gratitude;

Ye Dales and Hills! to you alone
For, if a vestige of thoso gleams

Their mutual loyalty; —
Survivedl, 'twas only in my dreams. [serve
Dread Power! whom peace and calmness Known chiefly, Airal to thy glen,
No less than Nature's threatening voice, Thy brook, and bowers of holly;
If aught unworthy be my choice,

Where Passiou caught what Nature From Thee if I would swerve;

That all but love is folly; (taught, 0, let Thy grace remind me of the light Where Fact with Fancy stoop'd to play; Full early lost, and fruitlessly deplored; Doubt came not, nor regret, Which, at this moment, on mywaking sight

7 In his Notes, the author tells us that 6 The multiplication of mountain-ridg- this poem was “felt and in a great meas. es, here described as a kind of Jacob's- ure composedl upon the little mount in Ladder, leading to Heaven, is produced front of our abode at Rydal.” - The last either by watery vapours, or sunny haze; stanza is fraught with allusions to the in the present instance by the latter cause. Poet's celebrated Ode on Immortality, which

- The author says that in these lines he is is given in a subsequent part of this vol. “under obligation to the exquisite picture ume. of Jacob's-Dream," by our American artist, 8 Lyulph's Tower is a pleasure-house Washington Allston. Wordsworth re situated upon the banks of Ullswater.gards Allston as “a man of genius,” and Force is used in the Lake District for uchun the two were warm friends.

ter-fall.

To trouble hours that wing'd their way, Like that pale Queen whose hands are As if through an immortal day

With fancied spots contending: (seen Whose Sun could never set.

But she is innocent of blood;

The Moon is not more pure But in old times Love dwelt not long That shines aloft, while through the wood Sequester'd with repose;

She thrids hor way, the sounding Flood Best throve the fire of chaste desire,

Her melancholy lure!
Fann'd by the breath of foes.
“A conquering lance is beauty's test, While 'mid the fern-brake sleeps the doe,
And proves the Lover true:"

And owls alone are waking,
So spake Sir Eglamore, and press'd In white array'd, glides on the Maid,
The drooping Emma to his breast,

The downward pathway taking,
And look'd a blind adieu.

That leads her to the torrent's side

And to a holly bower: They parted. — Well with him it fared

By whom on this still night descried ? Through wide-spread regions errant;

By whom in that lone place espied ?
A knight of proof in love's behoof,

By thee, Sir Eglamore!
The thirst of fame his warrant:
And She her happiness can build

A wandering Ghost, so thinks the Knight, On woman's quiet hours; [shield,

His coming step has thwarted, (vows, Though faint, compared with spear and

Beneath the boughs that heard their The solaco beads and masses yield, Within whose shade they parted. — And needlework and flowers.

Hush, hush, the busy Sleeper see!

Perplex'd her fingers seem, Yet blest was Emma when she heard

As if they from the holly tree Her Champion's praise recounted;

Green twigs would pluck, as rapidly Though brain wonld swim, and eyes grow

Flung from her to the stream.
And high her blushes mounted; [dim,
Or when a bold heroic lay

What means the Spectre? Why intent She warbled from full heart;

To violate the Tree, Delightful blossoms for the May

Thought Eglamore, by which I swore Of absence! but they will not stay,

Unfading constancy? Born only to depart.

Here am I, and to-morrow's Sun,

To her I left, shall prove Hope wanes with her, while lustre fills

That bliss is ne'er so surely won Whatever path he chooses;

As when a circuit has been run
As if his orb, that owns no curb,

Of valour, truth, and love.
Received the light hers loses.
He comes not back; an ampler space

So, from the spot whereon be stood,
Requires for nobler deeds;

He moved with stealthy pace; He ranges on from place to place,

And, drawing nigh, with his living eyo, Till of his doings is no trace,

He recognised the face; [small, But what her fancy breeds.

And whispers caught, and speeches His fame may spread, but in the past

Some to the green-leaved tree, Her spirit finds its centre;

Some mutter'd to the torrent-fall: Clear sight She has of what he was,

“Roar on, and bring him with thy call; And that would now content her.

I heard, and so may He!" “ Still is he my devoted Knight?” The tear in answer flows; (weight;

Soul-shatter'd was the Knight, nor knew Month falls on month with heavier

If Emma's Ghost it were, Day sickens round her, and the night

Or boding Shade, or if the Maid Is empty of repose.

Her very self stood there.

He touch'd; what follow'd who shall tell ? In sleep She sometimes walk'd abroad, The soft touch snapp'd the thread

Deep sighs with quick words blending,lor slumber; shrieking back she fell,

And the Stream whirl'd her down the dell Blithe Flora from her couch upstarts, Along its foaming bed.

For May is on the lawn. In plunged the Knight! When on firm

A quickening hope, a freshening glee,

Foreran th’expected Power, [tree, ground The rescued Maiden lay,

Whose first-drawn brcath, from bush and

Shakes off that pearly shower.1
Her eyes grew bright with blissful light,
Confusion pass'd away;

All Nature welcomes Her whose sway She heard, ere to the throne of grace

Tempers the year's extremes; Her faithful Spirit flew,

Who scattereth lustres o'er noon-day, His voice, - beheld his speaking face; Like morning's dewy gleams; And, dying, from his own embrace

While mellow warble, sprightly trill, She felt that he was true.

The tremulous heart excite; So he was reconciled to life:

And hums the balmy air to still
Brief words may speak the rest:

The balance of delight.
Within the dell he built a cell,
And there was Sorrow's guest;

Time was, blest Power! when youths and In hermit’s weeds repose he found,

At peep of dawn would rise, [maids From vain temptations free;

And wander forth, in forest glades Beside the torrent dwelling, - bound

Thy birth to solemnize. By one deep heart-controlling sound,

Though mute the song,

, -to grace the rite And awed to piety.

Untouch'd the hawthorn bough,

Thy Spirit triumphs o’er the slight;
Wild stream of Aira, hold thy course, Man changes, but not Thou!

Nor fear memorial lays, [shade,
Where clouds, that spread in solemn Thy feather'd Lieges bill and wings
Are edged with golden rays!

In love's disport employ;
Dear art thou to the light of heaven, Warm'd by thy influence, creeping things
Though minister of sorrow;

Awake to silent joy: Sweet is thy voice at pensive even; Queen art thou still for each gay plant And thou, in lovers' hearts forgiven, Where the slim wild deer roves; ? Shalt take thy place with Yarrow!! And served in depths where fishes haunt

[1833. Their own mysterious groves. ODE,

Cloud-piercing peak and trackless beath

Instinctive homage pay;
COMPOSED ON MAY MORNING.

Nor wants the dim-lit cave a wreath
WHILE from the purpling East departs To honour thee, sweet May!
The star that led the dawn,

Where cities fann'd by thy brisk airs

Behold a smokeless sky, 9 This delectable poem, so steeped in the purest grace of romance, shows what Their puniest flower-pot-nursling dares the author could do at the age of sixty. To open a bright eye. three. For the story of it, he had a slight hint, related in his notes as follows: “While we were making an excursion in 1 The meaning here is somewhat hid. this part of the Lake District, we heard den. The “freshening glee," I take it, is that Mr. Glover, the artist, while lodging a heavy dew or a rain, which impearled at Lyulph's Tower, had been disturbed “bush and tree” with drops of water. by a loud shriek, and upon rising he had The "expected Power”is May-Day dawn; learnt that it had come from a young and the first-drawn breath" is the breeze woman in the house who was in the habit which, started by the rising Sun, shakes of walking in her sleep. In that state she off those drops of dew or rain. had gone down stairs, and, while attempt. 2 The poet is here illustrating the ubi. ing to open the outer door, either from quitous virtue of May: her revivifying some difficulty or the effect of the cold efficacy penetrates the deepest and thick. stone upon her feet, had uttered the cry est forests, where the shyest and timidest which alarmed him. It seemed to us all animals seek to hide themselves.- Observe that this might serve as a hint for a poem,” how the clogged expression of this line, &c.— The persons here included under owing to the two spondees, “Slim wildi the pronoun we were Sir George Beau- deer roves," images the difficulty of mov. munt and Rogers the poct.

ing in a dense and tangled forest.

And if, on this thy natal morn,

The pole, from which thy name Hath not departed, stands forlorn

Of song and dance and game; Still from the village-green a vow

Aspires to thee addrest, Wherever peace is on the brow,

Or love within the breast.

Earth, sea, thy presence feel; nor less,

If yon ethereal blue
With its soft smile the truth express,

The heavens bave felt it too.
The inmost heart of man if glad

Partakes a livelier cheer;
And eyes that cannot but be sad

Let fall a brighten'd tear.

Yes! where Love nestles thou canst teach Since thy return, through days and weeks The soul to love the more;

Of hope that grew by stealth,
Hearts also shall thy lessons reach How many wan and faded cheeks
That never loved before.

Have kindled into health!
Stript is the haughty one of pride, The Old, by thee revived, have said,
The bashful freed from fear,

“ Another year is ours;” While rising, like the ocean-tide, And wayworn Wanderers, poorly fed, In flows the joyous year.

Have smiled upon thy flowers. Hush, feeble lyre! weak words refuse

Who tripping lisps a merry song The service to prolong:

Amid his playful peers? To yon exulting thrush the Muse

The tender Infant who was long Entrusts th' imperfect song;

A prisoner of fond fears; His voice shall chant, in accents clear,

But now, when every 'sharp-edged blast Throughout the live-long day

Is quiet in its sheath, Till the first silver star appear,

His Mother leaves him free to taste The sovereignty of May.3

Earth's sweetness in thy breath.

Thy help is with the weed that creeps TO MAY.

Along the humblest ground; THOUGH many suns have risen and set No cliff so bare but on its steeps

Since thou, blithe May, wert born, Thy favours may be found; And Bards, who hail'd thee, may forget But most on some peculiar nook Thy gifts, thy beauty scorn;

That our own hands have drest, There are who to a birthday strain Thou and thy train are proud to look, Confine not harp and voice,

And seem to love it best. But evermore throughout thy reign

And yet how pleased we wander forth Are grateful and rejoice!

When May is whispering, “Come! Delicious odours! music sweet,

Choose from the bowers of virgin earth Too sweet to pass away!

The happiest for your home; (spread O, for a deathless song to meet

Heaven's bounteous love through me is The soul's desire,-a lay

From sunshine, clouds, winds, waves, That, when a thousand years are told,

Drops on the mouldering turret's head, Should praise thee, genial Power!

And on your turf-clad graves!” Through summer heat, autumnal cold,

Such greeting heard, away with sighs And Winter's dreariest hour.

For lilies that must fade,

Or “the rathe primrose as it dies 3 This and the following poem originated in the lines, "How delicate the leafy

Forsaken" in the shade! 4 veil,” &c. – My daughter and I left Rydal Vernal fruitions and desires Mount upon a tour through our mountains Are linked in endless chase; with Mr. and Mrs. Carr in the month of May, 1826; and as we were going up the While, as one kinilly growth retires, vale of Newlands I was struck with the Another takes its place. appearance of the little chapel gleaming through the veil of half-opened leaves; and the feeling then conveyed to my mind 4 The quotation here made is from Mil. was expressed in the stanza referred to ton's Lycidas,--"Bring the rathe primrose above. - Author's Notes.

that forsaken dies." - Rathe is carly.

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