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He told of the magnolia, spread
High as a cloud, high over head;
The cypress and her spire;
Of flowers that with one scarlet gleam
Cover a hundred leagues, and seem
To set the hills on fire.

Through dream and vision did she sink,
Delighted all the while to think
That on those lonesome floods,
And green savannahs, she should share
His board with lawful joy, and bear
His name in the wild woods.

The Youth of green savannahs spake,
And many an endless, endless lake,
With all its fairy crowds
Of islands, that together lie
As quietly as spots of sky
Among the evening clouds.

But, as you have before been told,
This Stripling, sportive, gay, and bold,
And, with his dancing crest,
So beautiful, through sayage lands
Had roam'd about, with vagrant bands
Of Indians in the West.

“How pleasant,” then he said, “it were The wind, the tempest roaring high, A fisher or a hunter there,

The tumult of a tropic sky, In sunshine or in slade,

Might well be dangerous food To wander with an easy mind;

For him, a youth to whom was given And build a household fire, and find So much of Earth, so much of Heaven, A home in every glade!

And such impetuous blood.

What days and what bright years! Ah Whatever in those climes he found
Our life were life indeed, with thee [me! Irregular in sight or sound
So pass’d in quiet bliss;

Did to his mind impart
And all the while,” said he,“ to know A kindred impulse, seemed allied
That we were in a world of woe, To his own powers, and justified
On such an earth as this I"

The workings of his heart.

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And yet he with no feign'd delight Yet sometimes milder hours she knew,
Had woo'd the Maiden, day and night Nor wanted sun, nor rain, nor dew,
Had loved her, night and morn: Nor pastimes of the May:'
What could he less than love a Maid They all were with her in her cell;
Whose heart with so much nature play'd? And a clear brook with cheerful knell
So kind and so forlorn!

Did o'er the pebbles play.

Sometimes, most earnestly, he said, When Ruth three seasons thus had lain,
“O Ruth, I have been worse than dead; There came a respite to her pain;
False thoughts, thoughts bold and vain, She from her prison fled;
Encompass'd me on every side

But of the Vagrant none took thought; When I, in confidence and pride, And where it liked her best she sought Had cross'd th’ Atlantic main.

Her shelter and her bread.

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Meanwhile, as thus with him it fared, An innocent life, yet far astray!
They for the voyage were prepared, And Ruth will, long before her day,
And went to the sea-shore ;

Be broken down and old:
But, when they thither came, the Youth Sore aches she needs must have, but less
Deserted his poor Bride, and Ruth Of mind than body's wretchedness,
Could never find him more.

From damp, and rain, and cold.

God help thee, Ruth 1 - Such pains she If she is prest by want of food,
That she in half a year was mad, [had, She from her dwelling in the wood
And in a prison housed;

Repairs to a road-side;
And there, with many a doleful song And there she begs at one steep place
Made of wild words, her cup of wrong Where up and down with easy pace
She fearfully caroused.

The horsemen-travellers ride.

2 In this beautiful stanza, the author seemed to him that in the course and proexpresses the enthusiastic gladness with gress of this event allthe ancient holdings which he had himself hailed the French of oppression and wrong were to disapRevolution of 1789, which he confidently pear, and a golden age of universal peace regarded as the dawn of a new era of free to succeed. dom and happiness in the world. It

That oaten pipe of hers is mute,
Or thrown away; but with a fute
Her loneliness she cheers :
This flute, made of a hemlock stalk,
At evening in his homeward walk
The Quantock woodman hears.

For I have left my Father's roof,

In terror of the Czar.”
No answer did the Matron give,

No second look she cast,
But hung upon the Fugitive,

Embracing and embraced.

I, too, have pass'd her on the hills She led the Lady to a seat
Setting her little water-mills

Beside the glimmering fire,
By spouts and fountains wild;-

Bathed duteously her wayworn feet, Such small machinery had she turn'd Prevented 3 each desire: Ere she had wept, ere she had mourn'd, The cricket chirp’d, the house-dog dozed, A young and happy Child.

And on that simple bed,

Where she in childhood had reposed, Farewell I and when thy days are told, Now rests her weary head. Ill-fated Ruth, in hallow'd mould Thy corpse shall buried be;

When she, whose couch had been the sod, For thee a funeral bell shall ring,

Whose curtain, pine or thorn, And all the congregation sing

Had breathed a sigh of thanks to God, A Christian psalm for thee. [1799. Who comforts the forlorn;

While over her the Matron bent

Sleep seal'd her eyes, and stole
Feeling from limbs with travel spent,

And trouble from the soul.

Refresh'd, the Wanderer rose at morn,

And soon again was dight ENOUGH of rose-bud lips, and eyes In those unworthy vestments worn Like harebells bathed in dew;

Through long and perilous flight; Of cheek that with carnation vies, And “O beloved Nurse," she said, And veins of violet hue:

“My thanks with silent tears Earth wants not beauty that may scorn Have unto Heaven and you been paid : A likening to frail flowers;

Now listen to my fears!
Yea, to the stars, if they were born
For seasons and for hours.

Have you forgot” (and here she smiled)

“The babbling tlatteries Through Moscow's gates, with gold un- You lavish'd on me when a child

Stepp'd One at dead of night, [barrd, Disporting round your knees ? Whom such high beauty could not guard I was your lambkin, and your bird, From meditated blight;

Your star, your gem, your flower;
By stealth she pass'd, and fled as fast Light words, that were more lightly heard
As doth the hunted fawn,

In many a cloudless hour!
Nor stopp'd, till in the dappling East
Appear'd unwelcome dawn.

The blossom you so fondly praised

Is come to bitter fruit;
Seven days she lurk'd in brake and field, A mighty One upon me gazed;

Seven nights her course renew'd, I spurn'd his lawless suit,
Sustain'd by what her scrip might yield, And must be hidden from his wrath:
Or berries of the wood;

You, Foster-father dear,
At length in darkness travelling on, Will guide me in my forward path;
When lowly doors were shut,

I may not tarry here!
The haven of her hope she won,
Her Foster-mother's hut.

3 Prevented in the old sense of antici.

pated. The usage is frequent in Shake“To put your love to dangerous proof

speare, as also in the Bible and PrayerI come,” said she, “from far;


I cannot bring to utter woo

The bold good Man his labour sped Your proved fidelity.”

At nature's pure command; “Dear Child, sweet Mistress, say not so! Heart-soothed, and busy as a wren, For you we both would die.”

While, in a hollow nook,
“Nay, nay, I come with semblance feign'd She moulds her sight-eluding den
And cheek embrown'd by art;

Above a murmuring brook.
Yet, being inwardly unstain'd,
With courage will depart.”

His task accomplish'd to his mind,

The twain ere break of day “But whither would you, could you, flee ? Creep forth, and through the forest wind A poor Man's counsel take;

Their solitary way; The Holy Virgin gives to me

Few words they speak, nor dare to slack A thought for your dear sake:

Their pace from mile to mile, Rest, shielded by our Lady's grace,

Till they have cross'd the quaking marsh, And soon shall you be led

And reach'd the lonely Isle. Forth to a safe abiding-place,

The Sun above the pine-trees show'd Where never foot doth tread.”

A bright and cheerful face;
And Ina look'd for her abode,

The promised hiding-place:

She sought in vain, the Woodman smiled; PART I.

No threshold could be seen,

Nor roof, nor window; - all seem'd wild THE dwelling of this faithful pair

As it had ever been. In a straggling village stood,For One who breathed unquiet air Advancing, you might guess an hour, A dangerous neighbourhood;

The front with such nice care
But wide around lay forest ground Is mask'd, “if house it be 5 or bower,”
With thickets rough and blind;

But in they enter'd are:
And pine-trees made a heavy shade As shaggy as were wall and roof
Impervious to the wind.

With branches intertwined,

So smooth was all within, air-proof, And there, sequester'd from the sight, And delicately lined:

Was spread a treacherous swamp, On which the noonday Sun shed light

And hearth was there, and maple dish, As from a lonely lamp;

And cups in seemly rows,

And couch, all ready to a wish
And midway in th’ unsafe morass

For nurture or repose;
A single Island rose
Of firm dry ground, with healthful grass

And Heaven doth to her virtue grant Adorn'd, and shady boughs,

That here she may abide

In solitude, with every want The Woodman knew

By cautious love supplicd. for such the craft This Russian vassal plied

No queen, before a shouting crowd, That never fowler's gun, nor shaft

Led on in bridal state, Of archer, there was tried:

E'er struggled with a heart so proud, A sanctuary seem'd the spot

Entering her palace gate; From all intrusion free;

Rejoiced to bid the world farewell, And there he plann'd an artful Cot

No saintly anchoress For perfect secrecy.

E'er took possession of her cell

With deeper thankfulness.
With earnest pains uncheck'd by dread
Of Power's far-stretching hand,

5 Some obscurity here, perhaps; but the word if is construed with guess, and

is equivalent to whether; the sense thus 4 The meaning probably is, “Whither being, you might guess an hour whcther would you flee, if you could ?"

it be a house," &c.

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“Father of all, upon Thy care

Upon her Island desolate;
And mercy am I thrown;

And words, not breathed in vain,
Be Thou my safeguard !” such her prayer Might tell what intercourse she found,
When she was left alone,

Her silence to endear;

[ground Kneeling amid the wilderness

What birds she tamed, what flowers the When joy had pass'd away,

Sent forth, her peace to cheer.
And smiles, fond efforts of distress
To hide what they betray!

To one mute Presence, above all,

Her soothed affections clung, The prayer is heard, the Saints have seen, A picture on the cabin wall Diffused through form and face,

By Russian usage hung, Resolves devotedly serene;

The Mother-maid, whose countenance That monumental grace

bright Of Faith, which doth all passions tame

With love abridged the day;
That Reason should control;

And, cómmuned with by taper light,
And shows in the untrembling frame Chased spectral fears away.
A statue of the soul.

And, oft as either Guardian came,

The joy in that retreat

Might any common friendship shame,

So high their hearts would beat; 'Tis sung in ancient minstrelsy

And to the lone Recluse, whate'er That Phæbus wont to wear

They brought, each visiting The leaves of any pleasant tree

Was like the crowding of the year
Around his golden hair;

With a new burst of Spring.
Till Daphne, desperate with pursuit
Of his imperious love,

But, when she of her parents thought,
At her own prayer transform'd, took root, The pang was hard to bear;
A laurel in the grove.

And, if with all things not enwrought,

That trouble still is ncar. Then did the Penitent adorn

Before her flight she had not dared His brow with laurel green;

Their constancy to prove; And ’mid his bright locks never shorn

Too much th' heroic Daughter fear'd No meaner leaf was seen;

The weakness of their love. And poets sage, through every age,

About their temples wound [Gods, Dark is the past to them, and dark The bay ; and conquerors thank'd the

The future still must be, With laurel chaplets crown'd.

Till pitying Saints conduct her bark

Into a safer sea;
Into the mists of fabling Time
So far runs back the praise

Or gentle Nature close her eyes,

And set her Spirit free Of Beauty, that disdains to climb

From the altar of this sacrifice, Along forbidden ways;

In vestal purity. That scorns temptation; power defies

Where mutual love is not; And to the tomb for rescue flice

Yet, when above the forest glooms When life would be a blot.

The white swans southward passid,

High as the pitch of their swift plumes To this fair Votaress, a fate

Her fancy rode the blast; More mild doth Heaven ordain

And bore her toward the fields of France,

Her Father's native land,

To mingle in the rustic dance, 6 It may be well to note that bay and

The happiest of the band! laurel mean the same thing. Wordsworth probably had in mind a passage of The Facrie Queene, i. 1,9: “The laurell, meed of those beloved fields she oft of mightie conquerours and poets sage.” Had hcard her Father tell,

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