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In plunged the Knight!-when on firm ground
The rescued Maiden lay,
Her eyes grew bright with blissful light,
Confusion passed away ;
She heard, ere to the throne of grace
Her faithful Spirit flew,
His voice-beheld his speaking face;
And, dying, from his own embrace,
She felt that he was true.
So was he reconciled to life:
Brief words may speak the rest; Within the dell he built a cell,
And there was Sorrow's guest; In hermits' weeds repose
From vain temptations free;
Beside the torrent dwelling-bound
By one deep heart-controlling sound,
And awed to piety.
Wild stream of Aira, hold thy course,
Nor fear memorial lays,
Where clouds that spread in solemn shade,
Are edged with golden rays!
Dear art thou to the light of heaven,
Though minister of sorrow;
Sweet is thy voice at pensive even;
And thou, in lovers' hearts forgiven,
Shalt take thy piace with Yarrow !
Not in the mines beyond the western main,
You say, Cordelia, was the metal sought,
Which a fine skill, of Indian growth, has wrought
Into this flexible yet faithful Chain;
Nor is it silver of romantic Spain
But from our loved Helvellyn's depths was brought,
Our own domestic mountain. Thing and thought
Mix strangely; trifles light, and partly vain,
Can prop, as you have learnt, our nobler being :
Yes, Lady, while about your neck is wound
(Your casual glance oft meeting) this bright cord,
What witchery, for pure gifts of inward seeing,
Lurks in it, Memory's Helper, Fancy's Lord,
For precious tremblings in your bosom found !
Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes
To pace the ground, if path be there or none,
While a fair region round the traveller lies
Which he forbears again to look upon;
Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene,
The work of Fancy, or some happy tone
Of meditation, slipping in between
The beauty coming and the beauty gone.
If Thought and Love desert us, from that day
Let us break off all commerce with the Muse :
With Thought and Love companions of our way,
Whate'er the senses take or may refuse,
The Mind's internal heaven shall shed her dews
Of inspiration on the humblest lay.
POEMS OF SENTIMENT AND REFLECTION.
[This poem is a favorite among the Quakers, as I have learnt on
many occasions. It was composed in front of the house at Alfoxden, in the spring of 1798.]
• WHY, William, on that old grey stone,
Thus for the length of half a day,
Why, William, sit you thus alone,
And dream your time away ?
Where are your books ?—that light bequeathed
To Beings else forlorn and blind!
Up! up! and drink the spirit breathed
From dead men to their kind.
You look round on your Mother Earth,
As if she for no purpose
As if you were her first-born birth,
And none had lived before you!"
One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake, When life was sweet, I knew not why, To me my good friend Matthew spake, And thus I made reply:
“The eye—it cannot choose but see ;
We cannot bid the ear be still;
Our bodies feel, where'er they be,
Against or with our will.
Nor less I deem that there are Powers
Which of themselves our minds impress ;
That we can feed this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.
Think you, 'mid all this mighty sum
Of things for ever speaking,
That nothing of itself will come,
But we must still be seeking ?
- Then ask not wherefore, here, alone, Conversing as I may,
I sit upon this old grey stone,