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VII.

WRITTEN IN GERMANY,

ON ONE OF THE COLDEST DAYS OF THE CENTURY.

[A BITTER winter it was when these verses were composed by the

side of my Sister, in our lodgings at a draper's house in the romantic imperial town of Goslar, on the edge of the Hartz Forest. In this town the German emperors of the Franconian line were accustomed to keep their court, and it retains vestiges of ancient splendour. So severe was the cold of this winter, that when we passed out of the parlour warmed by the stove, our cheeks were struck by the air as by cold iron. I slept in a room over a passage which was not ceiled. The people of the house used to say, rather unfeelingly, that they expected I should be frozen to death some night; but, with the protection of a pelisse lined with fur, and a dog's-skin bonnet, such as was worn by the peasants, I walked daily on the ramparts, or in a sort of public ground or garden, in which was a pond. Here, I had no companion but a kingfisher, a beautiful creature, that used to glance by me.

I consequently became much attached to it. During these walks I composed the poem that follows.] The Reader must be apprised, that the Stoves in North-Germany

generally have the impression of a galloping horse upon them, this being part of the Brunswick Arms.

A PLAGUE on your languages, German and Norse !
Let me have the song of the kettle;
And the tongs and the poker, instead of that horse
That gallops away with such fury and force
On this dreary dull plate of black metal.

See that Fly,—a disconsolate creature! perhaps
A child of the field or the grove;
And, sorrow for him! the dull treacherous heat
Has seduced the poor fool from his winter retreat,
And he creeps to the edge of my stove.

Alas! how he fumbles about the domains
Which this comfortless oven environ !
He cannot find out in what track he must crawl,
Now back to the tiles, then in search of the wall,
And now on the brink of the iron.

Stock-still there he stands like a traveller bemazed :
The best of his skill he has tried ;
His feelers, methinks, I can see him put forth
To the east and the west, to the south and the north

h; But he finds neither guide-post nor guide.

His spindles sink under him, foot, leg, and thigh!
His eyesight and hearing are lost;
Between life and death his blood freezes and thaws;
And his two pretty pinions of blue dusky gauze
Are glued to his sides by the frost,

No brother, no mate has he near him-while I
Can draw warmth from the cheek of my Love;
As blest and as glad, in this desolate gloom,
As if green summer grass were the floor of my room,
And woodbines were hanging above.

Yet, God is my witness, thou small helpless Thing !
Thy life I would gladly sustain
Till summer come up from the south, and with crowds
Of thy brethren a march thou should’st sound through

the clouds.
And back to the forests again!

a

VIII.

A POET'S EPITAPH.

Art thou a Statist in the van
Of public conflicts trained and bred ?
-First learn to love one living man;
Then may'st thou think upon the dead.
A Lawyer art thou ?—draw not nigh!
Go, carry to some fitter place
The keenness of that practised eye,
The hardness of that sallow face.
Art thou a Man of purple cheer ?
A rosy Man, right plump to see ?
Approach ; yet, Doctor, not too near,
This grave no cushion is for thee.
Or art thou one of gallant pride,
A Soldier and no man of chaff ?
Welcome !—but lay thy sword aside,
And lean upon a peasant's staff.
Physician art thou ? one, all eyes,
Philosopher! a fingering slave,
One that would

peep

and botanize
Upon his mother's grave ? ?
Wrapt closely in thy sensual fleece,
O turn aside,—and take, I pray,
That he below may rest in peace,
Thy ever-dwindling soul, away!

:

A Moralist perchance appears;
Led, Heaven knows how to this poor sod:
And he has neither eyes nor ears ;
Himself his world, and his own God;

One to whose smooth-rubbed soul can cling
Nor form, nor feeling, great or small;
A reasoning, self-sufficing thing,
An intellectual All-in-all!

Shut close the door; press down the latch;
Sleep in thy intellectual crust;
Nor lose ten tickings of thy watch
Near this unprofitable dust.

But who is He, with modest looks,
And clad in homely russet brown?
He murmurs near the running brooks
A music sweeter than their own.

He is retired as noontide dew,
Or fountain in a noon-day grove;
And you must love him, ere to you
He will seem worthy of your love.

The outward shows of sky and earth,
Of hill and valley, he has viewed ;
And impulses of deeper birth
Have come to him in solitude.

In common things that round us lie
Some random truths he can impart,-
The harvest of a quiet eye
That broods and sleeps on his own heart.

VOL. IV.

But he is weak; both Man and Boy,
Hath been an idler in the land;
Contented if he might enjoy
The things which others understand.

-Come hither in thy hour of strength;
Come, weak as is a breaking wave!
Here stretch thy body at full length;
Or build thy house upon

this

grave.

1799.

IX.

TO THE DAISY.

but one

[This and the other Poems addressed to the same flower were

composed at Town-end, Grasmere, during the earlier part of my residence there. I have been censured for the last line

-"thy function apostolical”—as being little less than profane. How could it be thought so ? The word is adopted with reference to its derivation, implying something sent on a mission; and assuredly this little flower, especially when the subject of verse, inay be regarded, in its humble degree, as administering both to moral and to spiritual purposes.]

BRIGHT Flower! whose home is everywhere,
Bold in maternal Nature's care,
And all the long year through the heir

Of joy or sorrow;
Methinks that there abides in thee
Some concord with humanity,
Given to no other flower I see

The forest thorough!

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