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To our own prodigal excess
Of too familiar happiness.
Thee, thee my life's celestial sign!)
Pleased with the harvest hope that runs
Before the path of milder suns;
Pleased while the sylvan world displays
Its ripeness to the feeding gaze;
Pleased when the sullen winds resound the knell
Of the resplendent miracle.
But something whispers to my heart
That, as we downward tend,
Lycoris! life requires an art
To which our souls must bend;
Then welcome, above all, the Guest
Whose smiles, diffused o'er land and sea,
Seem to recal the Deity
Of youth into the breast:
May pensive Autumn ne'er present
A claim to her disparagement!
While blossoms and the budding spray
Still, as we nearer draw to life's dark goal,
Be hopeful Spring the favourite of the Soul!
TO THE SAME.
[THIS as well as the preceding and the two that follow were composed in front of Rydal Mount and during my walks in the neighbourhood. Nine-tenths of my verses have been murmured out in the open air: and here let me repeat what I believe has already appeared in print. One day a stranger having walked round the garden and grounds of Rydal Mount asked one of the female servants, who happened to be at the door, permission to see her master's study. "This," said she, leading him forward, "is my master's library where he keeps his books, but his study is out of doors." After a long absence from home it has more than once happened that some one of my cottage neighbours has said "Well, there he is; we are glad to hear him booing about again." Once more in excuse for so much egotism let me say, these notes are written for my familiar friends, and at their earnest request. Another time a gentleman whom James had conducted through the grounds asked him what kind of plants throve best there: after a little consideration he answered-"Laurels." "That is," said the stranger, "as it should be; don't you know that the laurel is the emblem of poetry, and that poets used on public occasions to be crowned with it." James stared when the question was first put, but was doubtless much pleased with the information.]
ENOUGH of climbing toil !—Ambition treads
Here, as 'mid busier scenes, ground steep and rough, Or slippery even to peril! and each step,
As we for most uncertain recompence
Mount toward the empire of the fickle clouds,
Unacceptable feelings of contempt,
With wonder mixed-that Man could e'er be tied,
And formal fellowship of petty things!
The umbrageous woods are left-how far beneath!
Mingling with night, such twilight to compose
Audible tears, from some invisible source
Drawn toward the centre whence those sighs creep forth
To awe the lightness of humanity:
Or, shutting up thyself within thyself,
There let me see thee sink into a mood
Of gentler thought, protracted till thine eye
Be calm as water when the winds are gone,
THE sylvan slopes with corn-clad fields
Like a fair sister of the sky,
Unruffled doth the blue lake lie,
The mountains looking on.
And, sooth to say, yon vocal grove,
By love untaught to ring,
For that from turbulence and heat
This, this is holy ;—while I hear
But list!-though winter storms be nigh,
For all his creatures; and in Him,
These choristers confide.
UPON THE SAME OCCASION.
DEPARTING summer hath assumed
No faint and hesitating trill,
Such tribute as to winter chill
The lonely redbreast pays!
Clear, loud, and lively is the din,