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Yet, would that thou, with me and mine,
Hadst heard this never-failing rite;
And seen on other faces shine

A true revival of the light

Which Nature and these rustic powers,

In simple childhood, spread through ours!

For pleasure hath not ceased to wait
On these expected annual rounds;
Whether the rich man's sumptuous gate
Call forth the unelaborate sounds,
Or they are offered at the door
That guards the lowliest of the poor.

How touching, when, at midnight, sweep
Snow-muffled winds, and all is dark,
To hear, and sink again to sleep!
Or, at an earlier call, to mark,
By blazing fire, the still suspense
Of self-complacent innocence;

The mutual nod, the grave disguise

Of hearts with gladness brimming o'er ;
And some unbidden tears that rise

For names once heard, and heard no more;
Tears brightened by the serenade

For infant in the cradle laid.

Ah! not for emerald fields alone,

With ambient streams more pure and bright Than fabled Cytherea's zone

Glittering before the thunderer's sight,

Is to my heart of hearts endeared

The ground where we were born and reared!

Hail, ancient manners! sure defence,
Where they survive, of wholesome laws;
Remnants of love whose modest sense
Thus into narrow room withdraws;
Hail, usages of pristine mould,

And ye that guard them, mountains old!

Bear with me, brother! quench the thought
That slights this passion, or condemns ;
If thee fond Fancy ever brought
From the proud margin of the Thames,
And Lambeth's venerable towers,

To humbler streams, and greener bowers.

Yes, they can make, who fail to find,
Short leisure even in busiest days;
Moments, to cast a look behind,
And profit by those kindly rays

That through the clouds do sometimes steal,
And all the far-off past reveal.

Hence, while the imperial city's din
Beats frequent on thy satiate ear,
A pleased attention I may win
To agitations less severe,

That neither overwhelm nor cloy,

But fill the hollow vale with joy!



NOT envying Latian shades, if yet they throw
A grateful coolness round that crystal spring,
Bandusia, prattling as when long ago

The Sabine bard was moved her praise to sing;
Careless of flowers that in perennial blow

Round the moist marsh of Persian fountains cling;
Heedless of Alpine torrents thundering

Through ice-built arches radiant as heaven's bow;
I seek the birthplace of a native stream.

All hail, ye mountains! hail, thou morning light!
Better to breathe at large on this clear height
Than toil in needless sleep from dream to dream :
Pure flow the verse, pure, vigorous, free, and bright,
For Duddon, long-loved Duddon, is my theme!


CHILD of the clouds! remote from every taint
Of sordid industry thy lot is cast;

Thine are the honours of the lofty waste;
Not seldom, when with heat the valleys faint,

Thy handmaid frost with spangled tissue quaint
Thy cradle decks; to chant thy birth, thou hast
No meaner poet than the whistling blast,
And desolation is thy patron-saint!

She guards thee, ruthless power! who would not spare
Those mighty forests, once the bison's screen,
Where stalked the huge deer to his shaggy lair1
Through paths and alleys roofed with sombre green;
Thousands of years before the silent air

Was pierced by whizzing shaft of hunter keen!


How shall I paint thee?-Be this naked stone
My seat, while I give way to such intent;
Pleased could my verse, a speaking monument,
Make to the eyes of men thy features known.
But as of all those tripping lambs not one
Outruns his fellows, so hath Nature lent
To thy beginning nought that doth present
Peculiar ground for hope to build upon.
To dignify the spot that gives thee birth
No sign of hoar antiquity's esteem
Appears, and none of modern fortune's care;
Yet thou thyself hast round thee shed a gleam
Of brilliant moss, instinct with freshness rare;
Prompt offering to thy foster-mother, earth!


TAKE, cradled nursling of the mountain, take
This parting glance, no negligent adieu!

A Protean change seems wrought while I pursue
The curves, a loosely-scattered chain doth make;

1 The deer alluded to is the Leigh, a gigantic species long since


Or rather thou appear'st a glistering snake,
Silent, and to the gazer's eye untrue,

Thridding with sinuous lapse the rushes, through
Dwarf willows gliding, and by ferny brake.
Starts from a dizzy steep the undaunted rill
Robed instantly in garb of snow-white foam ;
And laughing dares the adventurer, who hath clomb
So high, a rival purpose to fulfil ;

Else let the dastard backward wend, and roam,
Seeking less bold achievement, where he will!


SOLE listener, Duddon! to the breeze that played
With thy clear voice, I caught the fitful sound
Wafted o'er sullen moss and craggy mound-
Unfruitful solitudes, that seemed to upbraid
The sun in heaven! but now, to form a shade
For thee, green alders have together wound
Their foliage; ashes flung their arms around;
And birch-trees risen in silver colonnade.
And thou hast also tempted here to rise,
'Mid sheltering pines, this cottage rude and grey;
Whose ruddy children, by the mother's eyes
Carelessly watched, sport through the summer day,
Thy pleased associates: light as endless May
On infant bosoms lonely Nature lies.


ERE yet our course was graced with social trees
It lacked not old remains of hawthorn bowers,
Where small birds warbled to their paramours;
And, earlier still, was heard the hum of bees;

I saw them ply their harmless robberies,

And caught the fragrance which the sundry flowers,
Fed by the stream with soft perpetual showers,
Plenteously yielded to the vagrant breeze.

There bloomed the strawberry of the wilderness;
The trembling eyebright showed her sapphire blue
The thyme her purple, like the blush of even;
And if the breath of some to no caress

Invited, forth they peeped so fair to view,
All kinds alike seemed favourites of Heaven.


“CHANGE me, some God, into that breathing rose!'
The love-sick stripling fancifully sighs,
The envied flower beholding, as it lies
On Laura's breast, in exquisite repose;
Or he would pass into her bird, that throws
The darts of song from out its wiry cage;
Enraptured, could he for himself engage
The thousandth part of what the nymph bestows;
And what the little careless innocent

Ungraciously receives. Too daring choice!
There are whose calmer mind it would content
To be an unculled floweret of the glen,

Fearless of plough and scythe; or darkling wren
That tunes on Duddon's banks her slender voice.


WHAT aspect bore the man who roved or fled,
First of his tribe, to this dark dale-who first
In this pellucid current slaked his thirst?

What hopes came with him? what designs were spread

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