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Much did it taunt the humble Light

Man and Maidens wheel, They themselves make the reel, And their music's a prey which they seize; It plays not for them,-what matter? 'tis theirs; And if they had care, it has scattered their cares, While they dance, crying, “Long as ye please!”

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That now, when day was fled, and night
Hushed the dark earth, fast closing weary eyes,
A very reptile could presume
To show her taper in the gloom,
As if in rivalship with One
Who sate a ruler on his throne
Erected in the skies.

"Exalted Star!" the Worm replied,
"Abate this unbecoming pride,

Or with a less uneasy lustre shine;
Thou shrink'st as momently thy rays
Are mastered by the breathing haze;
While neither mist, nor thickest cloud
That shapes in heaven its murky shroud,
Hath power to injure mine.

But not for this do I aspire

To match the spark of local fire,

That at my will burns on the dewy lawn,
With thy acknowledged glories;-No!
Yet, thus upbraided, I may show
What favours do attend me here,
Till, like thyself, I disappear
Before the purple dawn."

When this in modest guise was said,
Across the welkin seemed to spread

A boding sound-for aught but sleep unfit!
Hills quaked, the rivers backward ran;
That Star, so proud of late, looked wan;
And reeled with visionary stir

In the blue depth, like Lucifer

Cast headlong to the pit!

Fire raged: and, when the spangled floor

Of ancient ether was no more,

New heavens succeeded, by the dream brought forth:
And all the happy Souls that rode
Transfigured through that fresh abode,
Had heretofore, in humble trust,
Shone meekly mid their native dust,
The Glow-worms of the earth!

This knowledge, from an Angel's voice
Proceeding, made the heart rejoice
Of Him who slept upon the open lea:
Waking at morn he murmured not;

A pregnant dream, within whose shadowy bounds And, till life's journey closed, the spot

He recognised the earth-born Star,

And That which glittered from afar;

And (strange to witness!) from the frame

Was to the Pilgrim's soul endeared,

Where by that dream he had been cheered Beneath the shady tree.

Of the ethereal Orb, there came

Intelligible sounds.

1818.

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Listen! you can scarcely hear!
Hither he his course is bending ;-
Now he leaves the lower ground,
And up the craggy hill ascending
Many a stop and stay he makes,
Many a breathing-fit he takes ;-
Steep the way and wearisome,

Yet all the while his whip is dumb!

The Horses have worked with right good-will,
And so have gained the top of the hill;
He was patient, they were strong,
And now they smoothly glide along,
Recovering breath, and pleased to win
The praises of mild Benjamin.

Heaven shield him from mishap and snare!
But why so early with this prayer?—

Is it for threatenings in the sky?
Or for some other danger nigh?
No; none is near him yet, though he
Be one of much infirmity;
For at the bottom of the brow,
Where once the DOVE and OLIVE-BOUGH
Offered a greeting of good ale

To all who entered Grasmere Vale;
And called on him who must depart
To leave it with a jovial heart;
There, where the DOVE and OLIVE-BOUGH
Once hung, a Poet harbours now,
A simple water-drinking Bard;
Why need our Hero then (though frail
His best resolves) be on his guard?
He marches by, secure and bold;
Yet while he thinks on times of old,
It seems that all looks wondrous cold;
He shrugs his shoulders, shakes his head,
And, for the honest folk within,
It is a doubt with Benjamin
Whether they be alive or dead!

Here is no danger,-none at all!
Beyond his wish he walks secure;
But pass a mile-and then for trial,-
Then for the pride of self-denial;
If he resist that tempting door,
Which with such friendly voice will call;
If he resist those casement panes,

And that bright gleam which thence will fall
Upon his Leaders' bells and manes,
Inviting him with cheerful lure:
For still, though all be dark elsewhere,
Some shining notice will be there,

Of open house and ready fare.

The place to Benjamin right well Is known, and by as strong a spell As used to be that sign of love And hope the OLIVE-BOUGH and Dove; He knows it to his cost, good Man! Who does not know the famous SWAN? Object uncouth! and yet our boast, For it was painted by the Host; His own conceit the figure planned, "Twas coloured all by his own hand; And that frail Child of thirsty clay, Of whom I sing this rustic lay, Could tell with self-dissatisfaction Quaint stories of the bird's attraction! ❤

Well! that is past-and in despite
Of open door and shining light.
And now the conqueror essays
The long ascent of Dunmail-raise;
And with his team is gentle here
As when he clomb from Rydal Mere;
His whip they do not dread-his voice
They only hear it to rejoice.

To stand or go is at their pleasure;
Their efforts and their time they measure
By generous pride within the breast;
And, while they strain, and while they rest,
He thus pursues his thoughts at leisure.

Now am I fairly safe to-night-
And with proud cause my heart is light:
I trespassed lately worse than ever—
But Heaven has blest a good endeavour;
And, to my soul's content, I find
The evil One is left behind.
Yes, let my master fume and fret,
Here am I-with my horses yet!
My jolly team, he finds that ye
Will work for nobody but me!
Full proof of this the Country gained;
It knows how ye were vexed and strained,
And forced unworthy stripes to bear,
When trusted to another's care.
Here was it on this rugged slope,
Which now ye climb with heart and hope,

I saw you, between rage and fear,
Plunge, and fling back a spiteful ear,
And ever more and more confused,
As ye were more and more abused:
As chance would have it, passing by
I saw you in that jeopardy :

*This rude piece of self-taught art (such is the progress of refinement) has been supplanted by a professional production.

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A word from me was like a charm ;
Ye pulled together with one mind;
And your huge burthen, safe from harm,
Moved like a vessel in the wind!
—Yes, without me, up hills so high
'Tis vain to strive for mastery.

Then grieve not, jolly team! though tough
The road we travel, steep, and rough;
Though Rydal-heights and Dunmail-raise,
And all their fellow banks and braes,

Full often make you stretch and strain,
And halt for breath and halt again,
Yet to their sturdiness 'tis owing
That side by side we still are going!

While Benjamin in earnest mood
His meditations thus pursued,

A storm, which had been smothered long,
Was growing inwardly more strong;
And, in its struggles to get free,
Was busily employed as he.

The thunder had begun to growl—

He heard not, too intent of soul;
The air was now without a breath-
He marked not that 'twas still as death.
But soon large rain-drops on his head
Fell with the weight of drops of lead ;—
He starts and takes, at the admonition,
A sage survey of his condition.

The road is black before his eyes,
Glimmering faintly where it lies;
Black is the sky—and every hill,
Up to the sky, is blacker still—
Sky, hill, and dale, one dismal room,
Hung round and overhung with gloom;
Save that above a single height
Is to be seen a lurid light,
Above Helm-crag—a streak half dead,
A burning of portentous red;
And near that lurid light, full well
The ASTROLOGER, sage Sidrophel,
Where at his desk and book he sits,
Puzzling aloft his curious wits;
He whose domain is held in common
With no one but the ANCIENT WOMAN,
Cowering beside her rifted cell,

As if intent on magic spell ;

Dread pair, that, spite of wind and weather, Still sit upon Helm-crag together!

A mountain of Grasmere, the broken summit of which presents two figures, full as distinctly shaped as that of the famous Cobbler near Arroquhar in Scotland.

The ASTROLOGER was not unseen By solitary Benjamin;

But total darkness came anon,

And he and every thing was gone:

And suddenly a ruffling breeze,

(That would have rocked the sounding trees

Had aught of sylvan growth been there)
Swept through the Hollow long and bare:
The rain rushed down-the road was battered,
As with the force of billows shattered;
The horses are dismayed, nor know
Whether they should stand or go;

And Benjamin is groping near them,

Sees nothing, and can scarcely hear them.

He is astounded,-wonder not,
With such a charge in such a spot;
Astounded in the mountain gap
With thunder-peals, clap after clap,
Close-treading on the silent flashes—
And somewhere, as he thinks, by crashes
Among the rocks; with weight of rain,
And sullen motions long and slow,

That to a dreary distance go

Till, breaking in upon the dying strain,

A rending o'er his head begins the fray again.

Meanwhile, uncertain what to do, And oftentimes compelled to halt, The horses cautiously pursue

Their way, without mishap or fault;

And now have reached that pile of stones,
Heaped over brave King Dunmail's bones;
He who had once supreme command,
Last king of rocky Cumberland;
His bones, and those of all his Power,
Slain here in a disastrous hour!

When, passing through this narrow strait, Stony, and dark, and desolate,

Benjamin can faintly hear

A voice that comes from some one near,
A female voice:-"Whoe'er you be,
Stop," it exclaimed, "and pity me!"
And, less in pity than in wonder,
Amid the darkness and the thunder,
The Waggoner, with prompt command,
Summons his horses to a stand.

While, with increasing agitation, The Woman urged her supplication, In rueful words, with sobs betweenThe voice of tears that fell unseen; There came a flash--a startling glare, And all Seat-Sandal was laid bare!

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