« ZurückWeiter »
Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
Thy memory be as a dwelling-place For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh, then,
If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief, Should be thy portion, with what
healing thoughts Of tender joy wilt thou remember
And these my exhortations! nor,
perchance, If I should be where I no more can
Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild
eyes these gleams Of past existence, wilt thou then
That on the banks of this delightful stream
We stood together; and that I, so long
A worshipper of Nature, hither came, Unwearied in that service: rather say With warmer love; oh, with far
deeper zeal Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then
That after many wanderings, many years
Of absence, these steep woods and
lofty cliffs, And this green pastoral landscape,
were to me More dear, both for themselves and
for thy sake.
[From The Excursion.]
THE PBOP OF FAITH.
One adequate support For the calamities of mortal life Exists — one only — an assured belief That the procession of our fate, however
Sad or disturbed, is ordered by a Being
Of infinite benevolence and power, Whose everlasting purposes embrace All accidents, converting them to good.
The darts of anguish fix not where the seat
Of suffering hath been thoroughly fortified
By acquiescence in the Will supreme, For time and for eternity— by faith, Faith absolute in God, including hope.
And the defence that lies in boundless love
Of His perfections; with habitual dread
Of aught unworthily conceived, endured
Impatiently, ill-done, or left undone To the dishonor of His holy name. Soul of our souls, and safeguard of
the world, Sustain, Thou only canst, the sick of
Restore their languid spirits, and recall
Their lost affections unto Thee and Thine!
[From The Excursion.]
UNDB VELOPED GENIus,
Oh, many are the poets that are sown
By Nature! men endowed with highest gifts — The vision, and the faculty divine — Yet wanting the accomplishment of verse
(Which in the docile season of their youth
It was denied them to acquire,
through lack Of culture and the inspiring aid of
Or haply by a temper too severe; Or a nice backwardness afraid of shame),
Nor, having e'er as life advanced,
By circumstance to take unto the height
The measure of themselves, these
favored beings. All but a scattered few, live out their
Husbanding that which they possess within,
And go to the grave unthought of.
Strongest minds Are often those of whom the noisy
world hears least.
[From The Excursion.]
Almost at the root Of that tall pine, the shadow of
whose bare And slender stem, while here I sit at
Oft stretches towards me, like a long
straight path Traced faintly in the greensward;
there beneath A plain blue stone, a gentle dalesman
From whom, in early childhood, was
withdrawn The precious gift of hearing. He
From year to year in loneliness of soul;
And this deep mountain valley was to him
Soundless, with all its streams. The
bird of dawn Did never rouse this cottager from
With startling summons; nor for his delight
The vernal cuckoo shouted; not for him
Murmured the laboring bee. When
stormy winds Were working the broad bosom of
Into a thousand thousand sparkling waves,
Rocking the trees, or driving cloud on cloud
Along the sharp edge of yon lofty crags,
The agitated seer e before his eye was silent as a picture: evermore Were all things silent, wheresoe'er
he moved; Yet, by the solace of his own pure
Upheld, he duteously pursued the round
Of rural labors; the steep mountainside
Ascended, with his staff and faithful dog;
The plough he guided, and the scythe
he swayed; And the ripe corn before his sickle
Among the jocund reapers. For himself,
All watchful and industrious as he was,
He wrought not; neither flock nor
field he owned; No wish for wealth had place within
his mind: Nor husband's love, nor father's hope
Though born a younger brother, need
was none That from the floor of his paternal
He should depart to plant himself anew;
And when, mature in manhood, he beheld
His parents laid in earth, no loss ensued
Of rights to him; but he remained
well pleased, By the pure bond of independent
An inmate of a second family,
Nor deem that his mild presence was a weight
That pressed upon his brother's
house, for books Were ready comrades whom he could
Of whose society the blameless man Was never satiate. Their familiar voice,
Even to old age, with unabated charm
Beguiled his leisure hours, refreshed
his thoughts; Beyond its natural elevation, raised His introverted spirit, and bestowed Upon his life an outward dignity Which all acknowledged. The dark
The stormy day, had each its own resource;
Song of the muses, sage historic tale,
To no perverse suspicion he gave way,
No languor, peevishness, nor vain
complaint: And they, who were about him, did
In reverence, or in courtesy; they prized
His gentle manners; and his peaceful smiles,
The gleams of his slow-varying countenance.
Were met with answering sympathy and love.
At length, when sixty years and
five were told, A slow disease insensibly consumed The powers of nature; and a few
short steps Of friends and kindred bore him
from his home (Yon cottage shaded by the woody
To the profounder stillness of the grave.
Nor was his funeral denied the grace Of many tears, virtuous and thoughtful grief;
Heart-sorrow rendered sweet by gratitude.
And now that monumental stone preserves
His name, and unambitiously relates How long, and by what kindly outward aids, And in what pure contentedness of mind,
The sad privation was by him endured.
And yon tall pine-tree, whose composing sound
Was wasted on the good man's living ear,
Hath now its own peculiar sanctity;
And, at the touch of every wandering breeze.
Murmurs, not idly, o'er his peaceful grave.
FROM "INTIMATIONS OF IMMORTALITY."
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life's star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar; Not in entire forgetfulness, And not in utter nakedness, But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home: Heaven lies about us in our infancy! Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing boy, But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy; The youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature's priest, And by the vision splendid Is on his way attended; At length the man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
O joy! that in our embers Is something that doth live, That Nature yet remembers What was so fugitive! The thought of our past years in me
doth breed Perpetual benedictions: not indeed For that which is most worthy to be blessed;
Delight and liberty, the simple creed Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things, Fallings from us, vanishings; Black misgivings of a creature Moving about in worlds not realized, High instincts, before which our
mortal nature Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised!
But for those first affections, Those shadowy recollections, Which, be they what they may, Are yet the fountain light of all our day,
Are yet a master light of all our seeing;
Uphold us — Cherish — and have power to make Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal silence: truths that
Which brought us hither;
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.
TO A YOUNG LADY,
WHO HAD BEEN REPROACHED FOR TAKING LONG WALKS IN THE COUNTRY.
Dear child of nature, let them rail!
— There is a nest in a green dale,
A harbor and a hold,
Where thou, a wife and friend, shalt
Thy own delightful days, and be
There, healthy as a shepherd-boy,
Shalt show us how divine a thing
Thy thoughts and feelings shall not die,
Nor leave thee when gray hairs are
I Wandered lonely as a cloud
When all at once I saw a crowd,
Continuous as the stars that shine
The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
For oft when on my couch I lie,
And dances with the daffodils.
Hail, Twilight, sovereign of one
peaceful hour! Not dull art thou as undiscerning
But studious only to remove from sight
Day's mutable distinctions. Ancient power!
Thus did the waters gleam, the mountains lower
To the rude Briton, when, in wolfskin vest
Here roving wild, he laid him down to rest
On the bare rock, or through a leafy bower
Looked ere his eyes were closed. By
him was seen The selfsame vision which we now
At thy meek bidding, shadowy power, brought forth;
These mighty barriers, and the gulf between;
The floods, — the stars; a spectacle as old
As the beginning of the heavens and earth!
TO SLEEP. A Flock of sheep that leisurely pass
One after one; the sound of rain, and bees
Murmuring; the fall of rivers, winds, and seas.
Smooth fields, white sheets of water,
and pure sky; I've thought of all by turns; and still
Sleepless; and soon the small bird's
Must hear, first uttered from my orchard trees;
And the first cuckoo's melancholy cry.
Even thus last night, and two nights
more, I lay, And could not win thee, Sleep! by
So do not let me wear to-night away: Without thee what is all the morning's wealth? Come, blessed barrier betwixt day and day,
Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!
She dwelt among the untrodden ways Beside the springs of Dove;
A maid whom there were none to
A violet by a mossy stone
— Fair as a star, when only one
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
TO A DISTANT FRIEND.
Why art thou silent! Is thy love a plant
Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air
Of absence withers what was once so fair?
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant?
Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant.
Bound to thy service with unceasing care —
The mind's least generous wish a
mendicant For nought but what thy happiness
Speak!—though this soft warm heart, once free to hold
A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,
Be left more desolate, more dreary cold