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On earth was never sown;
This child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A lady of my own.
Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
The girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.
She shall be sportive as the fawn,
That, wild with glee, across the lawn,
the mountain springs;
And hers shall be the breathing balm,
And hers.the silence and the calm
Of mute, insensate things.
The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend;
Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the storm
Grace that shall mould the maiden's form
By silent sympathy.
The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty, born of murmuring sound,
Shall pass into her face.
And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell ;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give,
While she and I together live,
Here in this happy dell.”
Thus Nature spake : the work was done :
How soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers :
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!!
This sea, that bares her bosom to the moon;
The winds, that will be howling at all hours,
And are upgather'd now like sleeping flowers :
For this, for everything, we are out of tune :
It moves us not. Great God! I'd rather be
suckled in a creed outworn,
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn ;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea,
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn.
WINGS have we; and, as far as we can go,
We may find pleasure: wilderness and wood,
Blank ocean and mere sky, support that mood
Which, with the lofty, sanctifies the low.
Dreams, books, are each a world; and books, we
Are a substantial world, both pure and good :
Round these, with tendrils strong as flesh and blood,
Our pastime and our happiness will grow.
There find I personal themes, a plenteous store,
Matter wherein right voluble I am,
To which I listen with a ready ear;
Two shall be named pre-eminently dear-
The gentle lady married to the Moor,
And heavenly Una with her milk-white Lamb.
Nor can I not believe but that hereby
Great gains are mine; for thus I live remote
From evil speaking ; rancour, never sought,
Comes to me not; malignant truth, or lie.
Hence have I genial seasons, hence have I
Smooth passions, smooth discourse, and joyous
And thus, from day to day, my little boat
Rocks in its harbour, lodging peaceably.
Blessings be with them, and eternal praise,
Who gave us nobler loves and nobler cares :
The poets, who on earth have made us heirs
Of truth and pure delight by heavenly lays !
Oh! might my name be number'd among theirs,
Then gladly would I end my mortal days.
SONNET COMPOSED UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE, SEPT. 3, 1803
Earth has not anything to show more fair :
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty!
This city now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning ; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will :
Dear God? the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still !
SWEET Highland girl, a very shower
Of beauty is thy earthly dower!
Twice seven con
onsenting years have shed
Their utmost bounty on thy head :
And these gray rocks, this household lawn,
These trees, a veil just half withdrawn ;
This fall of water, that doth make
A murmur near the silent lake;
This little bay, a quiet road
That holds in shelter thy abode;
In truth, together do ye seem
Like something fashion'd in a dream;
Such forms as from their covert peep
When earthly cares are laid asleep!
Yet, dream and vision as thou art,
I bless thee with a human heart:
God shield thee to thy latest years !
I neither know thee nor thy peers,
And yet my eyes are filled with tears.
With earnest feeling I shall pray
For thee when I am far away :
For never saw I mien or face
In which more plainly I could trace
Benignity and homebred sense
Ripening in perfect innocence.
Here, scatter'd like a random seed,
Remote from mén, thou dost not need
The embarrass'd look of shy distress,
And maidenfy shamefacedness :
Thou wear'sť upon thy forehead clear
The freedom of a mountaineer:
A face with gladness overspread!
Soft smiles, by human kindness bred!
And seemliness complete, that sways:
Thy courtesies, about thee plays ;
With no restraint but such as springs
From quick and eager visitings
Of thoughts that lie beyond the reach
Of thy few words of English speech :
A bondage sweetly brook'd, a strife
That gives thy gestures grace and life!
So have I, not unmoved in mind,
Seen birds of tempest-loving kind,
Thus beating up against the wind.
What hand but would a garland cull
For thee, who art so beautiful ?
Oh happy pleasure! here to dwell
Beside thee in some heathy dell;
Adopt your homely ways, and dress,
A shepherd, thou a shepherdess !
But I could frame a wish for thee
More like a grave reality :
Thou art to me but as a wave
Of the wild sea : and I would have
Some claim upon thee, if I could,
Though but of common neighbourhood.
What joy to hear thee, and to see !
Thy elder brother I would be,
Thy father, anything to thee!
Now thanks to Heaven! that of its grace
Hath led me to this lonely place.
Joy have I had ; and, going hence,
I bear away my recompense.
In spots like these it is we prize
Our memory, feel that she hath eyes :
Then why should I be loath to stir ?
I feel this place was made for her ;
To give new pleasure like the past,
Continued long as life shall last.
Nor am I loath, though pleased at heart,
Sweet Highland girl! from thee to part;
For I, methinks, till I grow old,
As fair before me shall behold,
As I do now, the cabin small,
The lake, the bay, the waterfall,
And thee, the spirit of them all!