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---On the slope of a mountain I stood, While the Joy that precedes the calm season
Rang loud through the meadow.and wood.
" And must we then part from a dwelling so:
fair?" In the pain of iny spirit I said; And with a deep sadness I turned, to repair
To the cell where the convict is laid..
The thick ribbed walls that o'ershadow the gate
Resound; and the dungeons unfold: I pause; and at length, through the glimmer
ing grate, That Outcast of Pity behold.
His black matted head on his shoulder is bent,
And deep is the sigh of his breath, And with stedfast dejection his eyes are intent
On the fetters that link him to death.
Tis sorrow enough on that visage to gaze,
That body dismiss'd from his care; Yet my fancy has pierc'J to his heart, and
pourtrays More terrible images there.
His bones are consumed, and his life-blood is
dried With wishes the past to undo; And his.crime, thro' the pains that o'erwhelm.
him, descried, Still blackens and grows on his view.
When from the dark synod; or blood-reeking
field, To his chamber the Monarch is led, All soothers of sense their soft virtue shall yield;
And quietness pillow his head.
But if grief, self-consumed, in oblivion would
doze, And Conscience her tortures appease, Mid tumult and uproar this man must repose
In the comfortless vault of disease!
When his fetters at night have so press’d on
his limbs, That the weight can no longer be borne, If, while a half-slumber his memory bedims,
The wretch on his pallet should turn,...
While the jail mastiff howls at the dull clank
ing chain, From the roots of his hair there shall start A thousand sharp punctures of cold-sweating
pain, And terror shall leap at his heart.
But now he half-raises his deep-sunken eye,
And the motion unsettles a tear;
And asks of me, why I am here?
Poor victim! no idle intruder has stood - With o'erweening complacence our state
to compare; “ But one, whose first wish is the wish to be
good, “ Is come as a Brother thy sorrows to share.
“ At thy name though compassion her nature
resign, Though in virtuels proud mouth thy re
port be a stain, My care, if the arm of the mighty were
mine, “ Would plant thee where yet thou might'st
Written a few miles above TINTERN AB
BEY, on revisiting the BANKS OF THE WYE during a Tour; July 13, 1798.
Five years have passed; five summers, with
the length Of five long winters! and again I hear These waters, rolling from their mountain
springs With a sweet înland murmur. *-Once again Do I behold these 'steep and lofty cliffs, Which on a wild secluded scene impress Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect The landscape with the quiet of the sky. The day is come when I again repose Here, under this dark sycamore, and view These plots of cottage-ground, these orchardWhich, at this season, with their unripe fruits, Among the woods and copses lose themselves, Nor, with their green and simple hue, disturb The wild green landscape. Once again I see These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little
* The river is not affected by the tides a few miles above Tintern.
lines Of sportive wood run wild, these pastoral farms Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke Sent up, in silence, from among the trees, With some uncertain notice, as might seem, Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods, Or of some hermit’s cave, where by his fire. The hermit sits alone.
Though absent long, These forms of beauty have not been to me As is a landscape to a blind man's eye: But oft, in lonely rooms, and mid the din Of towns and cities, I have owed to them, In hours of weariness, sensations sweet, Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart, And passing even into my purer mind With tranquil restoration : Feelings too Of unremembered pleasure; such, perhaps, As may have had no trivial influence On that best portion of a good man's life, His little, nameless, unremembered acts Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust, To them I may have owed another gift,