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The Citadel unconquer'd, and in joy
Was strong to follow the delightful Muse.
For not a hidden Path, that to the Shades
Of the belov'd Parnassian forest leads,
Lurk'd undiscover'd by him ; not a rill
There issues from the fount of Hippocrene,
But he had trac'd it upward to its source,
Thro' open glade, dark glen, and secret dell,
Knew the gay wild flowers on its banks, and cull'd
Its med'cinable herbs. Yea, oft alone,
Piercing the long-neglected holy cave,
The haunt obscure of old Philosophy,
He bade with lifted torch its starry walls
Sparkle, as erst they sparkled to the flame
Of od'rous Lamps tended by Saint and Sage.
O fram'd for calmer times and nobler hearts !
O studious Poet, eloquent for truth!
Philosopher ! contemning wealth and death,
Yet docile, childlike, full of Life and Love!
Here, rather than on monumental stone,
This record of thy worth thy Friend inscribes,
Thoughtful, with quiet tears upon his cheek.
THIS LIME-TREE BOWER MY PRISON.
In the June of 1797, some long-expected Friends paid a visit to the Author's Cottage; and on the morning of their arrival, he met with an accident, which disabled him from walking during the whole time of their stay. One Evening, when they had left him for a few hours, he composed the following lines in the GardenBower.
Well, they are gone, and here must I remain,
This Lime-Tree Bower my Prison ! I have lost
Such beauties and such feelings, as had been
Most sweet to my remembrance, even when age
Had dimmed mine eyes to blindness ! They, meanwhile,
My Friends, whom I may never meet again,
On springy heath, along the hill-top edge,
Wander in gladness, and wind down, perchance,
To that still roaring dell, of which I told;
The roaring dell, o'erwooded, narrow, deep,
And only speckled by the mid-day Sun;
Where its slim trunk the Ash from rock to rock
Flings arching like a Bridge ;—that branchless Ash,
Unsunn'd and damp, whose few poor yellow leaves
Ne'er tremble in the gale, yet tremble still,
Fann'd by the water-fall! and there my friends
Behold the dark green file of long *lank Weeds,
That all at once (a most fantastic sight!)
Still nod and drip beneath the dripping edge
Of the blue clay-stone.
Now, my Friends emerge
Beneath the wide wide Heaven
and view again
The many-steepled track magnificent
Of hilly fields and meadows, and the sea,
With some fair bark, perhaps, whose Sails light up
The slip of smooth clear blue betwixt two Isles
Of purple shadow! Yes! they wander on
In gladness all; but thou, methinks, most glad,
My gentle-hearted Charles ! for thou hast pined
And hunger'd after Nature, many a year,
In the great City pent, winning thy way
• Of long lank Weeds.] The Asplenium Scolopendrium, called in some countries the Adder's Tongue, in others the Hart's Tongue: but Withering gives the Adder's Tongue as the trivial name of the Ophioglossum only.
With sad yet patient soul, through evil and pain
And strange calamity! Ah! slowly sink
Behind the western ridge, thou glorious Sun !
Shine in the slant beams of the sinking orb
Ye purple heath-flowers ! richlier burn, ye clouds !
Live in the yellow light, ye distant groves !
And kindle, thou blue Ocean! So my Friend
Struck with deep joy may stand, as I have stood,
Silent with swimming sense; yea, gazing round
On the wild landscape, gaze till all doth seem
Less gross than bodily; a living thing
Which acts upon the mind and with such hues
As cloath the Almighty Spirit, when he makes
Spirits perceive his presence.
A delight Comes sudden on my heart, and I am glad As I myself were there! Nor in this bower, This little lime-tree bower, have I not mark'd Much that has sooth'd me. Pale beneath the blaze Hung the transparent foliage; and I watch'd Some broad and sunny leaf, and lov’d to see The shadow of the leaf and stem above
Dappling its sunshine! And that Walnut-tree
Was richly ting'd, and a deep radiance lay
Full on the ancient Ivy, which usurps
Those fronting elms, and now, with blackest mass
Makes their dark branches gleam a lighter hue
Through the late twilight: and though now the Bat!
Wheels silent by, and not a Swallow twitters,
Yet still the solitary humble Bee
Sings in the bean-flower! Henceforth I shall know
That Nature ne'er deserts the wise and pure,
No Plot so narrow, be but Nature there,
No waste so vacant, but may well employ
Each faculty of sense, and keep the heart
Awake to Love and Beauty! and sometimes
'Tis well to be bereft of promised good,
That we may lift the Soul, and contemplate
With lively joy the joys we cannot share.
My gentle-hearted Charles! when the last Rook
Beat its straight path along the dusky air
Homewards, I blest it! deeming, its black wing
(Now a dim speck, now vanishing in the light)
Had cross'd the mighty Orb’s dilated glory,
While thou stood'st gazing ; or when all was still,