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High was my room and lonely, near the The mountains have all opened out themroof

selves, Of a large mansion or hotel, a lodge And made a hidden valley of their own. That would have pleased me in more quiet No habitation can be seen: but they times;

Who journey thither find themselves alone Nor was it wholly without pleasure then. With a few sheep, with rocks and stones, With unextinguished taper I kept watch, and kites Reading at intervals; the fear gone by 71 That overhead are sailing in the sky. Pressed on me almost like a fear to come. It is in truth an utter solitude; I thought of those September massacres, Nor should I have made mention of this Divided from me by one little month,

Dell Saw them and touched: the rest was con- But for one object which you might pass jured up

by,

15 From tragic fictions or true history, Might see and notice not. Beside the Remembrances and dim admonishments. brook The horse is taught his manage, and no Appears a straggling heap of unhewn star

stones! Of wildest course but treads back his own And to that simple object appertains steps;

A story, unenriched with strange events, For the spent hurricane the air provides 80 Yet not unfit, I deem, for the fireside, As fierce a successor; the tide retreats Or for the summer shade. It was the first But to return out of its hiding-place Of those domestic tales that spake to me In the great deep; all things have second Of shepherds, dwellers in the valleys, men birth;

Whom I already loved; not verily The earthquake is not satisfied at once; For their own sakes, but for the fields and And in this way I wrought upon myself, 85 hills

25 Until I seemed to hear a voice that cried, Where was their occupation and abode. To the whole city, “Sleep no more." And hence this Tale, while I was yet a boy The trance

Careless of books, yet having felt the Fled with the voice to which it had given power birth;

Of Nature, by the gentle agency But vainly comments of a calmer mind Of natural objects, led me on to feel 30 Promised soft peace and sweet forgetful- | For passions that were not my own, and

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think The place, all hushed and silent as it was, (At random and imperfectly indeed) Appeared unfit for the repose of night, On man, the heart of man, and human Defenceless as a wood where tigers roam. life.

Therefore, although it be a history

Homely and rude, I will relate the same 35 MICHAEL

For the delight of a few natural hearts;

And, with yet fonder feeling, for the sake A PASTORAL POEM

Of youthful Poets who among these hills If from the public way you turn your Will be my second self when I am gone. steps

Upon the forest-side in Grasmere Vale Up the tumultuous brook of Greenhead There dwelt a Shepherd, Michael was his Ghyll,

name; You will suppose that with an upright An old man, stout of heart, and strong of path

limb. Your feet must struggle; in such bold His bodily frame had been from youth to ascent

age The pastoral mountains front you face to Of an unusual strength: his mind was keen, face.

5 Intense, and frugal, apt for all affairs, 45 But courage! for around that boisterous And in his shepherd's calling he was brook

prompt

ness.

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And watchful more than ordinary men. Of antique form, this large for spinning Hence had he learned the meaning of all wool, winds,

That small for flax; and if one wheel had Of blasts of every tone; and, oftentimes, rest, When others heeded not, he heard the It was because the other was at work. 85 South

50 The pair had but one inmate in their Make subterraneous music, like the noise house, Of bagpipers on distant Highland hills. An only child, who had been born to The Shepherd, at such warning, of his them flock

When Michael, telling o'er his years, Bethought him, and he to himself would began say,

To deem that he was old,-in shepherd's “The winds are now devising work for me!” phrase, And truly, at all times, the storm, that With one foot in the grave.

This only drives

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son, The traveller to a shelter, summoned him with two brave sheep-dogs tried in many Up to the mountains; he had been alone a storm, Amid the heart of many thousand mists, The one of an inestimable worth, That came to him and left him on the Made all their household. I may truly heights.

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say, So lived he till his eightieth year was That they were as a proverb in the vale past.

For endless industry. When day was And grossly that man errs, who should gone, suppose

And from their occupations out of doors That the green valleys, and the streams The son and father were come home, even and rocks,

then, Were things indifferent to the Shepherd's i Their labor did not cease; unless when thoughts.

all Fields, where with cheerful spirits he had Turned to the cleanly supper-board, and breathed

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there, The common air; hills, which with vigor- Each with a mess of pottage and skimmed ous step

milk, He had so often climbed; which had im- Sat round the basket piled with oaten pressed

cakes, So many incidents upon his mind

And their plain home-made cheese. Yet Of hardship, skill or courage, joy or fear; when the meal Which like a book preserved the memory Was ended, Luke (for so the son was Of the dumb animals whom he had named) saved,

71 And his old father both betook themHad fed or sheltered, linking to such acts, selves The certainty of honorable gain;

To such convenient work as might employ Those fields, those hills—what could they Their hands by the fire-side; perhaps to less?—had laid

card

106 Strong hold on his affections, were to him Wool for the housewife's spindle, or reA pleasurable feeling of blind love, 76 pair The pleasure which there is in life itself. Some injury done to sickle, flail, or scythe, His days had not been passed in single- or other implement of house or field. ness.

Down from the ceiling by the chimney's His helpmate was a comely matron, old

edge Though younger than himself full twenty That in our ancient uncouth country years.

80 style She was a woman of a stirring life, With huge and black projection overWhose heart was in her house: two wheels browed she had

Large space beneath, as duly as the light

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IIO

I21

Of day grew dim the housewife hung a. Brings hope with it; and forward looking lamp;

thoughts, An aged utensil, which had performed 115 And stirrings of inquietude, when they Service beyond all others of its kind. By tendency of nature needs must fail. 150 Early at evening did it burn and late, Exceeding was the love he bare to him, Surviving comrade of uncounted hours, His heart and his heart's joy! For oftenWhich going by from year to year had times found

Old Michael, while he was a babe in arms, And left the couple neither gay perhaps Had done him female service, not alone Nor cheerful, yet with objects and with For pastime and delight, as is the use 155 hopes,

Of fathers, but with patient mind enLiving a life of eager industry.

forced And now, when Luke had reached his To acts of tenderness; and he had rocked eighteenth year,

His cradle as with a woman's gentle hand. There by the light of this old lamp they And, in a later time, ere yet the boy sat,

Had put on boy's attire, did Michael Father and son, while far into the night love,

160 The housewife plied her own peculiar Albeit of a stern unbending mind, work,

126 To have the young one in his sight, when Making the cottage through the silent he hours

Wrought in the field, or on his shepherd's Murmur as with the sound of summer stool flies.

Sat with a fettered sheep before him This light was famous in its neighbor- stretched, hood,

Under the large old oak, that near his And was a public symbol of the life 130

door

165 That thrifty pair had lived. For, as it Stood single, and, from matchless depth chanced,

of shade, Their cottage on a plot of rising ground Chosen for the shearer's covert from the Stood single, with large prospect, north sun, and south,

Thence in our rustic dialect was called High into Easedale, up to Dunmail- The Clipping Tree, a name which yet it Raise,

bears. And westward to the village near the There, while they two were sitting in the lake; 135 shade,

170 And from this constant light, so regular With others round them, earnest all and And so far seen, the house itself, by all blithe, Who dwelt within the limits of the vale, Would Michael exercise his heart with Both old and young, was named The looks Evening Star.

Of fond correction and reproof bestowed Thus living on through such a length of Upon the child, if he disturbed the sheep years

140 By catching at their legs, or with his The Shepherd, if he loved himself, must shouts

175 needs

Scared them, while they lay still beneath Have loved his helpmate; but to Mi- the shears. chael's heart

And when by Heaven's good grace the This son of his old age was yet more

boy grew up dear

A healthy lad, and carried in his cheek Less from instinctive tenderness, the same Two steady roses that were five years old, Fond spirit that blindly works in the blood Then Michael from a winter coppice cut of all

145 With his own hand a sapling, which he Than that a child, more than all other hooped

181 gifts

With iron, making it throughout in all That earth can offer to declining man, Due requisites a perfect shepherd's staff,

once

ours

came

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And gave it to the boy; wherewith That any old man ever could have lost. 220 equipped

As soon as he had armed himself with He as a watchman oftentimes was placed strength At gate or gap, to stem or turn the flock; | To look his trouble in the face, it seemed And, to his office prematurely called, 187 The Shepherd's sole resource to sell at There stood the urchin, as you will divine, Something between a hindrance and a A portion of his patrimonial fields. help;

Such was his first resolve; he thought And for this course not always, I be- again,

225 lieve.

190 And his heart failed him. "Isabel," said Receiving from his father hire of praise; he, Though nought was left undone which Two evenings after he had heard the news, staff or voice,

"I have been toiling more than seventy Or looks, or threatening gestures, could

years, perform.

And in the open sụnshine of God's love But soon as Luke, full ten years old, Have we all lived; yet if these fields of could stand

230 Against the mountain blasts; and to the Should pass into a stranger's hand, I think heights,

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That I could not lie quiet in my grave. Not fearing toil, nor length of weary ways, Our lot is a hard lot; the sun himself He with his father daily went, and they Has scarcely been more diligent than I; Were as companions, why should I relate And I have lived to be a fool at last

235 That objects which the Shepherd loved | To my own family. An evil man before

That was, and made an evil choice, if he Were dearer now? that from the boy there Were false to us; and if he were not false,

There are ten thousand to whom loss like Feelings and emanations—things which this

Had been no sorrow. I forgive him—but Light to the sun and music to the wind; ’T were better to be dumb, than to talk And that the old man's heart seemed born thus.

241 again?

When I began, my purpose was to speak Thus in his father's sight the boy grew up; Of remedies and of a cheerful hope. And now when he had reached his eight- Our Luke shall leave us, Isabel; the land

205 Shall not go from us, and it shall be free; He was his comfort and his daily hope. He shall possess it free as is the wind 246 While in this sort the simple household | That passes over it. We have, thou lived

know'st, From day to day, to Michael's ear there | Another kinsman-he will be our friend

In this distress. He is a prosperous man, Distressful tidings. Long before the time Thriving in trade—and Luke to him shall Of which I speak, the Shepherd had been go,

250 bound

And with his kinsman's help and his own In surety for his brother's son, a man

thrift Of an industrious life, and ample means; He quickly will repair this loss, and then But unforeseen misfortunes suddenly He may return to us. If here he stay, Had pressed upon him; and old Michael What can be done? Where every one is

poor, Was summoned to discharge the forfei- | What can be gained?”

255 ture,

215

At this the old man paused, A grievous penalty, but little less

And Isabel sat silent, for her mind Than half his substance. This unlooked Was busy, looking back into past times. for claim

There's Richard Bateman, thought she to At the first hearing, for a moment took herself, More hope out of his life than he supposed | He was a parish-boy-at the church-door

were

eenth year,

came

210

now

They made a gathering for him, shillings, That all his hopes were gone. That day pence,

260

at noon And halfpennies, wherewith the neighbors She said to Luke, while they two by thembought

selves A basket, which they filled with pedlar's Were sitting at the door, “Thou must not wares;

go:

295 And with this basket on his arm, the lad We have no other child but thee to lose, Went up to London, found a master there, None to remember-do not go away, Who out of many chose the trusty boy 265 For if thou leave thy father he will die." To go and overlook his merchandise The youth made answer with a jocund Beyond the seas: where he grew wondrous voice; rich,

And Isabel, when she had told her And left estates and monies to the poor, fears,

300 And at his birthplace built a chapel floored Recovered heart. That evening her best With marble which he sent from foreign fare lands.

270 Did she bring forth, and all together sat These thoughts, and many others of like Like happy people round a Christmas fire. sort,

With daylight Isabel resumed her work; Passed quickly through the mind of Isabel, And all the ensuing week the house apAnd her face brightened. The old man peared

305 was glad,

As cheerful as a grove in spring: at length And thus resumed:-"Well, Isabel! this -!

The expected letter from their kinsman scheme

came, These two days has been meat and drink With kind assurances that he would do to me.

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His utmost for the welfare of the boy: Far more than we have lost is left us yet. To which, requests were added, that forthWe have enough-I wish indeed that I with

310 Were younger,-but this hope is a good He might be sent to him. Ten times or

hope. Make ready Luke's best garments, of the The letter was read over; Isabel best

Went forth to show it to the neighbors Buy for him more, and let us send him round; forth

280 Nor was there at that time on English land To-morrow, or the next day, or to-night: A prouder heart than Luke's.

When If he could go, the boy should go to-night. Isabel

315 Here Michael ceased, and to the fields | Had to her house returned, the old man went forth

said With a light heart. The housewife for “He shall depart to-morrow.” To this five days

word Was restless morn and night, and all day The housewife answered, talking much of long

285 things Wrought on with her best fingers to pre- Which, if at such short notice he should go, pare

Would surely be forgotten. But at length Things needful for the journey of her She gave consent, and Michael was at

ease.

320 But Isabel was glad when Sunday came Near the tumultuous brook of GreenTo stop her in her work: for, when she head Ghyll, lay

In that deep valley, Michael had designed By Michael's side, she through the last two To build a sheepfold; and, before he heard nights

290 The tidings of his melancholy loss, Heard him, how he was troubled in his For this same purpose he had gathered up sleep:

A heap of stones, which by the streamlet's And when they rose at morning she could edge see

Lay thrown together, ready for the work.

more

son.

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