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XII.

AERIAL Rock - whose solitary brow
From this low threshold daily meets my sight;
When I step forth to hail the morning light;
Or quit the stars with lingering farewell — how
Shall Fancy paint to thee a grateful vow?
How, with the Muse's aid, her love attest?
By planting on thy naked head the crest
Of an imperial Castle, which the plough
Of ruin shall not touch. Innocent scheme!
That doth presume no more than to supply
A grace the sinuous vale and roaring stream
Want, through neglect of hoar Antiquity.
Rise, then, ye votive Towers, and catch a gleam
Of golden sunset, ere it fade and die !

XIII.— TO SLEEP. O GENTLE Sleep! do they belong to thee, These twinklings of oblivion ? Thou dost love To sit in meekness, like the brooding Dove, A Captive never wishing to be free. This tiresome night, O Sleep! thou art to me A Fly, that up and down himself doth shove Upon a fretful rivulet, now above Now on the water, vexed with mockery. I have no pain that calls for patience, no; Hence am I cross and peevish as a child: Am pleased by fits to have thee for my foe, Yet ever willing to be reconciled : O gentle Creature! do not use me so, But once and deeply let me be beguiled.

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A FLOCK of sheep that leisurely pass by,
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;
By turns have all been thought of, yet I lie
Sleepless; and soon the small birds' melodies
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 any stealth:
So do not let me wear to-night away:
Without Thee what is all the morning's wealth ?
Come, blessèd barrier between day and day,
Dear mother of fresh thoughts and joyous health!

XV.— TO SLEEP. Fond words have oft been spoken to thee, Sleep! And thou hast had thy store of tenderest names; The very sweetest words that fancy frames, When thankfulness of heart is strong and deep! Dear bosom Child we call thee, that dost steep In rich reward all suffering; Balm that tames All anguish; Saint that evil thoughts and aims Takest away, and into souls dost creep, Like to a breeze from heaven. Shall I alone, I surely not a man ungently made, Call thee worst Tyrant by which Flesh is crost ? Perverse, self-willed to own and to disown, Mere Slave of them who never for thee prayed, Still last to come where thou art wanted most!

XVI.- THE WILD DUCK'S NEST. Tae Imperial Consort of the Fairy King Owns not a sylvan bower; or gorgeous cell With emerald floored, and with purpureal shell Ceilinged and roofed; that is so fair a thing As this low Structure for the tasks of Spring Prepared by one who loves the buoyant swell Of the brisk waves, yet here consents to dwell; And spreads in steadfast peace her brooding wing. Words cannot paint the o'ershadowing yew-tree bough, And dimly-gleaming Nest, a hollow crown Of golden leaves inlaid with sîlver down, Fine as the Mother's softest plumes allow:

- and almost wish to lay aside Humanity, weak slave of cumbrous pride!

I gaze

XVII. WRITTEN UPON A BLANK LEAF IN 6 THE COMPLETE ANGLER.”

While flowing Rivers yield a blameless sport,
Shall live the name of Walton; Sage benign!
Whose pen, the mysteries of the rod and line
Unfolding, did not fruitlessly exhort
To reverend watching of each still report
That Nature utters from her rural shrine.
Meek, nobly versed in simple discipline,
He found the longest summer day too short,
To his loved pastime given by sedgy Lee,
Or down the tempting maze of Shawford brook!
Fairer than life itself, in this sweet Book;
The cowslip bank and shady willow-tree,
And the fresh meads; where flowed, from every nook
Of his full bosom, gladsome Piety!

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XVIII.

-TO THE POET, JOHN DYER. BARD of the Fleece, whose skilful genius made That work a living landscape fair and bright; Nor hallowed less with musical delight Than those soft scenes through which thy Childhood strayed, Those southern Tracts of Cambria, deep embayed, With green hills fenced, with Ocean's murmur lulled;” Though hasty Fame hath many a chaplet culled For worthless brows, while in the pensive shade Of cold neglect she leaves thy head ungraced, Yet pure and powerful minds, hearts meek and still, A grateful few, shall love thy modest Lay, Long as the Shepherd's bleating flock shall stray O'er naked Snowdon's wide aerial waste; Long as the thrush shall pipe on Grongar Hill!

XIX.

ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED THE
PUBLICATION OF A CERTAIN POEM.

See Milton's Sonnet, beginning
A Book was writ of late called 'Tetrachordon.'”
A Book came forth of late, called “ Peter Bell ;”
Not negligent the style; the matter? -good
As aught that song records of Robin Hood;
Or Roy, renowned through many a Scottish dell;
But some (who brook these hacknied themes full well,
Nor heat, at Tam o' Shanter's name, their blood)
Waxed wroth, and with foul claws, a harpy brood,
On Bard and Hero clamorously fell.
Heed not, wild Rover once through heath and glen,
Who madest at length the better life thy choice,
Heed not such onset ! nay, if praise of men
To thee appear not an unmeaning voice,
Lift up that grey-haired forehead, and rejoice
In the just tribute of thy Poet's pen!

TO THE RIVER DERWENT.

XX. AMONG the mountains were we nursed, loved Stream! Thou, near the eagle's nest — within brief sail, I, of his bold wing floating on the gale, Where thy deep voice could lull me!- Faint the beam Of human life when first allowed to gleam On mortal notice. — Glory of the Vale, Such thy meek outset, with a crown though frail Kept in perpetual verdure by the steam Of thy soft breath! — Less vivid wreath entwined Nemæan Victor's brow; less bright was worn, Meed of some Roman Chief - in triumph borne With captives chained; and shedding from his car The sunset splendours of a finished war Upon the proud enslavers of mankind!

XXI.

COMPOSED IN ONE OF THE VALLEYS OF WESTMORLAND,

ON EASTER SUNDAY.

With each recurrence of this glorious morn
That saw the Saviour in his human frame
Rise from the dead, erewhile the Cottage-dame
Put on fresh raiment - till that hour unworn:
Domestic hands the home-bred wool had shorn,
And she who span it culled the daintiest fleece,
In thoughtful reverence to the Prince of Peace,
Whose temples bled beneath the platted thorn.
A blest estate when piety sublime
These humble props disdained not! O green dales!
Sad may I be who heard your sabbath chime
When Art's abused inventions were unknown;
Kind Nature's various wealth was all your own ;
And benefits were weighed in Reason's scales !

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