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AERIAL Rock - whose solitary brow
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.
A FLOCK of sheep that leisurely pass by,
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!
XVII. WRITTEN UPON A BLANK LEAF IN 6 THE COMPLETE ANGLER.”
While flowing Rivers yield a blameless sport,
-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!
ON THE DETRACTION WHICH FOLLOWED THE
See Milton's Sonnet, beginning
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!
COMPOSED IN ONE OF THE VALLEYS OF WESTMORLAND,
ON EASTER SUNDAY.
With each recurrence of this glorious morn