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XXII.

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GRIEF, thou hast lost an ever-ready Friend
Now that the cottage spinning-wheel is mute;
And Care a Comforter that best could suit
Her froward mood, and softliest reprehend;
And Love - a Charmer's voice, that used to lend,
More efficaciously than aught that flows
From harp or lute, kind influence to compose
The throbbing pulse, else troubled without end :
Even Joy could tell, Joy craving truce and rest
From her own overflow, what
On those revolving motions did await
Assiduously, to soothe her aching breast
And — to a point of just relief abate
The mantling triumphs of a day too blest.

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TO S. H.

XXIII. Excuse is needless when with love sincere Of occupation, not by fashion led, Thou turn'st the Wheel that slept with dust o'erspread; My nerves from no such murmur shrink, - tho' near, Soft as the Dorhawk's to a distant ear, When twilight shades bedim the mountain's head. She who was feigned to spin our vital thread Might smile, O Lady! on a task once dear To household virtues. Venerable Art, Torn from the Poor! yet will kind Heaven protect Its own, not left without a guiding chart, If Rulers, trusting with undue respect To proud discoveries of the Intellect, Sanction the pillage of man's ancient heart.

XXIV. - DECAY OF PIETY. Oft have I seen, ere Time had ploughed my cheek, Matrons and Sires - who, punctual to the call Of their loved Church, on Fast or Festival Through the long year the House of Prayer would seek: By Christmas snows, by visitation bleak Of Easter winds, unscared, from Hut or Hall They came to lowly bench or sculptured Stall, But with one fervour of devotion meek. I see the places where they once were known, And ask, surrounded even by kneeling crowds, Is ancient Piety for ever flown? Alas! even then they seemed like fleecy clouds That, struggling through the western sky, have won Their pensive light from a departed sun!

XXV.

COMPOSED ON THE EVE OF THE MARRIAGE OF A FRIEND, IN

THE VALE OF GRASMERE.

What need of clamorous bells, or ribands gay,
These humble Nuptials to proclaim or grace ?
Angels of Love, look down upon the place,
Shed on the chosen Vale a sun-bright day!
Yet no proud gladness would the Bride display
Even for such promise: - serious is her face,
Modest her mien; and she, whose thoughts keep pace
With gentleness, in that becoming way
Will thank you.

Faultless does the Maid appear;
No disproportion in her soul, no strife:
But, when the closer view of wedded life
Hath shown that nothing human can be clear
From frailty, for that insight may the Wife
To her indulgent Lord become more dear.

VOL. II.

M

XXVI.

FROM THE ITALIAN OF MICHAEL ANGELO.

Yes ! hope may with my strong desire keep pace,
And I be undeluded, unbetrayed;
For if of our affections none find grace
In sight of Heaven, then, wherefore hath God made
The world which we inhabit ?

Better plea
Love cannot hav than that in loving thee
Glory to that eternal Peace is paid,
Who such Divinity to thee imparts
As hallows and makes pure all gentle hearts.
His hope is treacherous only whose love dies
With beauty, which is varying every hour;
But, in chaste hearts uninfluenced by the power
Of outward change, there blooms a deathless flower,
That breathes on earth the air of paradise.

XXVII.- FROM THE SAME. No mortal object did these eyes

behold When first they met the placid light of thine, And my Soul felt her destiny divine, And hope of endless peace in me grew bold: Heaven-born, the Soul a heaven-ward course must hold; Beyond the visible world She soars to seek (For what delights the sense is false and weak) Ideal Form, the universal mould. The wise man, I affirm, can find no rest In that which perishes: nor will he lend His heart to aught which doth on time depend. 'Tis sense, unbridled will, and not true love, That kills the soul: love betters what is best, Even here below, but more in heaven above.

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The prayers I make will then be sweet indeed
If Thou the spirit give by which I pray:
My unassisted heart is barren clay,
That of its native self can nothing feed:
Of good and pious works thou art the seed,
That quickens only where thou sayest it may:
Unless thou shew to us thine own true way
No man can find it: Father! thou must lead.
Do Thou, then, breathe those thoughts into my mind
By which such virtue may in me be bred
That in thy holy footsteps I may tread;
The fetters of my tongue do Thou unbind,
That I may have the power to sing of thee,
And sound thy praises everlastingly.

XXIX. SURPRISED by joy — impatient as the Wind I turned to share the transport-Oh! with whom But Thee, deep buried in the silent Tomb, That spot which no vicissitude can find? Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mindBut how could I forget thee? Through what power, Even for the least division of an hour, Have I been so beguiled as to be blind To my most grievous loss? — That thought's return Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore, Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn, Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more ; That neither present time, nor years unborn Could to my sight that heavenly face restore

XXX.

METHOUGHT I saw the footsteps of a throne
Which mists and vapours from mine eyes did shroud
Nor view of who might sit thereon allowed;
But all the steps and ground about were strowd
With sights the ruefullest that flesh and bone
Ever put on; a miserable crowd,
Sick, hale, old, young, who cried before that cloud,
“ Thou art our king, O Death! to thee we groan.”
I seemed to mount those steps; the vapours gave
Smooth way; and I beheld the face of one
Sleeping alone within a mossy cave,
With her face up to heaven; that seemed to have
Pleasing remembrance of a thought foregone;
A lovely Beauty in a summer grave!

XXXI.

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WEAK is the will of Man, his judgment blind ; “ Remembrance persecutes, and Hope betrays;

Heavy is woe; and joy, for human-kind,
A mournful thing, so transient is the blaze!”
Thus might he paint our lot of mortal days
Who wants the glorious faculty assigned
To elevate the more-than-reasoning Mind,
And colour life's dark cloud with orient rays.
Imagination is that sacred power,
Imagination lofty and refined:
'Tis hers to pluck the amaranthine Flower
Of Faith, and round the Sufferer's temples bind
Wreaths that endure affliction's heaviest shower,
And do not shrink from sorrow's keenest wind.

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