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POEMS OF THE IMAGINATION.

VOL. II.

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THERE

HERE was a Boy; ye knew him well, ye Cliffs And islands of Winander !

many a time, At evening, when the earliest stars began To move along the edges of the hills, Rising or setting, would he stand alone, Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake ; And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands Pressed closely palm to palm and to his mouth Uplifted, he, as through an instrument, Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls, That they might answer him. - And they would shout Across the watery vale, and shout again, Responsive to his call, - with quivering peals, And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud Redoubled and redoubled; concourse wild Of mirth and jocund din! And, when it chanced That pauses of deep silence mocked his skill, Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprise Has carried far into his heart the voice Of mountain torrents; or the visible scene Would enter unawares into his mind With all its solemn imagery, its rocks, Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, received Into the bosom of the steady lake.

This Boy was taken from his Mates, and died In childhood, ere he was full twelve years old. Fair is the spot, most beautiful the Vale

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Where he was born : the grassy Church-yard hangs
Upon a slope above the village-school;
And, through that Church-yard when my way has led
At evening, I believe, that oftentimes
A long half-hour together I have stood
Mute — looking at the grave in which he lies !

II.

TO

ON HER FIRST ASCENT TO THE SUMMIT OF HELVELLYN.

INMATE of a mountain Dwelling,
Thou hast clomb aloft, and gazed,
From the watch-towers of Helvellyn ;
Awed, delighted, and amazed !

Potent was the spell that bound thee
Not unwilling to obey;
For blue Ether's arms, flung round thee,
Stilled the pantings of dismay.

Lo! the dwindled woods and meadows !
What a vast abyss is there !
Lo! the clouds, the solemn shadows,
And the glistenings — heavenly fair!

And a record of commotion
Which a thousand ridges yield ;
Ridge, and gulf, and distant ocean
Gleaming like a silver shield !

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