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Or is it rather that Conceit rapacious is and strong,
And bounty never yields so much but it seems to do her
wrong? Or is it, that when human Souls a journey long have had And are returned into themselves, they cannot but be sad?
Ormust we be constrained to think that these Spectators rude, Poor in estate, of manners base, men of the multitude, Have souls which never yet have risen, and therefore
prostrate lie? No, no, this cannot be — Men thirst for power and majesty!
Does, then, a deep and earnest thought the blissful mind
employ Of him who gazes, or has gazed ? a grave and steady joy, That doth reject all show of pride, admits no outward sign, Because not of this noisy world, but silent and divine !
Whatever be the cause, 'tis sure that they who pry
pore Seem to meet with little gain, seem less happy than before: One after One they take their turn, nor have I one espied That doth not slackly go away, as if dissatisfied.
Those silver clouds collected round the sun
His mid-day warmth abate not, seeming less
To overshade than multiply his beams
By soft reflection grateful to the sky,
To rocks, fields, woods. Nor doth our human sense
Ask, for its pleasure, screen or canopy
More ample than the time-dismantled Oak
Spreads o’er this tuft of heath, which now, attired
In the whole fulness of its bloom, affords
Couch beautiful as e'er for earthly use
Was fashioned ; whether by the hand of Art,
That Eastern Sultan, amid flowers enwrought
On silken tissue, might diffuse his limbs
In languor; or, by Nature, for repose
Of panting Wood-nymph, wearied by the chase.
O Lady! fairer in thy Poet's sight
Than fairest spiritual Creature of the groves,
Approach — and, thus invited, crown with rest
The noon-tide hour: though truly some there are
Whose footsteps superstitiously avoid
This venerable Tree ; for, when the wind
Blows keenly, it sends forth a creaking sound
(Above the general roar of woods and crags)
Distinctly heard from far a doleful note !
As if (so Grecian shepherds would have deemed)
The Hamadryad, pent within, bewailed
Some bitter wrong. Nor is it unbelieved,
By ruder fancy, that a troubled Ghost
Haunts this old Trunk; lamenting deeds of which
The flowery ground is conscious. But no wind
Sweeps now along this elevated ridge ;
Not even a zephyr stirs ; - the obnoxious Tree
Is mute, — and, in his silence, would look down,
O lovely Wanderer of the trackless hills,
On thy reclining form with more delight
Than his Coevals, in the sheltered vale
Seem to participate, the whilst they view
Their own far-stretching arms and leafy heads
Vividly pictured in some glassy pool,
That, for a brief space, checks the hurrying stream !
WHILE RESTING ON THE BRIDGE AT THE FOOT OF
The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The lake doth glitter,
field sleeps in the sun;
The oldest and youngest
Are at work with the strongest ;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising ;
There are forty feeding like one !
Like an army defeated
The Snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill
On the top of the bare hill;
The Ploughboy is whooping
There's joy in the mountains ;
There's life in the fountains ;
Small clouds are sailing,
Blue sky prevailing ;
The rain is over and gone !
Yet are they here the same unbroken knot
Of human Beings, in the self-same spot!
Men, Women, Children, yea the frame
Of the whole Spectacle the same ! Only their fire seems bolder, yielding light, Now deep and red, the colouring of night ;
That on their Gipsy-faces falls,
Their bed of straw and blanket-walls. -Twelve hours, twelve bounteous hours, are gone while I Have been a Traveller under open sky,
Much witnessing of change and cheer,
Yet as I left I find them here !
The weary Sun betook himself to rest.
Then issued Vesper from the fulgent West,
Outshining like a visible God
The glorious path in which he trod. And now, ascending, after one dark hour And one night's diminution of her power,
Behold the mighty Moon ! this way
She looks as if at them - but they Regard not her: - oh better wrong and strife, (By nature transient) than such torpid life;
Life which the very stars reprove
As on their silent tasks they move!
Yet, witness all that stirs in heaven or earth!
In scorn I speak not ; they are what their birth
And breeding suffers them to be;
Wild outcasts of society !
BEFORE my eyes a Wanderer stood;
Her face from summer's noon-day heat
Nor bonnet shaded, nor the hood
Of that blue cloak which to her feet
Depended with a graceful flow;
Only she wore a cap as white as new-fallen snow.
Her skin was of Egyptian brown ;
Haughty as if her eye had seen
Its own light to a distance thrown,
She towered — fit person for a Queen,
To head those ancient Amazonian files ;
Or ruling Bandit's wife among the Grecian Isles.
She begged an alms; no scruple checked
The current of her ready plea,
Words that could challenge no respect
But from a blind credulity;
And yet a boon I gave her; for the Creature
Was beautiful to see a weed of glorious feature!
I left her, and pursued my way;
And soon before me did espy
A pair of little Boys at play,
Chasing a crimson butterfly;
The Taller followed with his hat in hand,
Wreathed round with yellow flowers the gayest of the land.