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This block — and yon, whose Church-like frame
Gives to the savage Pass its name.
Aspiring Road! that lov'st to hide
Thy daring in a vapoury bourn,
Not seldom may the hour return
When thou shalt be my Guide:
And I (as often we find cause,
When life is at a weary pause,
And we have panted up the hill
Of duty with reluctant will)
Be thankful, even though tired and faint,
For the rich bounties of Constraint;
Whence oft invigorating transports flow
That Choice lacked courage to bestow!
My Soul was grateful for delight
That wore a threatening brow;
A veil is lifted can she slight
The scene that opens now?
Though habitation none appear,
The greenness tells, man must be there ;
The shelter that the perspective
Is of the clime in which we live;
Where Toil pursues his daily round;
Where Pity sheds sweet tears, and Love,
In woodbine bower or birchen grove,
Inflicts his tender wound.
- Who comes not hither ne'er shall know
How beautiful the world below;
Nor can he guess how lightly leaps
The brook adown the rocky steeps.
Farewell, thou desolate Domain!
Hope, pointing to the cultured Plain,
Carols like a shepherd boy;
And who is she? - Can that be Joy!
Who, with a sunbeam for her guide,
Smoothly skims the meadows wide;
While Faith, from yonder opening cloud,
To hill and vale proclaims aloud,
“Whate'er the weak may dread, the wicked dare,
Thy lot, O Man, is good, thy portion fair!”
COMPOSED UPON AN EVENING OF EXTRAORDINARY SPLENDOUR
Had this effulgence disappeared
With flying haste, I might have sent,
Among the speechless clouds, a look
Of blank astonishment;
But 'tis endued with power to stay,
And sanctify one closing day,
That frail Mortality may see —
What is ? - ah no, but what can be!
Time was when field and watery cove
With modulated echoes rang,
While choirs of fervent Angels sang
Their vespers in the grove;
Or, crowning, star-like, each some sovereign height,
Warbled, for heaven above and earth below,
Strains suitable to both. - Such holy rite,
Methinks, if audibly repeated now
From hill or valley, could not move
Sublimer transport, purer love,
Than doth this silent spectacle
the gleam The shadow - and the peace supreme !
No sound is uttered, — but a deep
And solemn harmony pervades
The hollow vale from steep to steep,
And penetrates the glades.
Far-distant images draw nigh,
Called forth by wondrous potency
Of beamy radiance, that imbues
Whate'er it strikes, with gem-like hues!
In vision exquisitely clear,
Herds range along the mountain side;
And glistening antlers are descried ;
And gilded flocks appear.
Thine is the tranquil hour, purpureal Eve!
But long as god-like wish, or hope divine,
Informs my spirit, ne'er can I believe
That this magnificence is wholly thine!
- From worlds not quickened by the sun
A portion of the gift is won ;
An intermingling of Heaven's pomp is spread
On ground which British shepherds tread !
And, if there be whom broken ties
Afflict, or injuries assail,
Yon hazy ridges to their eyes
Present a glorious scale,
Climbing suffused with sunny air,
To stop — no record hath told where!
And tempting Fancy to ascend,
And with immortal Spirits blend !
-Wings at my shoulder seem to play;
But, rooted here, I stand and gaze
On those bright steps that heaven-ward raise
Their practicable way.
Come forth, ye drooping old men, look abroad,
And see to what fair countries ye are bound !
And if some Traveller, weary of his road,
Hath slept since noon-tide on the grassy ground,
Ye Genii! to his covert speed ;
And wake him with such gentle heed
As may attune his soul to meet the dower
Bestowed on this transcendant hour!
Such hues from their celestial Urn
Were wont to stream before my eye,
Where'er it wandered in the morn
Of blissful infancy.
This glimpse of glory, why renewed ?
Nay, rather speak with gratitude;
For, if a vestige of those gleams Survived, 'twas only in my dreams. Dread Power! whom peace and calmness serve No less than Nature's threatening voice, If aught unworthy be my choice, From Thee if I would swerve, Oh, let thy grace remind me of the light Full early lost, and fruitlessly deplored; Which, at this moment, on my waking sight Appears to shine, by miracle restored! My soul, though yet confined to earth, Rejoices in a second birth; - 'Tis past, the visionary splendour fades; And night approaches with her shades. Note. — The multiplication of mountain-ridges, described, at the commencement of the third Stanza of this ode, as a kind of Jacob's Ladder, leading to Heaven, is produced either by watery vapours, or sunny haze; - in the present instance, by the latter cause. Allusions to the Ode, entitled “ Intimations of Immortality,” at the conclusion of the fourth volume, pervade the last stanza of the foregoing Poem.
COM FOSED A FEW MILES ABOVE TINTERN ABBEY, ON REVISITING
THE BANKS OF THE WYE DURING A TOUR.
Five years have past ; five summers, with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With a sweet inland murmur. * - Once again