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274 EXPOSTULATION AND REPL. Y.
Place me on Sunium’s marbled steep, —
Where nothing, save the waves and I,
May hear our mutual murmurs sweep ;
There, swan-like, let me sing and die.
A land of slaves shall ne'er be mine, –
Dash down yon cup of Samian wine !
“WHY, William, on that old gray stone,
Thus for the length of half a day,
Why, William, sit you thus alone,
And dream your time away ?
“Where are your books 2 — that light bequeathed
To beings else forlorn and blind
Up! up ! and drink the spirit breathed
From dead men to their kind.
“You look round on your mother earth,
As if she for no purpose bore you;
As if you were her first-born birth,
And none had lived before you!”
One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake,
When life was sweet, I knew not why,
To me my good friend Matthew spake,
And thus I made reply: —
“The eye, – it cannot choose but see;
We cannot bid the ear be still ;
Our bodies feel, where'er they be,
Against or with our will.
“Nor loss I deem that there are Powers
Which of themselves our minds impress;
That we can feel this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.
“Think you, 'mid all this mighty sum
Of things for ever speaking,
That nothing of itself will come,
But we must still be seeking 2
“Then ask not wherefore, here, alone,
Conversing as I may,
I sit upon this old gray stone,
And dream my time away.”
THE TABLES TURNED. - JWordsworth.
AN EVEN IN G SCENE ON THE SAME SUR3JECT.
UP! up ! my friend, and quit your books;
Or surely you 'll grow double :
Up ! up ! my friend, and clear your looks;
Why all this toil and trouble 2
The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.
Books' 'tis a dull and endless strife:
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music 1 on my life,
There 's more of wisdom in it.
And hark! how blithe the throstle sings!
He, too, is no mean preacher:
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.
She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless, –
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Than all the sages can.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings;
Our meddling intellect -
Misshapes the beauteous forms of things;
We murder to dissect.
Enough of Science and of Art;
Close up these barren leaves;
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.
DEAR, noble soul, wisely thy lot thou bearest;
For, like a god toiling in earthly slavery,
Fronting thy sad fate with a joyous bravery,
Each darker day a sunnier smile thou wearest.
No grief can touch thy sweet and spiritual smile
No pain is keen enough that it has power
O7er thy childlike love, that all the while
Upon the cold earth builds its heavenly bower, —
And thus with thee bright angels maki, their dwelling,
Bringing thee stores of strength when no man know-
The ocean-stream from God's heart ever swelling,
That forth through each least thing in Nature goeth,
In thee, O truest hero, deeper floweth ; —
With joy I bathe, and many souls beside
Feel a new life in the celestial tide.
1 BRING fresh showers for the thirsting flowers,
From the seas and the streams;
I bear light shades for the leaves, when laid
In their noonday dreams.
From my wings are shaken the dews that waken
The sweet buds every one,
When rocked to rest on their mother s breast,
As she dances about the sun.
I wield the flail of the lashing hail,
And whiten the green plains under,
And then again I dissolve in rain,
And laugh as I pass in thunder.
I sift the snow on the mountains below,
And their great pines groan aghast;
And all the night 'tis my pillow white,
While I sleep in the arms of the blast.
Sublime on the towers of my skyey bowers,
Lightning my pilot sits ;
In a cavern under is fettered the thunder, —
It struggles and howls at fits;
Over earth and ocean, with gentle motion,
This pilot is guiding me,
Lured by the love of the genii that move
In the depths of the purple sea ;
Over the rills, and the crags, and the hills,
Over the lakes and the plains,
Wherever he dream, under mountain or stream,
The spirit he loves remains;
And I all the while bask in heaven’s blue smile,
Whilst he is dissolving in rains.
The sanguine sunrise, with his meteor eyes,
And his burning plumes outspread,
Leaps on the back of my sailing rack,
When the morning star shines dead.
As on the jag of a mountain crag,
Which an earthquake rocks and swings,
An eagle alit one moment may sit
In the light of its golden wings.
And when sunset may breathe, from the lit sea be
Its ardors of rest and of love,
And the crimson pall of eve may fall
From the depth of heaven above,
With wings folded I rest, on mine airy nest,
As still as a brooding dove.
That orbed maiden, with white fire laden,
Whom mortals call the moon,
Glides glimmering o'er my fleece-like floor,
By the midnight breezes strewn ;
And wherever the beat of her unseen feet,
Which only the angels hear,
May have broken the woof of my tent's thin roof,
The stars peep behind her and peer;
And I laugh to see them whirl and flee,
Like a swarm of golden bees,