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ENGLISH POETRY OF THE NINETEENTH CENTURY

ENGLISH POETRY OF THE
NINETEENTH CENTURY

PART ONE: THE EARLIER NINETEENTH CENTURY

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SAMUEL ROGERS

Here, vanish, as in mist, before a flood 100 (1763-1855)

Of bright obscurity, hill, lawn, and wood;

There, objects, by the searching beams beA WISH

trayed,

Come forth, and here retire in purple (1786)

shade; Mine be a cot beside the hill.

Even the white stems of birch, the cottage A bee-hive's hum shall soothe my ear; white, A willowy brook, that turns a mill,

Soften their glare before the mellow With many a fall shall linger near.

light; The swallow, oft, beneath my thatch

The skiffs, at anchor where with umbrage 5

wide Shall twitter from her clay-built nest; Oft shall the pilgrim lift the latch,

Yon chestnuts half the latticed boat-house

hide, And share my meal, a welcome guest.

Shed from their sides, that face the sun's Around my ivied porch shall spring

slant beam, Each fragrant flower that drinks the Strong flakes of radiance on the tremulous dew;

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stream: And Lucy, at her wheel, shall sing

Raised by yon travelling flock, a dusty

cloud In russet-gown and apron blue.

Mounts from the road, and spreads its The village-church, among the trees,

moving shroud; Where first our marriage-vows were The shepherd, all involved in wreaths of given,

fire, With merry peals shall swell the breeze, 15 Now shows a shadowy speck, and now is And point with taper spire to Heaven.

lost entire.

110

115

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

(1770-1850) From AN EVENING WALK

(1787-89) Sunset in the Lake Country How pleasant, as the sun declines, to

view The spacious landscape change in form

and hue!

Into a gradual calm the breezes sink,
A blue rim borders all the lake's still

brink;
There doth the twinkling aspen's foliage

sleep, And insects clothe, like dust, the glassy

deep: And now, on every side, the surface breaks Into blue spots, and slowly lengthening

streaks; Here, plots of sparkling water trenble

bright 1

120

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With thousand thousand twinkling points

of liglft; There, waves that, hardly weltering, die

away, Tip their smooth ridges with a softer ray; And now the whole wide lake in deep

repose Is hushed, and like a burnished , mirror glows,

125 Save where, along the shady western

marge, Coasts, with industrious oar, the charcoal

barge.

Of lofty hopes, he to the world went

forth A favored being, knowing no desire Which genius did not hallow; 'gainst the

taint Of dissolute tongues, and jealousy, and

hate, And scorn, — against all enemies prepared, All but neglect. The world, for so it

thought, Owed him no service; wherefore he at

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LEFT UPON A SEAT IN A YEW-TREE, WHICH STANDS NEAR THE LAKE OF ESTHWAITE, ON A DESOLATE PART OF THE SHORE, COMMANDING A BEAUTIFUL PROSPECT

(1795)

an

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Nay, Traveller, rest. This lonely yew

tree stands Far from all human dwelling: what if

here No sparkling rivulet spread the verdant

herb? What if the bee love not these barren

boughs?. Yet, if the wind breathe soft, the curling

waves, That break against the shore, shall lull

thy mind By one soft impulse saved from vacancy.

With indignation turned himself away, And with the food of pride sustained his

soul In solitude. - Stranger! these gloomy

boughs Had charms for him; and here he loved

to sit, His only visitants a straggling sheep, The stone-chat, or the glancing sandpiper: And on these barren rocks, with fern and

heath, And juniper and thistle, sprinkled o'er, Fixing his downcast eye, he

many hour A morbid pleasure nourished, tracing here An emblem of his own unfruitful life: And, lifting up his head, he then would

gaze On the more distant scene, - how lovely

'tis Thou seest,

and he would gaze till it became Far lovelier, and his heart could not sus

tain The beauty, still more beauteous! Nor,

that time, When nature had subdued him to herself, Would he forget those beings to whose

minds, Warm from the labors of benevolence, 40 The world, and human life, appeared a

scene Of kindred loveliness: then he would sigh, Inly disturbed, to think that others felt What he must never feel: and so, lost

man! On visionary views would fancy feed, 45

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