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Of its own darkness, as it stood of yore:
Not loth to furnish weapons for the bands
Of Umfraville or Percy ere they marched
To Scotland's heaths ; or those that crossed the

sea

And drew their sounding bows at Azincour,
Perhaps at earlier Crecy, or Poictiers.
Of vast circumference and gloom profound
This solitary Tree! a living thing
Produced too slowly ever to decay;
Of form and aspect too magnificent
To be destroyed. But worthier still of note
Are those fraternal Four of Borrowdale,
Joined in one solemn and capacious grove;
Huge trunks ! and each particular trunk a growth
Of intertwisted fibres serpentine
Up-coiling, and inveterately convolved ;
Nor uninformed with Phantasy, and looks
That threaten the profane; - a pillared shade,
Upon whose grassless floor of red-brown hue,
By sheddings from the pining umbrage tinged
Perennially, — beneath whose sable roof
Of boughs, as if for festal purpose, decked
With unrejoicing berries, ghostly Shapes
May meet at noontide ; Fear and trembling Hope,
Silence and Foresight; Death the Skeleton
And Time the Shadow ;- there to celebrate,
As in a natural temple scattered o'er
With altars undisturbed of mossy stone,
United worship; or in mute repose

To lie, and listen to the mountain flood
Murmuring from Glaramara's inmost caves.

1808.

VI.

NUTTING.

-It seems a day (I speak of one from many singled out) One of those heavenly days that cannot die ; When, in the eagerness of boyish hope, I left our cottage-threshold, sallying forth With a huge wallet o'er my shoulders slung, A nutting-crook in hand ; and turned my steps Tow'rd some far-distant wood, a Figure quaint, Tricked out in proud disguise of cast-off weeds Which for that service had been husbanded, By exhortation of my frugal dame, Motley accoutrement, of power to smile At thorns, and brakes, and brambles, — and, in

truth, More ragged than need was ! O'er pathless rocks, Through beds of matted fern, and tangled thick

ets, Forcing my way, I came to one dear nook Unvisited, where not a broken bough Drooped with its withered leaves, ungracious sign Of devastation ; but the hazels rose

Tall and erect, with tempting clusters hung,
A virgin scene!- A little while I stood,
Breathing with such suppression of the heart
As joy delights in ; and, with wise restraint
Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed
The banquet ;

or beneath the trees I sat
Among the flowers, and with the flowers I played ;
A temper known to those, who, after long
And weary expectation, have been blest
With sudden happiness beyond all hope.
Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose leaves
The violets of five seasons reappear
And fade, unseen by any human eye;
Where fairy water-breaks do murmur on
For ever; and I saw the sparkling foam,
And — with my cheek on one of those green stones
That, fleeced with moss, under the shady trees,
Lay round me, scattered like a flock of sheep –
I heard the murmur and the murmuring sound,
In that sweet mood when pleasure loves to pay
Tribute to ease ; and, of its joy secure,
The heart luxuriates with indifferent things,
Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones,
And on the vacant air. Then

up
I

rose, And dragged to earth both branch and bough,

with crash
And merciless ravage: and the shady nook
Of hazels, and the green mossy bower,
Deformed and sullied, patiently gave up
Their quiet being: and, unless I now

:

Confound my present feelings with the past;
Ere from the mutilated bower I turned
Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings,
I felt a sense of pain when I beheld
The silent trees, and saw the intruding sky.--
Then, dearest Maiden, move along these shades
In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand
Touch, — for there is a spirit in the woods.

1799.

VII.

THE SIMPLON PASS.

а

BROOK and road Were fellow-travellers in this gloomy Pass, And with them did we journey several hours At a slow step. The immeasurable height Of woods decaying, never to be decayed, The stationary blasts of waterfalls, And in the narrow rent, at every turn, Winds thwarting winds bewildered and forlorn, The torrents shooting from the clear blue sky, The rocks that muttered close upon our ears, Black drizzling crags that spake by the way-side As if a voice were in them, the sick sight And giddy prospect of the raving stream, The unfettered clouds and region of the heavens,

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Tumult and peace, the darkness and the light-
Were all like workings of one mind, the features
Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree,
Characters of the great Apocalypse,
The types and symbols of Eternity,
Of first, and last, and midst, and without end.

1799.

VIII.

She was a Phantom of delight
When first she gleamed upon my sight;
A lovely Apparition, sent
To be a moment's ornament;
Her eyes as stars of Twilight fair ;
Like Twilight's, too, her dusky hair ;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful Dawn;
A dancing Shape, an Image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.

I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet ;
A Creature not too bright or good
For human nature's daily food;

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