« ZurückWeiter »
That haunts the Sailor measuring o'er and o'er
His short domain upon the vessel's deck,
While she pursues her course through the dreary
When thou hadst quitted Esthwaite's pleasant
shore, And taken thy first leave of those green hills And rocks that were the playground of thy youth, Year followed year, my Brother! and we two, Conversing not, knew little in what mould Each other's mind was fashioned; and at length, When once again we met in Grasmere Vale, Between us there was little other bond Than common feelings of fraternal love. But thou, a schoolboy, to the sea hadst carried Undying recollections ; Nature there Was with thee; she, who loved us both, she still Was with thee; and even so didst thou become A silent Poet; from the solitude Of the vast sea didst bring a watchful heart Still couchant, an inevitable ear, And an eye practised like a blind man's touch.
- Back to the joyless Ocean thou art gone ; Nor from this vestige of thy musing hours Could I withhold thy honored name, — and now I love the fir-grove with a perfect love. Thither do I withdraw when cloudless suns Shine hot, or wind blows troublesome and strong; And there I sit at evening, when the steep
Of Silver-how, and Grasmere's peaceful lake,
And one green island, gleam between the stems
Of the dark firs, a visionary scene !
And while I gaze upon the spectacle
Of clouded splendor, on this dream-like sight
Of solemn loveliness, I think on thee,
My Brother, and on all which thou hast lost.
Nor seldom, if I rightly guess, while Thou,
Muttering the verses which I muttered first
Among the mountains, through the midnight watch
Art pacing thoughtfully the vessel's deck
In some far region, here, while o'er my head,
At every impulse of the moving breeze,
The Fir-grove murmurs with a sea-like sound,
Alone I tread this path ; — for aught I know,
Timing my steps to thine ; and, with a store
Of undistinguishable sympathies,
Mingling most earnest wishes for the day
When we, and others whom we love, shall meet
A second time, in Grasmere's happy Vale.
Forth from a jutting ridge, around whose base
Winds our deep Vale, two heath-clad Rocks ascend
In fellowship, the loftiest of the pair
Rising to no ambitious height; yet both,
O’er lake and stream, mountain and flowery mead,
Unfolded prospects fair as human eyes
Ever beheld. Up-led with mutual help,
To one or other brow of those twin Peaks
Were two adventurous Sisters wont to climb,
And took no note of the hour while thence they
The blooming heath their couch, gazed, side by side,
In speechless admiration. I, a witness
And frequent sharer of their calm delight
With thankful heart, to either Eminence
Gave the baptismal name each Sister bore.
Now are they parted, far as Death's cold hand
Hath power to part the Spirits of those who love
As they did love. Ye kindred Pinnacles, -
That, while the generations of mankind
Follow each other to their hiding-place
In time's abyss, are privileged to endure
Beautiful in yourselves, and richly graced
With like command of beauty, — grant your aid
For Mary's humble, SARAH's silent claim,
That their pure joy in nature may survive
From age to age in blended memory.
Fancy, who leads the pastimes of the glad,
Full oft is pleased a wayward dart to throw;
Sending sad shadows after things not sad,
Peopling the harmless fields with signs of woe:
Beneath her sway, a simple forest cry
Becomes an echo of man's misery.
Blithe ravens croak of death ; and when the owl
Tries his two voices for a favorite strain,
Tu-aohat! Tu-choo! the unsuspecting fowl
Forebodes mishap or seems but to complain ;
Fancy, intent to harass and annoy,
Can thus pervert the evidence of joy.
Through border wilds where naked Indians stray,
Myriads of notes attest her subtle skill;
A feathered taskmaster cries, “WORK AWAY!”
And, in thy iteration, “ WHIP POOR WILL!”*
* See Waterton's Wanderings in South America.
Is heard the spirit of a toil-worn slave,
Lashed out of life, not quiet in the grave.
What wonder! at her bidding, ancient lays
Steeped in dire grief the voice of Philomel;
And that fleet messenger of summer days,
The Swallow, twittered subject to like spell;
But ne'er could Fancy bend the buoyant Lark
To melancholy service. — Hark! O hark !
The daisy sleeps upon the dewy lawn,
Not lifting yet the head that evening bowed ;
But He is risen, a later star of dawn,
Glittering and twinkling near yon rosy cloud;
Bright gem instinct with music, vocal spark;
The happiest bird that sprang out of the Ark !
Hail, blest above all kinds ! — Supremely skilled Restless with fixed to balance, high with low, Thou leav'st the halcyon free her hopes to build On such forbearance as the deep may show; Perpetual flight, unchecked by earthly ties, Leav'st to the wandering bird of paradise.
Faithful, though swift as lightning, the meek Dove ;
Yet more hath Nature reconciled in thee;
So constant with thy downward eye of love,
Yet, in aerial singleness, so free;
So humble, yet so ready to rejoice
In po er of wing and never-wearied voice.