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'Tis spent — this burning day of June !
Confiding Glow-worms, 'tis a night
The air, as in a lion's den,
Hush, there is some one on the stir!
Many a stop and stay he makes,
The Horses have worked with right good-will, And now have gained the top of the hill ; He was patient — they were strong And now they smoothly glide along, Gathering breath, and pleased to win The praises of mild Benjamin. Heaven shield him from mishap and snare ! But why so early with this prayer ? Is it for threatenings in the sky ? Or for some other danger nigh? No, none is near him yet, though he Be one of much infirmity; For, at the bottom of the Brow, Where once the Dove and OLIVE-BOUGH Offered a greeting of good ale To all who entered Grasmere Vale; And called on him who must depart To leave it with a jovial heart;
There, where the Dove and OLIVE-BOUGH
Here is no danger,
none at all ! Beyond his wish is he secure; But pass a mile - and then for trial, Then for the pride of self-denial ; If he resist that tempting door, Which with such friendly voice will call, If he resist those casement panes, And that bright gleam which thence will fall Upon his Leaders' bells and manes, Inviting him with cheerful lure; For still, though all be dark elsewhere,
Some shining notice will be there,
The place to Benjamin full well Is known, and by as strong a spell As used to be that sign of love And hope — the OLIVE-BOUGH and DOVE; He knows it to his cost, good Man! Who does not know the famous SWAN? Uncouth although the object be, An image of perplexity; Yet not the less it is our boast, For it was painted by the Host; His own conceit the figure planned, 'Twas coloured all by his own hand ; And that frail Child of thirsty clay, Of whom I frame this rustic lay, Could tell with self-dissatisfaction Quaint stories of the Bird's attraction ! *
Well! that is past — and in despite Of open door and shining light.
* This rude piece of self-taught art (such is the progress of refinement) has been supplanted by a professional production.