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“Oh move, thou Cottage, from behind that oak !
Or let the aged tree uprooted lie,
That in some other way yon smoke
May mount into the sky !
The clouds pass on; they from the heavens depart:
I look-the sky is empty space;
I know not what I trace;
But, when I cease to look, my hand is on my heart.
“O! what a weight is in these shades! Ye leaves,
When will that dying murmur be supprest?
Your sound my heart of peace bereaves,
It robs my heart of rest.
Thou Thrush, that singest loud and loud and free,
yon row of willows Alit,
Upon that alder sit ;
Or sing another song, or choose another tree.
“Roll back, sweet Rill! back to thy mountain bounds,
And there for ever be thy waters chained !
For thou dost haunt the air with sounds
That cannot be sustained ;
If still beneath that pine-tree's ragged bough
Headlong yon waterfall must come,
Oh let it then be dumb! -
Be any thing, sweet Rill, but that which thou art
« Thou Eglantine, whosc arch so proudly towers
(Even like the rainbow spanning half the vale)
Thou one fair shrub, oh! shed thy flowers,
And stir not in the gale.
For thus to see thee nodding in the air,
To see thy arch thus stretch and bend,
Thus rise and thus descend,
Disturbs me, till the sight is more than I can bear.”
The Man who makes this feverish complaint
Is one of giant stature, who could dance
Equipped from head to foot in iron mail.
Ah gentle Love! if ever thought was thine
To store up kindred hours for me, thy face
Turn from me, gentle Love! nor let me walk
Within the sound of Emma's voice, or know
Such happiness as I have known today.
The valley rings with mirth and joy
Among the hills the Echoes play
A never never ending song
To welcome in the May.
The Magpie chatters with delight;
* Gill in the dialect of Cumberland and Westmoreland is a short, and, for the most part, a steep narrow valley, with a stream running through it. Force is the word universally employed in these dialects for Waterfall.
The mountain Raven's youngling Brood
Have left the Mother and the Nest;
And they go rambling east and west
In search of their own food;
Or through the glittering Vapors dart
In very wantonness of heart:
Beneath a rock, upon the grass,
Two Boys are sitting in the sun;
It seems they have no work to do,
Or that their work is done.
On pipes of sycamore they play
The fragments of a Christmas Hymn;
Or with that plant which in our dale
We call Stag-horn, or Fox's Tail,
Their rusty Hats they trim :
And thus, as happy as the Day,
Those Shepherds wear the time away.