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COLERIDGE, LAMB, and LLOYD, walked forth arm-inarm and moved gently to the stream. They conversed as they passed on the beauties of the country, on its peaceful associations and on the purity of domestie affections. Their conversation then turned to poetry, and from the simplicity of the remarks of LLOYD and LAMB I found that their very hearts were wedded to innocence and peace, COLERIDGE talked in a higher strain but he at last confused himself with the abstruseness of his own observations, He hinted at a metaphysical poem which he was about to write in one hundred books. LAMB remarked to him that he should prefer one of his feeling and affectionate sonnets to all his wanderings of mind. Each of these poets held in his hand a simple porringer declaring that it brought the finest recollections of frugal fare and country quiet. LAMB and LLOYD dipped in a bright but rather shallow part of the stream. COLERIDGE went to the depth, where he might have caught the purest water had he not unfortunately clouded it with the sand which he himself distur. bed at the bottom. These three poets left the stream in the same manner as they approached it.
Last came a calm and majestic figure moving serenely towards the stream. The celandines and small flowers sprang up to catch the pressure of his feet. The Sunlight fell with a finer glow around, Spirits rustled most mirthfully and musically in the air, and a wing every now and then twinkled into sight (like the Autumn leaf that trembles and flashes up to the Sun) and its feathers of wavy gold were almost too sparkling to be looked upon. The waters of CASTALY ran brighter as he approached, and seemed to play and dimple with pleasure at his presence. It was WORDSWORTH. In his hand he held a vase of pure crystal and when he had reached the brink of the stream the wave proudly swelled itself into his cup. At this moment the sunny air above his brow became embodied, and the glowing and lightsome Spirit shone into being, and dropped a garland on his forehead. Sounds etherial swelled, trembled and revelled in the air, and forms of light played in and out of sight, and all around seemed like a living world of breathing poetry. WORDSWORTH bent with reverence over the vase and declared that the waters he had obtained should be the refreshment of his soul. He then raised his countenance which had become illuminated from the wave over which he had bowed and retired with calm dignity.
The sounds of stirring wings now ceased, the air became less bright, and the flowers died away upon the banks. No other poet remained to obtain water from the CASTALIAN stream, but still it sparkled and played along with a soul-like and melodious sound. On a sudden I heard a confusion of tongues behind me. On turning round I found that it arose from a mistaken set of Gentle. men who were chattering and bustling and dipping at a little brook which they deemed was the true CASTALIAN. Their splashing and vociferation and bustle can only be imagined by those who have seen a flock of geese wash themselves in a pond with gabbling importance. There was SPENCER, with a goblet lent to him by a Lady of quality, and HAYLEY simpering and bowing and reaching with a tea-cup at the water, and Wilson with a child's papspoon, and Bowles laboriously engaged in filling fourteen nut-shells, and Lewis slowly and mysteriously plunging an old skull into the brook, while poor Cotton fumed and angered but scarcely reached the stream at last. There were no encouraging signs in the elements, no delightful sounds of attendant Spirits, no springing up of flowers to cheer these worthies in their pursuit; they seemed perfectly satisfied with their own greatness, and were flattered into industry by their own vanity and loudness. After some time the perpetual activity of tongues fatigued my ear and I turned myself from the noisy crowd towards the silent heavens. There to my astonished and delighted eyes appeared SHAKESPEARE surrounded with excessive light, with SPENSER on one hand and Milton on the other. One glance of his eye scared the silly multitude from the brook. Then amidst unearthly music he calmly ascended and was lost in the splendours of the sky. At this moment I awoke. The evening was getting chill around me. The breeze was coldly whispering thro’ the foliage, and the deer were couching to rest on the spangled grass. I arose, and musing on the wonders of my dream slowly bent my way homewards.
SONGS AND MINOR POEMS.
WE MAY ROAM THRO' THIS WORLD.
WE may roam thro’ this world like a child at a feast,
Who but sips of a sweet, and then flies to the rest, And, when pleasure begins to grow dull in the east,
We may order our wings, and be off to the west; But if hearts that feel, and eyes that smile,
Are the dearest gifts that Heaven supplies, We never need leave our own Green Isle
For sensitive hearts and for sun-bright eyes. Then remember, wherever your goblet is crown’d,
Thro' this world whether eastward or westward you roam, When a cup to the smile of dear woman goes round,
O! remember the smile which adorns her at honie.
In England the garden of Beauty is kept
By a dragon of prudery, plac'd within call; But so oft this unamiable dragon has slept,
That the garden's but carelessly watch'd, after all. Oh! they want the wild sweet-briery fence,
Which round the flowers of Erin dwells, Which warns the touch while winning the sense,
Nor charms us least when it most repels.