Have followed; for such loss, I would be- My former pleasures in the shooting lights lieve,

Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while Abundant recompense. For I have learned May I behold in thee what I was once, 120 To look on nature, not as in the hour My dear, dear Sister! and this prayer I Of thoughtless youth; but hearing often

make, times

Knowing that Nature never did betray The still, sad music of humanity,

The heart that loved her; 'tis her priviNor harsh, nor grating, though of ample lege, power

Through all the years of this our life, to To chasten and subdue. And I have felt lead A presence that disturbs me with the joy From joy to joy: for she can so inform 125 Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime 95

The mind that is within us, so impress Of something far more deeply interfused, With quietness and beauty, and so feed Whose dwelling is the light of setting With lofty thoughts, that neither evil suns,

tongues, And the round ocean and the living air, Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish And the blue sky, and in the mind of men, man;

Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor A motion and a spirit, that impels

all All thinking things, all objects of all The dreary intercourse of daily life, thought,

Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb And rolls through all things. Therefore Our cheerful faith, that all which we beam I still

hold A lover of the meadows and the woods, Is full of blessings. Therefore let the And mountains; and of all that behold

Shine on thee in thy solitary walk; From this green earth; of all the mighty And let the misty mountain-winds be free world

To blow against thee: and, in after years, Of eye, and ear, — both what they half When these wild ecstasies shall be macreate,

tured And what perceive; well pleased to recog- Into a sober pleasure; when thy mind nize

Shall be mansion for all lovely In nature and the language of the sense, forms, The anchor of my purest thoughts, the Thy memory be as a dwelling-place nurse,

For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! The guide, the guardian of my heart, and then, soul

If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief, Of all my moral being.

Should be thy portion, with what healing

Nor perchance, thoughts If I were not thus taught, should I the Of tender joy wilt thou remember me, 145

And these my exhortations! Nor, perSuffer my genial spirits to decay:

chance For thou art with me here upon the banks If I should be where I no more can hear Of this fair river; thou my dearest Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes Friend,

these gleams My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I Of past existence wilt thou then forget catch

That on the banks of this delightful The language of my former heart, and read

We stood together; and that I, so long












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Our object and inglorious, yet the end Was not ignoble. Oh! when I have

hung Above the raven's nest, by knots of grass And half-inch fissures in the slippery rock But ill sustained, and almost (so it seemed) Suspended by the blast that blew amain, Shouldering the naked crag, oh, at that

time While on the perilous ridge I hung alone, With what strange utterance did the loud

dry wind Blow through my ear! the sky seemed not

a sky Of earth - and with what motion moved

the clouds !

Presences of Nature in Boyhood Fair seed-time had my soul, and I grew

up Fostered alike by beauty and by fear: Much favored in my birth-place, and no

less In that beloved Vale to which erelong We were transplanted there were we let loose

305 For sports of wider range. Ere I had told Ten birth-days, when among the mountain

slopes Frost, and the breath of frosty wind, had

snapped The last autumnal crocus, 'twas my joy With store of springes o'er my shoulder

hung To range the open heights where wood

cocks run Along the smooth green turf. Through

half the night, Scudding away from snare to snare, I

plied That anxious visitation; moon and stars Were shining o'er my head. I

alone, And seemed to be a trouble to the peace That dwelt among them. Sometimes it




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Of unknown modes of being; o'er my

thoughts There hung a darkness, call it solitude Or blank desertion. No familiar

shapes Remained, no pleasant images of trees, Of sea or sky, no colors of green fields; But huge and mighty forms that do not

live Like living men, moved slowly through the

mind By day, and were a trouble to dreams.




Pushed from the shore. It was an act of

stealth And troubled pleasure, nor without the

voice Of mountain-echoes did my boat move on; Leaving behind her still, on either side, Small circles glittering idly in the moon, 365 Until they melted all into one track Of sparkling light. But now, like one who

rows, Proud of his skill, to reach a chosen point With an unswerving line, I fixed my view Upon the summit of a craggy ridge, The horizon's utmost boundary; far above Was nothing but the stars and the gray

sky. She was an elfin pinnace; lustily I dipped my oars into the silent lake, And, as I rose upon the stroke, my boat 375 Went heaving through the water like a

swan; When, from behind that craggy steep till

then The horizon's bound, a huge peak, black

and huge, As if with voluntary power instinct Upreared its head. I struck and struck

again, And growing still in stature the grim shape Towered up between me and the stars,

and still,

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for me


Nor was this fellowship vouchsafed to Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous


throng, With stinted kindness. In November days, To cut across the reflex of a star 450 When vapors rolling down the valley made That Aed, and, flying still before me, A lonely scene more lonesome, among gleamed woods,

Upon the glassy plain; and oftentimes, At noon and 'mid the calm of summer When we had given our bodies to the nights,

wind, When, by the margin of the trembling And all the shadowy banks on either side lake,

420 Came sweeping through the darkness, spinBeneath the gloomy hills homeward I went ning still

455 In solitude, such intercourse was mine; The rapid line of motion, then at once Mine was it in the fields both day and Have I, reclining back upon my heels, night,

Stopped short; yet still the solitary cliffs And by the waters, all the summer long. Wheeled by me

even as if the earth had

rolled And in the frosty season, when the sun With visible motion her diurnal round! 460 Was set, and visible for many a mile Behind me did they stretch in solemn The cottage windows blazed through twi- train, light gloom,

Feebler and feebler, and I stood and I heeded not their summons: happy time

watched It was indeed for all of us —

Till all was tranquil as a dreamless sleep. It was

a time of rapture! Clear and laud

Ye Presences of Nature in the sky The village clock tolled six, - I wheeled

And on the earth! Ye Visions of the about,

hills! Proud and exulting like an untired horse

And Souls of lonely places! can I think That cares not for his home. All shod A vulgar hope was yours when ye emwith steel,

ployed We hissed along the polished ice in games

Such ministry, when ye, through many a Confederate, imitative of the chase

year And woodland pleasures, - the resounding

, - the resounding Haunting me thus among my boyish sports, horn,

On caves and trees, upon the woods and

hills, The pack loud chiming, and the hunted hare.

Impressed, upon all forms, the characters So through the darkness and the cold we

Of danger or desire; and thus did make flew,

The surface of the universal earth, And not a voice was idle; with the din

With triumph and delight, with hope and Smitten, the precipices rang aloud;

fear, The leafless trees and every icy crag

Work like a sea ?

475 Tinkled like iron; while far distant hills Into the tumult sent an alien sound

From BOOK SIXTH Of melancholy not unnoticed, while the

Down the Simplon Pass stars Eastward were sparkling clear, and in the Downwards we hurried fast, west

And, with the half-shaped road which we The orange sky of evening died away.

had missed, Not seldom from the uproar I retired Entered a narrow chasm. The brook and Into a silent bay, or sportively









Into a lordly river, broad and deep,
Dimpling along in silent majesty,
With mountains for its neighbors, and in

Of distant mountains and their

snowy tops, And thus proceeding to Locarno's Lake, 655 Fit resting-place for such a visitant. Locarno! spreading out in width like

Heaven, How dost thou cleave to the poetic heart, Bask in the sunshine of the memory.



Were fellow-travellers in this gloomy

strait, And with them did we journey several

hours At a slow pace. The immeasurable heights Of woods decaying, never to be de

cayed, 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 regions of the

heavens, 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



The Poet and the French Revolution




That night our lodging was

a house that stood Alone within the valley, at a point Where, tumbling from aloft, a torrent

swelled The rapid stream whose margin we had

trod; A dreary mansion, large beyond all

need, With high and spacious rooms, deafened

and stunned By noise of waters, making innocent sleep Lie melancholy among weary bones.

I had approached, like other youths, the

shield Of human nature from the golden side, 80 And would have fought, even to the death,

to attest The quality of the metal which I saw. What there is best in individual man, Of wise in passion, and sublime in power, Benevolent in small societies, And great in large ones, I had oft re

volved, Felt deeply, but not thoroughly understood By reason: nay, far from it; they were

yet, As cause

was given me afterwards to learn, Not proof against the injuries of the day;

90 Lodged only at the sanctuary's door, Not safe within its bosom. Thus

prepared, And with such general insight into evil, And of the bounds which sever it from

good, As books and common intercourse with

life Must needs have given to the inexperi

enced mind, When the world travels in a beaten road, Guide faithful as is needed – I began To meditate with ardor on the rule



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