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My whole life I have lived in pleasant thought, At length, himself unsettling, he the pond
As if he had been reading in a book :
A gentle answer did the old Man make,
In courteous speech which forth he slowly drew: Of Him who walked in glory and in joy
And him with further words I thus bespake, Following his plough, along the mountain-side:
“ What occupation do you there pursue ? By our own spirits are we deified:
This is a lonesome place for one like you." We Poets in our youth begin in gladness ; Ere he replied, a flash of mild surprise But thereof come in the end despondency and Broke from the sable orbs of his yet-vivid eyes.
Now, whether it were by peculiar grace,
His words came feebly, from a feeble chest, A leading from above, a something given,
But each in solemn order followed each, Yet it befel, that, in this lonely place,
With something of a lofty utterance drestWhen I with these untoward thoughts had striven, Choice word and measured phrase, above the reach Beside a pool bare to the eye of heaven
Of ordinary men ; a stately speech; I saw a Man before me unawares :
Such as grave Livers do in Scotland use, The oldest man he seemed that ever wore grey hairs. Religious men, who give to God and man their dues
As a huge stone is sometimes seen to lie
He told, that to these waters he had come Couched on the bald top of an eminence;
To gather leeches, being old and poor : Wonder to all who do the same espy,
Employment hazardous and wearisome ! By what means it could thither come, and whence; And he had many hardships to endure : So that it seems a thing endued with sense :
From pond to pond he roamed, from moor to moor: Like a sea-beast crawled forth, that on a shelf
Housing, with God's good help, by choice or chance ; Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun itself ; And in this way he gained an honest maintenance
Such seemed this Man, not all alive nor dead,
The old Man still stood talking by my side ; Nor all asleep-in his extreme old age:
But now his voice to me was like a stream His body was bent double, feet and head
Scarce heard ; nor word from word could I divide Coming together in life's pilgrimage ;
And the whole body of the Man did seem As if some dire constraint of pain, or rage
Like one whom I had met with in a dream; Of sickness felt by him in times long past,
Or like a man from some far region sent, A more than human weight upon his frame had cast. To give me human strength, by apt admonishmer
Himself he propped, limbs, body, and pale face,
My former thoughts returned: the fear that b
Hart- Leap Well is a small spring of water, about five miles Upon his side the Hart was lying stretched :
from Richmond in Yorkshire, and near the side of the His nostril touched a spring beneath a hill, road that leads from Richmond to Askrigg. Its name is
And with the last deep groan his breath had fetched derived from a remarkable Chase, the memory of which is preserved by the monuments spoken of in the second The waters of the spring were trembling still. Part of the following Poem, which monuments do now exist as I have there described them.
And now, too happy for repose or rest,
(Never had living man such joyful lot !) The Knight had ridden down from Wensley Moor Sir Walter walked all round, north, south, and west, With the slow motion of a summer's cloud
And gazed and gazed upon that darling spot. he approached a vassal's door, “Bring forth another horse!” he cried aloud.
And climbing up the hill—(it was at least “Another horse!” –That shout the vassal heard
Four roods of sheer ascent) Sir Walter found And saddled his best Steed, a comely grey ;
Three several hoof-marks which the hunted Beast
Had left imprinted on the grassy ground.
Sir Walter wiped his face, and cried, “ Till now
Such sight was never seen by human eyes :
Three leaps have borne him from this lofty brow,
Down to the very fountain where he lies.
I'll build a pleasure-house upon this spot,
And a small arbour, made for rural joy ; That as they galloped made the echoes roar;
"Twill be the traveller's shed, the pilgrim's cot, But horse and man are vanished, one and all ; A place of love for damsels that are coy. Such race, I think, was never seen before.
A cunning artist will I have to frame
A basin for that fountain in the dell !
And, gallant Stag! to make thy praises known,
Another monument shall here be raised ;
And, in the summer-time when days are long,
I will come hither with my Paramour ; The bugles that so joyfully were blown?
And with the dancers and the minstrel's song - This chase it looks not like an earthly chase ;
We will make merry in that pleasant bower. Sir Walter and the Hart are left alone.
The poor Hart toils along the mountain-side ;
Till the foundations of the mountains fail
Dismounting, then, he leaned against a thorn;
Then home he went, and left the Hart, stone-dead,