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But now the clear bright Moon her zenith gains, And, rimy without speck, extend the plains: The deepest cleft the mountain's front difplays Scarce hides a fhadow from her fearching rays; From the dark-blue faint filvery threads divide The hills, while gleams below the azure tide; The scene is wakened, yet its peace unbroke By filvered wreaths of quiet charcoal smoke, 'That o'er the ruins of the fallen wood Steal down the hill, and spread along the flood.
The fong of mountain-streams, unheard by day, Now hardly heard, beguiles my homeward way. All air is like the fleeping water, ftill, Lift'ning the aerial music of the hill, Broke only by the flow clock tolling deep, Or fhout that wakes the ferry-man from sleep, The echoed hoof approaching the far fhore, Soon followed by his hollow parting oar; Sound of clofed gate acrofs the water borne, Hurrying the feeding hare through rustling corn; The tremulous fob of the complaining owl; And at long intervals the mill-dog's howl; The diftant forge's fwinging thump profound; Or yell, in the deep woods, of lonely hound.
So we defcend, and winding round a rock,
Attain a point that showed the valley-stretched
In length before us; and, not distant far,
Upon a rifing ground a grey Church-tower,
Whose battlements were screened by tufted trees.
And towards a crystal Mere, that lay beyond
Among steep hills and woods embofomed, flowed
A copious ftream with boldly-winding course;
Here traceable, there hidden-there again
To fight reftored, and glittering in the sun.
On the ftream's bank, and everywhere, appeared
Fair dwellings, fingle, or in social knots;
Some scattered o'er the level, others perched
On the hill-fides, a cheerful quiet scene,
Now in its morning purity arrayed.
From "The Excurfim," Book V.
THE VALLEY OF WINANDER AND BRATHAY
Right across the lake
Our pinnace moves; then, coasting creek and bay,
Glades we beheld, and into thickets peeped,
Where couch the fpotted deer; or raised our eyes
To fhaggy fteeps on which the careless goat
Browsed by the side of dashing waterfalls;
Thus did the bark, meandering with the fhore,
Pursue her voyage, till a point was gained
Where a projecting line of rock, that framed
A natural pier, invited us to land.
Alert to follow as the Paftor led,
We clomb a green hill's fide; and thence obtained
Slowly, a lefs and lefs obftructed fight
Of the flat meadows and indented coaft
Of the whole lake, in compass feen: far off
And yet confpicuous, ftood the old Church-tower,
In majesty prefiding o'er the vale
And all her dwellings; feemingly preferved
From the intrufion of a restless world
By rocks impaffable and mountains huge.
Soft heath this elevated fpot fupplied,
With refting-place of mofly stone; and there
We fate reclined; admiring quietly
The frame and general aspect of the scene;
And each not seldom eager to make known
His own discoveries; or to favourite points
Directing notice, merely from a wish
To impart a joy, imperfect while unshared.
That rapturous moment ne'er fhall I forget,
When these particular interefts were effaced
From every mind!—already had the fun,
Sinking with less than ordinary state,
Attained his western bound; but rays of light-
Now fuddenly diverging from the orb
Retired behind the mountain tops or veiled
By the dense air-fhot upwards to the crown
Of the blue firmament-aloft, and wide:
And multitudes of little floating clouds,
Pierced through their thin ethereal mould-ere we,
Who faw, of change were confcious-had become
Vivid as fire clouds feparately poifed,-
Innumerable multitude of forms
Scattered through half the circle of the sky;
And giving back, and shedding each on each,
With prodigal communion, the bright hues
Which from the unapparent fount of glory
They had imbibed, and ceafed not to receive,
That which the heavens displayed, the liquid deep
Repeated; but with unity fublime!
From "The Excursion," Book IX.
Forth we went,
And down the valley on the ftreamlet's bank
Pursued our way, a broken company,
Mute or converfing, fingle or in pairs.
Thus having reached a bridge, that overarched
The hafty rivulet where it lay becalmed
In a deep pool, by happy chance we saw
A two-fold image; on a grafly bank
A snow-white ram, and in the crystal flood
Another and the fame! Moft beautiful,
On the green turf, with his imperial front
Shaggy and bold, and wreathed horns fuperb,
The breathing creature ftood; as beautiful
Beneath him, showed his fhadowy counterpart.
Each had his glowing mountains, each his sky,
And each seemed centre of his own fair world:
Antipodes unconfcious of each other,
Yet, in partition, with their several spheres,
Blended in perfect ftillness to our fight!
"C From The Excurfion," Book IX.