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To whom I fometimes in our idle talk
Have told this fancy, two or three, perhaps,
Years after we are gone and in our graves,
When they have cause to speak of this wild place,
May call it by the name of EMMA'S DELL.
There is an eminence,-of these our hills.
The last that parleys with the setting fun;
We can behold it from our orchard-feat ;
And, when at evening we pursue our walk
Along the public way, this cliff, so high
Above us, and fo diftant in its height,
Is vifible; and often seems to fend
Its own deep quiet to restore our hearts.
The meteors make of it a favourite haunt :
The ftar of Jove, so beautiful and large
In the mid heavens, is never half fo fair
As when he shines above it. 'Tis in truth
The lonelieft place we have among the clouds.
And she who dwells with me, whom I have loved
With fuch communion, that no place on earth
Can ever be a folitude to me,
Hath to this lonely fummit given my Name.
Our walk was far among the ancient trees;
There was no road, nor any woodman's path;
But the thick umbrage,-checking the wild growth
Of weed and fapling, on the foft green turf
Beneath the branches,—of itself had made
A track, which brought us to a flip of lawn,
And a small bed of water in the woods.
All round this pool both flocks and herds might drink
On its firm margin, even as from a well,
Or fome stone bafin which the herdsman's hand
Had shaped for their refreshment; nor did fun,
Or wind from any quarter, ever come,
But as a bleffing, to this calm recefs,
This glade of water, and this one green field.
The spot was made by Nature for herself.
The travellers know it not, and 'twill remain
Unknown to them: but it is beautiful;
And if a man fhould plant his cottage near,
Should fleep beneath the shelter of its trees,
And blend its waters with his daily meal,
He would fo love it, that in his death-hour
Its image would furvive among his thoughts:
And therefore, my fweet MARY, this still nook,
With all its beeches, we have named from you.
WRITTEN WITH A SLATE-PENCIL
Upon a Stone, the largest of a Heap lying near a Dejerted Quarry, upon one of the Islands at Rydale.
Stranger! this hillock of misfhapen stones
Is not a Ruin of the ancient time,
Nor, as perchance thou rafhly deem'st, the Cairn
Of fome old British chief: 'tis nothing more
Than the rude embryo of a little dome
Or pleasure-house, once destined to be built
Among the birch-trees of this rocky ifle.
But, as it chanced, Sir William having learned
That from the fhore a full-grown man might wade,
And make himself a freeman of this spot
At any hour he chofe, the knight forthwith
Desisted, and the quarry and the mound
Are monuments of his unfinished task.—-
The block on which these lines are traced, perhaps,
Was once felected as the corner-stone
Of the intended pile, which would have been
Some quaint odd play-thing of elaborate skill,
So that, I guess, the linnet and the thrush,
And other little builders who dwell here,
Had wondered at the work. But blame him not,
For old Sir William was a gentle knight
Bred in this vale, to which he appertained
With all his ancestry. Then peace to him,
And for the outrage which he had devised
Entire forgiveness !--But if thou art one
On fire with thy impatience to become
An inmate of these mountains,-if, disturbed
By beautiful conceptions, thou haft hewn
Out of the quiet rock the elements
Of thy trim manfion deftined foon to blaze
In fnow-white splendour,—think again, and, taught
By old Sir William and his quarry, leave
Thy fragments to the bramble and the rose;
There let the vernal flow-worm fun himself,
And let the red-breast hop from stone to stone.