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ON APPROACHING HOME AFTER A TOUR IN SCOTLAND, 1803.
LY, fome kind fpirit, fly to Grafmere Vale!
Say that we come, and come by this day's light:
Glad tidings! -fpread them over field and height;
But chiefly let one cottage hear the tale;
There let a mystery of joy prevail,
The kitten frolic with unruly might,
And Rover whine, as at a fecond fight
Of near-approaching good that shall not fail ;-
And from that infant's face let joy appear;
Yea, let our Mary's one companion child,
That hath her fix weeks' folitude beguiled
With intimations manifold and dear,
While we have wandered over wood and wild,
Smile on his Mother now with bolder cheer.
A WALK BY THE LAKE.
A narrow girdle of rough stones and crags,
A rude and natural causeway interpofed
Between the water and a winding flope
Of copfe and thicket, leaves the eastern shore
Of Grafmere fafe in its own privacy.
And there, myself and two beloved Friends,
One calm September morning, ere the mist
Had altogether yielded to the fun,
Sauntered on this retired and difficult way.
-Ill fuits the road with one in hafte, but we Played with our time; and, as we strolled along, It was our occupation to obferve
Such objects as the waves had toffed ashore,
Feather, or leaf, or weed, or withered bough,
Each on the other heaped, along the line
Of the dry wreck. And, in our vacant mood,
Not feldom did we ftop to watch some tuft
Of dandelion feed or thistle's beard,
That skimmed the furface of the dead calm lake, Suddenly halting now-a lifeless stand!
And starting off again with freak as sudden;
In all its sportive wanderings, all the while,
Making report of an invifible breeze,
That was its wings, its chariot, and its horse,
Its very playmate, and its moving foul.
--And often, trifling with a privilege
Alike indulged to all, we paused, one now,
And now the other, to point out, perchance
To pluck, fome flower or water-weed, too fair
Either to be divided from the place
On which it grew, or to be left alone
To its own beauty. Many fuch there are,
Fair ferns and flowers, and chiefly that tall fern
So ftately, of the Queen Ofmunda named,
Plant lovelier in its own retired abode
On Grafmere's beach, than Naiad by the fide
Of Grecian brook, or Lady of the Mere,
Sole-fitting by the fhores of old Romance.
-So fared we that sweet morning: from the fields
Meanwhile a noife was heard, the busy mirth
Of reapers, men and women, boys and girls.
Delighted much to liften to thofe founds,
And, in the fashion which I have described,
Feeding unthinking fancies, we advanced
Along the indented fhore; when suddenly,
Through a thin veil of glittering haze, we saw
Before us, on a point of jutting land,
The tall and upright figure of a man
Attired in peafant's garb, who stood alone,
Angling befide the margin of the lake.
That way we turned our steps; nor was it long
Ere, making ready comments on the fight
Which then we faw, with one and the fame voice
Did all cry out, that he must be indeed
An idler, he who thus could lofe a day
Of the mid-harveft, when the labourer's hire
Is ample, and fome little might be stored
Wherewith to cheer him in the winter-time.
Thus talking of that peasant, we approached
Close to the fpot where with his rod and line
He stood alone; wherea: he turned his head
To greet us and we faw a man worn down
By sickness, gaunt and lean, with funken cheeks
And wafted limbs, his legs fo long and lean,
That for my fingle self I looked at them,
Forgetful of the body they fuftained.-
Too weak to labour in the harveft field,
The man was using his best skill to gain
A pittance from the dead unfeeling lake
That knew not of his wants. I will not fay
What thoughts immediately were ours, nor how
The happy idlenefs of that fweet morn,
With all its lovely images, was changed
To ferious mufing and to self-reproach.
Nor did we fail to fee within ourselves
What need there is to be referved in fpeech,
And temper all our thoughts with charity.
-Therefore, unwilling to forget that day,
My friend, myself, and fhe who then received
The fame admonishment, have called the place
By a memorial name, uncouth indeed
As e'er by mariner was given to bay
Or foreland, on a new-difcovered coaft;
And POINT RASH JUDGMENT is the name it bears.
The road is black before his eyes,
Glimmering faintly where it lies;
Black is the sky-and every hill,
Up to the sky, is blacker still—
Sky, hill, and dale, one difmal room,
Hung round and overhung with gloom;
Save that above a fingle height
Is to be seen a lurid light,
Above Helm Crag-a ftreak half dead,
A burning of portentous red;
And near that lurid light, full well
The Aftrologer, fage Sidrophel,
Where at his defk and book he fits,
Puzzling aloft his curious wits;
He whofe domain is held in common
With no one but the ANCIENT WOMAN,