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Of childhood didst thou intertwine for me
Nor was this fellowship vouchsafed to me With stinted kindness. In November days, When vapours rolling down the valleys made A lonely scene more lonesome; among woods At noon; and mid the calm of summer nights, When, by the margin of the trembling lake, Beneath the gloomy hills, homeward I went In solitude, such intercourse was mine: Mine was it in the fields both day and night, And by the waters, all the summer long. And in the frosty season, when the sun Was set, and, visible for many a mile,
The cottage-windows through the twilight blazed,
I heeded not the summons: happy time
It was indeed for all of us; for me
It was a time of rapture! Clear and loud
That cares not for his home.-All shod with steel
And woodland pleasures,-the resounding horn, The pack loud-chiming, and the hunted hare. So through the darkness and the cold we flew, And not a voice was idle: with the din Smitten, the precipices rang aloud; The leafless trees and every icy crag Tinkled like iron; while far-distant hills Into the tumult sent an alien sound
Of melancholy, not unnoticed while the stars, Eastward, were sparkling clear, and in the west The orange sky of evening died away.
Not seldom from the uproar I retired Into a silent bay, or sportively
Glanced sideway, leaving the tumultuous throng, To cut across the reflex of a star; Image, that, flying still before me, gleamed Upon the glassy plain: and oftentimes, When we had given our bodies to the wind, And all the shadowy banks on either side Came sweeping through the darkness, spinning still The rapid line of motion, then at once
Have I, reclining back upon my heels,
That Cross belike he also raised as a standard for the true
And faithful service of his heart in the worst that
Of hardship and distressful fear, amid the houseless waste
Where he, in his poor self so weak, by Providence was placed.
-Here, Lady! might I cease; but nay, let us before we part
It came with sleep and showed the Boy, no cherub, not transformed,
But the poor ragged Thing whose ways my human heart had warmed.
Me had the dream equipped with wings, so I took him in my arms,
And lifted from the grassy floor, stilling his faint alarms,
And bore him high through yielding air my debt of love to pay,
With this dear holy shepherd-boy breathe a prayer By giving him, for both our sakes, an hour of
POEMS REFERRING TO THE PERIOD OF CHILDHOOD.
Gracefully up the gnarled trunk; nor left we
He sees the bending multitude, he hears the choral rites,
The pointed steeple peering forth from the centre Yet not the less, in children's hymns and lonely of the shade.
I lighted-opened with soft touch the chapel's iron "God for his service needeth not proud work of door, human skill; Past softly, leading in the Boy; and, while from They please him best who labour most to do in roof to floor peace his will : From floor to roof all round his eyes the Child So let us strive to live, and to our Spirits will be with wonder cast, given Pleasure on pleasure crowded in, each livelier than Such wings as, when our Saviour calls, shall bear the last. us up to heaven."
For, deftly framed within the trunk, the sanctuary The Boy no answer made by words, but, so earnest showed, was his look, By light of lamp and precious stones, that glimmered Sleep fled, and with it fled the dream-recorded in here, there glowed, this book,
Shrine, Altar, Image, Offerings hung in sign of Lest all that passed should melt away in silence gratitude; from my mind, Sight that inspired accordant thoughts; and speech As visions still more bright have done, and left no
I thus renewed:
"Hither the Afflicted come, as thou hast heard thy Mother say,
But oh! that Country-man of thine, whose eye, loved Child, can see
And, kneeling, supplication make to our Lady de A pledge of endless bliss in acts of early piety,