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*And often after sun-set, Sir,
When it is light and fair,
I take my little porringer,
And eat my supper there.
The first that died was sister Jane;
In bed she moaning lay,
Till God released her of her pain;
And then she went away.
'So in the church-yard she was laid;
And, when the grass was dry,
Together round her grave we played,
My brother John and I.
* And when the ground was white with snow,
And I could run and slide,
My brother John was forced to go,
And he lies by her side.'
“How many are you, then,' said I,
'If they two are in heaven?'
Quick was the little Maid's reply,
O Master! we are seven.'
‘But they are dead; those two are dead!
Their spirits are in heaven!'
'Twas throwing words away; for still
The little Maid would have her will,
And said. “Nay, we are seven!'
She dwelt among the untrodden ways
Beside the springs of Dove;
A maid whom there were none to praise,
And very few to love.
A violet by a mossy stone
Half-hidden from the eye! -Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.
She lived unknown, and few could know
When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and, O!
The difference to me!
I travell’d among unknown men
In lands beyond the sea;
Nor, England ! did I know till then
What love I bore to thee.
'Tis past, that melancholy dream!
Nor will I quit thy shore
A second time, for still I seem
To love thee more and more.
Among thy mountains did I feel
The joy of my desire;
And she I cherish'd turn'd her wheel
Beside an English fire.
Thy mornings show'd, thy nights conceal'd
The bowers where Lucy play'd; And thine too is the last green field
That Lucy's eyes survey'd.
Three years she grew in sun and shower;
Then Nature said, “A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown:
This child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
A lady of my own.
*Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
The girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.
"She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn
Or up the mountain springs;
And her's shall be the breathing balm,
And her's the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.
'The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend;
Nor shall she fail to see
E'en in the motions of the storm
Grace that shall mould the maiden's form
By silent sympathy.
• The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
Shall pass into her face.
And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
Where she and I together live
Here in this happy dell.'
Thus Nature spake—The work was done-
How soon my Lucy's race was run!
She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
And never more will be.
A slumber did my spirit seal;
I had no human fears:
She seem'd a thing that could not feel
The touch of earthly years.
No motion has she now, no force;
She neither hears nor sees;
Roll'd round in earth's diurnal course
With rocks, and stones, and trees.
THE INNER VISION
Most sweet it is with unuplifted eyes
To pace the ground, if path there be or none
While a fair region round the Traveller lies
Which he forbears again to look upon;
Pleased rather with some soft ideal scene
The work of Fancy, or some happy tone
Of meditation, slipping in between
The beauty coming and the beauty gone.
-If Thought and Love desert us, from that day
Let us break off all commerce with the Muse:
With Thought and Love companions of our way-
Whate'er the senses take or may refuse, -
The Mind's internal heaven shall shed her dews
Of inspiration on the humblest lay.
It is a beauteous evening, calm and free;
The holy time is quiet as a nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven is on the Sea:
Listen! the mighty being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder-everlastingly.
Dear child! dear girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouch'd by solemn thought
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year,
And worship'st at the Temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.
UPON WESTMINSTER BRIDGE
Sept. 3, 1802
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning: silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky,
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun niore beautifully steep
In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!
Why art thou silent? Is thy love a plant
Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air
Of absence withers what was once so fair?
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant?