Lyrical Ballads Vol. 2 by William Wordsworth and Samual Taylor Coleridge

Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Robert Prince and the DP Team LYRICAL BALLADS WITH OTHER POEMS. 1800 IN TWO VOLUMES. By W. WORDSWORTH. Quam hihil ad genium, Papiniane, tuum! VOL. II. CONTENTS Hart-leap Well There was a Boy, &c The Brothers, a Pastoral Poem Ellen Irwin, or the Braes of Kirtle Strange fits of passion I
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  • 1800
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Produced by Jonathan Ingram, Robert Prince and the DP Team






Quam hihil ad genium, Papiniane, tuum!



Hart-leap Well
There was a Boy, &c
The Brothers, a Pastoral Poem
Ellen Irwin, or the Braes of Kirtle Strange fits of passion I have known, &c. Song
A slumber did my spirit seal, &c
The Waterfall and the Eglantine
The Oak and the Broom, a Pastoral
Lucy Gray
The Idle Shepherd-Boys or Dungeon-Gill Force, a Pastoral ‘Tis said that some have died for love, &c. Poor Susan
Inscription for the Spot where the Hermitage stood on St. Herbert’s Island, Derwent-Water Inscription for the House (an Out-house) on the Island at Grasmere To a Sexton
Andrew Jones
The two Thieves, or the last stage of Avarice A whirl-blast from behind the Hill, &c. Song for the wandering Jew
Lines written with a Slate-Pencil upon a Stone, &c. Lines written on a Tablet in a School
The two April Mornings
The Fountain, a conversation
Three years she grew in sun and shower, &c. The Pet-Lamb, a Pastoral
Written in Germany on one of the coldest days of the century The Childless Father
The Old Cumberland Beggar, a Description Rural Architecture
A Poet’s Epitaph
A Character
A Fragment
Poems on the Naming of Places,
Michael, a Pastoral
Notes to the Poem of The Brothers
Notes to the Poem of Michael


Hart-Leap Well is a small spring of water, about five miles from Richmond in Yorkshire, and near the side of the road which leads from Richmond to Askrigg. Its name is derived from a remarkable chase, the memory of which is preserved by the monuments spoken of in the second Part of the following Poem, which monuments do now exist as I have there described them.

The Knight had ridden down from Wensley moor With the slow motion of a summer’s cloud; He turn’d aside towards a Vassal’s door, And, “Bring another Horse!” he cried aloud.

“Another Horse!”–That shout the Vassal heard, And saddled his best steed, a comely Grey; Sir Walter mounted him; he was the third Which he had mounted on that glorious day.

Joy sparkeled in the prancing Courser’s eyes; The horse and horsemen are a happy pair; But, though Sir Walter like a falcon flies, There is a doleful silence in the air.

A rout this morning left Sir Walter’s Hall, That as they gallop’d made the echoes roar; But horse and man are vanish’d, one and all; Such race, I think, was never seen before.

Sir Walter, restless as a veering wind, Calls to the few tired dogs that yet remain: Brach, Swift and Music, noblest of their kind, Follow, and weary up the mountain strain.

The Knight halloo’d, he chid and cheer’d them on With suppliant gestures and upbraidings stern; But breath and eye-sight fail, and, one by one, The dogs are stretch’d among the mountain fern.

Where is the throng, the tumult of the chace? The bugles that so joyfully were blown? –This race it looks not like an earthly race; Sir Walter and the Hart are left alone.

The poor Hart toils along the mountain side; I will not stop to tell how far he fled, Nor will I mention by what death he died; But now the Knight beholds him lying dead.

Dismounting then, he lean’d against a thorn; He had no follower, dog, nor man, nor boy: He neither smack’d his whip, nor blew his horn, But gaz’d upon the spoil with silent joy.

Close to the thorn on which Sir Walter lean’d, Stood his dumb partner in this glorious act; Weak as a lamb the hour that it is yean’d, And foaming like a mountain cataract.

Upon his side the Hart was lying stretch’d: His nose half-touch’d a spring beneath a hill, And with the last deep groan his breath had fetch’d The waters of the spring were trembling still.

And now, too happy for repose or rest, Was never man in such a joyful case,
Sir Walter walk’d all round, north, south and west, And gaz’d, and gaz’d upon that darling place.

And turning up the hill, it was at least Nine roods of sheer ascent, Sir Walter found Three several marks which with his hoofs the beast Had left imprinted on the verdant ground.

Sir Walter wiped his face, and cried, “Till now Such sight was never seen by living eyes: Three leaps have borne him from this lofty brow, Down to the very fountain where he lies.”

I’ll build a Pleasure-house upon this spot, And a small Arbour, made for rural joy; Twill be the traveller’s shed, the pilgrim’s cot, A place of love for damsels that are coy.

A cunning Artist will I have to frame A bason for that fountain in the dell;
And they, who do make mention of the same, From this day forth, shall call it Hart-leap Well.

And, gallant brute! to make thy praises known, Another monument shall here be rais’d;
Three several pillars, each a rough hewn stone, And planted where thy hoofs the turf have graz’d.

And in the summer-time when days are long, I will come hither with my paramour,
And with the dancers, and the minstrel’s song, We will make merry in that pleasant bower.

Till the foundations of the mountains fail My mansion with its arbour shall endure, –The joy of them who till the fields of Swale, And them who dwell among the woods of Ure.

Then home he went, and left the Hart, stone-dead, With breathless nostrils stretch’d above the spring. And soon the Knight perform’d what he had said, The fame whereof through many a land did ring.

Ere thrice the moon into her port had steer’d, A cup of stone receiv’d the living well; Three pillars of rude stone Sir Walter rear’d, And built a house of pleasure in the dell.

And near the fountain, flowers of stature tall With trailing plants and trees were intertwin’d, Which soon composed a little sylvan hall, A leafy shelter from the sun and wind.

And thither, when the summer days were long, Sir Walter journey’d with his paramour; And with the dancers and the minstrel’s song Made merriment within that pleasant bower.

The Knight, Sir Walter, died in course of time, And his bones lie in his paternal vale.– But there is matter for a second rhyme, And I to this would add another tale.


The moving accident is not my trade. To curl the blood I have no ready arts; ‘Tis my delight, alone in summer shade, To pipe a simple song to thinking hearts,

As I from Hawes to Richmond did repair, It chanc’d that I saw standing in a dell Three aspins at three corners of a square, And one, not four yards distant, near a well.

What this imported I could ill divine, And, pulling now the rein my horse to stop, I saw three pillars standing in a line, The last stone pillar on a dark hill-top.

The trees were grey, with neither arms nor head; Half-wasted the square mound of tawny green; So that you just might say, as then I said, “Here in old time the hand of man has been.”

I look’d upon the hills both far and near; More doleful place did never eye survey; It seem’d as if the spring-time came not here, And Nature here were willing to decay.

I stood in various thoughts and fancies lost, When one who was in Shepherd’s garb attir’d, Came up the hollow. Him did I accost,
And what this place might be I then inquir’d.

The Shepherd stopp’d, and that same story told Which in my former rhyme I have rehears’d. “A jolly place,” said he, “in times of old, But something ails it now; the spot is curs’d.”

You see these lifeless stumps of aspin wood, Some say that they are beeches, others elms, These were the Bower; and here a Mansion stood, The finest palace of a hundred realms.

The arbour does its own condition tell, You see the stones, the fountain, and the stream, But as to the great Lodge, you might as well Hunt half a day for a forgotten dream.

There’s neither dog nor heifer, horse nor sheep, Will wet his lips within that cup of stone; And, oftentimes, when all are fast asleep, This water doth send forth a dolorous groan.

Some say that here a murder has been done, And blood cries out for blood: but, for my part, I’ve guess’d, when I’ve been sitting in the sun, That it was all for that unhappy Hart.

What thoughts must through the creature’s brain have pass’d! To this place from the stone upon the steep Are but three bounds, and look, Sir, at this last! O Master! it has been a cruel leap.

For thirteen hours he ran a desperate race; And in my simple mind we cannot tell
What cause the Hart might have to love this place, And come and make his death-bed near the well.

Here on the grass perhaps asleep he sank, Lull’d by this fountain in the summer-tide; This water was perhaps the first he drank When he had wander’d from his mother’s side.

In April here beneath the scented thorn He heard the birds their morning carols sing, And he, perhaps, for aught we know, was born Not half a furlong from that self-same spring.

But now here’s neither grass nor pleasant shade; The sun on drearier hollow never shone: So will it be, as I have often said,
Till trees, and stones, and fountain all are gone.

Grey-headed Shepherd, thou hast spoken well; Small difference lies between thy creed and mine; This beast not unobserv’d by Nature fell, His death was mourn’d by sympathy divine.

The Being, that is in the clouds and air, That is in the green leaves among the groves. Maintains a deep and reverential care
For them the quiet creatures whom he loves.

The Pleasure-house is dust:–behind, before, This, is no common waste, no common gloom; But Nature, in due course of time, once more Shall here put on her beauty and her bloom.

She leaves these objects to a slow decay That what we are, and have been, may be known; But, at the coming of the milder day,
These monuments shall all be overgrown.

One lesson, Shepherd, let us two divide, Taught both by what she shews, and what conceals, Never to blend our pleasure or our pride With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels.

There was a Boy, ye knew him well, ye Cliffs And Islands of Winander! many a time,
At evening, when the stars had just begun To move along the edges of the hills,
Rising or setting, would he stand alone, Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake, And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands Press’d closely palm to palm and to his mouth Uplifted, he, as through an instrument, Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls
That they might answer him. And they would shout Across the wat’ry vale and shout again
Responsive to his call, with quivering peals, And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud Redoubled and redoubled, a wild scene

Of mirth and jocund din. And, when it chanced That pauses of deep silence mock’d his skill, Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprize Has carried far into his heart the voice Of mountain torrents, or the visible scene Would enter unawares into his mind
With all its solemn imagery, its rocks, Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, receiv’d Into the bosom of the steady lake.

Fair are the woods, and beauteous is the spot, The vale where he was born: the Church-yard hangs Upon a slope above the village school,
And there along that bank when I have pass’d At evening, I believe, that near his grave A full half-hour together I have stood, Mute–for he died when he was ten years old.





[Footnote 1: This Poem was intended to be the concluding poem of a series of pastorals, the scene of which was laid among the mountains of Cumberland and Westmoreland. I mention this to apologise for the abruptness with which the poem begins.]

These Tourists, Heaven preserve us! needs must live A profitable life: some glance along
Rapid and gay, as if the earth were air. And they were butterflies to wheel about Long as their summer lasted; some, as wise, Upon the forehead of a jutting crag
Sit perch’d with book and pencil on their knee, And look and scribble, scribble on and look, Until a man might travel twelve stout miles, Or reap an acre of his neighbour’s corn. But, for that moping son of Idleness
Why can he tarry _yonder_?–In our church-yard Is neither epitaph nor monument,
Tomb-stone nor name, only the turf we tread. And a few natural graves. To Jane, his Wife, Thus spake the homely Priest of Ennerdale. It was a July evening, and he sate
Upon the long stone seat beneath the eaves Of his old cottage, as it chanced that day, Employ’d in winter’s work. Upon the stone His Wife sate near him, teasing matted wool, While, from the twin cards tooth’d with glittering wire, He fed the spindle of his youngest child, Who turn’d her large round wheel in the open air With back and forward steps. Towards the field In which the parish chapel stood alone, Girt round with a bare ring of mossy wall, While half an hour went by, the Priest had sent Many a long look of wonder, and at last, Risen from his seat, beside the snowy ridge Of carded wool–which the old Man had piled He laid his implements with gentle care, Each in the other lock’d; and, down the path Which from his cottage to the church-yard led, He took his way, impatient to accost
The Stranger, whom he saw still lingering there.

‘Twas one well known to him in former days, A Shepherd-lad: who ere his thirteenth year Had chang’d his calling, with the mariners A fellow-mariner, and so had fared
Through twenty seasons; but he had been rear’d Among the mountains, and he in his heart Was half a Shepherd on the stormy seas. Oft in the piping shrouds had Leonard heard The tones of waterfalls, and inland sounds Of caves and trees; and when the regular wind Between the tropics fill’d the steady sail And blew with the same breath through days and weeks, Lengthening invisibly its weary line
Along the cloudless main, he, in those hours Of tiresome indolence would often hang
Over the vessel’s aide, and gaze and gaze, And, while the broad green wave and sparkling foam Flash’d round him images and hues, that wrought In union with the employment of his heart, He, thus by feverish passion overcome,
Even with the organs of his bodily eye, Below him, in the bosom of the deep
Saw mountains, saw the forms of sheep that graz’d On verdant hills, with dwellings among trees, And Shepherds clad in the same country grey Which he himself had worn. [2]

[Footnote 2: This description of the Calenture is sketched from an imperfect recollection of an admirable one in prose, by Mr. Gilbert, Author of the Hurricane.]

And now at length,
From perils manifold, with some small wealth Acquir’d by traffic in the Indian Isles, To his paternal home he is return’d,
With a determin’d purpose to resume The life which he liv’d there, both for the sake Of many darling pleasures, and the love Which to an only brother he has borne
In all his hardships, since that happy time When, whether it blew foul or fair, they two Were brother Shepherds on their native hills. –They were the last of all their race; and now, When Leonard had approach’d his home, his heart Fail’d in him, and, not venturing to inquire Tidings of one whom he so dearly lov’d, Towards the church-yard he had turn’d aside, That, as he knew in what particular spot His family were laid, he thence might learn If still his Brother liv’d, or to the file Another grave was added.–He had found
Another grave, near which a full half hour He had remain’d, but, as he gaz’d, there grew Such a confusion in his memory,
That he began to doubt, and he had hopes That he had seen this heap of turf before, That it was not another grave, but one, He had forgotten. He had lost his path, As up the vale he came that afternoon,
Through fields which once had been well known to him. And Oh! what joy the recollection now
Sent to his heart! he lifted up his eyes, And looking round he thought that he perceiv’d Strange alteration wrought on every side Among the woods and fields, and that the rocks, And the eternal hills, themselves were chang’d.

By this the Priest who down the field had come Unseen by Leonard, at the church-yard gate Stopp’d short, and thence, at leisure, limb by limb He scann’d him with a gay complacency.
Aye, thought the Vicar, smiling to himself; ‘Tis one of those who needs must leave the path Of the world’s business, to go wild alone: His arms have a perpetual holiday,
The happy man will creep about the fields Following his fancies by the hour, to bring Tears down his check, or solitary smiles Into his face, until the setting sun
Write Fool upon his forehead. Planted thus Beneath a shed that overarch’d the gate Of this rude church-yard, till the stars appear’d The good man might have commun’d with himself But that the Stranger, who had left the grave, Approach’d; he recogniz’d the Priest at once, And after greetings interchang’d, and given By Leonard to the Vicar as to one
Unknown to him, this dialogue ensued.


You live, Sir, in these dales, a quiet life: Your years make up one peaceful family; And who would grieve and fret, if, welcome come And welcome gone, they are so like each other, They cannot be remember’d. Scarce a funeral Comes to this church-yard once, in eighteen months; And yet, some changes must take place among you. And you, who dwell here, even among these rocks Can trace the finger of mortality,
And see, that with our threescore years and ten We are not all that perish.–I remember, For many years ago I pass’d this road,
There was a foot-way all along the fields By the brook-side–’tis gone–and that dark cleft! To me it does not seem to wear the face Which then it had.


Why, Sir, for aught I know, That chasm is much the same–


But, surely, yonder– PRIEST.

Aye, there indeed, your memory is a friend That does not play you false.–On that tall pike, (It is the loneliest place of all these hills) There were two Springs which bubbled side by side, As if they had been made that they might be Companions for each other: ten years back, Close to those brother fountains, the huge crag Was rent with lightning–one is dead and gone, The other, left behind, is flowing still.– For accidents and changes such as these, Why we have store of them! a water-spout Will bring down half a mountain; what a feast For folks that wander up and down like you, To see an acre’s breadth of that wide cliff One roaring cataract–a sharp May storm Will come with loads of January snow,
And in one night send twenty score of sheep To feed the ravens, or a Shepherd dies
By some untoward death among the rocks: The ice breaks up and sweeps away a bridge– A wood is fell’d:–and then for our own homes! A child is born or christen’d, a field plough’d, A daughter sent to service, a web spun, The old house cloth is deck’d with a new face; And hence, so far from wanting facts or dates To chronicle the time, we all have here A pair of diaries, one serving, Sir,
For the whole dale, and one for each fire-side, Your’s was a stranger’s judgment: for historians Commend me to these vallies.


Yet your church-yard
Seems, if such freedom may be used with you, To say that you are heedless of the past. Here’s neither head nor foot-stone, plate of brass, Cross-bones or skull, type of our earthly state Or emblem of our hopes: the dead man’s home Is but a fellow to that pasture field.


Why there, Sir, is a thought that’s new to me. The Stone-cutters, ’tis true, might beg their bread If every English church-yard were like ours: Yet your conclusion wanders from the truth.

We have no need of names and epitaphs, We talk about the dead by our fire-sides. And then for our immortal part, _we_ want No symbols, Sir, to tell us that plain tale: The thought of death sits easy on the man Who has been born and dies among the mountains:


Your dalesmen, then, do in each other’s thoughts Possess a kind of second life: no doubt You, Sir, could help me to the history
Of half these Graves?


With what I’ve witness’d; and with what I’ve heard, Perhaps I might, and, on a winter’s evening, If you were seated at my chimney’s nook By turning o’er these hillocks one by one, We two could travel, Sir, through a strange round, Yet all in the broad high-way of the world. Now there’s a grave–your foot is half upon it, It looks just like the rest, and yet that man Died broken-hearted.


‘Tis a common case,
We’ll take another: who is he that lies Beneath yon ridge, the last of those three graves;– It touches on that piece of native rock Left in the church-yard wall.


That’s Walter Ewbank. He had as white a head and fresh a cheek As ever were produc’d by youth and age
Engendering in the blood of hale fourscore. For five long generations had the heart Of Walter’s forefathers o’erflow’d the bounds Of their inheritance, that single cottage, You see it yonder, and those few green fields. They toil’d and wrought, and still, from sire to son, Each struggled, and each yielded as before A little–yet a little–and old Walter, They left to him the family heart, and land With other burthens than the crop it bore. Year after year the old man still preserv’d A chearful mind, and buffeted with bond, Interest and mortgages; at last he sank, And went into his grave before his time. Poor Walter! whether it was care that spurr’d him God only knows, but to the very last
He had the lightest foot in Ennerdale: His pace was never that of an old man:
I almost see him tripping down the path With his two Grandsons after him–but you, Unless our Landlord be your host to-night, Have far to travel, and in these rough paths Even in the longest day of midsummer–


But these two Orphans!


Orphans! such they were– Yet not while Walter liv’d–for, though their Parents Lay buried side by side as now they lie, The old Man was a father to the boys,
Two fathers in one father: and if tears Shed, when he talk’d of them where they were not, And hauntings from the infirmity of love, Are aught of what makes up a mother’s heart, This old Man in the day of his old age
Was half a mother to them.–If you weep, Sir, To hear a stranger talking about strangers, Heaven bless you when you are among your kindred! Aye. You may turn that way–it is a grave Which will bear looking at.


These Boys I hope
They lov’d this good old Man–


They did–and truly, But that was what we almost overlook’d, They were such darlings of each other. For Though from their cradles they had liv’d with Walter, The only kinsman near them in the house, Yet he being old, they had much love to spare, And it all went into each other’s hearts. Leonard, the elder by just eighteen months, Was two years taller: ’twas a joy to see, To hear, to meet them! from their house the School Was distant three short miles, and in the time Of storm and thaw, when every water-course And unbridg’d stream, such as you may have notic’d Crossing our roads at every hundred steps, Was swoln into a noisy rivulet,
Would Leonard then, when elder boys perhaps Remain’d at home, go staggering through the fords Bearing his Brother on his back.–I’ve seen him, On windy days, in one of those stray brooks, Aye, more than once I’ve seen him mid-leg deep, Their two books lying both on a dry stone Upon the hither side:–and once I said, As I remember, looking round these rocks And hills on which we all of us were born, That God who made the great book of the world Would bless such piety–


It may be then–


Never did worthier lads break English bread: The finest Sunday that the Autumn saw,
With all its mealy clusters of ripe nuts, Could never keep these boys away from church, Or tempt them to an hour of sabbath breach. Leonard and James! I warrant, every corner Among these rocks and every hollow place Where foot could come, to one or both of them Was known as well as to the flowers that grew there. Like roe-bucks they went bounding o’er the hills: They play’d like two young ravens on the crags: Then they could write, aye and speak too, as well As many of their betters–and for Leonard! The very night before he went away,
In my own house I put into his hand A Bible, and I’d wager twenty pounds,
That, if he is alive, he has it yet.


It seems, these Brothers have not liv’d to be A comfort to each other.–


That they might
Live to that end, is what both old and young In this our valley all of us have wish’d, And what, for my part, I have often pray’d: But Leonard–


Then James still is left among you–


‘Tis of the elder Brother I am speaking: They had an Uncle, he was at that time
A thriving man, and traffick’d on the seas: And, but for this same Uncle, to this hour Leonard had never handled rope or shroud. For the Boy lov’d the life which we lead here; And, though a very Stripling, twelve years old; His soul was knit to this his native soil. But, as I said, old Walter was too weak To strive with such a torrent; when he died, The estate and house were sold, and all their sheep, A pretty flock, and which, for aught I know, Had clothed the Ewbauks for a thousand years. Well–all was gone, and they were destitute. And Leonard, chiefly for his brother’s sake, Resolv’d to try his fortune on the seas. ‘Tis now twelve years since we had tidings from him. If there was one among us who had heard That Leonard Ewbank was come home again, From the great Gavel [3], down by Leeza’s Banks, And down the Enna, far as Egremont,
The day would be a very festival,
And those two bells of ours, which there you see Hanging in the open air–but, O good Sir! This is sad talk–they’ll never sound for him Living or dead–When last we heard of him He was in slavery among the Moors
Upon the Barbary Coast–‘Twas not a little That would bring down his spirit, and, no doubt, Before it ended in his death, the Lad
Was sadly cross’d–Poor Leonard! when we parted, He took me by the hand and said to me,
If ever the day came when he was rich, He would return, and on his Father’s Land He would grow old among us.

[Footnote 3: The great Gavel, so called I imagine, from its resemblance to the Gable end of a house, is one of the highest of the Cumberland mountains. It stands at the head of the several vales of Ennerdale, Wastdale, and Borrowdale.

The Leeza is a River which follows into the Lake of Ennerdale: on issuing from the Lake, it changes its name, and is called the End, Eyne, or Enna. It falls into the sea a little below Egremont.]


If that day
Should come, ‘twould needs be a glad day for him; He would himself, no doubt, be as happy then As any that should meet him–

Happy, Sir–


You said his kindred all were in their graves, And that he had one Brother–

That is but
A fellow tale of sorrow. From his youth James, though not sickly, yet was delicate, And Leonard being always by his side
Had done so many offices about him, That, though he was not of a timid nature, Yet still the spirit of a mountain boy
In him was somewhat check’d, and when his Brother Was gone to sea and he was left alone
The little colour that he had was soon Stolen from his cheek, he droop’d, and pin’d and pin’d;


But these are all the graves of full grown men!


Aye, Sir, that pass’d away: we took him to us. He was the child of all the dale–he liv’d Three months with one, and six months with another: And wanted neither food, nor clothes, nor love, And many, many happy days were his.
But, whether blithe or sad, ’tis my belief His absent Brother still was at his heart. And, when he liv’d beneath our roof, we found (A practice till this time unknown to him) That often, rising from his bed at night, He in his sleep would walk about, and sleeping He sought his Brother Leonard–You are mov’d! Forgive me, Sir: before I spoke to you, I judg’d you most unkindly.


But this youth,
How did he die at last?


One sweet May morning,
It will be twelve years since, when Spring returns, He had gone forth among the new-dropp’d lambs, With two or three companions whom it chanc’d Some further business summon’d to a house Which stands at the Dale-head. James, tir’d perhaps, Or from some other cause remain’d behind. You see yon precipice–it almost looks
Like some vast building made of many crags, And in the midst is one particular rock That rises like a column from the vale, Whence by our Shepherds it is call’d, the Pillar. James, pointing to its summit, over which They all had purpos’d to return together, Inform’d them that he there would wait for them: They parted, and his comrades pass’d that way Some two hours after, but they did not find him At the appointed place, a circumstance
Of which they took no heed: but one of them, Going by chance, at night, into the house Which at this time was James’s home, there learn’d That nobody had seen him all that day:
The morning came, and still, he was unheard of: The neighbours were alarm’d, and to the Brook Some went, and some towards the Lake; ere noon They found him at the foot of that same Rock Dead, and with mangled limbs. The third day after I buried him, poor Lad, and there he lies.


And that then _is_ his grave!–Before his death You said that he saw many happy years?


Aye, that he did–


And all went well with him–


If he had one, the Lad had twenty homes.


And you believe then, that his mind was easy–


Yes, long before he died, he found that time Is a true friend to sorrow, and unless
His thoughts were turn’d on Leonard’s luckless fortune, He talk’d about him with a chearful love.


He could not come to an unhallow’d end!


Nay, God forbid! You recollect I mention’d A habit which disquietude and grief
Had brought upon him, and we all conjectur’d That, as the day was warm, he had lain down Upon the grass, and, waiting for his comrades He there had fallen asleep, that in his sleep He to the margin of the precipice
Had walk’d, and from the summit had fallen head-long, And so no doubt he perish’d: at the time, We guess, that in his hands he must have had His Shepherd’s staff; for midway in the cliff It had been caught, and there for many years It hung–and moulder’d there.

The Priest here ended– The Stranger would have thank’d him, but he felt Tears rushing in; both left the spot in silence, And Leonard, when they reach’d the church-yard gate, As the Priest lifted up the latch, turn’d round, And, looking at the grave, he said, “My Brother.” The Vicar did not hear the words: and now, Pointing towards the Cottage, he entreated That Leonard would partake his homely fare: The other thank’d him with a fervent voice, But added, that, the evening being calm, He would pursue his journey. So they parted.

It was not long ere Leonard reach’d a grove That overhung the road: he there stopp’d short, And, sitting down beneath the trees, review’d All that the Priest had said: his early years Were with him in his heart: his cherish’d hopes, And thoughts which had been his an hour before. All press’d on him with such a weight, that now, This vale, where he had been so happy, seem’d A place in which he could not bear to live: So he relinquish’d all his purposes.
He travell’d on to Egremont; and thence, That night, address’d a letter to the Priest Reminding him of what had pass’d between them. And adding, with a hope to be forgiven, That it was from the weakness of his heart, He had not dared to tell him, who he was.

This done, he went on shipboard, and is now A Seaman, a grey headed Mariner.

Or the BRAES of KIRTLE_. [4]

[Footnote 4: The Kirtle is a River in the Southern part of Scotland, on whose banks the events here related took place.]

Fair Ellen Irwin, when she sate
Upon the Braes of Kirtle,
Was lovely as a Grecian Maid
Adorn’d with wreaths of myrtle.
Young Adam Bruce beside her lay,
And there did they beguile the day With love and gentle speeches,
Beneath the budding beeches.

From many Knights and many Squires
The Brace had been selected,
And Gordon, fairest of them all,
By Ellen was rejected.
Sad tidings to that noble Youth!
For it may be proclaim’d with truth, If Bruce hath lov’d sincerely,
The Gordon loves as dearly.

But what is Gordon’s beauteous face? And what are Gordon’s crosses
To them who sit by Kirtle’s Braes
Upon the verdant mosses?
Alas that ever he was born!
The Gordon, couch’d behind a thorn, Sees them and their caressing,
Beholds them bless’d and blessing.

Proud Gordon cannot bear the thoughts That through his brain are travelling,
And, starting up, to Bruce’s heart He launch’d a deadly jav’lin!
Fair Ellen saw it when it came,
And, stepping forth to meet the same, Did with her body cover
The Youth her chosen lover.

And, falling into Bruce’s arms,
Thus died the beauteous Ellen,
Thus from the heart of her true-love The mortal spear repelling.
And Bruce, as soon as he had slain The Gordon, sail’d away to Spain,
And fought with rage incessant
Against the Moorish Crescent.

But many days and many months,
And many years ensuing,
This wretched Knight did vainly seek The death that he was wooing:
So coming back across the wave,
Without a groan on Ellen’s grave
His body he extended,
And there his sorrow ended.

Now ye who willingly have heard
The tale I have been telling,
May in Kirkonnel church-yard view
The grave of lovely Ellen:
By Ellen’s side the Bruce is laid, And, for the stone upon his head,
May no rude hand deface it,
And its forlorn ‘Hic jacet’.

Strange fits of passion I have known, And I will dare to tell,
But in the lover’s ear alone,
What once to me befel.

When she I lov’d, was strong and gay And like a rose in June,
I to her cottage bent my way,
Beneath the evening moon.

Upon the moon I fix’d my eye,
All over the wide lea;
My horse trudg’d on, and we drew nigh Those paths so dear to me.

And now we reach’d the orchard plot, And, as we climb’d the hill,
Towards the roof of Lucy’s cot
The moon descended still.

In one of those sweet dreams I slept, Kind Nature’s gentlest boon!
And, all the while, my eyes I kept On the descending moon.

My horse mov’d on; hoof after hoof
He rais’d and never stopp’d:
When down behind the cottage roof
At once the planet dropp’d.

What fond and wayward thoughts will slide Into a Lover’s head–
“O mercy!” to myself I cried,
“If Lucy should be dead!”


She dwelt among th’ 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 _liv’d_ unknown, and few could know When Lucy ceas’d to be;
But she is in her Grave, and Oh!
The difference to me.

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!


“Begone, thou fond presumptuous Elf, Exclaim’d a thundering Voice,
Nor dare to thrust thy foolish self Between me and my choice!”
A falling Water swoln with snows
Thus spake to a poor Briar-rose,
That all bespatter’d with his foam, And dancing high, and dancing low,
Was living, as a child might know, In an unhappy home.

“Dost thou presume my course to block? Off, off! or, puny Thing!
I’ll hurl thee headlong with the rock To which thy fibres cling.”
The Flood was tyrannous and strong; The patient Briar suffer’d long,
Nor did he utter groan or sigh,
Hoping the danger would be pass’d: But seeing no relief, at last
He venture’d to reply.

“Ah!” said the Briar, “Blame me not! Why should we dwell in strife?
We who in this, our natal spot,
Once liv’d a happy life!
You stirr’d me on my rocky bed–
What pleasure thro’ my veins you spread! The Summer long from day to day
My leaves you freshen’d and bedew’d; Nor was it common gratitude
That did your cares repay.”

When Spring came on with bud and bell, Among these rocks did I
Before you hang my wreath to tell
That gentle days were nigh!
And in the sultry summer hours
I shelter’d you with leaves and flowers; And in my leaves now shed and gone
The linnet lodg’d and for us two
Chaunted his pretty songs when you Had little voice or none.

But now proud thoughts are in your breast– What grief is mine you see.
Ah! would you think, ev’n yet how blest Together we might be!
Though of both leaf and flower bereft, Some ornaments to me are left–
Rich store of scarlet hips is mine, With which I in my humble way
Would deck you many a Winter’s day, A happy Eglantine!

What more he said, I cannot tell.
The stream came thundering down the dell And gallop’d loud and fast;
I listen’d, nor aught else could hear, The Briar quak’d and much I fear.
Those accents were his last.

The OAK and the BROOM,


His simple truths did Andrew glean
Beside the babbling rills;
A careful student he had been
Among the woods and hills.
One winter’s night when through the Trees The wind was thundering, on his knees
His youngest born did Andrew hold: And while the rest, a ruddy quire
Were seated round their blazing fire, This Tale the Shepherd told.

I saw a crag, a lofty stone
As ever tempest beat!
Out of its head an Oak had grown,
A Broom out of its feet.
The time was March, a chearful noon– The thaw-wind with the breath of June
Breath’d gently from the warm South-west; When in a voice sedate with age
This Oak, half giant and half sage, His neighbour thus address’d.

“Eight weary weeks, thro’ rock and clay, Along this mountain’s edge
The Frost hath wrought both night and day, Wedge driving after wedge.
Look up, and think, above your head What trouble surely will be bred;
Last night I heard a crash–’tis true, The splinters took another road–
I see them yonder–what a load
For such a Thing as you!”

You are preparing as before
To deck your slender shape;
And yet, just three years back–no more– You had a strange escape.
Down from yon Cliff a fragment broke, It came, you know, with fire and smoke
And hither did it bend its way.
This pond’rous block was caught by me, And o’er your head, as you may see,
‘Tis hanging to this day.

The Thing had better been asleep,
Whatever thing it were,
Or Breeze, or Bird, or fleece of Sheep, That first did plant you there.
For you and your green twigs decoy The little witless Shepherd-boy
To come and slumber in your bower; And trust me, on some sultry noon,
Both you and he, Heaven knows how soon! Will perish in one hour.

“From me this friendly warning take”– –The Broom began to doze,
And thus to keep herself awake
Did gently interpose.
“My thanks for your discourse are due; That it is true, and more than true,
I know and I have known it long;
Frail is the bond, by which we hold Our being, be we young or old,
Wise, foolish, weak or strong.”

Disasters, do the best we can,
Will reach both great and small;
And he is oft the wisest man,
Who is not wise at all.
For me, why should I wish to roam? This spot is my paternal home,
It is my pleasant Heritage;
My Father many a happy year
Here spread his careless blossoms, here Attain’d a good old age.

Even such as his may be may lot.
What cause have I to haunt
My heart with terrors? Am I not
In truth a favor’d plant!
The Spring for me a garland weaves Of yellow flowers and verdant leaves,
And, when the Frost is in the sky, My branches are so fresh and gay
That You might look on me and say
This plant can never die.

The butterfly, all green and gold,
To me hath often flown,
Here in my Blossoms to behold
Wings lovely as his own.
When grass is chill with rain or dew, Beneath my shade the mother ewe
Lies with her infant lamb; I see
The love, they to each other make, And the sweet joy, which they partake,
It is a joy to me.

Her voice was blithe, her heart was light; The Broom might have pursued
Her speech, until the stars of night Their journey had renew’d.
But in the branches of the Oak
Two Ravens now began to croak
Their nuptial song, a gladsome air; And to her own green bower the breeze
That instant brought two stripling Bees To feed and murmur there.

One night the Wind came from the North And blew a furious blast,
At break of day I ventur’d forth
And near the Cliff I pass’d.
The storm had fall’n upon the Oak
And struck him with a mighty stroke, And whirl’d and whirl’d him far away;
And in one hospitable Cleft
The little careless Broom was left To live for many a day.


Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray,
And when I cross’d the Wild,
I chanc’d to see at break of day
The solitary Child.

No Mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
She dwelt on a wild Moor,
The sweetest Thing that ever grew
Beside a human door!

You yet may spy the Fawn at play,
The Hare upon the Green;
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
Will never more be seen.

“To-night will be a stormy night,
You to the Town must go,
And take a lantern, Child, to light Your Mother thro’ the snow.”

“That, Father! will I gladly do;
‘Tis scarcely afternoon–
The Minster-clock has just struck two, And yonder is the Moon.”

At this the Father rais’d his hook
And snapp’d a faggot-band;
He plied his work, and Lucy took
The lantern in her hand.

Not blither is the mountain roe,
With many a wanton stroke
Her feet disperse, the powd’ry snow That rises up like smoke.

The storm came on before its time,
She wander’d up and down,
And many a hill did Lucy climb
But never reach’d the Town.

The wretched Parents all that night
Went shouting far and wide;
But there was neither sound nor sight To serve them for a guide.

At day-break on a hill they stood
That overlook’d the Moor;
And thence they saw the Bridge of Wood A furlong from their door.

And now they homeward turn’d, and cry’d “In Heaven we all shall meet!”
When in the snow the Mother spied
The print of Lucy’s feet.

Then downward from the steep hill’s edge They track’d the footmarks small;
And through the broken hawthorn-hedge, And by the long stone-wall;

And then an open field they cross’d, The marks were still the same;
They track’d them on, nor ever lost, And to the Bridge they came.

They follow’d from the snowy bank
The footmarks, one by one,
Into the middle of the plank,
And further there were none.

Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living Child,
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome Wild.

O’er rough and smooth she trips along, And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind.




[Footnote 5: ‘Gill’, in the dialect of Cumberland and Westmoreland, is a short and for the most part a steep narrow valley, with a stream running through it. Force is the word universally employed in these dialects for Waterfall.]


The valley rings with mirth and joy, Among the hills the Echoes play
A never, never ending song
To welcome in the May.
The Magpie chatters with delight;

The mountain Raven’s youngling Brood Have left the Mother and the Nest,
And they go rambling east and west In search of their own food,
Or thro’ the glittering Vapors dart In very wantonness of Heart.


Beneath a rock, upon the grass,
Two Boys are sitting in the sun;
It seems they have no work to do
Or that their work is done.
On pipes of sycamore they play
The fragments of a Christmas Hymn, Or with that plant which in our dale
We call Stag-horn, or Fox’s Tail
Their rusty Hats they trim:
And thus as happy as the Day,
Those Shepherds wear the time away.


Along the river’s stony marge
The sand-lark chaunts a joyous song; The thrush is busy in the Wood,
And carols loud and strong.
A thousand lambs are on the rocks, All newly born! both earth and sky
Keep jubilee, and more than all,
Those Boys with their green Coronal, They never hear the cry,
That plaintive cry! which up the hill Comes from the depth of Dungeon-Gill.


Said Walter, leaping from the ground, “Down to the stump of yon old yew
I’ll run with you a race.”–No more– Away the Shepherds flew.
They leapt, they ran, and when they came Right opposite to Dungeon-Gill,
Seeing, that he should lose the prize, “Stop!” to his comrade Walter cries–
James stopp’d with no good will:
Said Walter then, “Your task is here, ‘Twill keep you working half a year.”


“Till you have cross’d where I shall cross, Say that you’ll neither sleep nor eat.” James proudly took him at his word,
But did not like the feat.
It was a spot, which you may see
If ever you to Langdale go:
Into a chasm a mighty Block
Hath fallen, and made a bridge of rock; The gulph is deep below,
And in a bason black and small
Receives a lofty Waterfall.


With staff in hand across the cleft
The Challenger began his march;
And now, all eyes and feet, hath gain’d The middle of the arch.
When list! he hears a piteous moan– Again! his heart within him dies–
His pulse is stopp’d, his breath is lost, He totters, pale as any ghost,
And, looking down, he spies
A Lamb, that in the pool is pent
Within that black and frightful rent.


The Lamb had slipp’d into the stream, And safe without a bruise or wound
The Cataract had borne him down
Into the gulph profound,
His dam had seen him when he fell, She saw him down the torrent borne;
And while with all a mother’s love She from the lofty rocks above
Sent forth a cry forlorn,
The Lamb, still swimming round and round Made answer to that plaintive sound.


When he had learnt, what thing it was, That sent this rueful cry; I ween,
The Boy recover’d heart, and told
The sight which he had seen.
Both gladly now deferr’d their task; Nor was there wanting other aid–
A Poet, one who loves the brooks
Far better than the sages’ books,
By chance had thither stray’d;
And there the helpless Lamb he found By those huge rocks encompass’d round.


He drew it gently from the pool,
And brought it forth into the light; The Shepherds met him with his charge
An unexpected sight!
Into their arms the Lamb they took, Said they, “He’s neither maim’d nor scarr’d”– Then up the steep ascent they hied
And placed him at his Mother’s side; And gently did the Bard
Those idle Shepherd-boys upbraid,
And bade them better mind their trade.

‘Tis said, that some have died for love: And here and there a church-yard grave is found In the cold North’s unhallow’d ground,
Because the wretched man himself had slain, His love was such a grievous pain.
And there is one whom I five years have known; He dwells alone
Upon Helvellyn’s side.
He loved–The pretty Barbara died, And thus he makes his moan:
Three years had Barbara in her grave been laid When thus his moan he made.

Oh! move thou Cottage from behind that oak Or let the aged tree uprooted lie,
That in some other way yon smoke
May mount into the sky!
The clouds pass on; they from the Heavens depart: I look–the sky is empty space;
I know not what I trace;
But when I cease to look, my hand is on my heart.

O! what a weight is in these shades! Ye leaves, When will that dying murmur be suppress’d? Your sound my heart of peace bereaves,
It robs my heart of rest.
Thou Thrush, that singest loud and loud and free, Into yon row of willows flit,
Upon that alder sit;
Or sing another song, or chuse another tree

Roll back, sweet rill! back to thy mountain bounds, And there for ever be thy waters chain’d! For thou dost haunt the air with sounds That cannot be sustain’d;
If still beneath that pine-tree’s ragged bough Headlong yon waterfall must come,
Oh let it then be dumb!–
Be any thing, sweet rill, but that which thou art now.

Thou Eglantine whose arch so proudly towers (Even like a rainbow spanning half the vale) Thou one fair shrub, oh! shed thy flowers, And stir not in the gale.
For thus to see thee nodding in the air, To see thy arch thus stretch and bend,
Thus rise and thus descend,
Disturbs me, till the sight is more than I can bear.

The man who makes this feverish complaint Is one of giant stature, who could dance Equipp’d from head to foot in iron mail. Ah gentle Love! if ever thought was thine To store up kindred hours for me, thy face Turn from me, gentle Love, nor let me walk Within the sound of Emma’s voice, or know Such happiness as I have known to-day.


At the corner of Wood-Street, when day-light appears, There’s a Thrush that sings loud, it has sung for three years: Poor Susan has pass’d by the spot and has heard In the silence of morning the song of the bird.

‘Tis a note of enchantment; what ails her? She sees A mountain ascending, a vision of trees; Bright volumes of vapour through Lothbury glide, And a river flows on through the vale of Cheapside.

Green pastures she views in the midst of the dale, Down which she so often has tripp’d with her pail, And a single small cottage, a nest like a Jove’s, The only one dwelling on earth that she loves.

She looks, and her heart is in Heaven, but they fade, The mist and the river, the hill and the shade; The stream will not flow, and the hill will not rise, And the colours have all pass’d away from her eyes.

Poor Outcast! return–to receive thee once more The house of thy Father will open its door, And thou once again, in thy plain russet gown, May’st hear the thrush sing from a tree of its own.

_For the Spot where the_ HERMITAGE _stood on St. Herbert’s Island, Derwent-Water_.

If thou in the dear love of some one friend Hast been so happy, that thou know’st what thoughts Will, sometimes, in the happiness of love Make the heart sink, then wilt thou reverence This quiet spot.–St. Herbert hither came And here, for many seasons, from the world Remov’d, and the affections of the world He dwelt in solitude. He living here,
This island’s sole inhabitant! had left A Fellow-labourer, whom the good Man lov’d As his own soul; and when within his cave Alone he knelt before the crucifix
While o’er the lake the cataract of Lodore Peal’d to his orisons, and when he pac’d Along the beach of this small isle and thought Of his Companion, he had pray’d that both Might die in the same moment. Nor in vain So pray’d he:–as our Chronicles report, Though here the Hermit number’d his last days, Far from St. Cuthbert his beloved friend, Those holy men both died in the same hour.

For the House (an Outhouse) on the Island at Grasmere_.

Rude is this Edifice, and Thou hast seen Buildings, albeit rude, that have maintain’d Proportions more harmonious, and approach’d To somewhat of a closer fellowship
With the ideal grace. Yet as it is Do take it in good part; for he, the poor Vitruvius of our village, had no help
From the great city; never on the leaves Of red Morocco folio saw display’d
The skeletons and pre-existing ghosts Of Beauties yet unborn, the rustic Box, Snug Cot, with Coach-house, Shed and Hermitage. It is a homely pile, yet to these walls The heifer comes in the snow-storm, and here The new-dropp’d lamb finds shelter from the wind.

And hither does one Poet sometimes row His pinnace, a small vagrant barge, up-piled With plenteous store of heath and wither’d fern, A lading which he with his sickle cuts
Among the mountains, and beneath this roof He makes his summer couch, and here at noon Spreads out his limbs, while, yet unborn, the sheep Panting beneath the burthen of their wool Lie round him, even as if they were a part Of his own household: nor, while from his bed He through that door-place looks toward the lake And to the stirring breezes, does he want Creations lovely as the work of sleep,
Fair sights, and visions of romantic joy.

_To a SEXTON_.

Let thy wheel-barrow alone.
Wherefore, Sexton, piling still
In thy bone-house bone on bone?
Tis already like a hill
In a field of battle made,
Where three thousand skulls are laid. –These died in peace each with the other, Father, Sister, Friend, and Brother.

Mark the spot to which I point!
From this platform eight feet square Take not even a finger-joint:
Andrew’s whole fire-side is there.

Here, alone, before thine eyes,
Simon’s sickly Daughter lies
From weakness, now, and pain defended, Whom he twenty winters tended.

Look but at the gardener’s pride,
How he glories, when he sees
Roses, lilies, side by side,
Violets in families.

By the heart of Man, his tears,
By his hopes and by his fears,
Thou, old Grey-beard! art the Warden Of a far superior garden.

Thus then, each to other dear,
Let them all in quiet lie,
Andrew there and Susan here,
Neighbours in mortality.

And should I live through sun and rain Seven widow’d years without my Jane,
O Sexton, do not then remove her,
Let one grave hold the Lov’d and Lover!


I hate that Andrew Jones: he’ll breed His children up to waste and pillage.
I wish the press-gang or the drum
With its tantara sound would come, And sweep him from the village!

I said not this, because he loves
Through the long day to swear and tipple; But for the poor dear sake of one
To whom a foul deed he had done,
A friendless Man, a travelling Cripple!

For this poor crawling helpless wretch Some Horseman who was passing by,
A penny on the ground had thrown;
But the poor Cripple was alone
And could not stoop–no help was nigh.

Inch-thick the dust lay on the ground For it had long been droughty weather:
So with his staff the Cripple wrought Among the dust till he had brought
The halfpennies together.

It chanc’d that Andrew pass’d that way Just at the time; and there he found
The Cripple in the mid-day heat
Standing alone, and at his feet
He saw the penny on the ground.

He stopp’d and took the penny up.
And when the Cripple nearer drew,
Quoth Andrew, “Under half-a-crown. What a man finds is all his own,
And so, my Friend, good day to you.”

And _hence_ I said, that Andrew’s boys Will all be train’d to waste and pillage; And wish’d the press-gang, or the drum
With its tantara sound, would come And sweep him from the village!

Or the last Stage of AVARICE_.

Oh now that the genius of Bewick were mine And the skill which He learn’d on the Banks of the Tyne; When the Muses might deal with me just as they chose For I’d take my last leave both of verse and of prose.

What feats would I work with my magical hand! Book-learning and books should be banish’d the land And for hunger and thirst and such troublesome calls Every ale-house should then have a feast on its walls.

The Traveller would hang his wet clothes on a chair Let them smoke, let them burn, not a straw would he care. For the Prodigal Son, Joseph’s Dream and his Sheaves, Oh what would they be to my tale of two Thieves!

Little Dan is unbreech’d, he is three birth-days old, His Grandsire that age more than thirty times told, There’s ninety good seasons of fair and foul weather Between them, and both go a stealing together.

With chips is the Carpenter strewing his floor? It a cart-load of peats at an old Woman’s door? Old Daniel his hand to the treasure will slide, And his Grandson’s as busy at work by his side.

Old Daniel begins, he stops short and his eye Through the lost look of dotage is cunning and sly. ‘Tis a look which at this time is hardly his own, But tells a plain tale of the days that are flown.

Dan once had a heart which was mov’d by the wires Of manifold pleasures and many desires: And what if he cherish’d his purse? ‘Twas no more Than treading a path trod by thousands before.

‘Twas a path trod by thousands, but Daniel is one Who went something farther than others have gone; And now with old Daniel you see how it fares You see to what end he has brought his grey hairs.

The pair sally forth hand in hand; ere the sun Has peer’d o’er the beeches their work is begun: And yet into whatever sin they may fall, This Child but half knows it and that not at all.

They hunt through the street with deliberate tread, And each in his turn is both leader and led; And wherever they carry their plots and their wiles, Every face in the village is dimpled with smiles.

Neither check’d by the rich nor the needy they roam, For grey-headed Dan has a daughter at home; Who will gladly repair all the damage that’s done, And three, were it ask’d, would be render’d for one.

Old Man! whom so oft I with pity have ey’d, I love thee and love the sweet boy at thy side: Long yet may’st thou live, for a teacher we see That lifts up the veil of our nature in thee.

A whirl-blast from behind the hill
Rush’d o’er the wood with startling sound: Then all at once the air was still,
And showers of hail-stones patter’d round.

Where leafless Oaks tower’d high above, I sate within an undergrove
Of tallest hollies, tall and green, A fairer bower was never seen.

From year to year the spacious floor With wither’d leaves is cover’d o’er,
You could not lay a hair between:
And all the year the bower is green.

But see! where’er the hailstones drop The wither’d leaves all skip and hop,
There’s not a breeze–no breath of air– Yet here, and there, and every where

Along the floor, beneath the shade
By those embowering hollies made,
The leaves in myriads jump and spring, As if with pipes and music rare
Some Robin Good-fellow were there, And all those leaves, that jump and spring, Were each a joyous, living thing.

Oh! grant me Heaven a heart at ease
That I may never cease to find,
Even in appearances like these
Enough to nourish and to stir my mind!




Though the torrents from their fountains Roar down many a craggy steep,
Yet they find among the mountains
Resting-places calm and deep.

Though almost with eagle pinion
O’er the rocks the Chamois roam.
Yet he has some small dominion
Which no doubt he calls his home.

If on windy days the Raven
Gambol like a dancing skiff,
Not the less he loves his haven
On the bosom of the cliff.

Though the Sea-horse in the ocean
Own no dear domestic cave;
Yet he slumbers without motion
On the calm and silent wave.

Day and night my toils redouble!
Never nearer to the goal,
Night and day, I feel the trouble, Of the Wanderer in my soul.



When Ruth was left half desolate,
Her Father took another Mate;
And so, not seven years old,
The slighted Child at her own will Went wandering over dale and hill
In thoughtless freedom bold.

And she had made a pipe of straw
And from that oaten pipe could draw All sounds of winds and floods;
Had built a bower upon the green,
As if she from her birth had been
An Infant of the woods.

There came a Youth from Georgia’s shore, A military Casque he wore
With splendid feathers drest;
He brought them from the Cherokees; The feathers nodded in the breeze
And made a gallant crest.

From Indian blood you deem him sprung: Ah no! he spake the English tongue
And bare a Soldier’s name;
And when America was free
From battle and from jeopardy
He cross the ocean came.

With hues of genius on his cheek
In finest tones the Youth could speak. –While he was yet a Boy
The moon, the glory of the sun,
And streams that murmur as they run Had been his dearest joy.

He was a lovely Youth! I guess
The panther in the wilderness
Was not so fair as he;
And when he chose to sport and play, No dolphin ever was so gay
Upon the tropic sea.

Among the Indians he had fought,
And with him many tales he brought Of pleasure and of fear,
Such tales as told to any Maid
By such a Youth in the green shade Were perilous to hear.

He told of Girls, a happy rout,
Who quit their fold with dance and shout Their pleasant Indian Town
To gather strawberries all day long, Returning with a choral song
When day-light is gone down.

He spake of plants divine and strange That ev’ry day their blossoms change,
Ten thousand lovely hues!
With budding, fading, faded flowers They stand the wonder of the bowers