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IN THE GROUNDS OF COLEORTON, THE SEAT OF SIR GEORGE BEAUMONT, BART.
THE embowering Rose, the Acacia, and the Pine,
Will not unwillingly their place resign;
If but the Cedar thrive that near them stands,
Planted by Beaumont's and by Wordsworth's hands.
One wooed the silent Art with studious pains,—
These Groves have heard the Other's pensive strains;
Devoted thus, their spirits did unite
By interchange of knowledge and delight.
May Nature's kindliest powers sustain the Tree,
And Love protect it from all injury!
And when its potent branches, wide out-thrown,
Darken the brow of this memorial Stone,
llere may some Painter sit in future days,
Some future Poet meditate his lays;
Not mindless of that distant age renowned
When Inspiration hovered o'er this ground,
The haunt of Him who sang how spear and shield
In civil conflict met on Bosworth Field;
And of that famous Youth, full soon removed
From earth, perhaps by Shakspeare's self approved,
Fletcher's Associate, Jonson's Friend beloved.
IN A GARDEN OF THE SAME.
Orr is the Medal faithful to its trust
When Temples, Columns, Towers are laid in dust;
And 't is a common ordinance of fate
That things obscure and small outlive the great:
Hence, when yon Mansion and the flowery trim
Of this fair Garden, and its alleys dim,
And all its stately trees, are passed away,
This little Niche, unconscious of decay,
Perchance may still survive.-And be it known
That it was scooped within the living stone,-
Not by the sluggish and ungrateful pains
Of labourer plodding for his daily gains;
But by an industry that wrought in love,
With help from female hands, that proudly strove
To aid the work, what time these walks and bowers
Were shaped to cheer dark winter's lonely hours.
WRITTEN AT THE REQUEST OF SIR GEORGE BEAUMONT, BART.,
AND IN HIS NAME, FOR AN URN, PLACED BY HIM AT
THE TERMINATION OF A NEWLY-PLANTED AVENUE,
IN THE SAME GROUNDS.
Ya Lime-trees, ranged before this hallowed Urn,
Shoot forth with lively power at Spring's return;
And be not slow a stately growth to rear
Of Pillars, branching off from year to year,
Till they have learned to frame a darksome Aisle;-
That may recal to mind that awful Pile
Where Reynolds, mid our Country's noblest Dead,
In the last sanctity of fame is laid.
-There, though by right the excelling Painter sleep
Where Death and glory a joint sabbath keep,
Yet not the less his Spirit would hold dear
Self-hidden praise, and Friendship's private tear:
Hence, on my patrimonial Grounds, have I
Raised this frail tribute to his memory,
From youth a zealous follower of the Art
That he professed, attached to him in heart;
Admiring, loving, and with grief and pride
Feeling what England lost when Reynolds died.
FOR A SEAT IN THE GROVES OF COLEORTON.
BENEATH yon eastern Ridge, the craggy Bound,
Rugged and high, of Charnwood's forest ground,
Stand yet, but, Stranger! hidden from thy view,
The ivied Ruins of forlorn GRACE DIEU;
Erst a religious House, which day and night
With hymns resounded, and the chanted rite:
And when those rites had ceased, the Spot gave birth
To honourable Men of various worth:
There, on the margin of a Streamlet wild,
Did Francis Beaumont sport, an eager Child;
There, under shadow of the neighbouring rocks,
Sang youthful tales of shepherds and their flocks;
Unconscious prelude to heroic themes,
Heart-breaking tears, and melancholy dreams
Of slighted love, and scorn, and jealous rage,
With which his genius shook the buskined Stage.
Communities are lost, and Empires die,
And things of holy use unhallowed lie;
They perish,-but the Intellect can raise,
From airy words alone, a Pile that ne'er decays.
WITH A PENCIL UPON A STONE IN THE WALL OF THE
HOUSE (AN OUT-HOUSE) ON THE ISLAND AT
RUDE is this Edifice, and Thou hast seen
Buildings, albeit rude, that have maintained
Proportions more harmonious, and approached
To somewhat of a closer fellowship
With the ideal grace. Yet, as it is,
Do take it in good part:-alas! the poor
Vitruvius of our village had no help
From the great City; never, on the leaves
Of red Morocco folio saw displayed
The skeletons and pre-existing ghosts
Of Beauties yet unborn, the rustic Box,
Snug Cot, with Coach-house, Shed, and Hermitage.
Thou see'st a homely Pile, yet to these walls
The heifer comes in the snow-storm, and here
The new-dropped 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 withered 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 unshorn, 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
Ile 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!
WITH A SLATE-PENCIL ON A STONE, On the side of
THE MOUNTAIN OF BLACK COMB.
STAY, bold Adventurer; rest awhile thy limbs
On this commodious Seat! for much remains
Of hard ascent before thou reach the top
Of this huge Eminence,-from blackness named,
And, to far-travelled storms of sea and land,
A favourite spot of tournament and war!
But thee may no such boisterous visitants
Molest; may gentle breezes fan thy brow;
And neither cloud conceal, nor misty air
Bedim, the grand terraqueous spectacle,
From centre to circumference, unveiled!
Know, if thou grudge not to prolong thy rest,
That on the summit whither thou art bound,
A geographic Labourer pitched his tent,
With books supplied and instruments of art,
To measure height and distance; lonely task,
Week after week pursued!-To him was given
Full many a glimpse (but sparingly bestowed
On timid man) of Nature's processes
Upon the exalted hills. He made report
That once, while there he plied his studious work
Within that canvass Dwelling, suddenly
The many-coloured map before his eyes
Became invisible: for all around
Had darkness fallen-unthreatened, unproclaimed-
As if the golden day itself had been
Extinguished in a moment; total gloom,
In which he sate alone, with unclosed eyes,
Upon the blinded mountain's silent top!
WITH A SLATE-PENCIL UPON A STONE, THE LARGEST
OF A HEAP LYING NEAR A deserted QUARRY,
UPON ONE OF THE ISLANDS AT RYDALE.
STRANGER! this hillock of mis-shapen stones
Is not a Ruin of the ancient time,
Nor, as perchance thou rashly deem'st, the Cairn
Of some old British Chief: 't is 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 isle.
But, as it chanced, Sir William having learned
That from the shore a full-grown man might wade,
And make himself a freeman of this spot
See View from the top of Black Com, in Poems of the Imagination.
any hour he chose, 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 selected as the corner-stone
Of the intended Pile, which would have been
Some quaint odd plaything 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 hast hewn
Out of the quiet rock the elements
Of thy trim mansion destined soon to blaze
In snow-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 Slow-worm sun himself,
And let the Redbreast hop from stone to stone.
SUPPOSED TO BE FOUND IN AND NEAR A HERMIT'S CELL.
HOPES what are they?-Beads of morning
Strung on slender blades of grass;
Or a spider's web adorning
In a strait and treacherous pass.
What are fears but voices airy? Whispering harm where harm is not; And deluding the unwary
Till the fatal bolt is shot!
What is glory?—in the socket
See how dying tapers fare!
What is pride?—a whizzing rocket That would emulate a star.
What is friendship?-do not trust her, Nor the vows which she has made; Diamonds dart their brightest lustre From a palsy-shaken head.
What is truth?-a staff rejected;
Duty?-an unwelcome clog;
Joy?-a moon by fits reflected
In a swamp or watery bog;
Bright, as if through ether steering,
To the Traveller's eye it shone:
He hath hailed it re-appearing-
And as quickly it is gone;
Gone, as if for ever hidden; Or mis-shapen to the sight, And by sullen weeds forbidden To resume its native light.
What is youth?—a dancing billow, (Winds behind, and rocks before!) Age?-a drooping, tottering willow On a flat and lazy shore.
What is peace?-when pain is over,
And love ceases to rebel,
Let the last faint sigh discover
That precedes the passing knell!
INSCRIBED UPON A ROCK.
PAUSE, Traveller! whosoe'er thou be
Whom chance may lead to this retreat,
Where silence yields reluctantly
Even to the fleecy straggler's bleat;
Give voice to what my hand shall trace,
And fear not lest an idle sound
Of words unsuited to the place
Disturb its solitude profound.
I saw this Rock, while vernal air
Blew softly o'er the russet heath,
Uphold a Monument as fair
As Church or Abbey furnisheth.
Unsullied did it meet the day,
Like marble white, like ether pure; As if beneath some hero lay, Honoured with costliest sepulture.
My fancy kindled as I gazed;
And, ever as the sun shone forth,
The flattered structure glistened, blazed,
And seemed the proudest thing on earth.
But Frost had reared the gorgeous Pile
Unsound as those which fortune builds;
To undermine with secret guile,
Sapped by the very beam that gilds.
And, while I gazed, with sudden shock
Fell the whole Fabric to the ground;
And naked left this dripping Rock,
With shapeless ruin spread around!
HAST thou seen, with flash incessant,
Bubbles gliding under ice,
Bodied forth and evanescent,
No one knows by what device?
Such are thoughts!-A wind-swept meadow
Mimicking a troubled sea,
Such is life; and death a shadow
From the rock eternity!
NEAR THE SPRING OF THE HERMITAGE.
TROUBLED long with warring notions,
Long impatient of thy rod,
I resign my soul's emotions
Cato Thee, mysterious God!
What avails the kindly shelter Yielded by this craggy rent, If my spirit toss and welter On the waves of discontent?
Parching Summer hath no warrant
To consume this crystal Well;
Rains, that make each rill a torrent,
Neither sully it nor swell.
Thus, dishonouring not her station,
Would my Life present to Thee,
Gracious God, the pure oblation
Of divine Tranquillity!
Nor seldom, clad in radiant vest,
Deceitfully goes forth the Morn;
Not seldom Evening in the west
Sinks smilingly forsworn.
The smoothest seas will sometimes prove,
To the confiding Bark, untrue;
And, if she trust the stars above,
They can be treacherous too.
The umbrageous Oak, in pomp outspread,
Full oft, when storms the welkin rend,
Draws lightning down upon the head
It promised to defend.
But Thou art true, incarnate Lord,
Who didst vouchsafe for man to die;
Thy smile is sure, thy plighted word
No change can falsify!
I bent before thy gracious throne,
And asked for peace on suppliant knee;
And peace was given,-nor peace alone,
But faith sublimed to ecstasy!
FOR THE SPOT WHERE THE HERMITAGE STOOD ON ST HERBERT'S ISLAND, DERWENT-WATER.
STRANGER! this shapeless heap of stones and earth
Is the last relic of St Herbert's Cell.
Here stood his threshold; here was spread the roof
That sheltered him, a self-secluded Man,
After long exercise in social cares
And offices humane, intent to adere
The Deity, with undistracted mind,
And meditate on everlasting things,
In utter solitude.-But he had left
A Fellow-labourer, whom the good Man loved
As his own soul. And, when with eye upraised
To heaven he knelt before the crucifix,
While o'er the Lake the cataract of Lodore
Pealed to his orisons, and when he paced
Along the beach of this small isle and thought
Of his Companion, he would pray that both
(Now that their earthly duties were fulfilled)
Might die in the same moment. Nor in vain
So prayed he :-as our Chronicles report,
Though here the Hermit numbered his last day,
Far from St Cuthbert his beloved Friend,
Those holy Men both died in the same hour.
Sonnets Dedicated to Liberty.
COMPOSED BY THE SEA-SIDE, NEAR CALAIS, To genuine greatness but from just desires,
FAIR Star of Evening, Splendour of the West,
Star of my country!-on the horizon's brink
Thou hangest, stooping, as might seem, to sink
On England's bosom; yet well pleased to rest,
Meanwhile, and be to her a glorious crest
Conspicuous to the Nations. Thou, I think,
Shouldst be my Country's emblem; and shouldst wink,
Bright Star! with laughter on her banners, drest
In thy fresh beauty. There! that dusky spot
Beneath thee, it is England; there it lies.
Blessings be on you both! one hope, one lot,
One life, one glory! I with many a fear
For my dear Country, many heartfelt sighs,
Among Men who do not love her, linger here.
CALAIS, AUGUST, 1802.
Is it a Reed that's shaken by the wind,
Or what is it that ye go forth to see?
Lords, Lawyers, Statesmen, Squires of low degree,
Men known, and men unknown, Sick, Lame, and Blind, Post forward all, like Creatures of one kind,
With first-fruit offerings crowd to bend the knee
In France, before the new-born Majesty.
"T is ever thus. Ye Men of prostrate mind!
A seemly reverence may be paid to power;
But that's a loyal virtue, never sown
In haste, nor springing with a transient shower:
When truth, when sense, when liberty were flown,
What hardship had it been to wait an hour?
Shame on you, feeble Heads, to slavery prone!
COMPOSED NEAR CALAIS, ON THE ROAD LEADING
TO ARDRES, AUGUST 7, 1802.
JONES! While from Calais southward you and I
Urged our accordant steps, this public Way
Streamed with the pomp of a too-credulous day,'
When faith was pledged to new-born Liberty:
A homeless sound of joy was in the Sky;
The antiquated Earth, as one might say,
Beat like the heart of Man songs, garlands, play,
Banners, and happy faces, far and nigh!
And now, sole register that these things were,
Two solitary greetings have I heard,
« Good morrow, Citizen!» a hollow word,
As if a dead Man spake it! Yet despair
Touches me not, though pensive as a Bird
Whose vernal coverts winter hath laid bare.
I GRIEVED for Bonaparté, with a vain And an unthinking grief! for, who aspires 14th July, 1790.
And knowledge such as he could never gain?
'Tis not in battles that from youth we train
The Governor who must be wise and good,
And temper with the sternness of the brain
Thoughts motherly, and meek as womanhood.
Wisdom doth live with children round her knees:
Books, leisure, perfect freedom, and the talk
Man holds with week-day man in the hourly walk
Of the mind's business: these are the degrees
By which true Sway doth mount; this is the stalk
True power doth grow on; and her rights are these.
CALAIS, AUGUST 15, 1802.
FESTIVALS have I seen that were not names :
This is young Bonaparte's natal day,
And his is henceforth an established sway,
Consul for life. With worship France proclaims
Her approbation, and with pomps and games.
fleaven grant that other Cities may be gay!
Calais is not and I have bent my way
To the sea-coast, noting that each man frames
His business as he likes. Far other show
My youth here witnessed, in a prouder time;
The senselessness of joy was then sublime!
Happy is he, who, caring not for pope,
Consul, or King, can sound himself to know
The destiny of Man, and live in hope.
ON THE EXTINCTION OF THE VENETIAN
ONCE did She hold the gorgeous East in fee;
And was the safeguard of the West: the worth
Of Venice did not fall below her birth,
Venice, the eldest Child of Liberty.
She was a Maiden City, bright and free;
No guile seduced, no force could violate;
And, when She took unto herself a Mate,
She must espouse the everlasting Sea.
And what if she had seen those glories fade,
Those titles vanish, and that strength decay;
Yet shall some tribute of regret be paid
When her long life hath reached its final day:
Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade
Of that which once was great, is passed away.
THE KING OF SWEDEN.
THE Voice of Song from distant lands shall call
To that great King; shall hail the crowned Youth
Who, taking counsel of unbending Truth,
By one example hath set forth to all
How they with dignity may stand; or fall,
If fall they must. Now, whither doth it tend?
And what to him and his shall be the end?
That thought is one which neither can appal
Nor cheer him; for the illustrious Swede hath done
The thing which ought to be: He stands above
All consequences: work he hath begun
Of fortitude, and piety, and love,
Which all his glorious Ancestors approve :
The Heroes bless him, him their rightful Son.
TO TOUSSAINT L'OUVERTURE.
TOUSSAINT, the most unhappy Man of Men!
Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough
Within thy hearing, or thy head be now
Pillowed in some deep dungeon's earless den;-
O miserable Chieftain! where and when
Wilt thou find patience? Yet die not; do thou
Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow:
Though fallen Thyself, never to rise again,
Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind
Powers that will work for thee, air, earth, and skies;
There's not a breathing of the common wind
That will forget thee; thou hast great allies;
Thy friends are exultations, agonies,
And love, and Man's unconquerable mind.
DRIVEN from the soil of France, a Female came
From Calais with us, brilliant in array,--
A Negro Woman, like a Lady gay,
Yet downcast as a Woman fearing blame;
Meek, destitute, as seemed, of hope or aim
She sate, from notice turning not away,
But on all proffered intercourse did lay
A weight of languid speech,—or at the same
Was silent, motionless in eyes and face.
Meanwhile those retained their tropic fire,
Which, burning independent of the mind,
Joined with the lustre of her rich attire
To mock the outcast-O ye Heavens, be kind!
And feel, thou Earth, for this afflicted Race!
COMPOSED IN THE VALLEY, NEAR DOVER,
ON THE DAY OF LANDING.
HERE, on our native soil we breathe once more.
The Cock that crows, the Smoke that curls, that sound
Of Bells,-those Boys who in yon meadow-ground
In white-sleeved shirts are playing,-and the roar
Of the waves breaking on the chalky shore,-
All, all are English. Oft have I looked round
With joy in Kent's green vales; but never found
Myself so satisfied in heart before.
Europe is yet in Bonds; but let that pass,
Thought for another moment. Thou art free,
My Country! and 't is joy enough and pride
For one hour's perfect bliss, to tread the grass
Of England once again, and hear and see,
With such a dear Companion at my side.
INLAND, within a hollow Vale, I stood;
And saw, while sea was calm and air was clear,
The Coast of France, the Coast of France how near!
Drawn almost into frightful neighbourhood.
I shrunk, for verily the barrier flood
Was like a Lake, or River bright and fair,
A span of waters; yet what power is there!
What mightiness for evil and for good!
Even so doth God protect us if we be
Virtuous and wise. Winds blow, and Waters roll,
Strength to the brave, and Power, and Deity,
Yet in themselves are nothing! One decree
Spake laws to them, and said that by the Soul
Only the Nations shall be great and free.
THOUGHT OF A BRITON ON THE SUBJUGATION OF SWITZERLAND.
Two Voices are there; one is of the Sea,
One of the Mountains; each a mighty Voice:
In both from age to age Thou didst rejoice,
They were thy chosen Music, Liberty!
There came a Tyrant, and with holy glee
Thou fought'st against Him; but hast vainly striven.
Thou from thy Alpine Holds at length art driven,
Where not a torrent murmurs heard by thee.
Of one deep bliss thine ear hath been bereft :
Then cleave, O cleave to that which still is left;
For, high-souled Maid, what sorrow would it be
That mountain Floods should thunder as before,
And Ocean bellow from his rocky shore,
And neither awful Voice be heard by thee!
WRITTEN IN LONDON, SEPTEMBER, 1802.
O FRIEND! I know not which way I must look
For comfort, being, as I am, opprest,
To think that now our Life is only drest
For show; mean handy-work of craftsman, cook,
Or groom!-We must run glittering like a Brook
In the open sunshine, or we are unblest :
The wealthiest man among us is the best :
No grandeur now in nature or in book
Delights us. Rapine, avarice, expense,
This is idolatry; and these we adore :
Plain living and high thinking are no more :
The homely beauty of the good old cause
Is gone; our peace, our fearful innocence,
And pure religion breathing household laws.
MILTON! thou shouldst be living at this hour:
England hath need of thee: she is a fen
Of stagnant waters: altar, sword, and pen,
Fireside, the heroic wealth of hall and bower,
Have forfeited their ancient English dower
Of inward happiness. We are selfish men;
Oh! raise us up, return to us again;
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power.
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart :