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[From the Prelude. 1799-1805.]

[APPARITION ON THE LAKE.] v

Dust as we are, the immortal spirit grows Like harmony in music ; there is a dark Inscrutable workmanship that reconciles Discordant elements, makes them cling together In one society. How strange that all The terrors, pains, and early miseries, Regrets, vexations, lassitudes interfused Within my mind, should e'er have borne a part, And that a needful part, in making up The calm existence that is mine when I Am worthy of myself! Praise to the end ! Thanks to the means which Nature deigned to employ; Whether her fearless visitings, or those That came with soft alarm, like hurtless light Opening the peaceful clouds; or she may use Severer interventions, ministry More palpable, as best might suit her aim.

One summer evening (led by her) I found
A little boat tied to a willow tree
Within a rocky cave, its usual home.
Straight I unloosed her chain, and stepping in
Pushed from the shore. It was an act of stealth
And troubled pleasure, nor without the voice
Of mountain-echoes did my boat move on ;
Leaving behind her still, on either side,
Small circles glittering idly in the moon,
Until they melted all into one track
Of sparkling light. But now, like one who rows,
Proud of his skill, to reach a chosen point
With an unswerving line, I fixed my view

LIBRARY ORDSWORTH HERSITY OF

WILLIAM WORDSWORTH.

Upon the summit of a craggy tidgeri
The horizon's utmost boundary ; far above
Was nothing but the stars and the grey sky.
She was an elfin pinnace ; lustily
I dipped my oars into the silent lake,
And, as I rose upon the stroke, my boat
Went heaving through the water like a swan ;
When, from behind that craggy steep till then
The horizon's bound, a huge peak, black and huge,
As if with voluntary power instinct
U preared its head. I struck and struck again,
And growing still in stature the grim shape
Towered up between me and the stars, and still,
For so it seemed, with purpose of its own
And measured motion like a living thing,
Strode after me. With trembling oars I turned,
And through the silent water stole my way .
Back to the covert of the willow tree;
There in her mooring-place I left my bark,
And through the meadows homeward went, in grave
And serious mood; but after I had seen
That spectacle, for many days, my brain
Worked with a dim and undetermined sense
Of unknown modes of being ; o'er my thoughts
There hung a darkness, call it solitude
Or blank desertion. No familiar shapes
Remained, no pleasant images of trees,
Of sea or sky, no colours of green fields ;
But huge and mighty forms, that do not live
Like living men, moved slowly through the mind
By day, and were a trouble to my dreams.

[MORNING AFTER THE BALL.]

And yet, for chastisement of these regrets, The memory of one particular hour Doth here rise up against me. 'Mid a throng Of maids and youths, old men, and matrons staid, A medley of all tempers, I had passed The night in dancing, gaiety, and mirth, With din of instruments and shuffling feet, And glancing forms, and tapers glittering, And unaimed prattle flying up and down ; Spirits upon the stretch, and here and there Slight shocks of young love-liking interspersed, Whose transient pleasure mounted to the head, And tingled through the veins. Ere we retired, The cock had crowed, and now the eastern sky Was kindling, not unseen, from humble copse And open field, through which the pathway wound, And homeward led my steps. Magnificent The morning rose, in memorable pomp, Glorious as ere I had beheld-in front, The sea lay laughing at a distance; near, The solid mountains shone, bright as the clouds, Grain-tinctured, drenched in empyrean light ; And in the meadows and the lower grounds Was all the sweetness of a common dawnDews, vapours, and the melody of birds, And labourers going forth to till the fields. Ah! need I say, dear Friend! that to the brim My heart was full ; I made no vows, but vows Were then made for me ; bond unknown to me Was given, that I should be, else sinning greatly, A dedicated Spirit. On I walked In thankful blessedness, which yet survives.

[DEFILE OF GONDO.]

The brook and road Were fellow-travellers in this gloomy strait, And with them did we journey several hours At a slow pace. The immeasurable height Of woods decaying, never to be decayed, The stationary blasts of waterfalls, And in the narrow rent at every turn Winds thwarting winds, bewildered and forlorn, The torrents shooting from the clear blue sky, The rocks that muttered close upon our ears, Black drizzling crags that spake by the way-side As if a voice were in them, the sick sight And giddy prospect of the raving stream, The unfettered clouds and region of the Heavens, Tumult and peace, the darkness and the lightWere all like workings of one mind, the features Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree; Characters of the great Apocalypse, The types and symbols of Eternity, Of first, and last, and midst, and without end.'

[ASCENT OF SNOWDON.] It was a close, warm, breezeless summer night, Wan, dull, and glaring, with a dripping fog Low-hung and thick that covered all the sky; But, undiscouraged, we began to climb The mountain-side. The mist soon girt us round, And, after ordinary travellers’ talk With our conductor, pensively we sank Each into commerce with his private thoughts : Thus did we breast the ascent, and by myself Was nothing either seen or heard that checked Those musings or diverted, save that once The shepherd's lurcher, who, among the crags Had to his joy unearthed a hedgehog, teased

His coiled-up prey with barkings turbulent.
This small adventure, for even such it seemed
In that wild place and at the dead of night,
Being over and forgotten, on we wound
In silence as before. With forehead bent
Earthward, as if in opposition set
Against an enemy, I panted up
With eager pace, and no less eager thoughts.
Thus might we wear a midnight hour away,
Ascending at loose distance each from each,
And I, as chanced, the foremost of the band ;
When at my feet the ground appeared to brighten,
And with a step or two seemed brighter still ;
Nor was time given to ask or learn the cause,
For instantly a light upon the turf
Fell like a flash, and lo! as I looked up,
The Moon hung naked in a firmament
Of azure without cloud, and at my feet
Rested a silent sea of hoary mist.
A hundred hills their dusky backs upheaved
All over this still ocean ; and beyond,
Far, far beyond, the solid vapours stretched,
In headlands, tongues, and promontory shapes,
Into the main Atlantic, that appeared
To dwindle, and give up his majesty,
Usurped upon far as the sight could reach.
Not so the ethereal vault; encroachment none
Was there, nor loss; only the inferior stars
Had disappeared, or shed a fainter light
In the clear presence of the full-orbed Moon,
Who, from her sovereign elevation, gazed
Upon the billowy ocean, as it lay
All meek and silent, save that through a rift
Not distant from the shore whereon we stood
A fixed, abysmal, gloomy, breathing-place-
Mounted the roar of waters, torrents, streams
Innumerable, roaring with one voice !
Heard over earth and sea, and, in that hour,
For so it seemed, felt by the starry heavens.

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