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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
LIBRARY ORDSWORTH HERSITY OF
Upon the summit of a craggy tidgeri
[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.