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The grace of parting Infancy
By blushes yet untamed ;
Nor of her arms ashamed.
Two lovely Sisters, still and sweet
As flowers, stand side by side;
The Christian of his pride:
Upon them not forlorn,
Nor yet redeemed from scorn.
Strict passage, through which sighs are brought,
Mysterious safeguard, that, in spite
Of poverty and wrong,
From Hebrew fountains sprung ;
Around the dell a gleam Of Palestine, of glory past,
And proud Jerusalem !
The headlong streams and fountains
ON THE POWER OF SOUND.
Ye Voices, and ye Shadows
From rocky steep and rock-bestudded meadows (to the close of 6th Stanza).—The power of music,
Flung back, and, in the sky's blue caves, rebornwhence proceeding, exemplified in the idiot.-Origin of music, and its effect in early ages-how produced (to the
On with your pastime! till the church-tower bells middle of 10th Stanza).-The mind recalled to sounds A greeting give of measured glee; acting casually and severally,-Wish uttered (11th And milder echoes from their cells Stanza) that these could be united into a scheme or
Repeat the bridal symphony. system for moral interests and intellectual contemplation.—(Stanza 12th). The Pythagorean theory of Then, or far earlier, let us rove numbers and music, with their supposed power over the
Where mists are breaking up or gone, motions of the universe imaginations consonant with And from aloft look down into a cove such a theory.— Wish expressed (in 11th Stanza) realised, Besprinkled with a careless quire, in some degree, by the representation of all sounds under the form of thanksgiving to the Creator.-(Last Stanza)
Happy milk-maids, one by one the destruction of earth and the planetary system-the Scattering a ditty each to her desire, survival of audible harmony, and its support in the A liquid concert matchless by nice Art, Divine Nature, as revealed in Holy Writ.
A stream as if from one full heart.
Tuy functions are ethereal,
Blest be the song that brightens
For the tired slave, Song lifts the languid oar,
Transmute him to a wretch from quiet hurled-
When civic renovation
Oblivion may not cover Dawns on a kingdom, and for needful haste
All treasures hoarded by the miser, Time. Best eloquence avails not, Inspiration
Orphean Insight! truth's undaunted lover, Mounts with a tune, that travels like a blast
To the first leagues of tutored passion climb, Piping through cave and battlemented tower ;
When Music deigned within this grosser sphere Then starts the sluggard, pleased to meet
Her subtle essence to enfold, That voice of Freedom, in its power
And voice and shell drew forth a tear Of promises, shrill, wild, and sweet!
Softer than Nature's self could mould. Who, from a martial pageant, spreads
Yet strenuous was the infant Age: Incitements of a battle-day,
Art, daring because souls could feel, Thrilling the unweaponed crowd with plumeless Stirred nowhere but an urgent equipage heads!
Of rapt imagination sped her march Even She whose Lydian airs inspire
Through the realms of woe and weal : Peaceful striving, gentle play
Hell to the lyre bowed low; the upper arch Of timid hope and innocent desire
Rejoiced that clamorous spell and magic verse Shot from the dancing Graces, as they move
Her wan disasters could disperse. Fanned by the plausive wings of Love.
How oft along thy mazes,
The Gift to king Amphion Regent of sound, have dangerous Passions trod !
That walled a city with its melody O Thou, through whom the temple rings with praises, Was for belief no dream :-thy skill, Arion ! And blackening clouds in thunder speak of God,
uld humanise the creatures of the sea, Betray not by the cozenage of sense
Where men were monsters. A last grace he craves, Thy votaries, wooingly resigned
Leave for one chant;-the dulcet sound To a voluptuous influence
Steals from the deck o'er willing waves, That taints the purer, better, mind ;
And listening dolphins gather round. But lead sick Fancy to a harp
Self-cast, as with a desperate course, That bath in noble tasks been tried;
'Mid that strange audience, he bestrides And, if the virtuous feel a pang too sharp,
A proud One docile as a managed horse ; Soothe it into patience,--stay
And singing, while the accordant hand The uplifted arm of Suicide ;
Sweeps his harp, the Master rides ; And let some mood of thine in firm array
So shall he touch at length a friendly strand, Knit every thought the impending issue needs,
And he, with his preserver, shine star-bright Ere martyr burns, or patriot bleeds !
In memory, through silent night.
As Conscience, to the centre
The pipe of Pan, to shepherds
How did they sparkle to the cymbal's clang!
That Ocean is a mighty harmonist;
For terror, joy, or pity,
Break forth into thanksgiving,
A Voice to Light gave Being ;
What's in a Name
Brutus will start a Spirit as soon as Cæsar !
TO ROBERT SOUTHEY, ESQ., P.L., ETC. ETC.
The Tale of Peter Bell, which I now introduce to your notice, and to that of the Public, has, in its Manuscript state, nearly survived its minority:--for it first saw the light in the summer of 1798. During this long interval, pains have been taken at different times to make the production less unworthy of a favourable reception ; or, rather, to fit it for filling permanently a station, however humble, in the Literature of our Country. This has, indeed, been the aim of all my endeavours in Poetry, which, you know, have been sufficiently laborious to prove that I deem the Art not lightly to be approached ; and that the attainment of excellence in it, may laudably be made the principal object of intellectual pursuit by any man, who, with reasonable consideration of circumstances, has faith in his own impulses.
The Poem of Peter Bell, as the Prologue will show, was composed under a belief that the Imagination not only does not require for its exercise the intervention of supernatural agency, but that, though such agency be excluded, the faculty may be called forth as imperiously and for kindred results of pleasure, by incidents, within the compass of poetic probability, in the humblest departments of daily life. Since that Prologue was written, you have exhibited most splendid effects of judicious daring, in the opposite and usual course. Let this acknowledgment make my peace with the lovers of the supernatural ; and I am persuaded it will be admitted, that to you, as a Master in that province of the art, the following Tale, whether from contrast or congruity, is not an unappropriate offering. Accept it, then, as a public testimony of affectionate admiration from one with whose name yours has been often coupled (to use your own words) for evil and for good; and believe me to be, with earnest wishes that life and health may be granted you to complete the many important works in which you are engaged, and with high respect,
Most faithfully yours,
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH. RYDAL MOUNT, April 7, 1819.