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529                                                      Lucy


STRANGE fits of passion have I known:
   And I will dare to tell,
But in the lover’s ear alone,
   What once to me befell.
When she I loved look’d every day
   Fresh as a rose in June,
I to her cottage bent my way,
   Beneath an evening moon.
Upon the moon I fix’d my eye,
   All over the wide lea;
With quickening pace my horse drew nigh
   Those paths so dear to me.
And now we reach’d the orchard-plot;
   And, as we climb’d the hill,
The sinking moon to Lucy’s cot
   Came near and nearer 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 moved on; hoof after hoof
   He raised, and never stopp’d:
When down behind the cottage roof,
   At once, the bright moon 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!’

530                                                         (ii)

SHE dwelt among the 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 lived unknown, and few could know
   When Lucy ceased to be;
But she is in her grave, and oh,
   The difference to me!

531                                                        (iii)

I TRAVELL’D among unknown men,
   In lands beyond the sea;
Nor, England! did I know till then
   What love I bore to thee.
’Tis past, that melancholy dream!
   Nor will I quit thy shore
A second time; for still I seem
   To love thee more and more.
Among thy mountains did I feel
   The joy of my desire;
And she I cherish’d turn’d her wheel
   Beside an English fire.
Thy mornings show’d, thy nights conceal’d,
   The bowers where Lucy play’d;
And thine too is the last green field
   That Lucy’s eyes survey’d.

532                                                        (iv)

THREE years she grew in sun and shower;
Then Nature said, ‘A lovelier flower
   On earth was never sown;
This child I to myself will take;
She shall be mine, and I will make
   A lady of my own.
‘Myself will to my darling be
Both law and impulse: and with me
   The girl, in rock and plain,
In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,
Shall feel an overseeing power
   To kindle or restrain.
‘She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn
   Or up the mountain springs;
And hers shall be the breathing balm,
And hers the silence and the calm
   Of mute insensate things.
‘The floating clouds their state shall lend
To her; for her the willow bend;
   Nor shall she fail to see
Even in the motions of the storm
Grace that shall mould the maiden’s form
   By silent sympathy.
‘The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear
   In many a secret place
Where rivulets dance their wayward round,
And beauty born of murmuring sound
   Shall pass into her face.
‘And vital feelings of delight
Shall rear her form to stately height,
   Her virgin bosom swell;
Such thoughts to Lucy I will give
While she and I together live
   Here in this happy dell.’
Thus Nature spake—The work was done—
How soon my Lucy’s race was run!
   She died, and left to me
This heath, this calm and quiet scene;
The memory of what has been,
   And never more will be.

533                                                         (v)

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.

534                                      Upon Westminster Bridge

   EARTH has not anything to show more fair:
      Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
   A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth like a garment wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
   Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
   Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
   In his first splendour valley, rock, or hill;
Ne’er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
   The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
   And all that mighty heart is lying still!

535                                        Evening on Calais Beach

IT is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
     The holy time is quiet as a Nun
    Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquillity;
The gentleness of heaven broods o’er the sea:
   Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
   And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder—everlastingly.
Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
   If thou appear untouch’d by solemn thought,
   Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham’s bosom all the year;
   And worshipp’st at the Temple’s inner shrine,
   God being with thee when we know it not.

536               On the Extinction of the Venetian Republic, 1802

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 reach’d its final day:
Men are we, and must grieve when even the Shade
    Of that which once was great is pass’d away.

537                                         England, 1802 (i)

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.

538                                                        (ii)

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;
    O raise us up, return to us again,
And give us manners, virtue, freedom, power!
Thy soul was like a Star, and dwelt apart;
    Thou hadst a voice whose sound was like the sea:
    Pure as the naked heavens, majestic, free,
    So didst thou travel on life’s common way,
In cheerful godliness; and yet thy heart
   The lowliest duties on herself did lay.

539                                                       (iii)

GREAT men have been among us; hands that penn’d
And tongues that utter’d wisdom—better none:
The later Sidney, Marvel, Harrington,
Young Vane, and others who call’d Milton friend.
These moralists could act and comprehend:
    They knew how genuine glory was put on;
    Taught us how rightfully a nation shone
In splendour: what strength was, that would not bend
But in magnanimous meekness. France, ’tis strange,
    Hath brought forth no such souls as we had then.
Perpetual emptiness! unceasing change!
   No single volume paramount, no code,
   No master spirit, no determined road;
   But equally a want of books and men!

540                                                       (iv)

IT is not to be thought of that the flood
Of British freedom, which, to the open sea
Of the world’s praise, from dark antiquity
Hath flow’d, ‘with pomp of waters, unwithstood,’—
Roused though it be full often to a mood
    Which spurns the check of salutary bands,—
    That this most famous stream in bogs and sands
Should perish; and to evil and to good
Be lost for ever. In our halls is hung
    Armoury of the invincible Knights of old:
    We must be free or die, who speak the tongue
     That Shakespeare spake; the faith and morals hold
Which Milton held.—In everything we are sprung
    Of Earth’s first blood, have titles manifold.

541                                                        (v)

WHEN I have borne in memory what has tamed
Great Nations, how ennobling thoughts depart
When men change swords for ledgers, and desert
The student’s bower for gold, some fears unnamed
I had, my Country—am I to be blamed?
    Now, when I think of thee, and what thou art,
    Verily, in the bottom of my heart,
Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed.
For dearly must we prize thee; we who find
    In thee a bulwark for the cause of men;
    And I by my affection was beguiled:
    What wonder if a Poet now and then,
Among the many movements of his mind,
   Felt for thee as a lover or a child!

542                                           The Solitary Reaper

BEHOLD her, single in the field,
    Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
    Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.
No Nightingale did ever chaunt
    More welcome notes to weary bands
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
    Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne’er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas
Among the farthest Hebrides.
Will no one tell me what she sings?—
    Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
    And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?
Whate’er the theme, the Maiden sang
    As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
    And o’er the sickle bending;—
I listen’d, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.

543                                           Perfect Woman

SHE was a phantom of delight
When first she gleam’d upon my sight;
A lovely apparition, sent
To be a moment’s ornament;
Her eyes as stars of twilight fair;
Like twilight’s, too, her dusky hair;
But all things else about her drawn
From May-time and the cheerful dawn;
A dancing shape, an image gay,
To haunt, to startle, and waylay.
I saw her upon nearer view,
A Spirit, yet a Woman too!
Her household motions light and free,
And steps of virgin liberty;
A countenance in which did meet
Sweet records, promises as sweet;
A creature not too bright or good
For human nature’s daily food;
For transient sorrows, simple wiles,
Praise, blame, love, kisses, tears, and smiles.
And now I see with eye serene
The very pulse of the machine;
A being breathing thoughtful breath,
A traveller between life and death;
The reason firm, the temperate will,
Endurance, foresight, strength, and skill;
A perfect Woman, nobly plann’d,
To warn, to comfort, and command;
And yet a Spirit still, and bright
With something of angelic light.

544                                                    Daffodils

I WANDER’D lonely as a cloud
   That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
   A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
   And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch’d in never-ending line
   Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced, but they
   Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
   In such a jocund company:
I gazed—and gazed—but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
    In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
    Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

545                                                Ode to Duty

STERN Daughter of the Voice of God!
O Duty! if that name thou love,
Who art a light to guide, a rod
To check the erring and reprove;
Thou, who art victory and law
When empty terrors overawe;
From vain temptations dost set free;
And calm’st the weary strife of frail humanity!
There are who ask not if thine eye
Be on them; who, in love and truth,
Where no misgiving is, rely
Upon the genial sense of youth:
Glad hearts! without reproach or blot;
Who do thy work, and know it not:
O, if through confidence misplaced
They fail, thy saving arms, dread Power! around them cast.
Serene will be our days and bright,
And happy will our nature be,
When love is an unerring light,
And joy its own security.
And they a blissful course may hold
Even now, who, not unwisely bold,
Live in the spirit of this creed;
Yet seek thy firm support, according to their need.
I, loving freedom, and untried;
No sport of every random gust,
Yet being to myself a guide,
Too blindly have reposed my trust:
And oft, when in my heart was heard
Thy timely mandate, I deferr’d
The task, in smoother walks to stray;
But thee I now would serve more strictly, if I may.
Through no disturbance of my soul,
Or strong compunction in me wrought,
I supplicate for thy control;
But in the quietness of thought.
Me this uncharter’d freedom tires;
I feel the weight of chance-desires;
My hopes no more must change their name,
I long for a repose that ever is the same.
Yet not the less would I throughout
Still act according to the voice
Of my own wish; and feel past doubt
That my submissiveness was choice:
Not seeking in the school of pride
For ‘precepts over dignified,’
Denial and restraint I prize
No farther than they breed a second Will more wise.
Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear
The Godhead’s most benignant grace;
Nor know we anything so fair
As is the smile upon thy face:
Flowers laugh before thee on their beds,
And fragrance in thy footing treads;
Thou dost preserve the stars from wrong;
And the most ancient heavens, through Thee, are fresh and strong.
To humbler functions, awful Power!
I call thee: I myself commend
Unto thy guidance from this hour;
O, let my weakness have an end!
Give unto me, made lowly wise,
The spirit of self-sacrifice;
The confidence of reason give;
And in the light of truth thy bondman let me live!

546                                                The Rainbow

MY heart leaps up when I behold
    A rainbow in the sky:
So was it when my life began;
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
    Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man;
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

547                                            The Sonnet (i)

NUNS fret not at their convent’s narrow room,
And hermits are contented with their cells,
    And students with their pensive citadels;
Maids at the wheel, the weaver at his loom,
Sit blithe and happy; bees that soar for bloom,
    High as the highest peak of Furness fells,
    Will murmur by the hour in foxglove bells:
In truth the prison unto which we doom
Ourselves no prison is: and hence for me,
    In sundry moods, ’twas pastime to be bound
    Within the Sonnet’s scanty plot of ground;
Pleased if some souls (for such there needs must be)
Who have felt the weight of too much liberty,
    Should find brief solace there, as I have found.

548                                                        (ii)

SCORN not the Sonnet; Critic, you have frown’d,
Mindless of its just honours; with this key
    Shakespeare unlock’d his heart; the melody
Of this small lute gave ease to Petrarch’s wound;
A thousand times this pipe did Tasso sound;
    With it Camëoens sooth’d an exile’s grief;
    The Sonnet glitter’d a gay myrtle leaf
Amid the cypress with which Dante crown’d
His visionary brow: a glow-worm lamp,
    It cheer’d mild Spenser, call’d from Faery-land
To struggle through dark ways; and when a damp
    Fell round the path of Milton, in his hand
The Thing became a trumpet; whence he blew
Soul-animating strains—alas, too few!

549                                                   The World

THE world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers:
    Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This sea that bares her bosom to the moon;
    The winds that will be howling at all hours,
    And are up-gather’d now like sleeping flowers;
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.—Great God! I’d rather be
    A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
    Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
    Or hear old Triton blow his wreathàed horn.

550                                                Ode

Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of
Early Childhood

THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
       To me did seem
    Apparell’d in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
      Turn wheresoe’er I may,
          By night or day,
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
    The rainbow comes and goes,
    And lovely is the rose;
    The moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare;
    Waters on a starry night
    Are beautiful and fair;
  The sunshine is a glorious birth;
  But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath pass’d away a glory from the earth.
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
   And while the young lambs bound
     As to the tabor’s sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
     And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the echoes through the mountains throng,
The winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
     And all the earth is gay;
      Land and sea
    Give themselves up to jollity,
    And with the heart of May
    Doth every beast keep holiday;—
    Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Shepherd
Ye blessàed creatures, I have heard the call
   Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
   My heart is at your festival,
   My head hath its coronal,
The fullness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.
   O evil day! if I were sullen
   While Earth herself is adorning,
      This sweet May-morning,
     And the children are culling
    On every side,
    In a thousand valleys far and wide,
    Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the babe leaps up on his mother’s arm:—
   I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
   —But there’s a tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have look’d upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone:
      The pansy at my feet
     Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
    Hath had elsewhere its setting,
      And cometh from afar:
    Not in entire forgetfulness,
    And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
    From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
    Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
     He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
    Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind;
And, even with something of a mother’s mind,
     And no unworthy aim,
   The homely nurse doth all she can
To make her foster-child, her inmate Man,
   Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.
Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years’ darling of a pigmy size!
See, where ’mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses,
With light upon him from his father’s eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learnàed art;
     A wedding or a festival,
     A mourning or a funeral;
       And this hath now his heart,
     And unto this he frames his song:
       Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
    But it will not be long
    Ere this be thrown aside,
    And with new joy and pride
The little actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his ‘humorous stage’
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That Life brings with her in her equipage;
      As if his whole vocation
      Were endless imitation.
Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
   Thy soul’s immensity;
Thou best philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,—
   Mighty prophet! Seer blest!
   On whom those truths do rest,
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
Thou, over whom thy Immortality
Broods like the Day, a master o‘er a slave,
A presence which is not to be put by;
Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being‘s height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Full soon thy soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight,
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!
     O joy! that in our embers
     Is something that doth live,
     That nature yet remembers
     What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest—
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:—
     Not for these I raise
     The song of thanks and praise;
   But for those obstinate questionings
   Of sense and outward things,
   Fallings from us, vanishings;
   Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realized,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:
     But for those first affections,
     Those shadowy recollections,
   Which, be they what they may,
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
          To perish never:
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
          Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
   Hence in a season of calm weather
     Though inland far we be,
Our souls have sight of that immortal sea
      Which brought us hither,
   Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.
Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
     And let the young lambs bound
     As to the tabor‘s sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
     Ye that pipe and ye that play,
     Ye that through your hearts to-day
     Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
   Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
     We will grieve not, rather find
     Strength in what remains behind;
     In the primal sympathy
     Which having been must ever be;
     In the soothing thoughts that spring
     Out of human suffering;
     In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
And O ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquish‘d one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripp‘d lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
          Is lovely yet;
The clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o‘er man‘s mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

551                                                  Desideria

SURPRISED by joy—impatient as the Wind
   I turned to share the transport—O! with whom
   But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love, recall‘d thee to my mind—
   But how could I forget thee? Through what power,
   Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss?—That thought‘s return
   Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
   Knowing my heart‘s best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
   Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

552                              Valedictory Sonnet to the River Duddon

I THOUGHT of Thee, my partner and my guide,
   As being pass‘d away.—Vain sympathies!
   For, backward, Duddon! as I cast my eyes,
I see what was, and is, and will abide;
Still glides the Stream, and shall for ever glide;
   The Form remains, the Function never dies;
   While we, the brave, the mighty, and the wise,
We Men, who in our morn of youth defied
The elements, must vanish;—be it so!
   Enough, if something from our hands have power
   To live, and act, and serve the future hour;
And if, as toward the silent tomb we go, [dower,
   Through love, through hope, and faith‘s transcendent
We feel that we are greater than we know.

553                                                  Mutability

FROM low to high doth dissolution climb,
   And sink from high to low, along a scale
   Of awful notes, whose concord shall not fail;
A musical but melancholy chime,
Which they can hear who meddle not with crime,
   Nor avarice, nor over-anxious care.
   Truth fails not; but her outward forms that bear
The longest date do melt like frosty rime,
That in the morning whiten‘d hill and plain
And is no more; drop like the tower sublime
   Of yesterday, which royally did wear
His crown of weeds, but could not even sustain
   Some casual shout that broke the silent air,
Or the unimaginable touch of Time.

554                                                The Trosachs

THERE‘S not a nook within this solemn Pass
   But were an apt confessional for one
   Taught by his summer spent, his autumn gone,
That Life is but a tale of morning grass
Wither‘d at eve. From scenes of art which chase
   That thought away, turn, and with watchful eyes
   Feed it ‘mid Nature‘s old felicities,
Rocks, rivers, and smooth lakes more clear than glass
Untouch‘d, unbreathed upon. Thrice happy quest,
   If from a golden perch of aspen spray
   (October‘s workmanship to rival May)
The pensive warbler of the ruddy breast
   That moral sweeten by a heaven-taught lay,
Lulling the year, with all its cares, to rest!

555                                                        Speak!

WHY art thou silent! Is thy love a plant
   Of such weak fibre that the treacherous air
   Of absence withers what was once so fair?
Is there no debt to pay, no boon to grant?
Yet have my thoughts for thee been vigilant—
   Bound to thy service with unceasing care,
The mind‘s least generous wish a mendicant
   For naught but what thy happiness could spare.
Speak—though this soft warm heart, once free to hold
   A thousand tender pleasures, thine and mine,
Be left more desolate, more dreary cold
   Than a forsaken bird‘s-nest fill‘d with snow
   ‘Mid its own bush of leafless eglantine—
   Speak, that my torturing doubts their end may know


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