Page images
PDF
EPUB

the rudeness of the Workmanship had been mistaken for Runic. They are without doubt Roman.

The Rotha, mentioned in this poem, is the River which flowing through the Lakes of Grasmere and Rydole falls into Wyndermere. On Helm-Crag, that impressive single Mountain at the head of the Vale of Grasmere, is a Rock which from moft points of view bears a striking resemblance to an Old Woman cowering. Close by this rock is one of those Fissures or Caverns, which in the language of the Country are called Dungeons. The other Mountains either immediately surround the Vale of Grasmere, or belong to the same Cluster.

III.

There is an Eminence,—of these our hills
The last that parleys with the setting sun.
We can behold it from our Orchard-seat,
And, when at evening we pursue our walk
Along the public way, this Cliff, so high
Above us, and so distant in its height,
Is visible, and often seems to send
Its own deep quiet to restore our hearts.
The meteors make of it a favorite haunt:
The star of Jove, so beautiful and large
In the mid heav'ns, is never half so fair
As when he shines above it. 'Tis in truth
The loneliest place we have among the clouds.
And She who dwells with me, whom I have lov'd
With such communion, that no place on earth
Can ever be a solitude to me,
Hath said, this lonesome Peak shall bear my Name.

IV.

A narrow girdle of rough stones and crags,
A rude and natural causeway, interpos'd
Between the water and a winding slope
Of copse and thicket, leaves the eastern shore
Of Grasmere safe in its own privacy.
And there, myself and two beloved Friends,
One calm September morning, ere the mist
Had altogether yielded to the sun,
Saunter'd on this retir'd and difficult way.

Ill suits the road with one in haste, but we

Play'd with our time; and, as we stroll'd along,

It was our occupation to observe

Such objects as the waves had toss'd ashore,

Feather, or leaf, or weed, or wither'd bough,

Each on the other heap'd along the line

Of the dry wreck. And in our vacant mood,

Not seldom did we stop to watch some tuft

Of dandelion seed or thistle's beard,

Which, seeming lifeless half, and half impell'd

By some internal feeling, skimm'd along

Close to the surface of the lake that lay

Asleep in a dead calm, ran closely on

Along the dead calm lake, now here, now there,

In all its sportive wanderings all the while

Making report of an invisible breeze

That was its wings, its chariot, and its horse,

Its very playmate, and its moving soul.

And often, trifling with a privilege Alike indulg'd to all, we paus'd, one now, And now the other, to point out, perchance To pluck, some flower or water-weed, too fair Either to be divided from the place

« PreviousContinue »