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XXXIV.-AFTER-THOUGHT.

I THOUGHT of Thee, my partner and my guide,
As being past 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 not cease to 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 tow'rd the silent tomb we go,
Through love, through hope, and faith's transcendent dower,
We feel that we are greater than we know.*

* See note, p. 51.

POSTSCRIPT.

A POET, whose works are not yet known as they deserve to be, thus enters upon his description of the “ Ruins of Rome : "

• The rising Sun
Flames on the ruins in the purer air

· Towering aloft ;” and ends thus

“ The setting Sun displays
His visible great round, between yon towers,

. As through two shady cliffs.” Mr. Crowe, in his excellent loco-descriptive Poem, “Lewesdon Hill,” is still more expeditious, finishing the whole on a May-morning, before breakfast.

« To-morrow for severer thought, but now

To breakfast, and keep festival to-day.” No one believes, or is desired to believe, that these Poems were actually composed within such limits of time; nor was there any reason why a prose statement should acquaint the Reader with the plain fact, to the disturbance of poetic credibility. But, in the present case, I am compelled to mention, that the above series of Sonnets was the growth of many years;—the one which stands the 14th was the first produced ; and others were added upon occasional visits to the Stream, or as recollections of the scenes upon its banks awakened a wish to describe them. In this manner I had proceeded insensibly, without perceiving that I was trespassing upon ground preoccupied, at least as far as intention went, by Mr. Coleridge ; who, more than twenty years ago, used to speak of writing a rural Poem, to be entitled “ The Brook," of which he has given a sketch in a recent publication. But a particular subject, cannot, I think, much interfere with a general one; and I have been further kept from encroaching upon any right Mr. C. may still wish to exercise, by the restriction which the frame of the Sonnet imposed upon me, narrowing unavoidably the range of thought, and precluding, though not without its advantages, many graces to which a freer movement of verse would naturally have led.

May I not venture, then, to hope, that, instead of being a hinderance, by anticipation of any part of the subject, these Sonnets may remind Mr. Coleridge of his own more comprehensive design, and induce him to fulfil it? — There is a sympathy in streams, -"one calleth to another ;” and, I would gladly believe, that “ The Brook” will, ere long, murmur in concert with “ The Duddon.” But, asking pardon for this fancy, I need not scruple to say, that those verses must indeed be ill-fated which can enter upon such pleasant walks of nature, without receiving and giving inspiration. The power of waters over the minds of Poets has been acknowledged from the earliest ages ;-through the “ Flumina amem sylvasque inglorius" of Virgil, down to the sublime apostrophe to the great rivers of the earth, by Armstrong, and the simple ejaculation of Burns, (chosen, if I recollect right, by Mr. Coleridge, as a motto for his embryo “ Brook,")

66 The Muse nae Poet ever fand her,

Till by himsel' he learned to wander,
Adown some trotting burn's meander,
AND NA' THINK LANG."

NOTES.

Sonnet vi.

There bloomed the strawberry of the wilderness,

The Irembling eyebright showed her sapphire blue."

THESE two lines are in a great measure taken from “ The Beauties of Spring, a Juvenile Poem,” by the Rev. Joseph Sympson, author of " The Vision of Alfred,” &c. He was a native of Cumberland, and was educated in the vale of Grasmere, and at Hawkshead school : his poems are little known, but they contain passages of splendid description; and the versification of his “ Vision of Alfred” is harmonious and animated. In describing the motions of the Sylphs, that constitute the strange machinery of his Poem, he uses the following illustrative simile:

“ Glancing from their plumes
A changeful light the azure vault illumes.
Less varying hues beneath the Pole adorn
The streamy glories of the Boreal morn,
That wavering to and fro their radiance shed
On Bothnia's gulf with glassy ice o'erspread,
Where the lone native, as he bomeward glides,
On polished sandals o'er the imprisoned tides,

And still the balance of his frame preserves,
Wheeled on alternate foot in lengthening curves,
Sees at a glance, above him and below,
Two rival heavens with equal splendour glow.
Sphered in the centre of the world he seems :
For all around with soft effulgence gleams;
Stars, moons, and meteors, ray oppose to ray,
And solemn midnight pours the blaze of day.”

He was a man of ardent feeling, and his faculties of mind, particularly his memory, were extraordinary. Brief notices of his life ought to find a place in the History of Westmore

land.

Sonnet xvii. The Eagle requires a large domain for its support : but several pairs, not many years ago, were constantly resident in this country, building their nests in the steeps of Borrowdale, Wastdale, Ennerdale, and on the eastern side of Helvellyn. Often have I heard anglers speak of the grandeur of their appearance, as they hovered over Red Tarn, in one of the coves of this mountain. The bird frequently returns, but is always destroyed. Not long since, one visited Rydal Lake, and remained some hours near its banks: the consternation which it occasioned among the different species of fowl, particularly the herons, was expressed by loud screams. The horse also is naturally afraid of the eagle. — There were several Roman stations among these mountains; the most considerable seems to have been in a meadow at the head of Windermere, established, undoubtedly, as a check over the passes of Kirkstone, Dunmail-raise, and of Hardknot and Wrynose. On the margin of Rydal Lake, a coin of Trajan was discovered very lately. — The Roman Fort here alluded to, called by the country people “ Hardknot Castle,” is most impressively situated

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