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ISLAND ON THE LAKE. . . . Grateful task !- to me Pregnant with recollections of the time When on thy bosom, spacious Windermere ! A Youth, I practised this delightful art; Tossed on the waves alone, or ʼmid a crew Of joyous comrades. Now the reedy marge Cleared, with a strenuous arm I dipped the oar Free from obstruction ; and the boat advanced Through crystal water, smoothly as a hawk, That, disentangled from the shady boughs Of some thick wood, her place of covert, cleaves With corresponding wings the abyss of air. -“ Observe," the Vicar said, “yon rocky isle With birch-trees fringed; my hand shall guide the helm, While thitherward we bend our course; or while We seek that other, on the western shore, Where the bare columns of those lofty firs, Supporting gracefully a maffy dome Of sombre foliage, secm to imitate A Grecian temple rising from the Deep.”

From The Excursion,Book IX.


There was a boy; ye knew him well, ye cliffs
And iAands of Winander! Many a time,
At evening, when the earliest stars began
To move along the edges of the hills,
Rising or setting, would he stand alone,
Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake ;
And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands
Press’d closely palm to palm, and to his mouth
Uplifted, he, as through an instrument,
Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls,
That they might answer lim. And they would shout
Across the watery vale, and shout again,
Responsive to his call,—with quivering peals,
And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud
Redoubled and redoubled; concourse wild
Of mirth and jocund din! And, when it chanced
That pauses of deep silence mock'd his skill,
Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung
Listening, a gentle sock of mild surprise
Has carried far into his heart the voice
Of mountain torrents ; or the visible scene

Would enter unawares into his mind
With all its solemn imagery, its rocks,
Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, received
Into the bosom of the steady lake.

This boy was taken from his mates, and died
In childhood, ere he was full twelve years old.
Fair are the woods, and beauteous is the spot,
The vale where he was born ; the churchyard hangs
Upon a slope above the village school ;
And there, along that bank, when I have pasl’d
At evening, I believe that oftentimes
A long half-hour together I have stood
Mute-looking at the grave in which he lies !


LINES Left upon a Seat in a Yew-Tree, which stands near the Lake of

Esthwaite, on a desolate part of the shore commanding a beautiful prospect.

AY, Traveller! rest. This lonely Yew-tree stands
Far from all human dwelling: what if here
No sparkling rivulet spread the verdant herb?
What if these barren boughs the bee not loves ?
Yet, if the wind breathe soft, the curling waves
That break against the shore, shall lull thy mind
By one soft impulse saved from vacancy.


Who he was
That piled these stones, and with the mossy sod
First covered o'er, and taught this aged tree
With its dark arms to form a circling bower,
I well remember.—He was one who owned
No common soul. In youth by science nursed,

And led by Nature into a wild scene
Of lofty hopes, he to the world went forth
A favoured being, knowing no desire
Which genius did not hallow,-'gainst the taint
Of dissolute tongues, and jealousy, and hate,
And scorn,-against all enemies prepared,
All but neglect. The world, for so it thought,
Owed him no service; wherefore he at once
With indignation turned himself away,
And with the food of pride sustained his soul
In solitude.—Stranger ! these gloomy boughs
Had charms for him ; and here he loved to fit,
His only visitants a straggling sheep,
The stone-chat, or the sand-lark,
And on these barren rocks, with juniper,
And heath and thistle, thinly sprinkled o’er,
Fixing his downcast eye, he many an hour
A morbid pleasure nourished, tracing here
An emblem of his own unfruitful life :
And lifting up his head, he then would gaze
On the more distant scene,-how lovely 'tis
Thou seeft,—and he would gaze till it became
Far lovelier, and his heart could not sustain
The beauty, still more beauteous ! Nor, that time,
When Nature had subdued him to herself,
Would he forget those beings, to whose minds,
Warm from the labours of benevolence,

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