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Not five yards from the mountain path,

And wherefore does she cry :This thorn you on your left espy;

Oh wherefore? wherefore ? tell me why And to the left, three yards beyond,

Does she repeat that doleful cry?”
You see a little muddy pond
Of water, never dry;

“ I cannot tell; I wish I could; Though but of compass small, and bare

For the true reasou no one knows: To thirsty suns, and parching air.

But if you'd gladly view the spot,

The spot to which she goes; And, close beside this aged thorn,

The heap that's like an infant's grave, There is a fresh and lovely sight,

The pond—and thorn, so old and gray; A beauteous heap, a hill of moss,

Pass by her door—'tis seldom shutJust half a foot in height.

And, if you see her in her hut, All lovely colours there you see,

Then to the spot away! All colours that were ever seen;

I never heard of such as dare And mossy net-work too is there,

Approach the spot when she is there." As if by hand of lady fair The work had woven been;

« But wherefore to the mountain-top And cups, the darlings of the eye,

Can this unhappy woman go, So deep is their vermilion dye.

Whatever star is in the skies,

Whatever wind may blow?" Ah me! what lovely tints are there!

“ 'Tis known, that twenty years are passed Of olive green and scarlet bright,

Since she (her name is Martha Ray) In spikes, in branches, and in stars,

Gave with a maiden's true good will Green, red, and pearly white.

Her company to Stephen Hill; This heap of earth o'ergrown with moss,

And she was blithe and gay, Which close beside the thorn you see,

While friends and kindred all approved So fresh in all its beauteous dyes,

Of him whom tenderly she loved.
Is like an infant's grave in size,
As like as like can be :

And they had fixed the wedding-day, But never, never any where,

The morning that must wed then both; An infant's grave was half so fair.

But Stephen to another maid

Had sworn another oath;
Now would you see this aged thorn,

And with this other maid to church
This pond, and beauteous hill of moss,
You must take care and choose your time

Unthinking Stephen went-
The mountain when to cross.

Poor Martha! on that woeful day For oft there sits between the heap

A pang of pitiless dismay

Into her soul was sent;
That's like an infant's grave in size,
And that same pond of which I spoke,

A fire was kindled in her breast,
A woman in a scarlet cloak,

Which inight not burn itself to rest. And to herself she cries,

They say, full six months after this, “Oh misery! oh misery!

While yet the summer leaves were green, Oh woe is me! oh misery!"

She to the mountain-top would go, At all times of the day and night

And there was often seen. This wretched woman thither

'Tis said, her lamentable state

goes; And she is known to every star,

Even to a careless eye was plain; And every wind that blows;

She was with child, and she was mad; And there, beside the thorn, she sits

Yet often she was sober sad When the blue daylight's in the skies,

From her exceeding pain. And when the whirlwind's on the hill,

O guilty father,—would that death Or frosty air is keen and still,

Had saved him from that breach of faith! And to herself she cries, “ Oh misery! oh misery!

Sad case for such a brain to hold Oh woe is me! oh misery!"

Communion with a stirring child!

Sad case, as you may think, for one “ Now wherefore, thus, by day and night,

Who had a brain so wild! In rain, in tempest, and in snow,

Last Christmas-eve we talked of this, Thus to the dreary mountain-top

And gray-haired Wilfred of the glen Does this poor woman go?

Held that the unborn infant wrought And why sits she beside the thorn

About its mother's heart, and brought When the blue daylight's in the sky,

Her senses back again : Or when the whirlwind's on the hill,

And when at last her time drew near, Or frosty air is keen and still,

Her looks were calm, her seases clear.




No more I know, I wish I did,

“ I cannot tell; but some will say And I would tell it all to you,

She hanged her baby on the tree; For what became of this poor child

Some say she drowned it in the pond, There's none that ever knew:

Which is a little step beyond: And if a child was born or no,

But all and each agree, There's no one that could ever tell;

The little babe was buried there,
And if 'twas born alive or dead,

Beneath that hill of moss so fair.
There's no one knows, as I have said ;
But some remember well,

I've heard, the moss is spotted red
That Martha Ray about this time

With drops of that poor infant's blood: Would up the mountain often climb.

But kill a new-born infant thus,

I do not think she could! And all that winter, when at night

Some say, if to the pond you go, The wind blew from the mountain-peak,

And fix on it a steady view, 'Twas worth your while, though in the dark, The shadow of a babe you trace, The church-yard path to seek:

A baby and a baby's face, For many a time and oft were heard

And that it looks at you; Cries coming from the mountain-head:

Whene'er you look on it, 'tis plain Some plainly living voices were;

The baby looks at you again.
And others, I've heard many swear,

And some had sworn on oath that she
Were voices of the dead :
I cannot think, whate'er they say,

Should be to public justice brought;

And for the little infant's bones They had to do with Martha Ray.

With spades they would have sought. But that she goes to this old thorn,

But then the beauteous hill of moss The thorn which I've described to you,

Before their eyes began to stir! And there sits in a scarlet cloak,

And for full fifty yards around, I will be sworn is true.

The grass,-it shook upon the ground! For one day with my telescope,

But all do still aver To view the ocean wide and bright,

The little babe is buried there,
When to this country first I came,

Beneath that hill of moss so fair.
Ere I had heard of Martha's name,
I climbed the mountain's height:

I cannot tell how this may be:
A storm came on, and I could see

But plain it is, the thorn is bound No object higher than my knee.

With heavy tufts of moss, that strive

To drag it to the ground; 'Twas mist and rain, and storm and rain,

And this I know, full many a time, No screen, no fence could I discover,

When she was on the mountain high, And then the wind ! in faith, it was

By day, and in the silent night, A wind full ten times over.

When all the stars shone clear and bright, I looked around, I thought I saw

That I have heard her cry, A jutting crag,-and off I ran,

“ Oh misery! ob misery! Head foremost, through the driving rain,

Oh woe is me! oh misery!"
The shelter of the crag to gain;
And, as I am a man,
Instead of jutting crag, I found

A woman seated on the ground.

PART I. I did not speak I saw her face;

The knight had ridden down from Wensley moor Her face !-it was enough for me;

With the slow motion of a summer's cloud; I turned about and heard her cry,

He turned aside towards a vassal's door, " Oh misery! oh misery!”

And“ Bring another horse!” he cried aloud. And there she sits, until the moon

“ Another horse !”—That shout the vassal heard Through half the clear blue sky will go;

And saddled his best steed, a comely gray; And, when the little breezes make

Sir Walter mounted him; he was the third The waters of the pond to shake,

Which he had mounted on that glorious day. As all the country know, She shudders, and you hear her cry,

Joy sparkled in the prancing courser's eyes; “Oh misery! oh misery!"

The horse and horseman are a happy pair;

But, though Sir Walter like a falcon flies, “ But what's the thorn ? and what's the pond ?

There is a doleful silence in the air.
And what's the hill of moss to her?
And what's the creeping breeze that comes A rout this morning left Sir Walter's hall,
The little pond to stir?”

That as they galloped made the echoes roar;

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But horse and man are vanished, one and all; Such race, I think, was never seen before.

And, in the summer-time when days are long,
I will come hither with my paramour;
And with the dancers and the minstrel's song
We will make merry in that pleasant bower.

Till the foundations of the mountains fail,
My mansion with its arbour shall endure;-
The joy of them who till the fields of Swale,
And them who dwell among the woods of Ure!"

Sir Walter, restless as a veering wind,
Calls to the few tired dogs that yet remain:
Brach, Swift, and Music, noblest of their kind,
Follow, and up the weary mountain strain.
The knight hallooed, he chid and cheered them on
With suppliant gestures and upbraidings stern;
But breath and eye-sight fail; and one by one,
The dogs are stretched among the mountain fern.
Where is the throng, the tumult of the race?
The bugles that so joyfully were blown?

- This chace it looks not like an earthly chace; Sir Walter and the Hart are left alone.

Then home he went, and left the Hart, stone-dead,
With breathless nostrils stretched above the spring.
-Soon did the knight perform what he had said,
And far and wide the fame thereof did ring.
Ere thrice the moon into her port had steered,
A cup of stone received the living well;
Three pillars of rude stone Sir Walter reared,
And built a house of pleasure in the dell.
And near the fountain, flowers of stature tall
With trailing plants and trees were intertwin'd,-
Which soon composed a little sylvan hall,
A leafy shelter from the sun and wind.
And thither, when the summer-days were long,
Sir Walter led his wondering paramour;
And with the dancers and the minstrel's song
Made merriment within that pleasant bower.
The knight, Sir Walter, died in course of time,
And his bones lie in his paternal vale.-
But there is matter for a second rhyme,
And I to this would add another tale.

The poor Hart toils along the mountain-side; I will not stop to tell how far he fled, Nor will I mention by what death he died; But now the knight beholds him lying dead. Dismounting then, he leaned against a thorn; He had no follower, dog, nor man, nor boy: He neither cracked his whip, nor blew his horn, But gazed upon the spoil with silent joy. Close to the thorn on which Sir Walter leaned, Stood his dumb partner in this glorious feat; Weak as a lamb the hour that it is yeaned; And white with foam as if with cleaving sleet. Upon his side the Hart was lying stretched : His nostril touched a spring beneath a hill, And with the last deep groan his breath had fetched The waters of the spring were trembling still. And now, too happy for repose or rest, (Never had living man such joyful lot!) Sir Walter walked all round, north, south, and west, And gazed and gazed upon that darling spot. And climbing up the hill-(it was at least Nine roods of sheer ascent) Sir Walter found Three several hoof-marks which the hunted beast Had left imprinted on the grassy ground. Sir Walter wiped his face and cried, “ Till now Such sight was never seen by living eyes: Three leaps have borne him from this lofty brow, Down to the very fountain where he lies. I'll build a pleasure-house upon this spot, And a small arbour, made for rural joy; 'Twill be the traveller's shed, the pilgrim's cot, A place of love for damsels that are coy. A cunning artist will I have to frame A bason for that fountain in the dell! And they, who do make mention of the same From this day forth, shall call it Hart-leap Well. And, gallant brute! to make thy praises known, Another monument shall here be raised; Three several pillars, each a rough-hewn stone, And planted where thy hoofs the turf have grazed.

The moving accident is not my trade :
To freeze the blood I have no ready arts:
'Tis my delight, alone in summer shade,
To pipe a simple song for thinking hearts.
As I from Hawes to Richmond did repair,

chanced that I saw standing in a dell
Three aspens at three corners of a square;
And one, not four yards distant, near a well.
What this imported I could ill divine:
And, pulling now the rein my horse to stop,
I saw three pillars standing in a line,
The last stone pillar on a dark hill-top.
The trees were gray, with neither arms nor head;
Half-wasted the square mound of tawny green;
So that you just might say, as then I said,
“ Here in old time the hand of man hath been."'
I looked upon the hill both far and near,
More doleful place did never eye survey;
It seemed as if the spring-time came not here,
And Nature here were willing to decay. .
I stood in various thoughts and fancies lost,
When one, who was in shepherd's garb attired,


the hollow:-Him did I accost, And what this place might be I then inquired.


The shepherd stopped, and that same story told She leaves these objects to a slow decay,
Which in my former rhyme I have rehearsed. That what we are, and have been, may be known;
“ A jolly place," said he, “ in times of old ! But, at the coming of the milder day,
But something ails it now; the spot is cursed.

These monuments shall all be overgrown.
You see these lifeless stumps of aspen wood-

One lesson, shepherd, let us two divide, Some say that they are beeches, others elms- Taught both by what she shews, and what conceals, These were the bower; and here a mansion stood, Never to blend our pleasure or our pride The finest palace of a hundred realms!

With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels."

The arbour does its own condition tell;
You see the stones, the fountain, and the stream;
But as to the great lodge! you might as well
Hunt half a day for a forgotten dream.
There's neither dog nor heifer, horse nor sheep,
Will wet his lips within that cup of stone;
And oftentimes, when all are fast asleep,
This water doth send forth a dolorous groan.
Some say that here a murder has been done,
And blood cries out for blood : but, for my part,
I've guessed, when I've been sitting in the sun,
That it was all for that unhappy Hart.
What thoughts must through the creature's brain

have past!
Even from the top-most stone, upon the steep,
Are but three bounds and look, sir, at this last-
-O master! it has been a cruel leap.
For thirteen hours he ran a desperate race;
And in my simple mind we cannot tell
What cause the Hart might have to love this place,
And come and make his death-bed near the well.

Here on the grass perhaps asleep he sank,
Lulled by this fountain in the summer-tide;
This water was perhaps the first he drank
When he had wandered from his mother's side.

LINES, Composed a few miles above Tintern Abbey, on revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour.

July 13, 1798.
Five years have passed; five summers,with the length
Of five long winters! and again I hear
These waters, rolling from their mountain-springs
With sweet inland murmur.-Once again
Do I behold these steep and lofty cliffs,
Which on a wild secluded scene impress -
Thoughts of more deep seclusion; and connect
The landscape with the quiet of the sky..
The day is come when I again repose
Here, under this dark sycamore, and view
These plots of cottage ground, these orchard-tufts,
Which, at this season, with their unripe fruits,
Are clad in one green hue, and lose themselves
Among the woods and copses, nor disturb
The wild green landscape. Once again I see
These hedge-rows, hardly hedge-rows, little lines
Of sportive wood run wild;. these pastoral farms
Green to the very door; and wreaths of smoke
Sent up, in silence, from among the trees!
With some uncertain notice, as might seem,
Of vagrant dwellers in the houseless woods;
Or of some hermit's cave, where by his fire
The hermit sits alone.

Though absent long,
These forms of beauty have not been to me
As is a landscape to a blind man's eye:
But oft, in lonely rooms, and ʼmid the din
Of towns and cities, I have owed to them,
In hours of weariness, sensations sweet,
Felt in the blood, and felt along the heart;
And passing even into my purer mind,
With tranquil restoration :-feelings too
Of unremembered pleasure: such, perhaps,
As have no slight or trivial influence
On that best portion of a good man's life,
His little, nameless, unremembered acts
Of kindness and of love. Nor less, I trust,
To them I may have owed another gift,
Of aspect more sublime; that blessed mood,
In which the burthen of the mystery,
In which the heavy and the weary weight
Of all this unintelligible world
Is lightened :—that serene and blessed mood,
In which the affections gently lead us on,
Until, the breath of this corporeal frame
And even the motion of our human blood

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Almost suspended, we are laid asleep

Of eye and ear, both what they half create, In body, and become a living soul:

And what perceive; well pleased to recognize While with an eye made quiet by the power In nature and the language of the sense, Of harmony, and the deep power of joy,

The anchor of my purest thoughts, the nurse, We see into the life of things.

The guide, the guardian of my heart, and soul If this

Of all my moral being. Be but a vain belief, yet, oh! how oft,

Nor perchance, In darkness, and amid the many shapes

If I were not thus taught, should I the more Of joyless day-light; when the fretful stir

Suffer my genial spirits to decay: Unprofitable, and the fever of the world,

For thou art with me, here, upon the banks Have hung upon the beatings of my heart,

Of this fair river; thou, my dearest friend, How oft, in spirit, have I turned to thee,

My dear, dear friend, and in thy voice I catch Osylvan Wye! Thou wanderer through the woods, The language of my former heart, and read How often has my spirit turned to thee! (thought, My former pleasures in the shooting lights

And now, with gleams of half-extinguished Of thy wild eyes. Oh! yet a little while With many recognitions dim and faint,

May I behold in thee what I was once, And somewhat of a sad perplexity,

My dear, dear sister! And this prayer I make, The picture of the mind revives again:

Knowing that Nature never did betray While here I stand, not only with the sense The heart that loved her; 'tis her privilege, Of present pleasure, but with pleasing thoughts Through all the years of this our life, to lead That in this moment there is life and food

From joy to joy: for she can so inform For future years. And so I dare to hope, [first The mind that is within us, so impress Though changed, no doubt, from what I was when With quietness and beauty, and so feed I came among these hills; when like a roe

With lofty thoughts, that neither evil tongues, I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides

Rash judgments, nor the sneers of selfish men, Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams,

Nor greetings where no kindness is, nor all Wherever Nature led: more like a man

The dreary intercourse of daily life,
Flying from something that he dreads, than one Shall e'er prevail against us, or disturb
Who sought the thing he loved. For Nature then Our cheerful faith that all which we behold
(The coarser pleasures of my boyish days,

Is full of blessings. Therefore let the moon
And their glad animal movements all gone by,) Shine on thee in thy solitary walk;
To me was all in all.- I cannot paint

And let the misty mountain winds be free
What then I was. The sounding cataract

To blow against thee: and, in after years,
Haunted me like a passion : the tall rock,

When these wild ecstasies shall be matured
The mountain, and the deep and gloomy wood, Into a sober pleasure, when thy mind
Their colours and their forms, were then to me Shall be a mansion for all lovely forms,
An appetite: a feeling and a love,

Thy memory be as a dwelling-place
That had no need of a remoter charm,

For all sweet sounds and harmonies; oh! then, By thought supplied, or any interest

If solitude, or fear, or pain, or grief, Unborrowed from the eye.—That time is past, Should be thy portion, with what healing thoughts And all its aching joys are now no more,

Of tender joy wilt thou remember me, And all its dizzy raptures. Not for this

And these my exhortations ! Nor, perchance, Faint I, nor mourn nor murmur; other gifts

If I should be where I no more can hear Have followed, for such loss, I would believe, Thy voice, nor catch from thy wild eyes these gleals Abundant recompence. For I have learned Of past existence, wilt thou then forget To look on Nature, not as in the hour

That on the banks of this delightful stream Of thoughtless youth ; but hearing oftentimes We stood together; and that I, so long The still, sad music of humanity,

A worshipper of Nature, hither came, Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power Unwearied in that service: rather say To chasten and subdue. And I have felt

With warmer love, oh! with far deeper zeal A presence that disturbs me with the joy

Of holier love. Nor wilt thou then forget, Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime

That after many wanderings, many years Of something far more deeply interfused,

Of absence, these steep woods and lofty cliffs, Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,

And this green pastoral landscape, were to me And the round ocean, and the living air,

More dear, both for themselves and for thy sake. And the blue sky, and in the mind of man: A motion and a spirit, that impels All thinking things, all objects of all thought,

SONNETS. And rolls through all things. Therefore am I still

THOUGH NARROW. A lover of the meadows and the woods,

Though narrow be that Old Man's cares, and neai, And mountains; and of all that we behold

The poor Old Man is greater than he seems: From this green earth; of all the mighty world For he hath waking empire, wide as dreams;

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