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But frost had reared the gorgeous Pile
Unsound as those which Fortune builds-
To undermine with secret guile,
Sapped by the very beam that gilds.
And, while I gazed, with sudden shock
Fell the whole Fabric to the ground;
And naked left this dripping Rock,
With shapeless ruin spread around!

(WHERE the second quarry now is, as you pass from Rydal to

Grasmere, there was formerly a jength of smooth rock that sloped towards the road, on the right hand. I used to call it Tadpole Slope, from having frequently observed there the water-bubbles gliding under the ice, exactly in the shape of that creature.]

III.

Hast thou seen, with flash incessant,
Bubbles gliding under ice,
Bodied forth and evanescent,
No one knows by what device ?
Such are thoughts !-A wind-swept meadow
Mimicking a troubled sea,
Such is life ; and death a shadow
From the rock eternity!

XIII.

NEAR THE SPRING OF THE HERMITAGE.

IV.

TROUBLED long with warring notions
Long impatient of thy rod,
I resign my soul's emotions
Unto Thee, mysterious God!

What avails the kindly shelter
Yielded by this craggy rent,
If my spirit toss and welter
On the waves of discontent ?

Parching Summer bath no warrant
To consume this crystal Well;
Rains, that make each rill a torrent,
Neither sully it nor swell.
Thus, dishonouring not her station,
Would my Life present to Thee,
Gracious God, the pure oblation
Of divine tranquillity!

XIV.

V.

Not seldom, clad in radiant vest,
Deceitfully goes forth the Morn;
Not seldom Evening in the west
Sinks smilingly forsworn.

The smoothest seas will sometimes prove,
To the confiding Bark, untrue;
And, if she trust the stars above,
They can be treacherous too.
The umbrageous Oak, in pomp outspread,
Full oft, when storms the welkin rend,
Draws lightning down upon the head
It promised to defend.
But Thou art true, incarnate Lord,
Who didst vouchsafe for man to die;
Thy smile is sure, thy plighted word
No change can falsify!

1

I bent before thy gracious throne,
And asked for peace on suppliant knee;
And peace was given,-nor peace alone,
But faith sublimed to ecstasy!

XV.

FOR THE SPOT WHERE THE HERMITAGE STOOD ON ST. HERBERT'S

ISLAND, DERWENT-WATER.

IF thou in the dear love of some one Friend
Hast been so happy that thou know'st what thoughts
Will sometimes in the happiness of love
Make the heart sink, then wilt thou reverence
This quiet spot; and, Stranger ! not unmoved
Wilt thou behold this shapeless heap of stones,
The desolate ruins of St. Herbert's Cell.
Here stood his threshold; here was spread the roof
That sheltered him, a self-secluded Man,

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After long exercise in social cares
And offices humane, intent to adore
The Deity, with undistracted mind,
And meditate on everlasting things,
In utter solitude.—But he had left
A Fellow-labourer, whom the good Man loved
As his own soul. And, when with eye upraised
To heaven he knelt before the crucifix,
While o'er the lake the cataract of Lodore
Pealed to his orisons, and when he paced
Along the beach of this small isle and thought
Of his Companion, he would pray that both
(Now that their earthly duties were fulfilled)
Might die in the same moment. Nor in vain
So prayed he :--as our chronicles report,
Though here the Hermit numbered his last day
Far from St. Cuthbert his beloved Friend,
Those holy Men both died in the same hour.

1800.

XVI.

ON THE BANKS OF A ROCKY STREAM.

BEHOLD an emblem of our human mind
Crowded with thoughts that need a settled home,
Yet, like to eddying balls of foam
Within this whirlpool, they each other chase
Round and round, and neither find
An outlet nor a resting-place!
Stranger, if such disquietude be thine,
Fall on thy knees and sue for help divine.

SELECTIONS FROM CHAUCER

MODERNISED.

I.

THE PRIORESS TALE.

*Call up him who left half told
The story of Cambuscan bold.'

In the following Poem no further deviation from the original has

been made than was necessary for the fluent reading and
instant understanding of the Author : so much, however, is
the language altered since Chaucer's time, especially in
pronunciation, that much was to be removed, and its place
supplied with as little incongruity as possible. The ancient
accent has been retained in a few conjunctions, as alsò and
alwày, from a conviction that such sprinklings of antiquity
would be admitted, by persons of taste, to have a graceful
accordance with the subject. The fierce bigotry of the
Prioress forms a fine back-ground for her tender-hearted
sympathies with the Mother and Child ; and the mode in
which the story is told amply atones for the extravagance of
the miracle.

I.

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O LORD, our Lord ! how wondrously,” (quoth she)
“Thy name in this large world is spread abroad!
For not alone by men of dignity
Thy worship is performed and precious laud;
But by the mouths of children, gracious God!
Thy goodness is set forth; they when they lie
Upon the breast thy name do glorify.

VOL. V.

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