BETA

Lines Written At Keswick in June 1849.

Nature awakes ! bleak winter’s reign is o’er,1
The voice of joy is heard from shore to shore ;2
A thousand odours on the gale are borne3
From blushing fruit-trees and the snowy thorn ;4
The calm blue lake is whispering to the beach5
In tones more eloquent than mortal speech ;6
And where the sun sheds his most ardent rays,7
Bright stars of gold dance in an airy maze ;8
And where the shadows of the mountain rest,9
A tiny sail lies slumbering on its breast.10
Woods fringe the lake in every green arrayed,11
And I sit musing in their welcome shade.12
The earth is decked with flowers of varied hue,13
Gay as the dreams of hope, as transient too !14
The wood anemone—that nun of flowers ! —15
Loves shady woods and unfrequented bowers ;16
Primrose and violet, gay furze and broom,17
Scatter from out each chalice rich perfume ;18
The azure bluebells bend their graceful stems,19
The fragrant cowslip every meadow gems,20
The starry stichworts ’ neath each hedge abound,21
And golden buttercups spring all around :22
In sheltered spots or mossy bank is seen23
A slender stem, with three bright leaves of green :24
The flower a cup for fairies well may be,25
When blithe they dance beneath the greenwood tree,26
White, pencilled o’er, the sorrel : pale but gay,27
Which—leaves, or flowers—are fairest who can say ?28
While oft we see in many a shady spot29
The turquoise of the field—forget-me-not ;30
And pleased I watch that messenger of spring,31
The gorgeous butterfly, on painted wing ;32
Black spangled o’er with scarlet, blue and white,33
It wings from leaf to flower its mazy flight.34
Sounds, too, are there—the hum of insect life ;35
With happy creatures earth itself seems rife.36
The gush of streams, the ripple of the lake,37
The ringdoves cooing in the woody brake,38
Mixed with the dulcet cuckoo’s voice, they float,39
And every warbler adds a tuneful note40
A clear warm mist tumbles o’er hill and flood,41
And scarce a zephyr whispers through the wood42
My mother earth smiles as she smiled before43
But bounds my heart with rapture as of yore ?44
Where is the thrill with which I used to meet45
Young spring’s advance, and trace her fairy feet, —46
When I, like nature bounding from the birth,47
Tasted pure pleasure, shared the joy of earth ?48
Gone the elastic step, the joyous start ;49
The memory of its echo chills my heart:50
The landscape seems unreal, sounds a dream,51
And tears burst forth to mourn what I have been,52
But still these tears are soft, this sorrow brief ;53
These are the tears which bring a kind relief.54
A thousand soft emotions crowd my soul :55
Alone with nature, far from man’s control,56
Who could be sad who looks on scenes like these ?57
Light in each sunbeam, hope in every breeze,58
I learn to tread the dusty path of life,59
Despite its sameness and its heartless strife :60
Trees, flowers, and birds rejoice; then why be sad ?61
They whisper, join us ! and I too am glad !62