This was an overflow from the "Affliction of Margaret ----," and
was excluded as superfluous there, but preserved in the faint hope
that it may turn to account by restoring a shy lover to some
forsaken damsel. My poetry has been complained of as deficient in
interests of this sort,--a charge which the piece beginning,
"Lyre! though such power do in thy magic live," will scarcely tend
to obviate. The natural imagery of these verses was supplied by
frequent, I might say intense, observation of the Rydal torrent.
What an animating contrast is the ever-changing aspect of that,
and indeed of every one of our mountain brooks, to the monotonous
tone and unmitigated fury of such streams among the Alps as are
fed all the summer long by glaciers and melting snows. A traveller
observing the exquisite purity of the great rivers, such as the
Rhine at Geneva, and the Reuss at Lucerne, when they issue out of
their respective lakes, might fancy for a moment that some power
in nature produced this beautiful change, with a view to make
amends for those Alpine sullyings which the waters exhibit near
their fountain heads; but, alas! how soon does that purity depart
before the influx of tributary waters that have flowed through
cultivated plains and the crowded abodes of men.
THE peace which others seek they find;
The heaviest storms not longest last;
Heaven grants even to the guiltiest mind
An amnesty for what is past;
When will my sentence be reversed?
I only pray to know the worst;
And wish as if my heart would burst.
O weary struggle! silent years
Tell seemingly no doubtful tale;
And yet they leave it short, and fears
And hopes are strong and will prevail.
My calmest faith escapes not pain;
And, feeling that the hope is vain,
I think that he will come again.