Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works



          LULLED by the sound of pastoral bells,
          Rude Nature's Pilgrims did we go,
          From the dread summit of the Queen
          Of mountains, through a deep ravine,
          Where, in her holy chapel, dwells
          "Our Lady of the Snow."

          The sky was blue, the air was mild;
          Free were the streams and green the bowers;
          As if, to rough assaults unknown,
          The genial spot had 'ever' shown                            10
          A countenance that as sweetly smiled--
          The face of summer-hours.

          And we were gay, our hearts at ease;
          With pleasure dancing through the frame
          We journeyed; all we knew of care--
          Our path that straggled here and there;
          Of trouble--but the fluttering breeze;
          Of Winter--but a name.

          If foresight could have rent the veil
          Of three short days--but hush--no more!                     20
          Calm is the grave, and calmer none
          Than that to which thy cares are gone,
          Thou Victim of the stormy gale;
          Asleep on ZURICH'S shore!

          O GODDARD! what art thou?--a name--
          A sunbeam followed by a shade!
          Nor more, for aught that time supplies,
          The great, the experienced, and the wise:
          Too much from this frail earth we claim,
          And therefore are betrayed.                                 30

          We met, while festive mirth ran wild,
          Where, from a deep lake's mighty urn,
          Forth slips, like an enfranchised slave,
          A sea-green river, proud to lave,
          With current swift and undefiled,
          The towers of old LUCERNE.

          We parted upon solemn ground
          Far-lifted towards the unfading sky;
          But all our thoughts were 'then' of Earth,
          That gives to common pleasures birth;                       40
          And nothing in our hearts we found
          That prompted even a sigh.

          Fetch, sympathising Powers of air,
          Fetch, ye that post o'er seas and lands,
          Herbs, moistened by Virginian dew,
          A most untimely grave to strew,
          Whose turf may never know the care
          Of 'kindred' human hands!

          Beloved by every gentle Muse
          He left his Transatlantic home:                             50
          Europe, a realised romance,
          Had opened on his eager glance;
          What present bliss!--what golden views!
          What stores for years to come!

          Though lodged within no vigorous frame,
          His soul her daily tasks renewed,
          Blithe as the lark on sun-gilt wings
          High poised--or as the wren that sings
          In shady places, to proclaim
          Her modest gratitude.                                       60

          Not vain is sadly-uttered praise;
          The words of truth's memorial vow
          Are sweet as morning fragrance shed
          From flowers 'mid GOLDAU'S ruins bred;
          As evening's fondly-lingering rays,
          On RIGHI'S silent brow.

          Lamented Youth! to thy cold clay
          Fit obsequies the Stranger paid;
          And piety shall guard the Stone
          Which hath not left the spot unknown                        70
          Where the wild waves resigned their prey--
          And 'that' which marks thy bed.

          And, when thy Mother weeps for Thee,
          Lost Youth! a solitary Mother;
          This tribute from a casual Friend
          A not unwelcome aid may lend,
          To feed the tender luxury,
          The rising pang to smother.



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