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IV. Such hues from their celestial Urn Were wont to stream before my eye, Where'er it wandered in the morn Of blissful infancy. This glimpse of glory, why renewed ? Nay, rather speak with gratitude; For, if a vestige of those gleams Survived, 'twas only in my dreams. Dread Power ! whom peace and calmness serve No less than Nature's threatening voice, If aught unworthy be my choice, From Thee if I would swerve, Oh, let thy grace remind me of the light, Full early lost, and fruitlessly deplored ; Which at this moment, on my waking sight Appears to shine, by miracle restored! My soul though yet confined to earth, Rejoices in a second birth; - 'Tis past, the visionary splendour fades, And night approaches with her shades.
Note. The multiplication of mountain-ridges, described, at the commencement of the third stanza of this Ode, as a kind of Jacob's Ladder, leading to Heaven, is produced either by watery vapours, or sunny haze ; - in the present instance, by the latter cause. Allusions to the Ode, entitled “ Intimations of Immortality,” at the conclusion of these volumes, pervade the last stanza of the foregoing Poem.
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 a 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,
* The river is not affected by the tides a few miles above Tintern.
Which, at this season, with their unripe fruits,
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 'mid 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
O sylvan Wye! Thou wanderer thro’ the woods,
first I came among these hills; when like a roe I bounded o'er the mountains, by the sides Of the deep rivers, and the lonely streams, Wherever nature led : more like a man Flying from something that he dreads, than one Who sought the thing he loved. For nature then (The coarser pleasures of my boyish days, And their glad animal movements all gone by,) To me was all in all. I cannot paint What then I was. The sounding cataract Haunted me like a passion : the tall rock,