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Elegiac Stanzas Analysis

Author: Poetry of William Wordsworth Type: Poetry Views: 1466

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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

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!

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.

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;

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:

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.

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

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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