Verse > William Wordsworth > Complete Poetical Works
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


MEMORIALS OF A TOUR IN SCOTLAND, 1803

III. THOUGHTS

SUGGESTED THE DAY FOLLOWING, ON THE BANKS OF NITH, NEAR THE POET'S RESIDENCE

          TOO frail to keep the lofty vow
          That must have followed when his brow
          Was wreathed--"The Vision" tells us how--
                With holly spray,
          He faltered, drifted to and fro,
                And passed away.

          Well might such thoughts, dear Sister, throng
          Our minds when, lingering all too long,
          Over the grave of Burns we hung
                In social grief--                                     10
          Indulged as if it were a wrong
                To seek relief.

          But, leaving each unquiet theme
          Where gentlest judgments may misdeem,
          And prompt to welcome every gleam
                Of good and fair,
          Let us beside this limpid Stream
                Breathe hopeful air.

          Enough of sorrow, wreck, and blight;
          Think rather of those moments bright                        20
          When to the consciousness of right
                His course was true,
          When Wisdom prospered in his sight
                And virtue grew.

          Yes, freely let our hearts expand,
          Freely as in youth's season bland,
          When side by side, his Book in hand,
                We wont to stray,
          Our pleasure varying at command
                Of each sweet Lay.                                    30

          How oft inspired must he have trod
          These pathways, yon far-stretching road!
          There lurks his home; in that Abode,
                With mirth elate,
          Or in his nobly-pensive mood,
                The Rustic sate.

          Proud thoughts that Image overawes,
          Before it humbly let us pause,
          And ask of Nature, from what cause
                And by what rules                                     40
          She trained her Burns to win applause
                That shames the Schools.

          Through busiest street and loneliest glen
          Are felt the flashes of his pen;
          He rules 'mid winter snows, and when
                Bees fill their hives;
          Deep in the general heart of men
                His power survives.

          What need of fields in some far clime
          Where Heroes, Sages, Bards sublime,                         50
          And all that fetched the flowing rhyme
                From genuine springs,
          Shall dwell together till old Time
                Folds up his wings?

          Sweet Mercy! to the gates of Heaven
          This Minstrel lead, his sins forgiven;
          The rueful conflict, the heart riven
                With vain endeavour,
          And memory of Earth's bitter leaven,
                Effaced for ever.                                     60

          But why to Him confine the prayer,
          When kindred thoughts and yearnings bear
          On the frail heart the purest share
                With all that live?--
          The best of what we do and are,
                Just God, forgive!


CONTENTS      BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD


  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors