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Heaving lovely to my sight,*
Oh! that she saw me in a dream,
And dreamt that I had died for care;
Yet fair withal, as spirits are !
OR THE LOVER'S RESOLUTION.†
THROUGH weeds and thorns, and matted
underwood, I force my way; now climb, and now descend O’er rocks, or bare or mossy, with wild | foot
* Had I the enviable power
To creep unseen with noiseless tread
Heaving lovely to the sight-1798. This passage was altered at the suggestion of Charles Lamb, who wrote to Coleridge :-"The epithet enviable would damn the finest poem.” f Morning Post, September 6, 1802.
With blind foot-1802.
Crushing the purple whorts ;* while oft unseen,
Here Wisdom might resort, and here Remorse;
But hence, fond wretch ! breathe not contagion
here! No myrtle-walks are these : these are no groves
* Vaccinium Myrtillus, known by the different names of Whorts, Whortle-berries, Bilberries; and in the North of England, Blea-berries and Bloom-berries.
[Note by S. T. C. 1802.]
And you, ye
Where Love dare loiter! If in sullen mood
that make at morn The dew-drops quiver on the spiders' webs ! You, O ye wingless Airs ! that creep between The rigid stems of heath and bitten furze, Within whose scanty shade, at summer-noon, The mother-sheep hath worn a hollow bedYe, that now cool her fleece with dropless damp, Now pant and murmur with her feeding lamb. Chase, chase him, all ye Fays, and elfin Gnomes ! With prickles sharper than his darts bemock His little Godship, making him perforce Creep through a thorn-bush on yon hedgehog's back.
This is my hour of triumph! I can now
Or to the bees,* that in the neighbouring trunk
Sweet breeze ! thou only, if I guess aright,
* And listening only to the pebbly stream
That murmurs with a dead yet bell-like sound
Tinkling, or bees, &c.—1802.
Her downcast look
Had from her countenance turn'd, or look'd by
stealth, (For fear is true-love's cruel nurse), he now With steadfast gaze and unoffending eye, Worships the watery idol, dreaming hopes Delicious to the soul, but fleeting, vain, E’en as that phantom-world on which he gazed, But not unheeded gazed : for see, ah ! see, The sportive tyrant with her left hand plucks The heads of tall flowers that behind her grow, Lychnis, and willow-herb, and fox-glove bells : And suddenly, as one that toys with time, Scatters them on the pool! Then all the charm Is broken-all that phantom world so fair Vanishes, and a thousand circlets spread, And each mis-shape the other. Stay awhile, Poor youth, who scarcely darest lift up thine eyesThe stream will soon renew its smoothness, soon The visions will return ! And lo ! he stays : And soon the fragments dim of lovely forms Come trembling back, unite, and now once more The pool becomes a mirror ; and behold Each wild-flower on the marge inverted there, And there the half-uprooted tree—but where, O where the virgin's snowy arm, that lean'd On its bare branch ? He turns, and she is gone ! Homeward she steals through many a woodland
Which he shall seek in vain. Ill-fated youth !