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(30 July 1818 – 19 December 1848 / Thornton / Yorkshire)

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A little while, a little while,

A little while, a little while,
The noisy crowd are barred away;
And I can sing and I can smile
A little while I've holyday !

Where wilt thou go my harassed heart ?
Full many a land invites thee now;
And places near, and far apart
Have rest for thee, my weary brow -

There is a spot 'mid barren hills
Where winter howls and driving rain
But if the dreary tempest chills
There is a light that warms again

The house is old, the trees are bare
And moonless bends the misty dome
But what on earth is half so dear -
So longed for as the hearth of home ?

The mute bird sitting on the stone,
The dank moss dripping from the wall,
The garden-walk with weeds o'ergrown
I love them - how I love them all !

Shall I go there? or shall I seek
Another clime, another sky,
Where tongues familiar music speak
In accents dear to memory ?

Yes, as I mused, the naked room,
The flickering firelight died away
And from the midst of cheerless gloom
I passed to bright unclouded day -

A little and a lone green lane
That opened on a common wide
A distant, dreamy, dim blue chain
Of mountains circling every side -

A heaven so clear, an earth so calm,
So sweet, so soft, so hushed in air
And, deepening still the dreamlike charm,
Wild moor-sheep feeding everywhere -

That was the scene - I knew it well
I knew the pathways far and near
That winding o'er each billowy swell
Marked out the tracks of wandering deer

Could I have lingered but an hour
It well had paid a week of toil
But truth has banished fancy's power
I hear my dungeon bars recoil -

Even as I stood with raptured eye
Absorbed in bliss so deep and dear
My hour of rest had fleeted by
And given me back to weary care -

Submitted: Tuesday, December 31, 2002


Read poems about / on: memory, winter, music, power, house, truth, rain, smile, green, heaven, home, sky, light, howl, tree, wind

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