Lyrical Ballads Vol II 1800

There was a Boy

 There was a Boy, ye knew him well, ye Cliffs
  And Islands of Winander! many a time,
  At evening, when the stars had just begun
  To move along the edges of the hills,
  Rising or setting, would he stand alone,
  Beneath the trees, or by the glimmering lake,
  And there, with fingers interwoven, both hands
  Press'd closely palm to palm and to his mouth
  Uplifted, he, as through an instrument,
  Blew mimic hootings to the silent owls
  That they might answer him. And they would shout
  Across the wat'ry vale and shout again
  Responsive to his call, with quivering peals,
  And long halloos, and screams, and echoes loud
  Redoubled and redoubled, a wild scene

  Of mirth and jocund din. And, when it chanced
  That pauses of deep silence mock'd his skill,
  Then, sometimes, in that silence, while he hung
  Listening, a gentle shock of mild surprize
  Has carried far into his heart the voice
  Of mountain torrents, or the visible scene
  Would enter unawares into his mind
  With all its solemn imagery, its rocks,
  Its woods, and that uncertain heaven, receiv'd
  Into the bosom of the steady lake.

  Fair are the woods, and beauteous is the spot,
  The vale where he was born: the Church-yard hangs
  Upon a slope above the village school,
  And there along that bank when I have pass'd
  At evening, I believe, that near his grave
  A full half-hour together I have stood,
  Mute--for he died when he was ten years old.







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