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Where oft the swine from ambush warm and dry His labours cease not with declining day,
The ruthless whirlwinds rage along the sky, Him, though the cold may pierce, and storms Round his head whistling ;~and shalt thou repine, molest,
While this protecting roof still shelters thine!” Succeeding hours shall cheer with warmth and rest; Mild as the vernal shower, his words prevail, Gladness to spread, and raise the grateful smile, And aid the moral precept of his tale: He hurls the fagot bursting from the pile,
llis wondering hearers learn, and ever keep And many a log and risted trunk conveys,
These first ideas of the restless deep ;
Increasing pleasures every hour they find,
The warmth more precious, and the shelter kind: (Nor symmetry nor elegance his aim,)
Warmth that long reigning bids the eyelids close, Who spread his floors of solid oak on high, As through the blood its balmy influence goes, On beams rough-hewn, from age to age that lie, When the cheer'd heart forgets fatigues and cares, Bade his wide fabric unimpair'd sustain
And drowsiness alone dominion bears. The orchard's store, and cheese, and golden grain ; Sweet then the ploughman's slumbers, hale and Bade, from its central base, capacious laid,
young, The well-wrought chimney rear its lofty head ;
When the last topic dies upon his tongue; Where since hath many a savory ham been stored, Sweet then the bliss his transient dreams inspire, And tempests howl'd, and Christmas gambols roar'd. Till chilblains wake him, or the snapping fire.
Flat on the hearth the glowing embers iie, He starts, and ever thoughtful of his team, And flames reflected dance in every eye:
Along the glittering snow a feeble gleam There the long billet, forced at last to bend, Shoots from his lantern, as he yawning goes While gushing sap froths out at either end, To add fresh comforts to their night's repose ; Throws round its welcome heat :-the ploughman Diffusing fragrance as their food he moves, smiles,
And pats the jolly sides of those he loves. And oft the joke runs hard on sheepish Giles, Thus full replenish'd, perfect ease possess'd, Who sits joint tenant of the corner stool,
From night till morn alternate food and rest. The converse sharing, though in duty's school; No rightful cheer withheld, no sleep debarrd, For now attentively 'tis his to hear,
Their each day's labour brings its sure reward. Interrogations from the master's chair.
Yet when from plough or lumbering cart set free, “ Left ye your bleating charge, when daylight fled, They taste a while the sweets of liberty: Near where the haystack lifts its snowy head? E'en sober Dobbin lifts his clumsy heel Whose fence of bushy furze, so close and warm, And kicks, disdainful of the dirty wheel: May stop the slanting bullets of the storm.
But soon, his frolic ended, yields again, For, hark! it blows; a dark and dismal night: To trudge the road, and wear the chinkling chain. Heaven guide the traveller's fearful steps aright! Shortsighted Dobbin !--thou canst only see Now from the woods mistrustful and sharp-eyed, The trivial hardships that encompass thee: The fox in silent darkness seems to glide,
Thy chains were freedom, and thy toils repose: Stealing around us, listening as he goes,
Could the poor post-horse tell thee all his woes: If chance the cock or stammering capon crows, Show thee his bleeding shoulders, and unfold Or goose, or nodding duck, should darkling cry The dreadful anguish he endures for gold: As is apprized of lurking danger nigh:
Hired at each call of business, lust, or rage, Destruction waits them, Giles, if e'er you fail That prompts the traveller on from stage to stage. To bolt their doors against the driving gale. Still on his strength depends their boasted speed; Strew'd you (still mindful of th' unshelter'd head) For them his limbs grow weak, his bare ribs Burdens of straw, the cattle's welcome bed? (see, bleed; Thine heart should feel, what thou mayst hourly And though he groaning quickens at command, That duly's basis is humanity.
Their extra shilling in the rider's hand Of pain's unsavory cup though thou mayst taste, Becomes his bitter scourge :-'tis he must feel (The wrath of Winter from the bleak north-east,) The double efforts of the lash and steel; Thine utmost sufferings in the coldest day
Till when, up hill, the destined inn he gains, A period terminates, and joys repay.
And trembling under complicated pains, Perhaps e'en now, while here those joys we boast, Prone from his nostrils, darting on the ground, Full many a bark rides down the neighbouring coast, His breath emitted floats in clouds around: Where the high northern waves tremendous roar, Drops chase each other down his chest and sides, Drove down by blasts from Norway's icy shore. And spatter'd mud his native colour hides: The seaboy there, less fortunate than thou, Through his swoln veins the boiling torrent flow's Feels all thy pains in all the gusts that blow; And every nerve a separate torture knows. His freezing hands now drench’d, now dry, by turns; His harness loosed, he welcomes, eager-eyed, Now lost, now seen, the distant light that burns, The pail's full draught that quivers by his side; On some tall cliff upraised a flaming guide, And joys to see the well-known stable door, That throws its friendly radiance o'er the tide. As the starved mariner the friendly shcre.
Ah, well for him if here his sufferings ceased, Low, on the utmost boundary of the sight, And ample hours of rest his pains appeased! The rising vapours catch the silver light; But roused again, and sternly bade to rise, Thence fancy measures, as they parting fly, And shake refreshing slumber from his eyes,
Which first will throw its shadow on the eye, Ere his exhausted spirits can return,
Passing the source of light; and thence away, Or through his frame reviving ardour burn, (sore, Succeeded quick by brighter still than they. Come forth he must, though limping, maim'd, and Far yet above these wafted clouds are seen He hears the whip; the chaise is at the door ; (In a remoter sky, still more serene,) The collar tightens, and again he feels
Others, detach'd in ranges through the air, His half-heal'd wounds inflamed ; again the wheels Spotless as snow, and countless as they're fair, With tirescme sameness in his ears resound, Scatter'd immensely wide from east to west, O'er blinding dust, or miles of flinty ground. The beauteous semblance of a flock at rest. Thus nightly robb’d, and injured day by day, These, to the raptured mind, aloud proclaim His piecemeal murderers wear his life away. Their MIGHTY SHEPHERD's everlasting Name. What say'st thou, Dobbin? what though hounds Whilst thus the loiterer's utmost stretch of soul await
Climbs the still clouds, or passes those that roll, With open jaws the moment of thy fate,
And loosed imagination soaring goes No better fate attends his public race ;
High o'er his home, and all his little woes, His life is misery, and his end disgrace.
Time glides away; neglected duty calls; Then freely bear thy burden to the mill:
At once from plains of light to earth he falls, Obey but one short law,—thy driver's will. And down a narrow lane, well known by day, Affection to thy memory ever true,
With all his speed pursues his sounding way, Shall boast of mighty loads that Dobbin drew; In thought still half-absorb’d, and chill'd with cold, And back to childhood shall the mind with pride When lo! an object frightful to behold; Recount thy gentleness in many a ride
A grisly spectre, clothed in silver-gray, To pond, or field, or village fair, when thou Around whose feet the waving shadow's play, Heldst high thy braided mane and comely brow! Stands in his path He stops, and not a breath And oft the tale shall rise to homely fame
Heaves from his heart, that sinks almost to death. Upon thy generous spirit and thy name.
Loud the owl halloos o'er his head unseen; Though faithful to a proverb we regard
All else is silent, dismally serene: The midnight chieftain of the farmer's yard, Some prompt ejaculation, whisper'd low, Beneath whose guardianship all hearts rejoice, Yet bears him up against the threatening foe; Woke by the echo of his hollow voice;
. And thus poor Giles, though half inclined to fly, Yet as the hound may faltering quit the pack, Mutters his doubts, and strains his steadfast eye. Snuff the fowl scent, and hasten yelping back; “ 'Tis not my crimes thou comest here to reprove; And e'en the docile pointer know disgrace, No murders stain my soul, no perjured love; Thwarting the general instinct of his race; If thou’rt indeed what here thou seem'st to be, E'en so the mastiff, or the meaner cur
Thy dreadful mission cannot reach to me. At times will from the path of duty err,
By parents taught still to mistrust mine eyes, (A pattern of fidelity by day:
Still to approach each object of surprise, By night a murderer, lurking for his prey ;) Lest fancy's formful visions should deceive And round the pastures or the fold will creep, In moonlight paths, or glooms of falling eve, And coward-like, attack the peaceful sheep. This then's the moment when my mind should try Alone the wanton mischief he pursues,
To scan thy motionless deformity; Alone in reeking blood his jaws imbrues;
But 0, the fearful task! yet well I know Chasing amain his frighten'd victims round, An aged ash, with many a spreading bough, Till death in wild confusion strews the ground; (Beneath whose leaves I've found a summer's bower, Then wearied out, to kennel sneaks away,
Beneath whose trunk I've weather'd many a And licks his guilty paws till break of day.
shower,) The deed discover'd, and the news once spread, Stands singly down this solitary way, Vengeance hangs o’er the unknown culprit's head : But far beyond where now my footsteps stay. And careful shepherds extra hours bestow
'Tis true, thus far I've come with heedless haste; In patient watchings for the common foe;
No reckoning kept, no passing objects traced : A foe most dreaded now, when rest and peace And can I then have reach'd that very tree? Should wait the season of the flock's increase. Or is its reve end form assumed by thee?” In part these ghtly terrors to dispel,
The happy thought alleviates his pain : Giles, ere he sleeps, his little flock must tell. He creeps another step; then stops again : From the fireside with many a shrug he bies, Till slowly, as his noiseless feet draw near, Glad if the full-orb'd moon salute his eyes, Its perfect lineaments at once appear; And through th’unbroken stillness of the night Its crown of shivering ivy whispering peace, Shed on his path her beams of cheering light. And its white bark that fronts the moon's pale face. With sauntering step he climbs the distant stile, Now, whilst bis blood mounts upward, now he Whilst all around him wears a placid smile;
knows There views the white-robed clouds in clusters The solid gain that from conviction flows; driven,
And strengthen'd confidence shall hence fulfil And all the glorious pageantry of heaven. (With conscious innocence more valued still
The dreariest task that winter nights can bring, For this he's doom'd awhile disguised to range,
The unsuspecting dam, contented grown,
As when retreating tempests we behold, Thus twins are parted to increase their size: Whose skirts at length the azure sky unfold, Thus instinct yields as interest points the way, And full of murmurings and mingled wrath, Till the bright flock, augmenting every day, Slowly unsbroud the smiling face of earth, On sunny hills and vales of springing flowers, Bringing the bosom joy; so Winter flies - With ceaseless clamour greet the vernal hours. And see the source of life and light uprise !
The humbler shepherd here with joy beholds A heightening arch o’er southern hills he bends; Th’approved economy of crowded folds, Warm on the cheek the slanting beam descends, And, in his small contracted round of cares, And gives the reeking mead a brighter hue, Adjusts the practice of each hint he hears : And draws the modest primrose bud to view. For boys with emulation learn to glow, Yet frosts succeed, and winds impetuous rush, And boast their pastures, and their healthful show And hailstorms rattle through the budding bush; Of well-grown lambs, the glory of the Spring; And nigh-fall’n lambs require the shepherd's care, And field to field in competition bring. And teeming ewes, that still their burdens bear; E'en Giles, for all his cares and watchings past, Beneath whose sides to-morrow's dawn may see And all his contests with the wintry blast, The milk-white strangers bow the trembling knee; Claims a full share of that sweet praise bestow'd At whose first birth the powerful instinct's seen By gazing neighbours, when along the road, That fills with champions the daisied green : Or village green, his curly-coated throng For ewes that stood aloof with fearful eye, Suspends the chorus of the spinner's song; With stamping foot now men and dogs defy, When admiration's unaffected grace And obstinately faithful to their young,
Lisps from the tongue, and beams in every face. Guard their first steps to join the bleating throng. Delightful moments !-Sunshine, health, and joy,
But casualties and death from damps and cold Play round, and cheer the elevated boy! Will still attend the well-conducted fold:
“ Another spring!” his heart exulting cries; Her tender offspring dead, the dam aloud
“Another year! with promised blessings rise ! Calls, and runs wild amidst th’unconscious crowd; ETERNAL POWER! from whom those blessings And orphan'd sucklings raise the piteous cry;
Now, No wool to warm them, no defenders nigh. Teach me still more to wonder, more to know ! And must her streaming milk then flow in vain ? Seed-time and harvest let me see again ; Must unregarded innocence complain?
Wander the leaf-strewn wood, the frozen plain : No;-ere this strong solicitude subside,
Let the first flower, corn-waving field, plain, tree, Maternal fondness may be fresh applied,
Here round my home, still lift my soul to THEE ; And the adopted stripling still may find
And let me ever, midst thy bounties, raise A parent most assiduously kind.
An humble note of thankfulness and praise!”
WILLIAM WORDSWORTH, the founder of what is morials of a Tour on the Continent; also a Decalled the Lake school of poetry, was born in 1770, scription of the Scenery of the Lakes in the North of a respectable family, at Cockermouth, in Cum- of England, with illustrative remarks on the sceberland. He received his early education at the nery of the Alps. His last publication was Yarrow grammar-school of Hawkshead, where he greatly Revisited, which appeared in 1834. excelled in his classical studies, and was remark The genius of Mr. Wordsworth has been a matter able for his thoughtful disposition, and taste for of critical dispute ever since he first made pretension poctry, in which he made his first attempt, when at to any, and it is yet a question with some, whether the age of thirteen. In 1787, he was removed to his productions are not those of “ an inspired idiot.” St. John's College, Cambridge, where he graduated | It would be, however, useless to deny him the B. A. and M. A.; and, in 1793, he published a reputation of a poet, though between the equally poetical account of a pedestrian tour on the conti- extravagant adoration and censure, of which he has nent, entitled Descriptive Sketches in Verse, &c., been the object, it is difficult to define the exact followed by the Evening Walk, an epistle, in verse, position which will be ultimately assigned him in addressed to a young lady. In alluding to the De- the rank of literature. Coleridge, who, as might be scriptive Sketches, says Coleridge,“ seldom, if ever, expected, is one of his most enthusiastic admirers, was the emergence of an original poetic genius says that, “ in imaginative powers, Wordsworth above the literary horizon more evidently an- stands nearest of all modern writers to Shakspeare nounced.” After wandering about in various parts and Milton, and yet in a kind perfectly unborrowed, of England, our author took a cottage at Alforton, and his own.” The author of an essay on his in Somersetshire, near the then residence of Cole- theory and writings, printed in Blackwood's Maridge, where they were regarded by the good peo-gazine for 1830, gives a very fair estimate of his ple of the neighbourhood as spies and agents of the poetical genius. “ The variety of subjects,” he French Directory. Our benevolent author, however, observes, “ which Wordsworth has touched; the appears to have been considered the more dangerous varied powers which he has displayed ; the passages character of the two. “As to Coleridge,” one of the of redeeming beauty interspersed even amongst the parish authorities is said to have remarked, " there worst and dullest of his productions; the originis not so much harm in him, for he is a wild brain ality of detached thoughts, scattered throughout that talks whatever comes uppermost; but that works, to which, on the whole, we must deny the
- (Wordsworth) he is the dark traitor. You praise of originality; the deep pathos, and occa· never hear him say a syllable on the subject.” In sional grandeur of his style ; the real poetical
1798, he published a volume of his Lyrical Ballads, feeling which generally runs through its many which met with much abuse and few admirers, but modulations; his accurate observation of external those who applauded, applauded enthusiastically. nature ; and the success with which he blends the
In 1803, he married a Miss Mary Hutchinson, of purest and most devotional thoughts with the gloPenrith, and settled at Grassmere, in Westmoreland, ries of the visible universe-all these are merits, for which county, as well as that of Cumberland, i which so far ' make up in number what they want he was subsequently appointed distributor of stamps. in weight,' that, although insufficient to raise him In 1807, he gave to the public a second volume of to the shrine, they fairly admit him within the his Ballads ; and, in 1809, with an intention to sacred temple of poesy.” For our own parts, though recommend a vigorous prosecution of the war we are not among those who call, as some of his with Spain, he published his only prose production, admirers do, the poetry of Wordsworth“ an actual concerning the relations of Great Britain, Spain, revelation,” we admit to have found in his works and Portugal to each ther. In 1814, appeared, in beauties which no other poet, perhaps, could have quarto, his Excursion, a poem, which has been struck out of the peculiar sphere to which he has highly extolled, and is undoubtedly one of his most confined his imagination. His Recollections of Early original and best compositions. It was followed, Childhood, and a few others, are sublime composiin 1815, by the White Doe of Rylstone; and, in tions; whilst, on the other hand, his lines to a 1819, by his Peter Bell, to the merits of which we Glow-worm, et id omne genus, are despicable and must confess ourselves strangers. During the same ridiculous. year, he published his Wagonner, a tale ; followed, The private character of Mr. Wordsworth has in 1820, by the River Duddon, a series of sonnets ; never been impeached by his most virulent enemies, and Vaudracour and Julia, with other pieces; and if he has any ; and no man is more estecmed and Ecclesiastical Sketches. In 1822, he printed Me- respected for his amiable qualities.
BEING A PORTION OF THE RECLUSE.
he had not thought that the labour bestowed by THE EXCURSION,
him upon what he has heretofore and now laid before the public, entitled him to candid attention for such a statement as he thinks necessary to throw light upon his endeavours to please, and he
would hope, to benefit his countrymen.-Nothing PREFACE.
further need be added, than that the first and third The title announces that this is only a portion parts of the Recluse will consist chiefly of meditaof a poem ; and the reader must be here apprized tions in the author's own person ; and that in the that it belongs to the second part of a long and intermediate part (the Excursion) the intervention laborious work which is to consist of three parts. of characters speaking is employed, and something
— The author will candidly acknowledge that, if of a dramatic form adopted. the first of these had been completed, and in such It is not the author's intention formally to ana manner as to satisfy his own mind, he should nounce a system : it was more animating to him to have preferred the natural order of publication, and proceed in a different course; and if he shall suchave given that to the world first; but, as the ceed in conveying to the mind clear thoughts, lively second division of the work was designed to refer images, and strong feelings, the reader will have more to passing events, and to an existing state of no difficulty in extracting the system for himself. things, than the others were meant to do, more And in the mean time the following passage, taken continuous exertion was naturally bestowed upon from the conclusion of the first book of the Recluse, it, and greater progress made here than in the rest may be acceptable as a kind of prospectus of the of the poem ; and as this part does not depend upon design and scope of the whole poem. the preceding, to a degree which will materially injure its own peculiar interest, the author, com “ On man, on nature, and on human life, plying with the earnest entreaties of some valued Musing in solitude, I oft perceive friends, presents the following pages to the public. Fair trains of imagery before me rise,
It may be proper to state whence the poem, of Accompanied by feelings of delight which the Excursion is a part, derives its title of Pure, or with no unpleasing sadness mixt; the Recluse.-Several years ago, when the author And I am conscious of affecting thoughts retired to his native mountains, with the hope of And dear remembrances whose presence soothes being enabled to construct a literary work that Or elevates the mind, intent to weigh might live, it was a reasonable thing that he should The good and evil of our mortal state. take a review of his own mind, and examine how -To these emotions, whensoe'er they come, far nature and education had qualified him for such Whether from breath of outward circumstance, employment. As subsidiary to this preparation, he Or from the soul-an impulse to herself, undertook to record, in verse, the origin and pro- | I would give utterance in numerous verse. gress of his own powers, as far as he was acquaint- of truth, of grandeur, beauty, love, and hopeed with them. That work, addressed to a dear And melancholy fear subdued by faith; friend, most distinguished for his knowledge and Of blessed consolations in distress; genius, and to whom the author's intellect is Of moral strength, and intellectual power; deeply indebted, has been long finished; and the Of joy in widest commonalty spread ; result of the investigation which gave rise to it was of the individual mind that keeps her own a determination to compose a philosophical poem, Inviolate retirement, subject there containing views of man, nature, and society; and To conscience only, and the law supreme to be entitled, the Recluse; as having for its Of that Intelligence which governs all ; principal subject the sensations and opinions of a I sing:—fit audience let me find though few ! poet living in retirement. The preparatory poem “ So pray'd, more gaining than he ask'd, the is biographical, and conducts the history of the bard, author's mind to the point when he was im- Holiest of men.-Urania, I shall need boldened to hope that his faculties were sufficiently Thy guidance, or a greater muse, if such matured for entering upon the arduous labour Descend to earth or dwell in highest heaven! which he had proposed to himself; and the two For I must tread on shadowy ground, must sink works have the same kind of relation to each Deep-and, aloft ascending, breathe in world other, if he may so express himself, as the anti- To which the heaven of heavens is but a veil. chapel has to the body of a Gothic church. Con- All strength-all terror, single or in bands, tinuing this allusion, he may be permitted to add, That ever was put forth in personal form; that his minor pieces, which have been long before Jehovah-with his thunder, and the choir the public, when they shall be properly arranged, Of shouting angels, and the empyreal throneswill be found by the attentive reader to have such I pass them unalarm’d. Not chaos, not connexion with the main work as may give them The darkest pit of lowest Erebus, claim to be likened to the little cells, oratories, Nor aught of blinder vacancy-scoop'd out and sepulchral recesses, ordinarily included in By help of dreams, can breed such fear and awe those edifices.
As fall upon us often when we look The author would not have deemed bimself into our minds, into the mind of man, justified in saying, upon this occasion, so much of My haunt, and the main region of my song. performances either unfinished, or unpublished, if | -Beauty-a living presence of the earth,