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Had been collected from the neighbouring vale, Below me was the earth ; this little vale
With morning we renew'd our quest; the wind Lay low beneath my feet; 'twas visible
Was fall'n, the rain abated, but the hills

I saw not, but I felt that it was there.
Lay shrouded in impenetrable mist;

That which I saw was the reveal'd abode
And long and hopelessly we sought in vain. Of spirits in beatitude : my heart
Till, chancing on that lofty ridge to pass

Swell'd in my breast.- I have been dead,' I cried, A heap of ruin, almost without walls,

And now I live! O! wherefore do I live? And wholly without roof, (the bleach'd remains And with that pang I pray'd to be no more! Of a small chapel, where, in ancient time,

But I forget our charge, as utterly The peasants of these lonely valleys used

I then forgot him :-there I stood and gazed ; To meet for worship on that central height) The apparition faded not away, We there espied the object of our search,

And I descended. Having reach'd the house, Lying full three parts buried among tufts

I found its rescued inmate safely lodged,
Of heath plant, under and above him strewn, And in serene possession of himself,
To bame, as he might, the watery storm:

Beside a genial fire; that seem'd to spread
And there we found him breathing peaceably, A gleam of comfort o'er his pallid face.
Snug as a child that hides itself in sport

Great show of joy the housewife made, and truly 'Mid a green haycock in a sunny field.

Was glad to find her conscience set at ease; We spake-he made reply, but would not stir And not less glad, for sake of her good name, At our entreaty ; less from want of power

That the poor sufferer had escaped with life. Than apprehension and bewildering thoughts. But, though he seem'd at first to have received So was he lifted gently from the ground,

No harm, and uncomplaining as before And with their freight the shepherds homeward Went through his usual tasks, a silent change moved

Soon show'd itself; he linger'd three short weeks ; Through the dull mist, I following—when a step, And from the cottage hath been borne to-day. A single step, that freed me from the skirts

“So ends my dolorous tale, and glad I am Of the blind vapour, open'd to my view

That it is ended.” At these words he turn'd Glory beyond all glory ever seen

And, with blithe air of open fellowship, By waking sense or by the dreaming soul! Brought from the cupboard wine and stouter cheer, Th’appearance, instantaneously disclosed, Like one who would be merry. Seeing this, Was of a mighty city-boldly say

My gray-hair'd friend said courteously—“Nay, nay, A wilderness of building, sinking far

You have regaled us as a hermit ought; And self-withdrawn into a wondrous depth, Now let us forth into the sun !"-Our host Far sinking into splendour-without end!

Rose, though reluctantly, and forth we went. Fabric it seem'd of diamond and of gold, With alabaster domes, and silver spires. And blazing terrace upon terrace, high

BOOK III. Uplifted; here, serene pavilions bright,

DESPONDENCY.
In avenues disposed; there towers begirt

ARGUMENT.
With battlements that on their restless fronts
Bore stars-illumination of all gems!

Images in the valley. Another recess in it entered and

described. Wanderer's sensations. Solitary's excited By earthly nature had the effect been wrought

by the same objects. Contrast between these. Des. Upon the dark materials of the storm

pondency of the solitary gently reproved. ConversaNow pacified; on them, and on the coves

tion exhibiting the solitary's past and present opinions And mountain steeps and summits, whereunto and feelings, till he enters upon his own history at The vapours had receded, taking there

length. His domestic felicity. Afflictions. Dejection. Their station under a cerulean sky.

Roused by the French revolution. Disappointment

and disgust. Voyage to America. Disappointment and 0, 'twas an unimaginable sight!

disgust pursue him. His return. His languor and Clouds, mists, streams, watery rocks and emerald

depression of mind, from want of faith in the great turf.

truths of religion, and want of confidence in the virtue Clouds of all tincture, rocks and sapphire sky,

of mankind. Confused, commingled, mutually inflamed, A HUMMING bee—a little tinkling rillMolten together, and composing thus,

A pair of falcons, wheeling on the wing, Each lost in each, that marvellous array

In clamorous agitation, round the crest Of temple, palace, citadel, and huge

Of a tall rock, their airy citadelFantastic pomp of structure without name, By each and all of these the pensive ear In fleecy folds voluminous inwrapp'd.

Was greeted, in the silence that ensued, Right in the midst, where interspace appear’d When through the cottage threshold we had pass'd, Of open court, an object like a throne

And, deep within that lonesome valley stood Beneath a shining canopy of state

Once more, beneath the concave of a blue Stood fix’d; and fix'd resemblances were seen And cloudless sky. Anon! exclaim'd our host To implements of ordinary use,

Triumphantly dispersing with the taunt But vast in size, in substance glorified ;

The shade of discontent which on his brow Such as by Hebrew prophets were beheld

Had gather'd,Ye have left my cell,—but see In vision-forms uncouth of mightiest power How nature bems you in with friendly arms ! For admiration and mysterious awe.

And by her help ye are my prisoners still.

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But which way shall I lead you ? how contrive, More than the heedless impress that belongs
In spot so parsimoniously endow'd,

To lonely nature's casual work; they bear
That the brief hours, which yet remain, may reap A semblance strange of power intelligent,
Some recompense of knowledge or delight ?” And of design not wholly worn away.
So saying, round he look'd, as if perplex'd ; Boldest of plants that ever faced the wind,
And, to remove those doubts, my gray-hair'd friend How gracefully that slender shrub looks forth
Said Shall we take this pathway for our guide ? From its fantastic birthplace! And I own,
Upward it winds, as if, in summer heats,

Some shadowy intimations haunt me here, Its line had first been fashion'd by the flock That in these shows a chronicle survives A place of refuge seeking at the root

Of purposes akin to those of man, Of yon black yew tree; whose protruded boughs But wrought with mightier ärm than now prevails. Darken the silver bosom of the crag,

Voiceless the stream descends into the gulf From which she draws her meagre sustenance. With timid lapse ; and lo! while in this strait There in commodious shelter may we rest.

I stand-the chasm of sky above my head Or let us trace this streamlet to his source;

Is heaven's profoundest azure ; no domain Feebly it tinkles with an earthly sound,

For fickle, shortlived clouds to occupy, And a few steps may bring us to the spot

Or to pass through, but rather an abyss Where, haply, crown'd with flowerets and green In which the everlasting stars abide ; herbs,

And whose soft gloom, and boundless depth, might The mountain infant to the sun comes forth,

tempt
Like human life from darkness.”-A quick turn The curious eye to look for them by day.
Through a strait passage of incumber'd ground, Hail contemplation ! from the stately towers
Proved that such hope was vain :—for now we stood Rear’d by the industrious hand of human art
Shut out from prospect of the open vale,

To lift thee high above the misty air
And saw the water, that composed this rill, And turbulence of murmuring cities vast :
Descending, disembodied, and diffused

From academic groves, that have for thee
O'er the smooth surface of an ample crag,

Been planted, hither come and find a lodge Lofty, and steep, and naked as a tower.

To which thou mayst resort for holier peace,

All further progress here was barr’d. And who, From whose calm centre thou, through height or Thought I, if master of a vacant hour,

depth, Here would not linger, willingly detain'd ? Mayst penetrate, wherever truth shall lead Whether to such wild objects he were led

Measuring through all degrees, until the scale When copious rains have magnified the stream Of time and conscious nature disappear, Into a loud and white-robed waterfall,

Lost in unsearchable eternity !" Or introduced at this more quiet time.

A pause ensued; and with minuter care Upon a semicirque of turf-clad ground,

We scann'd the various features of the scene : The hidden nook discover'd to our view

And soon the tenant of that lonely vale A mass of rock, resembling, as it lay

With courteous voice thus spake Right at the foot of that moist precipice,

“ I should have grieved A stranded ship, with keel upturn’d,—that rests Hereafter, not escaping self-reproach, Fearless of winds and waves. Three several stones If from my poor retirement ye had gone Stood near, of smaller size, and not unlike Leaving this nook unvisited: but, in sooth, To monumental pillars ; and from these

Your unexpected presence had so roused Some little space disjoin'd, a pair were seen, My spirits, that they were bent on enterprise ; That with united shoulders bore aloft

And, like an ardent hunter, I forgot, A fragment, like an altar, flat and smooth ; Or, shall I say ?-disdain'd the game that lurks Barren the tablet, yet thereon appear'd

At my own door. The shapes before our eyes, A tall and shining holly, that had found

And their arrangement, doubtless must be deem'd A hospitable chink, and stood upright,

The sport of nature, aided by blind chance As if inserted by some human hand

Rudely to mock the works of toiling man. In mockery, to wither in the sun,

And hence, this upright shaft of unhewn stone, Or lay its beauty flat before a breeze,

From fancy, willing to set off her stores The first that enter'd. But no breeze did now By sounding titles, hath acquired the name Find entrance ; high or low appear'd no trace Of Pompey's pillar ; that I gravely style Of motion, save the water that descended, My Theban obelisk ; and, there, behold Diffused adown that barrier of steep rock,

A Druid cromlech --thus I entertain
And softly creeping, like a breath of air,

The antiquarian humour, and am pleased
Such as is sometimes seen, and hardly seen, To skim along the surfaces of things,
To brush the still breast of a crystal lake.

Beguiling harmlessly the listless hours. “ Behold a cabinet for sages built,

But if the spirit be oppress'd by sense Which kings might envy!" Praise to this effect Of instability, revolt, decay, Broke from the happy old man's reverend lip; And change, and emptiness, these freaks of nature, Who to the solitary turn'd, and said,

And her blind helper, chance, do then suffice “ In sooth, with love's familiar privilege,

To quicken, and to aggravate—to feed You have decried the wealth which is your own. Pity and scorn, and melancholy pride, Among these rocks and stones, methinks, I see Not less than that huge pile (from some abyss

come.

Of mortal power unquestionably sprung)

“ If, such as now he is, he might remain ! Whose hoary diadem of pendent rocks

Ah! what avails imagination high Confines the shrill-voiced whirlwind, round and Or question deep? what profits all that earth, round

Or heaven's blue vault, is suffer'd to put forth Eddying within its vast circumference,

Of impulse or allurement, for the soul On Sarum's naked plain ; than pyramid

To quit the beaten track of life, and soar Of Egypt, unsubverted, undissolved ;

Far as she finds a yielding element Or Syria's marble ruins towering high

In past or future; far as she can go Above the sandy desert, in the light

Through time or space; if neither in the one, Of sun or moon,-forgive me, if I say

Nor in the other region, nor in aught That an appearance which hath raised your minds That fancy, dreaming o'er the map of things, To an exalted pitch (the self-same cause

Hath placed beyond these penetrable bounds, Different effect producing) is for me

Words of assurance can be heard; if nowhere Fraught rather with depression than delight, A habitation, for consummate good, Though shame it were, could I not look around, Nor for progressive virtue, by the search By the reflection of your pleasure, pleased. Can be attain'd,-a better sanctuary Yet happier in my judgment, e'en than you From doubt and sorrow, than the senseless grave ?With your bright transports fairly may be deem'd, “ Is this,” the gray-hair'd wanderer mildly said, The wandering herbalist,-who, clear alike “ The voice, which we so lately overheard, From vain, and, that worse evil, vexing thoughts, To that same child addressing tenderly Casts, if he ever chance to enter here,

The consolations of a hopeful mind? Upon these uncouth forms a slight regard

· His body is at rest, his soul in heaven.' Of transitory interest, and peeps round

These were your words ; and, verily, methinks For some rare floweret of the hills, or plant Wisdom is ofttimes nearer when we stoop Of craggy fountain ; what he hopes for wins, Than when we soar." Or learns, at least, that 'tis not to be won :

The other, not displeased, Then, keen and eager, as a fine-nosed hound Promptly replied—“My notion is the same. By soul-engrossing instinct driven along

And I, without reluctance, could decline Through wood or open field, the harmless man All act of inquisition whence we rise, Departs, intent upon his onward quest!

And what, when breath hath ceased, we may beNor is that fellow wanderer, so deem I, Less to be envied, (you may trace him oft Here are we, in a bright and breathing worldBy scars which his activity has left

Our origin, what matters it? In lack Beside our roads and pathways, though, thank Hea- Of worthier explanation, say at once ven!

With the American (a thought which suits This covert nook reports not of his hand,) The place where now we stand) that certain men He who with pocket hammer smites the edge Leapt out together from a rocky cave; Of luckless rock or prominent stone, disguised And these were the first parents of mankind: In weather stains or crusted o'er by nature Or, if a different image be recall'd With her first growths-detaching by the stroke By the warm sunshine, and the jocund voice A chip or splinter—to resolve his doubts ; Of insects—chirping out their careless lives And, with that ready answer satisfied,

On these soft beds of thyme-besprinkled turf, The substance classes by some barbarous name, Choose, with the gay Athenian, a conceit And hurries on; or from the fragments picks As sound-blithe race! whose mantles were beHis specimen, if haply intervein'd

deck'd With sparkling mineral, or should crystal cube With golden grasshoppers, in sign that they Lurk in its cells--and thinks himself enrich'd, Had sprung, like those bright creatures, from the Wealthier, and doubtless wiser, than before !

soil Intrusted safely each to his pursuit,

Whereon their endless generations dwelt. Earnest alike, let both from hill to hill

But stop these theoretic fancies jar Range ; if it please them, speed from clime to clime; On serious minds: then, as the Hindoos draw The mind is full-no pain is in their sport.” Their holy Ganges from a skyey fount, Then,”

,” said I, interposing, “ one is near, E'en so deduce the stream of human life Who cannot but possess in your esteem

From seats of power divine; and hope, or trust, Place worthier still of envy. May I name, That our existence winds her stately course Without offence, that fair-faced cottage boy ? Beneath the sun, like Ganges, to make part Dame nature's pupil of the lowest form,

Of a living ocean ; or, to sink ingulf'd, Youngest apprentice in the school of art!

Like Niger in impenetrable sands Him, as we enter'd from the open glen,

And utter darkness: thought which may be faced, You might have noticed busily engaged,

Though comfortless! Not of myself I speak; Heart, soul, and hands,-in mending the defects Such acquiescence neither doth imply, Left in the fabric of a leaky dam

In me, a meekly bending spirit—sooth'd Raised for enabling this penurious stream

By natural piety ; nor a lofty mind, To turn a slender mill (that new-made plaything) By philosophic discipline prepared For his delight—the happiest he of all !"

For calm subjection to acknowledged law; “ Far happiest,” answer'd the desponding man, Pleased to have been, contented not to be.

Such palms I boast not; no! to me, who find, In framing models to improve the scheme
Reviewing my past way, much to condemn, Of man's existence, and recast the world,
Little to praise, and nothing to regret,

Why should not grave philosophy be styled
(Save some remembrances of dream-like joys Herself, a dreamer of a kindred stock,
That scarcely seem to have belong'd to me,) A dreamer yet more spiritless and dull ?
If I must take my choice between the pair Yes, shall the fine immunities she boasts
That rule alternately the weary hours,

Establish sounder titles of esteem
Night is than day more acceptable ; sleep

For her, who (all too timid and reserved Doth, in my estimate of good, appear

For onset, for resistance too inert, A better state than waking ; death than sleep: Too weak for suffering, and for hope too tame) Feelingly sweet is stillness after storm,

Placed among flowery gardens, curtain'd round Though under covert of the wormy ground ! With world-excluding groves, the brotherhood “ Yet be it said, in justice to myself,

Of soft epicureans, taught—if they
That in more genia) times, when I was free The ends of being would secure, and win
To explore the destiny of human kind,

The crown of wisdom-to yield up their souls (Not as an intellectual game pursued

To a voluptuous unconcern, preferring With curious subtilty, from wish to cheat

Tranquillity to all things. Or is she," Irksome sensations; but by love of truth

I cried,“ more worthy of regard, the power, Urged on, or haply by intense delight

Who, for the sake of sterner quiet, closed In feeding thought, wherever thought could feed,) The stoic's heart against the vain approach I did not rank with those (too dull or nice, Of admiration, and all sense of joy?For to my judgment such they then appear'd, His countenance gave notice that my zeal Or too aspiring, thankless at the best)

Accorded little with his present mind; Who, in this frame of human life, perceive I ceased, and he resumed. “Ah! gentle sir, An object whereunto their souls are tied

Slight, if you will, the means: but spare to slight In discontented wedlock; nor did e'er,

The end of those, who did, by system, rank, From me, those dark, impervious shades, that hang As the prime object of a wise man's aim, Upon the region whither we are bound,

Security from shock of accident, Exclude a power to enjoy the vital beams, Release from fear; and cherish'd peaceful days Of present sunshine. Deities that float

For their own sakes, as mortal life's chief good, On wings, angelic spirits, I could muse

And only reasonable felicity. O'er what from eldest time we have been told What motive drew, what impulse, I would ask, of your bright forms and glorious faculties, Through a long course of later ages, drove And with the imagination be content.

The hermit to his cell in forest wide ; Not wishing more ; repining not to tread

Or what detain's him, till his closing eyes The little sinuous path of earthly care,

Took their last farewell of the sun and stars, By flowers embellish'd, and by springs refresh’d. Fast anchor'd in the desert ? Not alone * Blow winds of autumn - let your chilling breath Dread of the persecuting sword-remorse. Take the live herbage from the mead, and strip Wrongs upredress’d, or insults unavenged The shady forest of its green attire,

And unavengeable, defeated pride, And let the bursting clouds to fury rouse

Prosperity subverted, maddening want, The gentle brooks! Your desolating sway,' Friendship betray'd, affection unreturn'd, Thus I exclaim'd, no sadness sheds on me,

Love with despair, or grief in agony ; And no disorder in your rage I find.

Not always from intolerable pangs What dignity, what beauty, in this change He fled; but, compass'd round by pleasure, sigh'd From mild to angry, and from sad to gay,

For independent happiness: craving peace, Alternate and revolving! How benign,

The central feeling of all happiness, How rich in animation and delight,

Not as a refuge from distress or pain, How bountiful these elements compared

A breathing-time, vacation, or a truce, With aught, as more desirable and fair

But for its absolute self; a life of peace, Devised by fancy for the golden age ;

Stability without regret or fear ; Or the perpetual warbling that prevails

That hath been, is, and shall be evermore ! In Arcady, beneath unalter'd skies,

Such the reward he sought; and wore out life, Through the long year in constant quiet bound, There, where on few external things his heart Night hush'd as night, and day serene as day!' Was set, and those his own; or, if not his, But why this tedious record ? Age, we know, Subsisting under nature's steadfast law. Is garrulous; and solitude is apt

“ What other ycarnivg was the master tie T'anticipate the privilege of age.

Of the monastic brotherhood, upon rock
From far ye come; and surely with a hope Aërial, or in green secluded vale,
Of better entertainment-let us hence !"

One after one, collected from afar
Loath to forsake the spot, and still more loath An undissolving fellowship ?-What but this,
To be diverted from our present theme,

The universal instinct of repose,
I said, “ My thoughts agreeing, sir, with yours, The longing for confirm'd tranquillity,
Would push this censure farther ; for, if smiles Inward and outward ; humble, yet sublime :
Of scornful pity be the just reward

The life where hope and memory are as one ; Of poesy, thus courteously employ'd

Earth quiet and unchanged; the human soul

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Consistent in self-rule; and heaven reveal’d With dark events. Desirous to divert
To meditation in that quietness !

Or stem the current of the speaker's thoughts,
Such was their scheme:-thrice happy he who gaind We signified a wish to leave that place
The end proposed! And,-though the same were Of stillness and close privacy, a nook
miss'd

That seem'd for self-examination made,
By multitudes, perhaps obtain’d by none, Or, for confession, in the sinner's need,
They, for the attempt, and for the pains employ'd, Hidden from all men's view. To our attempt
Do, in my present censure, stand redeemid He yielded not; but pointing to a slope
From the unqualified disdain, that once

Of mossy turf defended from the sun,
Would have been cast upon them, by my voice And, on that couch inviting us to rest,
Delivering her decisions from the seat

Full on that tender-hearted man he turn'd
Of forward youth: that scruples not to solve A serious eye, and thus his speech renew'd.
Doubts, and determine questions, by the rules “ You never saw, your eyes did never look
Of inexperienced judgment, ever prone

On the bright form of her whom once I loved :
To overweening faith ; and is inflamed,

Her silver voice was heard upon the earth, By courage, to demand from real life

A sound unknown to you ; else, honour'd friend! The test of act and suffering—to provoke

Your heart had borne a pitiable share Hostility, how dreadful when it comes,

Of what I suffer'd, when I wept that loss,
Whether affliction be the foe, or guilt !

And suffer now, not seldom, from the thought
“A child of earth, I rested, in that stage That I remember, and can weep no more.
Of my past course to which these thoughts advert, Stripp'd as I am of a}l the golden fruit
Upon earth's native energies ; forgetting

Of self-esteem ; and by the cutting blasts
That mine was a condition which required Of self-reproach familiarly assail'd ;
Nor energy, nor fortitude—a calm

I would not yet be of such wintry bareness
Without vicissitude ; which, if the like

But that some leaf of your regard should hang
Had been presented to my view elsewhere, Upon my naked branches ; lively thoughts
I might have e'en been tempted to despise. Give birth, full often, to unguarded words.
But that which was serene was also bright; I grieve that, in your presence, from my tongue
Enliven'd happiness with joy o’erflowing, Too much of frailty hath already dropp'd ;
With joy, and—0! that memory should survive But that too much demands still more.
To speak the word-with rapture! Nature's boon,

“ You know, Life's genuine inspiration, happiness

Revered compatriot; and to you, kind sir,
Above what rules can teach, or fancy feign ; (Not to be deem'd a stranger, as you come
Abused, as all possessions are abused

Following the guidance of these welcome feet
That are not prized according to their worth. To our secluded vale,) it may be told,
And yet, what worth? what good is given to men, That my demerits did not sue in vain
More solid than the gilded clouds of hearen? To one on whose mild radiance many gazed
What joy more lasting than a vernal Aower ? With hope, and all with pleasure. This fair bride,
None ! 'tis the general plaint of human kind In the devotedness of youthful love,
In solitude, and mutually address'd

Preferring me to parents, and the choir
From each to all, for wisdom's sake. This truth Of gay companions, to the natal roof,
The priest announces from his holy seat:

And all known places and familiar sights,
And, crown'd with garlands in the summer grove, (Resign’d with sadness gently weighing down
The poet fits it to his pensive lyre.

Her trembling expectations, but no more
Yet, ere that final resting place be gain'd,

Than did to her due honour, and to me Sharp contradictions may arise by doom

Yielded, that day, a confidence sublime Of this same life, compelling us to grieve

In what I had to build upon,) this bride, That the prosperities of love and joy

Young, modest, meek, and beautiful, I led
Should be permitted, ofttimes, to endure

To a low cottage in a sunny bay,
So long, and be at once cast down for ever. Where the salt sea innoculously breaks,
0! tremble, ye, to whom hath been assign'd And the sea breeze as innocently breathes,
A course of days composing happy months, On Devon's leafy shores; a shelter'd hold,
And they as happy years; the present still In a soft clime encouraging the soil
So like the past, and both so firm a pledge

To a luxuriant bounty! As our steps
Of a congenial future, that the wheels

Approach the embower'd abode-our chosen seatOf pleasure move without the aid of hope :

See, rooted in the earth, her kindly bed,
For mutability is nature's bane ;

The unendanger'd myrtle, deck'd with flowers,
And slighted hope will be avenged : and, when Before the threshold stands to welcome us!
Ye need her favours, ye shall find her not; While in the flowering myrtle's neighbourhood,
But in her stead-fear-doubl—and agony ! Not overlook'd but courting no regard,

This was the bitter language of the heart: Those native plants, the holly and the yew,
But, while he spake, look, gesture, tone of voice, Gave modest intimation to the mind
Though discomposed and vehement, were such How willingly their aid they would unite
As skill and graceful nature might suggest With the green myrtle, to endear the hours
To a proficient of the tragic scene

Of winter, and protect that pleasant place.
Standing before the multitude, beset

Wild were the walks upon those lonely downs

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