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Where sun and shade were intermix'd; for there

“ You cannot blame,” A broad oak, stretching forth its leafy arms Here interposing fervently I said, From an adjoining pasture, overhung

“ Rites which attest that man by nature lies Small space of that green churchyard with a light Bedded for good and evil in a gulf And pleasant awning. On the moss-grown wall Fearfully low; nor will your judgment scorn My ancient friend and I together took

Those services, whereby attempt is made Our seats; and thus the solitary spake,

To lift the creature toward that eminence Standing before us. “Did you note the mien On which, now fall’n, erewhile in majesty Of that self-solaced, easy-hearted churl,

He stood; or if not so, whose top serene Death's bireling, who scoops out his neighbour's At least he feels 'tis given him to descry; grave,

Not without aspirations, evermore Or wraps an old acquaintance up in clay,

Returning, and injunctions from within As unconcern'd as when he plants a tree?

Doubt to cast off and weariness; in trust I was abruptly summond by his voice

That what the soul perceives, if glory lost, From some affecting images and thoughts,

May be, through pains and persevering hope, And from the company of serious words.

Recover'd; or, if hitherto unknown, Much, yesterday, was said in glowing phrase Lies within reach, and one day shall be gain'd.” Of our sublime dependencies, and hopes

“I blame them not,” he calmly answer'd," no; For future states of being; and the wings

The outward ritual and establish'd forms Of speculation, joyfully outspread,

With which communities of men invest Hover'd above our destiny on earth;

These inward feelings, and th' aspiring vows But stoop, and place the prospect of the soul To which the lips give public utterance, In sober contrast with reality,

Are both a natural process ; and by me And man's substantial life. If this mute earth Shall pass uncensured ; though the issue prove, Of what it holds could speak, and every grave Bringing from age to age its own reproach, Were as a volume, shut, yet capable

Incongruous, impotent, and blank. But, oh! 1 Of yielding its contents to eye and ear,

If to be weak is to be wretched—miserable, We should recoil, stricken with sorrow and shame As the lost angel by a human voice To see disclosed, by such dread proof, how ill Hath mournfully pronounced, then, in my mind, That which is done accords with what is known Far better not to move at all than move To reason, and by conscience is enjoin'd;

By impulse sent from such illusive power, How idly, how perversely, life's whole course,

That finds and cannot fasten down; that grasps To this conclusion, deviates from the line, And is rejoiced, and loses while it grasps ; Or of the end stops short, proposed to all

That tempts, imboldens--doth a while sustain, At her aspiring outset. Mark the babe

And then betrays; accuses and inflicts
Not long accustom'd to this breathing world; Remorseless punishment; and so retreads
One that hath barely learn'd to shape a smile; Th’inevitable circle : better far
Though yet irrational of soul to grasp

Than this, to graze the herb in thoughtless peace, With tiny fingers, to let fall a tear;

By foresight or remembrance, undisturbed ! And, as the heavy cloud of sleep dissolves,

“ Philosophy! and thou more vaunted name, To stretch his limbs, bemocking, as might seem, Religion! with thy statelier retinue, Th' outward functions of intelligent man;

Faith, hope, and charity-from the visible world A grave proficient in amusive feats

Choose for your emblems whatsoe'er ye find Of puppetry, that from the lap declare

Of safest guidance and of firmest trust,
His expectations, and announce his claims The torch, the star, the anchor; nor except
To that inberitance which millions rue

The cross itself, at whose unconscious feet
That they were ever born to! In due time The generations of mankind have knelt
A day of solemn ceremonial comes;

Ruefully seized, and shedding bitter tears,
When they, who for this minor hold in trust And through that conflict seeking rest-of you
Rights that transcend the humblest heritage High titled powers, am I constrain'd to ask,
Of mere humanity, present their charge,

Here standing, with th' unvoyageable sky
For this occasion daintily adorn’d,

In faint reflection of infinitude
At the baptismal font. And when the pure Stretch'd overhead, and at my pensive feet
And consecrating element hath cleansed

A subterraneous magazine of bones,
Th' original stain, the child is there received In whose dark vaults my own shall soon be laid,
Into the second ark, Christ's church, with trust Where are your triumphs ? your dominion where?
That he, from wrath redeem'd, therein shall float And in what age admitted and confirm'd ?

Over the billows of this troublesome world Not for a happy land do I inquire, 3 To the fair land of everlasting life.

Island or grove, that hides a blessed few
Corrupt affections, covetous desires,

Who, with obedience willing and sincere,
Are all renounced; high as the thought of man To your serene authorities conform ;
Can carry virtue, virtue is profess'd ;

But whom, I ask, of individual souls,
A dedication made, a promise given

Have ye withdrawn from passion's crooked ways, For due provision to control and guide,

Inspired, and thoroughly fortified? If the heart And unremitting progress to ensure

Could be inspected to its inmost folds In holiness and truth.”

By sight undazzled with the glare of praise,

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Who shall be named-in the resplendent line On humble life, forbid the judging mind
Of sages, martyrs, confessors—the man

To trust the smiling aspect of this fair
Whom the best might of conscience, truth and hope, And noiseless commonwealth. The simple race
For one day's little compass has preserved Of mountaineers (by nature's self removed
From painful and discreditable shocks

From foul temptations, and by constant care Of contradiction, from some vague desire

Of a good shepherd tended as themselves Culpably cherish’d, or corrupt relapse

Do tend their flocks) partake man's general lot To some unsanction'd fear?”

With little mitigation. They escape, « If this be so,

Perchance, guilt's heavier woes; and do not feel And man,” said I,“ be in his noblest shape

The tedium of fantastic idleness;
Thus pitiably infirm; then, He who made, Yet life, as with the multitude, with them,
And who shall judge the creature, will forgive. Is fashion'd like an ill-constructed tale;
Yet, in its general tenor, your complaint

That on the outset wastes its gay desires,
Is all too true; and surely not misplaced:

Its fair adventures, its enlivening hopes, For, from this pregnant spot of ground, such And pleasant interests--for the sequel leaving thoughts

Old things repeated with diminish'd grace; Rise to the notice of a serious mind

And all the labour'd novelties at best By natural exhalation. With the dead

Imperfect substitutes, whose use and power In their repose, the living in their mirth,

Evince the want and weakness whence they spring." Who can reflect, unmoved, upon the round

While in this serious mood we held discourse, Of smooth and solemnized complacencies,

The reverend pastor toward the churchyard gate By which, on Christian lands, from age to age

Approach'd ; and, with a mild, respectful air Profession mocks performance. Earth is sick,

Of native cordiality, our friend And heaven is weary, of the hollow words Advanced to greet him. With a gracious mien Which states and kingdoms utter when they talk

Was he received, and mutual joy prerail'd. Of truth and justice. Turn to private life

Awhile they stood in conference, and I guess And social neighbourhood; look we to ourselves;

That he, who now upon the mossy wall A light of duty shines on every day

Sate by my side, had vanish'd, if a wish For all; and yet how few are warm’d or cheer'd ! Could have transferr'd him to his lonely house How few who mingle with their fellow men

Within the circuit of those guardian rocks. And still remain self-govern'd, and apart,

For me, I look'd upon the pair, well pleased Like this our honour'd friend: and thence acquire Nature had framed them both, and both were markt Right to expect his vigorous decline,

By circumstance, with intermixture fine That promises to th’end a blest old age !"

Of contrast and resemblance. To an oak “ Yet,” with a smile of triumph thus exclaim’d Hardy and grand, a weather-beaten oak, The solitary,“ in the life of man,

Fresh in the strength and majesty of age, If to the poetry of common speech

One might be likend : Nourishing appear’d, Faith may be given, we see as in a glass

Though somewhat past the fulness of his prime, A true reflection of the circling year,

The other-like a stately sycamore, With all its seasons. Grant that spring is there,

That spreads, in gentler pomp, its honey'd shade. In spite of many a rough, untoward blast,

A general greeting was exchanged: and soon Hopeful and promising with buds and flowers; The pastor learn'd that his approach had given Yet where is glowing summer's long rich day, A welcome interruption to discourse That ought to follow faithfully express'd ?

Grave, and in truth too often sad.

“ Is man And mellow autumn, charged with bounteous fruit, A child of hope? Do generations press Where is she imaged ? in what favour'd clime On generations, without progress made ? Her lavish pomp, and ripe magnificence ?

Halts the individual, ere his hairs be gray, Yet, while the better part is miss’d, the worse Perforce ? Are we a creature in whom good In man's autumnal season is set forth

Preponderates, or evil? Doth the will With a resemblance not to be denied,

Acknowledge reason's law? A living power And that contents him ; bowers that hear no more Is virtue, or no better than a name, The voice of gladness, less and less supply Fleeting as health, or beauty, and unsound? Of outward sunshine and internal warmth; So that the only substance which remains, And, with this change, sharp air and falling leaves, (For thus the tenor of complaint hath run,) Foretelling total winter, blank and cold.

Among so many shadows, are the pains “How gay the habitations that bedeck

And penalties of miserable life,
This fertile valley! Not a house but seems Doom'd to decay, and then expire in dust!
To give assurance of content within ;

Our cogitations this way have been drawn,
Imbosom'd happiness, and placid love;

These are the points,” the wanderer said, “ on As if the sunshine of the day were met

which With answering brightness in the hearts of all Our inquest turns. Accord, good sir! the light Who walk this favour'd ground. But chance of your experience to dispel this gloom : regards,

By your persuasive wisdom shall the heart And notice forced upon incurious ears;

That frets, or languishes, be still'd and cheer'd." These, if these only, acting in despite

“ Our nature,” said the priest, in mild reply, Of the encomiums by my friend pronounced “ Angels may weigh and fathom : they perceive,

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With undistemper'd and unclouded spirit,

Is to that other state more apposite,
The object as it is ; but, for ourselves,

Death and its twofold aspect; wintry-one, That speculative height we may not reach. Cold, sullen, blank, from hope and joy shut out; i The good and evil are our own; and we

The other, which the ray divine hath touch'd, S. Are that which we would contemplate from far. Replete with vivid promise, bright as spring." Knowledge, for us, is difficult to gain

“We see, then, as we feel,” the wanderer thus Is difficult to gain, and hard to keep

With a complacent animation spake, TOTA As virtue's self; like virtue is beset

“ And in your judgment, sir! the mind's repose
With snares; tried, tempted, subject to decay. On evidence is not to be ensured
Love, admiration, fear, desire, and hate,

By act of naked reason. Moral truth
Blind were we without these : through these alone is no mechanic structure, built by rule;
Are capable to notice or discern,

And which, once built, retains a steadfast shape
Or to record; we judge, but cannot be

And undisturb'd proportions ; but a thing
Indifferent judges. 'Spite of proudest boast, Subject, you deem, to vital accidents ;
Reason, best reason, is t' imperfect man

And, like the water-lily, lives and thrives,
An effort only, and a noble aim ;

Whose root is fix'd in stable earth, whose head
A crown, an attribute of sovereign power, Floats on the tossing waves. With joy sincere
Still to be courted-never to be won !

I re-salute these sentiments confirm'd
Look forth, or each man dive into himself; By your authority. But how acquire

What sees he but a creature too perturbid, The inward principle that gives effect not

That is transported to excess; that yearns, To outward argument: the passive will
Regrets, or trembles, wrongly, or too much ; Meek to admit; the active energy,
Hopes rashly, in disgust as rash recoils ;

Strong and unbounded to embrace, and firm
Battens on spleen, or moulders in despair ? To keep and cherish? How shall man unite
Thus truth is miss'd, and comprehension fails ; With self-forgetting tenderness of heart
And darkness and delusion round our path

An earth despising dignity of soul ?
Spread, from disease, whose subtile injury lurks Wise in that union, and without it blind !"
Within the very faculty of sight.

“ The way,” said I, " to court, if not obtain “ Yet for the general purposes of faith

Th’ ingenuous mind, apt to be set aright,
In providence, for solace and support,

This, in the lonely dell discoursing, you
We may not doubt that who can best subject Declared at large ; and by what exercise
The will to reason's law, and strictliest live From visible nature or the inner self
And act in that obedience, he shall gain

Power may be train'd, and renovation brought The clearest apprehension of those truths,

To those who need the gift. But, after all, Which unassisted reason's utmost power

Is aught so certain as that man is doom'd Is too infirm to reach. But-waiving this, To breathe beneath a vault of ignorance ? And our regards confining within bounds

The natural roof of that dark house in which Of less exalted consciousness—through which His soul is pent! How little can be knownThe very multitude are free to range

This is the wise man's sigh: how far we errWe safely may affirm that human life

This is the good man's not unfrequent pang! Is either fair and tempting, a soft scene

And they perhaps err least, the lowly class Grateful to sight, refreshing to the soul,

Whom a benign necessity compels Or a forbidding tract of cheerless view;

To follow reason's least ambitious course : E’en as the same is look'd at or approach'd. Such do I mean who, unperplex'd by doubt, Thus, when in changeful April snow has fall'n, And unincited by a wish to look And fields are white, if from the sullen north Into high objects farther than they may, Your walk conduct you hither, ere the sun Pace to and fro, from morn till eventide, Hath gaind his noontide height, this churchyard, The narrow avenue of daily toil fili'a

For daily bread.” With mounds transversely lying side by side

“ Yes,” buoyantly exclaim'd From east to west, before you will appear The pale reclusem praise to the sturdy plough, An unillumincd, blank, and dreary plain,

And patient spade, and shepherd's simple crook, With more than wintry cheerlessness and gloom And ponderous loom-resounding while it holds Saddening the heart. Go forward, and look back, Body and mind in one captivity ; Look, from the quarter whence the Lord of light, And let the light mechanic tool be hail'd Of life, of love, and gladness doth dispense With honour; which, encasing by the power His beams; which, unexcluded in their fall, Of long companionship, the artist's hand, Upon the southern side of every grave

Cuts off that hand, with all its world of nerves, Have gently exercised a melting power,

From a too busy commerce with the heart! Then will a vernal prospect greet your eye,

Inglorious implements of craft and toil, All fresh and beautiful, and green and bright, Both ye that shape and build, and ye that force, Hopeful and cheerful: vanish'd is the snow, By slow solicitation, earth to yield Vanish'd or hidden; and the whole domain, Her annual bounty, sparingly dealt forth To some too lightly minded might appear

With wise reluctance, you would I extol, A meadow carpet for the dancing hours.

Not for gross good alone which ye produce, This contrast, not unsuitable to life,

But for th' impertinent and ceaseless strife

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Of proofs and reasons ye preclude-in those For opportunity presented, thence
Who to your dull society are born,

Far forth to send his wandering eye o'er land And with their humble birthright rest content. And ocean, and look down upon the works, Would I had ne'er renounced it !"

The habitations, and the ways of men,

A slight flush Himself unseen! But no tradition tells Of moral anger previously had tinged

That ever hermit dipp'd his maple dish The old man's cheek; but, at this closing turn In the sweet spring that lurks 'mid yon green fields ; Of self-reproach, it pass'd away. Said he, And no such visionary views belong “ That which we feel we utter ; as we think To those who occupy and till the ground, So have we argued ; reaping for our pains

And on the bosom of the mountain dwellNo visible recompense. For our relief

A wedded pair in childless solitude. You,” to the pastor turning thus he spake, A house of stones collected on the spot, “ Have kindly interposed. May I entreat By rude hands built, with rocky knolls in front, Your further help? The mine of real life

Back'd also by a ledge of rock, whose crest Dig for us; and present us, in the shape

Of birch trees waves upon the chimney top: Of virgin ore, that gold which we, by pains A rough abode-in colour, shape, and size, Fruitless as those of aëry alchymists,

Such as in unsafe times of border war
Seek from the torturing crucible. There lies Might have been wish'd for and contrived, telude
Around us a domain where you have long

The eye of roving plunderer-for their need
Watch'd both the outward course and inner heart; Suffices and unshaken bears the assault
Give us, for our abstractions, solid facts ;

Of their most dreaded foe, the strong south-West
For our disputes, plain pictures. Say what man In anger blowing from the distant sea.
He is who cultivates yon hanging field;

Alone within ber solitary hut;
What qualities of mind she bears, who comes, There, or within the compass of her fields,
For morn and evening service, with her pail, At any moment may the dame be found
To that green pasture ; place before our sight True as the stock-dove to her shallow nest
The family who dwell within yon house

And to the grove that holds it. She beguiles
Fenced round with glittering laurel ; or in that By intermingled work of house and field
Below, from which the curling smoke ascends. The summer's day, and winter's; with success
Or rather, as we stand on holy earth,

Not equal, but sufficient to maintain, And have the dead around us, take from them E’en at the worst, a smooth stream of content, Your instances; for they are both best known, Until the expected hour at which her mate And by frail man most equitably judged.

From the far-distant quarry's vault returns; Epitomise the life ; pronounce, you can,

And by his converse crowns a silent day Authentic epitaphs on some of these

With evening cheerfulness. In powers of mind, Who, from their lowly mansions hither brought, In scale of culture, few among my flock Beneath this turf lie mouldering at our feet. Hold lower rank than this sequester'd pair; So, by your records, may our doubts be solved; But humbleness of heart descends from heaven; And so, not searching higher, we may learn And that best gift of heaven hath fallin on them; To prize the breath we share with human kind; Abundant recompense for every want. And look upon the dust of man with awe.

Stoop from your height, ye proud, and copy these! The priest replied. “An office you impose Who, in their noiseless dwelling place, can bear For which peculiar requisites are mine;

The voice of wisdom whispering Scripture texts Yet much, I feel, is wanting-else the task For the mind's government, or temper's peace; Would be most grateful. True indeed it is And recommending, for their mutual need, That they whom death has hidden from our sight Forgiveness, patience, hope, and charity !” Are worthiest of the mind's regard; with these “Much was I pleased," the gray-hair'd wanderer The future cannot contradict the past :

said, Mortality's last exercise and proof

“ When to those shining fields our notice first Is undergone; the transit made that shows You turn'd; and yet more pleased have from your The very soul, reveal'd as she departs.

lips Yet, on your first suggestion, will I give, Gather'd this fair report of them who dwell Ere we descend into these silent vaults,

In that retirement; whither, by such course One picture from the living.

Of evil hap and good as oft awaits

“ You behold, A lone wayfaring man, I once was brought. High on the breast of yon dark mountain--dark Dark on my road th' autumnal evening fell With stony barrenness, a shining speck

While I was traversing yon mountain pass, Bright as a sunbeam sleeping till a shower And night succeeded with unusual gloom: Brush it away, or cloud pass over it;

So that my feet and hands at length became And such it might be deem'd—a sleeping sunbeam; Guides better than mine eyes; until a light But 'tis a plot of cultivated ground,

High in the gloom appear'd, too high, methought, Cut off, an island in the dusky waste;

For human habitation ; but I long'd And that attractive brightness is its own.

To reach it, destitute of other hope. The lofty site, by nature framed to tempt

I look'd with steadiness as sailors look Amid a wilderness of rocks and stones

On the north star, or watch-tower's distant lamp, The tiller's hand, a hermit might have chosen, And saw the light-now fix'd-and shifting dow

Not like a dancing meteor, but in line

And, through Heaven's blessing, thus we gain the Of never-varying motion, to and fro:

bread It is no night-fire of the naked hills,

For which we pray; and for the wants provide Thought I, some friendly covert must be near. of sickness, accident, and helpless age. With this persuasion thitherward my steps Companions have I many; many friends, I turn, and reach at last the guiding light; Dependants, comfortors-my wheel, my fire, Joy to myself! but to the heart of her

All day the house-clock ticking in mine ear, Who there was standing on the open

The cackling hen, the tender chicken brood, (The same kind matron whom your tongue hath And the wild birds that gather round my porch. praised,)

This honest sheep-dog's countenance I read : Alarm and dissappointment! The alarm

With him can talk ; nor blush to waste a word Ceased, when she learn'd through what mishap 1 On creatures less intelligent and shrewd. came,

And if the blustering wind that drives the clouds And by what help had gain'd those distant fields. Care not for me, he lingers round my door, Drawn from her cottage, on that open height, And makes me pastime when our tempers suit; Bearing a lantern in her hand she stood,

But, above all, my thoughts are my support.
Or paced the ground, to guide her husband home, The matron ended-nor could I forbear
By that unwearied signal, kenn'd afar;

To exclaim, 0 happy! yielding to the law
An anxious duty! which the lofty site,

Of these privations, richer in the main ! Traversed but by a few irregular paths,

While thankless thousands are opprest and clogg'd Imposes, whensoe'er untoward chance

By ease and leisure, by the very wealth Detains him after his accustom'd hour

And pride of opportunity made poor ; Till night lies black upon the ground. “But come, While tens of thousands falter in their path, Come,' said the matron, “to our poor abode; And sink, through utter want of cheering light; Those dark rocks hide it!' Entering, I beheld For you the hours of labour do not flag: A blazing fire, beside a cleanly hearth

For you each evening hath its shining star, Sate down; and to her office, with leave ask'd, And every Sabbath day its golden sun.'» The dame return'd. Or ere that glowing pile

“ Yes !” said the solitary with a smile Of mountain turf required the builder's hand That seem'd to break from an expanding heart, Its wasted splendour to repair, the door

“ The untutor'd bird may found, and so construct Open'd, and she re-enter'd with glad looks, And with such soft materials line her nest, Her helpmate following. Hospitable fare,

Fix'd in the centre of a prickly brake, Frank conversation, made the evening's treat: That the thorns wound her not: they only guard. Need a bewilder'd traveller wish for more? Powers not unjustly liken’d to those gifts But more was given ; I studied as we sate Of happy instinct which the woodland bird By the bright fire, the good man's face; composed Shares with her species, nature's grace sometimes Of features elegant; an open brow

Upon the individual doth confer, Of undisturb'd'humanity; a cheek

Among her higher creatures born and train'd Suffused with something of a feminine hue ; To use of reason. And, I own, that tired Eyes beaming courtesy and mild regard;

Of th'ostentatious world--a swelling stage But, in the quicker turns of the discourse, With empty actions and vain passions stuff?d, Expression slowly varying, that evinced

And from the private struggles of mankind A tardy apprehension. From a fount

Hoping for less than I could wish to hope, Lost, thought I, in th' obscurities of time,

Far less than once I trusted and believed But honour'd once, these features and that mien I loved to hear of those, who, not contending, May have descended, though I see them here, Nor summond to contend for virtue's prize, In such a man, so gentle and subdued,

Miss not the humbler good at which they aim; Withal so graceful in his gentleness,

Blest with a kindly faculty to blunt A race illustrious for heroic deeds,

The edge of adverse circumstance, and turn Humbled, but not degraded, may expire.

Into their contraries the petty plagues This pleasing fancy (cherish'd and upheld

And hinderances with which they stand beset. By sundry recollections of such fall

In early youth, among my native hills, From high to low, ascent from low to high, I knew a Scottish peasant who possess'd As books record, and e'en the careless mind A few small crofts of stone-encumber'd ground; Cannot but notice among men and things) Masses of every shape and size, that lay Went with me to the place of my repose.

Scatter'd about under the mouldering walls “ Roused by the crowing cock at dawn of day, Of a rough precipice; and some, apart, I yet had risen too late to interchange

In quarters unobnoxious to such chance, A morning salutation with my host,

As if the moon had shower'd them down in spite; Gone forth already to the far-off seat

But he repined not. Though the plough was scared of his day's work. "Three dark mid-winter By these obstructions, 'round the shady stones months

A fertilizing moisture,' said the swain, Pass,' said the matron, and I never see,

"Gathers, and is preserved; and feeding dews Save when the Sabbath brings its kind release, And damps, through all the droughty summer day, My helpmate's face by light of day. He quits From out their substance issuing maintain His door in darkness, nor till dusk returns. Herbage that never fails: no grass springs up

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