Sidor som bilder


Or disappearing; triumph that proclaims That there should pass a moment of the year, How much the mild directress of the plough When in their land th’ Almighty's service ceased. Owes to alliance with these new-born arts !

“ Triumph who will in these profaner rites
Hence is the wide sea peopled,-hence the shores Which we, a generation self-extollid,
Of Britain are resorted to by ships

As zealously perform! I cannot share
Freighted from every climate of the world His proud complacency ; yet I exult,
With the world's choicest produce. Hence that sum Casting reserve away, exult to see
Of keels that rest within her crowded ports, An intellectual mastery exercised
Or ride at anchor in her sounds and bays;

O’er the blind elements ; a purpose given,
That animating spectacle of sails

A perseverance fed ; almost a soul Which, through her inland regions, to and fro Imparted—to brute matter. I rejoice, Pass with the respirations of the tide,

Measuring the force of those gigantic powers, Perpetual, multitudinous ! Finally,

That by the thinking mind have been compellid Hence a dread arm of floating power, a voice To serve the will of feeble-bodied man. Of thunder daunting those who would approach For with the sense of admiration blends With hostile purposes, the blessed isle,

The animating hope that time may come Truth's consecrated residence, the seat

When strengthen’d, yet not dazzled, by the might Impregnable of liberty and peace.

Of this dominion over nature gain'd, “And yet, О happy pastor of a flock

Men of all lands shall exercise the same Faithfully watch'd, and, by that

In due proportion to their country's need; And Heaven's good providence, preserved from Learning, though late, that all true glory rests, taint!

All praise, all safety, and all happiness,
With you I grieve, when on the darker side Upon the moral law. Egyptian Thebes,
Of this great change I look; and there behold Tyre by the margin of the sounding waves,
Such outrage done to nature as compels

Palmyra, central in the desert, fell;
Th’indignant power to justify herself;

And the arts died by which they had been raised. Yea, to avenge her violated rights,

Call Archimedes from his buried tomb For England's - bane. When soothing darkness Upon the plain of vanish'd Syracuse, spreads

And feelingly the sage shall make report
O'er bill and vale,” the wanderer thus express'd How insecure, how baseless in itself,
His recollections, “and the punctual stars, Is the philosophy, whose sway depends
While all things else are gathering to their homes, On mere material instruments; how weak
Advance, and in the firmament of heaven

Those arts, and high inventions, if unpropp'd
Glitter-but undisturbing, undisturbid;

By virtue. He with sighs of pensive grief, As if their silent company were charged

Amid his calm abstractions, would admit With peaceful admonitions for the heart

That not the slender privilege is theirs Of all beholding man, earth's thoughtful lord; To save themselves from blank forgetfulness !" Then, in full many a region, once like this

When from the wanderer's lips these words bad Th’assured domain of calm simplicity

fall'n, And pensive quiet, an unnatural light

I said, “ And, did in truth these vaunted arts
Prepared for never-resting labour's eyes,

Possess such privilege, how could we escape
Breaks from a many-window'd fabric huge ; Regret and painful sadness, who revere,
And at the appointed hour a bell is heard,

And would preserve as things above all price,
Of harsher import than the curfew-knoll

The old domestic morals of the land,
That spake the Norman conqueror's stern behest-Her simple manners, and the stable worth
A local summons to unceasing toil !

That dignified and cheer'd a low estate ?
Disgorged are now the ministers of day:

0! where is now the character of peace,
And, as they issue from th'illumined pile, Sobriety, and order, and chaste love,
A fresh band meets them, at the crowded door, And honest dealing, and untainted speech,
And in the courts—and where the rumbling stream, And pure good-will, and hospitable cheer;
That turns the multitude of dizzy wheels,

That made the very thought of country life
Glares, like a troubled spirit, in its bed

A thought of refuge, for a mind detain'd Among the rocks below. Men, maidens, youths, Reluctantly amid the bustling crowd ? Mother and little children, boys and girls,

Where now the beauty of the Sabbath kept Enter, and each the wonted task resumes

With conscientious reverence, as a day Within this temple, where is offer'd up

By the almighty Lawgiver pronounced To gain-the master idol of the realm

Holy and blest ? and where the winning grace Perpetual sacrifice. E'en thus of old

Of all the lighter ornaments attach'd Our ancestors within the still domain

To time and season, as the year roll'd round?” Of vast cathedral or conventual church,

“ Fled !” was the wanderer's passionate reTheir vigils kept: where tapers day and night

sponse, On the dim altar burn'd continually,

“ Fled utterly! or only to be traced In token that the house was evermore

In a few fortunate retreats like this; Watching to God. Religious men were they ; Which I behold with trembling, when I think Nor would their reason, tutor'd to aspire

What lamentable change, a year--a monthAbove this transitory world, allow

May bring; that brook converting as it runs

[ocr errors]

Into an instrument of deadly bane

Dull, to the joy of her own motions dead; For those, who, yet untempted to forsake

Avd e'en the touch, so exquisitely pour'd The simple occupations of their sires,

Through the whole body, with a languid will
Drink the pure water of its innocent stream Performs her functions ; rarely competent
With lip almost as pure. Domestic bliss, T'impress a vivid feeling on the mind
(Or call it comfort, by a humbler name,)

Of what there is delightful in the breeze,
How art thou blighted for the poor man's heart; The gentle visitations of the sun,
Lo! in such neighbourhood, from morn to eve, Or lapse of liquid element, by hand,
The habitations empty! or perchance

Or foot, or lip, in summer's warmth, perceived. The mother left alone, no helping hand

Can hope look forward to a manhood raised To rock the cradle of her peevish babe ;

On such foundations ?” No daughters round her busy at the wheel,

“ Hope is none for him!" Or in despatch of each day's little growth The pale recluse indignantly exclaim'a, Of household occupation; no nice arts

“ And tens of thousands suffer wrong as deep. Of needle-work; no bustle at the fire,

Yet be it ask'd, in justice to our age, Where once the dinner was prepared with pride ; If there were not, before those arts appear'd, Nothing to speed the day, or cheer the mind; These structures rose, commingling old and young, Nothing to praise, to teach, or to command; And unripe sex with sex, for mutual taint; The father, if perchance he still retain

Then, if there were not in our far-famed isle, His old employments, goes to field or wood, Multitudes, who from infancy had breathed No longer led or followed by the sons;

Air unimprisoned, and had lived at large; Idlers perchance they were, but in his sight; Yet walk'd beneath the sun, in human shape, Breathing fresh air, and treading the green earth ; As abject, as degraded? At this day, Till their short holyday of childhood ceased, Who shall enumerate the crazy huts Ne'er to return! That birthright now is lost. And tottering hovels, whence do issue forth Economists will tell you that the state

A ragged offspring, with their own blanch'd hair Thrives by the forfeiture,-unfeeling thought, Crown'd like the image of fantastic fear; And false as monstrous! Can the mother thrive Or wearing, we might say, in that white growth By the destruction of her innocent sons ?

An ill-adjusted turban, for defence In whom a premature necessity

Or fierceness, wreathed around their sunburnt Blocks out the forms of nature, preconsumes

brows, The reason, famishes the heart, shuts up

By savage nature's unassisted care. The infant being in itself, and makes

Naked, and coloured like the soil, the feet Its very spring a season of decay !

On which they stand ; as if thereby they drew The lot is wretched, the condition sad,

Some nourishment, as trees do by their roots, Whether a pining discontent survive,

From earth the common mother of us all. And thirst for change; or habit hath subdued Figure and mien, complexion and attire, The soul deprest, dejected-even to love

Are leagued to strike dismay, but outstretch'd hand Of her dull tasks, and close captivity.

And whining voice denote them supplicants 0, banish far such wisdom as condemns

For the least boon that pity can bestow. A native Briton to these inward chains,

Such on the breast of darksome heaths are found; Fix'd in his soul, so early and so deep,

And with their parents dwell upon the skirts Without his own consent, or knowledge, fix'd ! Of furze-clad commons; such are born and rear'd He is a slave to whom release comes not,

At the mine's mouth, beneath impending rocks, And cannot come. The boy, where'er he turns, Or in the chambers of some natural cave; Is still a prisoner; when the wind is up

And where their ancestors erected huts, Among the clouds and in the ancient woods; For the convenience of unlawful gain, Or when the sun is shining in the east,

In forest purlieus; and the like are bred, Quiet and calm. Behold him, in the school All England through, where nooks and slips of Of his attainments ? no; but with the air

ground, Fanning his temples under heaven's blue arch. Purloin'd, in times less jealous than our own, His raiment whitend o'er with cotton flakes, From the green margin of the public way, Or locks of wool, announces whence he comes. A residence afford them, 'mid the bloom Creeping his gait and cowering, his lip pale, And gayety of cultivated fields. His respiration quick and audible ;

Such (we will hope the lowest in the scale) And scarcely could you fancy that a gleam

Do I remember oft-times to have seen From out those languid eyes could break, or blush | Mid Buxton's dreary heights. Upon the watch, Mantle upon his cheek. Is this the form,

Till the swift vehicle approach, they stand; Is that the countenance, and such the port, Then, following closely with the cloud of dust, Of no mean being? One who should be clothed An uncouth feat exhibit, and are gone With dignity befitting his proud hope ;

Heels over head, like tumblers on a stage. Who, in his very childhood, should appear

Up from the ground they snatch the copper coin, Sublime, from present purity and joy?

And, on the freight of merry passengers The limbs increase, but liberty of mind

Fixing a steady eye, maintain their speed; Is gone for ever; this organic frame,

And spin--and pant-and overhead again, So joyful in her motions, is become

Wild pursuivants! until their breath is lost,

Or bounty tires, and every face that smiled With pure cerulean gravel from the heights Encouragement, hath ceased to look that way. Fetch'd by the neighbouring brook. Across the vale But, like the vagrants of the gipsy tribe,

The stately fence accompanied our steps; These, bred to little pleasure in themselves, And thus the pathway, by perennial green Are profitless to others. Turn we then

Guarded and graced, seemned fashion'd to unite, To Britons born and bred within the pale

As by a beautiful yet solemn chain, Of civil polity, and early train'd

The pastor's mansion with the house of prayer. To earn, by wholesome labour in the field,

Like image of solemnity, conjoin'd The bread they eat. A sample should I give With feminine allurement soft and fair, Of what this stock produces to enrich

The mansion's self display'd; a reverend pile The tender age of life, ye would exclaim, With bold projections and recesses deep; "Is this the whistling ploughboy whose shrill notes Shadowy, yet gay and lightsome as it stood Impart new gladness to the morning air !!

Fronting the noontide sun. We paused t admire Forgive me if I venture to suspect

The pillard porch, elaborately emboss'd; That many, sweet to hear of in soft verse, The low wide windows with their mullions old; Are of no finer frame: his joints are stiff ; The cornice richly fretted, of grey stone ; Beneath a cumbrous frock, that to the knees And that smooth slope from which the dwelling Invests the thriving churl, his legs appear,

rose, Fellows to those that lustily upheld

By beds and banks Arcadian of gay flowers The wooden stools for everlasting use,

And flowering shrubs, protected and adorn'd ; Whereon our fathers sate. And mark his brow! Profusion bright! and every flower assuming Under whose shaggy canopy are set

A more than natural vividness of hue, Two eyes, not dim, but of a healthy stare ; From unaffected contrast with the gloom Wide, sluggish, blank, and ignorant, and strange ; Of sober cypress, and the darker foil Proclaiming boldly that they never drew

Of yew, in which survived some traces, here A look or motion of intelligence

Not unbecoming, of grotesque device From infant conning of the Christ-cross-row, And uncouth fancy. From behind the roof Or puzzling through a primer, line by line, Rose the slim ash and massy sycamore, Till perfect mastery crown the pains at last. Blending their diverse foliage with the green What kindly warmth from touch of fostering hand, Of ivy, flourishing and thick, that clasp'd What penetrating power of sun or breeze, The huge round chimneys, harbour of delight Shall e'er dissolve the crust wherein his soul For wren and redbreast, where they sit and sing Sleeps, like a caterpillar sheath'd in ice ?

Their slender ditties when the trees are bare. This torpor is no pitiable work

Nor must I leave untouch'd (the picture else
Of modern ingenuity; no town

Were incomplete) a relique of old times
Nor crowded city may be tax'd with aught Happily spared, a little gothic niche
Of sottish vice or desperate breach of law

Of nicest workmanship: that once had held
To which in after years he may be roused. The sculptured image of some patron saint,
This boy the fields produce: his spade and hoe- Or of the blessed virgin, looking down
The carter's whip that on his shoulder rests On all who entered those religious doors.
In air high-towering with a boorish pomp,

But lo! where from the rocky garden mount
The sceptre of his sway; his country's name, Crown'd by its antique summer house, descends,
Her equal rights, her churches and her schools Light as the silver fawn, a radiant girl ;
What have they done for him ? And let me ask, For she hath recognised her honour'd friend,
For tens of thousands uninform'd as he ?

The wanderer ever welcome ! A prompt kiss In brief, what liberty of mind is here ?

The gladsome child bestows at his request ;
This ardent sally pleased the mild, good man, And, up the flowery lawn as we advance,
To whom the appeal couched in its closing words Hangs on the old man with a happy look,
Was pointedly address'd : and to the thoughts And with a pretty, restless hand of love.
That, in assent or opposition, rose

We enter, by the lady of the place
Within his mind, he seem'd prepared to give Cordially greeted. Graceful was her port:
Prompt utterance; but, rising from our seat, A lofty stature undepress'd by time,
The hospitable vicar interposed

Whose visitation had not wholly spared
With invitation urgently renew'd.

The finer lineaments of form and face ; We followed, taking as he led, a path

To that complexion brought which prude trusts Along a hedge of hollies, dark and tall,

in Whose flexile boughs, descending with a weight And wisdom loves. But when a stately ship Of leafy spray, conceal'd the stems and roots Sails in smooth weather by the placid coast That gave them nourishment. When frosty winds On homeward voyage, what, if wind and wave, Howl from the north, what kindly warmth, me- And hardship undergone in various climes, thought,

Have caused her to abate the virgin pride,
Is here, how grateful this impervious screen; And that full trim of inexperienced hope
Not shaped by simple wearing of the foot With which she left her haven, not for this,
On rural business passing to and fro

Should the sun strike her, and the impartial breeze
Was the commodious walk; a careful hand Play on her streamers, fails she to assume
Had mark'd the line, and strewn the surface o'er Brightness and touching beauty of her own,

To the still lake, whose stillness is to sight
As beautiful, as grateful to the mind.
But to what object shall the lovely girl
Be liken'd? She, whose countenance and air
Unite the graceful qualities of both,
E'en as she shares the pride and joy of both.

My gray-hair'd friend was moved: his vivid eye
Glisten’d with tenderness; his mind, I knew,
Was full; and had, I doubted not, return’d,
Upon this impulse, to the theme--erewhile
Ahruptly broken ofl. The ruddy boys
Withdrew, on summons, to their well-earn'd meal;
And he, (to whom all tongues resign’d their rights
With willingness, to whom the general ear
Listend with readier patience than to strain
Of music, lute or harp,--a long delight
That ceased not when his voice had ceased) as one
Who from truth's central point serenely views
The compass of his argument--began
Mildly, and with a clear and steady tone.




That charm all eyes. So bright, so fair, appear'd
This goodly matron, shining in the beams
Of unexpected pleasure. Soon the board
Was spread, and we partook a plain repast.

Here, resting in cool shelter, we beguiled
The midday hours with desultory talk ;
From trivial themes to general argument
Passing, as accident or fancy led,
Or courtesy prescribed. While question rose
And answer flow'd, the fetters of reserve
Dropping from every mind, the solitary
Resumed the manners of his happier days;
And, in the various conversation, bore
A willing, nay, at times, a forward part:
Yet with the grace of one who in the world
Had learn'd the art of pleasing, and had now
Occasion given him to display his skill,
Upon the steadfast vantage-ground of truth.
He gazed with admiration unsuppress'd
Upon the landscape of the sunbright vale,
Seen, from the shady room in which we sate,
In soften'd perspective; and more than once
Praised the consummate harmony serene
Of gravity and elegance-dislused
Around the mansion and its whole domain ;
Not, doubtless, without help of female taste
And female care. “A blessed lot is yours !"
The words escaped his lip with a tender sigh
Breathed over them ; but suddenly the door
Flew open, and a pair of lusty boys
Appear'd, confusion checking their delight.
Not brothers they in feature or attire,
But fond companions, so I guess'd, in field,
And by the river's margin, whence they come,
Anglers elated with unusual spoil.
One bears a willow pannier on his back,
The boy of plainer garb, whose blush survives
More deeply tinged. Twin might the other be
To that fair girl who from the garden mount
Bounded-triumphant entry this for him !
Between his hands he holds a smooth blue stone,
On whose capacious surface see outspread
Large store of gleaming crimson-spotted trouts;
Ranged side by side, and lessening by degrees
Up to the dwarf that tops the pinnacle.
Upon the board he lays the sky-blue stone
With its rich freight:--their number he proclaims;
Tells from what pool the noblest had been dragg'd;
And where the very monarch of the brook,
After long struggle, had escaped at last-
Stealing alternately at them and us
(As doth his comrade too) a look of pride;
And, verily, the silent creatures made
A splendid sight, together thus exposed;
Dead-but not sullied or deform’d by death,
That seem'd to pity what he could not spare.

But 0, the animation in the mien
Of those two boys! yea, in the very words
With which the young narrator was inspired,
When, as our questions led, he told at large
Of that day's prowess. Him might I compare,
His look, tones, gestures, eager eloquence,
To a bold brook that splits for better speed,
And, at the selfsame moment, works its way
Through many channels, ever and anon
Parted and reunited: his compeer

ARGUMENT. Wanderer asserts that an active principle pervades the

universe. Ils noblest sat the human soul. How lively this principle is in childhood. Hence the delight in old age of looking back upon childhood. The dignity, powers, and privileges of age asserted. These not 10 be looked for generally but under a just government. Right of a human creature to be exempl from being considered as a mere instruineut. Vicious inclinations are best kept under by giving good ones an opportunity to show themselves. The condition of multitudes de. plored, from wani of due respect to this truth on the part of their superiors in society. Former conversation recurred to, and the wanderer's opinions set in a clearer light. Genuine principles of equality.. Truth placed within reach of the humblest. Happy state of the two boys again adverted to. Earnest wish expressed for a system of national education established universally by governmeni. Clorious effects of this foretold. Wanderer breaks ofl. Walk to the lake. Embark. Description of scenery and amusements. Grand spectacle from the side of a hill. Alluress of priest to the Supreme Being; in the course of which he contrasts with ancient barbarism the present appearance of the scene before him. The change ascribed to Christianity. A postrophe to his flock, living and dead. Gratitude to the Al. mighty. Return over the lake. Parting with the soli.

tary. Under what circumstances.
“ To every form of being is assign'd,"
Thus calmly spake the venerable sage,
“An active principle:-howe'er removed
From sense and observation, it subsists
In all things, in all natures, in the stars
Of azure heaven, the unenduring clouds,
In flower and tree, in every pebbly stone
That paves the brooks, the stationary rocks,
The moving waters, and th’invisible air.
Whate’er exists hath properties that spread
Beyond itself, communicating good
A simple blessing, or with evil mix'd;
Spirit that knows no insulated spot,
No chasm, no solitude; from link to link
It circulates, the soul of all the orlds,

This is the freedom of the universe;

In like removal tranquil though severe, Unfolded still the more, more visible,

We are not so removed for utter loss; The more we know; and yet is reverenced least, But for some favour, suited to our need? And least respected, in the human mind,

What more than that the severing should confer Its most apparent home. The food of hope Fresh power to commune with the invisible world, Is meditated action; robb'd of this

And hear the mighty stream of tendency Her sole support, she languishes and dies.

Uttering, for elevation of our thought, We perish also ; for we live by hope

A clear sonorous voice, inaudible And by desire; we see by the glad light,

To the vast multitude : whose doom it is And breathe the sweet air of futurity,

To run the giddy round of vain delight, And so we live, or else we have no life.

Or fret and labour on the plain below. To-morrow--nay, perchance this very hour,- “But, if to such sublime ascent the hopes (For every moment hath its own to-morrow!) Of man may rise, as to a welcome close Those blooming boys, whose hearts are almost sick And termination of his mortal course, With present triumph, will be sure to find Them only can such hope inspire whose minds A field before them freshen'd with the dew Have not been starved by absolute neglect; Of other expectations ;-in which course

Nor bodies crush'd by unremitting toil; Their happy year spins round. The youth obeys To whom kind nature, therefore, may afford A like glad impulse; and so moves the man Proof of the sacred love she bears for all; 'Mid all his apprehensions, cares, and fears; Whose birthright reason, therefore, may ensure. Or so he ought to move. Ah! why in age

For me, consulting what I feel within
Do we revert so fondly to the walks

In times when most existence with herself
Of childhood, but that there the soul discerns Is satisfied, I cannot but believe,
The dear memorial footsteps unimpair’d

That, far as kindly nature hath free scope
Of her own native vigour, thence can hear And reason's sway predominates, e’en so far,
Reverberations, and a choral song,

Country, society, and time itself,
Commingling with the incense that ascends That saps the individual's bodily frame,
Undaunted, toward the imperishable heavens, And lays the generations low in dust,
From her own lonely altar? Do not think Do, by the Almighty Ruler's grace, partake
That good and wise ever will be allow'd,

Of one maternal spirit, bringing forth
Though strength decay, to breathe in such estate And cherishing with ever-constant love,
As shall divide them wholly from the stir

That tires not, nor betrays. Our life is turn'd Of hopeful nature. Rightly is it said

Out of her course, wherever man is made
That man descends into the vale of years ; An offering or a sacrifice, a tool
Yet have I thought that we might also speak, Or implement, a passive thing employ'd
And not presumptuously, I trust, of age,

As a brute mean, without acknowledgment
As of a final EMINENCE, though bare

Of common right or interest in the end; In aspect and forbidding, yet a point

Used or abused, as selfishness may prompt. On which 'tis not impossible to sit

Say, what can follow for a rational soul In awful sovereignty—a place of power Perverted thus, but weakness in all good, A throne, that may be liken'd unto his,

And strength in evil? Hence an after call Who, in some placid day of summer, looks For chastisement, and custody, and bonds, Down from a mountain top,-say one of those And oft-times death, avenger of the past, High peaks that bound the vale where now we are, And the sole guardian in whose hands we dare Faint, and diminishid to the gazing eye,

Intrust the future. Not for these sad issues Forest and field, and hill and dale appear,

Was man created; but t obey the law With all the shapes upon their surface spread: Of life, and hope, and action. And 'tis known But, while the gross and visible frame of things That when we stand upon our native soil, Relinquishes its hold upon the sense,

Unelbow'd by such objects as oppress Yea almost on the mind herself, and seems Our active powers, those powers themselves become All unsubstantialized, how loud the voice

Strong to subvert our noxious qualities : Of waters, with invigorated peal

They sweep distemper from the busy day, From the full river in the vale below,

And make the chalice of the big round year Ascending! For on that superior height

Run o'er with gladness ; whence the being moves Who sits, is disencumber'd from the press

In beauty through the world; and all who see Of near obstructions, and is privileged

Bless him, rejoicing in his neighbourhood." To breathe in solitude above the host

“Then,” said the solitary, “ by what force Of ever-humming insects, ʼmid thin air

Of language shall a feeling heart express That suits not them. The murmur of the leaves, Her sorrow for that multitude in whom Many and idle, visits not his ear;

We look for health from seeds that have been sowL This he is freed from, and from thousand notes In sickness, and for increase in a power Not less unceasing, not less vain than these, -' That works but by extinction ? On themselves By which the finer passages of sense

They cannot lean, nor turn to their own hearts Are occupied; and the soul, that would incline To know what they must do: their wisdom is To listen, is prevented or deterr'd.

To look into the eyes of others, thence “And may it not be hoped, that, placed by age To be instructed what they must avoid :

« FöregåendeFortsätt »