Sidor som bilder

That fondly seeking in dispraise of Man
Solace and self-excuse, had sometimes urged
To self-abuse a not ineloquent tongue.
- Right tow'rd the sacred Edifice his steps
Had been directed; and we saw him now
Intent upon a monumental Stone,
Whose uncouth Form was grafted on the wall,
Or rather seemed to have grown into the side
Of the rude Pile; as oft-times trunks of trees,
Where Nature works in wild and craggy spots,
Are seen incorporate with the living rock-
To endure for aye. The Vicar, taking note
Of his employment, with a courteous smile
Exclaimed, "The sagest Antiquarian's eye
That task would foil;" then, letting fall his voice
While he advanced, thus spake: "Tradition tells
That, in Eliza's golden days, a Knight
Came on a war-horse sumptuously attired,
And fixed his home in this sequestered Vale.
"T is left untold if here he first drew breath,
Or as a Stranger reached this deep recess,
Unknowing and unknown. A pleasing thought
I sometimes entertain, that, haply bound
To Scotland's court in service of his Queen,
Or sent on mission to some northern Chief
Of England's Realm, this Vale he might have seen
With transient observation; and thence caught
An Image fair, which, brightening in his soul
When joy of war and pride of Chivalry
Languished beneath accumulated years,
Had power to draw him from the world-resolved
To make that paradise his chosen home

To which his peaceful Fancy oft had turned.
-Vague thoughts are these; but, if belief may rest
Upon unwritten story fondly traced
From sire to son, in this obscure Retreat

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Raised by his hands. And now no trace is left
Of the mild-hearted Champion, save this Stone,
Faithless memorial! and his family name
Borne by yon clustering cottages, that sprang
From out the ruins of his stately lodge:
These, and the name and title at full length, -
Sir Alfred Irthing, with appropriate words
Accompanied, still extant, in a wreath


Or posy-girding round the several fronts
Of three clear-sounding and harmonious bells,
That in the steeple hang, his pious gift."


"So fails, so languishes, grows dim, and dies,"

The gray-haired Wanderer pensively exclaimed,


All that this World is proud of. From their spheres

The stars of human glory are cast down;
Perish the roses and the flowers of Kings,*
Princes, and Emperors, and the crowns and palms
Of all the Mighty, withered and consumed!
Nor is power given to lowliest Innocence
Long to protect her own. The Man himself
Departs; and soon is spent the Line of those
Who, in the bodily image, in the mind,
In heart or soul, in station or pursuit,
Did most resemble him. Degrees and Ranks,
Fraternities and Orders - heaping high
New wealth upon the burthen of the old,
And placing trust in privilege confirmed
And re-confirmed - are scoffed at with a smile
Of greedy foretaste, from the secret stand
Of Desolation, aimed: to slow decline
These yield, and these to sudden overthrow;
Their virtue, service, happiness, and state,
Expire; and Nature's pleasant robe of green,
Humanity's appointed shroud, enwraps

Their monuments and their memory. The vast Frame Of social Nature changes evermore


Her organs and her members with decay
Restless, and restless generation, powers
And functions dying and produced at need, —
And by this law the mighty Whole subsists:
With an ascent and progress in the main;
Yet, oh! how disproportioned to the hopes
And expectations of self-flattering minds!
-The courteous Knight, whose bones are here interred.
Lived in an age conspicuous as our own
For strife and ferment in the minds of men;

They saw a Mansion at his bidding rise,
Like a bright star, amid the lowly band

Of their rude Homesteads. Here the Warrior dwelt; Whence alteration, in the forms of things,

And, in that Mansion, Children of his own,
Or Kindred, gathered round him. As a Tree
That falls and disappears, the House is gone;
And, through improvidence or want of love
For ancient worth and honourable things,
The spear and shield are vanished, which the Knight
Hung in his rustic Hall. One ivied arch
Myself have seen, a gateway, last remains
Of that Foundation in domestic care

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*The Transit gloria mundi" is finely expressed in the Introduction to the Foundation Charters of some of the ancient Abbeys. Some expressions here used are taken from that of the Abbey of St. Mary's Furness, the translation of which is as fol lows:

"Considering every day the uncertainty of life, that the roses and flowers of Kings, Emperors, and Dukes, and the crowns and palms of all the great, wither and decay; and that all things with an uninterrupted course, tend to dissolution and death. I therefore," &c.

Various and vast. A memorable age!
Which did to him assign a pensive lot -
To linger 'mid the last of those bright Clouds,
That, on the steady breeze of honour, sailed
In long procession calm and beautiful.

He who had seen his own bright Order fade,
And its devotion gradually decline,
(While War, relinquishing the lance and shield,
Her temper changed, and bowed to other laws)
Had also witnessed, in his morn of life,
That violent Conimotion, which o'erthrew,
In town, and city, and sequestered glen,
Altar, and Cross, and Church of solemn roof,
And old religious House - Pile after Pile;
And shook the Tenants out into the fields,

Like wild Beasts without home! Their hour was come;

But why no softening thought of gratitude,
No just remembrance, scruple, or wise doubt?
Benevolence is mild; nor borrows help,
Save at worst need, from bold impetuous force,
Fitliest allied to anger and revenge.
But Human-kind rejoices in the might

Of Mutability, and airy Hopes,
Dancing around her, hinder and disturb

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THE pensive Sceptic of the lonely Vale
To those acknowledgments subscribed his own,
With a sedate compliance, which the Priest
Failed not to notice, inly pleased, and said,


To stop, and yield our gracious Teacher thanks
For the pathetic Records which his voice
Hath here delivered; words of heartfelt truth,
Tending to patience when Affliction strikes;
To hope and love; to confident repose
In God; and reverence for the dust of Man."




Pastor's apprehensions that he might have detained his Auditors too long Invitation to his House - Solitary dis inclined to comply-rallies the Wanderer; and somewhat playfully draws a comparison between his itinerant profession and that of the Knight-errant which leads to Wanderer's giving an account of changes in the Country from the manufacturing spirit- Favourable effects-The other side of the picture, and chiefly as it has affected the humbler classes -Wanderer asserts the hollowness of all national grandeur if unsupported by mornl worth-gives Instances Physical science unable to support itself-Lamentations over an excess of manufacturing industry among the humbler Classes of Society - Picture of a Child employed in a Cotton-mill-Ignorance and degradation of Children among the agricultural Population reviewed-Conversation broken off by a renewed Invitation from the Pastor Path leading to his House-Its appearance described - His Daughter - His wife - - His Son (a Boy) enters with his Companion - Their happy appearance - The Wanderer how affected by the sight of them.

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And patient listening, thanks accept from me.
Life, Death, Eternity! momentous themes
Are they and might demand a Seraph's tongue,

Were they not equal to their own support;
And therefore no incompetence of mine
Could do them wrong The universal forms
Of human nature, in a Spot like this,
Present themselves at once to all Men's view:
Ye wished for act and circumstance, that make
The Individual known and understood;
And such as my best judgment could select
From what the place afforded have been given;
Though apprehensions crossed me that my zeal
To his might well be likened, who unlocks
A Cabinet with gems or pictures stored,
And draws them forth—soliciting regard
To this, and this, as worthier than the last,
Till the Spectator, who awhile was pleased
More than the Exhibitor himself, becomes
Weary and faint, and longs to be released.
- But let us hence! my Dwelling is in sight,
And there-"

At this the Solitary shrunk
With backward will; but, wanting not address
That inward motion to disguise, he said
To his Compatriot, smiling as he spake;


"The peaceable Remains of this good Knight
Would be disturbed, I fear, with wrathful scorn,
If consciousness could reach him where he lies
That One, albeit of these degenerate times,
Deploring changes past, or dreading change
Foreseen, had dared to couple, even in thought,
The fine Vocation of the sword and lance
With the gross aims and body-bending toil
Of a poor Brotherhood who walk the earth
Pitied, and where they are not known, despised.
-Yet, by the good Knight's leave, the two Estates
Are graced with some resemblance. Errant those,
Exiles and Wanderers- and the like are these;
Who, with their burthen, traverse hill and dale,
Carrying relief for Nature's simple wants.
-What though no higher recompense they seek
Than honest maintenance, by irksome toil
Full oft procured, yet Such may claim respect,
Among the Intelligent, for what this course
Enables them to be, and to perform.
Their tardy steps give leisure to observe,
While solitude permits the mind to feel;
Instructs and prompts her to supply defects
By the division of her inward self,
For grateful converse: and to these poor Men
(As I have heard you boast with honest pride)
Nature is bountiful, where'er they go;

Kind Nature's various wealth is all their own.
Versed in the characters of men; and bound,
By ties of daily interest, to maintain
Conciliatory manners and smooth speech;

Such have been, and still are in their degree,
Examples efficacious to refine
Rude intercourse; apt Agents to expel,
By importation of unlooked-for Arts,
Barbarian torpor, and blind prejudice;
Raising, through just gradation, savage life
To rustic, and the rustic to urbane.
-Within their moving magazines is lodged
Power that comes forth to quicken and exalt
Affections seated in the Mother's breast,
And in the Lover's fancy; and to feed
The sober sympathies of long-tried Friends.
-By these Itinerants, as experienced Men,
Counsel is given; contention they appease
With gentle language; in remotest Wilds,
Tears wipe away, and pleasant tidings bring;
Could the proud quest of Chivalry do more?"

"Happy," rejoined the Wanderer, "they who gain
A panegyric from your generous tongue!
But, if to these Wayfarers once pertained
Aught of romantic interest, 't is gone;
Their purer service, in this realm at least,
Is past for ever. An inventive Age
Has wrought, if not with speed of magic, yet
To most strange issues. I have lived to mark
A new and unforeseen Creation rise
From out the labours of a peaceful Land,
Wielding her potent Enginery to frame
And to produce, with appetite as keen

As that of War, which rests not night or day,
Industrious to destroy! With fruitless pains
Might one like me now visit many a tract
Which, in his youth, he trod, and trod again,
A lone Pedestrian with a scanty freight,
Wished for, or welcome, wheresoe'er he came,
Among the Tenantry of Thorpe and Vill;
Or straggling Burgh, of ancient charter proud,
And dignified by battlements and towers
Of some stern Castle, mouldering on the brow
Of a green hill or bank of rugged stream.
The foot-path faintly marked, the horse-track wild,
And formidable length of plashy lane,
(Prized avenues ere others had been shaped
Or easier links connecting place with place)
Have vanished, swallowed up by stately roads
Easy and bold, that penetrate the gloom
Of Britain's farthest Glens. The Earth has lent
Her waters, Air her breezes ;* and the Sail

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In treating this subject, it was impossible not to recollect, with gratitude, the pleasing picture, which, in his Poem of the Fleece, the excellent and amiable Dyer has given of the influences of manufacturing industry upon the face of this Island. He wrote at a time when machinery was first beginning to be introduced, and his benevolent heart prompted him to augur from it nothing but good. Truth has compelled me to dwell upon the baneful effects arising out of an ill-regulated and excessive application of powers so admirable in themselves.

Of traffic glides with ceaseless interchange,
Glistening along the low and woody dale,
Or on the naked mountain's lofty side.
Meanwhile, at social Industry's command,
How quick, how vast an increase! From the germ
Of some poor Hamlet, rapidly produced

Here a huge Town, continuous and compact,
Hiding the face of earth for leagues and there,
Where not a Habitation stood before,
Abodes of men irregularly massed
Like trees in forests, spread through spacious tracts,
O'er which the smoke of unremitting fires
Hangs permanent and plentiful as wreaths
Of vapour glittering in the morning sun.
And, wheresoe'er the Traveller turns his steps,
He sees the barren wilderness crased,

Or disappearing; triumph that proclaims How much the mild Directress of the plough Owes to alliance with these new-born Arts!

Ilence is the wide Sea peopled, hence the Shores Of Britain are resorted to by Ships Freighted from every climate of the world With the world's choicest produce. Hence that sum Of Keels that rest within her crowded ports Or ride at anchor in her sounds and bays; That animating spectacle of Sails Which, through her inland regions, to and fro Pass with the respirations of the tide, Perpetual, multitudinous! Finally, Hence a dread arm of floating Power, a voice Of Thunder daunting those who would approach With hostile purposes the blessed Isle, Truth's consecrated residence, the seat Impregnable of Liberty and Peace.

"And yet, O happy Pastor of a Flock
Faithfully watched, and, by that loving care
And Heaven's good providence, preserved from taint!
With You I grieve, when on the darker side
Of this great change I look; and there behold
Such outrage done to Nature as compels
The indignant Power to justify herself;
Yea, to avenge her violated rights,

For England's bane. When soothing darkness spreads
O'er hill and vale," the Wanderer thus expressed
His recollections, "and the punctual stars,
While all things else are gathering to their homes,
Advance, and in the firmament of heaven
Glitter-but undisturbing, undisturbed;
As if their silent company were charged
With peaceful admonitions for the heart
Of all-beholding Man, earth's thoughtful Lord;
Then, in full many a region, once like this
The assured domain of calm simplicity
And pensive quiet, an unnatural light
Prepared for never-resting Labour's eyes,
Breaks from a many-windowed Fabric huge;
And at the appointed hour a bell is heard,


Of harsher import than the Curfew-knoll
That spake the Norman Conqueror's stern behest -
A local summons to unceasing toil!
Disgorged are now the ministers of day;
And, as they issue from the illumined Pile,

A fresh Band meets them, at the crowded door -
And in the courts and where the rumbling Streain,
That turns the multitude of dizzy wheels,
Glares, like a troubled Spirit, in its bed
Among the rocks below. Men, Maidens, Youths.
Mother, and little Children, Boys and Girls,
Enter, and each the wonted task resumes
Within this Temple, where is offered up
To Gain the master Idol of the Realm—
Perpetual sacrifice. Even thus of old
Our Ancestors, within the still domain
Of vast Cathedral or Conventual Church,
Their vigils kept; where tapers day and night
On the dim altar burned continually,

In token that the Ilouse was evermore
Watching to God. Religious Men were they;
Nor would their Reason, tutored to aspire
Above this transitory world, allow

That there should pass a moment of the year,
When in their land the Almighty Service ceased.

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"Triumph who will in these profaner rites
Which We, a generation self-extolled,
As zealously perform! I cannot share
His proud complacency; yet I exult,
Casting reserve away, exult to see
An Intellectual mastery exercised
O'er the blind Elements; a purpose given,
A perseverance fed; almost a soul
Imparted to brute Matter. I rejoice,

Measuring the force of those gigantic powers,
That by the thinking Mind have been compelled
To serve the will of feeble-bodied Man.
For with the sense of admiration blends
The animating hope that time may come
When, strengthened, yet not dazzled, by the might
Of this dominion over Nature gained,

Men of all lands shall exercise the same
In due proportion to their Country's need;
Learning, though late, that all true glory rests,
All praise, all safety, and all happiness,
Upon the moral law. Egyptian Thebes,
Tyre by the margin of the sounding waves,
Palmyra, central in the Desert, fell;

And the Arts died by which they had been raised.
-Call Archimedes from his buried Tomb
Upon the plain of vanished Syracuse,
And feelingly the Sage shall make report
How insecure, how baseless in itself,
Is the Philosophy, whose sway depends
On mere material instruments; - how weak
Those Arts, and high Inventions, if unpropped

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When from the Wanderer's lips these words had fallen, In whom a premature Necessity
I said, "And, did in truth these vaunted Arts
Possess such privilege, how could we escape
Regret and painful sadness, who revere,
And would preserve as things above all price,
The old domestic morals of the land,
Her simple manners, and the stable worth
That dignified and cheered a low estate?
Oh! where is now the character of peace,
Sobriety, and order, and chaste love,
And honest dealing, and untainted speech,
And pure good-will, and hospitable cheer;
That made the very thought of Country-life
A thought of refuge, for a Mind detained
Reluctantly amid the bustling crowd?
Where now the beauty of the Sabbath, kept
With conscientious reverence, as a day
By the Almighty Lawgiver pronounced
Holy and blest? and where the winning grace
Of all the lighter ornaments attached
To time and season, as the year rolled round?"

"Fled!" was the Wanderer's passionate response,
"Fled utterly! or only to be traced
In a few fortunate Retreats like this;
Which I behold with trembling, when I think
What lamentable change, a year-a month
May bring; that Brook converting as it runs
Into an Instrument of deadly bane

For those, who, yet untempted to forsake
The simple occupations of their Sires,
Drink the pure water of its innocent stream
With lip almost as pure. - Domestic bliss,
(Or call it comfort, by a humbler name,)
How art thou blighted for the poor Man's heart!
Lo! in such neighbourhood, from morn to eve,
The Habitations empty! or perchance

The Mother left alone, no helping hand
To rock the cradle of her peevish babe;
No daughters round her, busy at the wheel,
Or in dispatch of each day's little growth
Of household occupation; no nice arts
Of needle-work; no bustle at the fire,
Where once the dinner was prepared with pride;
Nothing to speed the day, or cheer the mind;
Nothing to praise, to teach, or to command!

-The Father, if perchance he still retain
His old employments, goes to field or wood,
No longer led or followed by the Sons;
Idlers perchance they were, but in his sight;
Breathing fresh air, and treading the green earth;
Till their short holiday of childhood ceased,


Ne'er to return! That birthright now is lust.
Economists will tell you that the State
Thrives by the forfeiture - unfeeling thought,
And false as monstrous! Can the Mother thrive
By the destruction of her innocent Sons?

Blocks out the forms of Nature, preconsumes
The reason, famishes the heart shuts up
The Infant Being in itself, and makes
Its very spring a season of decay!
The lot is wretched, the condition sad,
Whether a pining discontent survive,
And thirst for change; or habit hath subdued
The soul deprest, dejected—even to love
Of her dull tasks, and close captivity.
-Oh, banish far such wisdom as condemns
A native Briton to these inward chains,
Fixed in his soul, so early and so deep,
Without his own consent, or knowledge, fixed!
He is a Slave to whom release comes not,
And cannot come. The Boy, where'er he turns,
Is still a prisoner; when the wind is up
Among the clouds and in the ancient woods;
Or when the sun is shining in the east,
Quiet and calm. Behold him in the school
Of his attainments? no; but with the air
Fanning his temples under heaven's blue arch.
His raiment, whitened o'er with cotton flakes,
Or locks of wool, announces whence he comes.
Creeping his gait and cowering - his lip pale —
His respiration quick and audible;

And scarcely could you fancy that a gleam
From out those languid eyes could break, or blush
Mantle upon his cheek. Is this the form,
Is that the countenance, and such the port,
Of no mean being? One who should be clothed
With dignity befitting his proud hope;
Who, in his very childhood, should appear
Sublime-from present purity and joy!
The limbs increase, but liberty of mind
Is gone for ever; this organic Frame,
So joyful in her motions, is become
Dull, to the joy of her own motions dead;
And even the Touch, so exquisitely poured
Through the whole body, with a languid Will
Performs her functions; rarely competent
To impress a vivid feeling on the mind
Of what there is delightful in the breeze,
The gentle visitations of the sun,
Or lapse of liquid element by hand,

Or foot, or lip, in summer's warmth - perceived.
- Can hope look forward to a manhood raised
On such foundations?"

"Hope is none for him!" The pale Recluse indignantly exclaimed, "And tens of thousands suffer wrong as deep. Yet be it asked, in justice to our age,

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