Sidor som bilder

If there were not, before those Arts appeared,
These structures rose, commingling old and young,
And unripe sex with sex, for mutual taint;
Then, if there were not, in our far-famed Isle,
Multitudes, who from infancy had breathed
Air unimprisoned, and had lived at large;
Yet walked beneath the sun, in human shape,
As abject, as degraded? At this day,
Who shall enumerate the crazy huts
And tottering hovels, whence do issue forth
A ragged Offspring, with their own blanched hair
Crowned like the image of fantastic Fear;

The bread they eat. A sample should I give
Of what this stock produces to enrich
The tender age of life, ye would exclaim,
'Is this the whistling Plough-boy whose shrill notes

Impart new gladness to the morning air!'
Forgive me if I venture to suspect
That many, sweet to hear of in soft verse,
Are of no finer frame:- his joints are stiff;
Beneath a cumbrous frock, that to the knees
Invests the thriving Churl, his legs appear,
Fellows to those that lustily upheld
The wooden stools for everlasting use,

Or wearing, we might say, in that white growth
An ill-adjusted turban, for defence

Whereon our Fathers sate. And mark his brow!
Under whose shaggy canopy are set

Or fierceness, wreathed around their sun-burnt brows, Two eyes, not dim, but of a healthy stare;
By savage Nature's unassisted care.

Naked, and coloured like the soil, the feet

On which they stand; as if thereby they drew
Some nourishment, as Trees do by their roots,
From Earth the common Mother of us all.
Figure and mien, complexion and attire,
Are leagued to strike dismay, but outstretched hand
And whining voice denote them Supplicants
For the least boon that pity can bestow.
Such on the breast of darksome heaths are found;
And with their Parents dwell upon the skirts
Of furze-clad commons; such are born and reared
At the mine's mouth, beneath impending rocks,
Or in the chambers of some natural cave;
And where their Ancestors erected huts,
For the convenience of unlawful gain,
In forest purlieus; and the like are bred,
All England through, where nooks and slips of ground,
Purloined, in times less jealous than our own,
From the green margin of the public way,
A residence afford them, 'mid the bloom
And gaiety of cultivated fields.

- Such (we will hope the lowest in the scale)
Do I remember oft-times to have seen
'Mid Buxton's dreary heights. Upon the watch,
Till the swift vehicle approach, they stand;
Then, following closely with the cloud of dust,
An uncouth feat exhibit, and are gone
Heels over head, like Tumblers on a Stage.
-Up from the ground they snatch the copper coin,
And, on the freight of merry Passengers
Fixing a steady eye, maintain their speed;
And spin and pant — and overhead again,
Wild Pursuivants! until their breath is lost,
Or bounty tires- and every face, that smiled
Encouragement, hath ceased to look that way.
- But, like the Vagrants of the Gipsy tribe,
These, bred to little pleasure in themselves,
Are profitless to others. Turn we then
To Britons born and bred within the pale
Of civil polity, and early trained
To earn, by wholesome labour in the field,

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Wide, sluggish, blank, and ignorant, and strange:
Proclaiming boldly that they never drew
A look or motion of intelligence
From infant conning of the Christ-cross-row,
Or puzzling through a Primer, line by line,
Till perfect mastery crown the pains at last.
-What kindly warmth from touch of fostering hand
What penetrating power of sun or breeze,
Shall e'er dissolve the crust wherein his soul
Sleeps, like a caterpillar sheathed in ice?
This torpor is no pitiable work
Of modern ingenuity; no Town

Nor crowded City may be taxed with aught
Of sottish vice or desperate breach of law,
To which in after years he may be roused.
-This Boy the Fields produce: his spade and hoe-
The Carter's whip that on his shoulder rests
In air high-towering with a boorish pomp,
The sceptre of his sway; his Country's name,
Her equal right her churches and her schools-
What have they done for him? And, let me ask,
For tens of thousands uninformed as he?
In brief, what liberty of mind is here?"

This ardent sally pleased the mild good Man,
To whom the appeal couched in its closing words
Was pointedly addressed; and to the thoughts
That, in assent or opposition, rose
Within his mind, he seemed prepared to give
Prompt utterance; but, rising from our seat,
The hospitable Vicar interposed

With invitation urgently renewed.
-We followed, taking as he led, a Path
Along a hedge of hollies, dark and tall,
Whose flexile boughs, descending with a weight
Of leafy spray, concealed the stems and roots
That gave them nourishment. When frosty winds
Howl from the north, what kindly warmth, methought
Is here, how grateful this impervious screen!
Not shaped by simple wearing of the foot
On rural business passing to and fro
Was the commodious Walk; a careful hand

Sails in smooth weather by the placid coast
On homeward voyage, what-if wind and wave


Had marked the line, and strewn the surface o'er
With pure cerulean gravel, from the heights
Fetched by the neighbouring brook.-Across the Vale And hardship undergone in various climes,
The stately Fence accompanied our steps;
Have caused her to abate the virgin pride,
And thus the Pathway, by perennial green
And that full trim of inexperienced hope
Guarded and graced, seemed fashioned to unite,
With which she left her hæven - not for this,
As by a beautiful yet solemn chain,
Should the sun strike her, and the impartial breeze
Play on her streamers, fails she to assume
Brightness and touching beauty of her own,
That charm all eyes. So bright, so fair, appeared
This goodly Matron, shining in the beams
Of unexpected pleasure. Soon the board
Was spread, and we partook a plain repast.

The Pastor's Mansion with the House of Prayer.

Like Image of solemnity, conjoined With feminine allurement soft and fair,

The Mansion's self displayed;
;-a reverend Pile
With bold projections and recesses deep;
Shadowy, yet gay and lightsome as it stood
Fronting the noontide Sun. We paused to admire
The pillared Porch, elaborately embossed;

The low wide windows with their mullions old;
The cornice richly fretted, of gray stone;
And that smooth slope from which the Dwelling rose,
By beds and banks Arcadian of gay flowers
And flowering shrubs, protected and adorned;
Profusion bright! and every flower assuming
A more than natural vividness of hue,
From unaffected contrast with the gloom
Of sober cypress, and the darker foil
Of yew, in which survived some traces, here
No. unbecoming, of grotesque device
And uncouth fancy. From behind the roof
Rose the slim ash and massy sycamore,
Blending their diverse foliage with the green
Of ivy, flourishing and thick, that clasped
The huge round chimneys, harbour of delight
For wren and redbreast, where they sit and sing
Their slender ditties when the trees are bare.
Nor must I leave untouched (the picture else
Were incomplete) a relique of old times
Happily spared, a little Gothic niche

Of nicest workmanship; that once had held
The sculptured Image of some Patron Saint,
Or of the Blessed Virgin, looking down
On all who entered those religious doors.
But lo! where from the rocky garden Mount
Crowned by its antique summer-house — descends,
Light as the silver fawn, a radiant Girl;
For she hath recognized her honoured Friend,
The Wanderer ever welcome! A prompt kiss
The gladsome Child bestows at his request;
And, up the flowery lawn as we advance,
Hangs on the Old Man with a happy look,
And with a pretty restless hand of love.

- We enter by the Lady of the Place
Cordially greeted. Graceful was her port:
A lofty stature undepressed by Time,
Whose visitation had not wholly spared
The finer lineaments of form and face;


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Here, resting in cool shelter, we beguiled The mid-day hours with desultory talk; From trivial themes to general argument Passing, as accident or fancy led,

Or courtesy prescribed. While question rose
And answer flowed, 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 learned 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 unsuppressed
Upon the landscape of the sun-bright vale,
Seen, from the shady room in which we sate,
In softened perspective; and more than once
Praised the consummate harmony serene
Of gravity and elegance diffused
Around the Mansion and its whole domain;
Not, doubtless, without help of female taste
And female core. -"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
Appeared confusion checking their delight.

- Not Brothers they in feature or attire,
But fond Companions, so I guessed, 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

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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 dragged.

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 deformed by Death,
That seemed to pity what he could not spare.

But O, 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 self-same moment, works its way
Through many channels, ever and anon
Parted and reunited: his Compeer
To the still Lake, whose stillness is to sight

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As beautiful, as grateful to the mind.

But to what object shall the lovely Girl
Be likened? She whose countenance and air
Unite the graceful qualities of both,
Even as she shares the pride and joy of both.



My gray-haired Friend was moved; his vivid eye
Glistened with tenderness; his Mind, I knew,
Was full; and had, I doubted not, returned,
Upon this impulse, to the theme erewhile
Abruptly broken off. The ruddy Boys
Withdrew, on summons to their well-earned meal;
And He-(to whom all tongues resigned their rights
With willingness, to whom the general ear
Listened 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.


Wanderer asserts that an active principle pervades the Universe. Its noblest seat 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 to be looked for generally but under a just government Right of a human Creature to be exempt from being considered as a mere Instrument - Vicious inclinations are best kept under by giving good ones an opportunity to show themselves-The condition of multitudes deplored, from want 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 Government-Glorious effects of this foretold - Wanderer breaks off- Walk to the Lake-embark - Description of scenery and amusements - Grand spectacle from the side of a hill - Address 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-Apostrophe to his Flock, living and dead— Gratitude to the Almighty- Return over the Lake Parting with the Solitary-Under what circumstances.

"To every Form of being is assigned,"

Thus calmly spake the venerable Sage,
"An active principle: - howe'er removed
From sense and observation, it subsists

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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 the invisible air.
Whate'er exists hath properties that spread
Beyond itself, cominunicating good,
A simple blessing, or with evil mixed;
Spirit that knows no insulated spot,
No chasin, no solitude; from link to link
It circulates, the Soul of all the Worlds.
This is the freedom of the Universe;
Unfolded still the more, more visible,
The more we know; and yet is reverenced least,
And least respected, in the human Mind,
Its most apparent home. The food of hope

Is meditated action; robbed of this
Her sole support, she languishes and dies.
We perish also; for we live by hope
And by desire; we see by the glad light,
And breathe the sweet air of futurity,
And so we live, or else we have no life.
To-morrow nay perchance this very hour, -
(For every moment hath its own to-morrow!)
Those blooming Boys, whose hearts are almost sick
With present triumph, will be sure to find
A field before them freshened with the dew
Of other expectations; in which course
Their happy year spins round. The youth obeys
A like glad impulse; and so moves the Man
'Mid all his apprehensions, cares, and fears, -
Or so he ought to move. Ah! why in age
Do we revert so fondly to the walks

Of Childhood but that there the Soul discerns
The dear memorial footsteps unimpaired

Of her own native vigour thence can hear
Reverberations; and a choral song,
Commingling with the incense that ascends
Undaunted, tow'rd the imperishable heavens,
From her own lonely altar?- Do not think
That Good and Wise ever will be allowed,
Though strength decay, to breathe in such estate
As shall divide them wholly from the stir

Of hopeful nature. Rightly is it said
That Man descends into the VALE of years;
Yet have I thought that we might also speak,
And not presumptuously, I trust, of Age,
As of a final EMINENCE, though bare
In aspect and forbidding, yet a Point
On which 't is not impossible to sit

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All unsubstantialized, - how loud the voice
Of waters, with invigorated peal
From the full River in the vale below,
Ascending! For on that superior height
Who sits, is disencumbered from the press
Of near obstructions, and is privileged
To breathe in solitude above the host

Of ever-humming insects, mid thin air
That suits not them. The murmur of the leaves
Many and idle, visits not his ear;

This he is freed from, and from thousand notes
Not less unceasing, not less vain than these, -
By which the finer passages of sense

Are occupied; and the Soul, that would incline
To listen, is prevented or deterred.

"And may it not be hoped, that, placed by Age
In like removal tranquil though severe,
We are not so removed for utter loss;
But for some favour, suited to our need?
What more than that the severing should confer
Fresh power to commune with the invisible world,
And hear the mighty stream of tendency
Uttering, for elevation of our thought,
A clear sonorous voice, inaudible
To the vast multitude; whose doom it is
To run the giddy round of vain delight,
Or fret and labour on the Plain below.
"But, if to such sublime ascent the hopes
Of Man may rise, as to a welcome close
And termination of his mortal course,
Them only can such hope inspire whose minds
Have not been starved by absolute neglect;
Nor bodies crushed by unremitting toil;
To whom kind Nature, therefore, may afford
Proof of the sacred love she bears for all;
Whose birthright Reason, therefore, may ensure
For me, consulting what I feel within

In times when most existence with herself
Is satisfied, I cannot but believe,
That, far as kindly Nature hath free scope
And Reason's sway predominates, even so far,
Country, society, and time itself,
That saps the Individual's bodily frame,
And lays the generations low in dust,
Do, by the Almighty Ruler's grace, partake

Of one maternal spirit, bringing forth

And cherishing with ever-constant love,
That tires not, nor betrays. Our Life is turned
Out of her course, wherever Man is made
An offering, or a sacrifice, a tool

Or implement, a passive Thing employed
As a brute mean, without acknowledgment
Of common right or interest in the end;
Used or abused, as selfishness may prompt.
Say, what can follow for a rational Soul
Perverted thus, but weakness in all good

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And strength in evil? Hence an after-call
For chastisement, and custody, and bonds,
And oft-times Death, avenger of the past,
And the sole guardian in whose hands we dare
Entrust the future. Not for these sad issues
Was Man created; but to obey the law
Of life, and hope, and action. And 't is known
That when we stand upon our native soil,
Unelbowed by such objects as oppress
Our active powers, those powers themselves become
Strong to subvert our noxious qualities:
They sweep distemper from the busy day,
And make the Chalice of the big round Year
Run o'er with gladness; whence the Being moves
In beauty through the world; and all who see
Bless him, rejoicing in his neighbourhood."

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Then," said the Solitary, "by what force Of language shall a feeling Heart express Her sorrow for that multitude in whom We look for health from seeds that have been sown In sickness, and for increase in a power That works but by extinction? On themselves They cannot lean, nor turn to their own hearts To know what they must do; their wisdom is To look into the eyes of others, thence To be instructed what they must avoid : Or rather, let us say, how least observed, How with most quiet and most silent death, With the least taint and injury to the air The Oppressor breathes, their human Form divine, And their immortal Soul, may waste away."

The Sage rejoined, "I thank you - you have spared
My voice the utterance of a keen regret,
A wide compassion which with you I share.
When, heretofore, I placed before your sight
A Little-one, subjected to the Arts

Of modern ingenuity, and made

The senseless member of a vast machine,
Serving as doth a spindle or a wheel;
Think not, that, pitying him, I could forget
The rustic Boy, who walks the fields, untaught;
The slave of ignorance, and oft of want,
And miserable hunger. Much, too much
Of this unhappy lot, in early youth
We both have witnessed, lot which I myself
Shared, though in mild and merciful degree:
Yet was the mind to hinderances exposed,
Through which I struggled, not without distress
And sometimes injury, like a Lamb enthralled
'Mid thorns and bramble; or a Bird that breaks
Through a strong net, and mounts upon the wind,
Though with her plumes impaired. If they, whose souls
Should open while they range the richer fields
Of merry England, are obstructed less

By indigence, their ignorance is not less,
Nor less to be deplored. For who can doubt

That tens of thousands at this day ex st
Such as the Boy you painted, lineal Heirs
Of those who once were Vassals of her soil,
Following its fortunes like the beasts or trees
Which it sustained. But no one takes delight
In this oppression; none are proud of it;
It bears no sounding name, nor ever bore;
A standing grievance, an indigenous vice

Of every country under heaven. My thoughts
Were turned to evils that are new and chosen,
A Bondage lurking under shape of good,-
Arts, in themselves beneficent and kind,
But all too fondly followed and too far;
To Victims, which the merciful can see
Nor think that they are Victims; turned to wrongs
By Women, who have Children of their own,
Beheld without compassion, yea with praise!
I spake of mischief by the wise diffused
With gladness, thinking that the more it spreads
The healthier, the securer, we become;
Delusion which a moment may destroy!
Lastly, I mourned for those whom I had seen
Corrupted and cast down, on favoured ground,
Where circumstance and nature had combined
To shelter innocence, and cherish love;
Who, but for this intrusion, would have lived,
Possessed of health, and strength, and peace of mind,
Thus would have lived, or never have been born.

"Alas! what differs more than man from man! And whence that difference? whence but from himself For see the universal Race endowed

With the same upright form! — The sun is fixed,
And the infinite magnificence of heaven,
Fixed within reach of every human eye;
The sleepless Ocean murmurs for all ears;
The vernal field infuses fresh delight

Into all hearts. Throughout the world of sense,
Even as an object is sublime or fair,
That object is laid open to the view
Without reserve or veil; and as a power
Is salutary, or an influence sweet,
Are each and all enabled to perceive

That power, that influence, by impartial law. Gifts nobler are vouchsafed alike to all;

Reason, and, with that reason, smiles and tears,
Imagination, freedom in the will,

Conscience to guide and check; and death to be

Foretasted, immortality presumed.

Strange, then, nor less than monstrous might be deemed
The failure, if the Almighty, to this point
Liberal and undistinguishing, should'hide
The excellence of moral qualities

From common understanding; leaving truth
And virtue, difficult, abstruse, and dark;
Hard to be won, and only by a few;
Strange, should He deal herein with nice respects.
And frustrate all the rest! Believe it not:

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