Sidor som bilder

At every moment, and, with strength, increase The nightly hunter, lifting up his eyes
Of fury; or, while snow is at the door,

Towards the crescent moon, with grateful heart Assaulting and defending, and the wind,

Calld on the lovely wanderer who bestow'd A sightless labourer, whistles at his work

That timely light, to share his joyous sport: Fearful, but resignation tempers fear,

And hence, a beaming goddess with her nymphs, And piety is sweet to infant minds.

Across the lawn and through the darksome grove The shepherd lad, who in the sunshine carves, (Not unaccompanied with tuneful notes On the green turf, a dial, to divide

By echo multiplied from rock or cave) The silent hours ; and who to that report

Swept in the storm of chase, as moon and stars Can portion out his pleasures, and adapt

Glance rapidly along the clouded heaven, His round of pastoral duties, is not left

When winds are blowing strong. The traveller With less intelligence for moral things

slaked Of gravest import. Early he perceives,

His thirst from rill or gushing fount, and thank'd Within himself, a measure and a rule,

The naiad. Sunbeams, upon distant hills Which to the sun of truth he can apply,

Gliding apace, with shadows in their train, That shines for him, and shines for all mankind. Might, with small help from fancy, be transform'd Experience daily fixing his regards

Into fleet oreads sporting visibly. On nature's wants, he knows how few they are, The zephyrs, fanning as they pass'd, their wings, And where they lie, how answer'd and appeased. Lack'd not, for love, fair objects whom they woo'd This knowledge ample recompense affords

With gentle whisper. Wither'd boughs grotesque, For manifold privations; he refers

Stripp'd of their leaves and twigs by hoary age, His notions to this standard, on this rock

From depth of shaggy covert peeping forth Rests his desires; and hence, in after life,

In the low vale, or on steep mountain side; Soul-strengthening patience, and sublime content. And, sometimes, intermix'd with stirring horns Imagination not permitted here

Of the live deer, or goat's depending beardTo waste her powers, as in the worldling's mind, These were the lurking satyrs, a wild brood On fickle pleasures, and superfluous cares

Of gamesome deities; or Pan himself, And trivial ostentation-is left free

The simple shepherd's awe-inspiring god !” And puissant to range the solemn walks

As this apt strain proceeded, I could mark Of time and nature, girded by a zone

Its kindly influence, o'er the yielding brow That, while it binds, in vigorates and supports. Of our companion, gradually diffused Acknowledge, then, that whether by the side While, listening he had paced the noiseless turf, Of his poor hut, or on the mountain top,

Like one whose untired ear a murmuring stream Or in the cultured field, a man so bred

Detains ; but tempted now to interpose, (Take from him what you will upon the score He with a smile exclaim'd Of ignorance or illusion) lives and breathes

“ 'Tis well you speak For noble purposes of mind: his heart

At a safe distance from our native land, Beats to the heroic song of ancient days;

And from the mansions where our youth was taught. His eye distinguishes, his soul creates.

The true descendants of those godly men And those illusions, which excite the scorn Who swept from Scotland, in a flame of zeal, Or move the pity of unthinking minds,

Shrine, altar, image, and the massy piles Are they not mainly outward ministers

That harbour'd them,-the souls retaining yet Of inward conscience ? with whose service charged The churlish features of that after race They came and go, appear'd and disappear, Who fled to caves, and woods, and naked rocks, Diverting evil purposes, remorse

In deadly scorn of superstitious rites, Awakening, chastening an intemperate grief Or what their scruples construed to be such Or pride of heart abating: and, whene'er

How, think you, would they tolerate this scheme For less important ends those phantoms move. Of fine propensities, that tends, if urged Who would forbid them, if their presence serve Far as it might be urged, to sow afresh Among wild mountains and unpeopled heaths, The weeds of Roman phantasy, in vain Filling a space, else vacant, to exalt

Uprooted; would re-consecrate our wells The forms of nature, and enlarge her powers ? To good Saint Fillan and to fair Saint Anne;

“Once more to distant ages of the world And from long banishment recall Saint Giles, Let us revert, and place before our thoughts To watch again with tutelary love The face which rural solitude might wear

O’er stately Edinborough throned on crags ? To th' unenlighten'd swains of pagan Greece.

A blessed restoration, to behold In that fair clime, the lonely herdsman, stretch'd The patron, on the shoulders of his priests, On the soft grass through half a summer's day, Once more parading through her crowded streets; With music lull'd his indolent repose:

Now simply guarded by the sober powers And in some fit of weariness, if he,

Of science, and philosophy, and sense !" When his own breath was silent, chanced to hear This answer follow'd. “ You have turn'd my A distant strain, far sweeter than the sounds

thoughts Which his poor skill could make, his fancy fetch'd, Upon our brave progenitors, who rose E'en from the blazing chariot of the sun

Against idolatry with warlike mind, A beardless youth, who touch'd a golden lute, And shrunk from vain observances, to lurk And fill'd th’ illumined groves with ravishment. In caves, and wouds, and under dismal rocks,

Deprived of shelter, covering, fire, and food; And twice ten thousand interests, do yet prize
Why? for this very reason that they felt,

This soul, and the transcendent universe,
And did acknowledge, wheresoe'er they moved, No more than as a mirror that reflects
A spiritual presence, ofttimes misconceived ; To proud self-love her own intelligence ;
But still a high dependence, a divine

That one, poor, infinite object, in the abyss
Bounty and government, that filld their hearts Of infinite being, twinkling restlessly!
With joy, and gratitude, and fear, and love:

“Nor higher place can be assign'd to bim And from their fervent lips drew hymns of praise, And his compeers—the laughing sage of France. That through the desert rang. Though favour'd Crown'd was he, if my memory do not err, less,

With laurel planted upon hoary hairs, Far less, than these, yet such, in their degree, In sign of couquest by his wit achieved, Were those bewilder'd pagans of old time.

And benefits his wisdom had conferr’d, Beyond their own poor natures and above

His tottering body was with wreaths of flowers They look’d: were humbly thankful for the good Opprest, far less becoming ornaments Which the warm sun solicited—and earth

Than spring oft twines about a mouldering tree ; Bestow'd; were gladsome,--and their moral sense Yet so it pleased a fond, a vain old man, They fortified with reverence for the gods

And a most frivolous people. Him I mean And they had hopes that overstepp'd the grave. Who penn'd, to ridicule confiding faith,

“Now, shall our great discoverers,” he exclaim'd, This sorry legend; which by chance we found Raising his voice triumphantly,“ obtain

Piled in a pook, through malice, as might seem, From sense and reason less than these obtain'd, Among more innocent rubbish.” Speaking thus, Though far misled? Shall men for whom our age With a brief notice when, and how, and where, Unbaffled powers of vision hath prepared,

We had espied the book, he drew it forth ;
T'explore the world without and world within, And courteously, as if the act removed,
Be joyless as the blind? Ambitious souls-

At once, all traces from the good man's heart
Whom earth, at this late season, hath produced Of unbenign aversion or contempt,
To regulate the moving spheres, and weigh

Restored it to its owner. Gentle friend," The planets in the hollow of their hand;

Herewith he grasp'd the solitary's hand, And they who rather die than soar, whose pains “ You have known better lights and guides than Have solved the elements, or analyzed

theseThe thinking principle--shall they in fact

Ah ! let not aught amiss within dispose Prove a degraded race? and what avails

A noble mind to practise on herself, Renown, if their presumption make them such ? And tempt opinion to support the wrongs 0! there is laughter at their work in heaven! Of passion : whatsoe'er be felt or fear'd, Inquire of ancient wisdom: go, demand

From higher judgment seats make no appeal
Of mighty nature, if 'twas ever meant

To lower: can you question that the soul
That we should pry far off yet be upraised; Inherits an allegiance, not by choice
That we should pore, and dwindle as we pore,

To be cast off, upon an oath proposed
Viewing all objects unremittingly

By each new upstart notion ? In the ports In disconnexion dead and spiritless ;

Of levity no refuge can be found, And still dividing, and dividing still,

No shelter, for a spirit in distress.
Break down all grandeur, still unsatisfied

He, who by wilful disesteem of life,
With the perverse attempt, while littleness And proud insensibility to hope,
May yet become more little ; waging thus Affronts the eye of solitude, shall learn
An impious warfare with the very life

That her mild nature can be terrible;
Of our own souls! And if indeed there be That neither she nor silence lack the power
An all-pervading spirit, upon whom

T'avenge their own insulted majesty.
Our dark foundations rest, could he design

O blest seclusion! when the mind admits That this magnificent effect of power,

The law of duty; and can therefore move The earth we tread, the sky that we behold Through each vicissitude of loss and gain, By day, and all the pomp which night reveals, Link'd in entire complacence with her choice ; That these--and that superior mystery,

When youth's presumptuousness is mellow'd down, Our vital frame, so fearfully devised,

And manhood's vain anxiety dismiss'd ; And the dread soul within it-should exist

When wisdom shows her seasonable fruit,
Only to be examined, ponder'd, search'd,

Upon the boughs of sheltering leisure hung
Probed, vex'd, and criticised ? Accuse me not In sober plenty ; when the spirit stoops
Of arrogance, unknown wanderer as I am,

To drink with gratitude the crystal stream
If, having walk'd with nature threescore years, Of unreproved enjoyment; and is pleased
And offer'd, far as frailty would allow,

To muse,-and be saluted by the air My heart a daily sacrifice to truth,

Of meck repentance, wafting wall-flower scents I now affirm of nature and of truth,

From out the crumbling ruins of fall’n pride Whom I have served, that their DIVINITY

And chambers of transgression now forlorn. Revolts, offended at the ways of men

0, calm, contented days, and peaceful nights Sway'd by such motives, to such end employ'd; Who, when such good can be obtain'd, would strive Philosophers, who, though the human soul

To reconcile his manhood to a couch Be of a thousand faculties composed,

Soft, as may seem, but, under that disguise


Stuff'd with the thorny substance of the past, For you, assuredly, a hopeful road
For fix'd annoyance; and full oft beset

Lies open : we have heard from you a voice
With floating dreams, disconsolate and black, At every moment soften'd in its course
The vapory phantoms of futurity ?

By tenderness of heart; have seen your eye, “Within the soul a faculty abides,

Even like an altar lit by fire from heaven, That with interpositions, which would hide Kindle before us. Your discourse this day, And darken, so can deal, that they become That, like the fabled lethe, wish'd to flow Contingencies of pomp; and serve t'exalt In creeping sadness, through oblivious shades Her native brightness. As the ample moon, Of death and night, has caught at eve In the deep stillness of a summer even

The colours of the sun. Access for you Rising behind a thick and lofty grove,

Is yet preserved to principles of truth,
Burns like an unconsuming fire of light,

Which the imaginative will upholds
In the green trees; and, kindling on all sides In seats of wisdom, not to be approach'd
Their leafy umbrage, turns the dusky veil By the inferior faculty that moulds,
Into a substance glorious as her own,

With her minute and speculative pains,
Yea, with her own incorporated, by power Opinion, ever changing! I have seen
Capacious and serene ; like power abides

A curious child, who dwelt upon a tract
In man's celestial spirit; virtue thus

Of inland ground, applying to his ear
Sets forth and magnifies herself ; thus feeds The con volutions of a smooth-lipp'd shell ;
A calm, a beautiful, and silent fire,

To which, in silence hushid, his very soul
From the encumbrances of mortal life,

Listend intensely; and his countenance soon From error, disappointment,-nay, from guilt: Brightend with joy ; for murmurings from within And sometimes, so relenting justice wills,

Were heard,-sonorous cadences ! whereby From palpable oppressions of despair."

To his belief, the monitor express'd The solitary by these words was touch'd Mysterious union with its native sea. With manifest emotion, and exclaim'd,

E'en such a shell the universe itself “But how begin? and whence ? The mind is free; Is to the ear of faith: and there are times, Resolve, the haughty moralist would say,

I doubt not, when to you it doth impart This single act is all that we demand.

Authentic tidings of invisible things; Alas ! such wisdom bids a creature fiy

Of ebb and flow, and ever during power ; Whose very sorrow is, that time hath shorn And central peace, subsisting at the heart His natural wings! To friendship let him turn Of endless agitation. Here you stand, For succour; but perhaps he sits alone

Adore, and worship, when you know it not; On stormy waters, in a little boat

Pious beyond the intention of your thought; That holds but him, and can contain no more! Devout above the meaning of your will. Religion tells of amity sublime

Yes, you have felt, and may not cease to feel. Which no condition can preclude: of one

Th’estate of man would be indeed forlorn Who sees all suffering, comprehends all wants,

If false conclusions of the reasoning power All weakness fathoms, can supply all needs; Made the eye blind, and closed the passages But is that bounty absolute? His gifts,

Through which the ear converses with the heart. Are they not still, in some degree, rewards Has not the soul, the being of your life, For acts of service? Can his love extend

Received a shock of awful consciousness, To hearts that own not him ? Will showers of In some calm season, when these lofty rocks grace,

At night's approach bring down the unclouded sky When in the sky no promise may be seen,

To rest upon their circumambient walls;
Fall to refresh a parch'd and wither'd land? A temple framing of dimensions vast,
Or shall the groaning spirit cast her load

And yet not too enormous for the sound
At the Redeemer's feet?

Of hụman anthems,-choral song, or burst
In rueful tone,

Sublime of instrumental harmony
With some impatience in his mien he spake; To glorify th’Eternal! What if these
Back to my mind rush'd all that had been urged Did never break the stillness that prevails
To calm the sufferer when his story closed; Here, if the solemn nightingale be mute,
I look'd for counsel as unbending now;

And the soft woodlark here did never chant
But a discriminating sympathy

Her vespers, nature fails not to provide Stoop'd to this apt reply

Impulse and utterance. The whispering air “ As men from men Sends inspiration from the shadowy heights, Do, in the constitution of their souls,

And blind recesses of the cavern'd rocks; Differ, by mystery not to be explaind;

The little hills, and waters numberless, And as we fall by various ways, and sink

Inaudible by daylight, blend their notes One deeper than another, self-condemnd,

With the loud streams: and often, at the hour Through manifold degrees of guilt and shame, When issue forth the first pale stars, is heard, So manifold and various are the ways

Within the circuit of this fabric huge, Of restoration, fashion'd to the steps

One voice—the solitary raven, flying Of all infirmity, and tending all

Athwart the concave of the dark-blue dome, To the same point,-attainable by all;

Unseen, perchance above all power of sightPeace in ourselves, and union with our God. An iron knell! with echoes from afar 57

2 p 2

Faint-and still fainter-as the cry, with which Departing not, for them shall be confirm'd
The wanderer accompanies her flight

The glorious habit by which sense is made
Through the calm region, fades upon the ear,

Subservient still to moral purposes, Diminishing by distance till it seem'd

Auxiliar to divine. That change shall clothe T'expire, yet from th' abyss is caught again, The naked spirit, ceasing to deplore And yet again recover'd.

The burden of existence. Science then “ But descending Shall be a precious visitant; and then, From these imaginative heights, that yield

And only then, be worthy of her name, Far-stretching views into eternity,

For then her heart shall kindle; her dull eye, Acknowledge that in nature's humbler power Dull and inanimate, no more shall hang Your cherish'd sullenness is forced to bend

Chain'd to its object in brute slavery; E’en here, where her amenities are sown

But taught with patient interest to watch With sparing hand. Then trust yourself abroad The processes of things, and serve the cause To range her blooming bowers, and spacious fields, of order and distinctness, not for this Where on the labours of the happy throng

Shall I forget that its most noble use, She smiles, including in her wide embrace

Its most illustrious province, must be found City, and town, and tower,-and sea with ships In furnishing clear guidance, a support Sprinkled; be our companion while we track Not treacherous to the mind's ercursive power. Her rivers populous with gliding life ;

So build we up the being that we are ; While, free as air, o'er printless sands we march, Thus deeply drinking in the soul of things, Or pierce the gloom of her majestic woods; We shall be wise perforce ; and while inspired Roaming, or resting under grateful shade

By choice, and conscious that the will is free, In peace and meditative cheerfulness;

Unswerving shall we move, as if impell’d
Where living things, and things inanimate, By strict necessity, along the path
Do speak, at heaven's command, to eye

and ear, Of order and of good. Whate'er we see, And speak to social reason's inner sense,

Whate'er we feel, by agency direct With inarticulate language.

Or indirect, shall tend to feed and nurse « For the man,

Our faculties, shall fix in calmer seats Who, in this spirit, communes with the forms Of moral strength, and raise to loftier heights Of nature, who with understanding heart

Of love divine, our intellectual soul.” Doth know and love such objects as excite

Here closed the sage that eloquent harangue, No morbid passions, no disquietude,

Pour'd forth with fervour in continuous stream; No vengeance, and no hatred, needs must feel Such as, remote, ’mid savage wilderness, The joy of that pure principle of love

An Indian chief discharges from his breast So deeply, that, unsatisfied with aught

Into the hearing of assembled tribes, Less pure and exquisite, he cannot choose

In open circle seated round, and hush'd But seek for objects of a kindred love

As the unbreathing air, when not a leaf In fellow natures and a kindred joy.

Stirs in the mighty woods. So did he speak: Accordingly he by degrees perceives

The words he utter'd shall not pass away ; His feelings of aversion soften'd down;

For they sank into me—the bounteous gift A holy tenderness pervade his frame.

Of one whom time and nature had made wise. His sanity of reason not impair’d,

Gracing his language with authority
Say rather, all his thoughts now flowing clear, Which hostile spirits silently allow;
From a clear fountain flowing, he looks round of one accustom'd to desires that feed
And seeks for good; and finds the good he seeks; On fruitage gather'd from the tree of life ;
Until abhorrence and contempt are things

To hopes on knowledge and experience built;
He only knows by name; and, if he hear, Of one in whom persuasion and belief
From other mouths, the language which they speak, Had ripen'd into faith, and faith become
He is compassionate ; and has no thought,

A passionate intuition; whence the soul, No feeling, which can overcome his love.

Though bound to earth by ties of pity and love, “ And further ; by contemplating these forms From all injurious servitude was free. In the relations which they bear to man,

The sun, before his place of rest were reach'd, He shall discern, how, through the various means Had yet to travel far, but unto us, Which silently they yield, are multiplied

To us who stood low in that hollow dell,
The spiritual presences of absent things.

He had become invisible,-a pomp
Trust me, that for the instructed, time will come Leaving behind of yellow radiance spread
When they shall meet no object but may teach Upon the mountain sides, in contrast bold
Some acceptable lesson to their minds

With ample shadows, seemingly, no less
Of human suffering, or of human joy.

Than those resplendent lights, his rich bequest, So shall they learn, while all things speak of man, A dispensation of his evening power. Their duties from all forms; and general laws, Adown the path that from the glen had led And local accidents, shall tend alike

The funeral train, the shepherd and his mate To rouse, to urge; and, with the will, confer Were seen descending; forth to greet them ran Th' ability to spread the blessings wide

Our little page; the rustic pair approach ; Of true philanthropy. The light of love

And in the matron's aspect may be read Not failing, perseverance from their steps

A plain assurance that the words which told


How that neglected pensioner was sent

Frail life's possessions, that even they whose fate Before his time into a quiet grave,

Yields no peculiar reason of complaint, Had done to her humanity no wrong:

Might, by the promise that is here, be won But we are kindly welcomed-promptly served To steal from active duties, and embrace With ostentatious zea). Along the floor

Obscurity, and calm forgetfulness. Of the small cottage in the lonely dell

Knowledge, methinks in these disorder'd times,
A grateful couch was spread for our repose ; Should be allow'd a privilege to have
Where, in the guise of mountaineers, we slept, Her anchorites, like piety of old;
Stretch'd upon fragrant heath, and lull’d by sound Men, who, from faction red, and unstain'd
Of far-off torrents charming the still night, By war, might, if so minded, turn aside
And to tired limbs and over-busy thoughts Uncensured, and subsist, a scatter'd few
Inviting sleep and soft forgetfulness.

Living to God and nature, and content
With that communion. Consecrated be

The spots where such abide! But happier still

The man, whom, furthermore, a hope attends

That meditation and research may guide

His privacy to principles and powers

Discover'd or invented : or set forth, Farewell to the valley. Reflections. Sight of a large Through his acquaintance with the ways of truth, and populous vale. Solitary consents to go forward.

In lucid order ; so that, when his course Vale described. The pastor's dwelling, and some Is run, some faithful eulogist may say, account of him. The churchyard. Church and monu He sought not praise, and praise did overlook ments. The solitary musing, and where. Roused.

His unobtrusive merit; but his life, In the churchyard the solitary communicates the Sweet to himself, was exercised in good thoughts which had recently passed through his mind. Lofty tone of the wanderer's discourse of yesterday | That shall survive his name and memory. adverted to Rite of baptism, and the professions Acknowledgments of gratitude sincere accompanying it, contrasted with the real state of Accompanied these musings: fervent thanks human life. Inconsistency of the best men. - Acknow. For my own peaceful lot and happy choice ; ledgment that practice falls far below the injunctions a choice that from the passions of the world of duty as existing in the mind. General complaint of a falling off in the value of life after the time of youth. Withdrew, and fix'd me in a still retreat, Outward appearances of content and happiness in Shelter'd, but not to social duties lost, degree illusive. Pastor approaches Appeal made to Secluded, but not buried; and with song him. His answer. Wanderer in sympathy with him. Cheering my days, and with industrious thought, Suggestion that the least ambitious inquirers may be With ever-welcome company of books, most free from error. The pastor is desired to give some portraits of the living or dead from his own ob By virtuous friendship’s soul-sustaining aia, servation of life among these mountains.

And for And with the blessings of domestic love. what purpose. Pastor consents. Mountain cottage.

Thus occupied in mind I paced along, Excellent qualities of its inhabitants. Solitary ex. Following the rugged road, by sledge or wheel presses his pleasure; but denies the praise of virtue Worn in the moorland, till I overtook to worth of this kind. Feelings of the priest before My two associates, in the morning sunshine he enters upon his account of persons interred in the churchyard. Graves of unbaptized infants. What

Halting together on a rocky knoll, sensations they excite. Funeral and sepulchral ob- From which the road descended rapidly servances, whence. Ecclesiastical establishments, To the green meadows of another vale. whence derived Profession of belief in the doctrine Here did our pensive host put forth his hand of immortality.

In sign of farewell. “Nay,” the old man said, FAREWELL, deep valley, with thy one rude house,

“ The fragrant air its coolness still retains ; And its small lot of life-supporting fields,

The herds and flocks are yet abroad to crop And guardian rocks! Farewell, attractive seat! The dewy grass; you cannot leave us now, To the still influx of the morning light

We must not part at this inviting hour.” Open, and day's pure cheerfulness, but veil'd He yielded, though reluctant; for his mind From human observation, as if yet

Instinctively disposed him to retire Primeval forests wrapp'd thee round with dark To his own covert; as a billow, heaved Impenetrable shade ; once more farewell,

Upon the beach, rolls back into the sea, Majestic circuit, beautiful abyss,

So we descend ; and winding round a rock By nature destined from the birth of things

Attain a point that show'd the valley-stretch'd For quietness profound !

In length before us; and, not distant far,
Upon the side

Upon a rising ground a gray church tower,
Of that brown slope, the outlet of the vale,

Whose battlements were screen'd by tusted trees, Lingering behind my comrades, thus I breathed

And, towards a crystal mere, that lay beyond A parting tribute to a spot that seem'd

Among steep hills and woods embosom’d, flow'd Like the fix'd centre of a troubled world.

A copious stream with boldly winding course; And now, pursuing leisurely my way,

Here traceable, there hidden—there again How vain, thought I, it is by change of place

To sight restored, and glittering in the sun, To seek that comfort which the mind denies;

On the stream's bank, and every where, appear'd Yet trial and temptation oft are shunnid

Fair dwellings, single, or in social knots ; Wisely; and by such tenure do we hold

Some scatter'd o'er the level, others perch'd

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