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On the hill sides, a cheerful quiet scene,

Of nave and aisle, in unpretending guise, Now in its morning purity array'.

Was occupied by oaken benches, ranged As, ʼmid some happy valley of the Alps,” In seemly rows; the chancel only show'd Said I,“ once happy, ere tyrannic power

Some inoffensive marks of earthly state Wantonly breaking in upon the Swiss,

And vain distinction. A capacious pew Destroy'd their unoffending commonwealth, Of sculptured oak stood here, with drapery lined; A popular equality reigns here,

And marble monuments were here display'd Save for one house of state beneath whose roof Thronging the walls; and on the floor beneath A rural lord might dwell." “ No feudal pomp,” Sepulchral stones appeard, with emblems graven Replied our friend, a chronicler who stood

And foot-worn epitaphs, and some with small Where'er he moved upon familiar ground,

And shining effigies of brass inlaid. “ Nor feudal power is there ; but there abides, The tribute by these various records claim'd, In his allotted home, a genuine priest,

Without reluctance did we pay; and read
The shepherd of his flock; or, as a king

The ordinary chronicle of birth,
Is styled, when most affectionately praised, Office, alliance, and promotion, all
The father of his people. Such is he;

Ending in dust; of upright magistrates,
And rich and poor, and young and old, rejoice Grave doctors strenuous for the mother church,
Under bis spiritual sway. He hath vouchsafed And uncorrupted senators,

alike To me some portion of a kind regard;

To king and people true. A brazen plate, And something also of his inner mind

Not easily decipherd, told of one Hath he imparted—but I speak of him

Whose course of earthly honour was begun As he is known to all. The calm delights

In quality of page among the train Of unambitious piety he chose,

Of the eighth Henry, when he cross'd the seas And learning's solid dignity; though born

His royal state to show, and prove his strength Of knightly race, nor wanting powerful friends. In tournament, upon the fields of France. Hither, in prime of manhood, he withdrew

Another tablet register'd the death, From academic bowers. He loved the spot,

And praised the gallant bearing, of a knight Who does not love his native soil ? he prized Tried in the sea fights of the second Charles. The ancient rural character, composed

Near this brave knight his father lay entomb'd Of simple manners, feelings unsuppressid

And, to the silent language giving voice, And undisguised, and strong and serious thought; I read, how in his manhood's earlier day A character reflected in himself,

He, 'mid th' aillictions of intestine war
With such embellishment as well beseems

And rightsul government subverted, found
His rank and sacred function. This deep vale One only solace; that he had espoused
Winds far in reaches hidden from our eyes, A virtuous lady tenderly beloved
And one a turreted manorial hall

For her benign perfections; and yet more
Adorns, in which the good man's ancestors Endear'd to him, for this, that in her state
Have dwelt through ages, patrons of this cure. Of wedlock richly crown'd with Heaven's regard,
To them, and to his own judicious pains,

She with a numerous issue fill'd his house, The vicar's dwelling, and the whole domain, Who throve, like plants, uninjured by the storm Owes that presiding aspect which might well That laid their country waste.

No need to speak Attract your notice; statelier than could else Of less particular notices assign'd Have been bestow'd, through course of common To youth or maiden gone before their time, chance,

And inatrons and unwedded sisters old; On an unwealthy mountain benefice.”

Whose charity and goodness were rehearsed This said, oft halting we pursued our way; In modest panegyric. “ These dim lines, Nor reach'd the village churchyard till the sun, What would they tell ?” said I ; but from the task Travelling at steadier pace than ours, had risen Of puzzling out that faded narrative, Above the summits of the highest hills,

With whispers soft my venerable friend
And round our path darted oppressive beams. Calld me; and, looking down the darksome aisle

As chanced, the portals of the sacred pile I saw the tenant of the lonely vale
Stood open, and we enter'd. On my frame, Standing apart; with curvèd arm reclined
At such transition from the fervid air,

On the baptismal font; his pallid face
A grateful coolness fell, that seem'd to strike Upturn'd, as if his mind were wrapt, or lost
The heart, in concert with that temperate awe In some abstraction ; gracefully he stood,
And natural reverence, which the place inspired. he semblance bearing of a sculptured form
Not raised in nice proportions was the pile, That leans upon a monumental urn
But large and massy; for duration built;

In peace, from morn to night, from year to year. With pillars crowded, and the roof upheld

Him from that posture did the sexton rouse; By naked rafters intricately cross'd,

Who enter'd, humming carelessly a tune,
Like leafless underboughs, ʼmid some thick grove, Continuation haply of the notes
All wither'd by the depth of shade above.

That had beguiled the work from which he came, Admonitory texts inscribed the walls,

With spade and mattock o'er his shoulder hung, Each, in its ornamental scroll, enclosed,

To be deposited, for future need,
Each also crown'd with winged heads, a pair In their appointed place. The pale recluse
Of rudely painted cherubim. The floor

Withdrew; and straight we follow'd, to a spot

Where sun and shade were intermix'd; for there

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Doubt to cast off and weariness; in trust I was abruptly summon'd by his voice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By impulse sent from such illusive power, How idly, how perversely, life's whole course, That finds and cannot fasten down; that grasps To this conclusion, deviates from the line,

And is rejoiced, and loses while it grasps ; Or of the end stops short, proposed to all

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not for a happy land do I inquire, To the fair land of everlasting life.

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

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

But whom, 1 ask, of individual souls,
A dedication made, a promise given

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

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

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

By sight undazzled with the glare of praise,

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perchance, guilt's heavier woes; and do not feel And man,” said I, “be in his noblest shape The tedium of fantastic idleness; Thus pitiably infirm; then, He who made, Yet life, as with the multitude, with them, And who shall judge the creature, will forgive. Is fashion'd like an ill-constructed tale ; Yet, in its general tenor, your complaint

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sate by my side, had vanish'd, if a wish For all; and yet how few are warm’d or cheer'd !

Could have transferr'd him to his lonely house How few who mingle with their fellow men

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

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

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

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

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

One might be liken'd: flourishing appear’d, Faith may be given, we see as in a glass

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

The other-like a stately sycamore, With all its seasons. Grant that spring is there, That spreads, in gentler pomp, its honey'd shade. In spite of many a rough, untoward blast,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Is man

With undistemper'd and unclouded spirit,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I re-salute these sentiments confirm'd Look forth, or each man dive into himself; By your authority. But how acquire What sees he but a creature too perturb'd,

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

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

An earth despising dignity of soul ? Spread, from disease, whose subtile injury lurks

Wise in that union, and without it blind !" Within the very faculty of sight.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

From a too busy commerce with the heart ! Then will a vernal prospect greet your eye, Inglorious implements of craft and toil, All fresh and beautiful, and green and bright, Both ye that shape and build, and ye that force, Hopeful and cheerful: vanish'd is the snow, By slow solicitation, earth to yield Vanish'd or hidden; and the whole domain, Her annual bounty, sparingly dealt forth To some too lightly minded might appear With wise reluctance, you would I extol, A meadow carpet for the dancing hours.

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

But for th' impertinent and ceaseless strife

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

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

The habitations, and the ways of men,

A slight flush Himself unseen! But po tradition tells Of moral anger previously had tinged

That ever hermit dipp'd his maple dish The old man's cheek ; but, at this closing turn In the sweet spring that lurks 'mid yon green fields ; Of self-reproach, it pass'd away. Said he,

And no such visionary views belong “ That which we feel we utter; as we think To those who occupy and till the ground, So have we argued ; reaping for our pains

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

A wedded pair in childless solitude. You,” to the pastor turning thus he spake,

A house of stones collected on the spot, “ Have kindly interposed. May I entreat | By rude hands built, with rocky knolls in front, Your further help? The mine of real life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

said, Mortality's last exercise and proof

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

lips Yet, on your first suggestion, will I give,

Gather'd this fair report of them who dwell Ere we descend into these silent vaults,

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

Of evil hap and good as oft awaits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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