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The perturbation; listen'd to the plea;
Such intercourse I witness'd, while we roved, Now as his choice directed, now as mine; Or both, with equal readiness of will, Our course submitting 10 the changeful breeze Of accident. But when the rising sun Had three times call'd us to renew our walk, My Fellow traveller cluimd with carnest voice, As if the thought were but a moment old, do absolute dominion for the day. We started-and he led towards the hills; (p through an ample vale, with higher lills Before us, mountains stern and desolate; Bat, in the inajesty of distince, now Set off, and to our ken appearing fair Of aspect, with aerial softness clad, And beautified with morning's purple beams.
The Wealthy, the Luxurious, by the stress Of business roused, or pleasure, ere their time, Nay roll in chariots, or provoke the boofs of the fleet coursers tbey bestride, to raise From earth the dust of morning, slow to rise; And They, if blest with health and hearts at ease, Shall lack not their enjoyment:—but how faint Compared with ours! who, paciny side by side, Could, with an eye of leisure, look on all Tut we beheld; and lend the listening sense To every grateful sound of earth and air; Pausng at will-our spirits braced, our thoughts Pleasant as roses in the thickets blown, And pare as dew bathing their crimson leaves.
Mount slowly, Sun! that we may journey long,
Half-veiled in vapoury cloud, the silver steam . Of dews fast melting on their leafy boughs
By the strong sunbeams smilten. Like a mast
Said I, « the music and the sprightly scene
shall we quit our road, and join These festive matins?»—He replied, Not loth llere would I linger, and with you partake, Not one bour merely, but till evening's close, The simple pastimes of the day and place. liy the fleet Racers, ere the Sun be sel, The turt of yon large pasture will be skimm'd; Thcre, too, the lusty Wrestlers shall contend: But know we not that he, who intermits The appointed task and duties of the day, Untunes full of the pleasures of the day; Checking the finer spirits that refuse To tlow, when purposes are lightly changed ? We must proceed-a length of journey yet Remains untraced.» Then, pointing with his staff Towards those cracey summits, his intent lle thus imparted.
«In a spot that lies Among yon mountain fastnesses conceald, You will receive, before the hour of noon, Good recompense, I hope, for this day's toil -From sight of One who lives secluded there, Lonesome and lost: of whom, and whose past life, (Nol to forestal such knowledge as may be More faithfully collected from himself,) This brief communication shall suffice.
« Though now sojourning there, he, like myself, Sprang from a stock of lowly parentage Among the wilds of Scotland, in a tract Where many a shelter'd and well-tended plant, Bears, on the humblest ground of social life, Blossoms of piety and innocence. Such grateful promises bis youth display'd: And, having shown in study forward zeal, lle to the Ministry was duly callid; And straight incited by a curious mind Hilla with vague lopes, he undertook the charge Of Chaplain to a Military Troop Cheer'd by the llighland Bagpipe, as they march'd To plaided vest, -his Fellow-countrymen. This Office filling, yet by native power And force of native inclination, made An intellectual Ruler in the haunts Of social vanity-he walk'd the World, Gay, and affecting graceful gaiety; Lax, buoyant-less a Pastor with his Flock Than a Soldier among Solliers--- lived and roamid Where Fortune led:--and Fortune, who oft proves The careless wanderer's Friend, to him made known A blootning Lady-a conspicuous Flower, Admired for beauty, for her sweetness praised; Whom he had sensibility to love, Ambition to attempt, and skill to win.
« For this fair Bride, most rich in gifts of mind, Yor sparingly endow'd with worldly wealth, His Office he relinquish'd; and retired From the world's notice to a rural Home. Youth's season yet with him was scarcely past, And she was in youth's prime. How full their joy, llow free their love! nor did that love decay, Nor joy abate, will, pitiable doom! To the short course of one uudreaded year
Death blasted all.—Death suddenly o'erthrow
Spread like a halo round a misty moon,
Widening its circle as the storms advance.
« llis sacred function was at length renounced; For his dismissal; day and night, compella
And every day and every place enjoy'd
Speech, manners, morals, all without disguise.
I do not wish to wrong him ;-though the course This anguish; and, indifferent to delight,
Of private life licentiously display'd To aim and purpose, he consumed his days,
Unhallow'd actions-planted like a crown To private interest dead, and public care.
Upon the insolent aspiring brow So lived he; so he might have died.
Of spurious notions-worn as open signs
Of prejudice subdued-le still retaind, To the wide world's astonishment, appeard
'Mid such abasement, what lie liad received A glorious opening, the unlook'd-for dawn,
From nature-an intense and glowing mind. That promised everlasting joy to France!
Wherefore, when humbled Liberty grew weak, Her voice of social transport reachi'd even him!
And mortal sickness on her face appeard, He broke from his contracted bounds, repaird
lle colour d objects to his own desire To the great City, an Emporium then
As with a Lover's passion. Yet his moods Of golden expectations, and receiving
Of pain were keen as those of beiter mea, Freights every day from a new world of hope.
Nay kecner--as luis fortitude was less. Thither his popular talents he transferrd;
And he continued, when worse days were come, And, from the Pulpit, zealously maintain'd
To deal about his sparkling eloquence, The cause of Christ and civil liberiy,
Struggling against the strange reverse with zcal As one; and moving to one glorious end.
That show'd like happiness; but, in despite Intoxicating service! I might say
Of all this outside bravery, within, A happy service ; for lie was siucere
lle neither felt encouragement por hope. As vanity and fondvess for applause,
For moral dignity, and strength of mind, And new and shapeless wishes, would allow.
Were wanting; and simplicity of Life;
And reverence for himself; and, last and best, « That righteous Cause (such power hath Freedom) Confiding thoughts, througli love and fear of Him bound,
Before whose sighit the troubles this world
Are vain as billows in a tossing sea.
« The glory of the times fading away, From regions opposite as heaven and hell.
The splendour, which had given a festal air Onc courage scem'd to animate them all:
To self-importance, hallow'd it, and veild And, from the dazzling conquests daily gain'd
From his own siglır,-this gone, he forfeited By their united efforts, there arose
All joy in human nature; was consumed, A proud avd most presumptuous confidence
And vex'd, and chafod, by levity and scorn, In the transcendent wisdom of the age,
And fruitless indignation; galla by pride; And her discerament; not alone in rights,
Made desperate by contempt of Men who throre And in the origin and bounds of power,
Before bis sighi in power or fame, and won, Social and temporal; but in laws divine,
Without desert, what he desired; weak mea, Deduced by reason, or to faith reveald.
Too weak even for his eavy or his hate! And overweening trust was raised; and fear
Tormented thus, after a wandering course Cast out, -alike of person and of thing.
Of discontent, and inwardly opprest Plague from this union spread, whose subtle banc With malady-in part, I fear, provoked The strongest did not easily esca pe;
By wearivess of life, he fix'd his Home, And Be, what wonder! took a mortal taint.
Or, rather say, sate down by very chance,
Among these rugged bills; where now lie dwe!k.
Iis own voluptuousness; on this resolved,
With this content, that he will live and die Life, like that Roman Janus, double-faced ;
Forgotten,-at safe distance froin a world Vilest hypocrisy, the daughing, gay
Not moving to his mind, '» Ilypocrisy, not leagued with fear, but pride.
These serious words Smooth words be bad to wheedle simple souls;
Closed the preparatory notices But, for disciples of the inner school,
That served my Fellow-traveller to beguile Old freedom was old servitude, and they
The way, while we advanced up that wide Vale. The wisest whose opinions stoop'd the least
Diverging now (as if his quest had been To known restraints: and who most boldly drew Some secret of the Mountains, Cavern, Fall llopeful prognostications from a creed,
Of water-or some boasiful Eminence, That, in the light of false philosophy,
Renowe'd for splendid prospect far and wide)
We scaled, without a track to ease our steps,
This scarcely spoken, and those holy strains A steep ascent; and reach'd a dreary plain,
Not ceasing, forth appear'd in view a band With a tumultuous waste of huge hill tops
Of rustic Persons, from behind the hut Before us; savage region! which I paced
Bearing a Coffin in the midst, with which Dispirited: when, all at once, behold!
They shaped their course along the sloping side Beneath our feet, a little lowly Vale,
Of that small Valley; singing as they moved; A lowly Vale, and yet uplifted high
A sober company and few, the Men Among the mountains; even as if the spot
Bare-headed, and all decently attired! Had been, from eldest time by wish of theirs,
Some steps when they had thus advanced, the dirge So placed, -to be shut out from all the world! Ended; and, from the stillness that ensued Cro-like it was in shape, deep as an Urn;
Recovering, to my Friend I said, « You spake, With rocks encompass'd, save that to the South Methought, with apprehension that these rites Was one small opening, where a heath-clad ridge Are paid to Him upon whose shy retreat Sapplied a boundary less abrupt and close;
This day we purposed to intrude.»-«I did so, | A quiet treeless nook, with two green fields,
But let us hence, that we may learn the truth: A liquid pool that glitter'd in the sun,
Perhaps it is not be but some One else And one bare Dwelling; one Abode, no more!
For whom this pious service is performid;
Some other Tepant of the Solitude.»
So, to a steep and difficult descent
Trusting ourselves, we wound from crag to crag, - There crows the Cock, single in his domain : Where passage could be won; and, as the last The small birds find in spring no tbicket there Of the mute train, upon the heathy top To shroud them; only from the neighbouring Vales Of that off-sloping Outler, disappear'd, The Cuckoo, straggliog up to the hill tops,
1, more impatient in my downward course, | Shouteth faint tidings of some gladder place.
Had landed upon easy ground; and there
Stood waiting for my comrade. When behold i Ah! what a sweet Recess, thought I, is here!
An object that enticed my steps aside! | Instantly throwing down my limbs at ease
A narrow, winding Entry opened out l'ipon a bed of heath;-full many a spot
Into a platform--that lay, sheepfold-wisc, Of hidden beauty have I chanced to espy
Enclosed between an upright mass of rock | Among the mountains; never one like this,
And one old moss-grown wall;-a cool Recess, So lonesome, and so perfectly secure :
And fanciful! For, where the rock and wall Not melancholy-no, for it is green,
Met in an angle, hung a penthouse, framed And bright, and fertile, furnish'd in itself
By thrusting two rude staves into the wall With the few needful things that life requires.
And overlayiog them with mountain sods ; I -la rugged arms how soft it seems to lie,
To weather-fend a little turf-built seat How tenderly protected! Far and near
Whereon a full-grown man might rest, nor drcad We have an image of the pristine earth,
The burning sunshine, or a transient sbower; The planet in its nakedness; were this
But the whole plainly wrought by Children's hands! Man's only dwelling, sole appointed seat,
Whose skill had throng'd the tloor with a proud show First, last, and single in the breathing world,
Of baby-houses, curiously arranged; 'It could not be more quiet: peace is here
Nor wanting ornament of walks between, Or dowhere; days unruffled by the gale
With mimic trees inserted in the turf, of pablic news or private; years
And gardens interposed. Pleased with the sight, that
pass Forgetfully; uncall'd upon to pay
I could not chuse but beckon to my Guide, The common penalties of mortal life,
Who, entering, round him threw a careless glance, Sickness, or accident, or grief, or pain.
Impatient to pass on, when I exclaim'd,
A Book, that, in the midst of stones and moss,
And wreck of party-coloured earthen-ware, In silence musing by my Comrade's side,
Aptly disposed, had lent its help to raise He also silent : when from out the heart
One of those petty structures. «Gracious Deaven!, Of that profound Abyss a solemn Voice,
The Wanderer cried, « il cannot but be his, Or several Voices in one solemn sound,
And he is gone!) The Book, which in my land Was heard—ascending: mournful, deep, and slow Had opened of itself, (for it was swoln The cadence, as of Psalms--a funeral dirge!
With searching damp, and seemingly had lain We listen'd, looking down upon the Hat,
To the injurious elements exposed But seeing no One: meanwhile from below
From week to week,) I found to be a work The strain continued, spiritual as before;
In the French Tongue, a Novel of Voltaire, And now distinctly could I recognize
His famous Optimist. «Unhappy Man!» These words :–« Shall in the Grave thy love be known Exclaimed my Friend : « here then has been to him In Death thy faithfulness?»—« God rest his Soul!» Retreat withio retreat, a sheltering-place The Wanderer cried, abruptly breaking silence, Within how deep a shelter! He had fits, - He is departed, and finds peace at last!»
Even to the last, of genuine tenderness,
And loved the haunts of children : here, no doubt,
« Me,» said I, « most doth it surprise, to find Such book in such a place!» « A Book it is,» He answered, « to the Person suited well, Though little suited to surrounding things; "T is strange, 1 grant; and stranger still had been To see the Man who ownd it, dwelling here, With one poor Shepherd, far from all the world! Now, if our errand hath been thrown away, As from these intimations I forebode, Grieved shall I be less for my sake than yours; And least of all for Him who is no more. »
More might have follow'd—but my honour'd Friend Broke in upon the Speaker with a frank And cordial greeting.- Vivid was the light That flash'd and sparkled from the Other's eyes; He was all fire : the sickness from his face Pass'd like a fancy that is swept away; Hands join'd he with his Visitant,-a grass, An cager grasp; and, many moments' space, When the first glow of pleasure was no more, And much of what had vanish'd was return d, An amicable smile retain'd the life Which it had unexpectedly received, Upon his hollow cheek. « How kind 'n he said, « Nor could your coming have been better timed; For this, you sce, is in our parrow world A day of sorrow. I have here a charge » And, speaking thus, he patted tenderly The sun-burnt forehead of the weeping Cbild« A little Mourner, whom it is my task To comfort;—but how came Yel-if yon track (Which doth at once befriend us and betray) Conducted hither your most welcome feet, Ye could not miss the Funeral Train--they yet Have scarcely disappear d.» « This blooming Child, Said the Old Man, « is of an age to weep At any grave or solemn spectacle, Inly distress'd, or overpower'd with awe, He knows not wliy; -- but he, perchance, this day, Is shedding Orphan's tears; and you yourself Must have sustain'd a loss.»—--- The hand of Death, He answer'd, « has been here; but could not well Have fallen more lightly, if it had not fallen Upon myself.»— The Other left these words Unnoticed, thus continuing:
By this, the Book was in the Old Man's hand; And he continued, glancing on the leaves An eye of scorn; « 'The Lover,» said he, « doom'd To love when hope hath fail'd him—whom no depth Of privacy is deep enough to hide, Hath yet his bracelet or his lock of hair, And that is joy to him. When change of times Hath summoned Kings to scaffolds, do but give The faithful Servant, who must hide his head Henceforth in whatsoever pook he may, A kerchief sprinkled with his Master's blood, And he too hath his comforter. How poor, Beyond all poverty how destitute, Must that Man have been left, who, hither driven, Flying or seeking, could yet bring with him No dearer relique, and no better stay, Than this dull product of a Scoffer's pen, Impure conceits discharging from a heart Hardend by impious pride!—I did not fear To tax you with this journey;»-mildly said My venerable Friend, as forth we stepp'd Into the presence of the cheerful light« For I have knowledge that you do not shrink From moving spectacles;- but let us on.»
So speaking, on he went, and at the word I follow'd, till he made a sudden stand : For full in view, approaching through a gate That open'd from the enclosure of green fields Into the rough uncultivated ground, Behold the Man whom he had fancied dead! I knew, from his deportment, mien, and dress, That it could be no other; a pale face, A tall and meagre person, in a garb Not rustic, dull and faded like himself! He saw us not, though distant but few steps; For he was busy, dealing, from a store Upon a broad leaf carried, choicest strings Of red ripe currauts; gift by which he strove, With intermixture of endearing words, To soothe a Child, who walk'd beside him, weeping As if disconsolate. —« They to the Grave Are bearing him, my little One,» he said, « To the dark pit; but he will feel no pain; Ilis body is at rest, his soul in Heaven.»
« From yon Crag, Down whose steep sides we dropp'd into the l'ale, We heard the hymn they sang-a solemn sound Heard any where, but in a place like this 'T is more than human! Many precious rites And customs of our rural ancestry Are gone, or stealing from us; this, I hope, Will last for ever. Often have ) stoppid, So much I felt the awfulness of Life, In that one moment when the Corse is lifted In silence, with a hush of decency, Then from the threshold moves with song
peace, And confidential yearnings, to its home, Its final homc in earth. What traveller-who(How far soc'er a Stranger) does not own The bond of brotherhood, when he sees them go, A mute Procession on the houseless road; Or passing by some single tenement Or cluster'd dwellings, where again they raise The monitory voice? But most of all It touches, it confirms, and elevates, Then, when the Body, soon to be consigo d Ashes to ashes, dust bequeath'd to dust, Is raised from the church-aisle, and forward borne Upon the shoulders of the next in love, The nearest in affection or in blood; Yea, by the very Mourners who had knelt Beside the Coffin, resting on its lid In silent grief their unuplifted heads, And heard meanwhile the Psalmist's mournful plaiul, And that most awful scripture which declares
We shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed !
We had look'd down upon
it. All within, - Have I not seen ?-Ye likewise may have seen- As left by the departed company,
Was silent; and the solitary clock And Son and Father also side by side,
Tick'd, as I thought, with melancholy sound.Rise from that posture :-and in concert move,
Following our Guide, we clomb the cottage stairs On the green turf following the vested Priest,
And reachd a small apartment dark and low, Four dear Supporters of one senseless Weight,
Which was no sooner enter'd, than our Host From which they do not shrink, and under which Said gaily, « This is my domain, my cell, They faint not, but advance towards the grave
My hermitage, my cabin, -what you
will Step after step-together, with their firm
I love it better than a snail his house. Unhidden faces; he that suffers most
But now Ye shall be fcasted with our best.» He outwardly, and inwardly perhaps,
So, with more ardour than an unripe girl The most serene, with most undaunted eye!
Left one day mistress of her mother's stores,
He went about his hospitable task.
And pleased I look'd upon my grey-haired Friend « That poor Man taken bence to-day,» replied As if to thank him; he return'd that look, The Solitary, with a faint sarcastic smile
Cheer'd plainly, and yet serious. What a wreck
And, in like sort, chair, window-seat, and shelf, loto his mother earth without such pomp
With books, maps, fossils, wither'd plants and flowers, Of grief, depart without occasion given
And tufts of mountain moss; mechanic tools By him for such array of fortitude.
Lay intermix'd with scraps
paper,--some Full seventy winters bath he lived, and mark!
Scribbled with verse: a broken angling-rod
By cobwebs, stood within a dusty nook ;
Some in disgrace, hung dangling from the walls.
—But speedily the promise was fulfilld; Without a band to gather it.»
A feast before us, and a courtcous Host I interposed, through loth to speak, and said,
Inviting us in glee to sit and eat. « Can it be thus among so small a band
A napkin, white as foain of that rough brook As ye must needs be here? in such a place
By which it had been bleach'd, o'erspread the board ; I would not willingly, metbinks, lose sight
And was itself half-cover'd with a load Of a departing cloud.»—« 'T was not for love»- Of dainties, -oaten bread, curd, cheese, and cream, Answered the sick man with a careless voice
And cakes of butter curiously emboss'd, « That I came hither; neither bave I found
Butter that had imbibed a golden tinge Among Associates who have power of speech,
From meadow flowers, hue delicate as theirs
Faiptly reflected in a lingering stream;
And whortle-berries from the mountain-side.
The Child, who long ere this had still'd his sobs, That fortune did not guide you to this house
Was now a belp to his late Comforter, A few days earlier; then would you have seen
And moved a willing Page, as he was bid, What stuff the Dwellers in a Solitude,
Ministering to our need. That seems by Nature hollow'd out to be
In genial mood, The seat and bosom of pure innocence,
While at our pastoral banquet thus we sate
Fronting the window of that little Cell,
To glauce an upward look on two huge Peaks,
That from some other Vale peer'd into this. Will force upon bis notice; undeterrd
« Those lusty Twins,» exclaim'd our host, « if here By tbe example of his owo pure course,
It were your lot to dwell, would soon become And that respect and deference which a Soul
Your prized Companions.—Many are the notes May fairly claim, by piggard age enrich'd
Which, in his tuneful course, the wind draws forth In what she values most-the love of God
From rocks, woods, caverns, beaths, and dashing shores; And his frail creature Mau;- but ye shall bear. And well those lofty Brethreu bear their part I talk-and ye are standing in the sun
In the wild concert-chietly when the storm
Rides high; then all the upper air they fill
With roaring sound, that ceases not to flow,
Like smoke, along the level of the blast, And, to my feeling, ere we reach'd tbe door,
Ja mighty current; theirs, too, is the song llad almost a forbidding nakedness;
Of stream and headloog tlood that seldom fails, Less fair, 1 grant, even painfully less fair,
And, in the grim and breathless hour of noon, Than it appeard when from the beetling rock
Metlinks that I have heard them echo back
Pity 't is