« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Give birth, full often, to unguarded words;
Corse Winding away its never-ending line On their smooth surface, evidence was none : But, there, lay open to our daily haunt, A range of unappropriated earthi, Where youth's ambitious feet might move at large; Whence, unmolested Wanderers, we beheld The shining Giver of the Day diffuse His brightness, o'er a tract of sea and land Gay as our spirits, free as our desires, As our enjoyments boundless.-- From those Heights We dropped, al pleasure, into sylvan Combs; Where arbours of impenetrable shade, And mossy seats, detained us side by side, With hearts at ease, and knowledge in our hearts “That all the grove and all the day was ours.'
Enliven d happiness with joy o'erflowing, With joy, and-oh! that memory should survive : To speak the word — with rapture! Nature's boon,
Life's genuine inspiration, happiness
That the prosperities of love and joy
course of days composing happy inonths,
This was the bitter language of the heart: But, while he spake, look, gesture, tone of voice, Though discomposed and vehement, were such As skill and graceful Nature might suggest To a Proficient of the tragic scene Staadiog before the multitude, beset With dark events. Desirous to divert Or slem the current of the Speaker's thoughts, We signified a wish to leave that Place Of stilloess and close privacy, a nook That seemed for self-examination made, Or, for confession, in the sinner's need, Hidden from all Men's view. To our attempt He yielded pot; but, pointing to a slope
Of mossy turf defended from the sun, | And, on that couch inviting us to rest, · Fall on that tender-hearted Man he turned
& serious eye, and thus his speech renewed.
• You never saw, your eyes did never look On the bright Form of Her whom once I loved :Her silser voice was beard upou the earth,
A sound unknowo to you; else, honoured Friend ! . Your heart had borne a pitiable share
Of what I suffered, when I wept that loss,
« But Nature called my Partner to resign ller share in the pure freedom of that life, Enjoyed by us in common.– To my hope, To my heart's wish, my tender Mate became The thankful captive of maternal bonds; dud those wild paths were left to me alone. There could I meditate on follies past; And, like a weary Voyager escaped
From risk and hardship, inwardly retrace
« Seven years of occupation undisturbed Established seemingly a right to hold That happiness; and use and habit gave To what an alien spirit had acquired A patrimonial sanctity. And thus, With thoughts and wishes bounded to this world, I lived and breathed ; most grateful, if to enjoy Without repining or desire for more, For different lot, or change to higher sphere, (Only except some impulses of pride With no determined object, though upheld By theories with suitable support) Most grateful, if in such wise to enjoy Be proof of gratitude for what we have; Else, I allow, most thankless.- But, at once, From some dark seat of fatal Power was urged A claim that shattered all.-Our blooming Girl, Caught in the gripe of Death, with such brief time To struggle in as scarcely would allow Her cheek to change its colour, was conveyed From us, to regions inaccessible; Where height, or depth, admits not the approach Of living Man, though longing to pursue. -With even as brief a warning-and how soon, With what short interval of time between, I tremble yet to think of-our last prop, Our happy life's only remainiog stayThe Brother followed ; and was seed no more!
« In privacy we dwell-a wedded pairCompanions daily, often all day long : Not placed by fortune within easy reach Of various intercourse, nor wishing aught Beyond the allowance of our own fire-side, The Twain within our happy collage boro, Jomates, and heirs of our united love; Graced mutually by difference of sex, By the endearing names of nature bouud, And with no wider interval of time Between their several births than served for One To establish something of a leader's sway; Yet left them joined by sympathy in age; Equals in pleasure, fellows in pursuit. Ou these two pillars rested as in air Our solitude.
It soothes me to perceive, Your courtesy withholds not from my words Attentive audience. But, oh! gentle Friends, As times of quiet and unbroken peace Though, for a Nation, times of blessedness, Give back faint echoes from the Historian's page; So, in the imperfect sounds of this discourse, Depressed I hear, how faithless is the voice Which those most blissful days reverberate. What special record can, or need, be given To rules and habits, whereby much was done, But all witbin the sphere of little things, Of humble, though, to us, important cares, And precious interests? Smoothly did our life Advance, not swerving from the path prescribed ; Her annual, her diurnal round alike Maintained with faithful care. And you divine The worst effects that our condition saw If you imagine changes slowly wrought, And in their progress imperceptible; Not wished for, sometimes noticed with a sigh (Whate'er of good or lovely they might bring), Sighs of regret, for the familiar good, And loveliness endeared-- which they removed.
«Calm as a frozen Lake when ruthless Winds Blow fiercely, agitating carth and sky, The Mother now remained; as if in her, Who, to the lowest region of the soul, Had been crewhile unsettled and disturbed, This second visitation had no power To shake; but only to bind up and seal; And to establish thankfulness of heart In Heaven's determinations, ever just. The eminence on which her spirit stood, Mine was unable to ariain. Immense The space that severed us! But, as the sight Communicates with Heaven's ethereal orbs Incalculably distant; so, I felt That consolation may descend from far; (And, that is intercourse, and union, too) Wbile, overcome with speechless gratitude, And, with a holier love inspired, I looked On her--at once superior to my woes And Partner of my loss.- heavy change! Dimness o'er this clear Luminary crept Insensibly ;--the immortal and divine Yielded to mortal reflux; her pure Glory, As from the pinnacle of worldly state Wretched Ambition drops astounded, fell Into a gulf obscure of silent grief, And keen heart-anguish - of itself ashamed, Yet obstinately cherishing itself: And, so consumed, She melted from my arms ; And Jeft ine, on this earth, disconsolate.
«What followed cannot be reviewed in thought; Much less, retraced in words. If She, of life Blameless; so intimate with love and joy, And all the tender motions of the Soul, Had been supplanted, could I hope to standInfirm, dependent, and now destitute!
I call'd on dreams and visions, to disclose
Expressed the tumult of their minds, my voice
« Scorn and contempi forbid me to proceed! But History, Time's slavish Scribe, will tell low rapidly the Zealots of the cause Disbanded-or in hostile ranks appeared ; Some, tired of honest service ; these, outdone, Disgusted, therefore, or appalled, by aims Of fiercer Zealots—so Confusion reigned, And the more faithful were compelled to exclaim, As Brutus did to Virtue, ‘Liberty, I worshipped Thee, and find thee but a Shade!'
a From that abstraction I was roused, -and how? Even as a thoughtful Shepherd by a flash Of lightning startled in a gloomy cave Of these will bills. For lo! the dread Bastile, With all the chambers in its horrid Towers, Fell to the ground :—by violence o'erthrown Of indignation; and with shouts that drowned The crash it made in falling! From the wreck A golden Palace rose, or seemed to rise, The appointed Seat of equitable Law And mild paternal Sway. The potent shock I felt : the transformation I perceived, As marvellously seized as in that moment When, from the blind mist issuing, I beheld Clory—beyond all glory ever seen, Confusion infinite of heaven and earth, Dazzling the soul! Meanwhile, prophetic harps In every grove were ringiog, ‘War sball cease; Did ye not hear that conquest is abjured? Bring garlands, bring forth choicest flowers, to deck The Tree of Liberty: --My heart rebounded; My melancholy Voice the chorus joined;
- Be joyful all ye Nations ! in all Lands, Ye that are capable of Joy be glad! llenceforth, whate'er is wanting to yourselves In others ye shall promptly find;-and all Be rich by mutual and rellected wealth.'
« Such recantation had for me no charm, Nor would I bend to it ; who should have grieved At aught, however fair, that bore the mien Of a conclusion, or catastrophe. Why then conceal, that, when the simply good In timid selfishness withdrew, I sought Other support, not scrupulous whence it came, And, by what compromise it stood, not nice? Enough if notions seemed to be high-pitched, And qualities determined.--Among men So charactered did I maintain a strife llopeless, and still more hopeless every hour; But, in the process, I began to feel That, if the emancipation of the world Were missed, I should at least secure my own, And be in part compensated. For rights, Widely--inveterately usurped upon, I spake with vehemence; and promptly seized Whate cr Abstraction furnished for
needs Or purposes; nor scrupled to proclaim, And propagate, by liberty of life, Those new persuasions. Not that I rejoiced, Or even found pleasure, in such vagrant course, For its own sake; but farthest from the walk Which I had trod in happiness and peace, Was most inviting to a troubled mind; That, in a struggling and distempered world, Saw a seductive image of herself. Yet, mark the contradictions of which Man !s still the sport! Here Nature was my guide, The Nature of the dissolute; but Thee, O fostering Nature! I rejected-smiled At others' tears in pity; and in scorn At those, which thy soft influence sometimes drew From my unguarded heart.---The tranquil shores Of Britain circumscribed me; else, perhaps, I might have been entangled among deeds,
« Thus was I reconverted to the world; Society became my glittering Bride, And airy hopes my Children.- From the depths Of natural passion, seemingly escaped, My soul diffused herself in wide embrace Of institutions, and the forms of things; As obey exist, in mutable array,
'pon life's surface. What, though in my vems There flowed no Gallic blood, nor load I breathed The air of France, not less than Gallic zeal Kindled and burnt among the sapless (wigs Of my exhausted heart. If busy Men In sober conclave met, to weave a web Of amity, whose living threads should stretch Beyond the seas, and to the farthest pole, There did I sit, assisting. If, with noise And acclamation, crowds in open air
Which, now, as infamous, I should abhor
Some boundary, which his Followers may not cross Despisc, as senseless : for my spirit relished
In prosecution of their deadly chase, Strangely the exasperation of that Land,
Respiring I looked round.—How bright the Sun, Which turned an angry beak against the down How promising the Breeze! Can aught produced Of her own breast ; confounded into hope
In the old World compare, thought I, for power Of disencumbering thus her fretful wings.
And majesty with this gigantic Stream, —But all was quieted by iron bonds
Sprung from the Desert ? And behold a City Of military sway. The shifting aims,
Fresh, youthful, and aspiring! What are these The moral interests, the creative might,
To me, or I to them? As much at least The varied functions and high attributes
As He desires that they should be, whom winds Of civil Action, yielded to a Power
And waves have wafted to this discant shore, Formal, and odious, and contemptible.
In the condition of a damaged seed, -In Britain, ruled a panic dread of change;
Whose fibres cannot, if they would, take root. 'The weak were praised, rewarded, and advanced ; Here may I roam at large ;—my business is, And, from the impulse of a just disdain,
Roaming at large, to observe, and not to feel; Once more did I retire into myself.
And, therefore, not to act-convinced that all There feeling no contentment, I resolved
Which bears the name of action, howsoe'er To fly, for safeguard, to some foreign shore,
Beginning, ends in servitude-still painful, Remote from Europe; from her blasted hopes ; And mostly profitless. And, sooth to say, Her fields of carnage, and polluted air.
On nearer view, a motley spectacle
But by the obstreperous voice of higher still; « Fresh blew the wind, when o'er the Atlantic Main
Big Passions struiting on a petty stage; The Ship went gliding with her thoughtless crew; Which a detached Spectator may regard Avd who among them but an Exile, freed
Not unamused.-But ridicule demands From discontent, indifferent, pleased to sit
Quick change of objects; and, to laugh alone, Among the busily employed, not more
Ac a composing distance from the haunts With obligation charged, with service taxed,
Of strife and folly,-though it be a treat Than the loose pendanı-10 the idle wind
As choice as musing Leisure can bestow; Upon the tall mast, streaming :--but, yc powers
Yet in the very centre of the crowd, Of soul and sense c-mysteriously allied,
To keep the secret of a poignant scoru, 0, never let the Wretched, if a choice
llowe'er to airy Demons suitable, Be left him, trust the freight of his distress
Of all unsocial courses, is least fit To a long voyage on the silent deep!
For the gross spirit of Mankind,-the one For, like a Plague, will Memory break out;
That soonest fails to please, and quickliest turns And, in the blank and solitude of things,
Toto vexation. Let us, then, I said, Upon his Spirit, with a fever's strength,
Leave this unknit Republic to the scourge Will Conscience prey.- Fecbly must They have felt
Of her own passions; and to Regions haste, Who, in old time, attired with snakes and whips
Whose shades have never felt the encroaching are, The vengeful Furies. Beautiful regards
Or soil endured a transfer in the mart
Of dire rapacity. There, Man abides,
Primeval Nature's Child. A Creature weak Tender reproaches, insupportable !
In combination (wherefore else driven back Where now that boasted liberty? No welcome
So far, and of his old inheritance From unknown Objects I received; and those,
So easily deprived ?) but, for that cause, Known and familiar, which the vaulted sky
More dignified, and stronger in himself;
Whether to act, judge, suffer, or enjoy.
True, the Intelligence of social Art
Hath overpowered his Forefathers, and soon
Will sweep the remnant of his line away;
But contemplations, wortbier, uobler far
Than her destructive energies, atttnd of faith was wanting. Tell me, why refused To One by storms annoyed and adverse winds;
Bis Independence, when along the side Perplexed with currents; of his weakness sick ;
Of Mississippi, or that Northern Stream Of vain endeavours tired ; and by luis own,
That spreads into successive seas, he walks ;
Pleased to perceive his own unshackled life, And by his Nature's, ignorance, dismayed !
And his innate capacities of soul,
There imaged: or, when having gained the top
Regions of wood and wide Savannah, vast
With mind that sheds a light on what he sees;
Free as the Sun, and lovely as the Sun, Inviting pevance, fruitlessly endured.
Pouring above his head its radiance down So, like a Fugitive, whose feet have cleared
Upon a living, and rejoicing World !
« So, westward, tow'rd the unviolated Woods
Knowledge the source of tranquillity--Rural Solitude I beat my way; and, roaming far and wide,
favourable to knowledge of the inferior Creatures1 Failed not to greet the merry Mocking-bird ;
Study of their habits and ways recommended-ExAnd, while the melancholy Muccawiss
hortation to bodily exertion and Communion with The sportive Bird's companion in the Grove)
Nature-Morbid Solitude pitiable-Superstition betRepeated, o'er and o'er, his plaintive cry,
ter ihan apathy-Apathy and destitution unknown in I sympathized at leisure with the sound;
the io fancy of society-The various modes of ReliBut that pure Archetype of human greatness,
gion prevented il-illustrated in the Jewish, Persian, I found him not. There, in his stead, appeared
Babylonian, Chaldean, and Grecian modes of belief A Creature, squalid, vengeful, and impure;
- Solitary interposes — Wanderer points out the inRemorseless, and submissive to no law
fluence of religious and imaginative feeling in the But superstitious fear, and abject sloth.
humble ranks of society – Mlustrated from present -Enough is told! Here am 1-Ye have heard
and past times — These principles tend to recall exWhat evidence I seek, and vainly seek;
ploded superstitions and popery-Wanderer rebuts What from my Fellow-beings I require,
this charge, and contrasts the dignities of the ImaAnd cannot find; what I myself have lost,
gination with the presumptive littleness of certain Nor can reyain ; how languidly I look
modern Philosophers-Recommends other lights and l'pon this visible fabric of the World,
guides — Asserts the power of the Soul to regenerate May be divined- perhaps it hath been said :
herself --Solitary asks how-Reply-Personal appeal But spare your pity, if there be in me
-Happy that the imagination and the affections miAught that deserves respect: for I exist
tigate the evils of that intellectual slavery which the Within myself—not comfortless.- The tenour
calculating understanding is apt to produce-ExhortWhich my life holds, he readily may conceive
ation to activity of body renewed-How to commune Whoe'er hash stood to watch a mountain Brook
with Nature_Wanderer concludes with a legitimate In some still passage of its course, and seen,
union of the imagination, affections, understanding, Within the depths of its capacious breast,
and reason- Effect of his discourse-Evening - ReInverted trees, and rocks, and azure sky;
turn to the Cottage.
flere closed the Tenant of that lonely vale Else imperceptible; meanwhile, is heard
His mournful Narrative-commenced in pain, A softened roar, a murmur; and the sound
In pain commenced, and ended without peace: Though soothing, and the little floating isles
Yet tempered, not unfrequently, with strains Though beautiful, are both by Nature charged
Of native feeling, grateful to our minds; With the same peosive office; and make known
And doubtless yielding some relief to his, Through what perplexing labyrinths, abrupt
While we sate listening with compassion due Precipitations, and untoward strails,
Such pity yet surviving, with firm voice, The earth-born Wanderer hath passed; and quickly, That did not falter, though the heart was moved, That respite o'er, like traverses and toils
The Wanderer saidWuse be again encountered. -Such a stream
« One adequate support Is human Life ; and so the spirit fares
For the calamities of mortal life lo the best quiet to its course allowed ;
Exists, one only;-an assured belief And such is mine, -save only for a hope
That the procession of our fate, howe'er That my particular current soon will reach
Sad or disturbid, is order'd by a Being
Of infinite benevolence and power,
All accidents, converting them to good.
– The darts of anguish fox not where the seat
For Time and for Eternity; by faith,
Taith absolute in God, including hope,
A belief in a superintending Providence the only of his perfections; with habitual dread 1
adequate support under affliction—Wanderer's eja: Of auyht unworthily conceived, endured
culation-account of his own devotional feelings in Impatiently; ill-done, or left undone, : youth involved – Acknowledges the difficulty of a To the dishonour of his holy Name.
lively faith -Hence immoderate sorrow--doubt or Soul of our Souls, and safeguard of the world!