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Surpassing the most fair ideal Forms
Which craft of delicate Spirits hath composed
From earth's materials-waits upon my steps ;
Pitches her tents before me as I move,
An hourly bour. Paradise, and groves
Elysian, Fortunate Fieldslike those of old
Sought in the Atlantic Mainwhy should they be
A history only of departed things,
Or a mere fiction of what never was ?
For the discerning intellect of Man,
When wedded to this goodly universe
In love and holy passion, shall find these
A simple produce of the common day.
-1, long before the blissful hour arrives,
Would chant, in lonely peace, the spousal verse
Of this great consummation :-and, by words
Which speak of nothing more than what we are,
Would I arouse the sensual from their sleep
Of Death, and win the vacant and the vain
To noble ruptures ; while my voice proclaims
How exquisitely the individual Mind
(And the progressive powers perhaps no less
Of the whole species) to the external World
Is fitted :-and how exquisitely, too-
Theme this but little heard of among men-
The external World is fitted to the Mind ;
And the creation (by no lower name
Can it be called) which they with blended might
Accomplish :—this is our high argument.

-Such grateful haunts foregoing, if I oft
Must turn elsewhere-to travel near the tribes
And fellowships of men, and see ill sights
Of madding passions mutually inflamed ;
Must hear Humanity in fields and groves
Pipe solitary anguish ; or must hang
Brooding above the fierce confederate storm
Of sorrow, barricadoed evermore

Within the walls of citiesmay these sounds
Have their authentic comment ; that even these
Hearing, I be not downcast or forlorn !
Descend, prophetic Spirit ! that inspir'st
The human Soul of universal earth,
Dreaming on things to come ; and dost possess
A metropolitan temple in the hearts
Of mighty Poets : upon me bestow
A gift of genuine insight ; that my Song
With star-like virtue in its place may shine,
Shedding benignant influence, and secure
Itself, from all malevolent effect
Of those mutations that extend their sway
Throughout the nether sphere !-And if with this
I mix more lowly matter ; with the thing
Contemplated, describe the Mind and Man
Contemplating ; and who, and what he was-
The transitory Being that beheld
This Vision ; when and where, and how he lived ;-
Be not this labour useless. If such theme
May sort with highest objects, then-dread Power!
Whose gracious favour is the primal source
Of all illuminationmay my Life
Express the image of a better time,
More wise desires, and simpler manners ;~-nurse
My Heart in genuine freedom :-all pure thoughts
Be with me ;--s0 shall thy unfailing love
Guide, and support, and cheer me to the end !'

THE EXCURSION.

BOOK I.

THE WANDERER.

B

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