Imágenes de páginas

sistent in self-rule; and heaven reveal'd With dark events. Desirous to divert meditation in that quietness !

Or stem the current of the speaker's thoughts, ich was their scheme:-thrice happy he who gain'd We signified a wish to leave that place The end proposed! And,--though the same were of stillness and close privacy, a nook miss'd

That seem'd for self-examination made, By multitudes, perhaps obtain'd by none, Or, for confession, in the sinner's need, They, for the attempt, and for the pains employ'd, Hidden from all men's view. To our attempt Do, in my present censure, stand redeem'd He yielded not; but pointing to a slope From the unqualified disdain, that once

Of mossy turf defended from the sun, Would have been cast upon them, by my voice And, on that couch inviting us to rest, Delivering her decisions from the seat

Full on that teuder-hearted man he turn'd Of forward youth: that scruples not to solve A serious eye, and thus his speech renewid. Doubts, and determine questions, by the rules “ You never saw, your eyes did never look of inexperienced judgment, ever prone

On the bright form of her whom once I loved : To overweening faith ; and is inflamed,

Her silver voice was heard upon the earth, By courage, to demand from real life

A sound unknown to you ; else, honour'd friend! The test of act and suffering—to provoke

Your heart had borne a pitiable share Hostility, how dreadful when it comes,

Of what I suffer'd, when I wept that loss, Whether affliction be the foe, or guilt !

And suffer now, not seldom, from the thought
“A child of earth, I rested, in that stage That I remember, and can weep no more.
Of my past course to which these thoughts advert, Stripp'd as I am of all the golden fruit
Upon earth's native energies ; forgetting

Of self-esteem; and by the cutting blasts
That mine was a condition which required Of self-reproach familiarly assail'd;
Nor energy, nor fortitude-a calm

I would not yet be of such wintry bareness
Without vicissitude ; wbich, if the like

But that some leaf of your regard should hang
Had been presented to my view elsewhere, Upon my naked branches ; lively thoughts
I might have e'en been tempted to despise. Give birth, full often, to unguarded words.
But that which was serene was also bright; I grieve that, in your presence, from my tongue
Enliven'd happiness with joy o’erflowing,

Too much of frailty hath already dropp'd ;
With joy, and-O! that memory should survive But that too much demands still more.
To speak the word-with rapture! Nature's boon,

“ You know, Life's genuine inspiration, happiness

Revered compatriot ; and to you, kind sir, Above what rules can teach, or fancy feign ; (Not to be deem'd a stranger, as you come Abused, as all possessions are abused

Following the guidance of these welcome feet That are not prized according to their worth. To our secluded vale,) it may be told, And yet, what worth? what good is given to men, That my demerits did not sue in vain More solid than the gilded clouds of heaven? To one on whose mild radiance many gazed What joy more lasting than a vernal flower? With hope, and all with pleasure. This fair bride, None! 'tis the general plaint of human kind In the devotedness of youthful love, In solitude, and mutually address'd

Preferring me to parents, and the choir From each to all, for wisdom's sake. This truth Of gay companions, to the natal roof, The priest announces from his holy seat:

And all known places and familiar sights, And, crown’d with garlands in the suinmer grove, (Resign’d with sadness gently weighing down The poet fits it to his pensive lyre.

Her trembling expectations, but no more Yet, ere that final resting place be gain’d,

Than did to her due honour, and to me Sharp contradictions may arise by doom

Yielded, that day, a confidence sublime Of this same life, compelling us to grieve

In what I had to build upon,) this bride, That the prosperities of love and joy

Young, modest, meek, and beautiful, I led
Should be permitted, ofttimes, to endure

To a low cottage in a sunny bay,
So long, and be at once cast down for ever. Where the salt sea innoculously breaks,
0! tremble, ye, to whom hath been assign'd And the sea breeze as innocently breathes,
A course of days composing happy months, On Devon's leafy shores; a shelter'd hold,
And they as happy years ; the present still In a soft clime encouraging the soil
So like the past, and both so firm a pledge To a luxuriant bounty! As our steps
Of a congenial future, that the wheels

Approach the embower'd abode-our chosen seatOf pleasure move without the aid of hope :

See, rooted in the earth, her kindly bed, For mutability is nature's bane ;

The unendanger'd myrtle, deck'd with flowers,
And slighted hope will be avenged : and, when Before the threshold stands to welcome us!
Ye need her favours, ye shall find her not; While in the flowering myrtle's neighbourhood,
But in her stead-fear-doubt-and agony !” Not overlook'd but courting no regard,

This was the bitter language of the heart: Those native plants, the holly and the yew,
But, while he spake, look, gesture, tone of voice, Gave modest intimation to the mind
Though discomposed and vehement, were such How willingly their aid they would unite
As skill and graceful nature might suggest With the green myrtle, to endear the hours
To a proficient of the tragic scene

Of winter, and protect that pleasant place.
Standing before the multitude, beset

Wild were the walks upon those lonely downs

Track leading into track, how mark'd, how worn On these two pillars rested as in air
Into bright verdure, between fern and gorse Our solitude.
Winding away its never-ending line

“ It soothes me to perceive, On their smooth surface, evidence was none: Your courtesy withholds not from my words But, there, lay open to our daily haunt,

Attentive audience. But, 0! gentle friends, A range of unappropriated earth,

As times of quiet and unbroken peace, Where youth's ambitious feet might move at large ; Though, for a nation, times of blessedness, Whence, unmolested wanderers, we beheld Give back faint echoes from the historian's page! The shining giver of the day diffuse

So, in th' imperfect sounds of this discourse, His brightness o'er a tract of sea and land

Depress'd I hear, how faithless is the voice Gay as our spirits, free as our desires,

Which those most blissful days reverberate. As our enjoyments, boundless. From those heights What special record can, or need, be given We dropp'd, at pleasure, into sylvan combs ; To rules and habits, whereby much was done, Where arbours of impenetrable shade,

But all within the sphere of little things, And mossy seats, detain'd us side by side,

Of humble, though, to us, important cares, With hearts at ease, and knowledge in our hearts And precious interests? Smoothly did our life • That all the grore and all the day was ours.' Advance, not swerving from the path prescribed : “ But nature call'd my partner to resign

Her annual, her diurnal round alike Her share in the pure freedom of that life,

Maintain’d with faithful care. And you divine Enjoy'd by us in common. To my hope,

The worst effects that our condition saw To my hcart's wish, my tender mate became If you imagine changes slowly wrought, The thankful captive of maternal bonds;

And in their progress imperceptible ; And those wild paths were left to me alone. Not wish'd for, sometimes noticed with a sigh, There could I meditate on follies past;

(Whate'er of good or lovely they might bring,) And, like a weary voyager escaped

Sighs of regret, for the familiar good, From risk and hardship, inwardly retrace

And loveliness endear'd—which they removed. A course of vain delights and thoughtless guilt, “Seven years of occupation undisturb'd And self-indulgence-without shame pursued. Establish'd seemiogly a right to hold There, undisturbid, could think of, and could thank That happiness: and use and habit gave Her-whose submissive spirit was to me

To what an alien spirit had acquired Rule and restraint-my guardian--shall I say A patrimonial sanctity. And thus, That earthly providence, whose guiding love With thoughts and wishes bounded to this world, Within a port of rest had lodged me safc;

I lived and breathed; most grateful, is t' enjoy Safe from temptation, and from danger far? Without repining or desire for more, Strains follow'd of acknowledgment address'd For different lot, or change to higher sphere To an Authority enthroned above

(Only except some impulses of pride The reach of sight: from whom, as from their With no determined object, though upheld source,

By theories with suitable support) Proceed all visible ministers of good

Most grateful, if in such wise to enjoy That walk the earth-Father of heaven and earth, Be proof of gratitude for what we have ; Father, and King, and Judge, adored and fear'd! Else, I allow, most thankless. But, at once, These acts of mind, and memory, and heart, From some dark seat of fatal power was urged And spirit-interrupted and relieved

A claim that shatter'd all. Our blooming girl, By observations transient as the glance

Caught in the gripe of death, with such grief time Of flying sunbeams, or to the outward form To struggle in as scarcely would allow Cleaving with power inherent and intense, Her cheek to change its colour, was convey'd As the mute insect fix'd upon the plant

From us to regions inaccessible ; On whose soft leaves it hangs, and from whose Where height or depth, admits not the approach cup

Of living man, though longing to pursue. Draws imperceptibly its nourishment

With e'en as brief a warning-and how soon, Endeard my wanderings; and the mother's kiss With what short interval of time between, And infant's smile awaited my return.

I tremble yet to think of—our last prop, “ In privacy we dwelt-a wedded pair- Our happy life's only remaining stayCompanions daily, often all day long:

The brother follow'd; and was seen no more! Not placed by fortune within easy reach

“ Calm as a frozen lake when ruthless winds Of various intercourse, nor wishing aught

Blow fiercely, agitating earth and sky, Beyond the allowance of our own fireside,

The mother now remain'd; as if in her, The twain within our happy cottage born,

Who to the lowest region of the soul, Inmates, and heirs of our united love;

Had been erewhile unsettled and disturbid, Graced mutually by difference of sex,

This second visitation had no power By the endearing names of nature bound,

To shake; but only to bind up and seal; And with no wider interval of time

And to establish thankfulness of heart Between their several births thau served for one In Heaven's determinations, ever just. To establish something of a leader's sway; The eminence on which her spirit stood, Yet left them join'd by sympathy in age ;

Mine was unable to attain. Immense Equals in pleasure, fellows in pursuit,

The space that sever'd us! Bnt, as the sight

Communicates with heaven's ethereal orbs My melancholy voice the chorus join'd;
Incalculably distant; so, I felt

* Be joyful all ye nations, in all lands, That consolation may descend from far

Ye that are capable of joy be glad ! (And that is intercourse and union, too,)

Henceforth, whate'er is wanting to yourselves While, overcome with speechless gratitude, In others ye shall promptly find; and all And with a holier love inspired, I look'd

Enrich'd by mutual and reflected wealth, On her-at once superior to my woes

Shall with one heart honour their common kind.' And partner of my loss. O heavy change!

“ Thus was I reconverted to the world ; Dimness o'er this clear luminary crept

Society became my glittering bride, Insensibly; th' immortal and divine

And airy hopes my children. From the depths Yielded to mortal reflux; her pure glory,

Of natural passion, seemingly escaped, As from the pinnacle of worldly state

My soul diffused herself in wide embrace Wretched ambition drops astounded, fell

of institutions, and the forms of things ; Into a gulf obscure of silent grief,

As they exist in mutable array, And keen heart anguish—of itself ashamed, Upon life's surface. What, though in my veins Yet obstinately cherishing itself;

There flow'd no Gallic blood, nor had I breathed
And, so consumed, she melted from my arms, The air of France, not less than Gallic zeal
And left me, on this earth, disconsolate.

Kindled and burnt among the sapless twigs
“ What follow'd cannot be review'd thought; Of my exhausted heart. If busy men
Much less, retraced in words. If she, of life In sober conclave met, to weave a web
Blameless, so intimate with love and joy

Of amity, whose living threads should stretch And all the tender motions of the soul,

Beyond the seas, and to the farthest pole, Had been supplanted, could I hope to stand- There did I sit, assisting. If, with noise Infirm, dependent, and now destitute ?

And acclamations, crowds in open air I calld on dreams and visions, to disclose

Express'd the tumult of their minds, my voice That which is veild from waking thought; con- There mingled, heard or not. The powers of song jured

I left pot uninvoked ; and, in still groves,
Eternity, as men constrain & ghost

Where mild enthusiasts tuned a pensive lay
T'appear and answer; to the grave I spake Of thanks and expectation, in accord
Imploringly; look'd up, and ask'd the heavens With their belief, I sang saturnian rule
If angels traversed their cerulean floors,

Return'd,-a progeny of golden years
If fix'd or wandering star could tidings yield Permitted to descend, and bless mankind.
Of the departed spirit-what abode

With promises the Hebrew Scriptures teem:
It occupies—what consciousness retains

I felt the invitation ; and resumed Of former loves and interests. Then my soul A long suspended office in the house Turn'd inward, to examine of what stuff

Of public worship, where, the glowing phrase Time's fetters are composed; and life was put Of ancient inspiration serving me, To inquisition, long and profitless!

I promised also,-with undaunted trust By pain of heart, now check’d, and now impell’d— Foretold, and added prayer to prophecy ; Th’intellectual power, through words and things, The admiration winning of the crowd; Went sounding on, a dim and perilous way! The help desiring of the pure devout. And from those transports, and these toils abstruse, « Scorn and contempt forbid me to proceed! Some trace am I enabled to retain

But history, time's slavish scribe, will tell Of time, else lost; existing unto me

How rapidly the zealots of the cause Only by records in myself not found.

Disbanded, or in hostile ranks appear'd: “ From that abstraction I was roused, -and how? Some, tired of honest service; these, outdone, E’en as a thoughtful shepherd by a flash

Disgusted, therefore, or appall’d, by aims Of lightning startled in a gloomy cave

Of fiercer zealots ; so confusion reign'd, Of these wild hills. For, lo! the dread Bastile, And the more faithful were compellid t'exclaim, With all the chambers in its horrid towers,

As Brutus did to virtue, . Liberty, Fell to the ground: by violence o’erthrown I worshipp'd thee, and find thee but a shade! of indignation ; and with shouts that drown'd “Such recantation had for me no charm, The crash it made in falling! From the wreck Nor would I bend to it; who should have grieved A golden palace rose, or seem'd to rise

At aught, however fair, that bore the mien 'Th' appointed seat of equitable law,

Of a conclusion, or catastrophe. And mild, paternal sway. The potent shock Why then conceal, that, when the simply good I felt: the transformation I perceived,

In timid selfishness withdrew, I sought As marvellously seized as in that moment Otner support, not serupulous whence it came When from the blind mist issuing, I beheld And, by what compromise it stood, not nice? Glory-beyond all glory ever seen,

Enough if notions seem'd to be high pitch'd, Confusion infinite of heaven and earth,

And qualities determined. Among men Dazzling the soul. Meanwhile, prophetic harps So character'd did I maintain a strife In every grove were ringing. War shall cease; Hopeless, and still more hopeless every hour ; Did ye not hear that conquest is abjured ?

But, in the process, I began to feel Bring garlands, bring forth choicest flowers, to deck | That, if th' emancipation of the world The tree of liberty.' My heart rebounded; Were miss'd, I should at least secure my own,

And be in part compensated. For rights,

Known and familiar, which the vaulted sky
Widely-inveterately usurp'd upon,

Did, in the placid clearness of the night,
I spake with vehemence; and promptly seized Disclose, had accusations to prefer
Whate'er abstraction furnishid for my needs Against my peace. Within the cabin stood
Of purposes; nor scrupled to proclaim,

That volume-as a compass for the soul
And propagate, by liberty of life,

Revered among the nations. I implored Those new persuasions. Not that I rejoiced, Its guidance; but the infallible support Or e'en found pleasure, in such vagrant course, Of faith was wanting. Tell me, why refused For its own sake; but farthest from the walk To one by storms annoy'd and adverse winds ; Which I had trod in happiness and peace,

Perplex'd with currents ; of his weakness sick ; Was most inviting to a troubled mind;

Of vain endeavours tired; and by his own, That, in a struggling and distemper'd world, And by his nature's, ignorance, dismay'd! Saw a seductive image of herself.

“ Long-wish'd for sight, the western world apYet, mark the contradictions of which man

pear'd; Is still the sport! Here nature was my guide, And, when the ship was moord, I leapt ashore The nature of the dissolute; but thee,

Indignantly-resolved to be a man, O fostering nature! I rejected--smiled

Who, having o'er the past no power, would live At others' tears in pity: and in scorn

No longer in subjection to the past, At those, which thy soft influence sometimes drew With abject mind-from a tyrannic lord From my unguarded heart. The tranquil shores Inviting penance, fruitlessly endured. of Britain circumscribed me; else, perhaps, So, like a fugitive, whose feet have clear'd I night have been entangled among deeds, Some boundary, which his followers may not cross Which, now, as infamous, I should abhor In prosecution of their deadly chase, Despise, aş senseless: for my spirit relish'd Respiring I look'd round. How bright the sun, Strangely the exasperation of that land,

How promising the breeze! Can aught produced Which turn'd an angry beak against the down In the old world compare, thought I, for power Of her own breast; confounded into hope

And majesty with this gigantic stream,
Of disencumbering thus her fretful wings. Sprung from the desert ? And behold a city
But all was quieted by iron bonds

Fresh, youthful, and aspiring! What are these Of military sway. The shifting aims,

To me, or I to them? As much at least The moral interests, the creative might,

As he desires that they should be, whom winds The varied functions and high attributes

And waves have wafted to this distant shore, Of civil action, yielded to a power

In the condition of a damaged seed, Forinal, and odious, and contemptible.

Whose fibres cannot, if they would, take root. In Britain, ruled a panic dread of change;

Here may I roam at large; my business is, The weak were praised, rewarded, and advanced; Roaming at large, to observe, and not to feel; And, from the impulse of a just disdain,

And, therefore, not to act-convinced that all Once more did I retire into myself.

Which bears the name of action, howsoe'er
There feeling no contentment, I resolved

Beginning, ends in servitude-still painful,
To fly, for safeguard, to some foreign shore, And mostly profitless. And, sooth to say,
Remote from Europe ; from her blasted hopes ; On nearer view, a motley spectacle
Her fields of carnage, and polluted air.

Appear'd, of high pretensions—unreproved “ Fresh blew the wind, when o'er the Atlantic But by the obstreperous voice of higher still ; main

Big passions strutting on a petty stage ; The ship went gliding with her thoughtless crew; Which a detach'd spectator may regard And 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 employ'd, not more

At a composing distance from the haunts
With obligation charged, with service tax'd, Of strife and folly, though it be a treat
Than the loose pendant-to the idle wind

As choice as musing leisure can bestow ;
Upon the tall mast streaming: but, ye powers Yet, in the very centre of the crowd,
Of soul and sense-mysteriously allied,

To keep the secret of a poignant scorn, 0, never let the wretched, if a choice

Howe'er to airy demon's 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,

Into vexation. Let us, then, I said, Upon his spirit, with a fever's strength,

Leave this unknit republic to the scourge Will conscience prey. Feebly 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 th' encroaching axe, The vengeful suries. Beautiful regards

Or soil endured a transfer in the mart Were turnid on me-the face of her I loved ; Of dire rapacity. There, man abides, The wife and mother, pitifully fixing

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,

More dignified, and stronger in himself;
Whether to act, judge, suffer, or enjoy.
True, the intelligence of social art
Hath overpower'd his forefathers, and soon
Will sweep the remnant of his line away;
But contemplations, worthier, nobler far
Than her destructive energies, attend
His independence, when along the side
Of Mississippi, or that northern stream*
That spreads into successive seas, he walks ;
Pleased to perceive his own unshackled life,
And his innate capacities of soul,
There imaged: or, when having gain'd the top
Of some commanding eminence, which yet
Intruder ne'er beheld, he thence surveys
Regions of wood and wide Savannah, vast
Expanse of unappropriated earth,
With mind that sheds a light on what he sees ;
Free as the sun, and lonely as the sun,
Pouring above his head its radiance down
Upon a living, and rejoicing world !

“So, westward, toward th’un violated woods
I bent my way; and, roaming far and wide,
Fail'd not to greet the merry mocking-bird ;
And, while the melancholy muccawiss
(The sportive bird's companion in the grove)
Repeated, o'er and o'er, his plaintive cry,
I sympathized at leisure with the sound;
But that pure archetype of human greatness,
I found him not. There, in his stead, appear'd
A creature, squalid, vengeful, and impure ;
Remorseless, and submissive to no law
But superstitious fear, and abject sloth.
Enough is told! Here am I. Ye have heard
What evidence I seek, and vainly seek ;
What from my fellow beings I require,
And cannot find; what I myself have lost,
Nor can regain. How languidly I look

Upon this visible fabric of the world,
May be divined-perhaps it hath been said
But spare your pity, if there be in me
Aught that deserves respect: for I exist-
Within myself—not comfortless. The tenor
Which my life holds, he readily may conceive
Whoe'er hath stood to watch a mountain brook
In some still passage of its course, and seen,
Within the depths of its capacious breast,
Inverted trees, and rocks, and azure sky;
And, on its glassy surface, specks of foam,
And conglobated bubbles undissolved,
Numerous as stars ; that, by their onward lapse,
Betray to sight the motion of the stream,
Else imperceptible ; meanwhile, is heard
A soften'd roar, a murmur; and the sound
Though soothing, and the little floating isles
Though beautiful, are both by nature charged
With the same pensive office; and make known
Through what perplexing labyrinths, abrupt
Precipitations, and untoward straits,
The earth-born wanderer hath pass'd ; and quickly,
That respite o'er, like traverses and toils
Must be again encounter'd. Such a stream
Is human life ; and so the spirit fares
In the best quiet to its course allow'd ;
And such is mine, -save only for a hope
That my particular current soon will reach
The unfathomable gulf, where all is still !



*"A man is supposed to improve by going out into the world, by visiting London. Artificial man does; he extends with his sphere; but, alas! that sphere is mi. croscopic: it is formed of minutiæ, and he surrenders his genuine vision to the artist, in order to embrace it in his ken. His bodily senses grow acute, even to bar. ren and inhuman pruriency; while his mental become proportionally obtuse. The reverse is the man of mind : He who is placed in the sphere of nature and of God, might be a mock at Tattersallis and Brookes's, and a sneer at St. James's : he would certainly be swallowed alive by the first Pizarro that crossed him :-But when he walks along the river of Amazons; when he rests his eye on the unrivalled Andes; when he measures the long and watered Savannah; or contemplates, from a sudden promontory, the distant, vast Pacific-and feels himself a freeman in this vast theatre, and commanding each ready produced fruit of this wilderness, and eac progeny of this stream-His exultation is not less than imperial. He is as gentle, too, as he is great. His emotions of tenderness keep pace with his elevation of sentiment; for he says, “These were made by a good Being, who, unsought by me, placed me here to enjoy them.' He becomes at once a child and a king. His mind is in himself: from hence he argues, and from hence he acts, and he argues unerringly, and acts magisterially: His mind in himself is also in his God; and therefore he loves, and therefore he soarg.”—From the Notes upon the Hurricane, a poem, by William Gilbert.

The reader, I am sure, will thank me for the above quotation, which, though from a strange book, is one of the finest passages of modern English prose.

ARGUMENT. State of feeling produced by the foregoing narrative.

A belief in a superintending Providence the only ade quate support under affliction. Wanderer's ejaculation. Account of his own devotional feelings in youth involved. Acknowledges the difficulty of a lifely faith. Hence immoderate sorrow. Doubt or despond. ence not therefore to be inferred. Consolation to the solitary. Exhortations. How received. Wanderer applies his discourse to that other cause of dejection in the solitary's mind. Disappointment from the French revolution. States grounds of hope. Insists on the necessity of patience and fortitude with respect to the course of great revolutions. Knowledge the source of tranquillity. Rural solitude favourable to knowledge of the inferior creatures Study of their habits and ways recommended.

Exhortation to bodily exertion and communion with nature. Morbid solitude pitiable. Superstition better than apathy. Apathy and destitution unknown in the infancy of society. The various modes of religion prevented it. Illustrated in the Jewish, Persian, Babylonian, Chaldean, and Grecian modes of belief. Solitary interposes. Wanderer points out the influence of religious and imaginative feeling in the humble ranks of society. Ilustrated from present and past times, These principles tend to recall exploded superstitions and popery, Wanderer rebuts this charge, and contrasts the dignities of the imagination with the presumptive littleness of certain modern philosophers. Recommends other lights and guides. Asserts the power of the soul to regenerate herself. Solitary asks how. Reply. Personal appeal. Happy that the imagination and the affections mitigate the evils of that intellectual slavery which the cal. culating understanding is apt to produce. Exhortation to activity of body renewed. How to commune with

Wanderer concludes with a legitimale union


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