Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

reason.

of the imagination, affections, understanding, and Repose and hope among eternal things

Effect of his discourse. Evening. Return Father of heaven and earth! and I am rich, to the cottage.

And will possess my portion in content! HERE closed the tenant of that lonely vale

“And what are things eternal ? Powers depart," His mournful narrative commenced in pain, The gray-hair'd wanderer steadfastly replied, In pain commenced, and ended without peace: Answering the question which himself had ask'd, Yet temper'd, not unfrequently, with strains “ Possessions vanish, and opinions change, Of native feeling, grateful to our minds ;

And passions hold a fluctuating seat: And doubtless yielding some relief to his,

But, by the storms of circumstance unshaken, While we sate listening with compassion due. And subject neither to eclipse nor wane, Such pity yet surviving, with firm voice

Duty exists; immutably survive, That did not falter though the heart was moved, For our support, the measures and the forms, The wanderer said

Which an abstract intelligence supplies ; “ One adequate support Whose kingdom is, where time and space are not, For the calamities of mortal life

Of other converse which mind, soul, and heart, Exists, one only; an assured belief

Do, with united urgency, require. That the procession of our fate, howe'er

What more that may not perish? Thou, dread Sad or disturb’d, is order'd by a Being

source, Of infinite benevolence and power ;

Prime, self-existing cause and end of all, Whose everlasting purposes embrace

That, in the scale of being fill their place, All accidents, converting them to good.

Above our human region, or below, The darts of anguish fir not where the seat Set and sustain'd; Thou, who didst wrap the cloud Of suffering hath been thoroughly fortified Of infancy around us, that thyself, By acquiescence in the will supreme

Therein, with our simplicity a while For time and for eternity ; by faith,

Might'st hold, on earth, communion undisturb'dFaith absolute in God, including hope,

Who from the anarchy of dreaming sleep, And the defence that lies in boundless love

Or from its deathlike void, with punctual care, Of his perfections; with habitual dread

And touch as gentle as the morning light, Of aught unworthily conceived, endured

Restorest us daily to the powers of sense, Impatiently ; ill-done, or left undone,

And reason's steadfast rule,—Thou, thou alone To the dishonour of his holy name.

Art everlasting, and the blessed spirits,
Soul of our souls, and safeguard of the world Which thou includest, as the sea her waves :
Sustain, thou only canst, the sick of heart; For adoration thou endurest; endure
Restore their languid spirits, and recall

For consciousness the motions of thy will;
Their lost affections unto thee and thine!”

For apprehension those transcendent truths Then as we issued from that covert nook, Of the pure intellect, that stand as laws, He thus continued, lifting up his eyes

(Submission constituting strength and power,) To heaven," How beautiful this dome of sky, E’en to thy being's infinite majesty! And the vast hills, in fluctuation fix'd

This universe shall pass away—a work
At thy command, how awful! Shall the soul, Glorious ! because the shadow of thy might,
Human and rational, report of thee

A step, or link, for intercourse with thce.
E'en less than these? Be mute who will, who can, Ah! if the time must come, in which my feet
Yet I will praise thee with impassion'd voice; No more shall stray where meditation leads,
My lips, that may forget thee in the crowd, By flowing stream, through wood, or craggy wild,
Cannot forget thee here; where thou hast built, Loved haunts like these, the unimprison'd mind
For thy own glory, in the wilderness !

May yet have scope to range among her own, Me didst thou constitute a priest of thine,

Her thoughts, her images, her high desires. In such a temple as we now behold

If the dear faculty of sight should fail, Reard for thy presence; therefore, am I bound Still, it may be allow'd me to remember To worship, here, and everywhere, as one

What visionary powers of eye and soul Not doom'd to ignorance, though forced to tread, In youth were mine; when, station'd on the top From childhood up, the

ways

of
poverty ;

Of some huge hill, expectant, I beheld
From unreflecting ignorance preserved,

The sun rise up, from distant climes return'd And from debasement rescued. By thy grace Darkness to chase, and sleep, and bring the day The particle divine remain'd unquench'd;

His bounteous gift! or saw him toward the deep And, 'mid the wild weeds of a rugged soil, Sink, with a retinue of flaming clouds Thy bounty caused to flourish deathless flowers, Attended; then, my spirit was entranced From paradise transplanted; wintry age

With joy exalted to beatitude; Impends; the frost will gather round my heart; The measure of my soul was fill'd with bliss, And, if they wither, I am worse than dead! And holiest love ; as earth, sea, air, with light, Come, labour, when the worn-out frame requires With pomp, with glory, with magnificence ! Perpetual Sabbath; come, disease and want; “ Those fervent raptures are for ever flown; And sad exclusion through decay of sense ; And, since their date, my soul hath undergone But leave me unabated trust in Thee,

Change manifold, for better or for worse ; And let thy favour, to the end of life,

Yet cease I not to struggle, and aspire nspire me with ability to seek

Heavenward; and chide the part of me that flags,

Through sinful choice; or dread necessity, In perfect wisdom, guiding mightiest power, On human nature from above imposed.

That finds no limits but her own pure will. 'Tis, by comparison, an easy task

“ Here then we rest: not fearing for our creed Earth to despise ; but to converse with Heaven, The worst that human reasoning can achieve, This is not easy; to relinquish all

T’unsettle or perplex it; yet with pain We have, or hope, of happiness and joy,

Acknowledging, and grievous self-reproach, And stand in freedom loosen'd from this world, That, though immovably convinced, we want I deem not arduous; but must needs confess Zeal, and the virtue to exist by faith That 'tis a thing impossible to frame

As soldiers live by courage : as, by strength Conceptions equal to the soul's desires;

Of heart, the sailor fights with roaring seas. And the most difficult of tasks to keep

Alas! th' endowment of immortal power Heights which the soul is competent to gain. Is match'd unequally with custom, time, Man is of dust: ethereal hopes are his,

And domineering faculties of sense Which, when they should sustain themselves in all; in most with superadded foes, aloft

Idle temptations, open vanities, Want due consistence; like a pillar of smoke, Ephemeral offspring of th' unblushing world; That with majestic energy from earth

And, in the private regions of the mind, Rises; but, having reach'd the thinner air, Ill governd passions, ranklings of despite, Melts, and dissolves, and is no longer seen. Immoderate wishes, pining discontent, From this infirmity of mortal kind

Distress and care. What then remains ? To seek Sorrow proceeds, which else were not; at least, Those helps, for his occasions ever near, If grief be something hallow'd and ordain'd, Who lacks not will to use them ; vows, renew'd If, in proportion, it be just and meet,

On the first motion of a holy thought; Through this, 'tis able to maintain its hold, Vigils of contemplation ; praise; and prayer, In that excess which conscience disapproves. A stream, which, from the fountain of the heart For who could sink and settle to that point Issuing, however feebly, nowhere flows Of selfishness: so senseless who could be

Without access of unexpected strength. As long and perseveringly to mourn

But, above all, the victory is most sure For any object of his love, removed

For him, who, seeking faith hy virtue, strives From this unstable world, if he could fix

To yield entire submission to the law A satisfying view upon that state

Of conscience ; conscience reverenced and obey'd, Of pure, imperishable blessedness,

As God's most intimate presence in the soul, Which reason promises, and holy writ

And his most perfect image in the world. Ensures to all believers? Yet mistrust

Endeavour thus to live ; these rules regard; Is of such incapacity, methiriks,

These helps solicit; and a steadfast seat No natural branch ; despondency far less. Shall then be yours among the happy few And, if there be whose tender frames have droop'a Who dwell on earth, yet breathe empyreal air, E'en to the dust; apparently, through weight Sons of the morning. For your nobler part, Of anguish unrelieved, and lack of power

Ere disencumber'd of her mortal chains, An agonizing sorrow to transmute,

Doubt shall be quell’d and trouble chased away; Infer not hence a hope from those withheld With only such degree of sadness left When wanted most; a confidence impair'd As may support longings of pure desire; So pitiably, that, having ceased to see

And strengthen love, rejoicing secretly With bodily eyes, they are borne down by love In the sublime attractions of the grave.” Of what is lost, and perish through regret.

While, in this strain, the venerable sage 0! no, full oft th' innocent sufferer sees

Pour'd forth his aspirations, and announced Too clearly ; feels too vividly; and longs

His judgments, near that lonely house we paced To realize the vision, with intense

A plot of greensward, seemingly preserved And over-constant yearning—there—there lies By nature's care from wreck of scatter'd stores, Th’excess, by which the balance is destroy'd. And from encroachment of encircling heath : Too, too contracted are these walls of flesh, Small space! but, for reiterated steps, This vital warmth too cold, these visual orbs, Smooth and commodious; as a stately deck Though inconceivably endow'd, too dim

Which to and fro the mariner is used For any passion of the soul that leads

To tread for pastime, talking with his mates To ecstasy; and, all the crooked paths

Or haply thinking of far-distant friends, Of time and change disdaining, takes its course While the ship glides before a steady breeze. Along the line of limitless desires.

Stillness prevail'd around us; and the voice, I speaking now from such disorder free,

That spake, was capable to lift the soul Nor rapt, nor craving, but in settled peace. Toward regions yet more tranquil. But, methought I cannot doubt that they whom you deplore That he, whose fix'd despondency had given Are glorified ; or, if they sleep, shall wake Impulse and motive to that strong discourse, From sleep, and dwell with God in endless love. Was less upraised in spirit than abash'd, Hope, below this, consists not with belief

Shrinking from admonition, like a man In mercy, carried infinite degrees

Who feels, that to exhort is to reproach. Beyond the tenderness of human hearts:

Yet not to be diverted from his aim, Hope, below this, consists not with belief

The sage continued: “For that other loss,

The loss of confidence in social man,

Still roll; where all the aspects of misery By th’ unexpected transports of our age

Predominate : whose strong effects are such
Carried so high, that every thought, which look'd As he must bear, being powerless to redress;
Beyond the temporal destiny of the kind

And that unless above himself he can
To many seem'd superfluous : as, no cause Erect himself, how poor a thing is man!
For such exalted confidence could e'er

“ Happy is he who lives to understandExist; so none is now for fix'd despair ;

Not human nature only, but explores The two extremes are equally disown'd

All natures,-to the end that he may find By reason; if, with sharp recoil, from one The law that governs each ; and where begins You have been driven far as its opposite,

The union, the partition where, that makes Between them seek the point whereon to build Kind and degree, among all visible beings; Sound expectations. So doth he advise

The constitutions, powers, and faculties, Who shared at first the illusion ; but was soon Which they inherit,-cannot step beyond, Cast from the pedestal of pride by shocks

And cannot fall beneath; that do assign Which nature gently gave, in woods and fields ; To every class its station and its office, Nor unreproved by Providence, thus speaking Through all the mighty commonwealth of things; To the inattentive children of the world,

Up from the creeping plant to sovereign man.
Vainglorious generation ! what ew powers Such converse, if directed by a meek,
On you have been conferr'd? what gifts, withheld Sincere, and humble spirit, teaches love ;
From your progenitors, have ye received,

For knowledge is delight; and such delight
Fit recompense of new desert? what claim Breeds love : yet, suited as it rather is
Are ye prepared to urge, that my decrees

To thought and to the climbing intellect,
For you should undergo a sudden change;

It teaches less to love, than to adore ; And the weak functions of one busy day,

If that be not indeed the highest love !" Reclaiming and extirpating, perform

“ Yet,” said I, tempted here to interpose, What all the slowly inoving years of time,

“ The dignity of life is not impair'd With their united force, have left undone? By aught that innocently satisfies By nature's gradual processes be taught;

The humbler cravings of the heart; and he
By story be confounded! Ye aspire

Is a still happier man, who, for those heights
Rashly, to fall once more ; and that false fruit Of speculation not unfit, descends;
Which to your overweening spirits, yields And such benign affections cultivates
Hope of a fight celestial, will produce

Among the inferior kinds; not merely those
Misery and shame. But wisdom of her sons That he may call his own, and which depend,
Shall not the less, though late, be justified.' As individual objects of regard,
Such timely warning," said the wanderer, “ gave

Upon his care,-from whom he also looks That visionary voice; and, at this day,

For signs and tokens of a mutual bond, When a Tartarean darkness overspreads

But others, far beyond this narrow sphere,
The groaning nations; when the impious rule, Whom, for the very sake of love, he loves.
By will or by establish'd ordinance,

Nor is it a mean praise of rural life
Their own dire agents, and constrain the good And solitude, that they do favour most,
To acts which they abhor; though I bewail Most frequently call forth, and best sustain
This triumph, yet the pity of my heart

These pure sensations; that can penetrate
Prevents me not from owning, that the law, Th'obstreperous city ; on the barren seas
By which mankind now suffers, is most just. Are not unfelt,--and much might recommend,
For by superior energies ; more strict

How much they might inspirit and endear, Affiance in each other ; faith more firm

The loneliness of this sublime retreat!” In their unhallow'd principles; the bad

“ Yes,” said the sage, resuming the discourse Have fairly earn'd a victory o'er the weak, Again directed to his downcast friend, The vacillating, inconsistent good.

“If, with the froward will and grovelling soul Therefore, not unconsoled, I wait-in hope Of man offended, liberty is here, To see the moment, when the righteous cause And invitation every hour renew'd, Shall gain defenders zealous and devout

To mark their placid state, who never heard As they who have opposed her; in which virtue Of a command which they have power to break, Will, to her efforts, tolerate no bounds

Or rule which they are tempted to transgress; That are not lofty as her rights; aspiring

These, with a soothed or elevated heart, By impulse of her own ethereal zeal.

May we behold; their knowledge register ; That Spirit only can redeem mankind;

Observe their ways; and, free from envy, find And when that sacred spirit shall appear,

Complacence there : but wherefore this to you? Then shall our triumph be complete as theirs. I guess that, welcome to your lonely hearth, Yet, should this confidence prove vain, the wise The redbreast feeds in winter from your hand; Have still the keeping of their proper peace; A box, perchance, is from your casement hung Are guardians of their own tranquillity.

For the small wren to build in; not in vain, They act, or they recede, observe, and feel; The barriers disregarding that surround • Knowing the heart of man is set to be

This deep abiding-place, before your sight The centre of this world, about the which

Mounts on the breeze the butterfly-and soars, Those revolutions of disturbances

Small creature as she is, from earth's bright flowers

Into the dewy clouds. Ambition reigns

Is the mute company of changeful clouds; In the waste wilderness : the soul ascends

Bright apparition suddenly put forth, Towards her native firmament of heaven,

The rainbow, smiling on the faded storm; When the fresh eagle, in the month of May, The mild assemblage of the starry heavens; Upborne, at evening, on replenish'd wing,

And the great sun, earth's universal lord! This shaded valley leaves,—and leaves the dark “How bountiful is nature ! he shall find Impurpled hills,-conspicuously renewing

Who seeks not; and to him, who hath not ask'd, A proud communication with the

Large measure shall be dealt. Three Sabbath-days Low sunk beneath the horizon! List! I heard, Are scarcely told, since, on a service bent From yon huge breast of rock, a solemn bleat; Of mere humanity, you clomb those heights; Sent forth as if it were the mountain's voice, And what a marvellous and heavenly show As if the visible mountain made the cry.

Was to your sight reveal'd! the swains moved on Again!” The effect upon the soul was such And heeded not; you linger'd, and perceived. As he express'd; from out the mountain's heart There is a luxury in self-dispraise ; The solemn bleat appear'd to issue, startling And inward self-disparagement affords The blank air-for the region all around

To meditative spleen a grateful feast. Stood silent, empty of all shape of life;

Trust me, pronouncing on your own desert, It was a lamb-left somewhere to itself,

You judge unthankfully; distemper'd nerves The plaintive spirit of the solitude !

Infect the thoughts : the languor of the frame He paused, as if unwilling to proceed,

Depresses the soul's vigour. Quit your couchThrough consciousness that silence in such place Cleave not so fondly to your moody cell; Was best,-the most affecting eloquence.

Nor let the hallow'd powers, that shed from heaven But soon his thoughts return'd upon themselves, Stillness and rest, with disapproving eye And in soft tone of speech, he thus resumed. Look down upon your taper, through a watch

“ Ah! if the heart, too confidently raised, Of midnight hours, unseasonably twinkling Perchance too lightly occupied, or lull'd

In this deep hollow, like a sullen star Too easily, despise or overlook

Dimly reflected in a lonely pool. The vassalage that binds her to the earth, Take courage, and withdraw yourself from ways Her sad dependence upon time, and all

That run not parallel to nature's course. The trepidations of mortality,

Rise with the lark ! your matins shall obtain What place so destitute and void—but there Grace, be their composition what it may, The little fower her vanity shall check;

If but with hers perform'd ; climb once again, The training worm reprove her thoughtless pride ? Climb every day, those ramparts; meet the breeze

“These craggy regions, these chaotic wilds Upon their tops,-adventurous as a bee Does that benignity pervade, that warms

That from your garden thither soars, to feed The mole contented with her darksome walk On new blown heath ; let yon commanding rock In the cold ground; and to the emmet gives Be your frequented watchtower; roll the stone Her foresight, and intelligence that makes In thunder down the mountains: with all your The tiny creatures strong by social league ;

might Supports the generations, multiplies

Chase the wild goat; and, if the boid red deer Their tribes, till we behold a spacious plain Fly to these harbours, driven by hound and horn Or grassy bottoin, all, with little hills

Loud echoing, add your speed to the pursuit : Their labour-cover'd, as a lake with waves; So, wearied to your hut shall you return, Thousands of cities, in the desert place

And sink at evening into sound repose.” Built up of life, and food, and means of life!

The solitary lifted toward the hills Nor wanting here, to entertain the thought, A kindling eye; poetic feelings rush'd Creatures that in communities exist,

Into my bosom, whence these words broke forth: Less, as might seem, for general guardianship, “O! what a joy it were, in vigorous health, Or through dependence upon mutual aid,

To have a body (this our vital frame
Than by participation of delight

With shrinking sensibility endued,
And a strict love of fellowship, combined. And all the nice regards of flesh and blood)
What other spirit can it be that prompts

And to the elements surrender it
The gilded summer flies to mix and weave As if it were a spirit! How divine,
Their sports together in the solar beam,

The liberty, for frail, for mortal man
Or in the gloom of twilight hum their joy? To roam at large among unpeopled glens
More obviously, the self-same influence rules And mountainous retirements, only trod
The feather'd kinds ; the fieldfare's pensive tiock, By devious footsteps ; regions consecrate
The cawing rooks, and seamews from afar, To oldest time! and, reckless of the storm
Hovering above these inland solitudes,

That keeps the raven quiet in her nest,
By the rough wind unscatter'd, at whose call

Be as a presence or a motion-one Their voyage was begun : nor is its power Among the many there ; and, while the mists Unfelt among the sedentary fowl

Flying, and rainy vapours, call out shapes That seek yon pool, and there prolong their stay And phantoms from the crags and solid earth In silent congress; or together roused

As fast as a musician scatters sounds Take flight: while with their clang the air resounds. Out of an instrument; and, while the streamsAnd, over all, in that ethereal vault,

(As at a first creation and in haste

To exercise their untried faculties)

May issue thence, recruited for the tasks Descending from the region of the clouds,

And course of service truth requires from those And starting from the hollows of the earth Who tend her altars, wait upon her throne, More multitudinous every moment, rend

And guard her fortresses. Who thinks, and feels, Their way before them—what a joy to roam And recognises ever and anon An equal among mightiest energies:

The breeze of nature stirring in his soul, And haply sometimes with articulate voice, Why need such man go desperately astray, Amid the deafening tumult, scarcely heard

And nurse the dreadful appetite of death!' By him that utters it, exclaim aloud,

If tired with systems-each in its degree • Be this continued so from day to day,

Substantial, and all crumbling in their turn, Nor let the fierce commotion have an end,

Let him build systems of his own, and smile
Ruinous though it be, from month to month!” At the fond work, demolish'd with a touch ;

“ Yes,” said the wanderer, taking from my lips If unreligious, let him be at once,
The strain of transport, “ whosoe'er in youth Among ten thousand innocents, enroll'd
Has, through ambition of his soul, given way A pupil in the many charnber'd school,
To such desires, and grasp'd at such delight, Where superstition weaves her airy dreams.
Shall feel congenial stirrings late and long,

“ Life's autumn past, I stand on winter's verge,
In spite of all the weakness that life brings, And daily lose what I desire to keep ;
Its cares and sorrows; he though taught to own Yet rather would I instantly decline
The tranquillizing power of time, shall wake, To the traditionary sympathies
Wake sometimes to a noble restlessness-

Of a most rustic ignorance, and take Loving the sports which once he gloried in. A fearful apprehension from the owl

“ Compatriot, friend, remote are Garry's bills, Or death-watch, and as readily rejoice, The streams far distant of your native glen;

If two auspicious magpies cross'd my way; Yet is their form and image here express'd

To this would rather bend than see and hear With brotherly resemblance. Turn your steps

The repetitions wearisome of sense, Wherever fancy leads, by day, by night,

Where soul is dead, and feeling hath no place; Are various engines working, not the same

Where knowledge, ill begun in cold remark As those by which your soul in youth was moved, On outward things, with formal inference ends ; But by the great Artificer endued

Or, if the mind turn inward, 'tis perplex'd, With no inferior power. You dwell alone: Lost in a gloom of uninspired research ; You walk, you live, you speculate alone;

Meanwhile, the heart within the heart, the seat Yet doth remembrance, like a sovereign prince, Where peace and happy consciousness should dwell, For you a stately gallery maintain

On its own axis restlessly revolves, Of gay or tragic pictures. You have seen,

Yet nowhere finds the cheering light of truth. Have acted, suffer'd, travell’d far, observed

“ Upon the breast of new-created earth With no incurious eye; and books are yours,

Man walk'd; and when and wheresoe'er he moved, Within whose silent chambers treasure lies Alone or mated, solitude was not. Preserved from age to age : more precious far

He heard, upon the wind, the articulate voice Than that accumulated store of gold

Of God; and angels to his sight appear'd, And orient gems, which, for a day of need, Crowning the glorious hills of paradise ; The sultan hides within ancestral tombs

Or through the groves gliding like morning mist These hoards of truth you can unlock at will :

Enkindled by the sun. He sate, and talk'd And music waits upon your skilful touch,

With winged messengers; who daily brought Sounds which the wandering shepherd from these To his small island in the ethereal deep heights

Tidings of joy and love. From these pure heights Hears, and forgets his purpose ; furnish'd thus, (Whether of actual vision, sensible How can you droop, if willing to be raised ? To sight and feeling, or that in this sort

“ A piteous lot it were to flee from man- Have condescendingly been shadowed forth Yet not rejoice in nature. He-whose hours Communications spiritually maintain'd, Are by domestic pleasures uncaress'd

And intuitions moral and divine) And unenliven'd; who exists whole years

Fell human kind-to banishment condemn'd Apart from benefits received or done

That flowing years repeal'd not; and distress 'Mid the transactions of the bustling crowd ; And grief spread wide; but man escaped the doom Who neither hears, nor feels a wish to hear, Of destitution ; solitude was not. Of the world's interests—such a one hath need Jehovah-shapeless Power above all powers, of a quick fancy, and an active heart,

Single and one, the omnipresent God,
That, for the day's consumption, books may yield By vocal utterance, or blaze of light,
A not unwholesome food, and earth and air Or cloud of darkness, localized in heaven;
Supply his morbid humour with delight.

On earth enshrined within the wandering ark; Truth has her pleasure grounds, her haunts of ease Or, out of Zion, thundering from his throne And easy contemplation,-gay parterres,

Between the cherubim, on the chosen race And labyrinthipe walks, her sunny glades Shower'd miracles, and ceased not to dispense And shady groves for recreation framed ;

Judgments, that fill'd the land from age to age These may he range, if willing to partake

With hope, and love, and gratitude, and fear; Their soft indulgences, and in due time

And with amazement smote: thereby t'assert

« AnteriorContinuar »