Puslapio vaizdai

Of Thunder, daunting those who would approach
With hostile purposes the blessed Isle,
Truth's consecrated residence, the seat
Impregnable of Liberty and Peace.

"And yet, O happy Pastor of a Flock
Faithfully watched, and, by that loving care
And Heaven's good providence, preserved from taint!
With You I grieve, when on the darker side

Of this great change I look; and there behold
Such outrage done to Nature as compels

The indignant Power to justify herself;
Yea, to avenge her violated rights,

For England's bane. When soothing darkness spreads
O'er hill and vale," the Wanderer thus expressed
His recollections, "and the punctual stars,
While all things else are gathering to their homes,
Advance, and in the firmament of heaven
Glitter - but undisturbing, undisturbed;
As if their silent company were charged
With peaceful admonitions for the heart
Of all-beholding Man, earth's thoughtful Lord;
Then, in full many a region, once like this
The assured domain of calm simplicity
And pensive quiet, an unnatural light
Prepared for never-resting Labor's eyes,.
Breaks from a many-windowed Fabric huge;
And at the appointed hour a bell is heard,
Of harsher import than the Curfew-knoll

That spake the Norman Conqueror's stern behest —
A local summons to unceasing toil!

Disgorged are now the ministers of day;

And, as they issue from the illumined Pile,

A fresh Band meets them, at the crowded door

And in the courts - and where the rumbling Stream,

That turns the multitude of dizzy wheels,
Glares, like a troubled Spirit, in its bed
Among the rocks below. Men, Maidens, Youths,
Mother, and little Children, Boys and Girls,
Enter, and each the wonted task resumes
Within this Temple, where is offered up
To Gain-the master Idol of the Realm
Perpetual sacrifice. Even thus of old
Our Ancestors, within the still domain
Of vast Cathedral or Conventual Church,
Their vigils kept; where tapers day and night
On the dim altar burned continually,

In token that the House was evermore
Watching to God. Religious Men were they;
Nor would their Reason, tutored to aspire
Above this transitory world, allow

That there should pass a moment of the year,
When in their land the Almighty Service ceased.

"Triumph who will in these profaner rites
Which We, a generation self-extolled,
As zealously perform! I cannot share
His proud complacency; yet I exult,
Casting reserve away, exult to see
An Intellectual mastery exercised

O'er the blind Elements; a purpose given,
A perseverance fed; almost a soul

Imparted to brute Matter. I rejoice,

Measuring the force of those gigantic powers, That by the thinking Mind have been compelled To serve the will of feeble-bodied Man.

For with the sense of admiration blends

The animating hope that time may come

When, strengthened, yet not dazzled, by the might Of this dominion over Nature gained,

Men of all lands shall exercise the same
In due proportion to their Country's need;
Learning, though late, that all true glory rests,
All praise, all safety, and all happiness,
Upon the moral law. Egyptian Thebes,
Tyre by the margin of the sounding waves,
Palmyra central in the Desert, fell;

And the Arts died by which they had been raised.

- Call Archimedes from his buried Tomb

Upon the plain of vanished Syracuse,

And feelingly the Sage shall make report
How insecure, how baseless in itself,

Is the Philosophy, whose sway depends
On mere material instruments;

how weak

Those Arts, and high Inventions, if unpropped
By Virtue. He with sighs of pensive grief,
Amid his calm abstractions, would admit

That not the slender privilege is theirs

To save themselves from blank forgetfulness!"

When from the Wanderer's lips these words had fallen,
I said, "And, did in truth these vaunted Arts
Possess such privilege, how could we escape
Regret and painful sadness, who revere,
And would preserve as things above all price,
The old domestic morals of the land,
Her simple manners, and the stable worth
That dignified and cheered a low estate?
Oh! where is now the character of peace,
Sobriety, and order, and chaste love,
And honest dealing, and untainted speech,
And pure good-will, and hospitable cheer;
That made the very thought of Country-life
A thought of refuge, for a Mind detained
Reluctantly amid the bustling crowd?

Where now the beauty of the Sabbath, kept
With conscientious reverence, as a day

By the Almighty Lawgiver pronounced
Holy and blest? and where the winning grace
Of all the lighter ornaments attached

To time and season, as the year rolled round?"

"Fled!" was the Wanderer's passionate response, "Fled utterly! or only to be traced

In a few fortunate Retreats like this;
Which I behold with trembling, when I think
What lamentable change, a year a month
May bring; that Brook converting as it runs
Into an Instrument of deadly bane

For those, who, yet untempted to forsake
The simple occupations of their Sires,
Drink the pure water of its innocent stream
With lip almost as pure. Domestic bliss,
(Or call it comfort, by a humbler name,)

How art thou blighted for the poor Man's heart!
Lo! in such neighborhood, from morn to eve,
The Habitations empty! or perchance
The Mother left alone, no helping hand
To rock the cradle of her peevish babe;
No daughters round her, busy at the wheel,
Or in dispatch of each day's little growth
Of household occupation; no nice arts
Of needle-work; no bustle at the fire,
Where once the dinner was prepared with pride;
Nothing to speed the day, or cheer the mind;
Nothing to praise, to teach, or to command
-The Father, if perchance he still retain
His old employments, goes to field or wood,
No longer led or followed by the Sons;
Idlers perchance they were, but in his sight;


Breathing fresh air, and treading the green earth;
Till their short holiday of childhood ceased,
Ne'er to return! That birthright now is lost.
Economists will tell you that the State

Thrives by the forfeiture

unfeeling thought,

And false as monstrous! Can the Mother thrive
By the destruction of her innocent Sons?
In whom a premature Necessity

Blocks out the forms of Nature, preconsumes
The reason, famishes the heart, shuts up
The Infant Being in itself, and makes
Its very spring a season of decay!
The lot is wretched, the condition sad,
Whether a pining discontent survive,

And thirst for change; or habit hath subdued
The soul deprest, dejected - even to love
Of her dull tasks, and close captivity.

-Oh, banish far such wisdom as condemns
A native Briton to these inward chains,
Fixed in his soul, so early and so deep,

Without his own consent, or knowledge, fixed!
He is a Slave to whom release comes not,
And cannot come. The Boy, where'er he turns,
Is still a prisoner; when the wind is up
Among the clouds and in the ancient woods;
Or when the sun is shining in the east,
Quiet and calm. Behold him in the school
Of his attainments? no; but with the air
Fanning his temples under heaven's blue arch.
His raiment, whitened o'er with cotton flakes,
Or locks of wool, announces whence he comes.
Creeping his gait and cowering - his lip pale-
His respiration quick and audible;

And scarcely could you fancy that a gleam
From out those languid eyes could break, or blush

« AnkstesnisTęsti »