Puslapio vaizdai

Confines the shrill-voiced whirlwind, round and round

Eddying within its vast circumference,

On Sarum's naked plain; - than pyramid

Of Egypt, unsubverted, undissolved;
Or Syria's marble Ruins towering high
Above the sandy Desert, in the light
Of sun or moon. Forgive me, if I say
That an appearance which hath raised your minds
To an exalted pitch, (the self-same cause
Different effect producing.) is for me

Fraught rather with depression than delight,
Though shame it were, could I not look around,
By the reflection of your pleasure, pleased.
Yet happier in my judgment, even than you,

With your bright transports, fairly may be deemed,
The wandering Herbalist, who, clear alike

From vain, and, that worse evil, vexing thoughts,
Casts, if he ever chance to enter here,
Upon these uncouth Forms a slight regard
Of transitory interest, and peeps round
For some rare Floweret of the hills, or Plant
Of craggy fountain; what he hopes for wins,
Or learns, at least, that 'tis not to be won:
Then, keen and eager as a fine-nosed Hound
By soul-engrossing instinct driven along
Through wood or open field, the harmless Man
Departs, intent upon his onward quest!
Nor is that Fellow-wanderer, so deem I,
Less to be envied, (you may trace him oft

By scars which his activity has left

Beside our roads and pathways, though, thank Heaven!
This covert nook reports not of his hand,)
He who with pocket hammer smites the edge
Of luckless rock or prominent stone disguised,
In weather-stains or crusted o'er by Nature

With her first growths-detaching by the stroke
A chip or splinter-to resolve his doubts;
And, with that ready answer satisfied,

The substance classes by some barbarous name,
And hurries on; or from the fragments picks
His specimen, if haply interveined

With sparkling mineral, or should crystal cube
Lurk in its cells and thinks himself enriched,
Wealthier, and doubtless wiser, than before!
Intrusted safely each to his pursuit,

Earnest alike, let both from hill to hill

Range; if it please them, speed from clime to clime; The mind is full- -no pain is in their sport."

“Then,” said I, interposing, "One is near,
Who cannot but possess in your esteem
Place worthier still of envy. May I name,
Without offence, that fair-faced Cottage-boy?
Dame Nature's Pupil of the lowest Form,
Youngest Apprentice in the School of Art!
Him, as we entered from the open Glen,
You might have noticed, busily engaged,
Heart, soul, and hands,—in mending the defects
Left in the fabric of a leaky dam,

Raised for enabling this penurious stream

To turn a slender mill (that new-made plaything)
For his delight—the happiest he of all!"

'Far happiest," answered the desponding Man,
"If, such as now he is, he might remain!
Ah! what avails Imagination high,

Or Question deep? - What profits all that Earth,
Or Heaven's blue Vault, is suffered to put forth
Of impulse or allurement, for the Soul

To quit the beaten track of life, and soar

Far as she finds a yielding element
In past or future; far as she can go
Through time or space; if neither in the one,
Nor in the other region, nor in aught

That Fancy, dreaming o'er the map of things,
Hath placed beyond these penetrable bounds,
Words of assurance can be heard; if nowhere

A habitation, for consummate good,

Nor for progressive virtue, by the search
Can be attained -a better sanctuary

From doubt and sorrow, than the senseless grave?"

"Is this," the gray-haired Wanderer mildly said,
"The voice, which we so lately overheard,
To that same Child addressing tenderly
The Consolations of a hopeful mind?
'His body is at rest, his soul in heaven.'
These were your words; and, verily, methinks
Wisdom is oft-times nearer when we stoop
Than when we soar!"

Promptly replied

The Other, not displeased, "My notion is the same.

And I, without reluctance, could decline

All act of Inquisition whence we rise,

And what, when breath hath ceased, we may become.
Here are we, in a bright and breathing World —
Our Origin, what matters it? In lack

Of worthier explanation, say at once,

With the American, (a thought which suits

The place where now we stand,) that certain Men Leapt out together from a rocky Cave;

And these were the first Parents of Mankind!

Or, if a different image be recalled

By the warm sunshine, and the jocund voice

Of insects, chirping out their careless lives
On these soft beds of thyme-besprinkled turf,
Choose, with the gay Athenian, a conceit

As sound-blithe race! whose mantles were bedecked
With golden Grasshoppers, in sign that they
Had sprung, like those bright creatures, from the soil
Whereon their endless generations dwelt.

But stop! - these theoretic fancies jar

On serious minds; then, as the Hindoos draw
Their holy Ganges from a skyey fount,

Even so deduce the Stream of human Life

From seats of power divine; and hope, or trust,
That our Existence winds her stately course
Beneath the Sun, like Ganges, to make part
Of a living Ocean; or, to sink engulfed,
Like Niger, in impenetrable sands

And utter darkness thought which may be faced,
Though comfortless! Not of myself I speak ;

Such acquiescence neither doth imply,

In me, a meekly-bending spirit — soothed

By natural piety; nor a lofty mind,

By philosophic discipline prepared

For calm subjection to acknowledged law;
Pleased to have been, contented not to be.

Such palms I boast not; -no! to me, who find,
Reviewing my past way, much to condemn,
Little to praise, and nothing to regret
(Save some remembrances of dream-like joys
That scarcely seem to have belonged to me) –
If I must take my choice between the pair
That rule alternately the weary hours-
Night is than Day more acceptable; sleep
Doth, in my estimate of good, appear

A better state than waking; death than sleep:

Feelingly sweet is stillness after storm,
Though under covert of the wormy ground!

"Yet be it said, in justice to myself,

That in more genial times, when I was free
To explore the destiny of human kind,
(Not as an intellectual game pursued
With curious subtilty, from wish to cheat
Irksome sensations; but by love of truth
Urged on, or haply by intense delight

In feeding thought, wherever thought could feed,)
I did not rank with those (too dull or nice,
For to my judgment such they then appeared,
Or too aspiring, thankless at the best)
Who, in this frame of human life, perceive
An object whereunto their souls are tied
In discontented wedlock; nor did e'er,

From me, those dark impervious shades, that hang
Upon the region whither we are bound,
Exclude a power to enjoy the vital beams
Of present sunshine. Deities that float
On wings! angelic Spirits! I could muse
O'er what, from eldest time, we have been told
Of your bright forms and glorious faculties,

And with the imagination be content,
Not wishing more; repining not to tread
The little sinuous path of earthly care,

By flowers embellished, and by springs refreshed.
-'Blow, winds of Autumn!

- let your chilling breath Take the live herbage from the mead, and strip The shady forest of its green attire;

And let the bursting clouds to fury rouse
The gentle Brooks! Your desolating sway,'
Thus I exclaimed, 'no sadness sheds on me,
And no disorder in your rage I find.

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