Puslapio vaizdai

And such as my best judgment could select
From what the place afforded, have been given ;
Though apprehensions crossed me that my zeal
To his might well be likened, who unlocks
A A cabinet stored with gems and pictures—draws
His treasures forth, soliciting regard
To this, and this, as worthier than the last,
Till the spectator, who awhile was pleased
More than the exhibitor himself, becomes
Weary and faint, and longs to be released.
-But let us hence ! my dwelling is in sight,
And there,

At this the Solitary shrunk
With backward will ; but, wanting not address
That inward motion to disguise, he said
To his Compatriot, smiling as he spake :
_“The peaceable remains of this good Knight
Would be disturbed, I fear, with wrathful scorn,
If consciousness could reach him where he lies
That one, albeit of these degenerate times,
Deploring changes past, or dreading change
Foreseen, had dared to couple, even in thought,
The fine vocation of the sword and lance
With the gross aims and body-bending toil
Of a poor brotherhood who walk the earth
Pitied, and, where they are not known, despised.

Yet, by the good Knight's leave, the two estates Are graced with some resemblance. Errant those,

Exiles and wanderers—and the like are these; Who, with their burthen, traverse hill and dale, Carrying relief for nature's simple wants.

- What though no higher recompense be sought Than honest maintenance, by irksome toil Full oft procured, yet may they claim respect, Among the intelligent, for what this course Enables them to be and to perform. Their tardy steps give leisure to observe, While solitude permits the mind to feel ; Instructs, and prompts her to supply defects By the division of her inward self For grateful converse : and to these poor men Nature (I but repeat your favourite boast) Is bountiful-go wheresoe'er they may ; Kind nature's various wealth is all their own. Versed in the characters of men ; and bound, By ties of daily interest, to maintain Conciliatory manners and smooth speech ; Such have been, and still are in their degree, Examples efficacious to refine Rude intercourse ; apt agents to expel, By importation of unlooked for arts, Barbarian torpor, and blind prejudice ; Raising, through just gradation, savage life To rustic, and the rustic to urbane.

-Within their moving magazines is lodged Power that comes forth to quicken and exalt Affections seated in the mother's breast,

And in the lover's fancy; and to feed
The sober sympathies of long-tried friends.
-By these Itinerants, as experienced men,
Counsel is given ; contention they appease
With gentle language ; in remotest wilds,
Tears wipe away, and pleasant tidings bring;
Could the proud quest of chivalry do more ?”

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* Happy,” rejoined the Wanderer, “ they who gain
A panegyric from your generous tongue !
But, if to these Wayfarers once pertained
Aught of romantic interest, it is gone.
Their purer service, in this realm at least,
Is past for ever.-An inventive Age
Has wrought, if not with speed of magic, yet
To most strange issues. I have lived to mark
A new and unforeseen creation rise
From out the labours of a peaceful Land
Wielding her potent enginery to frame
And to produce, with appetite as keen
As that of war, which rests not night or day,
Industrious to destroy! With fruitless pains
Might one like me now visit many a tract
Which, in his youth, he trod, and trod again,
A lone pedestrian with a scanty freight,
Wished-for, or welcome, wheresoe'er he came-
Among the tenantry of thorpe and vill;
Or straggling burgh, of ancient charter proud,
And dignified by battlements and towers

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Of some stern castle, mouldering on the brow
Of a green hill or bank of rugged stream.
The foot-path faintly marked, the horse-track wild,
And formidable length of plashy lane,
(Prized avenues ere others had been shaped
Or easier links connecting place with place)
Have vanished-swallowed up by stately roads
Easy and bold, that penetrate the gloom
Of Britain's farthest glens. The Earth has lent
Her waters, Air her breezes; and the sail
Of traffic glides with ceaseless intercourse,
Glistening along the low and woody dale;
Or in its progress, on the lofty side
Of some bare hill, with wonder kenned from far.

Meanwhile, at social Industry's command, How quick, how vast an increase! From the germ Of some poor hamlet, rapidly produced

Here a huge town, continuous and compact,

Hiding the face of earth for leagues and there,
Where not a habitation stood before,

Abodes of men irregularly massed

Like trees in forests,-spread through spacious tracts,
O'er which the smoke of unremitting fires
Hangs permanent, and plentiful as wreaths
Of vapour glittering in the morning sun.
And, wheresoe'er the traveller turns his steps,
He sees the barren wilderness erased,
Or disappearing; triumph that proclaims

How much the mild Directress of the plough
Owes to alliance with these new-born arts !
-Hence is the wide sea peopled,—hence the shores
Of Britain are resorted to by ships
Freighted from every climate of the world
With the world's choicest produce. Hence that sum
Of keels that rest within her crowded ports,
Or ride at anchor in her sounds and bays ;
That animating spectacle of sails
That, through her inland regions, to and fro
Pass with the respirations of the tide,
Perpetual, multitudinous ! Finally,
Hence a dread arm of floating power, a voice
Of thunder daunting those who would approach
With hostile purposes the blessed Isle,
Truth's consecrated residence, the seat
Impregnable of Liberty and Peace.


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And yet, О 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,


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