Puslapio vaizdai

and not in castles, or by the sword-blade, any longer. The conditions are hard, but equal. Thou shalt leave the world, and know the muse only. Thou shalt not know any longer the times, customs, graces, politics, or opinions of men, but shalt take all from the muse. For the time of towns is tolled from the world by funereal chimes, but in nature the universal hours are counted by succeeding tribes of animals and plants, and by growth of joy on joy. God wills also that thou abdicate a duplex and manifold life, and that thou be content that others speak for thee. Others shall be thy gentlemen, and shall represent all courtesy and worldly life for thee; others shall do the great and resounding actions also. Thou shalt lie close hid with nature, and canst not be afforded to the Capitol or the Exchange. The world is full of renunciations and apprenticeships, and this is thine; thou must pass for a fool, and a churl for a long season. This is the screen and sheath in which Pan has protected his well-beloved flower, and thou shalt be known only to thine own, and they shall console thee with tenderest love. And thou shalt not be able to rehearse the names of thy friends in thy verse, for an old shame before the holy ideal. And this is the reward: that the ideal shall be real to thee, and the impressions of the actual world shall fall like summer rain, copious, but not troublesome, to thy invulnerable essence. Thou shalt have the whole land for thy park and manor, the sea for thy bath and navigation, without tax and without envy; the woods and the rivers thou shalt own; and thou shalt possess that wherein others are only tenants and boarders. Thou true land-lord! sea-lord! air-lord! Wherever snow falls, or water flows, or birds fly, wherever day and night meet in twilight, wherever the blue heaven is hung by clouds, or sown with stars, wherever are forms with transparent boundaries, wherever are outlets into celestial space, wherever is danger, and awe, and love, there is Beauty, plenteous as rain, shed for thee, and though thou shouldst walk the world over, thou shalt not be able to find a condition inopportune or ignoble.

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The lords of life, the lords of life,

I saw them pass,
In their own guise,
Like and unlike,
Portly and grim,
Use and Surprise,
Surface and Dream,

Succession swift, and spectral Wrong,
Temperament without a tongue,
And the inventor of the game
Omnipresent without name;
Some to see, some to be guessed,
They marched from east to west:
Little man, least of all,
Among the legs of his guardians tall,
Walked about with puzzled look;·
Him by the hand dear Nature took;
Dearest Nature, strong and kind,
Whispered, Darling, never mind!
To-morrow they will wear another face,
The founder thou! these are thy race!



HERE do we find ourselves? In a series of which we do not know the extremes, and believe that it has none. We wake and find ourselves on a stair; there are stairs below us which we seem to have ascended; there are stairs above us, many a one, which go upward and out of sight. But the Genius which, according to the old belief, stands at the door by which we enter, and gives us the lethe to drink, that we may tell no tales, mixed the cup too strongly, and we cannot shake off the lethargy now at noonday. Sleep lingers all our lifetime about our eyes, as night hovers all day in the boughs of the fir-tree. All things swim and glitter. Our life is not so much threatened as our perception. Ghostlike we glide through nature, and should not know our place again. Did our birth fall in some fit of indigence and frugality in nature, that she was so sparing of her fire and so liberal of her earth, that it appears to us that we lack the affirmative principle, and though we have health and reason, yet we have no superfluity of spirit for new creation? We have enough to live and bring the year about, but not an ounce to impart or to invest. Ah that our Genius were a little more of a genius! We are like millers on the lower levels of a stream, when the factories above them have exhausted the water. We too fancy that the upper people must have raised their dams.

If any of us knew what we were doing, or where we are going, then when we think we best know! We do not know today whether we are busy or idle. In times when we thought ourselves indolent, we have afterwards discovered that much was accomplished, and much was begun in us. All our days are so uncomfortable while they pass, that 't is wonderful where or when we ever got anything of this which we call wis

dom, poetry, virtue. We never got it on any dated calendar
day. Some heavenly days must have been intercalated some-
where, like those that Hermes won with dice of the Moon,
that Osiris might be born. It is said, all martyrdoms looked
mean when they were suffered. Every ship is a romantic ob-
ject, except that we sail in. Embark, and the romance quits
our vessel, and hangs on every other sail in the horizon. Our
life looks trivial and we shun to record it. Men seem to have
learned of the horizon the art of perpetual retreating and ref-
erence. 'Yonder uplands are rich pasturage, and my neigh-
bor has fertile meadow, but my field,' says the querulous far-
mer, 'only holds the world together.' I quote another man's
saying; unluckily, that other withdraws himself in the same
way, and quotes me. "T is the trick of nature thus to degrade
to-day; a good deal of buzz, and somewhere a result slipped
magically in. Every roof is agreeable to the eye, until it is
lifted; then we find tragedy and moaning women, and hard-
eyed husbands, and deluges of lethe, and the men ask, 'What
's the news?' as if the old were so bad. How many individu-
als can we count in society? how many actions? how many
opinions? So much of our time is preparation, so much is
routine, and so much retrospect, that the pith of each man's
genius contracts itself to a very few hours. The history of lit-
erature, take the net result of Tiraboschi, Warton, or Schle-
gel, is a sum of very few ideas, and of very few original
tales, all the rest being variation of these. So, in this great
society wide lying around us, a critical analysis would find
very few spontaneo
neous actions. It is almost all custom and gross
sense. There are even few opinions, and these seem organic
in the speakers, and do not disturb the universal necessity.

What opium is instilled into all disaster! It shows formidable as we approach it, but there is at last no rough rasping friction, but the most slippery sliding surfaces: we fall soft on a thought Ante Dea is gentle,


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"Over men's heads walking aloft,
With tender feet treading so soft."

People ieve and bemoan themselves, but it is not half so
bad with them as they say. There are moods in which we
court suffering, in the hope that here, at least, we shall find
reality, sharp peaks and edges of truth.
be scene-painting and counterfeit. The
taught me, is to know how shallow it is.
rest, plays about the surface, and never introduces me into

But it turns out to
only thing grief has
That, like all the

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