Puslapio vaizdai
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THE EXCURSION.

BOOK THE

FOURTH.

DESPONDENCY CORRECTED.

ARGUMENT.

State of feeling produced by the foregoing Narrative-A belief in a superintending Providence the only adequate support under affliction -Wanderer's ejaculation-Account of his own devotional feelings in youth involved - Acknowledges the difficulty of a lively faithHence immoderate sorrow - Doubt or despondence not therefore to be inferred-Consolation to the Solitary-Exhortations - How received Wanderer applies his discourse to that other cause of dejection in the Solitary's mind - Disappointment from the French Revolution - States grounds of hope-Insists on the necessity of patience and fortitude with respect to the course of great revolutions - Knowledge the source of tranquillity-Rural Solitude favorable to knowledge of the inferior Creatures-Study of their habits and ways recommended-Exhortation to bodily exertion and communion with Nature-Morbid Solitude pitiable-Superstition better than apathy -Apathy and destitution unknown in the infancy of society - The various modes of Religion prevented it-Illustrated in the Jewish, Persian, Babylonian, Chaldean, and Grecian modes of belief-Solitary interposes- Wanderer points out the influence of religious and imaginative feeling in the humble ranks of society-Illustrated from present and past times-These principles tend to recall exploded superstitions and Popery - Wanderer rebuts this charge, and contrasts the dignities of the Imagination with the presumptive littleness of certain modern Philosophers - Recommends other lights and guides Asserts the power of the Soul to regenerate herself - Soli

tary asks how — Reply - Personal appea! — Happy that the imagina. tion and the aTetons mitigate the evils of that in ellectual livery which the calculating un lerstan ling is apt to produce -Exhortation to activity of holy renewed - How to commune with NatureWanderer concludes with a legi imate union of the imagination, afections, understanding, and reascu- Effect of his discourseEvening-Return to the Cottage.

HERE closed the Tenant of that lonely vale
His mournful Narrative-commenced in pain,
In pain commenced, and ended without peace;
Yet tempered, not unfrequently, with strains
Of native feeling, grateful to our minds;
And doubtless yielding some relief to his,
While we sate listening with compassion due.
Such pity yet surviving, with firm voice

That did not falter though the heart was moved,
The Wanderer said

"One adequate support

For the calamities of mortal life

Exists one only;

an assured belief

That the procession of our fate, howe'er
Sid or disturbed, is ordered by a Being
Of infinite benevolence and power;
Whose everlasting purposes embrace
All accidents, converting them to good.
-The dirts of anguish fir not where the scat
Of suffering hath been thoroughly fortified
By acquiescence in the Will Supreme
For Time and for Eternity; by faith,
Faith absolute in God, including hope,
And the defence that lies in boundless love
Of his perfections; with habitual dread
Of aught unworthily conceived, endured
Impatiently; ill-done, or left undone,
To the dishonor of his holy Name.

Soul of our Souls, and safeguard of the world!
Sustain, Thou only canst, the sick of heart;
Restore their languid spirits, and recall
Their lost affections unto Thee and thine!"

Then, as we issued from that covert Nook,
He thus continued lifting up his eyes
To Heaven"How beautiful this dome of sky,
And the vast hills, in fluctuation fixed

At thy command, how awful! Shall the Soul,
Human and rational, report of Thee

Even less than those? Be mute who will, who can,
Yet I will praise thee with impassioned voice:

My lips, that may forget thee in the crowd,
Cannot forget thee here; where Thou hast built,
For thy own glory, in the wilderness!

Me didst thou constitute a Priest of thine,

In such a Temple as we now behold

Reared for thy presence: therefore, am I bound
To worship here, and every where - as One
Not doomed to ignorance, though forced to tread,
From childhood up, the ways of poverty;

From unreflecting ignorance preserved,

And from debasement rescued. By thy grace

The particle divine remained unquenched;
And, 'mid the wild weeds of a rugged soil,
Thy bounty caused to flourish deathless flowers
From Paradise transplanted; wintry age
Impends; the frost will gather round my heart;
And, if they wither, I am worse than dead!
-Come, Labor, when the worn-out frame requires
Perpetual sabbath; cone, disease and want;
And sad exclusion through decay of sense;
But leave me unabated trust in Thee!

And let thy favor, to the end of life,

Inspire me with ability to seek

Repose and hope among eternal things -
Father of heaven and earth! and I am rich
And will possess my portion in content!

"And what are things Eternal?-Powers depart,"
The gray-haired Wanderer steadfastly replied,
Answering the question which himself had asked,
"Possessions vanish, and opinions change,
And Passions hold a fluctuating seat:

But, by the storms of circumstance unshaken,
And subject neither to eclipse nor wane,
Duty exists;-immutably survive,

For our support, the measures and the forms,
Which an abstract Intelligence supplies;

Whose kingdom is, where Time and Space are not.

Of other converse which mind, soul, and heart,

Do with united urgency require,

What more that may not perish? Thou, dread Source!

Prime, self-existing Cause and End of all,

That, in the scale of Being, fill their place,

Above our human region, or below,

Set and sustained; - Thou, who didst wrap the cloud Of Infancy around us, that Thyself,

Therein, with our simplicity a while

Mightest hold, on earth, communion undisturbed
Who from the anarchy of dreaming sleep,
Or from its death-like void, with punctual care,
And touch as gentle as the morning light,
Restorest us, daily, to the powers of sense,
And reason's steadfast rule Thou, Thou alone
Art everlasting, and the blessed Spirits,
Which thou includest, as the Sea her Waves:
For adoration thou endur'st; endure

-

For consciousness the motions of thy will;

For apprehension those transcendent truths
Of the pure Intellect, that stand as laws,
(Submission constituting strength and power,)
Even to thy Being's infinite majesty!
This Universe shall pass away - a work
Glorious! because the shadow of thy might,
A step, or link, for intercourse with Thee.
Ah! if the time must come, in which my feet
No more shall stray where Meditation leads,
By flowing stream, through wood, or craggy wild,
Loved haunts like these, the unimprisoned Mind
May yet have scope to range among her own,
Her thoughts, her images, her high desires.
If the dear faculty of sight should fail,
Still, it may be allowed me to remember
What visionary powers of eye and soul

In youth were mine; when, stationed on the top
Of some huge hill expectant, I beheld
The Sun rise up, from distant climes returned
Darkness to chase, and sleep, and bring the day
His bounteous gift! or saw him toward the Deep
Sink with a retinue of flaming clouds
Attended; then, my Spirit was entranced
With joy exalted to beatitude;

The measure of my soul was filled with bliss,
And holiest love; as earth, sea, air, with light,
With pomp, with glory, with magnificence!

"Those fervent raptures are for ever flown; And, since their date, my Soul hath undergone Change manifold, for better or for worse:

Yet cease I not to struggle, and aspire

Heavenward; and chide the part of me that flags,
Through sinful choice; or dread necessity,
On human Nature from above imposed.

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