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In common things that round us lie
Some random truths he can impart;
The harvest of a quiet eye
That broods and sleeps on his own heart,
But he is weak ; both man and boy,
Hath been an įdler in the land :
Contented if he might enjoy
The things which others understand.
-Come hither in thy hour of strength ; Come, weak as is a breaking wave! Here stretch thy body at full length; Or build thy house upon this grave!
“WHY, William, on that old gray stone,
Thus for the length of half a day,
Why, William, sit you thus alone,
And dream your time away?
“Where are your books ?—that light bequeathed
To beings else forlorn and blind !
Up! up! and drink the spirit breathed
From dead men to their kind.
“You look round on your mother earth,
And if she for no purpose bore you ;
As if you were her first-born birth,
And none had lived before you !"
One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake,
When life was sweet, I knew not why,
To me my good friend Matthew spake,
And thus I made reply :
“The eye—it cannot choose but see ;
We cannot bid the ear be still ;
Our bodies feel, where'er they be,
Against, or with our will.
“Nor less I deem that there are powers Which of themselves our minds impress ;
That we can feed this mind of ours
In a wise passiveness.
“Think you, 'mid all this mighty sum
Of things for ever speaking,
That nothing of itself will come,
But we must still be seeking ?
" Then ask not wherefore, here, alone,
Conversing as I may,
I sit upon this old gray stone,
And dream my time away."
AN EVENING SCENE ON THE SAME SUBJECT.
UP! up I my friend, and quit your books,
Or surely you'll grow double.
Up! up! my friend, and clear your looks ;
Why all this toil and trouble ?
The sun, above the mountain's head,
A freshening lustre mellow
Through all the long green fields has spread,
His first sweet evening yellow.
Books ! 'tis a dull and endless strife :
Come, hear the woodland linnet,
How sweet his music ! on my life
There's more of wisdom in it.
And bark ! how blithe the throstle sings !
He, too, is no mean preacher :
Come forth into the light of things,
Let Nature be your teacher.
She has a world of ready wealth,
Our minds and hearts to bless-
Spontaneous wisdom breathed by health,
Truth breathed by cheerfulness.
One impulse from a vernal wood
May teach you more of man,
Of moral evil and of good,
Then all the sages can.
Sweet is the lore which Nature brings ;
Our meddling intellect
Mis-shapes the beauteous forms of things :
-We murder to dissect.
Enough of science and of art;
Close up these barren leaves :
Come forth, and bring with you a heart
That watches and receives.