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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 be is weak ; both man and boy,
Hath been an idler in the land :
Contented if he might enjoy
The things which others understand.
-Come hither in thy hour of strength ; Cope, 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
“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, ʼmid 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.
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.