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And unavengeable, defeated pride, Prosperity subverted, maddening want, Friendship betrayed, affection unreturned, Love with despair, or grief in agony ;--Not always from intolerable pangs

He fled; but, compassed round by pleasure, sighed
For independent happiness; craving peace,

The central feeling of all happiness,
Not as a refuge from distress or pain,
A breathing-time, vacation, or a truce,
But for its absolute self; a life of peace,
Stability without regret or fear;

That hath been, is, and shall be evermore !—
Such the reward he sought; and wore out life,
There, where on few external things his heart
Was set, and those his own; or, if not his,
Subsisting under nature's stedfast law.

What other yearning was the master tie
Of the monastic brotherhood, upon rock
Aerial, or in green secluded vale,
One after one, collected from afar,
An undissolving fellowship?-What but this,
The universal instinct of repose,
The longing for confirmed tranquillity,
Inward and outward; humble, yet sublime:
The Efe where hope and memory are as one;
Where earth is quiet and her face unchanged
Save by the simplest toil of human hands
Or seasons' difference; the immortal Soul
Corsistent in self-rule; and heaven revealed
To meditation in that quietness!-

Such was their scheme: and though the wished for end

By multitudes was missed, perhaps attained
By none, they for the attempt, and pains employed,
Da, in my present censure, stand redeemed
From the unqualified disdain, that once
Would have been cast upon them by my voice
Delivering her decisions from the seat

Of forward youth-that scruples not to solve
| Doubts, and determine questions, by the rules
Of inexperienced judgment, ever prone
I overweening faith; and is inflamed,
By surage, to demand from real life
The test of act and suffering, to provoke
Holity-how dreadful when it comes,
| Whether affliction be the foe, or guilt!

A child of earth, I rested, in that stage Of may past course to which these thoughts advert, Upon earth's native energies; forgetting That mime was a condition which required

Nor energy, nor fortitude-a calm
Without vicissitude; which, if the like
Had been presented to my view elsewhere,
I might have even been tempted to despise.
But no-for the serene was also bright;
Enlivened happiness with joy o'erflowing,
With joy, and-oh! that memory should survive
To speak the word—with rapture! Nature's boon,
Life's genuine inspiration, happiness
Above what rules can teach, or fancy feign;
Abused, as all possessions are abused

That are not prized according to their worth.

And yet, what worth? what good is given to men,
More solid than the gilded clouds of heaven?
What joy more lasting than a vernal flower?-
None! 'tis the general plaint of human kind
In solitude: and mutually addressed
From each to all, for wisdom's sake:-This truth
The priest announces from his holy seat:
And, crowned with garlands in the summer grove,
The poet fits it to his pensive lyre.
Yet, ere that final resting-place be gained,
Sharp contradictions may arise, by doom
Of this same life, compelling us to grieve
That the prosperities of love and joy
Should be permitted, oft-times, to endure
So long, and be at once cast down for ever.
Oh! tremble, ye, to whom hath been assigned
A course of days composing happy months,
And they as happy years; the present still
So like the past, and both so firm a pledge
Of a congenial future, that the wheels
Of pleasure move without the aid of hope:
For Mutability is Nature's bane;
And slighted Hope will be avenged; and, when
But in her stead-fear-doubt—and agony !”
Ye need her favours, ye shall find her not;

This was the bitter language of the heart: But, while he spake, look, gesture, tone of voice, Though discomposed and vehement, were such As skill and graceful nature might suggest To a proficient of the tragic scene Standing before the multitude, beset With dark events. Desirous to divert Or stem the current of the speaker's thoughts, We signified a wish to leave that place Of stillness and close privacy, a nook That seemed for self-examination made; Or, for confession, in the sinner's need, Hidden from all men's view. To our attempt He yielded not; but, pointing to a slope Of mossy turf defended from the sun, And on that couch inviting us to rest,

Full on that tender-hearted Man he turned A serious eye, and his speech thus renewed.

"You never saw, your eyes did never look On the bright form of Her whom once I loved :Her silver voice was heard upon the earth, A sound unknown to you; else, honoured Friend! Your heart had borne a pitiable share Of what I suffered, when I wept that loss, And suffer now, not seldom, from the thought That I remember, and can weep no more.— Stripped as I am of all the golden fruit Of self-esteem; and by the cutting blasts Of self-reproach familiarly assailed; Yet would I not be of such wintry bareness But that some leaf of your regard should hang Upon my naked branches :-lively thoughts Give birth, full often, to unguarded words; I grieve that, in your presence, from my tongue Too much of frailty hath already dropped; But that too much demands still more.

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In the devotedness of youthful love,
Preferring me to parents, and the choir
Of gay companions, to the natal roof,
And all known places and familiar sights
(Resigned with sadness gently weighing down
Her trembling expectations, but no more
Than did to her due honour, and to me
Yielded, that day, a confidence sublime
In what I had to build upon)—this Bride,
Young, modest, meek, and beautiful, I led
To a low cottage in a sunny bay,
Where the salt sea innocuously breaks,
And the sea breeze as innocently breathes,
On Devon's leafy shores;-a sheltered hold,
In a soft clime encouraging the soil
To a luxuriant bounty!-As our steps

How willingly their aid they would unite
With the green myrtle, to endear the hours
Of winter, and protect that pleasant place.
-Wild were the walks upon those lonely Downs,
Track leading into track; how marked, how worn
Into bright verdure, between fern and gorse,
Winding away its never ending line

On their smooth surface, evidence was none:
But, there, lay open to our daily haunt,
A range of unappropriated earth,

Where youth's ambitious feet might move at large;
Whence, unmolested wanderers, we beheld
The shining giver of the day diffuse
His brightness o'er a tract of sea and land
Gay as our spirits, free as our desires;
As our enjoyments, boundless.-From those heights
We dropped, at pleasure, into sylvan combs;
Where arbours of impenetrable shade,
And mossy seats, detained us side by side,
With hearts at ease, and knowledge in our hearts
'That all the grove and all the day was ours.'

O happy time! still happier was at hand; For Nature called my Partner to resign Her share in the pure freedom of that life, Enjoyed by us in common. To my hope, To my heart's wish, my tender Mate became The thankful captive of maternal bonds; And those wild paths were left to me alone. There could I meditate on follies past; And, like a weary voyager escaped From risk and hardship, inwardly retrace A course of vain delights and thoughtless guilt, And self-indulgence-without shame pursued. There, undisturbed, could think of and could thank Her whose submissive spirit was to me Rule and restraint-my guardian-shall I say That earthly Providence, whose guiding love Within a port of rest had lodged me safe; Safe from temptation, and from danger far! Strains followed of acknowledgment addressed To an Authority enthroned above

The reach of sight; from whom, as from their source,

Proceed all visible ministers of good
That walk the earth-Father of heaven and carth,

Approach the embowered abode-our chosen seat- Father, and king, and judge, adored and feared!

See, rooted in the earth, her kindly bed,
The unendangered myrtle, decked with flowers,
Before the threshold stands to welcome us!
While, in the flowering myrtle's neighbourhood,
Not overlooked but courting no regard,
Those native plants, the holly and the yew,
Gave modest intimation to the mind

These acts of mind, and memory, and heart,
And spirit-interrupted and relieved
By observations transient as the glance
Of flying sunbeams, or to the outward form
Cleaving with power inherent and intense,
As the mute insect fixed upon the plant
On whose soft leaves it hangs, and from whose cup

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It draws its nourishment imperceptibly— Endeared my wanderings; and the mother's kiss And infant's smile awaited my return.

In privacy we dwelt, a wedded pair,
Companions daily, often all day long;
Not placed by fortune within easy reach
Of various intercourse, nor wishing aught
Beyond the allowance of our own fire-side,
The twain within our happy cottage born,
Inmates, and heirs of our united love;
Graced mutually by difference of sex,
And with no wider interval of time

Between their several births than served for one
To establish something of a leader's sway;
Yet left them joined by sympathy in age;
Equals in pleasure, fellows in pursuit.
On these two pillars rested as in air
Our solitude.

It soothes me to perceive,
Your courtesy withholds not from my words
Attentive audience. But, oh! gentle Friends,
As times of quiet and unbroken peace,
Though, for a nation, times of blessedness,
Give back faint echoes from the historian's page;
So, in the imperfect sounds of this discourse,
Depressed I hear, how faithless is the voice
Winch those most blissful days reverberate.
What special record can, or need, be given
To rules and habits, whereby much was done,
But all within the sphere of little things;
Of humble, though, to us, important cares,
And precious interests? Smoothly did our life
Advance, swerving not from the path prescribed;
Her annual, her diurnal, round alike

Maintained with faithful care. And you divine
The worst effects that our condition saw

If you imagine changes slowly wrought,
And in their progress unperceivable;
Not wished for; sometimes noticed with a sigh,
(Whate'er of good or lovely they might bring)
Sighs of regret, for the familiar good
And loveliness endeared which they removed.

Seven years of occupation undisturbed Established seemingly a right to hold That happiness; and use and habit gave To what an alien spirit had acquired A patrimonial sanctity. And thus, With thoughts and wishes bounded to this world, I lived and breathed; most grateful-if to enjoy Without repining or desire for more,

For different lot, or change to higher sphere, (Only except some impulses of pride

With no determined object, though upheld
By theories with suitable support)———
Most grateful, if in such wise to enjoy
Be proof of gratitude for what we have;
Else, I allow, most thankless.-But, at once,
From some dark seat of fatal power was urged
A claim that shattered all.-Our blooming girl,
Caught in the gripe of death, with such brief time
To struggle in as scarcely would allow
Her cheek to change its colour, was conveyed
From us to inaccessible worlds, to regions
Where height, or depth, admits not the approach
Of living man, though longing to pursue.
-With even as brief a warning-and how soon,
With what short interval of time between,
I tremble yet to think of-our last prop,
Our happy life's only remaining stay-
The brother followed; and was seen no more!

Calm as a frozen lake when ruthless winds Blow fiercely, agitating earth and sky, The Mother now remained; as if in her, Who, to the lowest region of the soul, Had been erewhile unsettled and disturbed, This second visitation had no power To shake; but only to bind up and seal; And to establish thankfulness of heart In Heaven's determinations, ever just. The eminence whereon her spirit stood, Mine was unable to attain. Immense The space that severed us! But, as the sight Communicates with heaven's ethereal orbs Incalculably distant; so, I felt That consolation may descend from far (And that is intercourse, and union, too,) While, overcome with speechless gratitude, And, with a holier love inspired, I looked On her at once superior to my woes And partner of my loss.-O heavy change! Dimness o'er this clear luminary crept Insensibly; the immortal and divine Yielded to mortal reflux; her pure glory, As from the pinnacle of worldly state Wretched ambition drops astounded, fell Into a gulf obscure of silent grief, And keen heart-anguish of itself ashamed, Yet obstinately cherishing itself: And, so consumed, she melted from my arms; And left me, on this earth, disconsolate!

What followed cannot be reviewed in thought; Much less, retraced in words. If she, of life Blameless, so intimate with love and joy And all the tender motions of the soul,

Had been supplanted, could I hope to stand-
Infirm, dependent, and now destitute?

I called on dreams and visions, to disclose

That which is veiled from waking thought; conjured

Eternity, as men constrain a ghost

To appear and answer; to the grave I spake
Imploringly ;-looked up, and asked the Heavens
If Angels traversed their cerulean floors,
If fixed or wandering star could tidings yield
Of the departed spirit-what abode
It occupies what consciousness retains
Of former loves and interests. Then my soul
Turned inward,-to examine of what stuff
Time's fetters are composed; and life was put
To inquisition, long and profitless!

Thus was I reconverted to the world;
Society became my glittering bride,
And airy hopes my children.-From the depths
Of natural passion, seemingly escaped,
My soul diffused herself in wide embrace
Of institutions, and the forms of things;
As they exist, in mutable array,

Upon life's surface. What, though in my veins
There flowed no Gallic blood, nor had I breathed
The air of France, not less than Gallic zeal
Kindled and burnt among the sapless twigs
Of my exhausted heart. If busy men
In sober conclave met, to weave a web
Of amity, whose living threads should stretch
Beyond the seas, and to the farthest pole,
There did I sit, assisting. If, with noise

By pain of heart-now checked-and now impel- And acclamation, crowds in open air

led

The intellectual power, through words and things,
Went sounding on, a dim and perilous way!
And from those transports, and these toils abstruse,
Some trace am I enabled to retain

Of time, else lost;-existing unto me
Only by records in myself not found.

From that abstraction I was roused,—and how?
Even as a thoughtful shepherd by a flash
Of lightning startled in a gloomy cave

Of these wild hills. For, lo! the dread Bastile,
With all the chambers in its horrid towers,
Fell to the ground:-by violence overthrown
Of indignation; and with shouts that drowned
The crash it made in falling! From the wreck
A golden palace rose, or seemed to rise,
The appointed seat of equitable law
And mild paternal sway. The potent shock
I felt the transformation I perceived,
As marvellously seized as in that moment
When, from the blind mist issuing, I beheld
Glory-beyond all glory ever seen,
Confusion infinite of heaven and earth,
Dazzling the soul. Meanwhile, prophetic harps
In every grove were ringing, 'War shall cease;
'Did ye not hear that conquest is abjured?

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Expressed the tumult of their minds, my voice
There mingled, heard or not. The powers of org
I left not uninvoked; and, in still groves,
Where mild enthusiasts tuned a pensive lay
Of thanks and expectation, in accord
With their belief, I sang Saturnian rule
Returned,—a progeny of golden years
Permitted to descend, and bless mankind.
-With promises the Hebrew Scriptures tecm:
I felt their invitation; and resumed
A long-suspended office in the House
Of public worship, where, the glowing phrase
Of ancient inspiration serving me,

I promised also,—with undaunted trust
Foretold, and added prayer to prophecy;
The admiration winning of the crowd;
The help desiring of the pure devout.

Scorn and contempt forbid me to proceed!
But History, time's slavish scribe, will tell
How rapidly the zealots of the cause
Disbanded—or in hostile ranks appeared;
Some, tired of honest service; these, outdone,
Disgusted therefore, or appalled, by aims
Of fiercer zealots so confusion reigned,
And the more faithful were compelled to exchum,
As Brutus did to Virtue, Liberty,

'I worshipped thee, and find thee but a Shade!'

Such recantation had for me no charn,
Nor would I bend to it; who should have grieved
At aught, however fair, that bore the mien
Of a conclusion, or catastrophe.
Why then conceal, that, when the simply go
In timid selfishness withdrew, I sought
Other support, not scrupulous whence it catre;
And, by what compromise it stood, not nice *

Enough if notions seemed to be high-pitched,
And qualities determined.—Among men
So charactered did I maintain a strife
Hopeless, and still more hopeless every hour;
But, in the process, I began to feel
That, if the emancipation of the world

Were missed, I should at least secure my own,
And be in part compensated. For rights,
Widely-inveterately usurped upon,

I spake with vehemence; and promptly seized
All that Abstraction furnished for my needs
Or purposes; nor scrupled to proclaim,
And propagate, by liberty of life,

Those new persuasions. Not that I rejoiced,
Or even found pleasure, in such vagrant course,
For its own sake; but farthest from the walk
Which I had trod in happiness and peace,
Was most inviting to a troubled mind;
That, in a struggling and distempered world,
Saw a seductive image of herself.

Yet, mark the contradictions of which Man
Is still the sport! Here Nature was my guide,
The Nature of the dissolute; but thee,
O fostering Nature! I rejected-smiled
At others' tears in pity; and in scorn

At those, which thy soft influence sometimes drew
From my unguarded heart.-The tranquil shores
Of Britain circumscribed me; else, perhaps
I might have been entangled among deeds,
Which, now, as infamous, I should abhor—
Despise, as senseless: for my spirit relished
Strangely the exasperation of that Land,
Which turned an angry beak against the down
Of her own breast; confounded into hope
Of disencumbering thus her fretful wings.

But all was quieted by iron bonds
Of military sway. The shifting aims,
The moral interests, the creative might,

The varied functions and high attributes

Of civil action, yielded to a power

Formal, and odious, and contemptible.

—In Britain, ruled a panic dread of change;

The weak were praised, rewarded, and advanced;
And, from the impulse of a just disdain,
Once more did I retire into myself.
There feeling no contentment, I resolved
To fly, for safeguard, to some foreign shore,
Remote from Europe; from her blasted hopes;
Her fields of carnage, and polluted air.

Fresh blew the wind, when o'er the Atlantic Main The ship went gliding with her thoughtless crew; And who among them but an Exile, freed

From discontent, indifferent, pleased to sit
Among the busily-employed, not more
With obligation charged, with service taxed,
Than the loose pendant-to the idle wind
Upon the tall mast streaming. But, ye Powers
Of soul and sense mysteriously allied,
O, never let the Wretched, if a choice
Be left him, trust the freight of his distress
To a long voyage on the silent deep!
For, like a plague, will memory break out;
And, in the blank and solitude of things,
Upon his spirit, with a fever's strength,
Will conscience prey.-Feebly must they have felt
Who, in old time, attired with snakes and whips
The vengeful Furies. Beautiful regards
Were turned on me-the face of her I loved;
The Wife and Mother pitifully fixing
Tender reproaches, insupportable!
Where now that boasted liberty? No welcome
From unknown objects I received; and those,
Known and familiar, which the vaulted sky
Did, in the placid clearness of the night,
Disclose, had accusations to prefer
Against my peace. Within the cabin stood
That volume-as a compass for the soul-
Revered among the nations. I implored
Its guidance; but the infallible support
Of faith was wanting. Tell me, why refused
To One by storms annoyed and adverse winds;
Perplexed with currents; of his weakness sick;
Of vain endeavours tired; and by his own,
And by his nature's, ignorance, dismayed!

Long-wished-for sight, the Western World appeared;

And, when the ship was noored, I leaped ashore
Indignantly-resolved to be a man,

Who, having o'er the past no power, would live
No longer in subjection to the past,

With abject mind-from a tyrannic lord
Inviting penance, fruitlessly endured:
So, like a fugitive, whose feet have cleared
Some boundary, which his followers may not cross
In prosecution of their deadly chase,
Respiring I looked round.-How bright the sun,
The breeze how soft! Can any thing produced
In the old World compare, thought I, for power
And majesty with this gigantic stream,
Sprung from the desert? And behold a city
Fresh, youthful, and aspiring! What are these
To me, or I to them? As much at least
As he desires that they should be, whom winds
And waves have wafted to this distant shore,
In the condition of a damaged seed,

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