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Whose fibres cannot, if they would, take root.
Here may I roam at large ;-my business is,
Roaming at large, to observe, and not to feel
And, therefore, not to act-convinced that all
Which bears the name of action, howsoe'er
Beginning, ends in servitude-still painful,
And mostly profitless. And, sooth to say,
On nearer view, a motley spectacle
Appeared, of high pretensions-unreproved
But by the obstreperous voice of higher still;
Big passions strutting on a petty stage;
Which a detached spectator may regard

Not unamused.--But ridicule demands
Quick change of objects; and, to laugh alone,
At a composing distance from the haunts
Of strife and folly, though it be a treat
As choice as musing Leisure can bestow;
Yet, in the very centre of the crowd,
To keep the secret of a poignant scorn,
Howe'er to airy Demons suitable,

Of all unsocial courses, is least fit

For the gross spirit of mankind,—the one
That soonest fails to please, and quickliest turns
Into vexation.

Let us, then, I said,

Leave this unknit Republic to the scourge
Of her own passions; and to regions haste,
Whose shades have never felt the encroaching axe,
Or soil endured a transfer in the mart
Of dire rapacity. There, Man abides,
Primeval Nature's child. A creature weak
In combination, (wherefore else driven back
So far, and of his old inheritance
So easily deprived?) but, for that cause,
More dignified, and stronger in himself;
Whether to act, judge, suffer, or enjoy.
True, the intelligence of social art
Hath overpowered his forefathers, and soon
Will sweep the remnant of his line away;
But contemplations, worthier, nobler far
Than her destructive energies, attend
His independence, when along the side
Of Mississippi, or that northern stream
That spreads into successive seas, he walks;
Pleased to perceive his own unchackled life,
And his innate capacities of soul,

There imaged or when, having gained the top
Of some commanding eminence, which yet
Intruder ne'er beheld, he thence surveys
Regions of wood and wide savannah, vast
Expanse of unappropriated earth,
With mind that sheds a light on what he sees;
Frce as the sun, and lonely as the sun,

Pouring above his head its radiance down Upon a living and rejoicing world!

So, westward, tow'rd the unviolated woods I bent my way; and, roaming far and wide, Failed not to greet the merry Mocking-bird; And, while the melancholy Mucca wiss (The sportive bird's companion in the grove) Repeated, o'er and o'er, his plaintive cry, I sympathised at leisure with the sound; But that pure archetype of human greatness, I found him not. There, in his stead, appeared A creature, squalid, vengeful, and impure; Remorseless, and submissive to no law But superstitious fear, and abject sloth.

Enough is told! Here am I-ye have heard What evidence I seek, and vainly seek; What from my fellow-beings I require, And either they have not to give, or I Lack virtue to receive; what I myself, Too oft by wilful forfeiture, have lost Nor can regain. How languidly I look Upon this visible fabric of the world, May be divined-perhaps it hath been said:But spare your pity, if there be in me Aught that deserves respect: for I exist, Within myself, not comfortless.-The tenour Which my life holds, he readily may conceive Whoe'er hath stood to watch a mountain brook In some still passage of its course, and seen, Within the depths of its capacious breast, Inverted trees, rocks, clouds, and azure sky; And, on its glassy surface, specks of foam, And conglobated bubbles undissolved, Numerous as stars; that, by their onward lapse, Betray to sight the motion of the stream, Else imperceptible. Meanwhile, is heard A softened roar, or murmur; and the sound Though soothing, and the little floating isles Though beautiful, are both by Nature charged With the same pensive office; and make known Through what perplexing labyrinths, abrupt Precipitations, and untoward straits, The earth-born wanderer hath passed; and quickly, That respite o'er, like traverses and toils Must he again encounter. Such a stream Is human Life; and so the Spirit fares In the best quiet to her course allowed; And such is mine,-save only for a hope That my particular current soon will reach The unfathomable gulf, where all is still!"




State of feeling produced by the foregoing Narrative-A belief in a superintending Providence the only adequate support under affliction-Wanderer's ejaculationAcknowledges the difficulty of a lively faith-Hence immoderate sorrow-Exhortations-How receivedWanderer applies his discourse to that other cause of dejection in the Solitary's mind-Disappointment from the French Revolution-States grounds of hope, and insists on the necessity of patience and fortitude with respect to the course of great revolutions-Knowledge the source of tranquillity-Rural Solitude favourable 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 recal exploded superstitions and popery-Wanderer rebuts this charge, and contrasts the dignities of the Imagination with the presumptuous littleness of certain modern Philosophers

-Recommends other lights and guides-Asserts the power of the Soul to regenerate herself; Solitary asks how-Reply-Personal appeal-Exhortation to activity of body renewed-How to commune with NatureWanderer concludes with a legitimate union of the imagination, affections, understanding, and reasonEffect of his discourse-Evening; 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 yielding surely some relief to his,
While we sate listening with compassion due.
A pause of silence followed; then, with 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
Sad or disturbed, is ordered by a Being
Of infinite benevolence and power;
Whose everlasting purposes embrace
All accidents, converting them to good.
-The darts of anguish fix not where the seat

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 dishonour 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 recal
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 these?-Be mute who will, who


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;
If the flowers wither, I am worse than dead!
-Come, labour, when the worn-out frame requires
Perpetual sabbath; come, disease and want;
And sad exclusion through decay of sense;
But leave me unabated trust in thee-
And let thy favour, 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 grey-haired Wanderer stedfastly 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


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 awhile
Might'st 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,
Restor'st us, daily, to the powers of sense
And reason's stedfast 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.
"Tis, by comparison, an easy task

Earth to despise; but, to converse with heaven-
This is not easy:—to relinquish all
We have, or hope, of happiness and joy,
And stand in freedom loosened from this world,
I deem not arduous; but must needs confess
That 'tis a thing impossible to frame
Conceptions equal to the soul's desires;
And the most difficult of tasks to keep
Heights which the soul is competent to gam.
-Man is of dust: ethereal hopes are his,
Which, when they should sustain themselves aloit,
Want due consistence; like a pillar of smoke,
That with majestic energy from earth
Rises; but, having reached the thinner air,
Melts, and dissolves, and is no longer seen.
From this infirmity of mortal kind
Sorrow proceeds, which else were not; at least,
If grief be something hallowed and ordained,
If, in proportion, it be just and meet,
Yet, through this weakness of the general heart,
Is it enabled to maintain its hold
In that excess which conscience disapproves.
For who could sink and settle to that point
Of selfishness; so senseless who could be
As long and perseveringly to mourn
For any object of his love, removed
From this unstable world, if he could fix
A satisfying view upon that state
Of pure, imperishable, blessedness,
Which reason promises, and holy writ
Ensures to all believers?-Yet mistrust
Is of such incapacity, methinks,
No natural branch; despondency far less ;
And, least of all, is absolate despair.
-And, if there be whose tender frames have drooped
Even to the dust; apparently, through weight
Of anguish unrelieved, and lack of power
An agonizing sorrow to transmute;
Deem not that proof is here of hope withheld
When wanted most; a confidence impaired
So pitiably, that, having ceased to see

With bodily eyes, they are borne down by love
Of what is lost, and perish through regret.
Oh! no, the innocent Sufferer often sees
Too clearly; feels too vividly; and longs
To realize the vision, with intense

And over-constant yearning;-there-there lies
The excess, by which the balance is destroyed.
Too, too contracted are these walls of flesh,
This vital warmth too cold, these visual orbs,
Though inconceivably endowed, too dim
For any passion of the soul that leads
To ecstasy; and, all the crooked paths

Of time and change disdaining, takes its course
Along the line of limitless desires.

I, speaking now from such disorder free,
Nor rapt, nor craving, but in settled peace,
I cannot doubt that they whom you deplore
Are glorified; or, if they sleep, shall wake
From sleep, and dwell with God in endless love.
Hope, below this, consists not with belief
In mercy, carried infinite degrees
Beyond the tenderness of human hearts:
Hope, below this, consists not with belief
In perfect wisdom, guiding mightiest power,
That finds no limits but her own pure will.

Here then we rest; not fearing for our creed
The worst that human reasoning can achieve,
To unsettle or perplex it: yet with pain
Acknowledging, and grievous self-reproach,
That, though immovably convinced, we want
Zeal, and the virtue to exist by faith

As soldiers live by courage; as, by strength
Of heart, the sailor fights with roaring seas.
Alas! the endowment of immortal power
Is matched unequally with custom, time,
And domineering faculties of sense
In all; in most with superadded foes,
1 temptations; open vanities,
Ephemeral offspring of the unblushing world;
Azi, in the private regions of the mind,
Il-governed passions, ranklings of despite,
Immoderate wishes, pining discontent,
Distress and care. What then remains?-To seek
Those helps for his occasions ever near
Who lacks not will to use them; vows, renewed
On the first motion of a holy thought;
Vigils of contemplation; praise; and prayer—
A stream, which, from the fountain of the heart
however feebly, nowhere flows
Without access of unexpected strength.
Bt, above all, the victory is most sure
I him, who, seeking faith by virtue, strives
70 yseld entire submission to the law

Of conscience-conscience reverenced and obeyed,
As God's most intimate presence in the soul,
And his most perfect image in the world.
-Endeavour thus to live; these rules regard;
These helps solicit; and a stedfast seat
Shall then be yours among the happy few
Who dwell on earth, yet breathe empyreal air,
Sons of the morning. For your nobler part,
Ere disencumbered of her mortal chains,
Doubt shall be quelled and trouble chased away;
With only such degree of sadness left
As may support longings of pure desire;
And strengthen love, rejoicing secretly
In the sublime attractions of the grave."

While, in this strain, the venerable Sage Poured forth his aspirations, and announced His judgments, near that lonely house we paced A plot of green-sward, seemingly preserved By nature's care from wreck of scattered stones, And from encroachment of encircling heath: Small space! but, for reiterated steps, Smooth and commodious; as a stately deck Which to and fro the mariner is used To tread for pastime, talking with his mates, Or haply thinking of far-distant friends, While the ship glides before a steady breeze. Stillness prevailed around us: and the voice That spake was capable to lift the soul Toward regions yet more tranquil. But, methought, That he, whose fixed despondency had given Impulse and motive to that strong discourse, Was less upraised in spirit than abashed; Shrinking from admonition, like a man Who feels that to exhort is to reproach. Yet not to be diverted from his aim, The Sage continued:-

"For that other loss,

The loss of confidence in social man,

By the unexpected transports of our age
Carried so high, that every thought, which looked
Beyond the temporal destiny of the Kind,
To many seemed superfluous—as, no cause
Could e'er for such exalted confidence
Exist; so, none is now for fixed despair:
The two extremes are equally disowned
By reason: if, with sharp recoil, from one
You have been driven far as its opposite,
Between them seek the point whereon to build
Sound expectations. So doth he advise
Who shared at first the illusion; but was soon
Cast from the pedestal of pride by shocks
Which Nature gently gave, in woods and fields;
Nor unreproved by Providence, thus speaking

To the inattentive children of the world:
'Vain-glorious Generation! what new powers
"On you have been conferred? what gifts, withheld
From your progenitors, have ye received,
'Fit recompense of new desert? what claim
'Are ye prepared to urge, that my decrees
For you should undergo a sudden change;
And the weak functions of one busy day,
'Reclaiming and extirpating, perform
"What all the slowly-moving years of time,
"With their united force, have left undone?


'By nature's gradual processes be taught;

By story be confounded! Ye aspire

6 Rashly, to fall once more; and that false fruit,
C Which, to your over-weening spirits, yields
'Hope of a flight celestial, will produce

Misery and shame. But Wisdom of her sons
Shall not the less, though late, be justified.'

And that unless above himself he can
Erect himself, how poor a thing is Man!'

Happy is he who lives to understand,
Not human nature only, but explores
All natures,-to the end that he may find
The law that governs each; and where begins
The union, the partition where, that makes
Kind and degree, among all visible Beings;
The constitutions, powers, and faculties,
Which they inherit,-cannot step beyond,-
And cannot fall beneath; that do assign
To every class its station and its office,
Through all the mighty commonwealth of thing;
Up from the creeping plant to sovereign Man.
Such converse, if directed by a meck,
Sincere, and humble spirit, teaches love:
For knowledge is delight; and such delight
Breeds love: yet, suited as it rather is

Such timely warning," said the Wanderer, "gave To thought and to the climbing intellect,

That visionary voice; and, at this day,
When a Tartarean darkness overspreads
The groaning nations; when the impious rule,
By will or by established ordinance,
Their own dire agents, and constrain the good
To acts which they abhor; though I bewail
This triumph, yet the pity of my heart
Prevents me not from owning, that the law,
By which mankind now suffers, is most just.
For by superior energies; more strict
Affiance in each other; faith more firm
In their unhallowed principles; the bad
Have fairly earned a victory o'er the weak,
The vacillating, inconsistent good.

Therefore, not unconsoled, I wait-in hope
To see the moment, when the righteous cause
Shall gain defenders zealous and devout

As they who have opposed her; in which Virtue
Will, to her efforts, tolerate no bounds

That are not lofty as her rights; aspiring

By impulse of her own ethereal zeal.

That spirit only can redeem mankind;
And when that sacred spirit shall appear,
Then shall our triumph be complete as theirs.
Yet, should this confidence prove vain, the wise
Have still the keeping of their proper peace;
Are guardians of their own tranquillity.
They act, or they recede, observe, and feel;
Knowing the heart of man is set to be
The centre of this world, about the which
Those revolutions of disturbances
Still roll; where all the aspècts of misery
Predominate; whose strong effects are such
As he must bear, being powerless to redress;

It teaches less to love, than to adore;
If that be not indeed the highest love!"

"Yet," said I, tempted here to interpose,
"The dignity of life is not impaired
By aught that innocently satisfies
The humbler cravings of the heart; and he
Is a still happier man, who, for those heights
Of speculation not unfit, descends;
And such benign affections cultivates
Among the inferior kinds; not merely those
That he may call his own, and which depend,
As individual objects of regard,
Upon his care, from whom he also looks
For signs and tokens of a mutual bond;
But others, far beyond this narrow sphere,
Whom, for the very sake of love, he loves.
Nor is it a mean praise of rural life
And solitude, that they do favour most,
Most frequently call forth, and best sustain,
These pure sensations; that can penetrate
The obstreperous city; on the barren seas
Are not unfelt; and much might recommend,
How much they might inspirit and endear,
The loneliness of this sublime retreat!"

"Yes," said the Sage, resuming the discourse Again directed to his downcast Friend, "If, with the froward will and grovelling sal Of man, offended, liberty is here, And invitation every hour renewed, To mark their placid state, who never heard

* Daniel.

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