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The true descendants of those godly men
Who swept from Scotland, in a flame of zeal,
Shrine, altar, image, and the massy piles
That harboured them,-the souls retaining yet
The churlish features of that after-race
Who fled to woods, caverns, and jutting rocks,
In deadly scorn of superstitious rites,

Or what their scruples construed to be such-
How, think you, would they tolerate this scheme
Of fine propensities, that tends, if urged
Far as it might be urged, to sow afresh
The weeds of Romish phantasy, in vain
Uprooted; would re-consecrate our wells
To good Saint Fillan and to fair Saint Anne;
And from long banishment recal Saint Giles,
To watch again with tutelary love

O'er stately Edinborough throned on crags?
A blessed restoration, to behold

The patron, on the shoulders of his priests,
Once more parading through her crowded streets
Now simply guarded by the sober powers
Of science, and philosophy, and sense!"

Be joyless as the blind? Ambitious spirits-
Whom earth, at this late season, hath produced
To regulate the moving spheres, and weigh
The planets in the hollow of their hand;
And they who rather dive than soar, whose pains
Have solved the elements, or analysed
The thinking principle-shall they in fact
Prove a degraded Race? and what avails
Renown, if their presumption make them such!
Oh! there is laughter at their work in heaven!
Inquire of ancient Wisdom; go, demand
Of mighty Nature, if 'twas ever meant
That we should pry far off yet be unraised;
That we should pore, and dwindle as we pore,
Viewing all objects unremittingly
In disconnexion dead and spiritless;
And still dividing, and dividing still,
Break down all grandeur, still unsatisfied
With the perverse attempt, while littleness
May yet become more little; waging thus
An impious warfare with the very life
Of our own souls!

And if indeed there be

This answer followed.-"You have turned my An all-pervading Spirit, upon whom


Upon our brave Progenitors, who rose
Against idolatry with warlike mind,
And shrunk from vain observances, to lurk
In woods, and dwell under impending rocks
Ill-sheltered, and oft wanting fire and food;
Why?—for this very reason that they felt,
And did acknowledge, wheresoe'er they moved,
A spiritual presence, oft-times misconceived,
But still a high dependence, a divine
Bounty and government, that filled their hearts
With joy, and gratitude, and fear, and love;
And from their fervent lips drew hymns of praise,
That through the desert rang. Though favoured

Far less, than these, yet such, in their degree,
Were those bewildered Pagans of old time.
Beyond their own poor natures and above
They looked; were humbly thankful for the good
Which the warm sun solicited, and earth
Bestowed; were gladsome,—and their moral sense
They fortified with reverence for the Gods;
And they had hopes that overstepped the Grave.

Now, shall our great Discoverers,” he exclaimed, Raising his voice triumphantly, "obtain From sense and reason less than these obtained, Though far misled? Shall men for whom our age Unbaffled powers of vision hath prepared,

To explore the world without and world within,

Our dark foundations rest, could he design

That this magnificent effect of power,
The earth we tread, the sky that we behol
By day, and all the pomp which night reveals;
That these and that superior mystery
Our vital frame, so fearfully devised,
And the dread soul within it-should exist
Only to be examined, pondered, searched,
Probed, vexed, and criticised?-Acense me not
Of arrogance, unknown Wanderer as I am,
If, having walked with Nature threescore years,
And offered, far as frailty would allow,
My heart a daily sacrifice to Truth,

I now affirm of Nature and of Truth,
Whom I have served, that their DIVINITY
Revolts, offended at the ways of men
Swayed by such motives, to such ends employed;
Philosophers, who, though the human soul
Be of a thousand faculties composed,
And twice ten thousand interests, do yet prize
This soul, and the transcendent universe,
No more than as a mirror that reflects
To proud Self-love her own intelligence;
That one, poor, finite object, in the abys
Of infinite Being, twinkling restlessly!

Nor higher place can be assigned to him And his compeers-the laughing Sage of France. Crowned was he, if my memory do not er, With laurel planted upon hoary hairs,


In sign of conquest by his wit achieved
And benefits his wisdom had conferred;
His stooping body tottered with wreaths of flowers
Opprest, far less becoming ornaments
Than Spring oft twines about a mouldering tree;
Yet so it pleased a fond, a vain, old Man,
And a most frivolous people. Him I mean
Who penned, to ridicule confiding faith,
This sorry Legend; which by chance we found
Piled in a nook, through malice, as might seem,
Among more innocent rubbish."-Speaking thus,
With a brief notice when, and how, and where,
We had espied the book, he drew it forth;
And courteously, as if the act removed,

At once, all traces from the good Man's heart
Of unbenign aversion or contempt,
Restored it to its owner. "Gentle Friend,"
Herewith he grasped the Solitary's hand,

To reconcile his manhood to a couch
Soft, as may seem, but, under that disguise,
Stuffed with the thorny substance of the past
For fixed annoyance; and full oft beset
With floating dreams, black and disconsolate,
The vapoury phantoms of futurity?

Within the soul a faculty abides, That with interpositions, which would hide And darken, so can deal that they become Contingencies of pomp; and serve to exalt Her native brightness. As the ample moon, In the deep stillness of a summer even Rising behind a thick and lofty grove, Burns, like an unconsuming fire of light, In the green trees; and, kindling on all sides Their leafy umbrage, turns the dusky veil Into a substance glorious as her own,

"You have known lights and guides better than these. Yea, with her own incorporated, by power

Ah! let not aught amiss within dispose
A noble mind to practise on herself,
And tempt opinion to support the wrongs
Of passion: whatsoe'er be felt or feared,
From higher judgment-seats make no appeal
To lower: can you question that the soul
Inherits an allegiance, not by choice
To be cast off, upon an oath proposed
By each new upstart notion? In the ports
Of levity no refuge can be found,

No shelter, for a spirit in distress.

He, who by wilful disesteem of life

And proud insensibility to hope,

Affronts the eye of Solitude, shall learn
That her mild nature can be terrible;
That neither she nor Silence lack the power
To avenge their own insulted majesty.

O blest seclusion! when the mind admits
The law of duty; and can therefore move
Through each vicissitude of loss and gain,
Linked in entire complacence with her choice;
When youth's presumptuousness is mellowed down,
And manhood's vain anxiety dismissed;
When wisdom shows her seasonable fruit,
Upon the boughs of sheltering leisure hung
In sober plenty; when the spirit stoops
To drink with gratitude the crystal stream
Of unreproved enjoyment; and is pleased
To muse, and be saluted by the air

Of meek repentance, wafting wall-flower scents
From out the crumbling ruins of fallen pride
And chambers of transgression, now forlorn.
O, calm coatented days, and peaceful nights!
Who, when such good can be obtained, would strive

Capacious and serene. Like power abides
In man's celestial spirit; virtue thus

Sets forth and magnifies herself; thus feeds
A calm, a beautiful, and silent fire,
From the encumbrances of mortal life,
From error, disappointment-nay, from guilt;
And sometimes, so relenting justice wills,
From palpable oppressions of despair.”

The Solitary by these words was touched With manifest emotion, and exclaimed ; "But how begin? and whence -The Mind is free-.

Resolve,' the haughty Moralist would say,

This single act is all that we demand.'
Alas! such wisdom bids a creature fly
Whose very sorrow is, that time hath shorn
His natural wings!-To friendship let him turn
For succour; but perhaps he sits alone
On stormy waters, tossed in a little boat
That holds but him, and can contain no more!
Religion tells of amity sublime

Which no condition can preclude; of One
Who sees all suffering, comprehends all wants,
All weakness fathoms, can supply all needs:
But is that bounty absolute?-His gifts,
Are they not, stili, in some degree, rewards
For acts of service? Can his love extend
To hearts that own not him? Will showers of grace,
When in the sky no promise may be seen,
Fall to refresh a parched and withered land?
Or shall the groaning Spirit cast her load
At the Redeemer's feet?"

In rueful tone,
With some impatience in his mien, he spake:

Back to my mind rushed all that had been urged
To calm the Sufferer when his story closed;

I looked for counsel as unbending now;
But a discriminating sympathy

Stooped to this apt reply :—

"As men from men

Do, in the constitution of their souls,
Differ, by mystery not to be explained;
And as we fall by various ways, and sink
One deeper than another, self-condemned,
Through manifold degrees of guilt and shame;
So manifold and various are the ways
Of restoration, fashioned to the steps
Of all infirmity, and tending all

To the same point, attainable by all-
Peace in ourselves, and union with our God.
For you, assuredly, a hopeful road
Lies open: we have heard from you a voice
At every moment softened in its course
By tenderness of heart; have seen your eye,
Even like an altar lit by fire from heaven,
Kindle before us.- -Your discourse this day,
That, like the fabled Lethe, wished to flow
In creeping sadness, through oblivious shades
Of death and night, has caught at every turn
The colours of the sun. Access for you
Is yet preserved to principles of truth,
Which the imaginative Will upholds
In seats of wisdom, not to be approached
By the inferior Faculty that moulds,
With her minute and speculative pains,
Opinion, ever changing!

I have seen
A curious child, who dwelt upon a tract
Of inland ground, applying to his ear
The convolutions of a smooth-lipped shell;
To which, in silence hushed, his very soul
Listened intensely; and his countenance soon
Brightened with joy; for from within were heard
Murmurings, whereby the monitor expressed
Mysterious union with its native sea.
Even such a shell the universe itself

Is to the ear of Faith; and there are times,
I doubt not, when to you it doth impart
Authentic tidings of invisible things;
Of ebb and flow, and ever-during power;
And central peace, subsisting at the heart
Of endless agitation. Here you stand,
Adore, and worship, when you know it not;
Pious beyond the intention of your thought;
Devout above the meaning of your will.
-Yes, you have felt, and may not cease to feel.
The estate of man would be indeed forlorn
If false conclusions of the reasoning power

Made the eye blind, and closed the passages
Through which the ear converses with the heart.
Has not the soul, the being of your life,
Received a shock of awful consciousness,
In some calm season, when these lofty rocks
At night's approach bring down the unclouded sky,
To rest upon their circumambient walls;
A temple framing of dimensions vast,
And yet not too enormous for the sound
Of human anthems,--choral song, or burst
Sublime of instrumental harmony,

To glorify the Eternal! What if these
Did never break the stillness that prevails
Here, if the solemn nightingale be mute,
And the soft woodlark here did never chant
Her vespers,-Nature fails not to provide
Impulse and utterance. The whispering air
Sends inspiration from the shadowy heights,
And blind recesses of the caverned rocks;
The little rills, and waters numberless,
Inaudible by daylight, blend their notes
With the loud streams: and often, at the hour
When issue forth the first pale stars, is heard,
Within the circuit of this fabric huge,
One voice the solitary raven, flying
Athwart the concave of the dark blue dome,
Unseen, perchance above all power of sight-
An iron knell! with echoes from afar
Faint-and still fainter-as the cry, with which
The wanderer accompanies her flight
Through the calm region, fades upon the ear,
Diminishing by distance till it seemed
To expire; yet from the abyss is caught again,
And yet again recovered!

But descending
From these imaginative heights, that yield
Far-stretching views into eternity,
Acknowledge that to Nature's humbler power
Your cherished sullenness is forced to bend
Even here, where her amenities are sown
With sparing hand. Then trust yourself abrend
To range her blooming bowers, and spacious folds,
Where on the labours of the happy throng
She smiles, including in her wide embrace
City, and town, and tower,—and sea with ships
Sprinkled ;-be our Companion while we track
Her rivers populous with gliding life;
While, free as air, o'er printless sands we march,
Or pierce the gloom of her majestic woods;
Roaming, or resting under grateful shade
In peace and meditative cheerfulness;
Where living things, and things inanimate,
Do speak, at Heaven's command, to eye and ear,
And speak to social reason's inner sense,

With inarticulate language.

For, the Man

Who, in this spirit, communes with the Forms
Of nature, who with understanding heart
Both knows and loves such objects as excite
No morbid passions, no disquietude,

No vengeance, and no hatred-needs must feel
The joy of that pure principle of love
So deeply, that, unsatisfied with aught
Less pure and exquisite, he cannot choose
But seek for objects of a kindred love
In fellow-natures and a kindred joy.
Accordingly he by degrees perceives
His feelings of aversion softened down ;
A holy tenderness pervade his frame.
His sanity of reason not impaired,

Say rather, all his thoughts now flowing clear,
From a clear fountain flowing, he looks round
And seeks for good; and finds the good he seeks:
Until abhorrence and contempt are things
He only knows by name; and, if he hear,
From other mouths, the language which they speak,
He is compassionate; and has no thought,
No feeling, which can overcome his love.

And further; by contemplating these Forms In the relations which they bear to man,

He shall discern, how, through the various means
Which silently they yield, are multiplied
The spiritual presences of absent things.
Trust me, that for the instructed, time will come
When they shall meet no object but may teach
Same acceptable lesson to their minds
Of human suffering, or of human joy.

So shall they learn, while all things speak of man,
Their duties from all forms; and general laws,
And local accidents, shall tend alike
To rouse, to urge; and, with the will, confer
The ability to spread the blessings wide
Of true philanthropy. The light of love
Not failing, perseverance from their steps
Iparting not, for them shall be confirmed
The glorious habit by which sense is made
Subservient still to moral purposes,
Auxiliar to divine. That change shall clothe
The naked spirit, ceasing to deplore
The burthen of existence. Science then
Shall be a precious visitant; and then,
And only then, be worthy of her name:
For then her heart shall kindle; her dull eye,
Dull and inanimate, no more shall hang
Ianized to its object in brute slavery;
But taught with patient interest to watch
The processes of things, and serve the cause

Of order and distinctness, not for this
Shall it forget that its most noble use,
Its most illustrious province, must be found
In furnishing clear guidance, a support
Not treacherous, to the mind's excursive power.
-So build we up the Being that we are;
Thus deeply drinking-in the soul of things,
We shall be wise perforce; and, while inspired
By choice, and conscious that the Will is free,
Shall move unswerving, even as if impelled
By strict necessity, along the path
Of order and of good. Whate'er we see,
Or feel, shall tend to quicken and refine;
Shall fix, in calmer seats of moral strength,
Earthly desires; and raise, to loftier heights
Of divine love, our intellectual soul."

Here closed the Sage that eloquent harangue, Poured forth with fervour in continuous stream, Such as, remote, mid savage wilderness, An Indian Chief discharges from his breast Into the hearing of assembled tribes, In open circle seated round, and hushed As the unbreathing air, when not a leaf Stirs in the mighty woods.-So did he speak : The words he uttered shall not pass away Dispersed, like music that the wind takes up By snatches, and lets fall, to be forgotten; No-they sank into me, the bounteous gift Of one whom time and nature had made wise, Gracing his doctrine with authority Which hostile spirits silently allow; Of one accustomed to desires that feed On fruitage gathered from the tree of life; To hopes on knowledge and experience built; Of one in whom persuasion and belief Had ripened into faith, and faith become A passionate intuition; whence the Soul, Though bound to earth by ties of pity and love, From all injurious servitude was free.

The Sun, before his place of rest were reached, Had yet to travel far, but unto us, To us who stood low in that hollow dell, He had become invisible,-a pomp Leaving behind of yellow radiance spread Over the mountain sides, in contrast bold With ample shadows, seemingly, no less Than those resplendent lights, his rich bequest; A dispensation of his evening power. -Adown the path that from the glen had led The funeral train, the Shepherd and his Mate Were seen descending:-forth to greet them ran Our little Page: the rustic pair approach;

And in the Matron's countenance may be read
Plain indication that the words, which told
How that neglected Pensioner was sent
Before his time into a quiet grave,
Had done to her humanity no wrong:

But we are kindly welcomed-promptly served

With ostentatious zeal.-Along the floor

Of the small Cottage in the lonely Dell
A grateful couch was spread for our repose;
Where, in the guise of mountaineers, we lay,
Stretched upon fragrant heath, and lulled by sound
Of far-off torrents charming the still night,
And, to tired limbs and over-busy thoughts,
Inviting sleep and soft forgetfulness.




Farewell to the Valley-Reflections-A large and populous Vale described-The Pastor's Dwelling, and some account of him-Church and Monuments-The Solitary musing, and where-Roused-In the Churchyard the Solitary communicates the thoughts which had recently passed through his mind-Lofty tone of the Wanderer's discourse of yesterday adverted to-Rite of Baptism, and the professions accompanying it, contrasted with the real state of human life-Apology for the Rite-Inconsistency of the best men-Acknowledgment that practice falls far below the injunctions of duty as existing in the mind-General complaint of a falling-off in the value of life after the time of youth -Outward appearances of content and happiness in degree illusive-Pastor approaches-Appeal made to him-IIis answer-Wanderer in sympathy with himSuggestion that the least ambitious enquirers may be most free from error-The Pastor is desired to give some portraits of the living or dead from his own observa tion of life among these Mountains-and for what purpose-Pastor consents-Mountain cottage-Excellent qualities of its Inhabitants-Solitary expresses his pleasure; but denies the praise of virtue to worth of this kind-Feelings of the Priest before he enters upon his account of persons interred in the ChurchyardGraves of unbaptized Infants-Funeral and sepulchral observances, whence-Ecclesiastical Establishments, whence derived-Profession of belief in the doctrine of Immortality.

"FAREWELL, deep Valley, with thy one rude House,

And its small lot of life-supporting fields,
And guardian rocks!-Farewell, attractive seat!
To the still influx of the morning light
Open, and day's pure cheerfulness, but veiled
From human observation, as if yet
Primeval forests wrapped thee round with dark
Impenetrable shade; once more farewell,
Majestic circuit, beautiful abyss,

By Nature destined from the birth of things
For quietness profound!"

Upon the side

Of that brown ridge, sole outlet of the vale Which foot of boldest stranger would attempt, Lingering behind my comrades, thus I breathed A parting tribute to a spot that seemed Like the fixed centre of a troubled world. Again I halted with reverted eyes; The chain that would not slacken, was at length Snapt, and, pursuing leisurely my way, How vain, thought I, is it by change of place To seek that comfort which the mind denies; Yet trial and temptation oft are shunned Wisely; and by such tenure do we hold, Frail life's possessions, that even they whose fate Yields no peculiar reason of complaint Might, by the promise that is here, be won To steal from active duties, and embrace Obscurity, and undisturbed repose. -Knowledge, methinks, in these disordered times, Should be allowed a privilege to have Her anchorites, like piety of old; Men, who, from faction sacred, and unstained By war, might, if so minded, turn aside Uncensured, and subsist, a scattered few Living to God and nature, and content With that communion. Consecrated be The spots where such abide! But happier still The Man, whom, furthermore, a hope attends That meditation and research may guide His privacy to principles and powers Discovered or invented; or set forth, Through his acquaintance with the ways of truth, In lucid order; so that, when his course Is run, some faithful eulogist may say, He sought not praise, and praise did overlook His unobtrusive merit; but his life, Sweet to himself, was exercised in good That shall survive his name and memory.

Acknowledgments of gratitude sincere Accompanied these musings; fervent thanks

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