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Enliven'd happiness with joy o'erflowing,
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 thus his speech renewed.
• You never saw, your eyes did never look On the bright Form of Her whom once I loved:— Her silver voice was heard upou 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; I would not yet be of such wintry bareness, But that some leaf of your regard should hang "pon my naked branches:-lively thoughts
Give birth, full often, to unguarded words;
On Devon's leafy shores;–a sheltered Hold,
In a soft clime encouraging the soil
• But Nature called my Partner to resign Iler 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
| Proceed all visible ministers of good | That walk the earth—Father of heaven and earth,
Father, and King, and Judge, adored and feared
• 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, By the endearing names of nature bound, 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. Ou these two pillars rested as in air Our solitude.
It soothes me to perceive,
Your courtesy withholds not from my words
* 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 regions inaccessible; 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!
to 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 on which 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 ine, 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 call'd on dreams and visions, to disclose
Of time, else lost;-existing unto ine
a From that abstraction I was roused,—and how !
Glory—beyond all glory ever seen,
• 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 cimbrace Of institutions, and the forms of things; As they exist, in mutable array, Upon life's surface. What, though in my veins There slowed no Gallic blood, nor load I breathcal 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 And acclamation, crowds in open air
Expressed the tumult of their minds, my voice
« 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 exclaim, As Brutus did to Wirtue, “Liberty, I worshipped Thee, and find thee but a Shade''
a Such recantation had for me no charm, 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 good | In timid selfishness withdrew, I sought | Other support, not scrupulous whence it came, | 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 ! Whate cr 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 Mau 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 docv. | 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—
“Fresh blew the wind, which 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.—Fechly 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 sixing 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 Natures, ignorance, dismayed
* Long-wish'd-for sight, the Western World appeared; And, when the Ship was moored, I leapt ashore Indignantly—resolved to be a Man, Wino, 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 Futfitive, whose feet have cleared
Some boundary, which his Followers may not cross
• So, westward, tow'rd the unviolated Woods I beat 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 sympathized 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 cannot find; what I myself 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, o Within the depths of its capacious breast,
Inverted trees, and rocks, and azure sky;
And, on its glassy surface, specks of foam,
Of suffering hath been thoroughly fortified
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 recall exploded superstitions and popery —Wanderer rebuts this charge, and contrasts the dignities of the Imagination with the presumptive 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 —Happy that the imagination and the affections mitigate the evils of that intellectual slavery which the calculating understanding is apt to produce—Exhortation to activity of body renewed—How to commune with Nature–Wanderer concludes with a legitimate union of the imagination, affections, understanding, and reason— Effect of his discourse—Evening—Return to the Cottage.
Here closed the Tenant of that lonely vale
• One adequate support
State of feeling produced by the foregoing Narrative— And the defence that lies in boundless love A belief in a superintending Providence the only of his perfections; with habitual dread adequate support under affliction—wanderer's eja- of aught unworthily conceived, endured culation—account of his own devotional feelings in - Impatiently; ill-done, or left undone, , youth involved—Acknowledges the difficulty of a To the dishonour of his holy Name. lively faith—hence immoderate sorrow--doubt or Soul of our Souls, and safeguard of the world! despondence not therefore to be inferred – Con- Sustain, Thou only canst, the sick of heart; solation to the Solitary—Exhortations—How received | Restore their languid spirits, and recall -Wanderer applies his discourse to that other cause Their lost affections unto Thee and thine!»
of dejection in the Solitary's mind—disappointment from the French Revolution—States grounds of hope
Then as we issued from that covert Nook,
—insists on the necessity of patience and fortitude tie thus continued—lifting up his eyes with respect to the course of great revolutions— To Heaven.—" How beautiful this dome of sky,