Imágenes de páginas

With gilded housings.

That task would foil;" then, letting fall his voice
while he advanced, thus spake: “ Tradition tells
That, in Eliza's golden days, a Knight
Came on a War-horse sumptuously attired,
And fix'd his home in this sequester'd Vale.
T is left untold if here he first drew breath,
Or as a Stranger reach'd this deep recess,
Unknowing, and unknown. A pleasing thought
I sometimes entertain, that, haply bound
To Scotland's court in service of his Queen,
Or sent on mission to some northern Chief
Of England's Realm, this Vale he might have seen
With transient observation; and thence caught
An Image fair, which, brightening in his soul
When joy of war and pride of Chivalry
Languish'd beneath accumulated years,
Had power to draw him from the world—resolved
To make that paradise his chosen home
To which his peaceful Fancy oft had turn'd.
—Vague thoughts are these; but, if belief may rest
Upon unwritten story fondly traced
From sire to son, in this obscure Retreat
The Knight arrived, with pomp of spear and shield,
And borne upon a Charger cover'd o'er
And the lofty Steed—
His sole companion, and his faithful friend,
whom he, in gratitude, let loose to range
In fertile pastures—was beheld with eyes
Of admiration and delightful awe,
By those untravell'd Dalesmen. With less pride,

Yet free from touch of envious discontent,

They saw a Mansion at his bidding rise,

Like a Bright star, amid the lowly band,

Of their rude Homesteads. Here the Warrior dwelt,
And, in that Mansion, Children of his own,
Or kindred, gather'd round him. As a Tree
That falls and disappears, the House is gone;
And, through improvidence or want of love
For ancient worth and honourable things,
The spear and shield are vanish'd, which the Knight
Hung in his rustic Hall. One ivied arch
Myself have seen, a gateway, last remains
Of that Foundation in domestic care
Raised by his hands. And now no trace is left
Of the mild-hearted Champion, save this Stone,
Faithless memorial! and his family name
Borne by yon clustering cottages, that sprang
From out the ruins of his stately Lodge:
These, and the name and title at full length,
£ir 3 Isrtb §rthing, with appropriate words
Accompanied, still extant, in a wreath
Or posy—girding round the several fronts
Of three clear-sounding and harmonious bells,
That in the steeple hang, his pious gift.”

• So fails, so languishes, grows dim, and dies,” The grey-haird Wanderer pensively exclaim’d, • All that this World is proud of. From their spheres The stars of human glory are cast down; Perish the roses and the flowers of Kings, Princes, and Emperors, and the crowns and palms Of all the Mighty, withered and consumed ! Nor is power given to lowliest Innocence, Long to protect her own. The Man himself Departs; and soon is spent the Line of those Who, in the bodily image, in the mind,

In heart or soul, in station or pursuit,
Did most resemble him. Degrees and Ranks,
Fraternities and Orders—heaping high
New wealth upon the burthen of the old,
And placing trust in privilege confirm'd
And re-confirm'd—arc scoff d at with a smile
Of greedy foretaste, from the secret stand
Of Desolation aim'd : to slow decline
These yield, and these to sudden overthrow;
Their virtue, service, happiness, and state
Expire; and Nature's pleasant robe of green,
Humanity's appointed shroud, enwraps
Their monuments and their memory. The vast Frame
Of social Nature changes evermore
Her organs and her members with decay
Restless, and restless generation, powers
And functions dying and produced at need,—
And by this law the mighty Whole subsists:
With an ascent and progress in the main;
Yet, oh! how disproportion'd to the hopes
And expectations of self-flattering minds!
—The courteous Knight, whose bones are here interr'd,
Lived in an age conspicuous as our own
For strife and ferment in the minds of men;
Whence alteration, in the forms of things,
Various and vast. A memorable age 1
Which did to him assign a pensive lot,
—To linger 'mid the last of those bright Clouds,
That, on the steady breeze of honour, sailed
In long procession calm and beautiful.
He who had seen his own bright Order fade,
And its devotion gradually decline,
(While War, relinquishing the lance and shield,
Her temper changed, and bow'd to other laws)
Had also witness'd in his morn of life,
That violent Commotion, which o'erthrew,
In town, and city, and sequester'd glen,
Altar, and Cross, and Church of solemn roof,
And old religious House—Pile after Pile;
And shook the Tenants out into the fields,
Like wild Beasts without home! Their hour was come;
But why no softening thought of gratitude,
No just remembrance, scruple, or wise doubt?
Benevolence is mild; nor borrows help,
Save at worst need, from bold impetuous force,
Fitliest allied to anger and revenge.
But Human-kind rejoices in the might
Of Mutability, and airy Hopes,
Dancing around her, hinder and disturb
Those meditations of the soul, that feed
The retrospective Virtues. Festive songs
Break from the maddend Nations at the sight
Of sudden overthrow ; and cold neglect
Is the sure consequence of slow decay.
—Even,” said the Wanderer, was that courteous Knight,
Bound by his vow to labour for redress
Of all who suffer wrong, and to enact
by sword and lance the law of gentleness,
If I may venture of myself to speak,
Trusting that not incongruously I blend
Low things with lofty, I too shall be doom'd
To outlive the kindly use and fair esteem
Of the poor calling which my Youth embraced
With no unworthy prospect. But enough;
—Thoughts crowd upon me—and t were seemlier now
To stop, and yield our gracious Teacher thanks

For the pathetic Records which his voice —But let us hence! my Dwelling is in sight,
Hath here delivered; words of heartfelt truth, And there—w
Tending to patience when Affliction strikes; At this the Solitary shrunk
To hope and love; to confident repose With backward will; but, wanting not address
In God; and reverence for the dust of Man.” That inward motion to disguise, he said

To his Compatriot, smiling as he spake; —“The peaceable Remains of this good Knight BOOK VIII. Would be disturb'd, I fear, with wrathful scorn, If consciousness could reach him where he lies That One, albeit of these degenerate times, ARGUMENT. o changes past, or dreading change oreseen, had dared to couple, even in thought, Pastor's apprehensions that he might have detained his The fine Vocation of the sword and lance Audtors too long—Invitation to his House—Solitary | With the gross aims and body-bending toil disinclined to comply—rallies the Wanderer; and Of a poor Brotherhood who walk the earth somewhat playfully draws a comparison between his Pitied, and where they are not known, despised. itinerant profession and that of the Knight-errant— –Yet, by the good Knight's leave, the two Estates which leads to Wanderer's giving an account of Are graced with some resemblance. Errant Those, changes in the Country from the manufacturing Exiles and Wanderers—and the like are These: spirit—Favourable effects—The other side of the Who, with their burthen, traverse hill and dale, picture, and chiefly as it has affected the humbler | Carrying relief for Nature's simple wants. classes—Wanderer asserts the hollowness of all ma- —What though no higher recompense they seek tional grandeur if unsupported by moral worth— Than honest maintenance, by irksome toll gives Instances — Physical science unable to support | Full oft procured, yet such may claim respect, i itself—Lamentations over an excess of manufactur- || Among the Intelligent, for what this course ing industry among the humbler Classes of Society—| Enables them to be, and to perform. Picture of a Child employed in a Cotton-mill—Igno- Their tardy steps give leisure to observe, rance and degradation of Children among the agri- While solitude permits the mind to feel: cultural Population reviewed—Conversation broken Instructs and prompts her to supply defects off by a renewed Invitation from the Pastor–Path | By the division of her inward self, leading to his House—its appearance described—His For grateful converse: and to these poor Men Daughter—His Wife—itis Son (a Boy) enters with his (As I have heard you boast with honest pride, . Companion – Their happy appearance—the Wan. Nature is bountiful, where'er they to: derer how affected by the sight of them. Kind Nature's various wealth is all their own. t - Versed in the characters of men; and bound.

THE PARSONAGE. hy tie of daily interest, to maintain + Conciliatory manners and smooth speech:

| The pensive Sceptic of the lonely Vale Such have been, and still are in their degree,
| To those acknowledgments subscribed his own, Examples efficacious to refine
| With a sedate compliance, which the Priest Rude intercourse; apt Agents to expel,
fail'd not to notice, inly pleased, and said, By importation of unlook'd-for Arts,
• If Ye, by whom invited I commenced Barbarian torpor, and blind prejudice;
These Narratives of calm and humble life, Raising, through just gradation, savage life
He satisfied, "t is well,—the end is gain'd; To rustic, and the rustic to urbane.
And, in return for sympathy bestow'd —Within their moving magazines is lodged
And patient listening, thanks accept from me. Power that comes forth to quicken and exalt
| —Life, Death, Eternity! momentous themes Affections seated in the Mother's breast,
Are they—and might demand a Scraph's tongue, And in the Lover's fancy; and to feed
Were they not equal to their own support; The sober sympathies of long-tried Friends.
And therefore no incompetence of mine —By these Itinerants, as experienced Men, i
Could do them wrong. The universal forms Counsel is given; contention they appease
Of human nature, in a Spot like this, With gentle language; in remotest Wilds,
Present themselves at once to all Men's view: Tears wipe away, and pleasant tidings bring:
Ye wish'd for act and circumstance that make Could the proud quest of Chivalry do moro-
The Individual known and understood;
And such as my best judgment could select • Happy,” rejoin'd the wanderer, they who gain
From what the place afforded have been given; A panelyric from your generous tongue! -
Though apprehensions cross'd me, in the course But if to these wayfarers once pertain'd
Of this self-pleasing exercise, that Ye Aught of romantic interest, is goue;
My zeal to his would liken, who unlocks Their purer service, in this realm at least,
A Cabinet with tems or pictures stored, Is past for ever.—An inventive Age -
And draws them forth–soliciting regard Has wrought, if not with speed of magic, yet
To this, and this, as worthier than the last, To most strange issues. I have lived to mark
Till the Spectator, who a while was pleased A new and unforeseen Creation rise
More than the Exhibitor himself, becomes From out the labours of a peaceful Land.
Weary and faint, and longs to be released. wielding her potent Enginery to frame

And to produce, with appetite as keen
As that of War, which rests not night or day,
Industrious to destroy! With fruitless pains
Might one like me now visit many a tract
which, in his youth, he trod and trod again,
A lone Pedestrian with a scanty freight,
Wish d for, or welcome, wheresoe'er he came,
Among the Tenantry of Thorpe and Will;
Or straggling Burgh, of ancient charter proud,
And dignified by battlements and towers
of some stern Castle, inouidering on the brow
Of a green hill or bank of rugoed stream.
The foot-path faintly marked, the horse-track wild,
And formidable length of plashy lane,
(Prized avenues ere others had been shaped
Or easier links connecting place with place)
Have vanish d, swallow'd up by stately roads
Łasy and bold, that penetrate the gloom
Of Britain's farthest Glens. The Earth has lent
Her waters, Air lier breezes; and the Sail
of traffic glides with ceaseless interchange,
Glistening along the low and woody dale,
Or on the naked mountain's lofty side.
Meanwhile, at social Industry's command,
How quick, how vast an increase! From the gerin
Of some poor Hamlet, rapidly produced
Here a huge town, continuous and compact,
Hiding the face of earth for leagues—and there,
where not a Habitation stood before,
Abodes of men irregularly mass'd
Like trees in forests—spread through spacious tracts,
Oer which the smoke of unremitting fires
Hangs permanent, and plentiful as wreaths
of vapour glittering in the morning sun.
And, wheresoe'er the Traveller turns his steps,
He sees the barren wilderness erased,
or disappearing; triumph that proclaims
How much the mild Directress of the plough
Owes to alliance with these new-born Arts!
—Hence is the wide Sea peopled.—hence the Shores
of Britain are resorted to by Ships
Freighted from every climate of the world
with the world's choicest produce. Hence that sun
of Keels that rest within her crowded ports,
or ride at anchor in her sounds and bays,
That animating spectacle of Sails
which, through her inland regions, to and fro
Pass with the respirations of the tide,
Perpetual, multitudinous' Finally,
Hence a dread arm of floating Power, a voice
Of Thunder daunting those who would approach
with hostile purposes the blessed Isle,
Truth's consecrated residence, the seat
Impregnable of Liberty and Peace.

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while all things else are gathering to their homes, Advance, and in the firmament of heaven Glitter—but undisturbing, undisturbed ; As if their silent company were charged With peaceful admonitions for the heart Of all-beholding Man, earth's thoughtful Lord ; | Then, in full many a region, once like this The assured domain of calm simplicity And pensive quiet, an unnatural light, Prepared for never-resting Labour's eyes, Breaks from a many-windowed Fabric huge; And at the appointed hour a Bell is heard— Of harsher import than the Curfew-knoll That spake the Norman Conqueror's stern behest— A local summons to unceasing toil' Disgorged are now the Ministers of day; And, as they issue from the illumined Pile, A fresh Band meets them, at the crowded door— And in the Courts—and where the rumbling Stream, That turns the multitude of dizzy wheels, Glares, like a troubled Spirit, in its bed Among the rocks below. Men, Maidens, Youths, Mother and little Children, Boys and Girls, Enter, and each the wonted task resumes Within this Temple—where is offered up t To Gain—the master liol of the Realm, Perpetual sacrifice. Even thus of old Our Ancestors, within the still domain Of vast Cathedral or Conventual Church, Their vigils kept; where tapers day and night On the dim altar burned continually, In token that the House was evermore Watching to God. Religious Men were they Nor would their Reason, tutored to aspire Above this transitory world, allow That there should pass a moment of the year, When in their land the Almighty's Service ceased.

« Triumph who will in these profaner rites which we, a generation self-extolled, | As zealously perform I cannot share | His proud complacency; yet I exult, Casting reserve away, exult to see An Intellectual mastery exercised O'er the blind Elements; a purpose given, A perseverance fed; almost a soul imparted—to brute Matter. I rejoice, Measuring the force of those gigantic powers, That by the thinking Mind have been compelled To serve the Will of feeble-bodied Man. For with the sense of admiration blends The animating hope that time may come when strengthened, yet not dauled, by the might of this dominion over Nature gained, \len of all lands shall exercise the same in due proportion to their Country's need; Learning, though late, that all true glory rests, All praise, all safety, and all happiness, Upon the moral law. Egyptian Thebes; Tyre by the margin of the sounding waves; Palmyra, central in the Desert, fell; And the Arts died by which they had been raised. —call Archimedes from his buried Tomb topon the plain of vanished Syracuse, And feelinoiy the Sage shall make report | tlow insecure, how baseless in itself,

Is the Philosophy, whose sway depends
On mere material instruments :-how weak
Those Arts, and high Inventions, if unpropped
By Virtue.—He with sighs of pensive grief,
Amid his calm abstractions, would admit
That not the slender privilege is theirs
To save themselves from blank forgetfulness!»

When from the Wanderer's lips these words had fallen, I said, “And, did in truth these vaunted Arts Possess such privilege, how could we escape Regret and painful sadness, who revere, And would preserve as things above all price, The old domestic morals of the land, Her simple manners, and the stable worth That dignified and cheered a low estate : Oh! where is now the character of peace, Sobriety, and order, and chaste love, And honest dealing, and untainted speech, And pure good-will, and hospitable cheer; That made the very thought of Country-life A thought of refuge, for a Mind detained Reluctantly amid the bustling crowd Where now the beauty of the Sabbath kept With conscientious reverence, as a day By the Almighty Law-giver pronounced Holy and blesto and where the winning grace Of all the lighter ornaments attached To time and season, as the year rolled round to

• Fled!” was the Wanderer's passionate response, • Fled utterly 1 or only to be traced In a few fortunate Retreats like this; Which I behold with trembling, when I think What lamentable change, a year—a month— May bring; that Brook converting as it runs Into an Instrument of deadly bane For those, who, yet untempted to forsake The simple occupations of their Sires, Drink the pure water of its innocent stream With lip almost as pure.—Domestic bliss, (Or call it comfort, by a humbler name.) How art thou blighted for the poor Man's heart Lo! in such neighbourhood, from morn to eve, The Habitations empty' or perchance The Mother left alone,—no helping hand To rock the cradle of her peevish babe ; No daughters round her, busy at the wheel, Or in dispatch of each day's little growth Of household occupation ; no nice arts Of needle-work; no bustle at the fire, Where once the dinner was prepared with pride; Nothing to speed the day, or cheer the mind; Nothing to praise, to teach, or to command' —The Father, if perchance he still retain His old employments, goes to field or wood, No longer led or followed by the Sons; Idlers perchance they were, but in his sight; Breathing fresh air, and treading the green earth; Till their short holiday of childhood ceased, Ne'er to return That birthright now is lost. Economists will tell you that the State Thrives by the forfeiture——unfeeling thought, And false as monstrous ! Can the Mother thrive By the destruction of her innocent Sons? In whom a premature Necessity

Blocks out the forms of Nature, preconsumes
The reason, famishes the heart, shuts up
The Infant Being in itself, and makes
Its very spring a season of decay
The lot is wretched, the condition sad.
Whether a pining discontent survive.
And thirst for change; or habit hath subdued
The soul depressed, dejected—even to love
Of her dull tasks, and close captivity.
—Oh, banish far such wisdom as condemns
A native Briton to these inward chains,
Fixed in his soul, so early and so deep.
Without his own consent, or knowledge, fixed"
He is a Slave to whom release cornes not.
And cannot come. The Boy, where'er he turns,
Is still a prisoner; when the wind is up
Among the clouds and in the ancient woods;
Or when the sun is shining in the east,
Quiet and calm. Behold him—in the school
Of his attainments : no ; but with the air
Fanning his temples under heaven's blue arch.
His raiment, whitened o'er with cotton flake.
Or locks of wool, announces whence he come-
Creeping his gait and cowering—his lip Pale–
His respiration quick and audible;
And scarcely could you fancy that a gleam
From out those languid eyes could break. or bless
Mantle upon his cheek. Is this the form.
Is that the countenance, and such the port.
Of no mean Being: One who should be clothed
With dignity befitting his proud hope;
Who, in his very childhood, should appear
Sublime—from present purity and joy
The limbs increase; but liberty of mind
Is gone for ever; this organic Frane,
So joyful in her motions, is become
Dull, to the joy of her own motions dead:
And even the Touch, so exquisitely poured
Through the whole body, with a languid will
Performs her functions; rarely competent
To impress a vivid feeling on the mind
Of what there is delightful in the breeze.
The gentle visitations of the sun,
Or lapse of liquid element—by hand,
Or foot, or lip, in summer's warmth-perceived
—Can hope look forward to a manhood raised
On such foundations on
w Hope is none for him -
The pale Recluse indignantly exclaimed,
« And tens of thousands suffer wrong as deep.
Yet be it asked, in justice to our age,
If there were not, before those Arts appeared.
These Structures rose, commingling old and young,
And unripe sex with sex, for mutual taunt :

Then, if there were not, in our far-famed Isle.

Multitudes, who from infancy had breatbed
Air unimprisoned, and had lived at large :
Yet walked beneath the sun, in human shape,
As abject, as degraded ? At this day,
Who shall enumerate the crazy huts
And tottering hovels, whence do issue forth
A ragged Offspring, with their own blanched hasr
Crowned like the image of tautastic Fear:
Or wearing, we might say, in that white growth
An ill-adjusted turban, for defence
Or fierceness, wreathed around their sun-burnt brew-
By savage Nature's unassisted care.
Naked and coloured like the soil, the feet
On which they stand; as if thereby they drew
Some nourishment, as Trees do by their roots,
From Earth the common Mother of us all.
Figure and mien, complexion and attire,
Are leagued to strike dismay, but outstretched hand
And whining voice denote them Supplicants
For the least boon that pity can bestow.
Such on the breast of darksome heaths are found;
And with their Parents dwell upon the skirts
Of furze-clad commons; such are born and reared
At the mine's mouth, beneath impending rocks,
Or in the chambers of some natural cave;
And where their Ancestors erected huts,
For the convenience of unlawful gain,
In forest purlieus; and the like are bred,
All England through, where nooks and slips of ground,
Purloined, in times less jealous than our own,
From the green margin of the public way,
A residence afford them, 'mid the bloom
And gaiety of cultivated fields.
—Such (we will hope the lowest in the scale)
Do I remember oft-times to have seen
"Mid Buxton's dreary heights. Upon the watch,
Till the swift vehicle approach, they stand;
Then, following closely with the cloud of dust,
An uncouth feat exhibit, and are gone
Heels over head like Tumblers on a Stage.
–Up from the ground they snatch the copper coin,
And, on the freight of merry Passengers
Fixing a steady eye, maintain their speed;
And spin–and pant—and overhead again,
Wild Pursuivants! until their breath is lost,
Or bounty tires—and every face, that smiled
Encouragement, hath ceased to look that way.
—But, like the Vagrants of the Gipsy tribe,
These, bred to little pleasure in themselves,
Are profitless to others. Turn we then
To Britons born and bred within the pale
of civil polity, and early trained
To earn, by wholesome labour in the field,
The bread they eat. A sample should I give
Of what this stock produces to enrich
The tender age of life, ye would exclaim,
‘Is this the whistling Plough-boy whose shrill notes
Impart new gladness to the morning air o'
Forgive me if I venture to suspect
That many, sweet to hear of in soft verse,
Are of no finer frame:—his joints are stiff;
Beneath a cumbrous frock, that to the knees
Invests the thriving Churl, his legs appear,
Fellows to those that lustily upheld
The wooden stools for everlasting use,
Whereon our Fathers sate. And mark his brow !
Under whose shaggy canopy are set
Two eyes, not dim, but of a healthy stare:
Wide, sluggish, blank, and ignorant, and strange;
Proclaiming boldly that they never drew
A look or motion of intelligence
From infant conning of the Christ-cross-row,
Or puzzling through a Primer, line by line,
Till perfect mastery crown the pains at last.
—What kindly warmth from touch of fostering hand,
what penetrating power of sun or breeze,
Shall e'er dissolve the crust wherein his soul

Sleeps, like a caterpillar sheathed in ice?
This torpor is no pitiable work
Of modern ingenuity; no Town
Nor crowded City may be taxed with aught
Of sottish vice or desperate breach of law,
To which in after years he may be roused.
—This Boy the Fields produce : his spade and hoe—
The Carter's whip that on his shoulder rests
In air high-towering with a boorish pomp,
The sceptre of his sway; his Country's name,
Her equal rights, her churches and her schools—
What have they done for him 1 And, let me ask,
For tens of thousands uninformed as he
In brief, what liberty of mind is here to

This ardent sally pleased the mild good Man, To whom the appeal couched in its closing words Was pointedly addressed; and to the thoughts That, in assent or opposition, rose Within his mind, he seemed prepared to give Prompt utterance; but, rising from our seat, The hospitable Vicar interposed With invitation urgently renewed. —We followed, taking as he led, a Path Along a Hedge of hollies, dark and tall, Whose flexile boughs, descending with a weight Of leafy spray, concealed the stems and roots That gave them nourishment. When frosty winds Howl from the north, what kindly warmth methought Is here, how grateful this impervious screen' Not shaped by simple wearing of the foot On rural business passing to and fro Was the commodious Walk; a careful hand Had marked the line, and strewn the surface o'er With pure cerulean gravel, from the heights Fetched by the neighbouring brook.-Across the Wale The stately Fence accompanied our steps; And thus the Pathway, by perennial green Guarded and graced, seemed fashioned to unite, As by a beautiful yet solemn chain, The Pastor's Mansion with the House of Prayer.

Like Image of solemnity, conjoined With feminine allurement soft and fair, The Mansion's self displayed;—a reverend Pile With bold projections and recesses deep ; Shadowy, yet gay and lightsome as it stood Fronting the noontide Sun. We paused to admire The pillared Porch, elaborately embossed ; The low wide windows with their mullions old; The cornice richly freited, of grey stone; And that smooth slope from which the Dwelling rose, By beds and banks Arcadian of gay flowers And flowering shrubs, protected and adorned ; Profusion bright! and every flower assuming A more than natural vividness of hue, From unaffected contrast with the gloom of sober cypress, and the darker foil Of yew, in which survived some traces, here Not unbecoming, of grotesque device And uncouth fancy. From behind the roof Rose the slim ash and massy sycamore, Blending their diverse foliage with the green Of ivy, flourishing and thick, that clasped The huge round chimneys, harbour of delight For wren and redbreast,-where they sit and sing

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