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me to my native village; some snatches of song, though rude and unlearned, yet sweet to my ear, and hereafter, perchance, to be linked into softer harmony. But this darkness may flee away; mercy may even now be shining behind the cloud: the times of refreshment from the countenance of the Lord may
be at hand *
Nay, I do not despair: the holy Prophet tells us, that when the enemy cometh in like a flood, then shall the Spirit of the Lord uplift a standard against it. And do not all Histories, those Confessions of Time, confirm the declaration? How often have the fiery Thrones and Principalities of Darkness grown pale before the Army of Martyrs! In the blackest night of the Church this Banner hath been uplifted. Even in those dreadful days of persecution, when the gloom was illuminated only by the torches of maddening zeal, and the glare of hungry flames preying upon the innocent; when Superstition, and Hate, and Revenge roamed through the land ; even then, while the Enemy did, indeed, rush in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord uplifted a Standard against it! And so shall it be again. This fury of the Philistines shall be
* Acts üi. 16.
beaten down; these overflowings of ungodliness driven back. Of a truth, the Enemy doth come in like a flood, and with the roar of many waters; but the Spirit of the Lord shall open the glittering folds of its Standard, and make the proud waves thereof to be stayed. God chasteneth his ungrateful children in divers manners. This heavy scourge may be a Father's visitation upon the crimes of his people; and of a truth, the savour of them hath long gone up on high from a thousand altars to Belial. We are too like the barren fig-tree; year after year the Lord calleth for fruit, but none is found; the rain and the dew from heaven distil upon us, yet we put forth nothing but leaves; Summer and Winter-still we only cumber the ground. We shelter none, we refresh none. At length the curse goeth forth-Never fruit grow on thee more! Is it not so ?
Alas! I fear!
The sins of every one of us call sternly for repentance; the scholar hath made an Idol of his learning, the poet of his fancy, the statesman of his eloquence. Prosperity hath inebriated our hearts with new wine; we have soiled our Garments at
her Festival*. Yet not all—Piety and Learning have some true and devout disciples. God in his provident mercy hath never suffered these Stars of the moral world to be wanting. They shine upon us by night and day, cheering and guiding our course over the most tempestuous and dreary sea. Nor do we make the perilous voyage alone. Shall we then—creatures of little faith!--cry aloud at the dashing of the waves, and the tumult of the storm, We perish! we perish! as if He who is with us either slumbered or slept ?
Let us rather arm ourselves for the combat.
But ah, how vain a poor scholar's armoury against this onset ; how weak his sling against such a Goliah! Eloquence, mighty though it be, overthrows not the Giant; words of themselves, however
* The following remark occurs in More's Discourse on James i., 27, True religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. “ The word aomidor signifies properly such kind of spots as are in clothes, by spilling some liquid or oily thing on them. An hard task certainly to be religious at this height. Is it to be thought possible that we should wear the Garment of Mortality every day, nay every hour and moment, for thirty, forty, fifty, sixty years together, and soil it by no mischance or miscarriage, either of careless youth, violent manhood, or palsied old age?”
noble, are harmless as the shadow of Hercules' Club in the sunshine * With such a blow the brain of the Nemean Lion was never shakent. Neither have my studies or habits of thought led me to these thorny paths of controversy. Here have I dwelt for so many years, that every old stone has become dear to me. I have slept the sleep of life in yonder chamber; I would sleep the pleasant sleep of death in yonder chapel.”
The poet's prayer was granted; he was unharmed amid the general rapine; they left him to dream with Plato in his academic bower1.
* See Sermon on Peter xxii. 23.
THE POET WORDSWORTH
Απεπαυσατο του λογου, και εγω μεν πολυν χρονος κεκαλημενος ετι προς αυτον εβλεπον ως ερουντα τι, επιθυμών ακουει».
What a rabble has persecuted my friend, in these latter times, the glory of his country. An elephant is born to be consumed by ants in his unapproachable solitude. Wordsworth is the prey of Jeffrey. Such was the indignant wail of the Voice from Italy* ; but the dream has undergone a change.
That mild Apostate from poetic rulet, has lived to realize his own noble declaration, that there are select Spirits for whom it is ordained that their fame shall be in the world an existence like that of Virtue, which owes its being to the struggles it makes, and to the enemies it provokes; a vivacious quality, ever doomed to meet with opposition,
• Walter Savage Landor.