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Leaving, in quest of other scenes, the shore
Of that wild spot, the Solitary said
In a low voice, yet careless who might hear,
"The fire, that burned so brightly to our wish,
Where is it now?-Deserted on the beach-
Dying, or dead! Nor shall the fanning breeze
Revive its ashes. What care we for this,
Whose ends are gained? Behold an emblem here

Of one day's pleasure, and all mortal joys!
And, in this unpremeditated slight

Of that which is no longer needed, see

The common course of human gratitude!"

This plaintive note disturbed not the repose Of the still evening. Right across the lake

Through their ethereal texture pierced—ere we,
Who saw, of change were conscious-had become
Vivid as fire; clouds separately poised,—
Innumerable multitude of forms

Scattered through half the circle of the sky;
And giving back, and shedding each on each,
With prodigal communion, the bright hues
Which from the unapparent fount of glory
They had imbibed, and ceased not to receive.
That which the heavens displayed, the liquid deep
Repeated; but with unity sublime!

While from the grassy mountain's open side We gazed, in silence hushed, with eyes intent On the refulgent spectacle, diffused

Our pinnace moves; then, coasting creek and bay, Through earth, sky, water, and all visible space,

Glades we behold, and into thickets peep,

Where couch the spotted deer; or raised our eyes
To shaggy steeps on which the careless goat
Browsed by the side of dashing waterfalls;
And thus the bark, meandering with the shore,
Pursued her voyage, till a natural pier
Of jutting rock invited us to land.

Alert to follow as the Pastor led,

We clomb a green hill's side; and, as we clomb,
The Valley, opening out her bosom, gave
Fair prospect, intercepted less and less,
O'er the flat meadows and indented coast

Of the smooth lake, in compass seen:-far off,
And yet conspicuous, stood the old Church-tower,
In majesty presiding over fields

And habitations seemingly preserved

From all intrusion of the restless world

By rocks impassable and mountains huge.

Soft heath this elevated spot supplied,

And choice of moss-clad stones, whereon we couched
Or sate reclined; admiring quietly
The general aspect of the scene; but each
Not seldom over anxious to make known
His own discoveries; or to favourite points
Directing notice, merely from a wish
To impart a joy, imperfect while unshared.
That rapturous moment never shall I forget
When these particular interests were effaced
From every mind!--Already had the sun,
Sinking with less than ordinary state,
Attained his western bound; but rays of light-
Now suddenly diverging from the orb
Retired behind the mountain tops or veiled
By the dense air-shot upwards to the crown
Of the blue firmament-aloft, and wide:
And multitudes of little floating clouds,

The Priest in holy transport thus exclaimed:

"Eternal Spirit! universal God!

Power inaccessible to human thought,

Save by degrees and steps which thou hast deigned
To furnish; for this effluence of thyself,

To the infirmity of mortal sense
Vouchsafed; this local transitory type

Of thy paternal splendours, and the pomp
Of those who fill thy courts in highest heaven,
The radiant Cherubim ;-accept the thanks
Which we, thy humble Creatures, here convened,
Presume to offer; we, who-from the breast
Of the frail earth, permitted to behold
The faint reflections only of thy face-
Are yet exalted, and in soul adore!

Such as they are who in thy presence stand
Unsullied, incorruptible, and drink
Imperishable majesty streamed forth
From thy empyreal throne, the elect of earth
Shall be divested at the appointed hour
Of all dishonour, cleansed from mortal stain.
-Accomplish, then, their number; and conclude
Time's weary course! Or if, by thy decree,
The consummation that will come by stealth
Be yet far distant, let thy Word prevail,
Oh let thy Word prevail, to take away
The sting of human nature. Spread the law,
As it is written in thy holy book,
Throughout all lands: let every nation hear
The high behest, and every heart obey;
Both for the love of purity, and hope
Which it affords, to such as do thy will
And persevere in good, that they shall rise,
To have a nearer view of thee, in heaven.
-Father of good! this prayer in bounty grant,
In mercy grant it, to thy wretched sons.
Then, nor till then, shall persecution cease,


And cruel wars expire. The way is marked,
The guide appointed, and the ransom paid.
Alas! the nations, who of yore received
These tidings, and in Christian temples meet
The sacred truth to acknowledge, linger still;
Preferring bonds and darkness to a state
Of holy freedom, by redeeming love
Proffered to all, while yet on earth detained.

So fare the many; and the thoughtful few, Who in the anguish of their souls bewail This dire perverseness, cannot choose but ask, Shall it endure?-Shall enmity and strife, Falsehood and guile, be left to sow their seed; And the kind never perish? Is the hope Fallacious, or shall righteousness obtain A peaceable dominion, wide as earth,

And ne'er to fail? Shall that blest day arrive When they, whose choice or lot it is to dwell In crowded cities, without fear shall live Studious of mutual benefit; and he,

Whom Morn awakens, among dews and flowers

Of every clime, to till the lonely field,

Be happy in himself?-The law of faith

Bedimmed with smoke, in wreaths voluminous,
Flung from the body of devouring fires,
To Taranis erected on the heights
By priestly hands, for sacrifice performed
Exultingly, in view of open day

And full assemblage of a barbarous host;
Or to Andates, female Power! who gave
(For so they fancied) glorious victory.
-A few rude monuments of mountain-stone
Survive ; all else is swept away.—How bright
The appearances of things! From such, how

The existing worship; and with those compared,
The worshippers how innocent and blest!
So wide the difference, a willing mind
Might almost think, at this affecting hour,
That paradise, the lost abode of man,
Was raised again: and to a happy few,
In its original beauty, here restored.

Whence but from thee, the true and only God,

And from the faith derived through Him who bled Upon the cross, this marvellous advance

Of good from evil; as if one extreme

Working through love, such conquest shall it gain, Were left, the other gained.—O ye, who come

Such triumph over sin and guilt achieve?
Almighty Lord, thy further grace impart!
And with that help the wonder shall be seen
Fulfilled, the hope accomplished; and thy praise
Be sung with transport and unceasing joy.

Once," and with mild demeanour, as he spake, On us the venerable Pastor turned

His beaming eye that had been raised to Heaven,
"Once, while the Name, Jehovah, was a sound
Within the circuit of this sea-girt isle
Unheard, the savage nations bowed the head
To Gods delighting in remorseless deeds;
Gods which themselves had fashioned, to promote
Ill purposes, and flatter foul desires.
Then, in the bosom of yon mountain-cove,
To those inventions of corrupted man
Mysterious rites were solemnised; and there-
Amid impending rocks and gloomy woods—
Of those terrific Idols some received
Such dismal service, that the loudest voice
Of the swoln cataracts (which now are heard
Soft murmuring) was too weak to overcome,
Though aided by wild winds, the groans and shrieks
Of human victims, offered up to appease

Or to propitiate. And, if living eyes
Had visionary faculties to see

The thing that hath been as the thing that is,
Aghast we might behold this crystal Mere

To kneel devoutly in yon reverend Pile,
Called to such office by the peaceful sound
Of sabbath bells; and ye, who sleep in earth,
All cares forgotten, round its hallowed walls!
For you, in presence of this little band
Gathered together on the green hill-side,
Your Pastor is emboldened to prefer
Vocal thanksgivings to the eternal King;
Whose love, whose counsel, whose commands, have

Your very poorest rich in peace of thought
And in good works; and him, who is endowed
With scantiest knowledge, master of all truth
Which the salvation of his soul requires.
Conscious of that abundant favour showered
On you, the children of my humble care,
And this dear land, our country, while on earth
We sojourn, have I lifted up my soul,
Joy giving voice to fervent gratitude.
These barren rocks, your stern inheritance ;
These fertile fields, that recompense your pains;

The shadowy vale, the sunny mountain-top;
Woods waving in the wind their lofty heads,
Or hushed; the roaring waters, and the still-
They see the offering of my lifted hands,
They hear my lips present their sacrifice,
They know if I be silent, morn or even :
For, though in whispers speaking, the full heart
Will find a vent; and thought is praise to him,


Audible praise, to thee, omniscient Mind,
From whom all gifts descend, all blessings flow!"

This vesper-service closed, without delay, From that exalted station to the plain Descending, we pursued our homeward course, In mute composure, o'er the shadowy lake, Under a faded sky. No trace remained Of those celestial splendours; grey the vaultPure, cloudless, ether; and the star of eve Was wanting; but inferior lights appeared Faintly, too faint almost for sight; and some Above the darkened hills stood boldly forth In twinkling lustre, ere the boat attained Her mooring-place; where, to the sheltering tree, Our youthful Voyagers bound fast her prow, With prompt yet careful hands. This done, we paced The dewy fields; but ere the Vicar's door Was reached, the Solitary checked his steps; Then, intermingling thanks, on each bestowed A farewell salutation; and, the like Receiving, took the slender path that leads To the one cottage in the lonely dell:

But turned not without welcome promise made
That he would share the pleasures and pursuits
Of yet another summer's day, not loth
To wander with us through the fertile vales,
And o'er the mountain-wastes. "Another sun,"
Said he, "shall shine upon us, ere we part;
Another sun, and peradventure more;
If time, with free consent, be yours to give,
And season favours."

To enfeebled Power,

From this communion with uninjured Minds,
What renovation had been brought; and what
Degree of healing to a wounded spirit,
Dejected, and habitually disposed

To seek, in degradation of the Kind,
Excuse and solace for her own defects;
How far those erring notions were reformed;
And whether aught, of tendency as good
And pure, from further intercourse ensued;
This if delightful hopes, as heretofore,
Inspire the serious song, and gentle Hearts
Cherish, and lofty Minds approve the past-
My future labours may not leave untold.

Nave h 15


Page 16.

'And, hovering, round it often did a raven fly.'

From a short MS. poem read to me when an undergraduate, by my schoolfellow and friend, Charles Farish, long since deceased. The verses were by a brother of his, a man of promising genius, who died young.

Page 24.

'The Borderers.'

This Dramatic Piece, as noticed in its title-page, was composed in 1795-6. It lay nearly from that time till within the last two or three months unregarded among my papers, without being mentioned even to my most intimate friends. Having, however, impressions upon my mind which made me unwilling to destroy the MS., I determined to undertake the responsibility of publishing it during my own life, rather than impose upon my successors the task of deciding its fate. Accordingly it has been revised with some care; but, as it was at first written, and is now published, without any view to its exhibition upon the stage, not the slightest alteration has been made in the conduct of the story, or the composition of the characters; above all, in respect to the two leading Persons of the Drama, I felt no inducement to make any change. The study of human nature suggests this awful truth, that, as in the trials to which life subjects us, sin and crime are apt to start from their very opposite qualities, so are there no limits to the hardening of the heart, and the perversion of the understanding to which they may carry their slaves. During my long residence in France, while the Revolution was rapidly advancing to its extreme of wickedness, I had frequent opportunities of being an eye-witness of this process, and it was while that knowledge was fresh upon my memory, that the Tragedy of The Borderers" was composed.

Page 64.

The Norman boy.'

'Among ancient Trees there are few, I believe, at least in France, so worthy of attention as an Oak which may be seen in the Pays de Caux,' about a league from Yvetot, close to the church, and in the burial-ground of Allonville.

The height of this Tree does not answer to its girth; the trunk, from the roots to the summit, forms a complete cone; and the inside of this cone is hollow throughout the whole of its height.

Such is the Oak of Allonville, in its state of nature. The hand of Man, however, has endeavoured to impress upon it a character still more interesting, by adding a religious feeling to the respect which its age naturally inspires.

The lower part of its hollow trunk has been transformed into a Chapel of six or seven feet in diameter,

I carefully wainscotted and paved, and an open iron gate guards the humble Sanctuary.

Leading to it there is a staircase, which twists round the body of the Tree. At certain seasons of the year divine service is performed in this Chapel.

The summit has been broken off many years, but there is a surface at the top of the trunk, of the diameter of a very large tree, and from it rises a pointed roof, covered with slates, in the form of a steeple, which is surmounted with an iron Cross, that rises in a picturesque manner from the middle of the leaves, like an ancient Hermitage above the surrounding Wood.

Over the entrance to the Chapel an Inscription appears, which informs us it was erected by the Abbé du Détroit, Curate of Allonville in the year 1696; and over a door is another, dedicating it To Our Lady of Peace.'' Vide 14 No. Saturday Magazine.

Page 117.

To the Daisy.'

This Poem, and two others to the same Flower, were written in the year 1802; which is mentioned, because in some of the ideas, though not in the manner in which those ideas are connected, and likewise even in some of the expressions, there is a resemblance to passages in a Poem (lately published) of Mr. Montgomery's, entitled, a Field Flower. This being said, Mr. Montgomery will not think any apology due to him; I cannot, however, help addressing him in the words of the Father of English Poets.

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Several years after the event that forms the subject of the Poem, in company with my friend, the late Mr. Coleridge, I happened to fall in with the person to whom the name of Benjamin is given. Upon our expressing regret that we had not, for a long time, seen upon the road either him or his waggon, he said :-" They could not do without me; and as to the man who was put in my place, no good could come out of him; he was a man of no ideas."

The fact of my discarded hero's getting the horses out of a great difficulty with a word, as related in the poem, was told me by an eye-witness.

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