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"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, Yea, with her own incorporated, by power 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."

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!

Trust me, that for the instructed, time will come When they shall meet no object but may teach Some 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

Departing 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
Changed 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."



"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,

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