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When thou wert thither guided. From the heart
Of London, and from cloisters there, thou camest,
And didst sit down in temperance and peace,
A rigorous student. What a stormy course
Then followed. Oh! it is a pang that calls
For utterance, to think what easy change
Of circumstances might to thee have spared
A world of pain, ripened a thousand hopes,
For ever withered. Through this retrospect
Of my collegiate life I still have had

Thy after-sojourn in the selfsame place

Present before my eyes, have played with times
And accidents as children do with cards,

Or as a man, who, when his house is built,

A frame locked up in wood and stone, doth still,
As impotent fancy prompts, by his fireside,
Rebuild it to his liking. I have thought
Of thee, thy learning, gorgeous eloquence,
And all the strength and plumage of thy youth,
Thy subtle speculations, toils abstruse
Among the Schoolmen, and Platonic forms
Of wild ideal pageantry, shaped out

From things well matched or ill, and words for


The self-created sustenance of a mind
Debarred from Nature's living images,
Compelled to be a life unto herself,
And unrelentingly possessed by thirst
Of greatness, love, and beauty. Not alone,
Ah! surely not in singleness of heart,

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Should I have seen the light of evening fade
From smooth Cam's silent waters: had we met,
Even at that early time, needs must I trust
In the belief, that my maturer age,

My calmer habits, and more steady voice,
Would with an influence benign have soothed,
Or chased away, the airy wretchedness

That battened on thy youth. But thou hast trod
A march of glory, which doth put to shame
These vain regrets; health suffers in thee, else
Such grief for thee would be the weakest thought
That ever harbored in the breast of man.

A passing word erewhile did lightly touch On wanderings of my own, that now embraced With livelier hope a region wider far.

When the third summer freed us from restraint, A youthful friend, he too a mountaineer, Not slow to share my wishes, took his staff, And, sallying forth, we journeyed side by side, Bound to the distant Alps. A hardy slight Did this unprecedented course imply

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Of college studies and their set rewards;
Nor had, in truth, the scheme been formed by me
Without uneasy forethought of the pain,
The censures, and ill-omening of those
To whom my worldly interests were dear.
But Nature then was sovereign in my mind,
And mighty forms, seizing a youthful fancy,

Had given a charter to irregular hopes.
In any age of uneventful calm

Among the nations, surely would my heart
Have been possessed by similar desire;
But Europe at that time was thrilled with joy,
France standing on the top of golden hours,
And human nature seeming born again.

Lightly equipped, and but a few brief looks
Cast on the white cliffs of our native shore
From the receding vessel's deck, we chanced
To land at Calais on the very eve

Of that great federal day; and there we saw,
In a mean city, and among a few,

How bright a face is worn when joy of one
Is joy for tens of millions. Southward thence
We held our way, direct through hamlets, towns,
Gaudy with relics of that festival,

Flowers left to wither on triumphal arcs,

And window-garlands. On the public roads
And, once, three days successively, through paths
By which our toilsome journey was abridged,
Among sequestered villages we walked,
And found benevolence and blessedness
Spread like a fragrance everywhere, when Spring
Hath left no corner of the land untouched;
Where elms for many and many a league in files,
With their thin umbrage, on the stately roads
Of that great kingdom, rustled o'er our heads,
For ever near us as we paced along:

How sweet at such a time, with such delight
On every side, in prime of youthful strength,
To feed a Poet's tender melancholy

And fond conceit of sadness, with the sound
Of undulations varying as might please

The wind that swayed them; once, and more than


Unhoused beneath the evening star, we saw
Dances of liberty, and, in late hours

Of darkness, dances in the open air

Deftly prolonged, though gray-haired lookers-on Might waste their breath in chiding.

Under hills,

The vine-clad hills and slopes of Burgundy,
Upon the bosom of the gentle Saone

We glided forward with the flowing stream.
Swift Rhone! thou wert the wings on which
we cut

A winding passage with majestic ease

Between thy lofty rocks. Enchanting show
Those woods and farms and orchards did present,
And single cottages and lurking towns,
Reach after reach, succession without end
Of deep and stately vales! A lonely pair
Of strangers, till day closed, we sailed along,
Clustered together with a merry crowd
Of those emancipated, a blithe host
Of travellers, chiefly delegates returning
From the great spousals newly solemnized
At their chief city, in the sight of Heaven.

Like bees they swarmed. gaudy and gay as bees;
Some vapored in the unruliness of joy,

And with their swords flourished, as if to fight
The saucy air. In this proud company

We landed, took with them our evening meal,
Guests welcome almost as the angels were
To Abraham of old. The supper done,
With flowing cups elate and happy thoughts
We rose, at signal given, and formed a ring,

And, hand in hand, danced round and round the


All hearts were open, every tongue was loud
With amity and glee; we bore a name
Honored in France, the name of Englishmen,
And hospitably did they give us hail,

As their forerunners in a glorious course;

And round and round the board we danced again.
With these blithe friends our voyage we renewed
At early dawn. The monastery bells

Made a sweet jingling in our youthful ears;
The rapid river flowing without noise,
And each uprising or receding spire,
Spake with a sense of peace, at intervals
Touching the heart amid the boisterous crew
By whom we were encompassed. Taking leave
Of this glad throng, foot-travellers side by side,
Measuring our steps in quiet, we pursued
Our journey, and ere twice the sun had set
Beheld the Convent of Chartreuse, and there
Rested within an awful solitude:

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