Imágenes de páginas

Among new objects serve or give command,
Even as the heart's occasions might require,
To forward reason's else too scrupulous march.
The effect was, still more elevated views
Of human nature. Neither vice nor guilt, 645
Debasement undergone by body or mind,
Nor all the misery forced upon my sight,
Misery not lightly passed, but sometimes


Most feelingly, could overthrow my trust
In what we may become; induce belief
That I was ignorant, had been falsely taught,
A solitary, who with vain conceits

Had been inspired, and walked about in dreams.

From those sad scenes when meditation turned, Lo! every thing that was indeed divine Retained its purity inviolate,


Nay brighter shone, by this portentous gloom Set off; such opposition as aroused

The mind of Adam, yet in Paradise

Though fallen from bliss, when in the East he



Darkness ere day's mid course, and morning


More orient in the western cloud, that drew
O'er the blue firmament a radiant white,
Descending slow with something heavenly

Add also, that among the multitudes
Of that huge city, oftentimes was seen
Affectingly set forth, more than elsewhere
Is possible, the unity of man,


One spirit over ignorance and vice

Predominant, in good and evil hearts ;


One sense for moral judgments, as one eye

For the sun's light. The soul when smitten thus

By a sublime idea, whencesoe'er

Vouchsafed for union or communion, feeds
On the pure bliss, and takes her rest with God.


Thus from a very early age, O Friend! My thoughts by slow gradations had been drawn


To human-kind, and to the good and ill
Of human life: Nature had led me on;
And oft amid the "busy hum" I seemed
To travel independent of her help,
As if I had forgotten her; but no,
The world of human-kind outweighed not hers
In my habitual thoughts; the scale of love,
Though filling daily, still was light, compared
With that in which her mighty objects lay. 686



EVEN as a river,-partly (it might seem)
Yielding to old remembrances, and swayed
In part by fear to shape a way direct,

That would engulph him soon in the ravenous


Turns, and will measure back his course, far




Seeking the very regions which he crossed
In his first outset; so have we, my Friend!
Turned and returned with intricate delay.
Or as a traveller, who has gained the brow
Of some aërial Down, while there he halts
For breathing-time, is tempted to review
The region left behind him; and, if aught
Deserving notice have escaped regard,
Or been regarded with too careless eye,
Strives, from that height, with one and yet one



Last look, to make the best amends he may : So have we lingered. Now we start afresh With courage, and new hope risen on our toil.

Fair greetings to this shapeless eagerness, Whene'er it comes! needful in work so long, Thrice needful to the argument which now 21 Awaits us! Oh, how much unlike the past!

Free as a colt at pasture on the hill,

I ranged at large,


Month after month.

through London's wide

Obscurely did I live, 25

Not seeking frequent intercourse with men,
By literature, or elegance, or rank,

Distinguished. Scarcely was a year thus spent
Ere I forsook the crowded solitude,


With less regret for its luxurious pomp,
And all the nicely-guarded shows of art,
Than for the humble book-stalls in the streets,
Exposed to eye and hand where'er I turned.

France lured me forth; the realm that I had crossed

So lately, journeying toward the snow-clad



But now, relinquishing the scrip and staff,
And all enjoyment which the summer sun
Sheds round the steps of those who meet the


With motion constant as his own, I went
Prepared to sojourn in a pleasant town,
Washed by the current of the stately Loire.


Through Paris lay my readiest course, and there

Sojourning a few days, I visited

In haste, each spot of old or recent fame,
The latter chiefly; from the field of Mars 45
Down to the suburbs of St. Antony,

And from Mont Martyr southward to the Dome
Of Geneviève. In both her clamorous Halls,
The National Synod and the Jacobins,
I saw the Revolutionary Power

Toss like a ship at anchor, rocked by storms;
The Arcades I traversed, in the Palace huge


Of Orleans; coasted round and round the line
Of Tavern, Brothel, Gaming-house, and Shop,
Great rendezvous of worst and best, the walk 55
Of all who had a purpose, or had not;

I stared and listened, with a stranger's ears,
To Hawkers and Haranguers, hubbub wild!
And hissing Factionists with ardent eyes,
In knots, or pairs, or single. Not a look
Hope takes, or Doubt or Fear is forced to



But seemed there present; and I scanned them


Watched every gesture uncontrollable,

Of anger, and vexation, and despite,

All side by side, and struggling face to face, 65 With gaiety and dissolute idleness.

Where silent zephyrs sported with the dust Of the Bastille, I sate in the open sun, And from the rubbish gathered up a stone, And pocketed the relic, in the guise Of an enthusiast; yet, in honest truth, I looked for something that I could not find, Affecting more emotion than I felt;



For 'tis most certain, that these various sights, However potent their first shock, with me Appeared to recompense the traveller's pains Less than the painted Magdalene of Le Brun, A beauty exquisitely wrought, with hair Dishevelled, gleaming eyes, and rueful cheek Pale and bedropped with everflowing tears. So

But hence to my more permanent abode
I hasten; there, by novelties in speech,
Domestic manners, customs, gestures, looks,
And all the attire of ordinary life,

Attention was engrossed; and, thus amused, 85

« AnteriorContinuar »