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Learning, though late, that all true glory rests,
All praise, all safety, and all happiness,
Upon the moral law. Egyptian Thebes,
Tyre, by the margin of the sounding waves,
Palmyra, central in the desert, fell;

And the Arts died by which they had been raised.
-Call Archimedes from his buried tomb
Upon the plain of vanished Syracuse,
And feelingly the Sage shall make report
How insecure, how baseless in itself,
Is that Philosophy whose sway is framed
For mere material instruments;-how weak
Those arts, and high inventions, if unpropped
By virtue.-He, with sighs of pensive grief,
Amid his calm abstractions, would admit
That not the slender privilege is theirs

To save themselves from blank forgetfulness!"

When from the Wanderer's lips these words had fallen,

I said, "And, did in truth these vaunted Arts

Possess such privilege, how could we escape
Regret and painful sadness, who revere
And would preserve, as things above all price,
The old domestic morals of the land,
Her simple manners, and the stable worth
That dignified and cheered a low estate?
Oh! where is now the character of peace,
Sobriety, and order, and chaste love,
And honest dealing, and untainted speech,
And pure good-will, and hospitable cheer;
That made the very thought of country-life
A thought of refuge, for a mind detained
Reluctantly amid the bustling crowd?
Where now the beauty of the sabbath kept
With conscientious reverence, as a day
By the almighty Lawgiver pronounced
Holy and blest? and where the winning grace
Of all the lighter ornaments attached

To time and season, as the year rolled round?"

"Fled!" was the Wanderer's passionate response, "Fled utterly! or only to be traced

In a few fortunate retreats like this;

Which I behold with trembling, when I think
What lamentable change, a year-a month-
May bring; that brook converting as it runs
Into an instrument of deadly bane
For those, who, yet untempted to forsake
The simple occupations of their sires,
Drink the pure water of its innocent stream
With lip almost as pure.-Domestic bliss,
(Or call it comfort, by a humbler name)

How art thou blighted for the poor Man's heart
Lo! in such neighbourhood, from morn to eve,
The habitations empty! or perchance

The Mother left alone,-no helping hand
To rock the cradle of her peevish babe;
No daughters round her, busy at the wheel,
Or in dispatch of each day's little growth
Of household occupation; no nice arts
Of needle-work; no bustle at the fire,

Where once the dinner was prepared with pride;
Nothing to speed the day, or cheer the mind;
Nothing to praise, to teach, or to command!

The Father, if perchance he still retain
His old employments, goes to field or wood,
No longer led or followed by his Sons;

Idlers perchance they were,-but in his sight;
Breathing fresh air, and treading the green earth
'Till their short holiday of childhood ceased,
Ne'er to return! That birthright now is lost.
Economists will tell you that the State
Thrives by the forfeiture-unfeeling thought,
And false as monstrous! Can the mother thrive
By the destruction of her innocent sons

In whom a premature necessity

Blocks out the forms of nature, preconsumes
The reason,
famishes the heart, shuts up

The infant Being in itself, and makes
Its very spring a season of decay!
The lot is wretched, the condition sad,
Whether a pining discontent survive,

And thirst for change; or habit hath subdued
The soul depressed, dejected-even to love
Of her dull tasks, and close captivity.

Oh, banish far such wisdom as condemns
A native Briton to these inward chains,
Fixed in his soul, so early and so deep;
Without his own consent, or knowledge, fixed!
He is a slave to whom release comes not,
And cannot come. The boy, where'er he turns,
Is still a prisoner; when the wind is up
Among the clouds, and in the ancient woods;
Or when the sun is rising in the heavens,
Quiet and calm. Behold him-in the school
Of his attainments? no; but with the air
Fanning his temples under heaven's blue arch.
His raiment, whitened o'er with cotton-flakes
Or locks of wool, announces whence he comes.
Creeping his gait and cowering, his lip pale,
His respiration quick and audible;

And scarcely could you fancy that a gleam
From out those languid eyes could break, or blush
Mantle upon his cheek. Is this the form,

Is that the countenance, and such the port,

Of no mean Being? One who should be clothed

With dignity befitting his proud hope;
Who, in his very childhood, should appear

Sublime from present purity and joy!
The limbs increase; but liberty of mind
Thus gone for ever, this organic frame,
Which from Heaven's bounty we receive, instinct
With light, and gladsome motions, soon becomes
Dull, to the joy of her own motions dead;
And even the touch, so exquisitely poured
Through the whole body, with a languid will
Performs its functions; rarely competent
To impress a vivid feeling on the mind
Of what there is delightful in the breeze,
The gentle visitations of the sun,

Or lapse of liquid element-by hand,

Or foot, or lip, in summer's warmth-perceived.
-Can hope look forward to a manhood raised
On such foundations?"

"Hope is none for him!"

The pale Recluse indignantly exclaimed,
"And tens of thousands suffer wrong as deep.
Yet be it asked, in justice to our age,

If there were not, before those arts appeared,
These structures rose, commingling old and young,
And unripe sex with sex, for mutual taint;
Then if there were not, in our far-famed Isle,
Multitudes, who from infancy had breathed
Air unimprisoned, and had lived at large;
Yet walked beneath the sun, in human shape,
As abject, as degraded? At this day,
Who shall enumerate the crazy huts

And tottering hovels, whence do issue forth

A ragged Offspring, with their own blanched hair
Crowned like the image of fantastic Fear;

Or wearing, we might say in that white growth

An ill-adjusted turban, for defence

Or fierceness, wreathed around their sun-burnt brows,

By savage Nature's unassisted care.

Naked, and coloured like the soil, the feet

On which they stand; as if thereby they drew

Some nourishinent, as trees do by their roots,

From earth, the common mother of us all.

Figure and mien, complexion and attire,

Are framed to strike dismay; but the outstretched hand

And whining voice denote them supplicants

For the least boon that pity can bestow.

Such on the breast of darksome heaths are found;

And with their parents dwell upon the skirts

Of furze-clad commons; and are born and reared

At the mine's mouth beneath impending rocks;

Or in the chambers of some natural cave;
And where their ancestors erected huts,

For the convenience of unlawful gain,

In forest purlieus; and the like are bred,

All England through, where nooks and slips of ground Purloined, in times less jealous than our own,

From the green margin of the public way,
A residence afford them, 'mid the bloom
And gaiety of cultivated fields.

Such (we will hope the lowest in the scale)
Do I remember oft-times to have seen

'Mid Buxton's dreary heights. Upon the watch,
Till the swift vehicle approach, they stand;
Then, following closely with the cloud of dust,
An uncouth feat exhibit, and are gone
Heels over head, like tumblers on a stage.
-Up from the ground they snatch the copper coin,
And, on the freight of merry passengers
Fixing a steady eye, maintain their speed;
And spin-and pant-and overhead again,
Wild pursuivants! until their breath is lost,
Or bounty tires-and every face, that smiled
Encouragement, hath ceased to look that way.
-But, like the vagrants of the gipsy tribe,
These, bred to little pleasure in themselves,
Are profitless to others.

Turn we then

To Britons born and bred within the pale
Of civil polity, and early trained

To earn, by wholesome labour in the field,
The bread they eat. A sample should I give
Of what this stock produces to enrich

And beautify the tender age of life,

A sample fairly culled, ye would exclaim,

Is this the whistling plough-boy whose shrill notes
Impart new gladness to the morning air!'
Forgive me if I venture to suspect

That many, sweet to hear of in soft verse,
Are of no finer frame: his joints are stiff;
Beneath a cumbrous frock, that to the knees
Invests the thriving churl, his legs appear,
Fellows to those which lustily upheld
The wooden stools for everlasting use,

On which our fathers sate. And mark his brow!

Under whose shaggy canopy are set

Two eyes-not dim, but of a healthy stare

Wide, sluggish, blank, and ignorant, and strangeProclaiming boldly that they never drew

A look or motion of intelligence

From infant-conning of the Christ-cross-row,
Or puzzling through a primer, line by line,
Till perfect mastery crown the pains at last.

-What kindly warmth from touch of fostering hand,
What penetrating power of sun or breeze,
Shall e'er dissolve the crust wherein his soul
Sleeps, like a caterpiller sheathed in ice?
This torpor is no pitiable work

Of modern ingenuity; no town

Nor crowded city may be taxed with aught
Of sottish vice or desperate breach of law,

To which in after years he may be roused.
-This Boy the fields produce: his spade and hoe,
The carter's whip which on his shoulder rests
In air high-towering with a boorish pomp,
The sceptre of his sway; his country's name,
Her equal rights, her churches and her schools-
What have they done for him? And, let me ask,
For tens of thousands uninformed as he?
In brief, what liberty of mind

here ?"

This cheerful sally pleased the mild good Man, To whom the appeal couched in those closing words Was pointedly addressed; and to the thoughts Which, in assent or opposition, rose

Within his mind, he seemed prepared to give
Prompt utterance; but rising from our seat,
The hospitable Vicar interposed

With invitation earnestly renewed.

-We followed, taking as he led, a path Along a hedge of stately hollies framed,

Whose flexile boughs descending with a weight

Of leafy spray, concealed the stems and roots

That gave them nourishment. How sweet methought,

When the fierce wind comes howling from the north,

How grateful, this impenetrable screen!

-Not shaped by simple wearing of the foot

On rural business passing to and fro

Was the commodious walk: a careful hand

Had marked the line, and strewn the surface o'er

With pure cerulean gravel, from the heights

Fetched by the neighbouring brook.-Across the vale The stately fence accompanied our steps;

And thus the pathway, by perennial green

Guarded and graced, seemed fashioned to unite,

As by a beautiful yet solemn chain,

The Pastor's mansion with the house of prayer.

Like image of solemnity, conjoined
With feminine allurement soft and fair,
The mansion's self displayed ;-a reverend pile
With bold projections and recesses deep;
Shadowy, yet gay and lightsome as it stood

Fronting the noontide sun. We paused to admire
The pillared porch, elaborately embossed;
The low wide windows with their mullions old;
The cornice, richly fretted, of grey stone;

And that smooth slope from which the dwelling rose,
By beds and banks Arcadian of gay flowers
And flowering shrubs, protected and adorned:
Profusion bright! and every flower assuming
A more than natural vividness of hue,
From unaffected contrast with the gloom
Of sober cypress, and the darker foil

Of yew, in which survived some traces, here
Not unbecoming, of grotesque device

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