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Its most apparent home. The food of hope
Is meditated action ; robbed of this,
Her sole support, she languishes and dies.
We perish also; for we live by hope
And by desire; we see by the glad light
And breathe the sweet air of futurity;
And so we live, or else we have no life.
To-morrow, nay, perchance this very hour,
(For every moment hath its own to-morrow!)
Those blooming Boys, whose hearts are almost sick
With present triumph, will be sure to find
A field before them freshened with the dew
Of other expectations; — in which course
Their happy year spins round. The youth obeys
A like glad impulse ; and so moves the man
Mid all his apprehensions, cares, and fears, —
Or so he ought to move.

Ah ! why in age
Do we revert so fondly to the walks
Of childhood, but that there the Soul discerns
The dear memorial footsteps unimpaired
Of her own native vigor ; thence can hear
Reverberations; and a choral song,
Commingling with the incense that ascends,
Undaunted, toward the imperishable heavens,
From her own lonely altar ?

“ Do not think
That good and wise ever will be allowed,
Though strength decay, to breathe in such estate
As shall divide them wholly from the stir
Of hopeful nature. Rightly it is said

That Man descends into the VALE of

years,
Yet have I thought that we might also speak,
And not presumptuously, I trust, of Age,
As of a final EMINENCE ; though bare
In aspect and forbidding, yet a point
On which 't is not impossible to sit
In awful sovereignty; a place of power,
A throne, that may be likened unto his,
Who, in some placid day of summer, looks
Down from a mountain-top,

say one of those
Iligh peaks, that bound the vale where now we are.
Faint, and diminished to the gazing eye,
Forest and field, and hill and dale appear,
With all the shapes over their surface spread :
But while the gross and visible frame of things
Relinquishes its hold

upon

the

sense, Yea almost on the Mind herself, and seems All unsubstantialized, how loud the voice Of waters, with invigorated peal From the full river in the vale below Ascending! For on that superior height Who sits, is disencumbered from the press Of near obstructions, and is privileged To breathe in solitude, above the host Of ever-humming insects, 'mid thin air That suits not them. The murmur of the leaves Many and idle visits not his ear: This he is freed from, and from thousand notes (Not less unceasing, not less vain than these) By which the finer passages of sense

VOL. VI.

21

Are occupied ; and the Soul, that would incline To listen, is prevented or deterred.

“And may it not be hoped, that, placed by age In like removal, tranquil though severe, We are not so removed for utter loss; But for some favor, suited to our need? What more than that the severing should confer Fresh power to commune with the invisible worici, And hear the mighty stream of tendency Uttering, for elevation of our thought, A clear, sonorous voice, inaudible To the vast multitude; whose doom it is To run the giddy round of vain delight, Or fret and labor on the Plain below.

“ But if to such sublime ascent the hopes Of Man may rise, as to a welcome close And termination of his mortal course; Them only can such hope inspire whose minds Have not been starved by absolute neglect ; Nor bodies crushed by unremitting toil; To whom kind Nature, therefore, may afford Proof of the sacred love she bears for all ; Whose birthright Reason, therefore, may insure. For me, consulting what I feel within In times when most existence with herself Is satisfied, I cannot but believe, That, far as kindly Nature hath free scope And Reason's sway predominates, - even so far,

Country, society, and time itself,
That saps the individual's bodily frame,
And lays the generations low in dust,
Do, by the Almighty Ruler's grace, partake
Of one maternal spirit, bringing forth
And cherishing with ever-constant love,
That tires not, nor betrays. Our life is turned
Out of her course, wherever man is made
An offering, or a sacrifice, a tool
Or implement, a passive thing employed
As a brute mean, without acknowledgment
Of common right or interest in the end ;
Used or abused, as selfishness may prompt.
Say, what can follow for a rational soul
Perverted thus, but weakness in all good,
And strength in evil? Hence an after-call
For chastisement, and custody, and bonds,
And ofttimes Death, avenger of the past,
And the sole guardian in whose hands we dare
Intrust the future. Not for these sad issues
Was Man created ; but to obey the law
Of life, and hope, and action. And 't is known
That when we stand upon our native soil,
Unelbowed by such objects as oppress
Our active powers, those powers themselves become
Strong to subvert our noxious qualities :
They sweep distemper from the busy day,
And make the chalice of the big, round year
Run o'er with gladness; whence the Being moves
In beauty through the world; and all who see
Bless him, rejoicing in his neighborhood."

“ Then," said the Solitary, “ by what force Of language shall a feeling heart express Her sorrow for that multitude in whom We look for health from seeds that have been

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In sickness, and for increase in a power
That works but by extinction ? On themselves
They cannot lean, nor turn to their own hearts
To know what they must do; their wisdom is
To look into the eyes of others, thence
To be instructed what they must avoid :
Or rather, let us say, low least observed,
How with most quiet and most silent death,
With the least taint and injury to the air
The oppressor breathes, their human form divine,
And their immortal soul, may waste away.”

The Sage rejoined: “I thank you, - you have

spared My voice the utterance of a keen regret, A wide compassion which with you I share. When, heretofore, I placed before your sight A Little-one, subjected to the arts Of modern ingenuity, and made The senseless member of a vast machine, Serving as doth a spindle or a wheel, Think not, that, pitying him, I could forget The rustic Boy, who walks the fields, untaught ; The slave of ignorance, and oft of want, And miserable hunger. Much, too much,

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