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Now homeward through the thickening hubbub,


See, among less distinguishable shapes,

The begging scavenger, with hat in hand;
The Italian, as he thrids his way with care,
Steadying, far-seen, a frame of images
Upon his head; with basket at his breast,
The Jew; the stately and slow-moving Turk,
With freight of slippers piled beneath his arm!

Enough; the mighty concourse I surveyed With no unthinking mind, well pleased to note Among the crowd all specimens of man,

Through all the colors which the sun bestows,
And every character of form and face:
The Swede, the Russian; from the genial South,
The Frenchman and the Spaniard; from remote
America the Hunter-Indian; Moors,

Malays, Lascars, the Tartar, the Chinese,
And Negro Ladies in white muslin gowns.

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At leisure, then, I viewed, from day to day, The spectacles within doors, birds and beasts Of every nature, and strange plants convened From every clime; and, next, those sights that ape The absolute presence of reality,

Expressing, as in mirror, sea and land,

And what earth is, and what she has to show.

I do not here allude to subtlest craft,

By means refined attaining purest ends,

But imitations, fondly made in plain
Confession of man's weakness and his loves.
Whether the Painter, whose ambitious skill
Submits to nothing less than taking in
A whole horizon's circuit, do with power,
Like that of angels or commissioned spirits
Fix us upon some lofty pinnacle,
Or in a ship on waters, with a world
Of life, and life-like mockery beneath,
Above, behind, far stretching and before;
Or more mechanic artist represent
By scale exact, in model, wood or clay,
From blended colors also borrowing help,
Some miniature of famous spots or things, -
St. Peter's Church; or, more aspiring aim,
In microscopic vision, Rome herself;
Or, haply, some choice rural haunt, - the Falls

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Of Tivoli; and, high upon that steep,

The Sibyl's mouldering Temple! every tree,
Villa, or cottage, lurking among rocks

Throughout the landscape; tuft, stone scratch minute,

All that the traveller sees when he is there.

And to these exhibitions, mute and still, Others of wider scope, where living men, Music, and shifting pantomimic scenes, Diversified the allurement. Need I fear To mention by its name, as in degree, Lowest of these and humblest in attempt,

Yet richly graced with honors of her own,

Half-rural Sadler's Wells? Though at that time

Intolerant, as is the way of youth

Unless itself be pleased, here more than once

Taking my seat, I saw (nor blush to add,
With ample recompense) giants and dwarfs,
Clowns, conjurors, posture-masters, harlequins,
Amid the uproar of the rabblement,

Perform their feats. Nor was it mean delight
To watch crude Nature work in untaught minds;
To note the laws and progress of belief;
Though obstinate on this way, yet on that
How willingly we travel, and how far!
To have, for instance, brought upon the scene
The champion, Jack the Giant-killer: Lo!
He dons his coat of darkness; on the stage
Walks, and achieves his wonders, from the eye
Of living Mortal covert, as the moon


Hid in her vacant interlunar cave."

Delusion bold! and how can it be wrought? The garb he wears is black as death, the word "Invisible" flames forth upon his chest.

Here, too, were "forms and pressures of the time,"

Rough, bold, as Grecian comedy displayed

When Art was young; dramas of living men, And recent things yet warm with life; a sea-fight, Shipwreck, or some domestic incident

Divulged by Truth and magnified by Fame,

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Such as the daring brotherhood of late

Set forth, too serious theme for that light place;
I mean, O distant Friend! a story drawn
From our own ground, -the Maid of Butter-


And how, unfaithful to a virtuous wife

Deserted and deceived, the spoiler came

And wooed the artless daughter of the hills,
And wedded her, in cruel mockery

Of love and marriage bonds.

These words to thee

Must needs bring back the moment when we first, Ere the broad world rang with the maiden's name, Beheld her serving at the cottage inn,

Both stricken, as she entered or withdrew,

With admiration of her modest mien

And carriage, marked by unexampled grace.
We since that time not unfamiliarly

Have seen her, her discretion have observed,


Her just opinions, delicate reserve,
Her patience, and humility of mind,
Unspoiled by commendation and the excess

Of public notice, an offensive light

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To a meek spirit suffering inwardly.

From this memorial tribute to my theme

I was returning, when, with sundry forms Commingled, shapes which met me in the way That we must tread,

thy image rose again,

Maiden of Buttermere! She lives in peace

Upon the spot where she was born and reared;

Without contamination doth she live

In quietness, without anxiety:

Beside the mountain chapel sleeps in earth
Her new-born infant, fearless as a lamb,
That, thither driven from some unsheltered place,
Rests underneath the little rock-like pile
When storms are raging. Happy are they both,—
Mother and child! — These feelings, in themselves
Trite, do yet scarcely seem so when I think
On those ingenuous moments of our youth
Ere we have learnt by use to slight the crimes
And sorrows of the world. Those simple days
Are now my theme; and, foremost of the scenes
Which yet survive in memory, appears
One, at whose centre sat a lovely Boy,

A sportive infant, who, for six months' space,
Not more, had been of age to deal about
Articulate prattle, - Child as beautiful
As ever clung around a mother's neck,
Or father fondly gazed upon with pride.
There, too, conspicuous for stature tall
And large dark eyes, beside her infant stood
The mother; but, upon her cheeks diffused,
False tints too well accorded with the glare
From playhouse lustres thrown without reserve
On every object near. The Boy had been
The pride and pleasure of all lookers-on
In whatsoever place, but seemed in this
A sort of alien scattered from the clouds.
Of lusty vigor, more than infantine

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