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Erelong, the lonely mountains left, I moved, Begirt, from day to day, with temporal shapes Of vice and folly thrust upon my view, Objects of sport, and ridicule, and scorn, Manners and characters discriminate, And little bustling passions that eclipse, As well they might, the impersonated thought, The idea, or abstraction of the kind.

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An idler among academic bowers,
Such was my new condition, as at large
Has been set forth; yet here the vulgar light
Of present, actual, superficial life,
Gleaming through coloring of other times,
Old usages and local privilege,

Was welcome, softened, if not solemnized.
This notwithstanding, being brought more near
To vice and guilt, forerunning wretchedness,
I trembled, thought, at times, of human life
With an indefinite terror and dismay,

Such as the storms and angry elements
Had bred in me; but gloomier far, a dim
Analogy to uproar and misrule,

Disquiet, danger, and obscurity.

It might be told (but wherefore speak of things Common to all?) that, seeing, I was led Gravely to ponder, judging between good And evil, not as for the mind's delight, But for her guidance,

one who was to act,

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As sometimes to the best of feeble means
I did, by human sympathy impelled:
And, through dislike and most offensive pain,
Was to the truth conducted; of this faith
Never forsaken, that, by acting well,
And understanding, I should learn to love
The end of life, and everything we know.

Grave Teacher, stern Preceptress! for at times Thou canst put on an aspect most severe; London, to thee I willingly return.

Erewhile my verse played idly with the flowers
Inwrought upon thy mantle; satisfied

With that amusement, and a simple look
Of childlike inquisition now and then
Cast upwards on thy countenance, to detect
Some inner meanings which might harbor there.
But how could I in mood so light indulge,
Keeping such fresh remembrance of the day,
When, having thridded the long labyrinth
Of the suburban villages, I first

Entered thy vast dominion? On the roof
Of an itinerant vehicle I sat,

With vulgar men about me, trivial forms
Of houses, pavement, streets, of men and things,
Mean shapes on every side: but at the instant
When to myself it fairly might be said,
The threshold now is overpassed (how strange
That aught external to the living mind
Should have such mighty sway! yet so it was),

A weight of ages did at once descend
Upon my heart; no thought embodied, no
Distinct remembrances, but weight and power, -
Power growing under weight: alas! I feel
That I am trifling: 't was a moment's pause,
All that took place within me came and went
As in a moment; yet with Time it dwells,
And grateful memory, as a thing divine.

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The curious traveller, who, from open day, Hath passed with torches into some huge cave, The Grotto of Antiparos, or the Den

In old time haunted by that Danish Witch,
Yordas; he looks around and sees the vault
Widening on all sides; sees, or thinks he sees,
Erelong, the massy roof above his head,
That instantly unsettles and recedes, -
Substance and shadow, light and darkness, all
Commingled, making up a canopy

Of shapes and forms and tendencies to shape
That shift and vanish, change and interchange,
Like spectres,
ferment silent and sublime!
That after a short space works less and less,
Till, every effort, every motion gone,
The scene before him stands in perfect view
Exposed, and lifeless as a written book!
But let him pause awhile, and look again,
And a new quickening shall succeed, at first
Beginning timidly, then creeping fast,
Till the whole cave, so late a senseless mass,

Busies the eye with images and forms
Boldly assembled ; - here is shadowed forth
From the projections, wrinkles, cavities,
A variegated landscape, there, the shape
Of some gigantic warrior clad in mail,
The ghostly semblance of a hooded monk,
Veiled nun, or pilgrim resting on his staff:
Strange congregation! yet not slow to meet
Eyes that perceive through minds that can in-

spire.

Even in such sort had I at first been moved, Nor otherwise continued to be moved, As I explored the vast metropolis, Fount of my country's destiny and the world's; That great emporium, chronicle at once And burial-place of passions, and their home Imperial, their chief living residence.

With strong sensations teeming as it did Of past and present, such a place must needs Have pleased me, seeking knowledge at that time Far less than craving power; yet knowledge cane, Sought or unsought, and influxes of power. Came, of themselves, or at her call derived In fits of kindliest apprehensiveness, From all sides, when whate'er was in itself Capacious found, or seemed to find, in me A correspondent amplitude of mind; Such is the strength and glory of our youth!

The human nature unto which I felt

That I belonged, and reverenced with love,
Was not a punctual presence, but a spirit
Diffused through time and space, with aid derived
Of evidence from monuments, erect,
Prostrate, or leaning towards their common rest
In earth, the widely scattered wreck sublime
Of vanished nations, or more clearly drawn
From books and what they picture and record.

'T is true, the history of our native land, With those of Greece compared and popular Rome, And in our high-wrought modern narratives Stripped of their harmonizing soul, the life Of manners and familiar incidents, Had never much delighted me. And less Than other intellects had mine been used To lean upon intrinsic circumstance

Of record or tradition; but a sense

Of what in the Great City had been done
And suffered, and was doing, suffering, still,
Weighed with me, could support the test of thought;
And, in despite of all that had gone by,
Or was departing never to return,
There I conversed with majesty and power
Like independent natures. Hence the place
Was thronged with impregnations like the Wilds
In which my early feelings had been nursed, -
Bare hills and valleys, full of caverns, rocks,
And audible seclusions, dashing lakes,

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