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A privilege whereby a work of his,
Proceeding from a source of untaught things,
Creative and enduring, may become

power like one of Nature's. To a hope
Not less ambitious once, among the wilds
Of Sarum's Plain, my youthful spirit was raised ;
There, as I ranged at will the pastoral downs
Trackless and smooth, or paced the bare white

roads Lengthening in solitude their dreary line, Time with his retinue of

fied Backwards, nor checked his flight until I saw Our dim ancestral Past in vision clear ; Saw multitudes of men, and, here and there, A single Briton clothed in wolf-skin vest, With shield and stone-axe, stride across the wold; The voice of spears was heard, the rattling spear Shaken by arms of mighty bone, in strength, Long mouldered, of barbaric majesty. I called on Darkness, but before the word Was uttered, midnight darkness seemed to take All objects from my sight; and lo! again The Desert visible by dismal flames ; It is the sacrificial altar, fed With living men, --- how deep the groans! the voice Of those that crowd the giant wicker thrills The monumental hillocks, and the pomp Is for both worlds, the living and the dead. At other moments (for through that wide waste Three summer days I roamed) where'er the Plain


Was figured o'er with circles, lines, or mounds,
That yet survive, - a work, as some divine,
Shaped by the Druids, so to represent
Their knowledge of the heavens, and image forthi
The constellations, — gently was I charmed
Into a waking dream, a reverie
That, with believing eyes, where'er I turned,
Beheld long-bearded teachers, with white wands
Uplifted, pointing to the starry sky,
Alternately, and plain below, while breath
Of music swayed their motions, and the waste
Rejoiced with them and me in those sweet sounds.

This for the past, and things that may be viewed Or fancied in the obscurity of years From monumental hints : and thou, O Friend ! Pleased with some unpremeditated strains That served those wanderings to beguile, hast said That then and there my mind had exercised Upon the vulgar forms of present things, The actual world of our familiar days, Yet higher power; had caught from them a tone, An image, and a character, by books Not hitherto reflected. Call we this A partial judgment, —- and yet why? for them We were as strangers; and I may not speak Thus wrongfully of verse, however rude, Which on thy young imagination, trained In the great City, broke like light from far. Moreover, each man's Mind is to herself

Witness and judge ; and I remember well
That in life's every-day appearances
I seemed about this time to gain clear sight
Of a new world, a world, too, that was fit
To be transmitted, and to other eyes
Made visible; as ruled by those fixed laws
Whence spiritual dignity originates,
Which do both give it being and maintain
A balance, an ennobling interchange
Of action from without and from within ;
The excellence, pure function, and best power
Both of the object seen and eye

that sees.



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