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As they exist, in mutable array,

Upon life's surface. What, though in my veins
There flowed no Gallic blood, nor had I breathed
The air of France, not less than Gallic zeal
Kindled and burnt among the sapless twigs
Of my exhausted heart. If busy men
In sober conclave met, to weave a web
Of amity, whose living threads should stretch
Beyond the seas, and to the farthest pole,
There did I sit, assisting. If, with noise
And acclamation, crowds in open air
Expressed the tumult of their minds, my voice
There mingled, heard or not. The powers of song
I left not uninvoked; and, in still groves
Where mild enthusiasts tuned a pensive lay
Of thanks and expectation, in accord
With their belief, I sang Saturnian rule
Returned, a progeny of golden years
Permitted to descend, and bless mankind.
-With promises the Hebrew Scriptures teem:
I felt their invitation; and resumed

A long-suspended office in the House


Of public worship, where, the glowing phrase
Of ancient inspiration serving me,
I promised also, with undaunted trust
Foretold, and added prayer to prophecy;
The admiration winning of the crowd;
The help desiring of the pure devout.

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Scorn and contempt forbid me to proceed!
But History, time's slavish scribe, will tell
How rapidly the zealots of the cause
Disbanded-or in hostile ranks appeared;

Some, tired of honest service; these, outdone,
Disgusted therefore, or appalled, by aims
Of fiercer zealots-so confusion reigned,
And the more faithful were compelled to exclaim,
As Brutus did to Virtue, Liberty,

'I worshipped thee, and find thee but a Shade!'

Such recantation had for me no charm, Nor would I bend to it; who should have grieved At aught, however fair, that bore the mien Of a conclusion, or catastrophe.

Why then conceal, that, when the simply good In timid selfishness withdrew, I sought

Other support, not scrupulous whence it came;
And, by what compromise it stood, not nice?
Enough if notions seemed to be high-pitched,
And qualities determined.-Among men
So charactered did I maintain a strife
Hopeless, and still more hopeless every hour;
But, in the process, I began to feel
That, if the emancipation of the world
Were missed, I should at least secure my own,
And be in part compensated. For rights,
Widely-inveterately usurped upon,

I spake with vehemence; and promptly seized
All that Abstraction furnished for my needs
Or purposes; nor scrupled to proclaim,
And propagate, by liberty of life,
Those new persuasions. Not that I rejoiced,
Or even found pleasure, in such vagrant course,
For its own sake; but farthest from the walk
Which I had trod in happiness and peace,
Was most inviting to a troubled mind ;

That, in a struggling and distempered world,
Saw a seductive image of herself.

Yet, mark the contradictions of which Man

Is still the sport! Here Nature was my guide,

The Nature of the dissolute; but thee,
O fostering Nature! I rejected-smiled
At others' tears in pity; and in scorn

At those, which thy soft influence sometimes drew
From my unguarded heart.-The tranquil shores
Of Britain circumscribed me; else, perhaps
I might have been entangled among deeds,
Which, now, as infamous, I should abhor-
Despise, as senseless: for my spirit relished
Strangely the exasperation of that Land,
Which turned an angry beak against the down
Of her own breast: confounded into hope
Of disencumbering thus her fretful wings.

But all was quieted by iron bonds
Of military sway. The shifting aims,
The moral interests, the creative might
The varied functions and high attributes
Of civil action, yielded to a power
Formal, and odious, and contemptible.

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-In Britain, ruled a panic dread of change;
The weak were praised, rewarded, and advanced;
And, from the impulse of a just disdain,
Once more did I retire into myself.
There feeling no contentment, I resolved
To fly, for safeguard, to some foreign shore,
Remote from Europe; from her blasted hopes;
Her fields of carnage, and polluted air,

Fresh blew the wind, when o'er the Atlantic Main The ship went gliding with her thoughtless crew; And who among them but an Exile, freed From discontent, indifferent, pleased to sit Among the busily-employed, not more With obligation charged, with service taxed, Than the loose pendant—to the idle wind Upon the tall mast streaming. But, ye Powers Of soul and sense mysteriously allied, O, never let the Wretched, if a choice

Be left him, trust the freight of his distress
To a long voyage on the silent deep!

For, like a plague, will memory break out;
And, in the blank and solitude of things,
Upon his spirit, with a fever's strength,

Will conscience prey.-Feebly must they have felt
Who, in old time, attired with snakes and whips
The vengeful Furies. Beautiful regards

Were turned on me-the face of her I loved;
The Wife and Mother pitifully fixing
Tender reproaches, insupportable !
Where now that boasted liberty? No welcome
From unknown objects I received; and those,
Known and familiar, which the vaulted sky
Did, in the placid clearness of the night,
Disclose, had accusations to prefer
Against my peace. Within the cabin stood
That volume-as a compass for the soul—
Revered among
the nations. I implored
Its guidance; but the infallible support
Of faith was wanting. Tell me, why refused
To One by storms annoyed and adverse winds;
Perplexed with currents; of his weakness sick;

Of vain endeavors tired; and by his own,
And by his nature's, ignorance, dismayed!

Long-wished-for sight, the Western World appeared!

And, when the ship was moored, I leaped ashore
Indignantly-resolved to be a man,

Who, having o'er the past no power, would live
No longer, in subjection to the past,
With abject mind-from a tyrannic lord
Inviting penance, fruitlessly endured:
So, like a fugitive, whose feet have cleared
Some boundary, which his followers may not cross
In prosecution of their deadly chase,
Respiring I looked round. How bright the sun,
The breeze how soft! Can any thing produced
In the old World compare, thought I, for power
And majesty with this gigantic stream,
Sprung from the desert ? And behold a city
Fresh, youthful, and aspiring! What are these
To me, or I to them?
As he desires that they should be, whom winds
And waves have wafted to this distant shore,
In the condition of a damaged seed,
Whose fibres cannot, if they would, take root.
Here may I roam at large;-my business is,
Roaming at large, to observe, and not to feel
And, therefore, not to act-convinced that all
Which bears the name of action, howso'er
Beginning, ends in servitude-still painful,
And mostly profitless. And, sooth to say,
On nearer view, a motley spectacle
Appeared, of high pretensions--unreproved

As much at least

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