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Dreaining on things to come; and dost possess
A metropolitan temple in the hearts
Of mighty Poets: upon me bestow
A gift of genuine insight; that my Song
With star-like virtue in its place may shine,
Shedding benignant influence, and secure,
Itself, from all malevolent effect
Of those mutations that extend their sway
'Throughout the nether sphere !-And if with this
I mix more lowly matter; with the thing
Contemplated, describe the Mind and Man
Contemplating; and who, and what he was
The transitory Being that beheld
This Vision; when and where, and how he lived;
Be not this labor useless. If such theme
May sort with highest objects, then-dread Power!
Whose gracious favor is the primal source
Of all illumination-may my Lifo
Express the image of a better time,
More wise desires, and simpler manners ;-nurse
My heart in genuine freedom:-all pure thoughts
Bo with me ;--so shall thy unfailing love
Guide, and support, and cheer me to the end

THE EXCURSION.

BOOK

FIRST.

THE WANDERER.

THE WANDERER

2

ARGUMENT.
A Summer Forenoon—The Author reaches a ruined Cottage upon a

Common, and there meets with a revered friend, the Wanderer, of
whose education and course of life he gives an account.--The Wan-
derer, while resting under the shade of the trees that surround the
Cottage, relates the History of its last Inhabitant.

’T WAS summer, and the sun had mounted high :

Southward the landscape indistinctly glared
Through a pale steam ; but all the northern downs,
In clearest air ascending, showed far off
A surface dappled o'er with shadows flung
From brooding clouds; shadows that lay in spots
Determined and unmoved, with steady beams
Of bright and pleasant sunshine interposed;
To him most pleasant who on soft cool moss
Extends his careless limbs along the front
Of some huge cave, whose rocky ceiling casts
A twilight of its own, an ample shade
Where the wren warbles, while the dreaming man,
Half conscious of the soothing melody,
With side-long eye looks out upon the scene,
By power of that impending covert, thrown,
To finer distance. Mine was at that hour

Far other lot, yet with good hope that soon
Under a shade as grateful I should find
Rest, and be welcomed there to livelier joy.
Across a bare wide Common I was toiling
With languid steps that by the slippery turf
Were baffled; nor could

my

weak arm disperse The host of insects gathering round my face, And ever with me as I paced along.

Upon that open moorland stood a grove, The wished-for port to which my course was bound. Thither I came, and there, amid the gloom Spread by a brotherhood of lofty elms, Appeared a roofless Hut; four naked walls That stared upon each other !—I looked round, And to my wish and to my hope espied The Friend I sought; a man of reverend age, But stout and hale, for travel unimpaired. There was he seen upon the cottage-bench, Recumbent in the shade, as if asleep; An iron-pointed staff lay at his side.

Him had I marked the day before-alone And stationed in the public way, with face Turned toward the sun then setting, while that staff Afforded, to the figure of the man Detained for contemplation or repose, Graceful support; his countenance as he stood Was hidden from my view, and he remained Unrecognized ; but, stricken by the sight, With slackened footsteps I advanced, and soon A glad congratulation we exchanged At such unthought-of meeting.--For the night We parted, nothing willingly; and now

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