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And even the touch, so exquisitely poured
Through the whole body, with a languid will
Performs its functions; rarely competent
To impress a vivid feeling on the mind
Of what there is delightful in the breeze,
The gentle visitations of the sun,

Or lapse of liquid element-by hand,
Or foot, or lip, in summer's warmth-perceived.
-Can hope look forward to a manhood raised
On such foundations?"

Hope is none for him!”
The pale Recluse indignantly exclaimed,
"And tens of thousands suffer wrong as deep.
Yet be it asked, in justice to our age,
If there were not, before those arts appeared,
These structures rose, commingling old and young,
And unripe sex with sex, for mutual taint;
If there were not, then, in our far-famed Isle,
Multitudes, who from infancy had breathed
Air unimprisoned, and had lived at large;
Yet walked beneath the sun, in human shape,
As abject, as degraded? At this day,
Who shall enumerate the crazy huts
And tottering hovels, whence do issue forth
A ragged Offspring, with their upright hair
Crowned like the image of fantastic Fear;
Or wearing, (shall we say ?) in that white growth
An ill-adjusted turban, for defence

Or fierceness, wreathed around their sunburnt brows,
By savage Nature? Shrivelled are their lips;
Naked, and colored like the soil, the feet
On which they stand; as if thereby they drew
Some nourishment, as trees do by their roots,

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From earth, the common mother of us all.
Figure and mien, complexion and attire,
Are leagued to strike dismay; but outstretched hand
And whining voice, denote them supplicants
For the least boon that pity can bestow.

Such on the breast of darksome heaths are found;
And with their parents occupy the skirts,

Of furze-clad commons; such are born and reared
At the mine's mouth, under impending rocks;
Or dwell in chambers of some natural cave;
Or where their ancestors erected huts,
For the convenience of unlawful gain,
In forest purlieus; and the like are bred,

All England through, with nooks and slips of ground
Purloined, in times less jealous than our own,
From the green margin of the public way,
A residence afford them, mid the bloom
And gaiety of cultivated fields.

Such (we will hope the lowest in the scale)
Do I remember oft-times to have seen

'Mid Buxton's dreary heights. In earnest watch, Till the swift vehicle approach, they stand;

Then, followed closely with the cloud of dust,
An uncouth feat exhibit, and are gone
Heels over head, like tumblers on a stage.
-Up from the ground they snatch the copper coin,
And, on the freight of merry passengers
Fixing a steady eye, maintain their speed;
And spin-and pant-and overhead again,
Wild pursuivants! until their breath is lost,
Or bounty tires-and every face, that smiled
Encouragement, hath ceased to look that way.
-But, like the vagrants of the gipsy tribe,

These, bred to little pleasure in themselves,
Are profitless to others.

Turn we then
To Britons born and bred within the pale
Of civil polity, and early trained

To earn, by wholesome labor in the field,
The bread they eat. A sample should I give

Of what this stock hath long produced to enrich
The tender age of life, ye would exclaim,
'Is this the whistling plough-boy whose shrill notes
Imparts new gladness to the morning air!'
Forgive me if I venture to suspect
That many, sweet to hear of in soft verse,
Are of no finer frame. Stiff are his joints;
Beneath a cumbrous frock, that to the knees
Invests the thriving churl, his legs appear,
Fellows to those that lustily upheld
The wooden stools for everlasting use,
Whereon our fathers sate. And mark his brow!
Under whose shaggy canopy are set
Two eyes-not dim, but of a healthy stare-
Wide, sluggish, blank, and ignorant, and strange-
Proclaiming boldly that they never drew
A look or motion of intelligence

From infant-conning of the Christ-cross-row,
Or puzzling through a primer, line by line,

Till perfect mastery crown the pains at last.

-What kindly warmth from touch of fostering hand

What penetrating power of sun or breeze,
Shall e'er dissolve the crust wherein his soul
Sleeps, like a caterpillar sheathed in ice?
This torpor is no pitiable work
Of modern ingenuity; no town

Nor crowded city can be taxed with aught
Of sottish vice or desperate breach of law,
To which (and who can tell where or how soon?)
He may be roused. This Boy the fields produce:
His spade and hoe, mattock and glittering scythe,
The carter's whip that on his shoulder rests
In air high-towering with a boorish pomp,
The sceptre of his sway; his country's name,
Her equal rights, her churches and her schools-
What have they done for him? And, let me ask,
For tens of thousands uninformed as he?
In brief, what liberty of mind is here ?"

This ardent sally pleased the mild good Man,
To whom the appeal couched in its closing words
Was pointedly addressed; and to the thoughts
That in ascent or opposition rose
Within his mind, he seemed prepared to give
Prompt utterance; but the Vicar interposed
With invitation urgently renewed.

-We followed, taking as he led, a path
Along a hedge of hollies dark and tall,
Whose flexile boughs low bending with a weight
Of leafy spray, concealed the stems and roots
That gave them nourishment. When frosty winds
Howl from the north, what kindly warmth, methought,
Is here-how grateful this impervious screen!
-Not shaped by simple wearing of the foot
On rural business passing to and fro

Was the commodious walk: a careful hand
Had marked the line, and strewn its surface o'er
With pure cerulean gravel, from the heights
Fetched by a neighboring brook.--Across the vale

The stately fence accompanied our steps;
And thus the pathway, by perennial green
Guarded and graced, seemed fashioned to unite,
As by a beautiful yet solemn chain,

The Pastor's mansion with the house of prayer.

Like image of solemnity, conjoined
With feminine allurement soft and fair,
The mansion's self displayed;-a reverend pile
With bold projections and recesses deep;
Shadowy, yet gay and lightsome as it stood
Fronting the noontide sun. We paused to admire
The pillared porch, elaborately embossed;

The low wide windows with their mullions old;
The cornice, richly fretted, of grey stone;
And that smooth slope from which the dwelling rose
By beds and banks Arcadian of gay flowers
And flowering shrubs, protected and adorned:
Profusion bright! and every flower assuming
A more than natural vividness of hue,
From unaffected contrast with the gloom
Of sober cypress, and the darker foil
in which survive some traces, here
Not unbecoming, of grotesque device
And uncouth fancy. From behind the roof
Rose the slim ash and massy sycamore,
Blending their diverse foliage with the green
Of ivy, flourishing and thick, that clasped
The huge round chimneys, harbor of delight
For wren and red breast,-where they sit and sing
Their slender ditties when the trees are bare.
Nor must I leave untouched (the picture else
Were incomplete) a relique of old times

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