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To the still lake, whose stillness is to sight
As beautiful-as grateful to the mind.
-But to what object shall the lovely Girl
Be likened? She whose countenance and air
Unite the graceful qualities of both,
Even as she shares the pride and joy of both.
My grey-haired Friend was moved; his vivid eye
Glistened with tenderness; his mind, I knew,
Was full and had, I doubted not, returned,
Upon this impulse, to the theme-erewhile
Abruptly broken off. The ruddy boys
Withdrew, on summons to their well-earned meal;
And He to whom all tongues resigned their rights
With willingness, to whom the general ear
Listened with readier patience than to strain
Of music, lute or harp, a long delight
That ceased not when his voice had ceased-as One
Who from truth's central point serenely views
The compass of his argument-began
Mildly, and with a clear and steady tone.
DISCOURSE OF THE WANDERER.
EVENING VISIT TO THE LAKE.
DISCOURSE OF THE WANDERER, AND AN EVENING VISIT TO THE LAKE.
Wanderer asserts that an active principle pervades the Universe, its noblest seat the human soul.-How lively, this principle is in Childhood.-Hence the delight in old Age of looking back upon Childhood. The dignity, powers, and privileges of Age asserted.-These not to be looked for generally but under a just government.-Right of a human Creature to be exempt from being considered as a mere Instrument. The condition of multitudes deplored.-Former conversation recurred to, and the Wanderer's opinions set in a clearer light.Truth placed within reach of the humblest.-Equality.-Happy state of the two boys again adverted to.-Earnest wish expressed for a System of National Education established universally by Government. -Glorious effects of this foretold.-Walk to the Lake.-Grand spectacle from the side of a hill.—Address of the Priest to the Supreme Being--in the course of which he contrasts with ancient Barbarism the present appearance of the scene before him.-The change ascribed to Christianity.-Apostrophe to his flock, living and dead.-Gratitude to the Almighty.-Return over the Lake.-Parting with the Solitary.-Under what circumstances.
"TO every Form of being is assigned,"
Thus calmly spake the venerable Sage,
"An active Principle :-howe'er removed
From sense and observation, it subsists
In all things, in all natures; in the stars
Of azure heaven, the unenduring clouds,
In flower and tree, in every pebbly stone
That paves the brooks, the stationary rocks,
The moving waters, and the invisible air.
Whate'er exists hath properties that spread
Beyond itself, communicating good,
A simple blessing, or with evil mixed;
Spirit that knows no insulated spot,
No chasm, no solitude; from link to link
It circulates, the Soul of all the worlds.
This is the freedom of the universe;
Unfolded still the more, more visible,
The more we know; and yet is reverenced least,
And least respected in the human Mind,
Its most apparent home. The food of hope
Is meditated action; robbed of this,
Her sole support, she languishes and dies.
We perish also; for we live by hope
And by desire; we see by the glad light
And breathe the sweet air of futurity;
And so we live, or else we have no life.
To-morrow-nay perchance this very hour
(For every moment hath its own to-morrow!)
Those blooming Boys, whose hearts are almost sick
With present triumph, will be sure to find
A field before them freshened with the dew
Of other expectations;—in which course
Their happy year spins round. The youth obeys
A glad impulse; and so moves the man
'Mid all his apprehensions, cares, and fears,-
Or so he ought to move. Ah! why in
Do we revert so fondly to the walks
Of childhood-but that there the Soul discerns
The dear memorial footsteps unimpaired
Of her own native vigor; thence can hear
Reverberations; and a choral song,
Commingling with the incense that ascends,