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Our Day return guarantee still applies. Advanced Book Search Browse by Subject. Make an Offer. Find Rare Books Book Value. O wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death. See Romans 7 verse 23 thru Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you.
Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts you double minded. See James 4 verse 7 thru 8. With our confession of fault, the Sacrificial Love of God Alone, will bring about the spiritual demise of the controlling death of sin within our troublesome idolatrous flesh. The condemnation of the force of sin within the conscience, ceases to be a force in God's Covenant of reconciliation in the Life giving Blood of Jesus Christ. Now then, with the new creation's humble repentance from the slavery of sin that resides in the flesh, God will again Sanctify His new creation in the Life Blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.
There are Three that bear witness to these earthen vessels : the Spirit and the Water and the Blood and these Three are One. The first Man Adam was of the earth and was made a living soul by the B reath of God. God's Spirit of Life left the first Adam in his unbelieving disobedience to God. Sin and death would reign in man.
The sting of sin has lost its power in the resurrection of the Man Christ Jesus. See Romans 8 verse 1 thru 2. O the depth of the riches both of the Wisdom and Knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His Judgments, and His Ways past finding out! Romans 11 verse However, in our philosophical disunity in Christianity, the opposite has become the norm. Now, we meet together in the power and understanding of our own failing flesh, dismissing God's unseen Holy Spirit of Truth and Grace with His Covenant Remedy that ameliorates the wantonness of sin in our self centered flesh.
Many Christians are following the pernicious doctrines of the paid prideful men of the pulpit. The profession of the pulpit has become the standard of worship, and the Covenant Word of God is trampled under the feet of smooth talking covenant breakers, who stand behind the authority of man's constructed pulpit. Idolatry of humanity's flesh remains rampant in the flawed wisdom of men speaking of vain assumptions that dismiss the fullness of Christ's foundational Truth. See Matthew 7 verse 24 thru We flock together with itching ears to hear the mixed wisdom of the world that gratifies our corrupted flesh.
Again, the echo from evil's gross darkness can be heard reasoning with the mind of unbelief: Did the Lord God really mean what He said : Well did He? See Psalm 68 verse 18 and Ephesians 4. The evangelicals that preach repentance do better, but are only half right, lacking God's New Covenant Remedy in Christ's Blood, given for the self perpetuating sin's of the flesh.
See John 15 verse 1 thru 6.
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Revival languishes in unbelief. These struggling preachers of self promoting righteousness, are themselves famished in their own unbelief, for they do not believe in the taking of God's Divine Remedy in the Life giving Blood of Jesus Christ, nor do they dispense the Blood of Christ for the corrupting errors of the sin's of the flesh of others. Those who answer God's call to repentance, in a one time revival meeting, are soon left to wonder why they continue to do those same things they feel so guilty about.
Oh, sorrow for the youth who could have seen Unchastened, unsubdued, unawed, unraised To patriarchal dignity of mind And pure simplicity of wish and will, Those sanctified abodes of peaceful man. My heart leaped up when first I did look down On that which was first seen of those deep haunts, A green recess, an aboriginal vale, Quiet, and lorded over and possessed By naked huts, wood-built, and sown like tents Or Indian cabins over the fresh lawns And by the river-side.
That day we first Beheld the summit of Mount Blanc, and grieved To have a soulless image on the eye Which had usurped upon a living thought That never more could be. The wondrous Vale Of Chamouny did, on the following dawn, With its dumb cataracts and streams of ice— A motionless array of mighty waves, Five rivers broad and vast—make rich amends, And reconciled us to realities. With such a book Before our eyes we could not chuse but read A frequent lesson of sound tenderness, The universal reason of mankind, The truth of young and old.
Far different dejection once was mine— A deep and genuine sadness then I felt— The circumstances I will here relate Even as they were.
By fortunate chance, While every moment now encreased our doubts, A peasant met us, and from him we learned That to the place which had perplexed us first We must descend, and there should find the road Which in the stony channel of the stream Lay a few steps, and then along its banks— And further, that thenceforward all our course Was downwards with the current of that stream. Hard of belief, we questioned him again, And all the answers which the man returned To our inquiries, in their sense and substance Translated by the feelings which we had, Ended in this—that we had crossed the Alps.
In such strength Of usurpation, in such visitings Of awful promise, when the light of sense Goes out in flashes that have shewn to us The invisible world, doth greatness make abode, There harbours whether we be young or old. The dull and heavy slackening which ensued Upon those tidings by the peasant given Was soon dislodged; downwards we hurried fast, And entered with the road which we had missed Into a narrow chasm. The brook and road Were fellow-travellers in this gloomy pass, And with them did we journey several hours At a slow step.
The immeasurable height Of woods decaying, never to be decayed, The stationary blasts of waterfalls, And everywhere along the hollow rent Winds thwarting winds, bewildered and forlorn, The torrents shooting from the clear blue sky, The rocks that muttered close upon our ears— Black drizzling crags that spake by the wayside As if a voice were in them—the sick sight And giddy prospect of the raving stream, The unfettered clouds and region of the heavens, Tumult and peace, the darkness and the light, Were all like workings of one mind, the features Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree, Characters of the great apocalypse, The types and symbols of eternity, Of first, and last, and midst, and without end.
Locarno, spreading out in width like heaven, And Como thou—a treasure by the earth Kept to itself, a darling bosomed up In Abyssinian privacy—I spake Of thee, thy chestnut woods and garden plots Of Indian corn tended by dark-eyed maids, Thy lofty steeps, and pathways roofed with vines Winding from house to house, from town to town Sole link that binds them to each other , walks League after league, and cloistral avenues Where silence is if music be not there: While yet a youth undisciplined in verse, Through fond ambition of my heart I told Your praises, nor can I approach you now Ungreeted by a more melodious song, Where tones of learned art and Nature mixed May frame enduring language.
Like a breeze Or sunbeam over your domain I passed In motion without pause; but ye have left Your beauty with me, an impassioned sight Of colours and of forms, whose power is sweet And gracious, almost, might I dare to say, As virtue is, or goodness—sweet as love, Or the remembrance of a noble deed, Or gentlest visitations of pure thought When God, the giver of all joy, is thanked Religiously in silent blessedness— Sweet as this last itself, for such it is.
We left the town Of Gravedona with this hope, but soon Were lost, bewildered among woods immense, Where, having wandered for a while, we stopped And on a rock sate down to wait for day. An open place it was and overlooked From high the sullen water underneath, On which a dull red image of the moon Lay bedded, changing oftentimes its form Like an uneasy snake. Long time we sate, For scarcely more than one hour of the night— Such was our error—had been gone when we Renewed our journey. On the rock we lay And wished to sleep, but could not for the stings Of insects, which with noise like that of noon Filled all the woods.
Let this alone Be mentioned as a parting word, that not In hollow exultation, dealing forth Hyperboles of praise comparative; Not rich one moment to be poor for ever; Not prostrate, overborne—as if the mind Itself were nothing, a mean pensioner On outward forms—did we in presence stand Of that magnificent region. On the front Of this whole song is written that my heart Must, in such temple, needs have offered up A different worship.
Oh most beloved friend, a glorious time, A happy time that was. I needed not that joy, I did not need Such help: the ever-living universe And independent spirit of pure youth Were with me at that season, and delight Was in all places spread around my steps As constant as the grass upon the fields. Through the whole summer I have been at rest, Partly from voluntary holiday And part through outward hindrance.
But I heard 20 After the hour of sunset yester-even, Sitting within doors betwixt light and dark, A voice that stirred me. Silence touched me here No less than sound had done before; the child Of summer, lingering, shining by itself, The voiceless worm on the unfrequented hills, 45 Seemed sent on the same errand with the quire Of winter that had warbled at my door, And the whole year seemed tenderness and love.
Returned from that excursion, soon I bade Farewell for ever to the private bowers Of gowned students—quitted these, no more 60 To enter them, and pitched my vagrant tent, A casual dweller and at large, among The unfenced regions of society. To have a house, It was enough—what matter for a home?
Oh wondrous power of words, how sweet they are According to the meaning which they bring— Vauxhall and Ranelagh, I then had heard Of your green groves and wilderness of lamps, Your gorgeous ladies, fairy cataracts, And pageant fireworks. Nor must we forget Those other wonders, different in kind Though scarcely less illustrious in degree, The river proudly bridged, the giddy top And Whispering Gallery of St. Meanwhile the roar continues, till at length, Escaped as from an enemy, we turn Abruptly into some sequestered nook, Still as a sheltered place when winds blow loud.
At leisure thence, through tracts of thin resort, And sights and sounds that come at intervals, We take our way—a raree-show is here With children gathered round, another street Presents a company of dancing dogs, Or dromedary with an antic pair Of monkies on his back, a minstrel-band Of Savoyards, single and alone, An English ballad-singer. The nurse is here, The bachelor that loves to sun himself, The military idler, and the dame That field-ward takes her walk in decency. Now homeward through the thickening hubbub, where See—among less distinguishable shapes— The Italian, with his frame of images Upon his head; with basket at his waist, The Jew; the stately and slow-moving Turk, With freight of slippers piled beneath his arm.
Briefly, we find if tired of random sights, And haply to that search our thoughts should turn Among the crowd, conspicuous less or more As we proceed, all specimens of man Through all the colours which the sun bestows, And every character of form and face: The Swede, the Russian; from the genial south, The Frenchman and the Spaniard; from remote America, the hunter Indian; Moors, Malays, Lascars, the Tartar and Chinese, And Negro ladies in white muslin gowns. And to these exhibitions mute and still Others of wider scope, where living men, Music, and shifting pantomimic scenes, Together joined their multifarious aid To heighten the allurement.
Though at that time Intolerant, as is the way of youth Unless itself be pleased, I more than once Here took my seat, and, maugre frequent fits Of irksomeness, with ample recompense Saw singes, rope-dancers, giants and dwarfs, Clowns, conjurors, posture-masters, harlequins, Amid the uproar of the rabblement, Perform their feats. Nor was it mean delight To watch crude Nature work in untaught minds, To note the laws and progress of belief— Though obstinate on this way, yet on that How willingly we travel, and how far!
Delusion bold and faith must needs be coy How is it wrought? O friend, I speak With tender recollection of that time When first we saw the maiden, then a name By us unheard of—in her cottage-inn Were welcomed, and attended on by her, Both stricken with one feeling of delight, An admiration of her modest mien And carriage, marked by unexampled grace.
Not unfamiliarly we since that time Have seen her, her discretion have observed, Her just opinions, female modesty, Her patience, and retiredness of mind Unspoiled by commendation and excess Of public notice. These last words uttered, to my argument I was returning, when—with sundry forms Mingled, that in the way which I must tread Before me stand—thy image rose again, Mary of Buttermere!
She lives in peace Upon the spot where she as born and reared; Without contamination does she live In quietness, without anxiety. Beside the mountain chapel sleeps in earth Her new-born infant, fearless as a lamb That thither comes from some unsheltered place To rest beneath the little rock-like pile When storms are blowing. Happy are they both, Mother and child! Upon a board, Whence an attendant of the theatre Served out refreshments, had this child been placed, And there he sate environed with a ring Of chance spectators, chiefly dissolute men And shameless women—treated and caressed— Ate, drank, and with the fruit and glasses played, While oaths, indecent speech, and ribaldry Were rife about him as are songs of birds In springtime after showers.
He hath since Appeared to me ofttimes as if embalmed By Nature—through some special privilege Stopped at the growth he had—destined to live, To be, to have been, come, and go, a child And nothing more, no partner in the years That bear us forward to distress and guilt, Pain and abasement; beauty in such excess Adorned him in that miserable place. So have I thought of him a thousand times— And seldom otherwise—but he perhaps, Mary, may now have lived till he could look With envy on thy nameless babe that sleeps Beside the mountain chapel undisturbed.
It was but little more than three short years Before the season which I speak of now When first, a traveller from our pastoral hills, Southward two hundred miles I had advanced, And for the first time in my life did hear The voice of woman utter blasphemy— Saw woman as she is to open shame Abandoned, and the pride of public vice. Full surely from the bottom of my heart I shuddered; but the pain was almost lost, Absorbed and buried in the immensity Of the effect: a barrier seemed at once Thrown in, that from humanity divorced The human form, splitting the race of man In twain, yet leaving the same outward shape.
Book Seventh Residence in London I quit this painful theme, enough is said To shew what thoughts must often have been mine At theatres, which then were my delight— A yearning made more strong by obstacles Which slender funds imposed. But what of this? Enchanting age and sweet— Romantic almost, looked at through a space, How small, of intervening years!
For then, Though surely no mean progress had been made In meditations holy and sublime, Yet something of a girlish childlike gloss Of novelty survived for scenes like these— Pleasure that had been handed down from times When at a country playhouse, having caught In summer through the fractured wall a glimpse Of daylight, at the thought of where I was I gladdened more than if I had beheld Before me some bright cavern of romance, Or than we do when on our beds we lie At night, in warmth, when rains are beating hard.
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More lofty themes, Such as at least do wear a prouder face, Might here be spoken of; but when I think Of these I feel the imaginative power Languish within me. Even then it slept, When, wrought upon by tragic sufferings, The heart was full—amid my sobs and tears It slept, even in the season of my youth. Pass we from entertainments that are such Professedly, to others titled higher, Yet, in the estimate of youth at least, More near akin to these than names imply— I mean the brawls of lawyers in their courts Before the ermined judge, or that great stage Where senators, tongue-favored men, perform, Admired and envied.
Oh, the beating heart, When one among the prime of these rose up, One of whose name from childhood we had heard Familiarly, a household term, like those— The Bedfords, Glocesters, Salisburys of old— Which the fifth Harry talks of. Silence, hush, This is no trifler, no short-flighted wit, No stammerer of a minute, painfully Delivered. Marvellous, The enchantment spreads and rises—all are rapt Astonished—like a hero in romance He winds away his never-ending horn: Words follow words, sense seems to follow sense— What memory and what logic!
I glance but at a few conspicuous marks, Leaving ten thousand others that do each— In hall or court, conventicle, or shop, In public room or private, park or street— With fondness reared on his own pedestal, Look out for admiration. Folly, vice, Extravagance in gesture, mien and dress, And all the strife of singularity— Lies to the ear, and lies to every sense— Of these and of the living shapes they wear There is no end. But these I fear Are falsely catalogued things that are, are not, Even as we give them welcome, or assist— Are prompt, or are remiss. What say you then To times when half the city shall break out Full of one passion—vengeance, rage, or fear— To executions, to a street on fire, Mobs, riots, or rejoicings?
From those sights Take one, an annual festival, the fair Holden where martyrs suffered in past time, And named of St. Below, the open space, through every nook Of the wide area, twinkles, is alive With heads; the midway region and above Is thronged with staring pictures and huge scrolls, Dumb proclamations of the prodigies; And chattering monkeys dangling from their poles, And children whirling in their roundabouts; With those that stretch the neck, and strain the eyes, And crack the voice in rivalship, the crowd Inviting; with buffoons against buffoons Grimacing, writhing, screaming; him who grinds The hurdy-gurdy, at the fiddle weaves, Rattles the salt-box, thumps the kettle-drum, And him who at the trumpet puffs his cheeks, The silver-collared negro with his timbrel, Equestrians, tumblers, women, girls, and boys, Blue-breeched, pink-vested, and with towering plumes.
But though the picture weary out the eye, By nature an unmanageable sight, It is not wholly so to him who looks In steadiness, who hath among least things An under-sense of greatest, sees the parts As parts, but with a feeling of the whole. Attention comes, And comprehensiveness and memory, From early converse with the works of God Among all regions, chiefly where appear Most obviously simplicity and power.
The spirit of Nature was upon me here, The soul of beauty and enduring life Was present as a habit, and diffused— Through meagre lines and colours, and the press Of self-destroying, transitory things— Composure and ennobling harmony. What crowd Is yon, assembled in the gay green field? It is a summer festival, a fair, 10 Such as—on this side now, and now on that, Repeated through his tributary vales— Helvellyn, in the silence of his rest Sees annually, if storms be not abroad And mists have left him an unshrouded head.
Long ere heat of noon, Behold the cattle are driven down; the sheep That have for traffic been culled out are penned 20 In cotes that stand together on the plain Ranged side by side; the chaffering is begun; The heifer lows uneasy at the voice Of a new master; bleat the flocks aloud. The children now are rich, the old man now Is generous, so gaiety prevails 45 Which all partake of, young and old.
Immense Is the recess, the circumambient world Magnificent, by which they are embraced. They move about upon the soft green field; 50 How little they, they and their doings, seem, Their herds and flocks about them, they themselves, And all which they can further or obstruct— Through utter weakness pitiably dear, As tender infants are—and yet how great, 55 For all things serve them: them the morning light Loves as it glistens on the silent rocks, And them the silent rocks, which now from high Look down upon them, the reposing clouds, The lurking brooks from their invisible haunts, 60 And old Helvellyn, conscious of the stir, And the blue sky that roofs their calm abode.
For I already had been taught to love 70 My fellow-beings, to such habits trained Among the woods and mountains, where I found In thee a gracious guide to lead me forth Beyond the bosom of my family, My friends and youthful playmates. I remember, far from home Once having strayed while yet a very child, I saw a sight—and with what joy and love! It was a day of exhalations spread 85 Upon the mountains, mists and steam-like fogs Redounding everywhere, not vehement, But calm and mild, gentle and beautiful, With gleams of sunshine on the eyelet spots And loopholes of the hills, wherever seen, 90 Hidden by quiet process, and as soon Unfolded, to be huddled up again— Along a narrow valley and profound I journeyed, when aloft above my head, Emerging from the silvery vapours, lo, 95 A shepherd and his dog, in open day.
With delight As bland almost, one evening I beheld— And at as early age the spectacle Is common, but by me was then first seen — A shepherd in the bottom of a vale, Towards the centre standing, who with voice, And hand waved to and fro as need required, Gave signal to his dog, thus teaching him To chace along the mazes of steep crags The flock he could not see. I have singled out Some moments, the earliest that I could, in which Their several currents, blended into one— Weak yet, and gathering imperceptibly— Flowed in by gushes.
My first human love, As hath been mentioned, did incline to those Whose occupations and concerns were most Illustrated by Nature, and adorned, And shepherds were the men who pleased me first: Not such as, in Arcadian fastnesses Sequestered, handed down among themselves, So ancient poets sing, the golden age; Nor such—a second race, allied to these— As Shakespeare in the wood of Arden placed, Where Phoebe sighed for the false Ganymede, Or there where Florizel and Perdita Together dance, Queen of the feast and King; Nor such as Spenser fabled.
True it is That I had heard, what he perhaps had seen, Of maids at sunrise bringing in from far Their May-bush, and along the streets in flocks Parading, with a song of taunting rhymes Aimed at the laggards slumbering within doors— Had also heard, from those who yet remembered, Tales of the maypole dance, and flowers that decked The posts and the kirk-pillars, and of youths, That each one with his maid at break of day, By annual custom, issued forth in troops To drink the waters of some favorite well, And hang it round with garlands.
This, alas, Was but a dream: the times had scattered all These lighter graces, and the rural ways And manners which it was my chance to see In childhood were severe and unadorned, The unluxuriant produce of a life Intent on little but substantial needs, Yet beautiful—and beauty that was felt. Nor were tales Wanting, the tragedies of former times, Or hazards and escapes, which in my walks I carried with me among crags and woods And mountains; and of these may here be told One as recorded by my household dame. It was a place Remote and deep, piled round with rocks, where foot Of man or beast was seldom used to tread; But now, when everywhere the summer grass Had failed, this one adventurer, hunger-pressed, Had left his fellows, and made his way alone To the green plot of pasture in the brook.
Immediately The sheep sprang forward to the further shore And was borne headlong by the roaring flood— At this the boy looked round him, and his heart Fainted with fear. Meanwhile the father had returned alone To his own house; and now at the approach Of evening he went forth to meet his son, Conjecturing vainly for what cause the boy Had stayed so long. The shepherd took his way Up his own mountain grounds, where, as he walked Along the steep that overhung the brook He seemed to hear a voice, which was again Repeated, like the whistling of a kite.
The sight was such as no one could have seen Without distress and fear. I myself, mature In manhood then, have seen a pastoral tract Like one of these, where fancy might run wild, Though under skies less generous and serene; Yet there, as for herself, had Nature framed A pleasure-ground, diffused a fair expanse Of level pasture, islanded with groves And banked with woody risings—but the plain Endless, here opening widely out, and there Shut up in lesser lakes or beds of lawn And intricate recesses, creek or bay Sheltered within a shelter, where at large The shepherd strays, a rolling hut his home: Thither he comes with springtime, there abides All summer, and at sunrise ye may hear His flute or flagelet resounding far.
A glimpse of such sweet life I saw when, from the melancholy walls Of Goslar, once imperial, I renewed My daily walk along that chearful plain, Which, reaching to her gates, spreads east and west And northwards, from beneath the mountainous verge Of the Hercynian forest.
Yet hail to you, Your rocks and precipices, ye that seize The heart with firmer grasp, your snows and streams Ungovernable, and your terrifying winds, That howled so dismally when I have been Companionless among your solitudes! And when the spring Looks out, and all the mountains dance with lambs, He through the enclosures won from the steep waste, And through the lower heights hath gone his rounds; And when the flock with warmer weather climbs Higher and higher, him his office leads To range among them through the hills dispersed, And watch their goings, whatsoever track Each wanderer chuses for itself—a work That lasts the summer through.
He quits his home At dayspring, and no sooner doth the sun Begin to strike him with a fire-like heat, Than he lies down upon some shining place, And breakfasts with his dog. When he hath stayed— As for the most he doth—beyond this time, He springs up with a bound, and then away! Ascending fast with his long pole in hand, Or winding in and out among the crags.
He feels himself In those vast regions where his service is A freeman, wedded to his life of hope And hazard, and hard labour interchanged With that majestic indolence so dear To native man. Thus was man Ennobled outwardly before mine eyes, And thus my heart at first was introduced To an unconscious love and reverence Of human nature; hence the human form To me was like an index of delight, Of grace and honour, power and worthiness.
But doubly fortunate my lot: not here Alone, that something of a better life Perhaps was round me than it is the privilege Of most to move in, but that first I looked At man through objects that were great and fair, First communed with him by their help. And thus Was founded a sure safeguard and defence Against the weight of meanness, selfish cares, Coarse manners, vulgar passions, that beat in On all sides from the ordinary world In which we traffic.
Yet do not deem, my friend, though thus I speak Of man as having taken in my mind A place thus early which might almost seem Preeminent, that this was really so. And long afterwards When those had died away, and Nature did For her own sake become my joy, even then, And upwards through late youth until not less Than three-and-twenty summers had been told, Was man in my affections and regards Subordinate to her, her awful forms And viewless agencies—a passion, she, A rapture often, and immediate joy Ever at hand; he distant, but a grace Occasional, and accidental thought, His hour being not yet come.
Far less had then The inferior creatures, beast or bird, attuned My spirit to that gentleness of love, Won from me those minute obeisances Of tenderness which I may number now With my first blessings. Nevertheless, on these The light of beauty did not fall in vain, Or grandeur circumfuse them to no end. Why should I speak of tillers of the soil?
From touch of this new power Nothing was safe: the elder-tree that grew Beside the well-known charnel-house had then A dismal look, the yew-tree had its ghost That took its station there for ornament. Then common death was none, common mishap, But matter for this humour everywhere, The tragic super-tragic, else left short.
Then, if a widow staggering with the blow Of her distress was known to have made her way To the cold grave in which her husband slept, One night, or haply more than one—through pain Or half-insensate impotence of mind— The fact was caught at greedily, and there She was a visitant the whole year through, Wetting the turf with never-ending tears, And all the storms of heaven must beat on her.
There was a copse, An upright bank of wood and woody rock That opposite our rural dwelling stood, In which a sparkling patch of diamond light Was in bright weather duly to be seen On summer afternoons, within the wood At the same place. Thus sometimes were the shapes Of wilful fancy grafted upon feelings Of the imagination, and they rose In worth accordingly. My present theme Is to retrace the way that led me on Through Nature to the love of human-kind; Nor could I with such object overlook The influence of this power which turned itself Instinctively to human passions, things Least understood—,of this adulterate power, For so it may be called, and without wrong, When with that first compared.
Yet in the midst Of these vagaries, with an eye so rich As mine was—through the chance, on me not wasted, Of having been brought up in such a grand And lovely region—I had forms distinct To steady me. These thoughts did oft revolve About some centre palpable, which at once Incited them to motion, and controlled, And whatsoever shape the fit might take, And whencesoever it might come, I still At all times had a real solid world Of images about me, did not pine As one in cities bred might do—as thou, Beloved friend, hast told me that thou didst, Great spirit as thou art—in endless dreams Of sickness, disjoining, joining things, Without the light of knowledge.
Then rose Man, inwardly contemplated, and present In my own being, to a loftier height— As of all visible natures crown, and first In capability of feeling what Was to be felt, in being rapt away By the divine effect of power and love— As, more than any thing we know, instinct With godhead, and by reason and by will Acknowledging dependency sublime.
Erelong, transported hence as in a dream, I found myself begirt with temporal shapes Of vice and folly thrust upon my view, Objects of sport and ridicule and scorn, Manners and characters discriminate, And little busy passions that eclipsed, As well they might, the impersonated thought, The idea or abstraction of the kind. This notwithstanding, being brought more near As I was now to guilt and wretchedness, I trembled, thought of human life at times With an indefinite terror and dismay, Such as the storms and angry elements Had bred in me; but gloomier far, a dim Analogy to uproar and misrule, Disquiet, danger, and obscurity.
Preceptress stern, that didst instruct me next, London, to thee I willingly return. Never shall I forget the hour, The moment rather say, when, having thridded The labyrinth of suburban villages, At length I did unto myself first seem To enter the great city. That aught external to the living mind Should have such mighty sway, yet so it was: A weight of ages did at once descend Upon my heart—no thought embodied, no Distinct remembrances, but weight and power, Power growing with the weight. Alas, I feel That I am trifling. With strong sensations teeming as it did Of past and present, such a place must needs Have pleased me in those times.
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I sought not then Knowledge, but craved for power—and power I found In all things. Nothing had a circumscribed And narrow influence; but all objects, being Themselves capacious, also found in me Capaciousness and amplitude of mind— Such is the strength and glory of our youth. And less Than other minds I had been used to owe The pleasure which I found in place or thing To extrinsic transitory accidents, To records or traditions; but a sense Of what had been here done, and suffered here Through ages, and was doing, suffering, still, Weighed with me, could support the test of thought— Was like the enduring majesty and power Of independent nature.
And not seldom Even individual remembrances, By working on the shapes before my eyes, Became like vital functions of the soul; And out of what had been, what was, the place Was thronged with impregnations, like those wilds In which my early feelings had been nursed, And naked valleys full of caverns, rocks, And audible seclusions, dashing lakes, Echoes and waterfalls, and pointed crags That into music touch the passing wind. Neither guilt nor vice, Debasement of the body or the mind, Nor all the misery forced upon my sight, Which was not lightly passed, but often scanned Most feelingly, could overthrow my trust In what we may become, induce belief that I was ignorant, had been falsely taught, A solitary, who with vain conceits Had been inspired, and walked about in dreams.
In the tender scenes Chiefly was my delight, and one of these Never will be forgotten. Of those who passed, and me who looked at him, He took no note; but in his brawny arms The artificer was to the elbow bare, And from his work this moment had been stolen He held the child, and, bending over it As if he were afraid both of the sun And of the air which he had come to seek, He eyed it with unutterable love. Book Ninth Residence in France A S oftentimes a river, it might seem, Yielding in part to old remembrances, Part swayed by fear to tread an onward road That leads direct to the devouring sea, Turns and will measure back his course—far back, 5 Towards the very regions which he crossed In his first outset—so have we long time Made motions retrograde, in like pursuit Detained.
But now we start afresh: I feel An impulse to precipitate my verse. Free as a colt at pasture on the hills I ranged at large through the metropolis Month after month. Obscurely did I live, 20 Not courting the society of men, By literature, or elegance, or rank, Distinguished—in the midst of things, it seemed, Looking as from a distance on the world That moved about me. Through Paris lay my readiest path, and there 40 I sojourned a few days, and visited In haste each spot of old and recent fame— The latter chiefly—from the field of Mars Down to the suburbs of St.
At that time, Moreover, the first storm was overblown, And the strong hand of outward violence Locked up in quiet. For myself—I fear Now in connection with so great a theme To speak, as I must be compelled to do, Of one so unimportant—a short time I loitered, and frequented night by night Routs, card-tables, the formal haunts of men Whom in the city privilege of birth Sequestered from the rest, societies Where, through punctilios of elegance And deeper causes, all discourse, alike Of good and evil, in the time, was shunned With studious care.
A knot of military officers That to a regiment appertained which then Was stationed in the city were the chief Of my associates; some of these wore swords Which had been seasoned in the wars, and all Were men well-born, at least laid claim to such Distinction, as the chivalry of France.
In age and temper differing, they had yet One spirit ruling in them all—alike Save only one, hereafter to be named Were bent upon undoing what was done. One, reckoning by years, Was in the prime of manhood, and erewhile He had sate lord in many tender hearts, Though heedless of such honours now, and changed: His temper was quite mastered by the times, And they had blighted him, had eat away The beauty of his person, doing wrong Alike to body and to mind.
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His port, Which once had been erect and open, now Was stooping and contracted, and a face By nature lovely in itself, expressed, As much as any that was ever seen, A ravage out of season. At the hour, The most important of each day, in which The public news was read, the fever came, A punctual visitant, to shake this man, Disarmed his voice and fanned his yellow cheek Into a thousand colours.
While he read, Or mused, his sword was haunted by his touch Continually, like an uneasy place In his own body. The soil of common life was at that time Too hot to tread upon. The men already spoken of as chief Of my associates were prepared for flight To augment the band of emigrants in arms Upon the borders of the Rhine, and leagued With foreign foes mustered for instant war.
This was their undisguised intent, and they Were waiting with the whole of their desires The moment to depart. For, born in a poor district, and which yet Retaineth more of ancient homeliness, Manners erect, and frank simplicity, Than any other nook of English land, It was my fortune scarcely to have seen Through the whole tenor of my schoolday time The face of one, who, whether boy or man, Was vested with attention or respect Through claims of wealth or blood.
Nor was it least Of many debts which afterwards I owed To Cambridge and an academic life, That something there was holden up to view Of a republic, where all stood thus far Upon equal ground, that they were brothers all In honour, as of one community— Scholars and gentlemen—where, furthermore, Distinction lay open to all that came, And wealth and titles were in less esteem Than talents and successful industry.
It could not be But that one tutored thus, who had been formed To thought and moral feeling in the way This story hath described, should look with awe Upon the faculties of man, receive Gladly the highest promises, and hail As best the government of equal rights And individual worth.
No wonder then if advocates like these Whom I have mentioned, at this riper day Were impotent to make my hopes put on The shape of theirs, my understanding bend In honour to their honour. Zeal which yet Had slumbered, now in opposition burst Forth like a Polar summer. Every word They uttered was a dart by counter-winds Blown back upon themselves; their reason seemed Confusion-stricken by a higher power Than human understanding, their discourse Maimed, spiritless—and, in their weakness strong, I triumphed.
Meantime day by day the roads, While I consorted with these royalists, Were crowded with the bravest youth of France And all the promptest of her spirits, linked In gallant soldiership, and posting on To meet the war upon her frontier-bounds. A meeker man Than this lived never, or a more benign— Meek, though enthusiastic to the height Of highest expectation.
Injuries Made him more gracious, and his nature then Did breathe its sweetness out most sensibly, As aromatic flowers on Alpine turf When foot hath crushed them. He through the events Of that great change wandered in perfect faith, As through a book, an old romance, or tale Of Fairy, or some dream of actions wrought Behind the summer clouds.
By birth he ranked With the most noble, but unto the poor Among mankind he was in service bound As by some tie invisible, oaths professed To a religious order. Man he loved As man, and to the mean and the obscure, And all the homely in their homely works, Transferred a courtesy which had no air Of condescension, but did rather seem A passion and a gallantry, like that Which he, a soldier, in his idler day Had payed to woman.
Oft in solitude With him did I discourse about the end Of civil government, and its wisest forms, Of ancient prejudice and chartered rights, Allegiance, faith, and laws by time matured, Custom and habit, novelty and change, Of self-respect, and virtue in the few For patrimonial honour set apart, And ignorance in the labouring multitude. For he, an upright man and tolerant, Balanced these contemplations in his mind, And I, who at that time was scarcely dipped Into the turmoil, had a sounder judgement Than afterwards, carried about me yet With less alloy to its integrity The experience of past ages, as through help Of books and common life it finds its way To youthful minds, by objects over near Not pressed upon, nor dazzled or misled By struggling with the crowd for present ends.
We added dearest themes, Man and his noble nature, as it is The gift of God and lies in his own power, His blind desires and steady faculties Capable of clear truth, the one to break Bondage, the other to build liberty On firm foundations, making social life, Through knowledge spreading and imperishable, As just in regulation, and as pure, As individual in the wise and good. We summoned up the honorable deeds Of ancient story, thought of each bright spot That could be found in all recorded time, Of truth preserved and error passed away, Of single spirits that catch the flame from heaven, And how the multitude of men will feed And fan each other—thought of sects, how keen They are to put the appropriate nature on, Triumphant over every obstacle Of custom, language, country, love and hate, And what they do and suffer for their creed, How far they travel, and how long endure— How quickly mighty nations have been formed From least beginnings, how, together locked By new opinions, scattered tribes have made One body, spreading wide as clouds in heaven.
To aspirations then of our own minds Did we appeal; and, finally, beheld A living confirmation of the whole Before us in a people risen up Fresh as the morning star. Elate we looked Upon their virtues, saw in rudest men Self-sacrifice the firmest, generous love And continence of mind, and sense of right Uppermost in the midst of fiercest strife.
But far more sweet such toil Toil, say I, for it leads to thoughts abstruse If Nature then be standing on the brink Of some great trial, and we hear the voice Of one devoted, one whom circumstance Hath called upon to embody his deep sense In action, give it outwardly a shape, And that of benediction to the world. Then doubt is not, and truth is more than truth— A hope it is and a desire, a creed Of zeal by an authority divine Sanctioned, of danger, difficulty, or death. With harder fate, Though like ambition, such was he, O friend, Of whom I speak.