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In such access of mind, in such high hour
A Herdsman on the lonely mountain tops, Such intercourse was his, and in this sort Was his existence oftentimes possessed. O then how beautiful, how bright, appeared The written promise! Early had he learned To reverence the volume that displays The mystery, the life which cannot die ; But in the mountains did he feel his faith. All things, responsive to the writing, there Breathed immortality, revolving life, And greatness still revolving; infinite : There littleness was not; the least of things Seemed infinite; and there his spirit shaped Her prospects, nor did he believe,-he saw. What wonder if his being thus became Sublime and comprehensive! Low desires, Low thoughts had there no place ; yet was his heart Lowly; for he was meek in gratitude, Oft as he called those ecstasies to mind, And whence they flowed; and from them he acquired
Wisdom, which works thro' patience; thence he learned
So passed the time; yet to the nearest town
elements of truth involved
Might tend to wean him. Therefore with her hues,
And thus before his eighteenth year was told, Accumulated feelings pressed his heart With still increasing weight; he was, o'erpowered By Nature) by the turbulence subdued Of his own mind; by mystery and hope, And the first virgin passion of a soul Communing with the glorious universe. Full often wished he that the winds might rage When they were silent : far more fondly now Than in his earlier season did he love Tempestuous nights—the conflict and the sounds That live in darkness. From his intellect And from the stillness of abstracted thought He asked repose ; and, failing oft to win
The peace required, he scanned the laws of light
In dreams, in study, and in ardent thought, Thus was he reared ; much wanting to assist The growth of intellect, yet gaining more, And every moral feeling of his soul Strengthened and braced, by breathing in content The keen, the wholesome, air of poverty, And drinking from the well of homely life. -But, from past liberty, and tried restraints, He now was summoned to select the course Of humble industry that promised best To yield him no unworthy maintenance. Urged by his Mother, he essayed to teach A village-school—but wandering thoughts were then A misery to him ; and the Youth resigned A task he was unable to perform.
That stern yet kindly Spirit, who constrains
His restless mind to look abroad with hope.
-An irksome drudgery seems it to plod on, Through hot and dusty ways, or pelting storm, A vagrant Merchant under a heavy load Bent as he moves, and needing frequent rest; Yet do such travellers find their own delight; And their hard service, deemed debasing now, Gained merited respect in simpler times ; When squire, and priest, and they who round them dwelt In rustic sequestration—all dependent Upon the PEDLAR's toil-supplied their wants, Or pleased their fancies, with the wares he brought. Not ignorant was the Youth that still no few Of his adventurous countrymen were led By perseverance in this track of life To competence and ease :—to him it offered Attractions manifold ;—and this he chose, -His Parents on the enterprise bestowed Their farewell benediction, but with hearts Foreboding evil. From his native hills He wandered far, much did he see of men, Their manners, their enjoyments, and pursuits, Their passions and their feelings; chiefly those Essential and eternal in the heart, That, ʼmid the simpler forms of rural life, Exist more simple in their elements, And speak a plainer language. In the woods, A lone Enthusiast, and among the fields, Itinerant in this labour, he had passed