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Right to expect his vigorous decline,
That promises to the end a blest old age ! ”

“ Yet,” with a smile of triumph thus exclaimed The Solitary, “in the life of nan, If to the poetry of common speech Faith may be given, we see as in a glass A true reflection of the circling year, With all its seasons. Grant that Spring is there, In spite of many a rough untoward blast, Hopeful and promising with buds and flowers ; Yet where is glowing Summer's long rich day, That ought to follow faithfully expressed ? And mellow Autumn, charged with bounteous fruit, Where is she imaged ? in what favoured clime Her lavish pomp, and ripe magnificence ? -Yet, while the better part is missed, the worse In man's autumnal season is set forth With a resemblance not to be denied, And that contents him ; bowers that hear no more The voice of gladness, less and less supply Of outward sunshine and internal warmth ; And, with this change, sharp air and falling leaves, Foretelling aged Winter's desolate sway.

How gay the habitations that bedeck
This fertile valley! Not a house but seems
To give assurance of content within ;
Embosomed happiness, and placid love;
As if the sunshine of the day were met
With answering brightness in the hearts of all
Who walk this favoured ground. But chance-

And notice forced upon incurious ears ;
These, if these only, acting in despite
Of the encomiums by my Friend pronounced
On humble life, forbid the judging mind
To trust the smiling aspect of this fair

And noiseless commonwealth. The simple race
Of mountaineers (by nature's self removed
From foul temptations, and by constant care
Of a good shepherd tended as themselves
Do tend their flocks) partake man's general lot
With little mitigation. They escape,
Perchance, the heavier woes of guilt ; feel not
The tedium of fantastic idleness :
Yet life, as with the multitude, with them
Is fashioned like an ill-constructed tale;
That on the outset wastes its gay desires,
Its fair adventures, its enlivening hopes,
And pleasant interests—for the sequel leaving
Old things repeated with diminished grace;
And all the laboured novelties at best
Imperfect substitutes, whose use and power
Evince the want and weakness whence they spring.”

While in this serious mood we held discourse, The reverend Pastor toward the church-yard gate Approached ; and, with a mild respectful air Of native cordiality, our Friend Advanced to greet him. With a gracious mien Was he received, and mutual joy prevailed. Awhile they stood in conference, and I guess That he, who now upon the mossy wall Sate by my side, had vanished, if a wish Could have transferred him to the flying clouds, Or the least penetrable hiding-place In his own valley's rocky guardianship.

-For me, I looked upon the pair, well pleased : Nature had framed them both, and both were marked By circumstance, with intermixture fine Of contrast and resemblance. To an oak Hardy and grand, a weather-beaten oak, Fresh in the strength and majesty of age, One might be likened : flourishing appeared, Though somewhat past the fulness of his prime,

The other-like a stately sycamore,
That spreads, in gentle pomp, its honied shade.

A general greeting was exchanged ; and soon The Pastor learned that his approach had given A welcome interruption to discourse Grave, and in truth too often sad.“ Is Man A child of hope ? Do generations press On generations, without progress made ? Halts the individual, ere his hairs be grey, Perforce ? Are we a creature in whom good Preponderates, or evil ? Doth the will Acknowledge reason's law ? A living power Is virtue, or no better than a name, Fleeting as health or beauty, and unsound ? So that the only substance which remains, (For thus the tenor of complaint hath run) Among so many shadows, are the pains And penalties of miserable life, Doomed to decay, and then expire in dust! -Our cogitations this way have been drawn, These are the points,” the Wanderer said,“ on which Our inquest turns.— Accord, good Sir! the light Of your experience to dispel this gloom : By your persuasive wisdom shall the heart That frets, or languishes, be stilled and cheered."

"Our nature," said the Priest, in mild reply, “ Angels may weigh and fathom : they perceive, With undistempered and unclouded spirit, The object as it is; but, for ourselves, That speculative height we may not reach. The good and evil are our own; and we Are that which we would contemplate from far. Knowledge, for us, is difficult to gainIs difficult to gain, and hard to keepAs virtue's self ; like virtue is beset With snares ; tried, tempted, subject to decay.

Love, admiration, fear, desire, and hate,
Blind were we without these : through these alone
Are capable to notice or discern
Or to record ; we judge, but cannot be
Indifferent judges. 'Spite of proudest boast,
Reason, best reason, is to imperfect man
An effort only, and a noble aim;
A crown, an attribute of sovereign power,
Still to be courted-never to be won.
-Look forth, or each man dive into himself;
What sees he but a creature too perturbed ;
That is transported to excess; that yearns,
Regrets, or trembles, wrongly, or too much ;
Hopes rashly, in disgust as rash recoils ;
Battens on spleen, or moulders in despair ?
Thus comprehension fails, and truth is missed;
Thus darkness and delusion round our path
Spread, from disease, whose subtle injury lurks
Within the very faculty of sight.

Yet for the general purposes of faith
In Providence, for solace and support,
We may not doubt that who can best subject
The will to reason's law, can strictliest live
And act in that obedience, he shall gain
The clearest apprehension of those truths,
Which unassisted reason's utmost power
Is too infirm to reach. But, waiving this,
And our regards confining within bounds
Of less exalted consciousness, through which

The very multitude are free to range,
We safely may affirm that human life
Is either fair and tempting, a soft scene
Grateful to sight, refreshing to the soul,
Or a forbidden tract of cheerless view;
Even as the same is looked at, or approached.
Thus, when in changeful April fields are white
With new-fallen snow, if from the sullen north

Your walk conduct you hither, ere the sun
Hath gained his noontide height, this churchyard

With mounds transversely lying side by side
From east to west, before you will appear
An unillumined, blank, and dreary, plain,
With niore than wintry cheerlessness and gloom
Saddening the heart. Go forward, and look back ;
Look, from the quarter whence the lord of light,
Of life, of love, and gladness doth dispense
His beams; which, unexcluded in their fall,
Upon the southern side of every grave
Have gently exercised a melting power ;
Then will a vernal prospect greet your eye,
All fresh and beautiful, and green and bright,
Hopeful and cheerful :- vanished is the pall
That overspread and chilled the sacred turf,
Vanished or hidden; and the whole domain,
To some, too lightly minded, might appear
A meadow carpet for the dancing hours.
-This contrast, not unsuitable to life,
Is to that other state more apposite,
Death and its two-fold aspect! wintry-one,
Cold, sullen, blank, from hope and joy shut out;
The other, which the ray divine hath touched,
Replete with vivid promise, bright as spring.”

“We see, then, as we feel,” the Wanderer thus With a complacent animation spake, And in your judgment, Sir! the mind's repose On evidence is not to be ensured By act of naked reason. Moral truth Is no mechanic structure, built by rule; And which, once built, retains a stedfast shape And undisturbed proportions ; but a thing Subject, you deem, to vital accidents ; And, like the water-lily, lives and thrives, Whose root is fixed in stable earth, whose head

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