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These were your words; and, verily, methinks
Wisdom is oft-times nearer when we stoop
Than when we soar.”_

The Other, not displeased,
Promptly replied—“ My notion is the same.
And I, without reluctance, could decline
All act of inquisition whence we rise,
And what, when breath hath ceased, we may become
Here are we, in a bright and breathing World !
Our origin, what matters it? In lack
Of worthier explanation, say at once
With the American (a thought which suits
The place where now we stand) that certain Men
Leapt out together from a rocky Cave;
And these were the first Parents of Mankind!
Or, if a different image be recalled
By the warm sunshine, and the jocund voice
Of insects—chirping out their careless lives
On these soft beds of thyme-besprinkled turf,
Chuse, with the gay Athenian, a conceit
As sound; with that blithe race who wore ere-while
Their golden Grasshoppers, in sign that they
Had sprung from out the soil whereon they dwelt.

But stop!—these theoretic fancies jar
On serious minds ; for doubtless, in one sense,
The theme is serious ; then, as Hindoos draw
Their holy Ganges from a skiey fount,
Even so deduce the Stream of human Life
From seats of Power divine; and hope, or trust,
That our Existence winds its stately course
Beneath the Sun, like Ganges, to make part
Of a living Ocean: or, if such may seem
Its tendency, to be engulphed and lost
Like Niger, in impenetrable sands
And utter darkness : thought which may be faced,
Though comfortless !—Not of myself I speak;
Such acquiescence neither doth imply,
In me, a meekly-bending spirit—soothed . .
By natural piety; nor a lofty mind,
By philosophic discipline prepared
For calm subjection to acknowledged law;
Pleased to have been, contented not to be.
Such palms I boast not:-no! to me, who find,
Reviewing my past way, much to condemn,
Little to praise, and nothing to regret
(Save some remembrances of dream-like joys

That scarcely seem to have belonged to me)
If I must take my choice between the pair
That rule alternately the weary hours,
Night is than day more acceptable ;-sleep
Doth, in my estimate of good, appear
A better state than waking ; death than sleep:
Feelingly sweet is stillness after storm,
Though under covert of the wormy ground !

Yet be it said, in justice to myself, That in more genial times, when I was free To explore the destiny of human kind; Not as an intellectual game pursued With curious subtilty, thereby to cheat Irksome sensations; but by love of truth Urged on, or haply by intense delight In feeding thought, wherever thought could feed; I did not rank with those (too dull or nice, For to my judgment such they then appeared, Or too aspiring, thankless at the best) Who, in this frame of human life, perceive An object whereunto their souls are tied In discontented wedlock; nor did e'er,

From me, those dark, impervious shades, that hang Upon the region whither we are bound, Exclude a power to enjoy the vital beams Of present sunshine.- Deities that float On wings, angelic Spirits, I could muse O’er what from eldest time we have been told Of your bright forms and glorious faculties, And with the imagination be content, Not wishing more; repining not to tread The little sinuous path of earthly care, By flowers embellished, and by springs refreshed. _“ Blow winds of Autumn !—let your chilling breath “ Take the live herbage from the mead, and strip “ The shady forest of its green attire,“ And let the bursting Clouds to fury rouse “ The gentle Brooks —Your desolating sway," Thus I exclaimed," no sadness sheds on me, “ And no disorder in your rage I find. “ What dignity, what beauty, in this change “ From mild to angry, and from sad to gay, “ Alternate and revolving! How benign, " How rich in animation and delight, “ How bountiful these elements—compared

“ With aught, as more desirable and fair,
“ Devised by Fancy for the Golden Age ;
“ Or the perpetual warbling that prevails
“ In Arcady, beneath unaltered skies,
“ Through the long year in constant quiet bound,
“ Night hush'd as night, and day serene as day!”

—But why this tedious record ?-Age we know
Is garrulous; and solitude is apt
To anticipate the privilege of Age.
From far ye come; and surely with a hope
Of better entertainment--let us hence !"

Loth to forsake the spot, and still more loth To be diverted from our present theme, I said, “ My thoughts, agreeing, Sir, with yours, Would push this censure farther ;-for, if smiles Of scornful pity be the just reward Of Poesy, thus courteously employed : In framing models to improve the scheme Of Man's existence, and recast the world, Why should not grave Philosophy be stiled, Herself, a Dreamer of a kindred stock, A Dreamer yet more spiritless and dull?

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