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When into air had partially dissolved That vision, given to spirits of the night And three chance human wanderers, in calm thought Reflected, it appeared to me the type Of a majestic intellect, its acts And its possessions, what it has and craves, What in itself it is, and would become. There I beheld the emblem of a mind That feeds upon infinity, that broods Over the dark abyss, intent to hear Its voices issuing forth to silent light In one continuous stream; a mind sustained By recognitions of transcendent power, In sense conducting to ideal form, In soul of more than mortal privilege. One function, above all, of such a mind Had Nature shadowed there, by putting forth, 'Mid circumstances awful and sublime, That mutual domination which she loves To exert upon the face of outward things, So moulded, joined, abstracted, so endowed With interchangeable supremacy, That men, least sensitive, see, hear, perceive, And cannot choose but feel. The power, which all Acknowledge when thus moved, which Nature thus To bodily sense exhibits, is the express Resemblance of that glorious faculty Thạt higher minds bear with them as their own. . This is the very spirit in which they deal With the whole compass of the universe : They from their native selves can send abroad Kindred mutations ; for themselves create A like existence; and, whene'er it dawns Created for them, catch it, or are caught By its inevitable mastery, Like angels stopped upon the wing by sound Of harmony from Heaven's remotest spheres. Them the enduring and the transient both Serve to exalt; they build up greatest things
From least suggestions; ever on the watch,
Willing to work and to be wrought upon,
They need not extraordinary calls
To rouse them ; in a world of life they live,
By sensible impressions not enthralled,
But by their quickening impulse made more prompt
To hold fit converse with the spiritual world,
And with the generations of mankind
f Spread over time, past, present, and to come,
Age after age, till Time shall be no more.
[From the Excursion. 1795-1813.]
[TWIN PEAKS OF THE VALLEY.] v
In genial mood,
While at our pastoral banquet thus we sate
I could not, ever and anon, forbear
To glance an upward look on two huge Peaks,
That from some other vale peered into this.
'Those lusty twins,' exclaimed our host, 'if here
It were your lot to dwell, would soon become
Your prized companions.- Many are the notes
Which, in his tuneful course, the wind draws forth
From rocks, woods, caverns, heaths, and dashing shores ;
And well those lofty brethren bear their part
In the wild concert-chiefly when the storm
Rides high ; then all the upper air they fill
With roaring sound, that ceases not to flow,
Like smoke, along the level of the blast,
In mighty current; theirs, too, is the song
Of stream and headlong flood that seldom fails ;
And, in the grim and breathless hour of noon,
Methinks that I have heard them echo back
The thunder's greeting. Nor have nature's laws
Left them ungifted with a power to yield
I.Iusic of finer tone; a harmony,
So do I call it, though it be the hand
Of silence, though there be no voice ;—the clouds,
The mist, the shadows, light of golden suns, .
Motions of moonlight, all come thither--touch,
And have an answer-thither come, and shape
A language not unwelcome to sick hearts
And idle spirits :—there the sun himself,
At the calm close of summer's longest day,
Rests his substantial orb ;-between those heights
And on the top of either pinnacle, .
More keenly than elsewhere in night's blue vault,
Sparkle the stars, as of their station proud.
Thoughts are not busier in the mind of man
Than the mute agents stirring there :-alone
Here do I sit and watch.'
[MIST OPENING IN THE Hills.] So was he lifted gently from the ground, And with their freight homeward the shepherds moved Through the dull mist, I following-when a step, · A single step, that freed me from the skirts Of the blind vapour, opened to my view Glory beyond all glory ever seen By waking sense or by the dreaming soul! The appearance, instantaneously disclosed, Was of a mighty city-boldly say A wilderness, of building, sinking far And self-withdrawn into a boundless depth Far sinking into splendour-without end ! Fabric it seemed of diamond and of gold, With alabaster domes, and silver spires, And blazing terrace upon terrace, high Uplifted ; here, serene pavilions bright, In avenues disposed ; there, towers begirt With battlements that on their restless fronts Bore stars-illumination of all gems! By earthly nature had the effect been wrought Upon the dark materials of the storm Now pacified : on them, and on the coves And mountain-steeps and summits, whereunto
The vapours had receded, taking there
Their station under a cerulean sky.
Oh, 'twas an unimaginable sight!
Clouds, mists, streams, watery rocks and emerald turf,
Clouds of all tincture, rocks and sapphire sky.
Confused, commingled, mutually inflamed,
Molten together, and composing thus,
Each lost in each, that marvellous array
Of temple, palace, citadel, and huge
Fantastic pomp of structure without name,
In fleecy folds voluminous enwrapped.
Right in the midst, where interspace appeared
Of open court, an object like a throne
Under a shining canopy of state
Stood fixed ; and fixed resemblance were seen
To implements of ordinary use,
But vast in size, in substance glorified ;
Such as by Hebrew Prophets were beheld
In vision-forms uncouth of mightiest power
For admiration and mysterious awe.
This little Vale, a dwelling-place of Man,
Lay low beneath my feet ; 'twas visible-
I saw not, but I felt that it was there.
That which I saw was the revealed abode
Of Spirits in beatitude.
[AMONG THE MOUNTAINS.]
(Greek Divinities.) Once more to distant ages of the world Let us revert, and place before our thoughts The face which rural solitude might wear To the unenlightened swains of pagan Greece. —In that fair clime, the lonely herdsman, stretched On the soft grass through half a summer's day, With music lulled his indolent repose : And, in some fit of weariness, if he When his own breath was silent, chanced to hear
A distant strain, far sweeter than the sounds
Which his poor skill could make, his fancy fetched,
Even from the blazing chariot of the sun,
A beardless Youth, who touched a golden lute,
And filled the illumined groves with ravishment.
The nightly hunter, lifting a bright eye
Up towards the crescent moon, with grateful heart
Called on the lovely wanderer who bestowed
That timely light, to share his joyous sport :
And hence, a beaming Goddess with her Nymphs,
Across the lawn and through the darksome grove,
Not unaccompanied with tuneful notes
By echo multiplied from rock or cave,
Swept in the storm of chase ; as moon and stars
Glance rapidly along the clouded heaven,
When winds are blowing strong. The traveller slaked
His thirst from rill or gushing fount, and thanked
The Naiad. Sunbeams, upon distant hills
Gliding apace, with shadows in their train,
Might, with small help from fancy, be transformed
Into fleet Oreads sporting visibly.
The Zephyrs fanning, as they passed, their wings,
Lacked not, for love, fair objects whom they wooed
With gentle whisper. Withered boughs grotesque,
Stripped of their leaves and twigs by hoary age,
From depth of shaggy covert peeping forth
In the low vale, or on steep mountain side ;
And, sometimes, intermixed with stirring horns
Of the live deer, or goat's depending beard,
These were the lurking Satyrs, a wild brood
Of gamesome Deities; or Pan himself,
The simple shepherd's awe-inspiring God!
[THE MOON AMONG TREES.]
Within the soul a faculty abides,
That with interpositions, which would hide
And darken, so can deal that they become
Contingencies of pomp; and serve to exalt