The Enfolded Prelude: Book Fourth

1805 text is in green 1850 text is in purple

Book Fourth

Summer Vacation

    A pleasant sight it Bright was when, having clombthe summer's noon when quickening steps
    The Heights of Kendal, and that Followed each other till a dreary moor
    Was crossed, at length a bare ridge clomb, upon whose top
    Standing alone,
as from a rampart's edgeedge,
    I overlooked the bed of Windermere.Windermere,
    Like a vast river, stretching in the sun.
    With exultation, at my feet
I saw
    Lake, islands, promontories, gleaming bays,
    A universe of Nature's fairest forms
    Proudly revealed with instantaneous burst,
    Magnificent, and beautiful, and gay.
bounded down the hill, hill shouting amain
    A lusty summons For the old Ferryman; to the farther shoreshout the rocks
    For the old ferryman; Replied, and when he camethe Charon of the flood
    Had staid his oars, and touched the jutting pier,
I did not step into the well-known boat
    Without a cordial welcome. greeting. Thence right forthwith speed
    Up the familiar hill I took my way, now drawing towards home,way
    To Towards that sweet valley Valley where I had been reared;
    'Twas but a short hour's walk ere, walk, ere veering round,round
    I saw the snow-white church upon its her hill
    Sit like a thronbd lady, throned Lady, sending out
    A gracious look all over its her domain.
    Yon azure smoke betrays the lurking town;
    With eager footsteps I advance and reach
    The cottage threshold where my journey closed.
Glad greetings welcome had I, and with some tears tears, perhaps,
    From my old dame, Dame, so motherly kind and good,motherly,
    While she perused me with a parent's pride.
    The thoughts of gratitude shall fall like dew
    Upon thy grave, good creature: while creature! While my heart
    Can beat I never will I forget thy name.
    Heaven's blessing be upon thee where thou liest
    After thy innocent and busy stir
    In narrow cares, thy little daily growth
    Of calm enjoyments, after eighty years,
    And more than eighty, of untroubled lifelife;
    Childless, yet by the strangers to they thy blood
    Honoured with little less than filial love.
    Great What joy was mine to see thee once again,
    Thee and thy dwelling, and a throng crowd of things
    About its narrow precincts, precincts all belovedbeloved,
    And many of them seeming yet my own.own!
    Why should I speak of what a thousand hearts
    Have felt, and every man alive can guess?
    The rooms, the court, the garden were not left
    Long unsaluted, and nor the spreading pinesunny seat
    And broad Round the stone table underneath its boughs—
    Our summer seat in many a festive hour—
    And that unruly child of mountain birth,
    The froward brook, which, soon as he was boxed
    Within our garden, found himself at once
    As if by trick insidious and unkind,
    Stripped of his voice, and left to dimple down
    Without an effort and without a will
    A channel paved by the hand of man.
under the dark pine,
    Friendly to studious or to festive hours;
    Nor that unruly child of mountain birth,
    The famous brook, who, soon as he was boxed
    Within our garden, found himself at once,
    As if by trick insidious and unkind,
    Stripped of his voice and left to dimple down
    (Without an effort and without a will)
    A channel paved by man's officious care.
I looked at him and smiled, and smiled again,
    And in the press of twenty thousand thoughts,
    'Ha', "Ha," quoth I, 'pretty "pretty prisoner, are you there!'
    -And now, reviewing soberly that hour,
    I marvel that a fancy did not flash
there !"
    Upon me, and a strong desire, straitway,Well might sarcastic Fancy then have whispered,
    At sight of such an "An emblem that shewed forthhere behold of thy own life;
    So aptly my In its late course of even daysdays with all
    And all their Their smooth enthralment, to pen downenthralment;" but the heart was full,
    A satire on myself. Too full for that reproach. My aged dameDame
    Was with me, Walked proudly at my side; side: she guided me,me;
    I willing, nay—nay, wishing to be led.
    —.The face of every neighbour whom I met
    Was as like a volume to me; some I were hailed
    Far off, upon Upon the road, or some busy at their workwork,
    Unceremonious greetings, greetings interchanged
    With half the length of a long field between.
    Among my schoolfellows I scattered round
    A salutation that was more constrainedLike recognitions, but with some constraint
    Though earnest doubtless Attended, doubtless, with a little pride,
    But with more shame, for my habiliments,
    The transformation and the wrought by gay attire.
    Delighted Not less delighted did I take my place againplace
    At our domestic table; table: and, dear friend,Friend!
    Relating In this endeavour simply as my wish hath beento relate
    A poet's Poet's history, can may I leave untold
    The joy thankfulness with which I laid me down at nightdown
    In my accustomed bed, more welcome now
    Perhaps than if it had been more desired,desired
    Or been more often thought of with regret—
    That bed whence I had heard the roaring wind
    And clamorous rain, that bed where I so oft
    Had lain awake on breezy nights to watch
    The moon in splendour couched among the leaves
    Of a tall ash that near our cottage stood,
    Had watched her with fixed eyes, while to and fro
    In the dark summit of the moving tree
    She rocked with every impulse of the wind.
    That lowly bed whence I had heard the wind
    Roar, and the rain beat hard; where I so oft
    Had lain awake on summer nights to watch
    The moon in splendour couched among the leaves
    Of a tall ash, that near our cottage stood;
    Had watched her with fixed eyes while to and fro
    In the dark summit of the waving tree
    She rocked with every impulse of the breeze.
Among the faces which favourites whom it pleased me well
    To see again again, was one by ancient right
    Our inmate, a rough terrier of the hills,hills;
    By birth and call of nature preordainedpre-ordained
    To hunt the badger and unearth the fox
    Among the impervious crags. But crags, but having been
    From youth our own adopted, he had passed
    Into a gentler service; and service. And when first
    The boyish spirit flagged, and day by day
    Along my veins I kindled with the stir,
    The fermentation fermentation, and the vernal heat
    Of poesy, affecting private shades
    Like a sick lover, Lover, then this dog was used
    To watch me, an attendant and a friend,
    Obsequious to my steps early and late,
    Though often of such dilatory walk
    Tired, and uneasy at the halts I made.
    A hundred times when in these wanderingswhen, roving high and low,
    I have been busy harassed with the toil of verseverse,
    Great Much pains and little progress progress, and at once
    Some fair enchanting image lovely Image in my mindthe song rose up
    Rose up, full-formed Full-formed, like Venus rising from the sea,sea;
    Have Then have I sprung forth towards him and darted forwards to let loose
    My hand upon his back with stormy joy,
    Caressing him again and yet again.
    And when in at evening on the public roads at eventideway
    I sauntered, like a river murmuring
    And talking to itself, at such a seasonitself when all things else
    It was his custom to jog Are still, the creature trotted on before;
    But, duly whensoever Such was his custom; but whene'er he had met
    A passenger approaching, would he would turn
    To give me timely notice, and straitway,straightway,
    Punctual to such Grateful for that admonishment, I hushed
    My voice, composed my gait, and shaped myselfand, with the air
    And mien of one whose thoughts are free, advanced
To give and take a greeting that might save
    My name from piteous rumours, such as wait
    On men suspected to be crazed in brain.
    Those walks, walks well worthy to be prized and loved.loved
    Regretted, Regretted! that word too word, too, was on my tongue,
    But they were richly laden with all good,
    And cannot be remembered but with thanks
    And gratitude gratitude, and perfect joy of heart—
    Those walks did now like a returning spring
    Come back on me again.
    Those walks in all their freshness now came back
    Like a returning Spring.
When first I made
    Once more the circuit of our little lakelake,
    If ever happiness hath lodged with manman,
    That day consummate happiness was mine—
    Wide-spreading, steady, calm, contemplative.
    Wide-spreading, steady, calm, contemplative.
The sun was set, or setting, when I left
    Our cottage door, and evening soon brought on
    A sober hour, not winning or serene,
    For cold and raw the air was, and untuned;untuned:
    But as a face we love is sweetest then
    When sorrow damps it, or, whatever look
    It chance to wear, is sweetest if the heart
    Have fulness in itself, herself; even so with me
    It fared that evening. Gently did my soul
    Put off her veil, and, self-transmuted, stood
    Naked Naked, as in the presence of her God.
    As While on I walked, a comfort seemed to touch
    A heart that had not been disconsolate,disconsolate:
    Strength came where weakness was not known to be,
    At least not felt; and restoration came
    Like an intruder knocking at the door
    Of unacknowledged weariness. I took
    The balance in my hand balance, and with firm hand weighed myself:myself.
    I saw but little, and thereat was pleased;—.Of that external scene which round me lay,
    Little Little, in this abstraction, did I remember, and even thissee;
    Still pleased me more Remembered less; but I had hopes and peaceinward hopes
    And swellings of the spirits, spirit, was rapt and soothed,
    Conversed with promises, had glimmering views
    How life pervades the undecaying mind,mind;
    How the immortal soul with godlike God-like power
    Informs, creates, and thaws the deepest sleep
    That time can lay upon her, her; how on earthearth,
    Man Man, if he do but live within the light
    Of high endeavours, daily spreads abroad
    His being armed with a strength that cannot fail.
    Nor was there want of milder thoughts, of love,
    Of innocence, and holiday repose,repose;
    And more than pastoral quiet in quiet, 'mid the heartstir
    Of amplest boldest projects, and a peaceful end
    At last, or glorious, by endurance won.
    Thus musing, in a wood I sate me down
    Alone, continuing there to muse. Meanwhilemuse: the slopes
    The mountain And heights meanwhile were slowly overspread
    With darkness, and before a rippling breeze
    The long lake lengthened out its hoary line,
    And in the sheltered coppice where I sate,
    Around me, me from among the hazel leaves—
    Now here, now there, stirred by the straggling wind—
    Came intermittingly a breath-like sound,
    A respiration short and quick, which oft,
    Yea, might I say, again and yet again,
    Mistaking for the panting of my dog,
    The off-and-on companion of my walk,
    I turned my head to look if he were there.
    Now here, now there, moved by the straggling wind,
    Came ever and anon a breath-like sound,
    Quick as the pantings of the faithful dog,
    The off and on companion of my walk;
    And such, at times, believing them to be,
    I turned my head to look if he were there;
    Then into solemn thought I passed once more.
A freshness also found I at this time
    In human life, Life, the daily life I mean of those
    Whose occupations really I loved.loved;
    The prospect often touched peaceful scene oft filled me with surprize:
    Crowded and full, and changed, as seemed to me,
    Even as Changed like a garden in the heat of spring
    After an eight-days' absence. For to (to omit
    The things which were the same and yet appeared
    So different Far otherwise) amid this rural solitude,
    The little vale A narrow Vale where each was my chief abode,known to all,
    'Twas not indifferent to a youthful mind
    To note, perhaps mark some sheltered seat in whichsheltering bower or sunny nook
    An Where an old man had been used to sun himself,sit alone,
    Now empty; vacant; pale-faced babes whom I had left
    In arms, known children of now rosy prattlers at the neighbourhood,feet
    Now rosy prattlers, Of a pleased grandame tottering up and down;
    And growing girls whose beauty, filched away
    With all its pleasant promises, was gone
    To deck some slighted playmate's homely cheek.
    Yes, I had something of another eye,a subtler sense,
    And often looking round was moved to smiles
    Such as a delicate work of humour breeds.breeds;
    I read, without design, the opinions, thoughts,
    Of those plain-living people, in a sensepeople now observed
    Of love and knowledge: With clearer knowledge; with another eye
    I saw the quiet woodman in the woods,
    The shepherd on roam the hills. With new delight,
    This chiefly, did I view note my grey-haired dame,Dame;
    Saw her go forth to church, church or other work
    Of state, state equipped in monumental trim—
    Short velvet cloak, her bonnet of the like,
    A mantle such as Spanish cavaliers
    Wore in old time.
    Short velvet cloak, (her bonnet of the like),
    A mantle such as Spanish Cavaliers
    Wore in old times.
Her smooth domestic lifelife,
    Affectionate without uneasiness—
    Her talk, her business, pleased me; and no less
    Her clear though shallow stream of piety,
    That ran on sabbath days a fresher course.
    Her talk, her business, pleased me; and no less
    Her clear though shallow stream of piety
    That ran on Sabbath days a fresher course;
With thoughts unfelt till now I saw her read
    Her bible Bible on the hot Sunday afternoons,
    And loved the book book, when she had dropped asleep
    And made of it a pillow for her head.
    Nor less do I remember to have feltfelt,
    Distinctly manifested at this time,
    A dawning, even as of another sense,
human-heartedness about my love
    For objects hitherto the gladsome airabsolute wealth
    Of my own private being, being and no moremore;
    Which I had loved, even as a blessbd blessed spirit
    Or angel, Angel, if he were to dwell on earth,
    Might love in individual happiness.
    But now there opened on me other thoughts,thoughts
    Of change, congratulation and or regret,
    A new-born feeling. pensive feeling! It spread far and wide:wide;
    The trees, the mountains shared it, and the brooks,
    The stars of heaven, Heaven, now seen in their old haunts—
    White Sirius glittering o'er the southern crags,
    Orion with his belt, and those fair Seven,
    Acquaintances of every little child,
    And Jupiter, my own beloved star.
    Whatever shadings of mortality
    Had fallen upon these objects heretofore
    Were different in kind: not tender strong,
    Deep, gloomy were they, and severe, the scatterings
    Of childhood, and moreover, had given way
    In later youth to beauty and to love
    Enthusiastic, to delight and joy.
    White Sirius glittering o'er the southern crags,
    Orion with his belt, and those fair Seven,
    Acquaintances of every little child,
    And Jupiter, my own beloved star!
    Whatever shadings of mortality,
    Whatever imports from the world of death
    Had come among these objects heretofore,
    Were, in the main, of mood less tender: strong,
    Deep, gloomy were they, and severe; the scatterings
    Of awe or tremulous dread, that had given way
    In later youth to yearnings of a love
    Enthusiastic, to delight and hope.

    As one who hangs down-bending from the side
    Of a slow-moving boat boat, upon the breast
    Of a still water, solacing himself
    With such discoveries as his eye can make
    Beneath him in the bottom of the deeps,deep,
    Sees many beauteous sights weeds, fishes, flowers,
    Grots, pebbles, roots of trees trees, and fancies more,
    Yet often is perplexed, and cannot part
    The shadow from the substance, rocks and sky,
    Mountains and clouds, from that which is indeedreflected in the depth
    The region, and Of the clear flood, from things which there abide
    In their true dwelling; now is crossed by gleam
    Of his own image, by a sunbeam now,
    And wavering motions that are sent he knows not whence,
    Impediments that make his task more sweet;
    Such pleasant office have we long pursued
    Incumbent o'er the surface of past time
    With like success. Nor have we success, nor often lookedhave appeared
    On more alluring shows Shapes fairer or less doubtfully discerned
    Than these
to me at least—
    More soft, or less ambiguously descried,
    Than those which now we have been passing by,
    And where we still are lingering.
which the Tale, indulgent Friend!
    Would now direct thy notice.
Yet in spite
    Of all these new employments of the mindpleasure won, and knowledge not withheld,
    There was an inner falling off. off I loved,
    Loved deeply, deeply all that I had been loved before,
    More deeply even than ever; ever: but a swarm
    Of heady thoughts schemes jostling each other, gawds
    And feast and dance dance, and public revelryrevelry,
    And sports and games less pleasing (too grateful in themselvesthemselves,
    Yet in themselves less grateful, I believe,
Than as they were a badge, badge glossy and fresh,fresh
    Of manliness and freedom these did nowfreedom) all conspired
    Seduce me To lure my mind from the firm habitual quest
    Of feeding pleasures, from that eager zeal,to depress the zeal
    Those And damp those yearnings which had every day once been mine,mine
    A wild, unworldly-minded youth, given up
    To Nature and to books, or, at the most,
    From time to time by inclination shipped
    One among many, in societies
    That were, or seemed, as simple as myself.
    But now was come a change it
his own eager thoughts. It would demand
    Some skill, and longer time than may be spared,spared
    To paint even to myself these vanities,
vanities, and how they wrought but sure it is that now
    Contagious air did oft environ me,
    Unknown among these In haunts in former days.where they, till now, had been unknown.
    The It seemed the very garments that I wore appearedwore
    To prey upon Preyed on my strength, and stopped the course
quiet stream of self-forgetfulness.
    Something there was about me that perplexed
    Th' authentic sight of reason, pressed too closelyOf self-forgetfulness.
    On Yes, that religious dignity of mind
    That is the very faculty of truth,
    Which wanting either, from the very first
    A function never lighted up, or else
    Extinguished man, a creature great and good,
    Seems but a pageant plaything with vile claws,
    And this great frame of breathing elements
    A senseless idol.
    This vague
heartless chacechase
    Of trivial pleasures was a poor exchange
    For books and Nature nature at that early age.
    'Tis true, some casual knowledge might be gained
    Of character or life; but at that time,
    Of manners put to school I took small note,
    And all my deeper passions lay elsewhere—
    Far better had it been to exalt the mind
    By solitary study, to uphold
    Intense desire by thought and quietness.
    Far better had it been to exalt the mind
    By solitary study, to uphold
    Intense desire through meditative peace;
And yet, in for chastisement of these regrets,
    The memory of one particular hour
    Doth here rise up against me. In 'Mid a throng,throng
    A festal company of Of maids and youths,
    Old men
youths, old men, and matrons, staid, promiscuous rout,matrons staid,
    A medley of all tempers, I had passed
    The night in dancing, gaiety gaiety, and mirth—
    With din of instruments, and shuffling feet,
    And glancing forms, and tapers glittering,
    And unaimed prattle flying up and down,
    Spirits upon the stretch, and here and there
    Slight shocks of young love-liking interspersed
    That mounted up like joy into the head,
    And tingled through the veins.
    With din of instruments and shuffling feet,
    And glancing forms, and tapers glittering,
    And unaimed prattle flying up and down;
    Spirits upon the stretch, and here and there
    Slight shocks of young love-liking interspersed,
    Whose transient pleasure mounted to the head,
    And tingled through the veins.
Ere we retiredretired,
    The cock had crowed, and now the sky was bright with day;eastern sky
    Two miles I had to walk along Was kindling, not unseen, from humble copse
    And open field, through which
the fieldspathway wound,
    Before I reached And homeward led my home. steps. Magnificent
    The morning was, a rose, in memorable pomp,
    More glorious than Glorious as e'er I ever had beheld.beheld in front,
    The sea was lay laughing at a distance; allnear,
    The solid montains were as mountains shone, bright as the clouds,
    Grain-tinctured, drenched in empyrean light;
    And in the meadows and the lower grounds
    Was all the sweetness of a common dawn
    Dews, vapours, and the melody of birds,
    And labourers going forth into the fields.

    Dews, vapours, and the melody of birds,
    And labourers going forth to till the fields.

    Ah, Ah! need I say, dear friend, Friend! that to the brim
    My heart was full? full; I made no vows, but vows
    Were then made for me; bond unknown to me
    Was given, that I should be be, else sinning greatly—
    A dedicated spirit.
    A dedicated Spirit.
On I walked
    In thankful blessedness, which even yet remains.survives.
    Strange rendezvous my rendezvous! My mind was at that time,time
    A party-coloured shew parti-coloured show of grave and gay,
    Solid and light, short-sighted and profound,profound;
    Of considerate inconsiderate habits and sedate,
    Consorting in one mansion unreproved.
    The worth I knew the worth of powers that which I possessed,
    Though slighted and too oft misused. Besides in truthBesides,
    That summer, swarming as it did with thoughts
    Transient and loose, yet wanted idle, lacked not a storeintervals
    Of primitive hours, when by these hindrancesWhen Folly from the frown of fleeting Time
    Unthwarted I Shrunk, and the mind experienced in myselfherself
    Conformity as just as that of old
    To the end and written spirit of God's works,
    Whether held forth in Nature or in man.
    From many wanderings that have left behind
    Remembrances not lifeless, I will here
    Single out one, then pass to other themes.
    A favorite pleasure hath it been with meThrough pregnant vision, separate or conjoined.
    From time of earliest youth to walk aloneWhen from our better selves we have too long
    Along the public way, when, for Been parted by the nighthurrying world, and droop,
    Deserted, in Sick of its silence it assumes
    A character
business, of deeper quietness
    Than pathless solitudes. At such an hour
its pleasures tired,
    Once, ere these summer months were passed away,How gracious, how benign, is Solitude;
    I slowly mounted up How potent a steep ascent
    Where the road's wat'ry surface, to the ridge
mere image of her sway;
    Of that sharp rising, glittered in Most potent when impressed upon the moon
    And seemed before my eyes another stream
    Creeping with silent lapse to join the brookWith an appropriate human centre hermit,
    That murmured Deep in the valley. On I went
    Tranquil, receiving in my own despite
bosom of the wilderness;
    Amusement, as I slowly passed along,Votary (in vast cathedral, where no foot
    From such near objects as from time to timeIs treading, where no other face is seen)
    Perforce intruded Kneeling at prayers; or watchman on the listless sense,
    Quiescent and disposed to sympathy,
    With an exhausted mind worn out Of lighthouse, beaten by toilAtlantic waves;
    And all unworthy of Or as the deeper joy
    Which waits on distant prospect cliff or sea,
    The dark blue vault and universe
soul of stars.that great Power is met
    Thus did I steal along that silent Sometimes embodied on a public road,
    My body from When, for the stillness drinking innight deserted, it assumes
    A restoration like the calm character of sleep,quiet more profound
    But sweeter far. Above, before, behind,Than pathless wastes.
    Around me, all was peace and solitude;Once, when those summer months
    I looked not round, nor did the solitudeWere flown, and autumn brought its annual show
    Speak to my eye, but it was heard and felt,Of oars with oars contending, sails with sails,
    O happy state! what beauteous pictures nowUpon Winander's spacious breast, it chanced
    Rose in harmonious imagery; they roseThat after I had left a flower-decked room
    As from some distant region of my soul(Whose in-door pastime, lighted up, survived
    And came along like dreams yet such as leftTo a late hour), and spirits overwrought
    Obscurely mingled with their passing formsWere making night do penance for a day
    A consciousness Spent in a round of animal delight,strenuous idleness—
    My homeward course led up a long ascent,
    Where the road's watery surface, to the top
    Of that sharp rising, glittered to the moon
    And bore the semblance of another stream
    Stealing with silent lapse to join the brook
    That murmured in the vale. All else was still;

    A self-possession felt No living thing appeared in every pauseearth or air,
    And every gentle movement of my frame.And, save the flowing water's peaceful voice,
    While thus I wandered, step by step led on,Sound there was none but, lo! an uncouth shape,
    It chanced Shown by a sudden turning of the road
    Presented to my view an uncouth shape,
    So near that, slipping back into the shade
    Of a thick hawthorn, I could mark him well,
    Myself unseen. He was of stature tall,
    A foot span above man's common measure measure, tall,
    Stiff in his form, and upright, lank Stiff, lank, and lean—
    A man more meagre, as it seemed to me,
    Was never seen abroad by night or day.
upright; a more meagre man
    His arms Was never seen before by night or day.
were long, and bare his arms, pallid his hands; his mouth
    Shewed Looked ghastly in the moonlight; moonlight: from behind,
    A milestone mile-stone propped him, and his figure seemed
    Half sitting, and half standing.
him; I could markalso ken
    That he was clad clothed in military garb,
    Though faded faded, yet entire. He was alone,Companionless,
    Had No dog attending, by no attendant, neither dog, nor staff,staff sustained,
    Nor knapsack; He stood, and in his very dress appeared
    A desolation, a simplicity
    That seemed akin to solitude. Long time
    Did I peruse him with To which the trappings of a mingled sensegaudy world
    Of fear and sorrow. Make a strange back-ground. From his lips meanwhilelips, ere long,
    There issued murmuring Issued low muttered sounds, as if of pain
    Or of some uneasy thought; yet still his form
    Kept the same steadiness, and awful steadiness at his feet
    His shadow lay, and moved not. In a glen
    Hard by, a village stood, whose roofs and doors
    Were visible among the scattered trees,
    Scarce distant from the spot an arrow's flight.
    I wished to see him move, but he remained
    Fixed to his place, and still from time to time
    Sent forth a murmuring voice of dead complaint,
    Groans scarcely audible. Without
From self-blame
    Not wholly free, I had not thus prolonged my watch; and now,watched him thus; at length
    Subduing my heart's specious cowardise,cowardice,
    I left the shady nook where I had stood
    And hailed him. Slowly from his resting-place
    He rose, and with a lean and wasted arm
    In measured gesture lifted to his head
    Returned my salutation, salutation; then resumed
    His station as before. And before; and when erelongI asked
    I asked his His history, he the veteran, in replyreply,
    Was neither slow nor eager, eager; but, unmoved,
    And with a quiet uncomplaining voice,
    A stately air of mild indifference,
    He told in simple few plain words a soldier's tale:tale
    That in the tropic islands Tropic Islands he had served,
    Whence he had landed scarcely ten days past.—
    That on his landing he had been dismissed,
    And now was travelling to his native home.
    At this I turned and looked towards the village,
    But all were gone to rest, the fires all out,
    And every silent window to the moon
    Shone with a yellow glitter. 'No one there',
    Said I, 'is waking; we must measure back
    The way which we have come. Behind yon wood
three weeks past;
    A labourer dwells, and, take it That on my word,
    He will not murmur should we break
his rest,landing he had been dismissed,
    And with a ready heart will give you foodnow was travelling towards his native home.
    And lodging for the night.' At this he stooped,This heard, I said, in pity, "Come with me."
    And He stooped, and straightway from the ground took up an oaken staffup
    By An oaken staff by me yet unobserved, a traveller's staffunobserved—
    A staff which must have dropped from his slack hand
    And lay till now neglected in the grass.

    Which I suppose from Though weak his slack hand had dropped,
    And lain till now neglected in the grass.
    Towards the cottage without more delay
    We shaped our course. As it appeared to me
step and cautious, he appeared
    He travelled To travel without pain, and I beheldbeheld,
    With ill-suppressed an astonishment his tallbut ill suppressed,
    And ghastly His ghostly figure moving at my side;
    Nor could I, while we journeyed thus could I thus, forbear
    To question him of what he had enduredturn from present hardships to the past,
    From hardship, And speak of war, battle, and pestilence,
    Sprinkling this talk with questions, better spared,
    On what he might himself have seen
or the pestilence.felt.
    He all the while was in demeanor demeanour calm,
    Concise in answer. Solemn answer; solemn and sublime
    He might have seemed, but that in all he said
    There was a strange half-absence, and a tone
    Of weakness and indifference,
as of one
    Remembering Knowing too well the importance of his themetheme,
    But feeling it no longer. We advancedOur discourse
    Slowly, Soon ended, and ere we to the wood were come
    Discourse had ceased. Together
together on we passed
    In silence through the shades, a wood gloomy and dark;still.
    Then, turning up Up-turning, then, along an open field,
    We gained the reached a cottage. At the door I knocked,
    Calling aloud, 'My friend, here is a man
    By sickness overcome. Beneath your roof
And earnestly to charitable care
    This night let him find rest, and give Commended him foodas a poor friendless man,
    If food he need, for he is faint Belated and tired.'by sickness overcome.
    Assured that now my comrade the traveller would repose
    In comfort, I entreated that henceforth
    He would not linger in the public ways,
    But ask for timely furtherance, furtherance and help
    Such as his state required. At this reproof,
    With the same ghastly mildness in his look,
    He said, 'My "My trust is in the God of Heaven,
    And in the eye of him that who passes me.'me!"
    The cottage door was speedily unlocked,unbarred,
    And now the soldier touched his hat againonce more
    With his lean hand, and in a voice that seemedfaltering voice,
    To speak with a Whose tone bespake reviving interest,interests
    'Till Till then unfelt, he thanked me; I returned
    The farewell blessing of the poor unhappy patient man,
    And so we parted. Back I cast a look,
    And lingered near the door a little space,
    Then sought with quiet heart my distant home.