The Enfolded Prelude: Book Sixth

1805 text is in green 1850 text is in purple

Book Sixth

Cambridge and the Alps


    The leaves were yellow fading when to Furness Fells,Esthwaite's banks
    The haunt And the simplicities of shepherds, and to cottage life
    I bade adieu, farewell; and, one among the flockyouth
    Who Who, summoned by that season are convened, like birdsseason, reunite
    Trooping together at As scattered birds troop to the fowler's lure,
    Went back to Granta's cloisters cloisters, not so fondprompt
    Or eager, though as gay and undepressed
    In spirit, mind, as when I thence had taken flight
    A few short months before. I turned my face
    Without repining from the mountain pompcoves and heights
    Of autumn and its beauty (entered inClothed in the sunshine of the withering fern;
    With Quitted, not loth, the mild magnificence
    Of
calmer lakes and louder streams); streams; and you,
    Frank-hearted maids of rocky Cumberland,
    You and your not unwelcome days of mirthmirth,
    I quitted, Relinquished, and your nights of revelry,
    And in my own unlovely cell sate down
    In lightsome mood such privilege has youth,youth
    That cannot take long leave of pleasant thoughts.
    We need not linger o'er the ensuing time,
    But let me add at once that now, the bonds
    Of
The bonds of indolent and vague society
    Relaxing in their hold, henceforth I lived henceforthlived
    More to myself, read more, reflected more,
    Felt more, and settled daily into habits
    More promising.
myself. Two winters may be passed
    Without a separate notice; notice: many books
    Were read in process of this time devoured,
    Tasted or
skimmed, devoured, or studiously perused—
    Yet with no settled plan.
perused,
    But with no settled plan.
I was detached
    Internally from academic cares,
    From every hope of prowess and reward,
    And wished to be a lodger in that house
    Of letters, and no more and should have been
    Even such, but for some personal concerns
    That hung about me in my own despite
    Perpetually, no heavy weight, but still
    A baffling and a hindrance, a controul
    Which made the thought of planning for myself
cares;
    A course of Yet independent study seemseemed a course
    An act of Of hardy disobedience towards themtoward friends
    Who loved me, And kindred, proud rebellion and unkind.
    This bastard virtue spurious virtue, rather let it havebear
    A name it more now deserves, this cowardise—
    Gave treacherous sanction to that over-love
    Of freedom planted in me from the very first,
    And indolence, by force of which I turned
    From regulations even of my own
    As from restraints and bonds. And
cowardice,
    Gave treacherous sanction to that over-love
    Of freedom which encouraged me to turn
    From regulations even of my own
    As from restraints and bonds. Yet
who can tell,tell.
    Who knows what thus may have been gained, both then
    And at a later season, or preservedpreserved;
    What love of Nature, nature, what original strength
    Of contemplation, what intuitive truths,truths
    The deepest and the best, and what researchkeen research,
    Unbiassed, unbewildered, and unawed?
    The poet's Poet's soul was with me at that time,time;
    Sweet meditations, the still overflow
    Of happiness and truth. A thousand hopespresent happiness, while future years
    Were mine, a thousand Lacked not anticipations, tender dreams, of whichdreams,
    No few of which have since been realized, and somerealised;
    Do yet And some remain, hopes for my future life.
    Four years and thirty, told this very week,
    Have I been now a sojourner on earth,
    And By sorrow not unsmitten; yet the for me
    Life's
morning gladness is radiance hath not goneleft the hills,
    Which then was in my mind. Her dew is on the flowers. Those were the days
    Which also first encouraged emboldened me to trust
    With firmness, hitherto but lightly slightly touched
    With By such a daring thought, that I might leave
    Some monument behind me which pure hearts
    Should reverence. The instinctive humbleness,
    Uphelp Maintained even by the very name and thought
    Of printed books and authorship, began
    To melt away; and further, the dread awe
    Of mighty names was softened down, down and seemed
    Approachable, admitting fellowship
    Of modest sympathy. Such aspect now,
    Though not familiarly, my mind put on;
    I loved and I enjoyed that was my chief
    And ruling business, happy in the strength
on,
    And loveliness of imagery Content to observe, to achieve, and thought.to enjoy.
    All winter long, whenever free to takechoose,
    My choice, did Did I at nights by night frequent our grovesthe College grove
    And tributary walks walks; the last, and oft
    The only one, who had been lingering there
    Through hours of silence silence, till the porter's bell,
    A punctual follower on the stroke of nine,
    Rang with its blunt unceremonious voice,voice;
    Inexorable summons. summons! Lofty elms,
    Inviting shades of opportune recess,
    Did give Bestowed composure to on a neighbourhood
    Unpeaceful in itself. A single tree
    There was, no doubt yet standing there, an ash,
    
With sinuous trunk, boughs exquisitely wreathed:wreathed,
    Grew there; an ash which Winter for himself
    Decked out with pride, and with outlandish grace:
    
Up from the ground ground, and almost to the toptop,
    The trunk and every master branches everywherebranch were green
    Were green with With clustering ivy, and the lightsome twigs
    And outer spray profusely tipped with seeds
    That hung in yellow tassels and festoons,
    Moving or still a favorite trimmed out
    By Winter for himself, as if in pride,
tassels, while the air
    And with outlandish grace. Oft Stirred them, not voiceless. Often have I stood
    Foot-bound uplooking at this lovely tree
    Beneath a frosty moon. The hemisphere
    Of magic fiction, verse of mine perhapsperchance
    May never tread, tread; but scarcely Spenser's self
    Could have more tranquil visions in his youth,
    More Or could more bright appearances could scarcely seecreate
    Of human forms and with superhuman powers,
    Than I beheld standing beheld, loitering on winter calm clear nights
    Alone Alone, beneath this fairy work of earth.
    'Twould be a waste of labour to detail
    The rambling studies
On the vague reading of a truant youth
    Which further may be easily divined,
    What, and what kind they were.

    'Twere idle to descant.
My inner knowledgejudgment
    (This barely will I note) was oft Not seldom differed from my taste in depthbooks,
    And delicacy like As if it appertained to another mind,
    Sequestered from my outward taste And yet the books which then I valued most
    Are dearest to me 'now'; for, having scanned,
    Not heedlessly, the laws, and watched the forms
    Of Nature,
in books—
    And yet the books which then I loved the most
    Are dearest to me now; for, being versed
    In living Nature, I had there a guide
    Which opened frequently my eyes, else shut,
    A standard which was usefully applied,
    Even when unconsciously, to other things
    Which less I understood.
that knowledge I possessed
    A standard, often usefully applied,
    Even when unconsciously, to things removed
    From a familiar sympathy.
In general terms,fine,
    I was a better judge of thoughts than words,
    Misled as to these latter in estimating words, not aloneonly
    By common inexperience of youth,
    But by the trade in classic niceties,
    Delusion The dangerous craft, of culling term and phrase
    From languages that want the living voice
    To carry meaning
to young scholars incidem—
    And old ones also by that overprized
    And dangerous craft of picking phrases out
    From languages that want the living voice
    To make of them a nature to the heart,
    To tell us what is passion, what is truth,
    What reason, what simplicity and sense.
the natural heart;
    To tell us what is passion, what is truth,
    What reason, what simplicity and sense.
    
Yet must I may we not entirely overlook
    The pleasure gathered from the elementsrudiments
    Of geometric science. I had steppedThough advanced
    In these inquiries but a little way,enquiries, with regret I speak,
    No farther than the threshold with regret
    Sincere I mention this but
threshold, there I found
    Enough to exalt, to chear me Both elevation and compose.composed delight:
    With Indian awe and wonder, ignoranceignorance pleased
    Which even was cherished, With its own struggles, did I meditate
    Upon On the alliance of relation those simple, pureabstractions bear
    Proportions To Nature's laws, and relations, with the frameby what process led,
    And laws of Nature how they could becomeThose immaterial agents bowed their heads
    Herein a leader Duly to serve the human mindmind of earth-born man;
    And made endeavours frequent From star to detectstar, from kindred sphere to sphere,
    The process by dark guesses of my own.From system on to system without end.
    Yet More frequently from this the same source more frequently I drew
    A pleasure calm quiet and deeper, profound, a still sense
    Of permanent and universal swaysway,
    And paramount endowment in the mind,belief; there, recognised
    An image not unworthy A type, for finite natures, of the one
    Surpassing life, which out Supreme Existence, the surpassing life
    Which to the boundaries
of space and time,
    Of melancholy space and doleful time,
    Superior and incapable of change,
    
Nor touched by welterings of passion is,
    And hath the name of, God. Transcendent peace
    And silence did await upon these thoughts
    That were a frequent comfort to my youth.
    And as I have read of one 'Tis told by shipwreck thrownone whom stormy waters threw,
    With fellow sufferers whom fellow-sufferers by the waves had sparedshipwreck spared,
    Upon a region uninhabited,
    An island of the deep, who
desert coast, that having brought
    To land a single volume volume, saved by chance,
    A treatise of Geometry, he wont,
    Although of food
and no more—
    A treatise of geometry was used,
    Although of food and clothing destitute,
    And beyond common wretchedness depressed,
    To part from company and take this book,
    Then first a self-taught pupil in those truths,
    To spots remote and corners of the isle
    By the seaside, and draw his diagrams
    With a long stick upon the sand, and thus
    Did oft beguile his sorrow, and almost
    Forget his feeling: even so if things
    Producing like effect from outward cause
    So different may rightly be compared—
    So was it with me then, and so will be
    With poets ever.
clothing destitute,
    And beyond common wretchedness depressed,
    To part from company and take this book
    (Then first a self-taught pupil in its truths)
    To spots remote, and draw his diagrams
    With a long staff upon the sand, and thus
    Did oft beguile his sorrow, and almost
    Forget his feeling: so (if like effect
    From the same cause produced, 'mid outward things
    So different, may rightly be compared),
    So was it then with me, and so will be
    With Poets ever.
Mighty is the charm
    Of those abstractions to a mind beset
    With images, images and haunted by itself,herself,
    And specially delightful unto me
    Was that clear synthesis built up aloft
    So gracefully, gracefully; even then when it appeared
    No Not more than as a mere plaything, or a toy
    Embodied to the To sense embodied: not what the thing it is
    In verity, an independent worldworld,
    Created out of pure intelligence.
    Such dispositions then were mine, almostmine unearned
    Through grace By aught, I fear, of heaven and inborn tenderness.genuine desert—
    Mine, through heaven's grace and inborn aptitudes.

    And not to leave the picture story of that time
    Imperfect, with these habits I must rankbe joined,
    A Moods melancholy, from humours fits of the blood
    In part, and partly taken up,
spleen, that loved
    A pensive sky, sad days, and piping winds,
    The twilight more than dawn, autumn than spring—
    A treasured and luxurious gloom of choice
    And inclination mainly, and the mere
    Redundancy of youth's contentedness.
spring;
    Add unto this a multitude A treasured and luxurious gloom of hourschoice
    Pilfered away by what And inclination mainly, and the bard who sangmere
    Of the enchanter Indolence hath calledRedundancy of youth's contentedness.
    'Good-natured lounging', and behold a map—To time thus spent, add multitudes of hours
    Pilfered away, by what the Bard who sang
    Of the Enchanter Indolence hath called
    "Good-natured lounging," and behold a map
    Of my collegiate life far less intense
    Than duty called for, or, without regard
    To duty, 'might' have sprung up of itself
    By change of accidents, or even, to speak
    Without unkindness, in another place.

    Of my collegiate life: far less intenseYet why take refuge in that plea? the fault,
    Than duty called for, or, without regardThis I repeat, was mine; mine be the blame.
    To duty, might have sprung up In summer, making quest for works of itselfart,
    By change of accidents; or even to speakOr scenes renowned for beauty, I explored
    Without unkindness in another place.That streamlet whose blue current works its way
    In summer among distant nooks I rovedBetween romantic Dovedale's spiry rocks;
    Dovedale, or Pried into Yorkshire dales, or through bye-tractshidden tracts
    Of my own native region region, and was blest
    Between those these sundry wanderings with a joy
    Above all joys, that seemed another morn
    Risen on mid-noon: mid noon; blest with the presence, friend, I meanFriend
    Of that sole sister, she Sister, her who hath been long
    Thy treasure Dear to thee also, thy true friend and mine,
    Now Now, after separation desolatedesolate,
    Restored to me such absence that she seemed
    A gift then first bestowed. The gentle varied banks
    Of Emont, hitherto unnamed in song,
    And that monastic castle, on a flat,'mid tall trees,
    Low-standing Low standing by the margin of the stream,
    A mansion not unvisited of oldvisited (as fame reports)
    By Sidney, where, in sight of our Helvellyn,
    Some Or stormy Cross-fell, snatches he might pen for aught we knowpen
    Of his Arcadia, by fraternal love
    Inspired Inspired; that river and that those mouldering dometowers
    Have seen us sit in many side by side, when, having clomb
    The darksome windings of
a summer hour,broken stair,
    My sister and myself, when, having climbedAnd crept along a ridge of fractured wall,
    In danger Not without trembling, we in safety looked
    Forth,
through some Gothic window's open space,
    We looked abroad, And gathered with one mind a rich reward
    From the far-stretching landscape, by the light
    Of morning beautified,
or purple eve;
    Or, not less pleased, lay
on the some turret's headhead,
    Lay listening to the wild-flowers Catching from tufts of grass and hare-bell flowers
    Their faintest whisper to
the grasspassing breeze,
    As they gave Given out their whispers to while mid-day heat oppressed the wind.plains.
    Another maid there was, who also breathedshed
    A gladness o'er that season, then to meme,
    By her exulting outside look of youth
    And placid under-countenance under-countenance, first endeared—
    That other spirit, Coleridge, who is now
    So near to us, that meek confiding heart,
    So reverenced by us both.
endeared;
    That other spirit, Coleridge! who is now
    So near to us, that meek confiding heart,
    So reverenced by us both.
O'er paths and fields
    In all that neighbourhood, through narrow lanes
    Of eglantine, and through the shady woods,
    And o'er the Border Beacon Beacon, and the waste
    Of naked pools pools, and common crags that lay
    Exposed on the bare fell, was were scattered lovelove,
    A The spirit of pleasure, and youth's golden gleam.
    O friend, Friend! we had not seen thee at that time,
    And yet a power is on me me, and a strong
    Confusion, and I seem to plant thee there.
    Far art thou wandered now in search of health,health
    And milder breezes breezes, melancholy lot—
    But thou art with us, with us in the past,
    The present, with us in the times to come.
lot!
    But thou art with us, with us in the past,
    The present, with us in the times to come.
    
There is no grief, no sorrow, no despair,
    No languor, no dejection, no dismay,
    No absence scarcely can there be, for those
    Who love as we do. Speed thee well! divide
    Thy pleasure with us; With us thy pleasure; thy returning strength,
    Receive it daily as a joy of ours;
    Share with us thy fresh spirits, whether gift
    Of gales Etesian or of loving tender thoughts.
    I too I, too, have been a wanderer, wanderer; but, alas,alas!
    How different is the fate of different men,men.
    Though twins almost in genius and in mind.
    Unknown unto each other, yea,
mutually unknown, yea nursed and breathingreared
    As if in different several elements, we were framed
    To bend at last to the same discipline,
    Predestined, if two beings ever were,
    To seek the same delights, and have one health,
    One happiness. Throughout this narrative,
    Else sooner ended, I have known full wellborne in mind
    For whom I thus record it registers the birth birth, and growthmarks the growth,
    Of gentleness, simplicity, and truth,
    And joyous loves loves, that hallow innocent days
    Of peace and self-command. Of rivers, fields,
    And groves, groves I speak to thee, my friend Friend! to theethee,
    Who, yet a liveried schoolboy schoolboy, in the depths
    Of the huge city, on the leaded roof
    Of that wide edifice, thy home school and school,home,
    Wast Wert used to lie and gaze upon the clouds
    Moving in heaven, or haply, tired heaven; or, of this,that pleasure tired,
    To shut thine eyes eyes, and by internal light
    See trees, and meadows, and thy native streamstream,
    Far distant distant, thus beheld from year to year
    Of thy a long exile. Nor could I forgetforget,
    In this late portion of my argumentargument,
    That scarcely had I finally resignedscarcely, as my term of pupilage
    My rights among Ceased, had I left those academic bowers
    When thou wert thither guided. From the heart
    Of London, and from cloisters there, thou cam'stcamest.
    And didst sit down in temperance and peace,
    A rigorous student. What a stormy course
    Then followed oh, followed. Oh! it is a pang that calls
    For utterance, to think how small a what easy change
    Of circumstances might to thee have spared
    A world of pain, ripened ten a thousand hopeshopes,
    For ever withered. Through this retrospect
    Of my own college collegiate life I still have had
    Thy after-sojourn in the self-same place
    Present before my eyes, have played with times
    (I speak of private business of the thought)
    
And accidents as children do with cards,
    Or as a man, who, when his house is built,
    A frame locked up in wood and stone, doth stillstill,
    In impotence of mind As impotent fancy prompts, by his firesidefireside,
    Rebuild it to his liking. I have thought
    Of thee, thy learning, gorgeous eloquence,
    And all the strength and plumage of thy youth,
    Thy subtle speculations, toils abstruse
    Among the schoolmen, and Platonic forms
    Of wild ideal pageantry, shaped out
    From things well-matched, well-matched or ill, and words for things—
    The self-created sustenance of a mind
    Debarred from Nature's living images,
    Compelled to be a life unto itself,
    And unrelentingly possessed by thirst
    Of greatness, love, and beauty.
things,
    The self-created sustenance of a mind
    Debarred from Nature's living images,
    Compelled to be a life unto herself,
    And unrelentingly possessed by thirst
    Of greatness, love, and beauty.
Not alone,
    Ah, Ah! surely not in singleness of heart
    Should I have seen the light of evening fade
    Upon the From smooth Cam's silent Cam, if we waters: had we met,
    Even at that early time: I time, needs must hope,I trust
    Must feel, must trust, In the belief, that my maturer age
    And temperature less willing to be moved,
age,
    My calmer habits, and more steady voice,
    Would with an influence benign have soothedsoothed,
    Or chased away away, the airy wretchedness
    That battened on thy youth. But thou hast trod,
    In watchful meditation thou hast trod,
trod
    A march of glory, which doth put to shame
    These vain regrets; health suffers in thee, else
    Such grief for thee would be the weakest thought
    That ever harboured in the breast of man.
    A passing word erewhile did lightly touch
    On wanderings of my own, and that now to these
    My poem leads me with an easier mind.
    The employments of three winters when I wore
    A student's gown have been already told,
embraced
    Or shadowed forth as far as there is needWith livelier hope a region wider far.
    When the third summer brought its libertyfreed us from restraint,
    A fellow student and myself, youthful friend, he tootoo a mountaineer,
    A mountaineer, together sallied forth,Not slow to share my wishes, took his staff,
    And, staff in hand on foot pursued our wayAnd sallying forth, we journeyed side by side,
    Towards Bound to the distant Alps. An open slightA hardy slight,
    Did this unprecedented course imply,
    
Of college cares studies and study was the scheme,their set rewards;
    Nor entertained without concern for had, in truth, the scheme been formed by me
    Without uneasy forethought of the pain,
    The censures, and ill-omening, of
those
    To whom my worldly interests were dear,dear.
    But Nature then was sovereign in my heart,mind,
    And mighty forms forms, seizing a youthful fancyfancy,
    Had given a charter to irregular hopes.
    In any age, without an impulse sentage of uneventful calm
    From work of nations and their goings-on,Among the nations, surely would my heart
    I should have Have been possessed by like similar desire;
    But 'twas a time when Europe at that time was rejoiced,thrilled with joy,
    France standing on the top of golden hours,
    And human nature seeming born again.
    Bound, as I said, to Lightly equipped, and but a few brief looks
    Cast on
the Alps, it was white cliffs of our lotnative shore
    From the receding vessel's deck, we chanced
    
To land at Calais on the very eve
    Of that great federal day; and there we saw,
    In a mean city city, and among a few,
    How bright a face is worn when joy of one
    Is joy of for tens of millions. Southward thence
    We took held our way, direct through hamlets, towns,
    Gaudy with reliques of that festival,
    Flowers left to wither on triumphal arcsarcs,
    And window-garlands. On the public roads.—
    And once three days successively through paths
    By which our toilsome journey was abridged—
    Among sequestered villages we walked
    And found benevolence and blessedness
    Spread like a fragrance everywhere, like spring
    That leaves no corner of the land untouched.
roads,
    And, once, three days successively, through paths
    By which our toilsome journey was abridged,
    Among sequestered villages we walked
    And found benevolence and blessedness
    Spread like a fragrance everywhere, when spring
    Hath left no corner of the land untouched;
    
Where elms for many and many a league in files,files
    With their thin umbrage, on the stately roads
    Of that great kingdom kingdom, rustled o'er our heads,
    For ever near us as we paced along,along:
    'Twas How sweet at such a time time, with such delightsdelight
    On every side, in prime of youthful strength—
    To feed a poet's tender melancholy
    And fond conceit of sadness, to the noise
    And gentle undulation which they made.
strength,
    To feed a Poet's tender melancholy
    And fond conceit of sadness, with the sound
    Of undulations varying as might please
    The wind that swayed them; once, and more than once,
    
Unhoused beneath the evening star we saw
    Dances of liberty, and, in late hours
    Of darkness, dances in the open air.air
    Among the Deftly prolonged, though grey-haired lookers on
    Might waste their breath in chiding.
    Under hills.
    The
vine-clad hills and slopes of Burgundy,
    Upon the bosom of the gentle SoaneSaone
    We glided forward with the flowing stream:stream.
    Swift Rhone, Rhone! thou wert the wings 'wings' on which we cut
    A winding passage with majestic ease
    
Between they thy lofty rocks. Enchanting show
    Those woods and farms and orchards did present,
    And single cottages and lurking towns—
    Reach after reach, procession without end,
    Of deep and stately vales.
towns,
    Reach after reach, succession without end
    Of deep and stately vales!
A lonely pair
    Of Englishmen strangers, till day closed, we were, and sailed along
    Clustered together with a merry crowd
    Of those emancipated, with a blithe host
    Of travellers, chiefly delegates delegates, returning
    From the great spousals newly solemnizedsolemnised
    At their chief city, in the sight of Heaven.
    Like bees they swarmed, gaudy and gay as bees;
    Some vapoured in the unruliness of joy,
    And flourished with their swords flourished as if to fight
    The saucy air. In this blithe proud company
    We landed, landed took with them our evening meal,
    Guests welcome almost as the angels were
    To Abraham of old. The supper done,
    With flowing cups elate and happy thoughts
    We rose at signal given, and formed a ring,ring
    And And, hand in hand hand, danced round and round the board;
    All hearts were open, every tongue was loud
    With amity and glee. We glee; we bore a name
    Honoured in France, the name of Englishmen,
    And hospitably did they give us hailhail,
    As their forerunners in a glorious course;
    And round and round the board they we danced again.
    With this same throng these blithe friends our voyage we pursuedrenewed
    At early dawn; the dawn. The monastery bells
    Made a sweet jingling in our youthful ears—
    The rapid river flowing without noise—
    And every spire we saw among the rocks
    Spake with a sense of peace, at intervals
    Touching the heart amid the boisterous crew
    With which we were environed. Having parted
ears;
    From The rapid river flowing without noise,
    And each uprising or receding spire
    Spake with a sense of peace, at intervals
    Touching the heart amid the boisterous crew
    By whom we were encompassed. Taking leave
    Of
this glad rout, throng, foot-travellers side by side,
    Measuring our steps in quiet, we pursued
    Our journey, and ere twice
the convent of Chartreusesun had set
    Received us two days afterwards, Beheld the Convent of Chartreuse, and there
    We rested in Rested within an awful solitude'solitude':
    Thence onward Yes, for even then no other than a place
    Of soul-affecting 'solitude' appeared
    That far-famed region, though our eyes had seen,
    As toward the sacred mansion we advanced,
    Arms flashing, and a military glare
    Of riotous men commissioned
to expel
    The blameless inmates, and belike subvert
    That frame of social being, which so long
    Had bodied forth
the country ghostliness of things
    In silence visible and perpetual calm.
    "Stay, stay your sacrilegious hands!" The voice
    Was Nature's, uttered from her Alpine throne;
    I heard it then and seem to hear it now—
    "Your impious work forbear, perish what may,
    Let this one temple last, be this one spot
    Of earth devoted to eternity!"
    She ceased to speak, but while St. Bruno's pines
    Waved their dark tops, not silent as they waved,
    And while below, along their several beds,
    Murmured
the Swiss.sister streams of Life and Death,
    Thus by conflicting passions pressed, my heart
    Responded; "Honour to the patriot's zeal!
    Glory and hope to new-born Liberty!
    Hail to the mighty projects of the time!
    Discerning sword that Justice wields, do thou
    Go forth and prosper; and, ye purging fires,
    Up to the loftiest towers of Pride ascend,
    Fanned by the breath of angry Providence.
    But oh! if Past and Future be the wings
    On whose support harmoniously conjoined
    Moves the great spirit of human knowledge, spare
    These courts of mystery, where a step advanced
    Between the portals of the shadowy rocks
    Leaves far behind life's treacherous vanities,
    For penitential tears and trembling hopes
    Exchanged to equalise in God's pure sight
    Monarch and peasant: be the house redeemed
    With its unworldly votaries, for the sake
    Of conquest over sense, hourly achieved
    Through faith and meditative reason, resting
    Upon the word of heaven-imparted truth,
    Calmly triumphant; and for humbler claim
    Of that imaginative impulse sent
    From these majestic floods, yon shining cliffs,
    The untransmuted shapes of many worlds,
    Cerulean ether's pure inhabitants,
    These forests unapproachable by death,
    That shall endure as long as man endures,
    To think, to hope, to worship, and to feel,
    To struggle, to be lost within himself
    In trepidation, from the blank abyss
    To look with bodily eyes, and be consoled."
    Not seldom since that moment have I wished
    That thou, O Friend! the trouble or the calm
    Hadst shared, when, from profane regards apart,
    In sympathetic reverence we trod
    The floors of those dim cloisters, till that hour,
    From their foundation, strangers to the presence
    Of unrestricted and unthinking man.
    Abroad, how cheeringly the sunshine lay
    Upon the open lawns! Vallombre's groves
    Entering, we fed the soul with darkness; thence
    Issued, and with uplifted eyes beheld,
    In different quarters of the bending sky,
    The cross of Jesus stand erect, as if
    Hands of angelic powers had fixed it there,
    Memorial reverenced by a thousand storms;
    Yet then, from the undiscriminating sweep
    And rage of one State-whirlwind, insecure.
    
'Tis not my present purpose to retrace
    That variegated journey step by step;step.
    A march it was of military speed,
    And earth Earth did change her images and forms
    Before us us, fast as clouds are changed in heaven.
    Day after day, up early and down late,
    From vale to vale, from hill to hill vale we went,dropped, from vale to hill
    From Mounted from province on to province did we pass,swept,
    Keen hunters in a chace chase of fourteen weeks—
    Eager as birds of prey, or as a ship
    Upon the stretch when winds are blowing fair.
weeks,
    Eager as birds of prey, or as a ship
    Upon the stretch, when winds are blowing fair:
    
Sweet coverts did we cross of pastoral life,
    Enticing vallies valleys, greeted them, them and left
    Too soon, while yet the very flash and gleam
    Of salutation were not passed away.
    Oh, Oh! sorrow for the youth who could have seenseen,
    Unchastened, unsubdued, unawed, unraised
    To patriarchal dignity of mindmind,
    And pure simplicity of wish and will,
    Those sanctified abodes of peaceful man.man,
    My heart leaped up when first I did look downPleased (though to hardship born, and compassed round
    On With danger, varying as the seasons change),
    Pleased with his daily task, or, if not pleased,
    Contented, from the moment
that which was first seen of those deep haunts,the dawn
    A (Ah! surely not without attendant gleams
    Of soul-illumination) calls him forth
    To industry, by glistenings flung on rocks,
    Whose evening shadows lead him to repose.
    Well might a stranger look with bounding heart
    Down on a
green recess, the first I saw
    Of those deep haunts,
an aboriginal vale,
    Quiet, Quiet and lorded over and possessed
    By naked huts, wood-built, and sown like tents
    Or Indian cabins over the fresh lawns
    And by the river-side.river side.
    That day very day,
    From a bare ridge
we firstalso first beheld
    Beheld Unveiled the summit of Mount Mont Blanc, and grieved
    To have a soulless image on the eye
    Which That had usurped upon a living thought
    That never more could be. The wondrous Vale
    Of Chamouny did, on the following dawn,stretched far below, and soon
    With its dumb cataracts and streams of iceice,
    A motionless array of mighty waves,
    Five rivers broad and vast make vast, made rich amends,
    And reconciled us to realities.realities;
    There small birds warble from the leafy trees,
    The eagle soareth soars high in the element,
    There doth the reaper bind the yellow sheaf,
    The maiden spread the haycock in the sun,
    While Winter like a tamed well-tamed lion walks,
    Descending from the mountain to make sport
    Among the cottages by beds of flowers.
    Whate' er in this wide circuit we beheldbeheld,
    Or heard heard, was fitted to our unripe state
    Of intellect and heart. By simple strains
    Of feeling, the pure breath of real life,
    We were not left untouched.
With such a book
    Before our eyes eyes, we could not chuse choose but read
    A frequent lesson Lessons of sound tenderness,genuine brotherhood, the plain
    The And universal reason of mankind,
    The truth truths of young and old. Nor, side by side
    Pacing, two brother social pilgrims, or alone
    Each with his humour, could we fail to abound
    Craft this which hath been hinted at before—
    In dreams and fictions pensively composed:
    Dejection taken up for pleasure's sake,
    And gilded sympathies, the willow wreath,
    Even among those solitudes sublime,
    And sober posies of funereal flowers,
    Culled from the gardens of the Lady Sorrow,
    Did sweeten many a meditative hour.

    In dreams and fictions, pensively composed:
    Dejection taken up for pleasure's sake,
    And gilded sympathies, the willow wreath,
    And sober posies of funereal flowers,
    Gathered among those solitudes sublime
    From formal gardens of the lady Sorrow,
    Did sweeten many a meditative hour.
    
Yet still in me, mingling me with these delights,those soft luxuries
    Was Mixed something of stern mood, an under-thirstunderthirst
    Of vigor, never vigour seldom utterly asleep.allayed:
    Far And from that source how different dejection once was minea sadness
    A deep and genuine sadness then I felt—
    The circumstances I will here relate
    Even as they were. Upturning with a band
Would issue, let one incident make known.
    Of travellers, When from the Valais Vallais we had turned, and clomb
    Along the road that leads to Italy;Simplon's steep and rugged road,
    A length of hours, making Following a band of these our guides,
    Did
muleteers, we advance, and, having reached an innreached
    Among the mountains, we A halting-place, where all together atetook
    Our noon's repast, from which the travellers roseTheir noon-tide meal. Hastily rose our guide,
    Leaving us at the board. Erelong board; awhile we followed,lingered,
    Descending by Then paced the beaten road downward way that led
    Right to a rivulet's rough stream's edge, and there broke off;
    The only track now visible was one
    Upon That from the torrent's further side, right opposite,brink held forth
    And up a Conspicuous invitation to ascend
    A
lofty mountain. This we took,After brief delay
    After a little scruple and short pause,Crossing the unbridged stream, that road we took,
    And climbed clomb with eagerness though not, at length,
    Without surprize and some anxiety
eagerness, till anxious fears
    On finding that Intruded, for we did not failed to overtake
    Our comrades gone before. By fortunate chance,
    While every moment now encreased our doubts,added doubt to doubt,
    A peasant met us, and from him whose mouth we learned
    That to the place spot which had perplexed us first
    We must descend, and there should find the roadroad,
    Which in the stony channel of the stream
    Lay a few steps, and then along its banks—
    And further, that thenceforward all our course
    Was downwards with the current of that stream.
banks;
    Hard And, that our future course, all plain to sight,
    Was downwards, with the current
of belief, that stream.
    Loth to believe what
we questioned him again,so grieved to hear,
    And all the answers which For still we had hopes that pointed to the man returnedclouds,
    To our inquiries, in their sense We questioned him again, and substanceyet again;
    Translated by But every word that from the feelings which we had,peasant's lips
    Came in reply, translated by our feelings,
    
Ended in this that this, 'that we had crossed the Alps.Alps'.
    Imagination! lifting up itselfImagination here the Power so called
    Before the eye and progress Through sad incompetence of my songhuman speech,
    That awful Power rose from the mind's abyss
    
Like an unfathered vapour, here vapour that power,
    In all the might of its endowments, came
enwraps,
    Athwart me. At once, some lonely traveller. I was lost as in a cloud,lost;
    Halted without a struggle an effort to break through,through;
    And now, recovering, But to my conscious soul I say
    'I recognise thy glory'. In such strength
    Of usurpation, in such visitings
    Of awful promise, when the light of sense
    Goes out in flashes that have shewn to us
    The invisible world, doth greatness make abode,
    There harbours whether we be young or old.
    Our destiny, our nature, and our home,
    Is with infinitude and only there;
    With hope it is, hope that
now can never die,
    Effort, and expectation, and desire,
    And something evermore about to be.
say—
    "I recognise thy glory:" in such strength
    Of usurpation, when the light of sense
    Goes out, but with a flash that has revealed
    The invisible world, doth greatness make abode,
    There harbours; whether we be young or old,
    Our destiny, our being's heart and home,
    Is with infinitude, and only there;
    With hope it is, hope that can never die,
    Effort, and expectation, and desire,
    And something evermore about to be.

    The mind beneath Under such banners militantmilitant, the soul
    Thinks not of spoils or Seeks for no trophies, nor of aughtstruggles for no spoils
    That may attest its her prowess, blest in thoughts
    That are their own perfection and reward—
    Strong in itself, and in the access of joy
    Which hides in like the overflowing Nile.
reward,
    The dull Strong in herself and heavy in beatitude
    That hides her, like the mighty flood of Nile
    Poured from his fount of Abyssinian clouds
    To fertilise the whole Egyptian plain.
    The melancholy
slackening which that ensued
    Upon those tidings by the peasant given
    Was soon dislodged; downwards dislodged. Downwards we hurried fast,
    And entered And, with the half-shaped road which we had missedmissed,
    Into Entered a narrow chasm. The brook and road
    Were fellow-travellers in this gloomy pass,strait,
    And with them did we journey several hours
    At a slow step. pace. The immeasurable height
    Of woods decaying, never to be decayed,
    The stationary blasts of waterfalls,
    And everywhere along in the hollow rentnarrow rent at every turn
    Winds thwarting winds, bewildered and forlorn,
    The torrents shooting from the clear blue sky,
    The rocks that muttered close upon our ears.—
    Black drizzling crags that spake by the wayside
    As if a voice were in them the sick sight
    And giddy prospect of the raving stream,
    The unfettered clouds and region of the heavens,
    Tumult and peace, the darkness and the light,
    Were all like workings of one mind, the features
    Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree,
    Characters of the great apocalypse,
    The types and symbols of eternity,
    Of first, and last, and midst, and without end.
ears,
    Black drizzling crags that spake by the way-side
    As if a voice were in them, the sick sight
    And giddy prospect of the raving stream,
    The unfettered clouds and region of the Heavens,
    Tumult and peace, the darkness and the light—
    Were all like workings of one mind, the features
    Of the same face, blossoms upon one tree;
    Characters of the great Apocalypse,
    The types and symbols of Eternity,
    Of first, and last, and midst, and without end.
    
That night our lodging was an alpine house,a house that stood
    An inn, or hospital (as they are named),Alone within the valley, at a point
    Standing in that same valley by itself,Where, tumbling from aloft, a torrent swelled
    And close upon the confluence The rapid stream whose margin we had trod;
    A dreary mansion, large beyond all need,
    With high and spacious rooms, deafened and stunned
    By noise
of two streams—
    A dreary mansion, large beyond all need,
    With high and spacious rooms, deafened and stunned
    By noise of waters, making innocent sleep
    Lie melancholy among weary bones.
waters, making innocent sleep
    Lie melancholy among weary bones.
    
Uprisen betimes, our journey we renewed,
    Led by the stream, ere noon-day magnified
    Into a lordly river, broad and deep,
    Dimpling along in silent majestymajesty,
    With mountains for its neighbours, and in view
    Of distant mountains and their snowy tops,
    And thus proceeding to Locarno's lake,Lake,
    Fit resting-place for such a visitant.
    Locarno, Locarno! spreading out in width like heaven,Heaven,
    And Como How dost thou cleave to the poetic heart,
    Bask in the sunshine of the memory;
    And Como! thou,
a treasure by whom the earth
    Kept Keeps to itself, herself, confined as in a darling bosomed updepth
    In Of Abyssinian privacy—I spake
    Of thee, thy chestnut woods and garden plots
    Of Indian corn tended by dark-eyed maids,
    Thy lofty steeps, and pathways roofed with vines
    Winding from house to house, from town to town
    (Sole link that binds them to each other), walks
    League after league, and cloistral avenues
    Where silence is if music be not there:
    While yet a youth undisciplined in verse,
    Through fond ambition of my heart I told
    Your praises, nor can I approach you now
    Ungreeted by a more melodious song,
    Where tones of learned art and Nature mixed
    May frame enduring language.
privacy. I spake
    Of thee, thy chestnut woods, and garden plots
    Of Indian corn tended by dark-eyed maids;
    Thy lofty steeps, and pathways roofed with vines,
    Winding from house to house, from town to town,
    Sole link that binds them to each other; walks,
    League after league, and cloistral avenues,
    Where silence dwells if music be not there:
    While yet a youth undisciplined in verse,
    Through fond ambition of that hour I strove
    To chant your praise; nor can approach you now
    Ungreeted by a more melodious Song,
    Where tones of Nature smoothed by learned Art
    May flow in lasting current.
Like a breeze
    Or sunbeam over your domain I passed
    In motion without pause; but ye have left
    Your beauty with me, an impassioned sighta serene accord
    Of colours forms and of forms, whose colours, passive, yet endowed
    In their submissiveness with
power is as sweet
    And gracious, almost, might I dare to say,
    As virtue is, or goodness goodness; sweet as love,
    Or the remembrance of a noble generous deed,
    Or gentlest mildest visitations of pure thoughtthought,
    When God, the giver of all joy, is thanked
    Religiously Religiously, in silent blessedness.—
    Sweet as this last itself, for such it is.
blessedness;
    Through Sweet as this last herself, for such it is.
    With
those delightful pathways we advancedadvanced,
    Two days, and still For two days' space, in presence of the lake,Lake,
    Which winding up That, stretching far among the Alps now changed
    Slowly its lovely countenance and put on
Alps, assumed
    A sterner character. character more stern. The second night,
    In eagerness, From sleep awakened, and misled by report misledsound
    Of those Italian clocks that speak the timechurch clock telling the hours with strokes
    In fashion different from ours, Whose import then we had not learned, we rose
    By moonshine, moonlight, doubting not that day was near,nigh,
    And that, that meanwhile, coasting the water's edgeby no uncertain path,
    As hitherto, and with as plain a trackAlong the winding margin of the lake,
    To be our guide, Led, as before, we might should behold the scene
    In its most deep Hushed in profound repose. We left the town
    Of Gravedona with this hope, hope; but soon
    Were lost, bewildered among woods immense,
    Where, having wandered for a while, we stopped
    
And on a rock sate down down, to wait for day.
    An open place it was was, and overlookedoverlooked,
    From high high, the sullen water underneath,far beneath,
    On which a dull red image of the moon
    Lay bedded, changing oftentimes its form
    Like an uneasy snake. Long time we sate,From hour to hour
    For scarcely more than one hour of We sate and sate, wondering, as if the night
    Such was our error had been gone when we
    Renewed our journey.

    Had been ensnared by witchcraft.
On the rock rock
    At last
we laystretched our weary limbs for sleep,
    And wished to But 'could not' sleep, but could not for tormented by the stings
    Of insects, which which, with noise like that of noonnoon,
    Filled all the woods. The woods: the cry of unknown birds,birds;
    the The mountains more by darkness blackness visible
    And their own size, than any outward light—
    The breathless wilderness of clouds, the clock
    That told with unintelligible voice
    The widely parted hours, the noise of streams,
    And sometimes rustling motions nigh at hand
    Which did not leave us free from personal fear,
    And lastly, the withdrawing moon that set
    Before us while she still was high in heaven—
    These were our food, and such a summer night
    Did to that pair of golden days succeed,
    With now and then a doze and snatch of sleep,
    On Como's banks, the same delicious lake.
light;
    The breathless wilderness of clouds; the clock
    That told, with unintelligible voice,
    The widely parted hours; the noise of streams,
    And sometimes rustling motions nigh at hand,
    That did not leave us free from personal fear;
    And, lastly, the withdrawing moon, that set
    Before us, while she still was high in heaven;—
    These were our food; and such a summer's night
    Followed that pair of golden days that shed
    On Como's Lake, and all that round it lay,
    Their fairest, softest, happiest influence.
    
But here I must break off, and quit at once,bid farewell
    Though loth, the record of these wanderings,To days, each offering some new sight, or fraught
    A theme which may seduce me else beyondWith some untried adventure, in a course
    All reasonable bounds. Prolonged till sprinklings of autumnal snow
    Checked our unwearied steps.
Let this alone
    Be mentioned as a parting word, that not
    In hollow exultation, dealing forthout
    Hyperboles of praise comparative;comparative,
    Not rich one moment to be poor for ever;
    Not prostrate, overborne overborne, as if the mind
    Itself Herself were nothing, a mean mere pensioner
    On outward forms did we in presence stand
    Of that magnificent region. On the front
    Of this whole song Song is written that my heart
    Must, in such temple, Temple, needs have offered up
    A different worship. Finally, whate'er
    I saw, or heard, or felt, was but a stream
    That flowed into a kindred stream, stream; a galegale,
    That helped me forwards, did administerConfederate with the current of the soul,
    To speed my voyage; every sound or sight,
    In its degree of power, administered
    To
grandeur and or to tenderness tenderness, to the one
    Directly, but to tender thoughts by means
    Less often instantaneous in effect—
    Conducted me to these along a path
    Which, in the main, was more circuitous.
effect;
    Oh Led me to these by paths that, in the main,
    Were more circuitous, but not less sure
    Duly to reach the point marked out by Heaven.
    Oh,
most beloved friend, Friend! a glorious time,
    A happy time that was. Triumphant was; triumphant looks
    Were then the common language of all eyes:eyes;
    As if awakened awaked from sleep, the nations Nations hailed
    Their great expectancy; expectancy: the fife of war
    Was then a spirit-stirring sound indeed,
    A blackbird's whistle in a vernal budding grove.
    We left the Swiss exulting in the fate
    Of their neighbours, near neighbours; and, when shortening fast
    Our pilgrimage pilgrimage, nor distant far from homehome,
    We crossed the Brabant armies on the fret
    For battle in the cause of Liberty.
    A stripling, scarcely of the household then
    Of social life, I looked upon these things
    As from a distance distance; heard, and saw, and felt,
    Was touched touched, but with no intimate concern—
    I seemed to move among them as a bird
    Moves through the air, or as a fish pursues
    Its business in its proper element.
concern;
    I needed seemed to move along them, as a bird
    Moves through the air, or as a fish pursues
    Its sport, or feeds in its proper element;
    I wanted
not that joy, I did not need
    Such help: help; the ever-living universeuniverse,
    Turn where I might, was opening out its glories,
    
And the independent spirit of pure youth
    Were with me Called forth, at that every season, and delightnew delights,
    Was in all places spread around Spread round my steps
    As constant as the grass upon the
steps like sunshine o'er green fields.