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FRENCH REVOLUTION

AS IT APPEARED TO ENTHUSIASTS AT ITS COMMENCEMENT. REPRINTED FROM "THE FRIEND."

*

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H pleasant exercise of hope and joy!

For mighty were the auxiliars which

then stood

Upon our side, we who were strong

in love!

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive

But to be young was very heaven!-Oh! times,
In which the meagre, stale, forbidding ways

Of custom, law, and statute, took at once

The attraction of a country in romance!

When Reason seemed the most to assert her rights,
When most intent on making of herself
A prime enchantress-to assist the work,
Which then was going forward in her name!
Not favoured spots alone, but the whole earth,

*This, and the extract ("Influence of Natural Objects"), page 30, and the first piece of this class, are from the unpublished poem of which some account is given in the preface to " The Excursion."

The beauty wore of promise—that which sets
(As at some moment might not be unfelt
Among the bowers of paradise itself)

The budding rose above the rose full blown.
What temper at the prospect did not wake
To happiness unthought of? The inert
Were roused, and lively natures rapt away!
They who had fed their childhood upon dreams,
The playfellows of fancy, who had made
All powers of swiftness, subtilty, and strength
Their ministers, who in lordly wise had stirred
Among the grandest objects of the sense
And dealt with whatsoever they found there
As if they had within some lurking right
To wield it ;-they, too, who of gentle mood
Had watched all gentle motions, and to these
Had fitted their own thoughts, schemers

mild,

And in the region of their peaceful selves ;—
Now was it that both found, the meek and lofty
Did both find, helpers to their heart's desire,
And stuff at hand, plastic as they could wish,—
Were called upon to exercise their skill,

Not in Utopia, subterranean fields,

more

Or some secreted island, Heaven knows where !
But in the very world, which is the world
Of all of us,-the place where in the end
We find our happiness, or not at all!

1805.

TO A SKYLARK

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THEREAL minstrel ! pilgrim of the

Dost thou despise the earth where

cares abound?

Or, while the wings aspire, are heart and eye

Both with thy nest upon the dewy ground?

Thy nest which thou canst drop into at will,

Those quivering wings composed, that music still!

Leave to the nightingale her shady wood;

A privacy of glorious light is thine;

Whence thou dost pour upon the world a flood

Of harmony, with instinct more divine;

Type of the wise who soar, but never roam ;

True to the kindred points of heaven and home!

1825.

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