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The liveliness of dreams.

Nor did he fail,

While yet a Child, with a Child's eagerness
Incessantly to turn his ear and eye

On all things which the moving seasons brought
To feed such appetite: nor this alone
Appeased his yearning:-in the after day
Of Boyhood, many an hour in caves forlorn,
And 'mid the hollow depths of naked crags
He sate, and even in their fix'd lineaments,
Or from the power of a peculiar eye,
Or by creative feeling overborne,

Or by predominance of thought oppress'd,
Even in their fix'd and steady lineaments
He traced an ebbing and a flowing mind,
Expression ever varying!

Thus informed,

He had small need of books; for many a Tale Traditionary, round the mountains hung,

And many a Legend, peopling the dark woods, Nourished Imagination in her growth,

And the Mind that apprehensive power gave

By which she is made quick to recognize

of things.

The moral properties and scope

But eagerly he read, and read again,

Whate'er the Minister's old Shelf supplied;

The life and death of Martyrs, who sustained,
With will inflexible, those fearful pangs
Triumphantly displayed in records left

Of Persecution, and the Covenant-Times
Whose echo rings through Scotland to this hour!
And there by lucky hap had been preserved
A straggling volume, torn and incomplete,
That left half-told the preternatural tale,
Romance of Giants, chronicle of Fiends
Profuse in garniture of wooden cuts

Strange and uncouth; dire faces, figures dire,

Sharp-knee'd, sharp-elbowed, and lean-ankled too,

With long and ghostly shanks-forms which once seen Could never be forgotten!

In his heart

Where Fear sate thus, a cherished visitant,
Was wanting yet the pure delight of love
By sound diffused, or by the breathing air,
Or by the silent looks of happy things,

Or flowing from the universal face

Of earth and sky. But he had felt the power
Of Nature, and already was prepared,

By his intense conceptions, to receive
Deeply the lesson deep of love which he,
Whom Nature, by whatever means, has taught
To feel intensely, cannot but receive.

From early childhood, even, as hath been said, From his sixth year, he had been sent abroad In summer to tend herds: such was his task Thenceforward 'till the later day of youth. O then what soul was his, when, on the tops Of the high mountains, he beheld the sun

Rise up, and bathe the world in light! He looked— Ocean and earth, the solid frame of earth

And ocean's liquid mass, beneath him lay

In gladness and deep joy. The clouds were touch'd,
And in their silent faces did he read

Unutterable love. Sound needed none,
Nor any voice of joy; his spirit drank
The spectacle; sensation, soul, and form
All melted into him; they swallowed up

His animal being; in them did he live,
And by them did he live; they were his life.

In such access of mind, in such high hour
Of visitation from the living God,

Thought was not; in enjoyment it expired.
No thanks he breathed, he proffered no request;
Rapt into still communion that transcends
The imperfect offices of prayer and praise,
His mind was a thanksgiving to the power
That made him; it was blessedness and love!

A Herdsman on the lonely mountain tops, Such intercourse was his, and in this sort Was his existence oftentimes possessed. Oh then how beautiful, how bright appeared The written Promise! He had early learned To reverence the Volume which displays The mystery, the life which cannot die: But in the mountains did he feel his faith; There did he see the writing;-all things there Breathed immortality, revolving life

And greatness still revolving; infinite;

There littleness was not; the least of things

Seemed infinite; and there his spirit shaped
Her prospects, nor did he believe,-he saw.
What wonder if his being thus became

Sublime and comprehensive! Low desires,

Low thoughts had there no place; yet was his heart
Lowly; for he was meek in gratitude,

Oft as he called those extacies to mind,

And whence they flowed; and from them he acquired

Wisdom, which works through patience; thence he learned

In many a calmer hour of sober thought

To look on Nature with a humble heart,
Self-questioned where it did not understand,
And with a superstitious eye of love.

So passed the time; yet to a neighbouring town

He duly went with what small overplus

His earnings might supply, and brought away
The Book which most had tempted his desires
While at the Stall he read. Among the hills
He gazed upon that mighty Orb of Song
The divine Milton. Lore of different kind,
The annual savings of a toilsome life,

His Step-father supplied; books that explain

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