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Mark how the climbing Oreads 20 Beckon thee to their arcades!

Youth, for a moment free as they,
Teach thy feet to feel the ground,
Ere yet arrives the wintry day

When Time thy feet has bound. 25 Take the bounty of thy birth,

Taste the lordship of the earth.”

I heard, and I obeyed, -
Assured that he who made the claim,

Well known, but loving not a name, 3c

Was not to be gainsaid.

Ere yet the summoning voice was still,
I turned to Cheshire's haughty hill.
From the fixed cone the cloud-rack flowed

Like ample banner flung abroad 35 To all the dwellers in the plains

Round about, a hundred miles,
With salutation to the sea, and to the bordering

In his own loom's garment dressed,

By his proper bounty blessed, 40 Fast abides this constant giver,

Pouring many a cheerful river;
To far eyes, an aerial isle
Unploughed, which finer spirits pile,

Which morn and crimson evening paint 45 For bard, for lover, and for saint;

29. Though we give it no name, the longing for the free country and the mountain height is no stranger to men's hearts.

33. See note to p. 167, 1. 952.

43. The rocky summit is the base upon which masses of clouds tro piled high.

The people's pride, the country's core,
Inspirer, prophet evermore;
Pillar which God aloft had set

So that men might it not forget; 50 It should be their life’s ornament,

And mix itself with each event;
Gauge and calendar and dial,
Weatherglass and chemic phial,

Garden of berries, perch of birds, 55 Pasture of pool-haunting herds,

Graced by each change of sum untold,
Earth-baking heat, stone-cleaving cold.

The Titan heeds his sky-affairs,

Rich rents and wide alliance shares; 60 Mysteries of color daily laid

By the sun in light and shade;
And sweet varieties of chance,
And the mystic seasons' dance;

And thief-like step of liberal hours 65 Thawing snow-drift into flowers.

Oh, wondrous craft of plant and stone
By eldest science wrought and shown !
• Happy,” I said, “ whose home is here !

Fair fortunes to the mountaineer! 70 Boon Nature to his poorest shed

Has royal pleasure-grounds outspread."
Intent, I searched the region round,
And in low hut my monarch found:

Woe is me for my hope's downfall! 75 Is yonder squalid peasant all

That this proud nursery couid breed
For God's vicegerency and stead?

70. Compare Milton's Nature boon, in Paradise Lost, iv. 242

Time out of mind, this forge of ores;

Quarry of spars in mountain pores;
80 Old cradle, hunting-ground, and bier

Of wolf and otter, bear and deer ;
Well-built abode of many a race ;
Tower of observance searching space;

Factory of river and of rain;
85 Link in the alps' globe-girding chain;

By million changes skilled to tell
What in the Eternal standeth well,
And what obedient Nature can;

Is this colossal talisman
90 Kindly to plant, and blood, and kind,

But speechless to the master's mind?
I thought to find the patriots
In whom the stock of freedom roots;

To myself I oft recount
95 Tales of many a famous mount,

Wales, Scotland, Uri, Hungary's dells;
Bards, Roys, Scanderbegs, and Tells.
Here Nature shall condense her powers,

Her music, and her meteors,
100 And lifting man to the blue deep

Where stars their perfect courses keep,
Like wise preceptor, lure his eye
To sound the science of the sky,

And carry learning to its height
105 Of untried power and sane delight:

The Indian cheer, the frosty skies,
Rear purer wits, inventive eyes, –

96. The places of this line have their heroes in the next, bardo in Wales, Rob Roy in Scotland, William Tell in Uri; Scanderbeg (Iskander-beg, i.e., Alexander the Great) is the name given by the Turks to the Robin Hood of Epirus, George Castriota, 1414-1467.

Eyes that frame cities where none be,

And hands that stablish what these see; 110 And by the moral of his place

Hint summits of heroic grace;
Man in these crags a fastness find
To fight pollution of the mind;

In the wide thaw and ooze of wrong, 115 Adhere like this foundation strong,

The insanity of towns to stem
With simpleness for stratagem.
But if the brave old mould is broke,

And end in churls the mountain folk, 120 In tavern cheer and tavern joke,

Sink, O mountain, in the swamp!
Hide in thy skies, O sovereign lamp!
Perish like leaves, the highland breed ;
No sire survive, no son succeed !

125 Soft! let not the offended muse

Toil's hard hap with scorn accuse.
Many hamlets sought I then,
Many farms of mountain men.

Rallying round a parish steeple 130 Nestle warm the highland people,

Coarse and boisterous, yet mild,
Strong as giant, slow as child.
Sweat and season are their arts,

Their talismans are ploughs and carte; 135 And well the youngest can command

Honey from the frozen land;
With clover heads the swamp adorn,
Change the running sand to corn;

For wolf and fox bring lowing herds, 140 And for cold mosses, cream and curds;

Weave wood to canisters and mats;
Drain sweet maple juice in vats.

No bird is safe that cuts the air

From their rifle or their snare; 145 No fish, in river or in lake,

But their long hands it thence will take;
Whilst the country's flinty face,
Like wax, their fashioning skill betrays,

To fill the hollows, sink the hills, 150 Bridge gulfs, drain swamps, build dams and milis

And fit the bleak and howling waste
For homes of virtue, sense, and taste.
The World-soul knows his own affair,

Forelooking, when he would prepare 155 For the next ages, men of mould

Well embodied, well ensouled,
He cools the present’s fiery glow,
Sets the life-pulse strong but slow :

Bitter winds and fasts austere
160 His quarantines and grottos, where

He slowly cures decrepit flesh,
And brings it infantile and fresh.
Toil and tempest are the toys

And games to breathe his stalwart boys: 165 They bide their time, and well can prove,

If need were, their line from Jove;
Of the same stuff, and so allayed,
As that whereof the sun is made,

And of the fibre, quick and strong,
170 Whose throbs are love, whose thrills are song.

Now in sordid weeds they sleep,
In dulness now their secret keep;
Yet, will you learn our ancient speech,
These the masters who can teach.

153. See Emerson's poem of the World-Sord.

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