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THE PRELUDE

BOOK THIRD

RESIDENCE AT CAMBRIDGE

          IT was a dreary morning when the wheels
          Rolled over a wide plain o'erhung with clouds,
          And nothing cheered our way till first we saw
          The long-roofed chapel of King's College lift
          Turrets and pinnacles in answering files,
          Extended high above a dusky grove.

            Advancing, we espied upon the road
          A student clothed in gown and tasselled cap,
          Striding along as if o'ertasked by Time,
          Or covetous of exercise and air;                            10
          He passed--nor was I master of my eyes
          Till he was left an arrow's flight behind.
          As near and nearer to the spot we drew,
          It seemed to suck us in with an eddy's force.
          Onward we drove beneath the Castle; caught,
          While crossing Magdalene Bridge, a glimpse of Cam;
          And at the "Hoop" alighted, famous Inn.

            My spirit was up, my thoughts were full of hope;
          Some friends I had, acquaintances who there
          Seemed friends, poor simple schoolboys, now hung round      20
          With honour and importance: in a world
          Of welcome faces up and down I roved;
          Questions, directions, warnings and advice,
          Flowed in upon me, from all sides; fresh day
          Of pride and pleasure! to myself I seemed
          A man of business and expense, and went
          From shop to shop about my own affairs,
          To Tutor or to Tailor, as befell,
          From street to street with loose and careless mind.

            I was the Dreamer, they the Dream; I roamed               30
          Delighted through the motley spectacle;
          Gowns grave, or gaudy, doctors, students, streets,
          Courts, cloisters, flocks of churches, gateways, towers:
          Migration strange for a stripling of the hills,
          A northern villager.
                                As if the change
          Had waited on some Fairy's wand, at once
          Behold me rich in monies, and attired
          In splendid garb, with hose of silk, and hair
          Powdered like rimy trees, when frost is keen.
          My lordly dressing-gown, I pass it by,                      40
          With other signs of manhood that supplied
          The lack of beard.--The weeks went roundly on,
          With invitations, suppers, wine and fruit,
          Smooth housekeeping within, and all without
          Liberal, and suiting gentleman's array.

            The Evangelist St. John my patron was:
          Three Gothic courts are his, and in the first
          Was my abiding-place, a nook obscure;
          Right underneath, the College kitchens made
          A humming sound, less tuneable than bees,                   50
          But hardly less industrious; with shrill notes
          Of sharp command and scolding intermixed.
          Near me hung Trinity's loquacious clock,
          Who never let the quarters, night or day,
          Slip by him unproclaimed, and told the hours
          Twice over with a male and female voice.
          Her pealing organ was my neighbour too;
          And from my pillow, looking forth by light
          Of moon or favouring stars, I could behold
          The antechapel where the statue stood                       60
          Of Newton with his prism and silent face,
          The marble index of a mind for ever
          Voyaging through strange seas of Thought, alone.

            Of College labours, of the Lecturer's room
          All studded round, as thick as chairs could stand,
          With loyal students, faithful to their books,
          Half-and-half idlers, hardy recusants,
          And honest dunces--of important days,
          Examinations, when the man was weighed
          As in a balance! of excessive hopes,                        70
          Tremblings withal and commendable fears,
          Small jealousies, and triumphs good or bad--
          Let others that know more speak as they know.
          Such glory was but little sought by me,
          And little won. Yet from the first crude days
          Of settling time in this untried abode,
          I was disturbed at times by prudent thoughts,
          Wishing to hope without a hope, some fears
          About my future worldly maintenance,
          And, more than all, a strangeness in the mind,              80
          A feeling that I was not for that hour,
          Nor for that place. But wherefore be cast down?
          For (not to speak of Reason and her pure
          Reflective acts to fix the moral law
          Deep in the conscience, nor of Christian Hope,
          Bowing her head before her sister Faith
          As one far mightier), hither I had come,
          Bear witness Truth, endowed with holy powers
          And faculties, whether to work or feel.
          Oft when the dazzling show no longer new                    90
          Had ceased to dazzle, ofttimes did I quit
          My comrades, leave the crowd, buildings and groves,
          And as I paced alone the level fields
          Far from those lovely sights and sounds sublime
          With which I had been conversant, the mind
          Drooped not; but there into herself returning,
          With prompt rebound seemed fresh as heretofore.
          At least I more distinctly recognised
          Her native instincts: let me dare to speak
          A higher language, say that now I felt                     100
          What independent solaces were mine,
          To mitigate the injurious sway of place
          Or circumstance, how far soever changed
          In youth, or 'to' be changed in after years.
          As if awakened, summoned, roused, constrained,
          I looked for universal things; perused
          The common countenance of earth and sky:
          Earth, nowhere unembellished by some trace
          Of that first Paradise whence man was driven;
          And sky, whose beauty and bounty are expressed             110
          By the proud name she bears--the name of Heaven.
          I called on both to teach me what they might;
          Or, turning the mind in upon herself,
          Pored, watched, expected, listened, spread my thoughts
          And spread them with a wider creeping; felt
          Incumbencies more awful, visitings
          Of the Upholder of the tranquil soul,
          That tolerates the indignities of Time,
          And, from the centre of Eternity
          All finite motions overruling, lives                       120
          In glory immutable. But peace! enough
          Here to record that I was mounting now
          To such community with highest truth--
          A track pursuing, not untrod before,
          From strict analogies by thought supplied
          Or consciousnesses not to be subdued.
          To every natural form, rock, fruits, or flower,
          Even the loose stones that cover the highway,
          I gave a moral life: I saw them feel,
          Or linked them to some feeling: the great mass             130
          Lay bedded in a quickening soul, and all
          That I beheld respired with inward meaning.
          Add that whate'er of Terror or of Love
          Or Beauty, Nature's daily face put on
          From transitory passion, unto this
          I was as sensitive as waters are
          To the sky's influence in a kindred mood
          Of passion; was obedient as a lute
          That waits upon the touches of the wind.
          Unknown, unthought of, yet I was most rich--               140
          I had a world about me--'twas my own;
          I made it, for it only lived to me,
          And to the God who sees into the heart.
          Such sympathies, though rarely, were betrayed
          By outward gestures and by visible looks:
          Some called it madness--so indeed it was,
          If child-like fruitfulness in passing joy,
          If steady moods of thoughtfulness matured
          To inspiration, sort with such a name;
          If prophecy be madness; if things viewed                   150
          By poets in old time, and higher up
          By the first men, earth's first inhabitants,
          May in these tutored days no more be seen
          With undisordered sight. But leaving this,
          It was no madness, for the bodily eye
          Amid my strongest workings evermore
          Was searching out the lines of difference
          As they lie hid in all external forms,
          Near or remote, minute or vast; an eye
          Which, from a tree, a stone, a withered leaf,              160
          To the broad ocean and the azure heavens
          Spangled with kindred multitudes of stars,
          Could find no surface where its power might sleep;
          Which spake perpetual logic to my soul,
          And by an unrelenting agency
          Did bind my feelings even as in a chain.

            And here, O Friend! have I retraced my life
          Up to an eminence, and told a tale
          Of matters which not falsely may be called
          The glory of my youth. Of genius, power,                   170
          Creation and divinity itself
          I have been speaking, for my theme has been
          What passed within me. Not of outward things
          Done visibly for other minds, words, signs,
          Symbols or actions, but of my own heart
          Have I been speaking, and my youthful mind.
          O Heavens! how awful is the might of souls,
          And what they do within themselves while yet
          The yoke of earth is new to them, the world
          Nothing but a wild field where they were sown.             180
          This is, in truth, heroic argument,
          This genuine prowess, which I wished to touch
          With hand however weak, but in the main
          It lies far hidden from the reach of words.
          Points have we all of us within our souls
          Where all stand single; this I feel, and make
          Breathings for incommunicable powers;
          But is not each a memory to himself,
          And, therefore, now that we must quit this theme,
          I am not heartless, for there's not a man                  190
          That lives who hath not known his god-like hours,
          And feels not what an empire we inherit
          As natural beings in the strength of Nature.

            No more: for now into a populous plain
          We must descend. A Traveller I am,
          Whose tale is only of himself; even so,
          So be it, if the pure of heart be prompt
          To follow, and if thou, my honoured Friend!
          Who in these thoughts art ever at my side,
          Support, as heretofore, my fainting steps.                 200

            It hath been told, that when the first delight
          That flashed upon me from this novel show
          Had failed, the mind returned into herself;
          Yet true it is, that I had made a change
          In climate, and my nature's outward coat
          Changed also slowly and insensibly.
          Full oft the quiet and exalted thoughts
          Of loneliness gave way to empty noise
          And superficial pastimes; now and then
          Forced labour, and more frequently forced hopes;           210
          And, worst of all, a treasonable growth
          Of indecisive judgments, that impaired
          And shook the mind's simplicity.--And yet
          This was a gladsome time. Could I behold--
          Who, less insensible than sodden clay
          In a sea-river's bed at ebb of tide,
          Could have beheld,--with undelighted heart,
          So many happy youths, so wide and fair
          A congregation in its budding-time
          Of health, and hope, and beauty, all at once               220
          So many divers samples from the growth
          Of life's sweet season--could have seen unmoved
          That miscellaneous garland of wild flowers
          Decking the matron temples of a place
          So famous through the world? To me, at least,
          It was a goodly prospect: for, in sooth,
          Though I had learnt betimes to stand unpropped,
          And independent musings pleased me so
          That spells seemed on me when I was alone,
          Yet could I only cleave to solitude                        230
          In lonely places; if a throng was near
          That way I leaned by nature; for my heart
          Was social, and loved idleness and joy.

            Not seeking those who might participate
          My deeper pleasures (nay, I had not once,
          Though not unused to mutter lonesome songs,
          Even with myself divided such delight,
          Or looked that way for aught that might be clothed
          In human language), easily I passed
          From the remembrances of better things,                    240
          And slipped into the ordinary works
          Of careless youth, unburthened, unalarmed.
          'Caverns' there were within my mind which sun
          Could never penetrate, yet did there not
          Want store of leafy 'arbours' where the light
          Might enter in at will. Companionships,
          Friendships, acquaintances, were welcome all.
          We sauntered, played, or rioted; we talked
          Unprofitable talk at morning hours;
          Drifted about along the streets and walks,                 250
          Read lazily in trivial books, went forth
          To gallop through the country in blind zeal
          Of senseless horsemanship, or on the breast
          Of Cam sailed boisterously, and let the stars
          Come forth, perhaps without one quiet thought.

            Such was the tenor of the second act
          In this new life. Imagination slept,
          And yet not utterly. I could not print
          Ground where the grass had yielded to the steps
          Of generations of illustrious men,                         260
          Unmoved. I could not always lightly pass
          Through the same gateways, sleep where they had slept,
          Wake where they waked, range that inclosure old,
          That garden of great intellects, undisturbed.
          Place also by the side of this dark sense
          Of noble feeling, that those spiritual men,
          Even the great Newton's own ethereal self,
          Seemed humbled in these precincts thence to be
          The more endeared. Their several memories here
          (Even like their persons in their portraits clothed        270
          With the accustomed garb of daily life)
          Put on a lowly and a touching grace
          Of more distinct humanity, that left
          All genuine admiration unimpaired.

            Beside the pleasant Mill of Trompington
          I laughed with Chaucer in the hawthorn shade;
          Heard him, while birds were warbling, tell his tales
          Of amorous passion. And that gentle Bard,
          Chosen by the Muses for their Page of State--
          Sweet Spenser, moving through his clouded heaven           280
          With the moon's beauty and the moon's soft pace,
          I called him Brother, Englishman, and Friend!
          Yea, our blind Poet, who in his later day,
          Stood almost single; uttering odious truth--
          Darkness before, and danger's voice behind,
          Soul awful--if the earth has ever lodged
          An awful soul--I seemed to see him here
          Familiarly, and in his scholar's dress
          Bounding before me, yet a stripling youth--
          A boy, no better, with his rosy cheeks                     290
          Angelical, keen eye, courageous look,
          And conscious step of purity and pride.
          Among the band of my compeers was one
          Whom chance had stationed in the very room
          Honoured by Milton's name. O temperate Bard!
          Be it confest that, for the first time, seated
          Within thy innocent lodge and oratory,
          One of a festive circle, I poured out
          Libations, to thy memory drank, till pride
          And gratitude grew dizzy in a brain                        300
          Never excited by the fumes of wine
          Before that hour, or since. Then, forth I ran
          From the assembly; through a length of streets,
          Ran, ostrich-like, to reach our chapel door
          In not a desperate or opprobrious time,
          Albeit long after the importunate bell
          Had stopped, with wearisome Cassandra voice
          No longer haunting the dark winter night.
          Call back, O Friend! a moment to thy mind,
          The place itself and fashion of the rites.                 310
          With careless ostentation shouldering up
          My surplice, through the inferior throng I clove
          Of the plain Burghers, who in audience stood
          On the last skirts of their permitted ground,
          Under the pealing organ. Empty thoughts!
          I am ashamed of them: and that great Bard,
          And thou, O Friend! who in thy ample mind
          Hast placed me high above my best deserts,
          Ye will forgive the weakness of that hour,
          In some of its unworthy vanities,                          320
          Brother to many more.
                                In this mixed sort
          The months passed on, remissly, not given up
          To wilful alienation from the right,
          Or walks of open scandal, but in vague
          And loose indifference, easy likings, aims
          Of a low pitch--duty and zeal dismissed,
          Yet Nature, or a happy course of things
          Not doing in their stead the needful work.
          The memory languidly revolved, the heart
          Reposed in noontide rest, the inner pulse                  330
          Of contemplation almost failed to beat.
          Such life might not inaptly be compared
          To a floating island, an amphibious spot
          Unsound, of spongy texture, yet withal
          Not wanting a fair face of water weeds
          And pleasant flowers. The thirst of living praise,
          Fit reverence for the glorious Dead, the sight
          Of those long vistas, sacred catacombs,
          Where mighty 'minds' lie visibly entombed,
          Have often stirred the heart of youth, and bred            340
          A fervent love of rigorous discipline.--
          Alas! such high emotion touched not me.
          Look was there none within these walls to shame
          My easy spirits, and discountenance
          Their light composure, far less to instil
          A calm resolve of mind, firmly addressed
          To puissant efforts. Nor was this the blame
          Of others but my own; I should, in truth,
          As far as doth concern my single self,
          Misdeem most widely, lodging it elsewhere:                 350
          For I, bred up, 'mid Nature's luxuries,
          Was a spoiled child, and, rumbling like the wind,
          As I had done in daily intercourse
          With those crystalline rivers, solemn heights,
          And mountains, ranging like a fowl of the air,
          I was ill-tutored for captivity;
          To quit my pleasure, and, from month to month,
          Take up a station calmly on the perch
          Of sedentary peace. Those lovely forms
          Had also left less space within my mind,                   360
          Which, wrought upon instinctively, had found
          A freshness in those objects of her love,
          A winning power, beyond all other power.
          Not that I slighted books,--that were to lack
          All sense,--but other passions in me ruled,
          Passions more fervent, making me less prompt
          To in-door study than was wise or well,
          Or suited to those years. Yet I, though used
          In magisterial liberty to rove,
          Culling such flowers of learning as might tempt            370
          A random choice, could shadow forth a place
          (If now I yield not to a flattering dream)
          Whose studious aspect should have bent me down
          To instantaneous service; should at once
          Have made me pay to science and to arts
          And written lore, acknowledged my liege lord,
          A homage frankly offered up, like that
          Which I had paid to Nature. Toil and pains
          In this recess, by thoughtful Fancy built,
          Should spread from heart to heart; and stately groves,     380
          Majestic edifices, should not want
          A corresponding dignity within.
          The congregating temper that pervades
          Our unripe years, not wasted, should be taught
          To minister to works of high attempt--
          Works which the enthusiast would perform with love.
          Youth should be awed, religiously possessed
          With a conviction of the power that waits
          On knowledge, when sincerely sought and prized
          For its own sake, on glory and on praise                   390
          If but by labour won, and fit to endure
          The passing day; should learn to put aside
          Her trappings here, should strip them off abashed
          Before antiquity and stedfast truth
          And strong book-mindedness; and over all
          A healthy sound simplicity should reign,
          A seemly plainness, name it what you will,
          Republican or pious.
                                If these thoughts
          Are a gratuitous emblazonry
          That mocks the recreant age 'we' live in, then             400
          Be Folly and False-seeming free to affect
          Whatever formal gait of discipline
          Shall raise them highest in their own esteem--
          Let them parade among the Schools at will,
          But spare the House of God. Was ever known
          The witless shepherd who persists to drive
          A flock that thirsts not to a pool disliked?
          A weight must surely hang on days begun
          And ended with such mockery. Be wise,
          Ye Presidents and Deans, and, till the spirit              410
          Of ancient times revive, and youth be trained
          At home in pious service, to your bells
          Give seasonable rest, for 'tis a sound
          Hollow as ever vexed the tranquil air;
          And your officious doings bring disgrace
          On the plain steeples of our English Church,
          Whose worship, 'mid remotest village trees,
          Suffers for this. Even Science, too, at hand
          In daily sight of this irreverence,
          Is smitten thence with an unnatural taint,                 420
          Loses her just authority, falls beneath
          Collateral suspicion, else unknown.
          This truth escaped me not, and I confess,
          That having 'mid my native hills given loose
          To a schoolboy's vision, I had raised a pile
          Upon the basis of the coming time,
          That fell in ruins round me. Oh, what joy
          To see a sanctuary for our country's youth
          Informed with such a spirit as might be
          Its own protection; a primeval grove,                      430
          Where, though the shades with cheerfulness were filled,
          Nor indigent of songs warbled from crowds
          In under-coverts, yet the countenance
          Of the whole place should bear a stamp of awe;
          A habitation sober and demure
          For ruminating creatures; a domain
          For quiet things to wander in; a haunt
          In which the heron should delight to feed
          By the shy rivers, and the pelican
          Upon the cypress spire in lonely thought                   440
          Might sit and sun himself.--Alas! Alas!
          In vain for such solemnity I looked;
          Mine eyes were crossed by butterflies, ears vexed
          By chattering popinjays; the inner heart
          Seemed trivial, and the impresses without
          Of a too gaudy region.
                                  Different sight
          Those venerable Doctors saw of old,
          When all who dwelt within these famous walls
          Led in abstemiousness a studious life;
          When, in forlorn and naked chambers cooped                 450
          And crowded, o'er the ponderous books they hung
          Like caterpillars eating out their way
          In silence, or with keen devouring noise
          Not to be tracked or fathered. Princes then
          At matins froze, and couched at curfew-time,
          Trained up through piety and zeal to prize
          Spare diet, patient labour, and plain weeds.
          O seat of Arts! renowned throughout the world!
          Far different service in those homely days
          The Muses' modest nurslings underwent                      460
          From their first childhood: in that glorious time
          When Learning, like a stranger come from far,
          Sounding through Christian lands her trumpet, roused
          Peasant and king; when boys and youths, the growth
          Of ragged villages and crazy huts,
          Forsook their homes, and, errant in the quest
          Of Patron, famous school or friendly nook,
          Where, pensioned, they in shelter might sit down,
          From town to town and through wide scattered realms
          Journeyed with ponderous folios in their hands;            470
          And often, starting from some covert place,
          Saluted the chance comer on the road,
          Crying, "An obolus, a penny give
          To a poor scholar!"--when illustrious men,
          Lovers of truth, by penury constrained,
          Bucer, Erasmus, or Melancthon, read
          Before the doors or windows of their cells
          By moonshine through mere lack of taper light.

            But peace to vain regrets! We see but darkly
          Even when we look behind us, and best things               480
          Are not so pure by nature that they needs
          Must keep to all, as fondly all believe,
          Their highest promise. If the mariner,
          When at reluctant distance he hath passed
          Some tempting island, could but know the ills
          That must have fallen upon him had he brought
          His bark to land upon the wished-for shore,
          Good cause would oft be his to thank the surf
          Whose white belt scared him thence, or wind that blew
          Inexorably adverse: for myself                             490
          I grieve not; happy is the gowned youth,
          Who only misses what I missed, who falls
          No lower than I fell.
                                 I did not love,
          Judging not ill perhaps, the timid course
          Of our scholastic studies; could have wished
          To see the river flow with ampler range
          And freer pace; but more, far more, I grieved
          To see displayed among an eager few,
          Who in the field of contest persevered,
          Passions unworthy of youth's generous heart                500
          And mounting spirit, pitiably repaid,
          When so disturbed, whatever palms are won.
          From these I turned to travel with the shoal
          Of more unthinking natures, easy minds
          And pillowy; yet not wanting love that makes
          The day pass lightly on, when foresight sleeps,
          And wisdom and the pledges interchanged
          With our own inner being are forgot.

            Yet was this deep vacation not given up
          To utter waste. Hitherto I had stood                       510
          In my own mind remote from social life,
          (At least from what we commonly so name,)
          Like a lone shepherd on a promontory
          Who lacking occupation looks far forth
          Into the boundless sea, and rather makes
          Than finds what he beholds. And sure it is,
          That this first transit from the smooth delights
          And wild outlandish walks of simple youth
          To something that resembles an approach
          Towards human business, to a privileged world              520
          Within a world, a midway residence
          With all its intervenient imagery,
          Did better suit my visionary mind,
          Far better, than to have been bolted forth,
          Thrust out abruptly into Fortune's way
          Among the conflicts of substantial life;
          By a more just gradation did lead on
          To higher things; more naturally matured,
          For permanent possession, better fruits,
          Whether of truth or virtue, to ensue.                      530
          In serious mood, but oftener, I confess,
          With playful zest of fancy, did we note
          (How could we less?) the manners and the ways
          Of those who lived distinguished by the badge
          Of good or ill report; or those with whom
          By frame of Academic discipline
          We were perforce connected, men whose sway
          And known authority of office served
          To set our minds on edge, and did no more.
          Nor wanted we rich pastime of this kind,                   540
          Found everywhere, but chiefly in the ring
          Of the grave Elders, men unscoured, grotesque
          In character, tricked out like aged trees
          Which through the lapse of their infirmity
          Give ready place to any random seed
          That chooses to be reared upon their trunks.

            Here on my view, confronting vividly
          Those shepherd swains whom I had lately left
          Appeared a different aspect of old age;
          How different! yet both distinctly marked,                 550
          Objects embossed to catch the general eye,
          Or portraitures for special use designed,
          As some might seem, so aptly do they serve
          To illustrate Nature's book of rudiments--
          That book upheld as with maternal care
          When she would enter on her tender scheme
          Of teaching comprehension with delight,
          And mingling playful with pathetic thoughts.

            The surfaces of artificial life
          And manners finely wrought, the delicate race              560
          Of colours, lurking, gleaming up and down
          Through that state arras woven with silk and gold;
          This wily interchange of snaky hues,
          Willingly or unwillingly revealed,
          I neither knew nor cared for; and as such
          Were wanting here, I took what might be found
          Of less elaborate fabric. At this day
          I smile, in many a mountain solitude
          Conjuring up scenes as obsolete in freaks
          Of character, in points of wit as broad,                   570
          As aught by wooden images performed
          For entertainment of the gaping crowd
          At wake or fair. And oftentimes do flit
          Remembrances before me of old men--
          Old humourists, who have been long in their graves,
          And having almost in my mind put off
          Their human names, have into phantoms passed
          Of texture midway between life and books.

            I play the loiterer: 'tis enough to note
          That here in dwarf proportions were expressed              580
          The limbs of the great world; its eager strifes
          Collaterally pourtrayed, as in mock fight,
          A tournament of blows, some hardly dealt
          Though short of mortal combat; and whate'er
          Might in this pageant be supposed to hit
          An artless rustic's notice, this way less,
          More that way, was not wasted upon me--
          And yet the spectacle may well demand
          A more substantial name, no mimic show,
          Itself a living part of a live whole,                      590
          A creek in the vast sea; for, all degrees
          And shapes of spurious fame and short-lived praise
          Here sate in state, and fed with daily alms
          Retainers won away from solid good;
          And here was Labour, his own bond-slave; Hope,
          That never set the pains against the prize;
          Idleness halting with his weary clog,
          And poor misguided Shame, and witless Fear,
          And simple Pleasure foraging for Death;
          Honour misplaced, and Dignity astray;                      600
          Feuds, factions, flatteries, enmity, and guile,
          Murmuring submission, and bald government,
          (The idol weak as the idolater),
          And Decency and Custom starving Truth,
          And blind Authority beating with his staff
          The child that might have led him; Emptiness
          Followed as of good omen, and meek Worth
          Left to herself unheard of and unknown.

            Of these and other kindred notices
          I cannot say what portion is in truth                      610
          The naked recollection of that time,
          And what may rather have been called to life
          By after-meditation. But delight
          That, in an easy temper lulled asleep,
          Is still with Innocence its own reward,
          This was not wanting. Carelessly I roamed
          As through a wide museum from whose stores
          A casual rarity is singled out
          And has its brief perusal, then gives way
          To others, all supplanted in their turn;                   620
          Till 'mid this crowded neighbourhood of things
          That are by nature most unneighbourly,
          The head turns round and cannot right itself;
          And though an aching and a barren sense
          Of gay confusion still be uppermost,
          With few wise longings and but little love,
          Yet to the memory something cleaves at last,
          Whence profit may be drawn in times to come.

            Thus in submissive idleness, my Friend!
          The labouring time of autumn, winter, spring,              630
          Eight months! rolled pleasingly away; the ninth
          Came and returned me to my native hills.


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