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tories, and sepulchral recesses, ordinarily included in those edifices.

The Author would not have deemed himself justified in saying, upon this occasion, so much of performances either unfinished, or unpublished, if he had not thought that the labour bestowed by him upon what he has heretofore and now laid before the Public, entitled him to candid attention for such a statement as he thinks necessary to throw light upon his endeavours to please and, he would hope, to benefit his countrymen.—Nothing further need be added, than that the first and third parts of The Recluse will consist chiefly of meditations in the Author's own person; and that in the intermediate part (The Excursion) the intervention of characters speaking is employed, and something of a dramatic form adopted.

It is not the Author's intention formally to announce a system : it was more animating to him to proceed in a different course ; and if he shall succeed in conveying to the mind clear thoughts, lively images, and strong feelings, the Reader will have no difficulty in extracting the system for himself. And in the mean time the following passage, taken from the conclusion of the first book of The Recluse, may be acceptable as a kind of Prospectus of the design and scope of the whole Poem.

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'On Man, on Nature, and on Human Life, Musing in solitude, I oft perceive Fair trains of imagery before me rise, Accompanied by feelings of delight Pure, or with no unpleasing sadness mixed ; And I am conscious of affecting thoughts

And dear remembrances, whose presence soothes
Or elevates the Mind, intent to weigh
The good and evil of our mortal state.

-To these emotions, whencesoe'er they come,
Whether from breath of outward circumstance,
Or from the Soul-an impulse to herself-
I would give utterance in numerous verse.
Of Truth, of Grandeur, Beauty, Love, and Hope,
And melancholy Fear subdued by Faith ;
Of blessed consolations in distress ;
Of moral strength, and intellectual Power ;
Of joy in widest commonalty spread ;
Of the individual Mind that keeps her own
Inviolate retirement, subject there
To Conscience only, and the law supreme
Of that Intelligence which governs all-
I sing :-fit audience let me find though few !'

So prayed, more gaining than he asked, the Bard,
Holiest of Men.Urania, I shall need
Thy guidance, or a greater Muse, if such
Descend to earth or dwell in highest heaven!
For I must tread on shadowy ground, must sink
Deep-and, aloft ascending, breathe in worlds
To which the heaven of heavens is but a veil.
All strengthall terror, single or in bands,

That ever was put forth in personal form
Jehovahwith his thunder, and the choir
Of shouting Angels, and the empyreal thrones-
I pass them unalarmed. Not Chaos, not
The darkest pit of lowest Erebus,
Nor aught of blinder vacancy, scooped out
By help of dreams can breed such fear and awe
As fall upon us often when we look
Into our Minds, into the Mind of Man-
My haunt, and the main region of my song.
-Beautya living Presence of the earth,

Surpassing the most fair ideal Forms Which craft of delicate Spirits hath composed From earth's materials-waits upon my steps ; Pitches her tents before me as I move, An hourly neighbour. Paradise, and groves Elysian, Fortunate Fields like those of old Sought in the Atlantic Mainwhy should they be A history only of departed things, Or a mere fiction of what never was ? For the discerning intellect of Man, When wedded to this goodly universe In love and holy passion, shall find these A simple produce of the common day. -I, long before the blissful hour arrives, Would chant, in lonely peace, the spousal verse Of this great consummation :—and, by words Which speak of nothing more than what we are, Would I arouse the sensual from their sleep Of Death, and win the vacant and the vain To noble ruptures ; while my voice proclaims How exquisitely the individual Mind (And the progressive powers perhaps no less Of the whole species) to the external World Is fitted :--and how exquisitely, tooTheme this but little heard of among menThe external World is fitted to the Mind ; And the creation (by no lower name Can it be called) which they with blended might Accomplish :--this is our high argument. --Such grateful haunts foregoing, if I oft Must turn elsewhereto travel near the tribes And fellowships of men, and see ill sights Of madding passions mutually inflamed ; Must hear Humanity in fields and groves Pipe solitary anguish ; or must hang Brooding above the fierce confederate storm Of sorrow, barricadoed evermore

Within the walls of citiesmay these sounds
Have their authentic comment ; that even these
Hearing, I be not downcast or forlorn!
Descend, prophetic Spirit ! that inspir'st
The human Soul of universal earth,
Dreaming on things to come ; and dost possess
A metropolitan temple in the hearts
Of mighty Poets : upon me bestow
A gift of genuine insight ; that my Song
With star-like virtue in its place may shine,
Shedding benignant influence, and secure
Itself, from all malevolent effect
Of those mutations that extend their sway
Throughout the nether sphere!-And if with this
I mix more lowly matter ; wi

the thing
Contemplated, describe the Mind and Man
Contemplating ; and who, and what he was-
The transitory Being that beheld
This Vision ; when and where, and how he lived ;-
Be not this labour useless. If such theme
May sort with highest objects, then--dread Power !
Whose gracious favour is the primal source
Of all illuminationmay my Life
Express the image of a better time,
More wise desires, and simpler manners ;--nurse
My Heart in genuine freedom :-all pure thoughts
Be with me ;-so shall thy unfuiling love
Guide, and support, and cheer me to the end !'

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