Where things that own not Man's dominion dwell,
And mortal foot hath ne'er or rarely been;
To climb the trackless mountain all unseen,
With the wild flock that never needs a fold;
Alone o'er steeps and foaming falls to lean;
This is not Solitude—'tis but to hold
Converse with Nature's charms, and view her stores unrolled.
But midst the crowd, the hum, the shock of men,
To hear, to see, to feel, and to possess,
And roam along, the World's tired denizen,
With none who bless us, none whom we can bless;
Minions of Splendour shrinking from distress!
None that, with kindred consciousness endued,
If we were not, would seem to smile the less,
Of all that flattered—followed—sought, and sued;
This is to be alone—This, This is Solitude!
More blest the life of godly Eremite,
- —— and foaming linns to lean.—[MS. D. erased.]
- [There are none to bless us, for when we are in distress the great, the rich, the gay, shrink from us; and when we are popular and prosperous those who court us care nothing for us apart from our success. Neither do they bless us, or we them.]
- This is to live alone—This, This is solitude.—[MS. D.]
- [The MS. of stanza xxvii. is on the fly-leaf of a bound