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only be used by indulgence, and we have all a propensity to talk about things we do not understand.
TO HIS BROTHER NEVILLE.
I AM very sensible af all your affection, in your anxiety that I should not diminish my books; but I am by no means relieved from the anxiety which, on more accounts than one, I am under, as to my present situation, › so great a burthen to the family, when I ought to be a support. My father made some heavy complaints when I was at home, and though I am induced to believe that he is enough harassed to render it very excusable, yet I cannot but feel strongly the peculiarity of my situation; and, at my age, feel ashamed that I should add to his burthens, At present I have my hands completely tied behind me. When I get to college I hope to have more opportunities of advantage, and, if I am fortunate, I shall probably relieve my father and mother from the
Winteringham, Aug. 20th 1805.
weight which I now lay upon them. I wish you, if you read this letter to my mother, to omit this part.
TO CAPEL LOFFT, ESQ.
Winteringham, Sept. 10th, 1805.
YOUR letter has at length reached me at this place, where I have been for the last ten months employed in classical reading, with Mr. Grainger, It gives me pleasure to hear of you, and of poetry; for, since I came here, I have not only been utterly shut out from all intercourse with the lettered world, but have totally laid aside the pen of inspiration. I have been actuated to this by a sense of duty; for I wish to prove that I have not coveted the ministerial office through the desire of learned leisure, but with an ardent wish to do my duty, as a teacher of the truth. I should blush to present myself as a candidate for that office in an unqualified and unprepared state, and as I have placed my idea of the necessary qualifications very high, all the time between now and my taking my degree will be little enough for these purposes alone. I often, however, cast a look of -fond regret to the darling occupations of my younger
hours, and the tears rush into my eyes, as I fancy I see the few wild flowers of poetic genius, with which I have been blessed, withering with neglect. Poetry has been to me something more than amusement, it has been a cheering companion, when I have had no other to fly to; and a delightful solace, when consolation has been in some measure needful. I cannot, therefore, discard so old and faithful a friend without deep regret, especially when I reflect that, stung by my ingratitude, he may desert me for ever!
With regard to your intended publication, you do me too much honour by inserting my puerilities along with such good company, as I know I shall meet there. I wish I could present you with some sonnets worthy of work. I have looked back amongst my your old papers, and find a few verses under that name, which were written between the time when "Clifton Grove" was sent to the press, and its final appearance. The looking over these papers has recalled a little of my old warmth, and I have scribbled some lines, which, as they owe their rise to your letter, I may fairly (if I have room) present to you. I cannot read the sonnets which I have found amongst my papers with pleasure, and therefore I shall not presume to shew them to you. I shall anxiously expect the publication of your work.
I shall be in Cambridge next month, being admitted a
Sizar at St. John's. Trinity would have suited my plans better, but the expenses of that college are greater.
With thanks for your kind remembrance of me, I remain,
Very respectfully and thankfully yours,
YES, my stray steps have wander'd, wander'd far
Warm my reluctant heart.—Yes, I would throw,
The summer and the spring, the wind and rain,
And mutter some obscure and charmed rhyme, And I could follow thee, on thy night's work, Up to the regions of thrice-chastened fire, Or in the caverns of the ocean flood, Thrid the light mazes of thy volant foot. Yet other duties call me, and mine ear Must turn away from the high minstrelsy Of thy soul-trancing harp, unwillingly Must turn away;-there are severer strains, (And surely they are sweet as ever smote The ear of spirit, from this mortal coil Releas'd and disembodied) there are strains Forbid to all, save those whom solemn thought, Thro' the probation of revolving years, And mighty converse with the spirit of truth, Have purged and purified.-To these my soul, Aspireth; and to this sublimer end
I gird myself, and climb the toilsome steep With patient expectation.-Yea, sometimes Foretaste of bliss rewards me; and sometimes Spirits unseen upon my footsteps wait,
And minister strange music, which doth seem Now near, now distant, now on high, now low, Then swelling from all sides, with bliss complete, And full fruition filling all the soul.
Surely such ministry, tho' rare, may soothe