The Germ eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 346 pages of information about The Germ.
your fathers never bought such:  so you look for nothing in it; nay, let me set you in the actual place, let the water damp your feet, stand in the chill of the shadow itself, and you will never tell me the colour on the hill, or where the last of the crows caught the sinking sunlight.  Letting observation sleep, what can you know of nature? and you are a judge of landscape indeed.  So it is that the world is taught to think of nature, as seen through other men’s eyes, without any reference to its own original powers of perception, and much natural beauty is lost.

To the Castle Ramparts

  The Castle is erect on the hill’s top,
  To moulder there all day and night:  it stands
  With the long shadow lying at its foot. 
  That is a weary height which you must climb
  Before you reach it; and a dizziness
  Turns in your eyes when you look down from it,
  So standing clearly up into the sky.

  I rose one day, having a mind to see it. 
  ’Twas on a clear Spring morning, and a blackbird
  Awoke me with his warbling near my window: 
  My dream had fashioned this into a song
  That some one with grey eyes was singing me,
  And which had drawn me so into myself
  That all the other shapes of sleep were gone: 
  And then, at last, it woke me, as I said. 
  The sun shone fully in on me; and brisk
  Cool airs, that had been cold but for his warmth,
  Blow thro’ the open casement, and sweet smells
  Of flowers with the dew yet fresh upon them,—­
  Rose-buds, and showery lilacs, and what stayed
  Of April wallflowers.

        I set early forth,
  Wishing to reach the Castle when the heat
  Should weigh upon it, vertical at noon. 
  My path lay thro’ green open fields at first,
  With now and then trees rising statelily
  Out of the grass; and afterwards came lanes
  Closed in by hedges smelling of the may,
  And overshadowed by the meeting trees. 
  So I walked on with none but pleasant thoughts;
  The Spring was in me, not alone around me,
  And smiles came rippling o’er my lips for nothing. 
  I reached at length,—­issuing from a lane
  Which wound so that it seemed about to end
  Always, yet ended not for a long while,—­
  A space of ground thick grassed and level to
  The overhanging sky and the strong sun: 
  Before me the brown sultry hill stood out,
  Peaked by its rooted Castle, like a part
  Of its own self.  I laid me in the grass,
  Turning from it, and looking on the sky,
  And listening to the humming in the air
  That hums when no sound is; because I chose
  To gaze on that which I had left, not that
  Which I had yet to see.  As one who strives
  After some knowledge known not till he sought,
  Whose soul acquaints him that his step by step
  Has led him to a few steps next the end,
  Which he foresees already, waits a little
  Before he passes onward, gathering
  Together in his thoughts what he has done.

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The Germ from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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