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(Childe Harold, Canto ii. Stanzas 25, 26.)
TO sit on rocks, to muse o’er flood and fell,
To slowly trace the forest;s shady scene,
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 unroll’d
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 flatter’d, follow’d, sought, and sued;
This is to be alone; this, this is solitude.
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