LONGING FOR RETIREMENT 159
wandered through the stately nave " by the pale moonlight," and it was even grander then—the beauties discovered by day mystified by the shadows of night, and around us that serenity that marks the sleep of centuries. It was near Canterbury I first heard the skylarks, those "blithe spirits " that Shelley so loved," singing while they soar, soaring while they sing." That fresh country life took from me for the moment the memory of the glare and noise, the glitter and excitement that had for so many years surrounded me. The old feeling of discontent with the practice of my art came back \vith redoubled force, and my inborn love of retirement grew more and more imperative.
" 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.
This is not solitude, 'tis but to hold Converse with Nature's charms, and see her stores unrolled." Shakespeare's Mother's Hair Red?" etc.