The poet sat down on the bench beside him, and he and Ernest talked together.
Often had the poet held intercourse with the wittiest and the wisest, but never before
with a man like Ernest, Whose thoughts and feelings gushed up with such a natural freedom,
and who made great truths so familiar by his simple utterance of them. Angels, as had been
so often said, seemed to have wrought with him at his labor in the fields; angels seemed
to have sat with him by the fireside; and, dwelling with the angels as friend with
friends, he had imbibed the sublimity of their ideas, and imbued it with the sweet and
lowly charm of household words. So thought the poet. And Ernest, on the other hand, was
moved and agitated by the living images which the poet flung out of his mind, and which
peopled all the air about the cottage-door with shapes of beauty, both joyful and pensive.
The sympathies of these two men instructed them with a profounder sense than either could
have attained alone. Their minds accorded into one strain, and made delightful music which
neither of them could have claimed as all his own, nor distinguished his own share from
the other's. They led one another, as it were, into a high pavilion of their thoughts, so
remote, and hitherto so dim, that they had never entered it before, and so beautiful that
they desired to be there always.