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But you, sir, know that in a neighbouring vale | Hamlet, and town; and picty survive
And grave encouragement, by song inspired. of reason, honourably effaced by debts
Vain thought! but wherefore murmur or repine ? Which her poor treasure house is content to owe, The memory of the just survives in heaven : And conquest over her dominion gain'd,
And, without sorrow, will this ground receive To which her frowardness must needs submit. That venerable clay. Meanwhile the best In this one man is shown a temperance-proof Of what it holds confines us to degrees Against all trials ; industry severe
In excellence less difficult to reach, And constant as the motion of the day ;
And milder worth: nor need we travel far Stern self-denial round him spread, with shade From those to whom our last regards were paid, That might be deem'd forbidding, did not there For such example. All generous feelings flourish and rejoice ;
Almost at the root Forbearance, charity in deed and thought,
Of that tall pine, the shadow of whose bare And resolution competent to take
And slender stem, while here I sit at eve, Out of the bosom of simplicity
Oft stretches towards me, like a long straight path All that her holy customs recommend,
| Traced faintly in the greensward ; there, beneath And the best ages of the world prescribe.
A plain blue stone, a gentle dalesman lies, Preaching, administering, in every work
From whom, in early childhood, was withdrawn or his sublime vocation, in the walks
The precious gift of hearing. He grew up Of worldly intercourse 'twixt man and man, From year to year in loneliness of soul; And in his humble dwelling, he appears
And this deep mountain valley was to him A labourer, with moral virtue girt,
Soundless, with all its streams. The bird of dawn With spiritual graces, like a glory, crown'd.” Did never rouse this cottager from sleep
" Doubt can be none,” the pastor said, “ for whom With startling summons: not for his delight
Murmur'd the labouring bee. When stormy winds
Along the sharp edge of yon lofty crags, In a dependent chapelry, that lies
The agitated scene before his eye Behind yon hill, a poor and rugged wild,
Was silent as a picture : evermore Which in his soul he lovingly cmbraced,
Were all things silent, wheresoe'er he moved. And, having once espoused, would never quit; Yet, by the solace of his own pure thoughts Hither, ere long, that lowly, great, good man Upheld, he duteously pursued the round Will be convey'd. An unelaborate stone
Of rural labours; the steep mountain side May cover him; and by its help, perchance, Ascended with his staff and faithful dog ; A century shall hear his name pronounced,
The plough he guided, and the scythe he sway'd; With images attendant on the sound :
And the ripe corn before his sickle fell Then, shall the slowly gathering twilight close Among the jocund reapers. For himself, In utter night; and of his course remain
All watchful and industrious as he was, No cognizable vestiges, no more
He wrought not; neither field nor flock he own'd: Than of this breath, which shapes itself in words No wish for wealth had place within his mind; To speak of him, and instantly dissolves.
Nor husband's love, nor father's hope or care. Noise is there not enough in doleful war,
Though born a younger brother, need was none But that the heaven-born poet must stand forth, That from the floor of his paternal home And lend the echoes of his sacred shell,
He should depart, to plant himself anew. To multiply and aggravate the din ?
And when, mature in manhood, he beheld Pangs are there not enough in hopeless love His parents laid in earth, no loss ensued And, in requited passion, all too much
Of rights to him ; but he remain'd well pleased, Of turbulence, anxiety, and fear
By the pure bond of independent love But that the minstrel of the rural shade
An inmate of a second family, Must tune his pipe, insiduously to nurse
The fellow labourer and friend of him The perturbation in the suffering breast,
To whom the small inheritance had fall'n. And propagate its kind, far as he may ?
Nor deem that his mild presence was a weight Al who (and with such rapture as befits
That press'd upon his brother's house, for books The hallow'd theme) will rise and celebrate Were ready comrades whom he could not tire,The good man's deeds and purposes ; retrace Of whose society the blameless man His struggles, his discomfiture deplore,
Was never satiate. Their familiar voice, His triumphs hail, and glorify his end?
E'en to old age, with unabated charm That virtue, like the fumes and vapory clouds Beguiled his leisure hours; refresh'd his thoughts ; Through fancy's heat redounding in the brain, Beyond its natural elevation raised And like the soft infections of the heart,
His introverted spirit: and bestow'd By charm of measured words may spread o'er field, Upon his life an outward dignity
Which all acknowledged. The dark winter night, With eloquence, and such authentic power,
Abash'd, and tender pity overawed.”
“A noble, and, to unreflecting minds, Announcing immortality and joy
A marvellous spectacle,” the wanderer said, To the assembled spirits of the just,
“ Beings like these present! But proof abounds From imperfection and decay secure.
Upon the earth that faculties which seem
And to the mind among her powers of sense
But for remoter purposes of love
" At length, when sixty years and five were told, How, likewise, under sufferance divine, A slow disease insensibly consumed
Darkness is banish'd from the realms of death, The powers of nature; and a few short steps By man's imperishable spirit quell'a. Of friends and kindred bore him from his home Unto the men who see not as we see, (Yon cottage shaded by the woody crags)
Futurity was thought, in ancient times, To the profounder stillness of the grave.
To be laid open, and they prophesied. Nor was his funeral denied the grace
And know we not that from the blind have flow'd Of many tears, virtuous and thoughtful grief; The highest, holiest raptures of the lyre; Heart sorrow rendered sweet by gratitude. And wisdom married to immortal verse ?” And now that monumental stone preserves
Among the humbler worthies, at our feet His name, and unambitiously relates
Living insensible to human praise, How long, and by what kindly outward aids, Love, or regret, whose lineaments would next And in what pure contentedness of mind,
Have been portray'd, I guess not; but it chanced The sad privation was by him endured.
That, near the quiet churchyard where we sate, And yon tall pine tree, whose composing sound A team of horses, with a ponderous freight Was wasted on the good man's living ear,
Pressing behind, adown a rugged slope, Hath now its own peculiar sanctity;
Whose sharp descent confounded their array And, at the touch of every wandering breeze, Came at that moment, ringing poisily. Murmurs, not idly, o'er his peaceful grave.
“Here,” said the pastor, “ do we muse, and “Soul-cheering light, most bountiful of things!
mourn Guide of our way, mysterious comforter!
The waste of death: and lo! the giant oak Whose sacred influence, spread through earth and Stretch'd on his bier, that massy timber wain; heaven,
Nor fail to pote the man who guides the team." We all too thanklessly participate,
He was a peasant of the lowest class : Thy gifts were utterly withheld from him
Gray locks profusely round his temples hung Whose place of rest is near yon ivied porch. In clustering curls, like ivy, which the bite Yet, of the wild brooks ask if he complained; Of winter cannot thin; the fresh air lodged Ask of the channell'd rivers if they held
Within his cheek, as light within a cloud; A safer, easier, more determined course.
And he returned our greeting with a smile. What terror doth it strike into the mind
When he had pass'd, the solitary spake: To think of one who cannot see, advancing “A man he seems of cheerful yesterdays Toward some precipice's airy brink !
And confident to-morrows; with a face But, timely warn'd, he would have stay'd his steps, Not worldly-minded, for it bears too much Protected, say enlighten'd, by his ear,
Of nature's impress--gayety and health, And on the very edge of vacancy
Freedom and hope ; but keen withal, and shrewd.
Past or to come; yea, boldly might I say,
A pride in having. or a fear to lose :
With foresight; hears, too, every Sabhath-day,
The Christian promise with attentive ear;
Felt to the centre of that heavenly calm Nor will, I trust, the Majesty of heaven
With which by nature every mother's soul Reject the incense offered up by him,
Is stricken, in the moment when her throes Though of the kind which beasts and birds present Are ended, and her cars have heard the cry In grove or pasture-cheerfulness of soul,
Which tells her that a living child is born, From trepidation and repining free.
And she lies conscious, in a blissful rest, Fiow many scrupulous worshippers fall down That the dread storm is weather'd by them both. l'pon their knees, and daily homage pay
“The father-him at this unlook'd-for gift Less worthy, less religious even, than his !
A bolder transport seizes. From the side * This qualified respect, the old man's due, Of his bright hearth, and from his open door, Is paid without reluctance; but in truth”
Day after day the gladness is diffused (Said the good vicar with a fond half-smile) To all that come, and almost all that pass; ** I feel at times a motion of despite
Invited, summond, to partake the cheer Towards one, whose bold contrivances and skill, Spread on the never-empty board, and drink As you have seen, bear such conspicuous part Health and good wishes to his new-born girl, In works of havoc; taking from these vales, From cups replenish'd by his joyous hand. One after one, their proudest ornaments.
Those seven fair brothers variously were moved Full oft his doings leave me to deplore
Each by the thoughts best suited to his years Tall ash tree, sown by winds, by vapours nursed, But most of all and with most thankful mind In the dry crannies of the pendant rocks;
The hoary grandsire felt himself enrich'd ; Light birch, aloft upon the horizon's edge,
A happiness that ebb'd not, but remain'd A veil of glory for th' ascending moon;
To fill the total measure of the soul ! And oak whose roots by noontide dew were damp'd, From the low tenement, his own abode, And on whose forehead inaccessible
Whither, as to a little private cell, The raven lodged in safety. Many a ship
He had withdrawn from bustle, care, and noise, Launch'd into Morecamb Bay, to him hath owed To spend the Sabbath of old age in peace, Her strong knee-timbers, and the mast that bears Once every day he duteously repaird The loftiest of her pendants. He, from park To rock the cradle of the slumbering babe: Or forest, fetch'd the enormous axletree
For in that female infant's name he heard That whirls (how slow itself!) ten thousand spindles: The silent name of his departed wife; And the vast engine labouring in the mine, Heart-stirring music ! hourly heard that name; Content with meaner prowess, must have lack'd Full blest he was, ' Another Margaret Green,' The trunk and body of its marvellous strength, Oft did he say, 'was come to Gold-rill side.' If his undaunted enterprise had fail'd
Oh! pang unthought of, as the precious boon Among the mountain coves.
Itself had been unlook'd for; oh! dire stroke
Yon household fir, of desolating anguish for them all! A guardian planted to fence off the blast.
Just as the child could totter on the floor, But towering high the roof above, as if
And, by some friendly finger's help upstay'd, . Its humble destination were forgot;
Range round the garden walk, while she perchance That sycamore, which annually holds
Was catching at some novelty of spring, Within its shade, as in a stately tent
Ground-flower, or glossy insect from its cell On all sides open to the fanning breeze,
Drawn by the sunshine-at that hopeful season A grave assemblage, seated while they shear The winds of March, smiting insidiously, The fleece-encumber'd flock; the joyful elm, Raised in the tender passage of the throat Around whose trunk the maidens dance in May; Viewless obstruction; whence, all unforewarn'd, And the lord's oak, -would plead their several | The household lost their pride and soul's delight. rights
But time hath power to soften all regrets, In vain, if he were master of their fate:
And prayer and thought can bring to worst distress His sentence to the axe would doom them all. Due resignation. Therefore, though some tears But, green in age and lusty as he is,
Fail not to spring from either parent's eye And promising to keep his hold on earth
Oft as they hear of sorrow like their own,
Yet this departed little one, too long
In what may now be call'd a peaceful grave. And, like the haughty spoilers of the world, | “On a bright day, the brightest of the year, This keen destroyer in his turn must fall.
These mountains echo'd with an unknown sound, “ Now from the living pass we once again; A volley, thrice repeated o'er the corse From age,” the priest continued, “ turn your Let down into the hollow of that grave, thoughts;
Whose shelving sides are red with naked mould. From age, that often unlamented drops,
Ye rains of April, duly wet this earth! And mark that daisied hillock, three spans long! Spare, burning sun of midsummer, these sods, Seven lusty sons sate daily round the board That they may knit together, and therewith Of Gold-rill side ; and, when the hope had ceased Our thoughts unite in kindred quietness! Of other progeny, a daughter then
Nor so the valley shall forget her loss. Was given, the crowning bounty of the whole; Dear youth, by young and old alike beloved, And so acknowledged with a tremulous joy I To me as precious as my own! Green herbs 60
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May creep (I wish that they would softly creep) | And yet a modest comrade, led them forth
From their shy solitude, to face the world
With a gay confidence and seemly pride; The ridge itself may sink into the breast
Measuring the soil beneath their happy feet, Of earth, the great abyss, and be no more; Like youths released from labour, and yet bound Yet shall not thy remembrance leave our hearts, To most laborious service, though to them Thy image disappear!
A festival of unencumber'd ease; « The mountain ash The inner spirit keeping holyday, No eye can overlook, when 'mid a grove
Like vernal ground to sabbath sunshine left. of yet unfaded trees she lifts her head,
“Oft have I mark'd him at some leisure bour, Deck'd with autumnal berries, that outshine Stretch'd on the grass or seated in the shade Spring's richest blossoms; and ye may have mark'd, Among his fellows, while an ample map By a brook side or solitary tarn,
Before their eyes lay carefully outspread, How she her station doth adorn; the pool
From which the gallant teacher would discourse, Glows at her feet, and all the gloomy rocks Now pointing this way and now that. Here flows,' Are brighten'd round her. In his native vale Thus would he say, the Rhine, that famous stream! Such and so glorious did this youth appear; Eastward, the Danube toward this inland sea, A sight that kindled pleasure in all hearts
A mightier river, winds from realm to realm, By his ingenuous beauty, by the gleam
And, like a serpent, shows his glittering back Of his fair eyes, by his capacious brow,
Bespotted with innumerable isles : By all the graces with which natura's hand
Here reigns the Russian, there the Turk ; observe Had lavishly array'd him. As old bards
His capital city! Thence, along a tract Tell in their idle songs of wandering gods, Of livelier interest to his hopes and fears Pan or Apollo, veil'd in human form ;
His finger moved, distinguishing the spots Yet, like the sweet-breath'd violet of the shade, Where wide-spread conflict then most fiercely raged; Discover'd in their own despite to sense
Nor left unstigmatized those fatal fields of mortals, (if such fables without blame
On which the sons of mighty Germany May find chance mention on this sacred ground,) Were taught a base submission. · Here behold So, through a simple rustic garb's disguise, A nobler race, the Switzers, and their land; And through th' impediment of rural cares, Vales deeper far than these of ours, huge woods In him reveal'd a scholar's genius shone;
And mountains white with everlasting snow! And so, not wholly hidden from men's sight, And, surely, he, that spake with kindling brow, In bim the spirit of a hero walk'd
Was a true patriot, hopeful as the best Our unpretending valley. How the coit. Of that young peasantry, who, in our days, Whizz'd from the stripling's arm! If touch'd by Have fought and perish'd for Helvetia's rights, him,
Ah, not in vain Sor those who, in old time, Th' inglorious football mounted to the pitch For work of happier issue to the side Of the lark's flight, or shaped a rainbow curve, Of Tell came trooping from a thousand huts, Aloft, in prospect of the shouting field !
When he had risen alone! No braver youth The indefatigable fox had learn'd
Descended from Judean heights, to march To dread his perseverance in the chase.
With righteous Joshua; or appeard in arms With admiration would he lift his eyes
When grove was fell’d, and altar was cast down, To the wide-ruling eagle, and his hand
And Gideon blew the trumpet, soul-inflamed, Was loath to assault the majesty he loved;
And strong in hatred of idolatry.” Else had the strongest fastnesses proved weak This spoken, from his seat the pastor rose, To guard the royal brood. The sailing glead, And moved towards the grave. Instinctively The wheeling swallow, and the darting snipe, His steps we follow'd ; and my voice exclaim'd, The sportive sea-gull dancing with the waves, “ Power to th’ oppressors of the world is given, And cautious water-fowl from distant climes, A might of which they dream not. O! the curse, Fix'd at their seat, the centre of the mere,
To be th' awakener of divinest thoughts, Were subject to young Oswald's steady aim. Father and Founder of exalted deeds,
“From Gallia's coast a tyrant hurl'd his threats ; And to whole nations bound in servile straits Our country mark'd the preparation vast
The liberal donor of capacities Of hostile forces; and she call's, with voice More than heroic ! this to be, nor yet That fill'd her plains, that reach'd her utmost shores, Have sense of one connatural wish, nor yet And in remotest vales was heard,-To arms! Deserve the least return of human thanks; Then, for the first time, here you might have seen Winning no recompense but deadly hate The shepherd's gray to martial scarlet changed, With pity mix'd, astonishment with scorn !" That flash'd uncouthly through the woods and fields. When these involuntary words had ceased, Ten hardy striplings, all in bright attire,
The pastor said, “ So Providence is served; And graced with shining weapons, weekly march'd | The forked weapon of the skies can send From this lone valley, to a central spot,
Illumination into deep, dark holds, Where, in assemblage with the flower and choice Which the mild sunbeam hath not power to pierce. Of the surrounding district, they might learn Why do ye quake, intimidated thrones? The rudiments of war; ten--hardy, strong, For, not unconscious of the mighty debt And valiant; but young Oswald, like a chief, Which to outrageous wrong the sufferer owes,
Europe, through all her habitable seats,
Tender emotions spreading from the heart Is thirsting for their overthrow, who still
To his worn cheek; or with uneasy shame Exist, as pagan temples stood of old,
For those cold humours of babitual spleen, By very horror of their impious rites
That fondly seeking in dispraise of man Preserved ; are suffer'd to extend their pride, Solace and self-excuse, had sometimes urged Like cedars on the top of Lebanon
To self-abuse a not ineloquent tongue.
Had been directed ; and we saw him now
Whose uncouth form was grafted on the wall, A peasant youth, so call him, for he ask'd | Or rather seemid to have grown into the side No higher name ; in whom our country show'd, of the rude pile; as ofttimes trunks of trees, As in a favourite son, most beautiful.
Where nature works in wild and craggy spots, In spite of vice, and misery, and disease,
Are seen incorporate with the living rock, Spread with the spreading of her wealthy arts, To endure for aye. The vicar, taking note England, the ancient and the free, appear'd of his employment, with a courteous smile In him to stand before my swimming eyes, Exclaim'd, “ The sagest antiquarian's eye Unconquerably virtuous and secure.
That task would foil;" then, letting fall his voice No more of this, lest I offend his dust:
While he advanced, thus spake: “ Tradition tells Short was his life, and a brief tale remains.
That, in Eliza's golden days, a knight
'Tis left untold if here he first drew breath,
To Scotland's court in service of his queen, Plunged-mid a gay and busy throng convened Or sent on mission to some northern chief To wash the fleeces of his father's flock
Of England's realm, this vale he might have seen, Into the chilling flood.
With transient observation; and thence caught “Convulsions dire
An image fair, which brightening in his soul Seized him that selfsame night; and through the When joy of war and pride of chivalry space
Languish'd beneath accumulated years,
To make that paradise his chosen home
Vague thoughts are these; but, if belief may rest
From sire to son, in this obscure retreat
His sole companion, and his faithful friend,
By those untravell’d dalesmen. With less pride, They started at the tributary peal
Yet free from touch of envious discontent, Of instantaneous thunder, which announced They saw a mansion at his bidding rise, Through the still air the closing of the grave; Like a bright star amid the lowly band And distant mountains echo'd with a sound Of their rude homesteads. Here the warrior dwelt; Of lamentation never heard before !"
And, in that mansion, children of his own, The pastor ceased. My venerable friend
Or kindred, gather'd round him. As a tree Victoriously upraised his clear bright eye;
That falls and disappears, the house is gone; And, when that eulogy was ended, stood
And, through improvidence or want of love Enrapt, as if his inward sense perceived
For ancient worth and honourable things, The prolongation of some still response,
The spear and shield are vanish'd, which the knight Sent by the ancient soul of this wide land, Hung in his rustic hall. One ivied arch The spirit of its mountains and its seas,
Myself have seen, a gateway, last remains Its cities, temples, fields, its awful power,
Of that foundation in domestic care Its rights and virtues-by that Deity
Raised by his hands. And now no trace is left Descending, and supporting his pure heart
Of the mild-hearted champion, save this stone, With patriotic confidence and joy.
Faithless memorial! and his family name Anå, at the last of those memorial words,
Borne by yon clustering cottages, that sprang The pining solitary turn'd aside,
From out the ruins of his stately lodge: Whether through manly instinct to conceal These, and the name and title at full length