Sidor som bilder

Not like a dancing meteor, but in line

And, through Heaven's blessing, thus we gain the Of never-varying motion, to and fro:

bread It is po night-fire of the naked hills,

For which we pray; and for the wants provide Thought I, some friendly covert must be near. of sickness, accident, and helpless age. With this persuasion thitherward my steps Companions have I many; many friends, I turn, and reach at last the guiding light; Dependants, comfortors-my wheel, my fire, Joy to myself! but to the heart of her

All day the house-clock ticking in mine ear, Who there was standing on the open hill, The cackling hen, the tender chicken brood, (The same kind matron whom your tongue hath And the wild birds that gather round my porch. praised)

This honest shecp-dog's countenance I read: Alarm and dissappointment! The alarm

With him can talk; nor blush to waste a word Ceased, when she learn'd through what mishap 1 On creatures less intelligent and shrewd. came,

And if the blustering wind that drives the clouds And by what help had gain'd those distant fields. Care not for me, he lingers round my door, Drawn from her cottage, on that open height, And makes me pastime when our tempers suit; Bearing a lantern in her hand she stood,

But, above all, my thoughts are my support.
Or paced the ground, to guide her husband home, The matron ended—nor could I forbear
By that unwearied signal, kenn'd afar;

To exclaim, 0 happy! yielding to the law
An anxious duty! which the lofty site,

Of these privations, richer in the main ! Traversed but by a few irregular paths,

While thankless thousands are opprest and clogg'd Imposes, whensoe'er untoward chance

By ease and leisure, by the very wealth Detains him after his accustom'd hour

And pride of opportunity made poor ; Till night lies black upon the ground. “But come, While tens of thousands falter in their path, Come,' said the matron, 'to our poor abode ; And sink, through utter want of cheering light; Those dark rocks hide it! Entering, I beheld For you the hours of labour do not flag: A blazing fire, beside a cleanly hearth

For you each evening hath its shining star, Sate down ; and to her office, with leave ask'd, And every Sabbath day its golden sun.'” The dame return'd. Or ere that glowing pile

“ Yes !” said the solitary with a smile Of mountain turf required the builder's hand That seem'd to break from an expanding heart, Its wasted splendour to repair, the door

“ The untutor'd bird may found, and so construct Open'd, and she re-enter'd with glad looks,

And with such soft materials line her nest, Her helpmate following. Hospitable fare,

Fix'd in the centre of a prickly brake, Frank conversation, made the evening's treat: That the thorns wound her not: they only guard. Need a bewilder'd traveller wish for more? Powers not unjustly liken'd to those gifts But more was given; I studied as we sate Of happy instinct which the woodland bird By the bright fire, the good man's face; composed Shares with her species, nature's grace sometimes Of features elegant; an open brow

Upon the individual doth confer, Of undisturb'd humanity; a cheek

Among her higher creatures born and train'd Suffused with something of a feminine hue ; To use of reason. And, I own, that tired Eyes beaming courtesy and mild regard ;

Of th’ ostentatious world—a swelling stage But, in the quicker turns of the discourse, With empty actions and vain passions stuff?d, Expression slowly varying, that evinced

And from the private struggles of mankind A tardy apprehension. From a fount

Hoping for less than I could wish to hope, Lost, thought I, in th' obscurities of time,

Far less than once I trusted and believed But honour'd once, these features and that mien I loved to hear of those, who, not contending, May have descended, though I see them here, Nor summond to contend for virtue's prize, In such a man, so gentle and subdued,

Miss'not the humbler good at which they aim ; Withal so graceful in his gentleness,

Blest with a kindly faculty to blunt A race illustrious for heroic deeds,

The edge of adverse circumstance, and turn Humbled, but not degraded, may expire.

Into their contraries the petty plagues This pleasing fancy (cherish'd and upheld And hinderances with which they stand beset. By sundry recollections of such fall

In early youth, among my native hills, From high to low, ascent from low to high, I knew a Scottish peasant who possess'd As books record, and e'en the careless mind A few small crofts of stone-encumber'd ground; Cannot but notice among men and things) Masses of every shape and size, that lay Went with me to the place of my repose.

Scatter'd about under the mouldering walls “ Roused by the crowing cock at dawn of day, Of a rough precipice; and some, apart, I yet had risen too late to interchange

In quarters unobnoxious to such chance, A morning salutation with my host,

As if the moon had shower'd them down in spite ; Gone forth already to the far-off seat

But he repined not. Though the plough was scared Of his day's work. "Three dark mid-winter By these obstructions, 'round the shady stones months

A fertilizing moisture,' said the swain, Pass,' said the matron, and I never see,

*Gathers, and is preserved; and feeding dews Save when the Sabbath brings its kind release, And damps, through all the droughty summer day, My helpmate's face by light of day. He quits From out their substance issuing maintain His door in darkness, nor till dusk returns. Herbage that never fails : no grass springs up

So green, so fresh, so plentiful, as mine!'

Tyrants who utter the destroying word, But thinly sown these natures; rare, at least, And slaves who will consent to be destroy'dThe mutual aptitude of seed and soil

Were of one species with the shelter'd few, That yields such kindly product. He, whose bed Who, with a dutiful and tender hand, Perhaps yon loose sods cover, the poor pensioner Did lodge, in an appropriated spot, Brought yesterday from our sequester'd dell This file of infants; some that never breathed Here to lie down in lasting quiet—he,

The vital air ; and others, who, allow'd If living now, could otherwise report

That privilege, did yet expire too soon,
Of rustic loneliness; that gray-hair'd orphan Or with too brief a warning, to admit
So call him, for humanity to him

Administration of the holy rite
No parent was--feelingly could have told, That lovingly consigns the babe to th' arms
In life, in death, what solitude can breed

Of Jesus, and his everlasting care.
Of selfishness, and cruelty, and vice;

These that in trembling hope are laid apart; Or, if it breed not, hath not power to cure.

And the besprinkled nursling, unrequired But your compliance, sir, with our request

Till he begins to smile upon the breast My words too long have hinder'd.”

That feeds him; and the tottering little one

Undeterr'd, Taken from air and sunshine when the rose Perhaps incited rather, by these shocks,

Of infancy first blooms upon his cheek; In no ungracious opposition, given

The thinking, thoughtless schoolboy: the bold To the confiding spirit of his own

Experienced faith, the reverend pastor said, Of soul impetuous, and the bashful maid
Around him looking, “Where shall I begin ? Smitten while all the promises of life
Who shall be first selected from my flock,

Are opening round her: those of middle age,
Gather'd together in their peaceful fold ?”

Cast down while confident in strength they stand, He paused, and having lifted up his eyes

Like pillars fix'd more firmly, as might seem, To the pure heaven, he cast them down again And more secure, by very weight of all Upon the earth beneath his feet; and spake. That, for support, rests on them; the decay'd “ To a mysteriously-consorted pair

And burdensome: and lastly, that poor few This place is consecrate ; to death and life, Whose light of reason is with age extinct; And to the best affections that proceed

The hopeful and the hopeless, first and last, From their conjunction ;-consecrate to faith The earliest summond and the longest sparedIn him who bled for man upon the cross;

Are here deposited, with tribute paid Hallow'd to revelation; and no less

Various, but unto each some tribute paid ; To reason's mandates: and the hopes divine As if, amid these peaceful hills and groves, Of pure imagination ;-above all,

Society were touch'd with kind concern: To charity, and love, that have provided

And gentle · Nature grieved, that one should die ; Within these precincts, a capacious bed

Or, if the change demanded no regret, And receptacle, open to the good

Observed the liberating stroke—and bless'd. And evil, to the just and the unjust;

And whence that tribute ? wherefore these regards ? In which they find an equal resting-place:

Not from the naked heart alone of man, E'en as the multitude of kindred brooks

(Though claiming high distinction upon earth And streams, whose murmur fills this hollow vale, As the sole spring and fountain-head of tears, Whether their course be turbulent or smooth, His own peculiar utterance for distress Their waters clear or sullied, all are lost

Or gladness.) No,” the philosophic priest Within the bosom of yon crystal lake,

Continued, “ 'tis not in the vital seat And end their journey in the same repose !

Of feeling to produce them, without aid “And blest are they who sleep; and we that From the pure soul, the soul sublime and pure; know,

With her two faculties of eye and car, While in a spot like this we breathe and walk, The one by which a creature, whom his sins That all beneath us by the wings are cover'd Have render'd prone, can upward look to heaven; Of motherly humanity, outspread

The other that empowers him to perceive
And gathering all within their tender shade, The voice of deity, on height and plain,
Though loath and slow to come! A battle field, Whispering those truths in stillness, which the
In stillness left when slaughter is no more,

With this compared, is a strange spectacle ! To the four quarters of the winds, proclaims.
A rueful sight the wild shore strewn with wrecks, Not without such assistance could the use
And trod by people in afflicted quest

Of these benign observances prevail.
Of friends and kindred, whom the angry sea Thus are they born, thus foster'd and maintain'd;
Restores not to their prayer! Ah! who would And by the care prospective of our wise

Forefathers, who, to guard against the shocks, That all the scatter'd subjects which compose The fluctuation and decay of things, Earth's melancholy vision through the space Imbodied and establish'd these high truths Of all her climes ; these wretched, these depraved, In solemn institutions; men convinced To virtue lost, insensible of peace,

That life is love and immortality,
From the delights of charity cut off,

The being one, and one the element.
To pity dead, th' oppressor and th’ opprest; There lies the channel, and original bed,


From the beginning, hollow'd out and scoop'd Of pious sentiment diffused asar,
For man's affections ; else betray'd and lost, And human charity, and social love.
And swallow'd up 'mid deserts infinite!

Thus never shall th' indignities of time
This is the genuine course, the aim, and end Approach their reverend graces, unopposed;
Of prescient reason; all conclusions else

Nor shall the elements be free to hurt
Are abject, vain, presumptuous, and perverse, Their fair proportions; nor the blinder rage
The faith partaking of those holy times.

Of bigot zeal madly to overturn;
Life, I repeat, is energy of love

And, if the desolating hand of war Divine or human; exercised in pain,

Spare them, they shall continue to bestowIn strife, and tribulation; and ordain'd,

Upon the throng'd abodes of busy men If so approved and sanctified, to pass,

(Depraved, and ever prone to fill their minds Through shades and silent rest, to endless joy." Exclusively with transitory things)

An air and mien of dignified pursuit ;
Of sweet civility-on rustic wilds.

The poet, fostering for his native land

Such hope, entreats that servants may abound

Of those pure altars worthy ; ministers THE CHURCHYARD AMONG THE MOUNTAINS.

Detach'd from pleasure, to the love of gain

Superior, insusceptible of pride,
Poet's address to the state and church of England. The And by ambitious longings undisturb'd;

pastor not inferior to the ancient worthies of the church. Men, whose delight is where their duty leads
He begins his narratives with an instance of unrequited Or fixes them ; whose least distinguish'd day
love. Anguish of mind subdued, and how. The lonely Shines with some portion of that heavenly lustre
miner, an instance of perseverance, which leads by which makes the Sabbath lovely in the sight
contrast to an example of abused talents, irresolution,
and weakness. Solitary, applying this covertly to his of blessed angels, pitying human cares.
own case, asks for an instance of some stranger, whose And, as on earth it is the doom of truth
dispositions may have led him to end his days here. To be perpetually attack'd by foes
Pastor, in answer, gives an account of the harmonizing Open or covert, be that priesthood still,
influence of solitude upon two men of opposite princi- For her desence, replenish'd with a band
ples, who had encountered agitations in public life.
The rule by which peace may be obtained expressed, of strenuous champions, in scholastic arts
and where. Solitary hints at an overpowering fatality | Thoroughly disciplined ; nor (if in course
Answer of the pastor. What subjects he will exclude of the revolving world's disturbances
from his narratives. Conversation upon this. Instance Cause should recur, which righteous heaven avert!
of an unamiable character, a female, and why given, To meet such trial) from their spiritual sire
Contrasted with this, a meek sufferer, from unguarded
and betrayed love. Instance of heavier guilt, and its Degenerate; who, constrain’d to wield the sword
consequences to the offender. With this instance of a Of disputation, shrunk not, though assail'd
marriage contract broken is contrasted one of a wi. With hostile din, and combating in sight
dower, evidencing his faithful affection towards his of angry umpires, partial and unjust;
deceased wife by his care of their female children.

And did, thereafter, bathe their hands in fire, Hail to the crown by freedom shaped, to gird

So to declare the conscience satisfied : An English sovereign's brow! and to the throne Nor for their bodies would accept release ; Whereon he sits! Whose deep foundations lie But, blessing God and praising him, bequeathed In veneration and the people's love ;

With their last breath, from out the smouldering Whose steps are equity, whose seat is law.

flame, Hail to the state of England! And conjoin

The faith which they by diligence had earn'a, With this a salutation as devout,

Or, through illuminating grace, received, Made to the spiritual fabric of her church:

For their dear countrymen, and all mankind. Founded in truth; by blood of martyrdom

O high example, constancy divine ! Cemented; by the hands of wisdom rear'd

E'en such a man (inheriting the zeal In beauty of holiness, with order'd pomp,

And from the sanctity of elder times Decent, and unreproved. The voice, that greets Not deviating,-a priest, the like of whom, The majesty of both, shall pray for both;

If multiplied, and in their stations set,
That, mutually protected and sustain'd,

Would o'er the bosom of a joyful land
They may endure long as the sea surrounds Spread true religion, and her genuine fruits)
This favour'd land, or sunshine warms her soil. Before me stood that day; on holy ground
And 0, ye swelling hills, and spacious plains ! Fraught with the relics of mortality,
Besprent from shore to shore with steeple-towers, Exalting tender themes, by just degrees
And spires whose“ silent finger points to heaven;" To lofty raised; and to the highest, Jast;
Nor wanting, at wide intervals, the bulk

The head and mighty paramount of truths;
Of ancient minster, lifted above the cloud Immortal life, in never-fading worlds,
Of the dense air, which town or city breeds For mortal creatures, conquer'd and secured.
To intercept the sun's glad beams,-may ne'er That basis laid, those principles of faith
That true succession fail of English hearts, Announced, as a preparatory act
Who, with ancestral feeling can perceive

Of reverence to the spirit of the place;
What in those holy structures ye possess

The pastor cast his eyes upon the ground, Of ornamental interest and the charm

Not, as before, like one oppress'd with awe,

But with a mild and social cheerfulness,

To tinge his cheek ; and through his frame it crept Then to the solitary turn'd, and spake.

With slow mutation unconcealable;
“ At morn or eve, in your retired domain, Such universal change as autumn inakes
Perchance you not unfrequently have mark'd In the fair body of a leafy grove
A visiter-in quest of herbs and flowers ;

Discolour'd, then divested. 'Tis affirm'd
Too delicate employ, as would appear

By poets skill'd in nature's secret ways For one, who, though of drooping mien, had yet That love will not subinit to be controllid From nature's kindliness received a frame

By mastery: and the good man lack'd not friends Robust as ever rural labour bred.”

Who strove t’instil this truth into his mind, The solitary answer'd: “Such a form

A mind in all heart mysteries unversed. Full well I recollect. We often cross'd

• Go to the hills,' said one, remit a while
Each other's path; but, as th’intruder seem'd This baneful diligence : at early morn
Fondly to prize the silence which he kept, Court the fresh air, explore the heaths and woods ;
And I as willingly did cherish mine,

And, leaving it to others to foretell,
We met, and pass'd, like shadows. I have heard, By calculations sage, the ebb and flow
From my good host that he was crazed in brain Of tides, and when the moon will be eclipsed,
By unrequited love ; and scaled the rocks,

Do you, for your own benefit, construct
Dived into caves, and pierced the matted woods A calendar of flowers, pluck'd as they blow
In hope to find some virtuous herb of power

Where health abides, and cheerfulness, and peace.' To cure his malady!”

The attempt was made ; 'tis needless to report The vicar smiled,

How hopelessly : but innocence is strong, “ Alas! before to-morrow's sun goes down

An an entire simplicity of mind, His habitation will be here: for him

A thing most sacred in the eye of heaven, That open grave is destined.”

That opens, for such sufferers, relief “ Died he then

Within their souls, a fount of grace divine ; Of pain and grief?” the solitary ask'd,

And doth commend their weakness and disease “ Believe it not-oh! never could that be !" To nature's care, assisted in her office

“ He loved," the vicar answer'd, “ deeply loved, By all the elements that round her wait
Loved fondly, truly, fervently; and dared To generate, to preserve, and to restore ;
At length to tell his love, but sued in vain ; And by her beautiful array of forms
Rejected-yea repell’d-and, if with scorn Shedding sweet influence from above, or pure
Upon the haughty maiden's brow, 'tis but

Delight exhaling from the ground they tread.” A high-prized plume which female beauty wears “ Impute it not to impatience, if,” exclaim'd In wantonness of conquest, or puts on

The wanderer, “ I infer that he was heal'd To cheat the world, or from herself to hide By perseverance in the course prescribed.” Humiliation, when no longer free.

“ You do not err: the powers, that had been lost That he could brook, and glory in ;—but when By slow degrees, were gradually regaind; The tidings came that she whom he had woo'd The fluttering nerves composed; the beating heart Was wedded to another, and his heart

In rest establish'd ; and the jarring thoughts Was forced to rend away its only hope,

To harmony restored. But yon dark mould Then, pity could have scarcely found on earth Will cover him, in the fulness of his strengthAn object worthier of regard than hc,

Hastily smitten, by a fever's force; In the transition of that bitter hour!

Yet not with stroke so sudden as refused Lost was she, lost; nor could the sufferer say Time to look back with tenderness on her That in the act of preference he had been

Whom he had loved in passion,-and send Unjustly dealt with; but the maid was gone !

Some farewell words with one, but one, request, Had vanish'd from his prospects and desires ; That, from his dying hand, she would accept Not by translation to the heavenly choir

Of his possessions that which most he prized; Who have put off their mortal spoils—ah no! A book, upon whose leaves some chosen plants She lives another's wishes to complete,

By his own hand disposed with nicest care,
* Joy be their lot, and happiness,' he cried, In undecaying beauty were preserved;
• His lot and hers as misery is mine!'

Mute register, to him, of time and place,
“ Such was that strong concussion ; but the man, And various fluctuations in the breast;
Who trembled, trunk and limbs, like some huge oak To her, a monument of faithful love
By a fierce tempest shaken, soon resumed

Conquer'd, and in tranquillity retain'd!
The steadfast quiet natural to a mind

“ Close to his destined habitation, lies Of composition gentle and sedate,

One who achieved a humbler victory,
And in its movements circumspect and slow. Though marvellous in its kind. A place there is
To books, and to the long forsaken desk,

High in these mountains, that allured a band
O'er which enchain'd by science he had loved Of keen adventurers to unite their pains
To bend, he stoutly readdress'd himself,

In search of precious ore: who tried, were foil'd-
Resolved to quell his pain, and search for truth And all desisted, all, save him alone.
With keener appetite (if that might be)

He, taking counsel of his own clear thoughts, And closer industry. Of what ensued

And trusting only to his own weak hands, Within the heart no outward sign appear'd Urged unremittingly the stubborn work, Till a betraying sickliness was seen

Unseconded, uncountenanced ; then, as time

Pass'd on, while still his lonely efforts found Into the lists of giddy enterprise-
No recompense, derided ; and at length,

Such was he; yet, as if within his frame
By many pitied; as insane of mind;

Two several souls alternately had lodged, By others dreaded as the luckless thrall

Two sets of manners could the youth put on ; Of subterranean spirits feeding hope

And, fraught with antics as the Indian bird By various mockery of sight and sound;

That writhes and chatters in her wiry cage ; Hope after hope, encouraged and destroy'd. Was graceful, when it pleased him, smooth and still But when the lord of seasons had matured

As the mute swan that floats adown the stream, The fruits of earth through space of twice ten years Or, on the waters of the unruffled lake, The mountain's entrails offer'd to his view Anchors her placid beauty. Not a leaf, And trembling grasp the long deterr'd reward. That flutters on the bough, more light than He; Not with more transport did Columbus greet And not a flower, that droops in the green shade, A world, his rich discovery! but our swain, More winningly reserved! If ye inquire A very hero till his point was gain',

How such consummate elegance was bred Proved all unable to support the weight

Amid these wilds, this answer may suffice,
Of prosperous fortune. On the fields he look'd 'Twas nature's will; who sometimes undertakes,
With an unsettled liberty of thought,

For the reproof of human vanity,
Of schemes and wishes; in the daylight walk'd Art to outstrip in her peculiar walk.
Giddy and restless ; ever and anon

Hence, for this favourite, lavishly endow'd
Quaff’d in his gratitude immoderate cups

With personal gifts, and bright instinctive wit, And truly might be said to die of joy !

While both, embellishing each other, stood He vanishd; but conspicuous to this day

Yet farther recommended by the charm The path remains that link'd his cottage door Of fine demeanour, and by dance and song, To the mine's mouth ; a long, and slanting track,

And skill in letters, every fancy shaped Upon the rugged mountain's stony side,

Fair expectations; nor, when to the world's Worn by his daily visits to and from

Capacious field forth went the adventurer there The darksome centre of a constant hope.

Were he and his attainments overlook'd, This vestige, neither force of beating rain,

Or scantily rewarded; but all hopes, Nor the vicissitudes of frost and thaw

Cherish'd for him, he suffer'd to depart, Shall cause to fade, till ages pass away ;

Like blighted buds; or clouds that mimick'd land And it is named, in memory of the event,

Before the sailor's eye; or diamond drops The Path of Perseverance."

That sparkling deck'd the morning grass ; or aught

“ Thou from whom That was attractive—and hath ceased to be! Man has his strength,” exclaiind the wanderer, Yet when this prodigal return'd, the rites “0!

Of joyful greeting were on hiin bestow'd, Do Thou direct it to the virtuous grant

Who, by humiliation undeterr'd, The penetrative eye which can perceive

Sought for his weariness a place of rest In this blind world the guiding vein of hope, Within his father's gates. Whence came be?That like this labourer, such may dig their way

clothed • Unshaken, unseduced, unterrified ;'

In tatter'd garb, from hovels where abides Grant to the wise his firmness of resolve !" Necessity, the stationary host That prayer were not superfluous," said thc Of vagrant poverty ; from rifted barns priest,

Where no one dwells but the wide staring owl “ Amid the noblest relics, proudest dust,

And the owl's prey ; from these bare haunts, to That Westminster, for Britain's glory, holds

which Within the bosom of her awful pile,

He had descended from the proud saloon, Ambitiously collected. Yet the sigh,

He came, the ghost of beauty and of health, Which wasts that prayer to heaven, is due to all, The wreck of gayety ! but soon revived Wherever laid, who living fell below

In strength, in power refitted, he renew'd Their virtue's humbler mark; a sigh of pain His suit to fortune; and she smiled again If to the opposite extreme they sank.

Upon a fickle ingrate. Thrice he rose, How would you pity her who yonder rests; Thrice sank as willingly. For he, whose nerves Him, farther off; the pair, who here are laid ; Were used to thrill with pleasure, while his voice But, above all, that mixture of earth's mould Softly accompanied the tuneful harp, Whom sight of this green hillock to my mind By the nice finger of fair ladies, touch'd Recalls ! He lived not till his locks were pipp'd In glittering halls, was able to derive By seasonable frost of age ; nor died

No less enjoyment from an abject choice. Before his temples, prematurely forced

Who happier for the moment-who more blithe To mix the manly brown with silver gray, Than this fall’n spirit? in those dreary holds Gave obvious instance of the sad effect

His talents lending to exalt the freaks
Produced, when thoughtless folly hath usurp'd Of merry-making beggars,-now, provoked
The natural crown that sage experience wears. To laughter multiplied in louder peals
Gay, volatile, ingenious, quick to learn,

By his malicious wit; then, all enchain'd
And prompt to exhibit all that he possess'd With mute astonishment, themselves to see
Or could perform ! a zealous actor-hired

In their own arts outdone, their fame eclipsed, Into the troop of mirth, a soldier-sworn

As by the very presence of the fiend

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