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It was the season sweet, of budding leaves,
• There was a stony region in my heart;
'T is, perchance,
Nay, ye must wait my time!' and down she sale,
« Such was the tender passage, not by me Repeated without loss of simple plorase,
Which I perused, even as the words had been
Bedropped with tears. 'T will please you to be told
« A kindlier passion opened on her soul
Will mercifully take me to himself.'
« You see the Infant's Grave;--and to this Spot, The Mother, oft as she was sent abroad, And whatsoe'er the errand, urged her steps: Hither she came; and here she stood, or knelt In the broad day—a rueful Magdalene! So call her; for not only she bewailed A Mother's loss, but mourned in bitterness Her own transgression; Penitent sincere As ever raised 10 Heaven a streaming eye.
At length the Parents of the Foster-child,
- The bodily frame was wasted day by day;
- Meek Sainı! through patience glorified on earth!
The Vicar ceased; and downcast looks made knoon That Each had listened with his ipmost heart. For me, the emotion scarcely was less strong Or less benign than that which I had felt When, seated near my venerable Frieud, Beneath those shady elms, from him I heard The story that retraced the slow decline Of Margaret sinking on the lonely Heath, With the neglected House to wlrich she cluug. -I noted that the Solitary's cheek Confessed the Power of nature.—Pleased though sad, More pleased than sad, the grey-haired Wanderer sale; Thauks to bis pure imaginative soul Capacious and serene, his blameless life, His knowledge, wisdom, love of truth, and love Of buman kind! He was it who first broke The pensive silence, saying, « Blest are they Whose sorrow rather is to suffer wrong Than to do wrong, although themselves have erred. This Tale gives proof that Heaven most gently deals With such, in their affliction.— Ellen's fate, Her tender spirit, and her contrite heart, Call to my mind dark hints which I have heard Of One who died within this Vale, by doom Heavier, as his offence was heavier far. Where, Sir, I pray you, where are laid the bones Of Wilfred Armathwaite ?»— The Vicar answered, «In that green nook, close by the Church-yard wall, Beneath yon hawthorn, planted by myself In memory and for warning, and in sign Of sweetness where dire anguish had been known, Of reconcilement after deep offence, There doch he rest.- No theme his fate supplies For the smooth glozings of the indulgeot world, Nor need the windings of his devious course Be here retraced ;-enough that, by mishap And venial error, robbed of competence, And her obsequious shadow, peace of mind, He craved a substitute in troubled joy; Against his conscience rose in arms, and, braving Divine displeasure, broke the marriage-vow. That which he had been weak enough to do Was misery in remembrance ; he was stung, Stung by bis inward thoughts, and by the smiles of Wife and Children stung to agony. Wretched at home, he gained no peace abroad; Ranged through the mountains, slept upon the earth, Asked comfort of the open air, and found No quiet in the darkness of the night, No pleasure in the beauty of the day. His tlock he slighted : bis paternal fields Became a clog to him, whose spirit wished To lly, but whither? And this gracious Church, That wears a look so full of peace, and hope, And love, beoignant Mother of the Vale, How fair amid her brood of Cottages! She was to him a sickness and reproach. Much to the last remained unknown : but this Is sure, that through remorse and grief he died;
With prospect of the Company withio, Laid open through the blazing window:- here I see the eldest Daughter at her wheel Spinning amain, as if to overtake The never-halting time; or, in her turn, Teaching some Novice of the Sisterhood That skill in this, or other household work; Which, from her Father's honoured hand, berself While she was yet a little-one, had learned. - Mild Man! he is not gay, but they are gay; And the whole house seems filled with gaiety.
– Thrice happy, then, the Mother may be deemed, The Wife, who rests beneath that turf, from which I turned, that ye in mind might witness where, And how, her Spirit yet survives on Earth.»
| Though pilied among Men, absolved by God,
He could not find forgiveness in himself;
Here rests a Mother. But from her I turn
Of many helpless Children. I begin
Of sorrow and dejection; but I feel
Impression of these Narratives upon the Author's mind
- Pastor invited to give account of certain Graves that lie apari-Clergyman and his family, Fortunate influence of change of situation - Activity in extreme old age- Another Clergyman, a character of resolute Virtue—Lamentations over mis-directed applauseInstance of less exalted excellence in a deaf manElevated character of a blind man-Reflection upon Blindness-Interrupted by a Peasant who passeslis animal cheerfulness and careless vivacity—lle occasions a digression on the fall of beautiful and interesting Trees- A female Infant's Grave-Joy at hier Birth-Sorrow at her Departure-A youthful Peasant -his patriotic enthusiasm-distinguished qualities and untimely Death-Exultation of the Wanderer, as a patriot, in this Picture-Solitary how affected Monument of a Knight - Traditions concerning him
- Peroration of the Wanderer on the transitorivess of things and the revolutions of society-Hints at his own past Calling-Thanks the Pastor.
THE CHURCH-YARD AMONG THE MOUNTAINS.
While thus from theme to theme the Historian passed,
Of the time-hallowed minstrelsy) required
« These grassy heaps lie amicably close,» Said I, « like surges beaving in the wind Upon the surface of a mountain pool; -Whience comes it then, that yonder we behold Five graves, and only five, that rise together Unsociably sequestered, and encroaching On the smooth play-ground of the Village school ?»
The Vicar answered. « No disdainful pride
-Ouce more look forth, and follow with your sight
« Rough and forbidding were the choicest roads By which our Northern wilds could then be crossed; And into most of these secluded Vales Was no access for wain, heavy, or light. So, at his Dwelling-place the Priest arrived With store of household goods, in panniers slung On sturdy horses graced with jingling bells, And on the back of more ignoble beast; That, with like burtheo of effects most prized Or easiest carried, closed the motley train. Young was I then, a school-boy of eight years : But still, methioks, I see them as they passed In order, drawing tow'rds their wished-for home. - Rocked by the motion of a trusty Ass Two ruddy Children hung, a well-poised freight, Each in his basket nodding drowsily; Their bonnels, I remember, wreathed with flowers, Which told it was the pleasant month of June; And, close behind, the comely Matron rode, A Woman of soft speech and gracious smile, And with a Lady's mien.– From far they came, Even from Northumbrian bills; yet theirs had been A merry journey-rich in pastime--cheered By music, prank, and laughter-stirring jest; And freak put on, and arch word dropped-10 swell
The cloud of fancy and uncouth surmise That gathered round the slowly-moving train. -“Whence do they come? and with what errand
« A Priest he was by function; but his coure
« With these high Comrades he had reveiled long,
To punctual labour in his sacred charge.
And still his harsher passions kept their hold, See him a constant Preacher to the Poor!
Anger and indignation; still be loved And visiting, though not with saindly zeal,
The sound of titled names, and talked in glee Yel, when need was, with no reluctant will,
Of long-past banquetings with high-born Friends: The sick in body, or distrest in mind;
Then, from those lulling fits of vain delight A od, by as salutary change, compelled
Uproused by recollected injury, railed To rise from timely sleep, and meet the day
At their false ways disdainfully, -and oft With no engagement, in his thoughts, more proud Jo bitterness, and with a threatening eye Or splendid than his garden could afford,
Of fire, incensed beneath its boary brow. His fields, -or mountains by the heath-cock ranged, - These transports, with staid look of pure good will Or the wild brooks; from which he now returned And with soft smile, bis Consort would reprove. Contented to partake the quiet meal
She, far behind him in the race of years, Of his own board, where sate his gentle Mate
Yet keeping her first mildness, was advanced And three fair Children, plentifully fed
Far nearer, in the habit of her soul, Though simply, from their little household farm; To that still region whither all are bound. With acceptable treat of fish or fowl
-Him might we liken to the setting Sun By nature yielded io his practised hand
As seen not seldom on some gusty day, To help the small but certain comings-in
Struggling and bold, and shining from the west Of that spare Benefice. Yet not the less
With an inconstant and unmellowed light; Theirs was a hospitable board, and theirs
She was a soft attendant Cloud, that hung A charitable door.--So days and years
As if with wish to veil the restless orb; Passed on;-the inside of that rugged House
From which it did itself imbibe a ray Was trimmed and brightened by the Matron's care, Of pleasing lustre. --But no more of this ; And gradually enriched with things of price,
I better love to sprinkle on the sod Which might be lacked for use or ornament.
That now divides the Pair, or rather say What, though po soft and costly sofa there
That still unites them, praises, like heaven's dew, Insidiously stretched out its lazy length,
Without reserve descending upon both.
first in eminence of years By shutters weather-fended, which at once
This old Man stood, the Patriarch of the Vale! i Repelled the storm and deadened its loud roar. And, to his unmolested mansion, Death There snow-white curtains hung in decent folds ;
Had never come, through space of forty years ; Tough moss, and long-enduring mountain-plants, Sparing both old and young in that Abode. That creep along the ground with sinuous trail, Suddenly then they disappeared: not twice Were nicely braided, and composed a work
Had summer scorched the fields; not twice had fallcı, Like Indian mats, that with appropriate grace
On those bigh Peaks, the first autumval snow, Lay at the threshold and the inner doors;
Before the greedy visiting was closed, And a fair carpet, woven of bome-spun wool,
And the long-privileged House left empty--swept But tinctured daintily with florid lues,
As by a plague: yet no rapacious plague For seemliness and warmth, on festal days,
Had been among them; all was gentle death, Covered the smooth blue slabs of mountain stone One after one, with intervals of peace. With which the parlour-floor, in simplest guise - A happy consummation! an accord Of pastoral home-steads, had been long inlaid. Sweet, perfect,--to be wished for! save that here - These pleasing works the Housewife's skill produced: Was something which to mortal sense migbt sound Meanwhile, the unsedentary Master's band
Like harshness,—that the old grey-headed Sire, Was busier with his task-to rid, to plant,
The oldest, he was taken last,--survived To rear for food, for shelter, and delight;
When the meek Partner of his age, his Son, A thriving covert! And when wishes, formed
His Daughter, and that late and high-prized gift, In youth, and sanctioned by the riper mind,
His little smiling Grandchild, were no more. | Restored me to my native Valley, here To end my days; well pleased was I to see
«© All gone, all vanished! he deprived and bare, The once-bare Cottage, on the mountain-side,
How will he face the rempant of his life? Screened from assault of every bitter blast;
What will become of him?' we said, and mused While the dark shadows of the summer leaves
In sad conjectures—“Shall we meet him now Danced in the breeze, upon its
Haunting with rod and line the craggy brooks? Time, which had thus afforded willing help
Or shall we overhear him, as we pass, To beautify with Nature's fairest growth
Striving to entertain the lonely hours This rustic Tenement, bad gently shed,
With music ? (for he had not ceased to touch Upon its Master's frame, a wintry grace;
The harp or viol which himself had framed, The comeliness of unenfeebled age.
For their sweet purposes, with perfect skill.) But how could I say, gently? for he still
"What titles will he keep? will he remain Retained a flashing eye, a burning palm,
Musician, Gardener, Builder, Mechanist, A stirring foot, a head which beat at nights
A Planter, and a rearer from the Seed ? Upon its pillow with a thousand schemes.
A Man of hope and forward-looking mind Few likings had he dropped, few pleasures lost; Even to the last!-Such was he, unsubdued. Generous and charitable, prompt to serve;
But Heaven was gracious; yet a little while,