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It was the season sweet, of budding leaves,
Of days advancing tow'rds their utmost length,
And small birds singing to their happy males.
Wild is the music of the autumnal wind
Among the faded woods; but these blithe notes
Strike the deserted to the heart;-1 speak
Of what I know, and what we feel within.
- Beside the Cottage in which Ellen dwelt
Stands a tall ash-tree; to whose topmost twig
A Thrushi resorts, and annually chants,
At moro and evening, from that naked perch,
While all the undergrove is thick with leaves,
A time-beguiling diniy, for delight
Of his food partner, silent in the nest.
- Ah why, said Ellen, sighing to lierself,
Why do not words, and kiss, and solemna pledge ;
And nature that is kind in Woman's breast,
And reason that in Man is wise and good,
And fear of flim who is a righteous Judge,
Why do not these prevail for human life,
To keep two llearts together, that began
Their spring-time with one love, and that have need
Of mutual pily and forgiveness, sweet
To grant, or be received; while that poor Bird,
- come and bear him! Thou who bast to me
Been failless, hear liim, though a lowly Creature,
One of God's simple children that yet know not
The universal Parent, how he sings,
As if he wished the firmament of Heaven
Shouid listen, and give back to him the voice
Of his triumpbapt constancy and love;
The proclamation that he makes, how far
His darkness doth transcend our fickle light!

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• There was a stony region in my heart;
But tle, at whose command the parched rock
Was smitten, and poured forth a quenching stream,
Hath softened that obduracy, and made
Unlooked-for gladness in the desert place,
To save the perishing; and, henceforth, I look
l'pon the light with cheerfulness, for thee
My lofant! and for that good Mother dear,
Who bore me,--and hath prayed for me in vain;-
Yet not in vain, it shall not be in vain.'
She spake, nor was the assurance unfulfilled,
And if heart-rending thoughts would oft return,
They stayed not long.– The blameless lofant

grew;
The Child whom Ellen and her Mother loved
They soon were proud of; tended it and nursed,
A soothing comforter, although forlorn;
Like a poor singing-bird from distant lands;
Or a choice shrub, which he, who passes by
With vacant mind, not seldom may observe
Fair-flowering in a thinly.peopled house,
Whose window, somewhat sadly, it adorns.
-Through four months' space the Infant drew its food
From the maternal breast; then scruples rose;
Thoughts, which the rich are free from, came and crossed
The sweet affection. She no more could bear
Iy her offence to lay a twofold weight
On a kind parent willing to forget
Their slender means; so, to that parent's care
Trusting her child, she left their common home,
And with contented spirit undertook
A Foster-Mother's office.

'T is, perchance,
Unknown to you that in these simple Vales
The natural feeling of equality
Is by domestic service unimpaired;
Yet, though such service be, with us, removed
From sense of degradation, not the less
The ungentle mind can easily find means
To impose severe restraints and laws unjust :
Which hapless Ellen now was doomed to feel.
-For (blinded by an over-anxious dread
Of such excitement and divided thought
As with her office would but ill accord)
The Pair, whose Infant she was bound to purse,
Forbad ber all communion with her own;
Week after week, the mandate they enforced.
--So near !-yet not allowed, upon that sight
To fix her eyes-alas! 't was hard to bear!
l'ut worse aftliction must be borne- far worse;
For 't is leaven's will--that, after a disease
Begun and ended within three days' space,
Her Child should die; as Ellen now exclaimed,
Her own-deserted Child !--Once, only once,
She saw it in that mortal malady:
And, on the burial day, could scarcely gain
Permission to attend its obsequies,
She reached the house-last of the funeral train;
And some One, as she entered, having chanced
To urge unthinkingly their prompt departure,
Nay,' said she, with commanding look, a spirit
Of anger never seen in her before,

Nay, ye must wait my time!' and down she sale,
And by the unclosed coffin kept her seat
Weeping and looking, looking on and weeping,
l'pon the last sweet slumber of her Child,
l'ntil at length her soul was satisfied.

« Such was the tender passage, not by me Repeated without loss of simple plorase,

Which I perused, even as the words had been
| Committed by forsaken Ellen's hand
! To the blank margin of a Valentine,

Bedropped with tears. 'T will please you to be told
That, studiously withdrawing from the

eye
Of all companionship, the Sufferer yet
la lonely reading found a meek resource.
How thankful for the warmth of summer days,
When she could slip into the Cottage-barn,
And find a secret oratory there;
Or, in the garden, under friendly veil
Of their long twilight, pore upon her book
By the last lingering help of open sky,
Tili the dark night dismissed her to lier bed!
Thus did a waking Fancy sometimes lose
The ui conquerable pang of despised love.

!

« A kindlier passion opened on her soul
When that poor Child was born. Upon its face
She looked as on a pure and spotless gift
Of unexpected promise, where a yrief
Or dread was all that had been thought of-joy
Far livelier than bewildered Traveller feels
Amid a perilous waste, that all night long
Uath harassed bim-toiling through fearful storm,
When he belields the first pale speck serene
Of day-spring, in the gloomy east revealed,
And greets it with thanksgiving. Till this hour,';
I hus in her Mother's hearing Ellen spake,

Will mercifully take me to himself.'
So, through the cloud of death, her Spirit passed
Into that pure and unknown world of love,
Where injury cannot come :-and here is laid
The mortal Body by bier Infant's side.»

« 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,
Noting that in despite of their commands
She still renewed and could not but renew
Those visitations, ceased to send her forth;
Or, to the garden's narrow bounds, confined.
I failed not to remind them that they erred;
For holy Nature might not thus be crossed,
Thus wronged in woman's breast : in vain I pleaded-
But the green stalk of Ellen's life was snapped,
And the flower drooped; as every eye could see,
It hung its head in mortal languishment.
-Aided by this appearance, I at length
Prevailed; and, from those bonds released, she went
Home to her mother's house. The Youth was fled;
The rash Betrayer could not face the shame
Or sorrow which his senseless guilt had caused;
And little would his presence, or proof given
Of a relenting soul, have now availed;
For, like a shadow, he was passed away
From Ellen's thoughts; had perished to her mind
For all concerns of fear, or hope, or love,
Save only those which to their common shame,
And to his moral being appertained :
Hope from that quarter would, I know, have brought
A heavenly comfort; there she recognised
An unrelaxing bond, a mutual need;
There, and, as scemed, there only.--She had built,
Her fond maternal Heart had built, a Nest,
In blindness all too near the river's edge;
That Work a summer flood with hasty swell
Had swept away; and now her Spirit longed
For its last flight to Heaven's security.

- The bodily frame was wasted day by day;
Meanwhile, relinquishing all other cares,
Her mind she strictly tutored to find peace
And pleasure in endurance. Much she thoughi,
And much she read; and brooded feelingly
Upon her own unworthiness. – To me,
As to a spiritual comforter and friend,
ller heart she opened; and no pains were spared
To mitigate, as gently as I could,
The sting of self-reproach, with healing words.

- Meek Sainı! through patience glorified on earth!
In whom, as by her lonely hearth she sate,
The ghastly face of cold decay put on
A sun-like beauty, and appeared divine!
May I not mention-that, within those walls,
In due observance of her pious wish,
The Congregation joined with me in prayer
For her Soul's good? Nor was that office vain.
- Mucha did she suffer : but, if any Friend,
Beholding her condition, at the sight
Gave way to words of pily or complaint,
She stilled thein with a prompt reproof, and said,
• He who afflicts me knows what I can bear;
And, when I fail, and can endure no more,

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.»

BOOK VII.

ARGUMENT.

| Though pilied among Men, absolved by God,

He could not find forgiveness in himself;
Nor could endure the weight of his own shame.

Here rests a Mother. But from her I turn
And from her Grave.—Bebold-upon that Ridge,
That, stretching boldly from the mountain side,
Carries into the centre of the Vale
Its rocks and woods-lhe Cottage where she dwelt
And where yet dwells her faithful Partner, left
(Full eight years past) the solitary prop

Of many helpless Children. I begin
! With words that might be prelude to a Tale

Of sorrow and dejection; but I feel
No sadness, when I think of what mine eyes
See daily in that happy Family.
- Bright Garland form they for the pensive brow
Of their undrooping Father's widowhood,
Those six fair Daughters, budding yet-not one,
Not one of all the band, a full-blown Flower!
Depressed, and desolate of soul, as once
That Father was, and filled with anxious fear,
Now, by experience taught, he stands assured,
That God, who takes away, yet takes not half
Of what he seems to take; or gives it back,
Not to our prayer, but far beyond our prayer;
lle gives it-the boon produce of a soil
Which our endeavours have refused to till,
And Hope hath never watered. The Abode,
Whose grateful Owner can attest these truths,
Even were the object nearer to our sight,
Would seem in no distinction to surpass
The rudest habitations. Ye might think
That it had sprung self-raised from earth, or grown
Out of the living rock, to be adorned
By Nature only; but, if thither led,
Ye would discover, then, a studious work
Of many fancies, prompting many hands.
-Brought from the woods the honeysuckle twines
Around the porch, and seems, in that trim place,
A Plant no longer wild ; the cultured rose
There blossoms, strong in health, and will be soon
Roof-high; the wild pink crowns the garden-wall,
And with the flowers are intermingled stones
Sparry and bright, rough scatterings of the hills.
These ornaments, that fade not with the year,
A bardy Girl continues to provide;
Who mounting fearlessly the rocky heights,
Her Father's prompt Attendant, does for him
All that a Boy could do; but with delight
More keen and prouder daring: yet hath she,
Within the garden, like the rest, a bed
For her own flowers and favourite herbs-a space,
By sacred charter, holden for her use.
-These, and whatever else the garden bears
Of fruit or flower, permission asked or not,
I freely gather; and my leisure draws
A not unfrequent pastime from the sight
of the Bees murmuring round their sheltered hives
In that Enclosure; while the mountain rili,
That sparkling thrids the rocks, attunes his voice
To the pure course of human life, which there
Flows on in solitude. But, when the gloom
Of night is falling round my steps, then most
This Dwelling charms me; often, I stop short;
'Who could refrain ?) and feed by stcalth my sight

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.

CONTINCED.

While thus from theme to theme the Historian passed,
The words he uttered, and the scene that lay
Before our eyes, awakened in my mind
Vivid remembrance of those long-past hours ;
When, in the bollow of some shadowy Vale,
(What time the splendour of the setting sun
Lay beautiful on Snowdon's sovereign brow,
On Cader Idris, or huge Penmanmaur)
A wandering Youth, I listened with delight
To pastoral melody or warlike air,
Drawn from the chords of the ancicot British harp
By some accomplished Master; while lie sate
Amid the quiet of the green recess,
And there did inexhaustibly dispense
An interchange of soft or solemn tunes,
Tender or blithe; now, as the varying mood
Of his own spirit urged, -now, as a voice
From Youth or Maiden, or some honourel Chief
Of his compatriot villagers (that bung
Around him, drinking in the impassioned notes

Of the time-hallowed minstrelsy) required
For their heart's ease or pleasure. Strains of power
Were they, to seize and occupy the sense;
But to a higher mark than song can reach
Rose this pure cloquence. And, when the stream
Which overflowed the soul was passed away,
A consciousness remained that it had left,
Deposited upon the silent shore
Of memory, images and precious thoughts.
That shall not die, and cannot be destroyed.

« 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
In them who rest beneath, nor any course
Of strange or tragic accident, hath helped
To place those Willocks in that lonely guise.

-Ouce more look forth, and follow with your sight
The length of road that from yon mountain's base
Through bare enclosures stretches, will its line
Is lost within a little luft of trees, -
Then, reappearing in a moment, quits
The cultured fields,-and up the heathy waste,
Mounts, as you see, in mazes serpentine,
Towards an easy outlet of the Vale.
-That little shady spot, that sylvan tuft,
By which the road is hidden, also hides
A Cottage from our view,-though I discern,
(Ye scarcely can) amid its sheltering trees,
The smokeless chimney-top:- All unembowered
And naked stood that lowly Parsonage
(For such in truth it is, and appertains
To a small Chapel in the Vale beyond)
When hither came its last Inhabitant.

« 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

charged ?
Belong they to the fortune-teiling Tribe
Who pitch their Tents beneath the green-wood Tree?
Or are they Strollers, furnished to enact
Fair Rosamond, and the Children of the Wood,
And, by that whiskered Tabby's aid, set forth
The lucky venture of sage Whittington,
When the next Village hears the Show announced
By blast of trumpet? Plenteous was the growth
Of such conjectures, overheard; or seen
On many a staring countenance pourtrayed
Of Boor or Burgher, as they marched along.
And more than once their steadiness of face
Was put to proof, and exercise supplied
To their inventive humour, hy steru looks,
And questions in authoritative tone,
From some staid Guardian of the public peace,
Checking the sober steed on which he rode,
In his suspicious wisdom: oftener still,
By notice indirect, or blunt demand
From Traveller halting in his own despite,
A simple curiosity to ease.
Of which adventures, that beguiled and cheered
Their grave migration, the good Pair would tell,
With undiminished glee, in boary age.

« A Priest he was by function; but his coure
From his youth up, and high as manlıood's roon,
(The hour of life to which he then was brought)
Had been irregular, I might say, wild;
By books unsteadieu, by his pastoral care
Too little checked. An active, ardent mind;
A fancy pregnant with resource and scheme
To cheat the sadness of a rainy day:
Hands apt for all ingenious arts and games;
A generous spirit, and a body strong
To cope with stoutest Champions of the bowl;
Had earned for him sure welcome, and the rights
Of a prized Visitant; in the jolly ball
Of country Squire; or at the statelier board
of Duke or Earl, from scenes of courtly pomp
Withdrawn,-lo while away the summer hours
lo condescension among rural guests.

« With these high Comrades he had reveiled long,
Frolieked industriously, a simple Clerk
By hopes of coming patronage beguiled
Till the heart sickened. So each loftier aim
| Abandoning and all bis showy Friends,
For a life's stay, though slender

yet assured,
lle turned to this secluded Chapelry;
That had been offered to his doubtful choice
By an unthought of Patron. Bleak and bare
They found the Cottage, their allotted home;
Naked without, and rude within; a spot
With which the scantily-provided Cure
Not long had been endowed: and far remote
The Chapel stood, divided from that House
By an unpeopled tract of mountain waste.
-- Yet cause was none, whate'er regret might hang
On his own mind, to quarrel with the choice
Or the necessity that fixed him here;
Apart from old temptations, and constrained

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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.
And no vain mirror glittered on the walls,
Yet were the windows of the low Abode

« Our
very

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,

mossy roof.

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