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THE HERMIT:

A BALLAD.

FIRST PRINTED IN 1765.

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LETTER TO THE PRINTER

OF THE

ST. JAMES'S CHRONICLE.

INSERTED IN THAT PAPER, IN JUNE 1767.

SIR,

As there is nothing I dislike so much as newspaper controversy, particularly upon trifles, permit me to be as concise as possible in informing a correspondent of yours, that I recommended Blainville's Travels, because I thought the book was a good one; and I think so still. I said, I was told by the bookseller that it was then first published; but in that, it seems, I was misinformed, and my reading was not extensive enough to set me right.

Another correspondent of yours accuses me of having taken a ballad, I published some time ago, from one* by the ingenious Mr. Percy. I do not

* The Friar of Orders Gray. “Reliq. of Anc. Poetry," vol. i. p. 243.

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think there is any great resemblance between the two pieces in question. If there be any, his ballad is taken from mine. I read it to Mr. Percy some years ago; and he (as we both considered these things as trifles at best) told me, with his usual good humour, the next time I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakspeare into a ballad of his own. He then read me his little Cento, if I may so call it, and I highly approved it. Such petty anecdotes as these are scarce worth printing: and, were it not for the busy disposition of some of your correspondents, the Public should never have known that he owes me the hint of his ballad, or that I am obliged to his friendship and learning for communications of a much more important nature.

I am Sir,

Yours, &c.

OLIVER GOLDSMITA.

THE HERMIT.

“ TURN, gentle Hermit of the dale,

“ And guide my lonely way

To where yon taper cheers the vale

“ With hospitable ray.

« For here forlorn and lost I tread,

“ With fainting steps and slow; “ Where wilds immeasurably spread,

“ Seem length’ning as I go.”

“ Forbear, my son,” the Hermit cries,

“ To tempt the dangerous gloom ; • For yonder faithless phantom flies,

« To lure thee to thy doom.

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