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Written with a Slate-pencil upon a Stone, the largest of a Heap lying near a deserted Quarry, upon
one of the Islands at Rydale.
STRANGER! this hillock of mis-shapen stones
Is not a ruin of the ancient time,
Nor, as perchance, thou rashly deem'st, the
Of some old British Chief: 'Tis nothing more
Than the rude embryo of a little dome
Or pleasure-house, which was to have been
built Among the birch-trees of this rocky isle. But, as it chanc'd, Sir William having learn’d, That from the shore a full-grown man might
wade And make himself a freeman of this spot At any hour he chose, the Knight forth with Desisted, and the quarry and the mound Are monuments of his unfinish'd task. The block on which these lines are trac’d, per
Was once selected as the corner stone
Of the intended pile, which would have been
Some quaint odd play-thing of elaborate skill,
So that, I guess, the linnet and the thrush,
And other little builders who dwell here,
Had wonder'd at the work. But blame him
For old Sir William was a gentle Knight,
Bred in this vale to which he appertain'd
With all his ancestry.' Then peace to him,
And for the outrage which he had devis'd,
Entire forgiveness.--But if thou art one
On fire with thy impatience to become
An Inınate of these mountains, if disturb’d
By beautiful conceptions, thou hast hown
Out of the quiet rock the elements
Of thy trim mansion destin'd soon to blaze
In snow-white splendor, think again, and
taught By old Sir William and his Quarry, leave Thy fragments to the braimble and the rose; There let the vernaì slow-worm sun himself And let the red-breast hop from stone to stone.
In the School of — is a Tablet on which are inscribed, in gilt letters, the Names of the several persons wbo bave been Schoolmasters there since the foundation of the School, with the rime at which they entered upon and quitted their office. Op posite one of those Names the Author wrote the folo lowing
IF Nature, 'for a favorite Child
In Thee hath temper'd so her clay,
That every hour thy heart runs wild
Yet never once doth go astray,
Read v'er thesc Lines; and then review
This Tablet, that thus humbly rears
In such diversity of hue
Its history of two hundred years.
-When through this little wreck of faine,
Cypher and syllable, thine eye
Has travelld down to Matthew's name,
Pause with no common sympathy.
And if a sleeping tear should wake,
Then be it neither check'd nor stay'd:
For Matthew a request I make
Which for himself he had not made.
Poor Matthew, all his frolics' o'er,
Is silent as a standing pool,
Far from the chimney's merry roar,
And murmur of the village school.
The sighs which Matthew heav'd were sighs
Of one tir'd out with fun and madness;
The tears which came to Matthew's eyes
Were tears of light, the oil of gladness.
Yet sometimes when the secret cup
Of still and serious thought went round,
It seem'd as if he drank it up,
He felt with spirit so profound.
-Thou soul of God's best earthly mould !
Thou happy soul! and can it be
That these two words of glittering gold
Are all that must remain of Thee?
WE walk'd along; while bright and red
Uprose the morning sun,
And Matthew stopp'd, he look'd, and said
4 The Will of God be done!!!
A village Schoolmaster was he,
With Hair of glittering grey;
As blithe a man as you could see
On a spring holiday.. 10321114.
And on that morning, throngh the grass,
And by the steaming rills,
We travelld merrily to pass
A day among the hills.
« Our work (said I) was well begun;
“ Then, from thy breast what thought,
* Beneath so beautiful a sun,
“ So sad a sigh has brought?"