Imágenes de páginas

And this Survivor, with his cheerful throng
Of open schemes, and all his inward hoard
Of unsunned griefs, too many and too keen,
Was overcome by unexpected sleep,
In one blest moment. Like a shadow thrown
Softly and lightly from a passing cloud,
Death fell upon him, while reclined he lay
For noon-tide solace on the summer grass,
The warm lap of his Mother Earth: and so,
Their lenicnt term of separation past,
That Family (whose graves you there behold)
By yet a higher privilege, once more
Were gathered to each other.”

Calm of mind
And silence waited on these closing words;
Until the Wanderer (whether moved by fear
Lest in those passages of life were some
That might have touched the sick heart of his Friend
Too nearly, or intent to reinforce
His own firm spirit in degree deprest
By tender sorrow for our mortal state)
Thus silence broke: « Dehold a thoughtless Man
From vice and premature decay preserved
By useful habits, to a fitter soil
Transplanted ere too late.—The Hermit, lodged
In the untrodden desert, tells his beads,
With each repeating its allotted prayer,
And thus divides and thus relieves the time;
Smooth task, with his compared, whose mind could


Not scantily, bright minutes on the thread
Of keen domestic anguish,_and beguile
A solitude, unchosen, unprofessed;
Till gentlest death released him.–Far from us
Be the desire—too curiously to ask
How much of this is but the blind result
Of cordial spirits and vital temperament,
And what to higher powers is justly due.
But you, Sir, know that in a neighbouring Vale
A Priest abides before whose life such doubts
Fall to the ground; whose gifts of Nature lie
Retired from notice, lost in attributes
Of Reason, honourably efficed by debts
Which her poor treasure-house is content to owe,
And conquests over her dominion gained,
To which her frowardness must needs submit.
In this one Mau is shewn a temperance—proof
Against all trials; industry severe
And constant as the motion of the day;
Stern self-denial round him spread, with shade
That might be deemed forbidding, did not there
All generous feelings flourish and rejoice;
Forbearance, charity in deed and thought,
And resolution competent to take
Out of the bosom of simplicity
All that her holy customs recommend,
And the best ages of the world prescribe.
–Preaching, administering, in every work
Of his sublime vocation, in the walks
Of worldly intercourse 'twixt man and man,
And in his humble dwelling, he appears
A Labourer, with moral virtue birt,
With spiritual graces, like a glory, crowned.»

a Doubt can Le none,w the Pastor said, “ for whom This Portraiture is sketched.—The Great, the Good,

The Well-beloved, the Fortunate, the Wise These Titles Emperors and Chiefs have borne,

Honour assumed or given: and Him, the Wonnakful,

Our simple Shepherds, speaking from the heart,

| Deservedly have styled.—From his Abode

In a dependent Chapelry, that lies
Behind yon hill, a poor and rugged wild,
Which in his soul he lovingly embraced,—
And, having once espoused, would never quit;
Hither, ere long, that lowly, great, good Man
Will be conveyed. An unelaborate Stone
May cover him; and by its help, perchance,
A century shall hear his name pronounced,
With images attendant on the sound;
Then, shall the slowly gathering twilight close
In utter night; and of his course remain
No cognizable vestiges, no more
Than of this breath, which shapes itself in words
To speak of him, and instantly dissolves.
–Noise is there not enough in doleful war,
But that the heaven-born poet must stand forth,
And lend the echoes of his sacred shell,
To multiply and aggravate the din?
Pangs are there not enough in hopeless love—
And, in requited passion, all too much
Of turbulence, anxiety, and fear—
But that the Minstrel of the rural shade
Must tune his pipe, insidiously to nurse
The perturbation in the suffering breast,
And propagate its kind, where'er he may
—Ah who (and with such rapture as befits
The hallowed theme) will rise and celebrate
The good Man's deeds and purposes; retrace
Ilis struggles, his discomfiture deplore,
His triumphs hail, and glorify his end?
That Virtue, like the fumes and vapoury clouds
Through Fancy's heat redounding in the brain,
And like the soft infections of the heart,
By charm of measured words may spread o'er field,
Hamlet, and town; and Piety survive
Upon the lips of Men in hall or bower;
Not for reproof, but high and warm delight,
And grave encouragement, by song inspired.
—Wain thought' but wherefore murmur or repine'
The memory of the just survives in heaven:
And, without sorrow, will this ground receive
That venerable clay. Meanwhile the best
Of what it holds confines us to degrees
In excellence less difficult to reach,
And milder worth : nor need we travel far
From those to whom our last regards were pard,
For such example.

Almost at the root
Of that tall Pine, the shadow of whose bare
And slender stem, while here I sit at eve,
Oft stretches tow'rds me, like a long straight path
Traced faintly in the greensward; there, beneath
A plain blue Stone, a gentle Dalesman lies,
From whom, in early childhood, was withdrawn
The precious gift of hearing. He grew up
From year to year in loneliness of soul;
And this deep mountain Valley was to him
Soundless, with all its streams. The bird of dawn
Did never rouse this Cottager from sleep
With startling summons; not for his delight
The vernal cuckoo shouted; not for him

Murmured the labouring bee. When stormy winds
Were working the broad bosom of the lake
Into a thousand thousand sparkling waves,
Rocking the trees, or driving cloud on cloud
Along the sharp edge of yon lofty crags,
The agitated scene before his eye
was silent as a picture: evermore
were all things silent, wheresoe'er he moved.
Yet, by the solace of his own pure thoughts
topheld, he duteously pursued the round
of rural labours; the steep mountain-side
Ascended with his staff and faithful dog;
The plough he guided, and the scythe he swayed;
And the ripe corn before his sickle fell
Among the jocund reapers. For himself,
All watchful and industrious as he was,
He wrought not; neither field nor flock he owned:
No wish for wealth had place within his mind;
Nor husband's love, nor father's hope or care.
Though born a younger Brother, need was none
That from the floor of his paternal home
He should depart, to plant himself anew.
And when, mature in manhood, he beheld
His Parents laid in earth, no loss ensued
of rights to him; but he remained well pleased,
By the pure bond of independent love
An inmate of a second family,
The fellow-labourer and friend of him
To whom the small inheritance had fallen.
—Nor deem that his mild presence was a weight
That pressed upon his Brother's house, for books
Were ready comrades whom he could not tire,
of whose society the blameless Man
was never satiate. Their familiar voice,
Even to old age, with unabated charm
Beguiled his leisure hours; refreshed his thoughts;
Beyond its natural elevation raised
His introverted spirit; and bestowed
Upon his life an outward dignity
which all acknowledged. The dark winter night,
The stormy day, had each its own resource;
Song of the muses, sage historic tale,
Science severe, or word of Holy Writ
Announcing immortality and joy
To the assembled spirits of the just,
From imperfection and decay secure.
—Thus soothed at home, thus busy in the field,
To no perverse suspicion he gave way,
No languor, peevishness, nor vain complaint:
And they, who were about him, did not fail
In reverence, or in courtesy; they prized
His gentle manners:—and his peaceful smiles,
The gleams of his slow-varying countenance,
were met with answering sympathy and love.

! - At length, when sixty years and five were told, A slow disease insensibly consumed

| The powers of nature: and a few short steps

of friends and kindred bore him from his home (Yon Cottage shaded by the woody crags) | To the profounder stillness of the grave. —Nor was his funeral denied the grace of many tears, virtuous and thoughtful grief; Heart-sorrow rendered sweet by gratitude.

And now that monumental Stone preserves
His name, and unambitiously relates

How long, and by what kindly outward aids,
And in what pure contentedness of mind,
The sad privation was by him endured.
—And yon tall Pine-tree, whose composing sound
Was wasted on the good Man's living ear,
Hath now its own peculiar sanctity;
And, at the touch of every wandering breeze,
Murmurs, not idly, o'er his peaceful grave.

• Soul-cheering Light, most bountiful of Things: Guide of our way, mysterious Comforter: Whose sacred influence,spread through earth and heaven, We all too thanklessly participate, Thy gifts were utterly withheld from him Whose place of rest is near yon ivied Porch. Yet, of the wild brooks ask if he complained; Ask of the channelled rivers if they held A safer, easier, more determined course. What terror doth it strike into the mind To think of One, who cannot see, advancing Towards some precipice's airy brink! But, timely warned, He would have stayed his steps; Protected, say enlightened, by his ear, And on the very edge of vacancy Not more endangered than a Man whose eye Beholds the gulf beneath.-No floweret blooms Throughout the lofty range of these rough hills, Or in the woods, that could from him conceal Its birth-place; none whose figure did not live Upon his touch. The bowels of the earth Enriched with knowledge his industrious mind; The ocean paid him tribute from the stores Lodged in her bosom ; and, by science led, His genius mounted to the plains of Heaven. —Methinks I see him—how his eye-balls rolled, Beneath his ample brow, in darkness paired,— But each instinct with spirit; and the frame Of the whole countenance alive with thought, Fancy, and understanding; while the voice Discoursed of natural or moral truth With eloquence, and such authentic power, That, in his presence, humbler knewledge stood Abashcd, and tender pity overawed.»

• A noble—and, to unreflecting minds, A marvellous spectacle,” the Wanderer said, • Beings like these present! But proof abounds Upon the earth that faculties, which seem Extinguished, do not, therefore, cease to be. And to the mind among her powers of sense This transfer is permitted,—not alone That the bereft their recompense may win: But for remoter purposes of love And charity; nor last nor least for this, That to the imagination may be given A type and shadow of an awful truth; How, likewise, under sufferance divine, Darkness is banished from the realms of Death. By man's imperishable spirit, quelled. Unto the men who see not as we see Futurity was thought, in ancient times, To be laid open, and they prophesied. And know we not that from the blind have flowed The highest, holicst, raptures of the lyre; And wisdom married to immortal verse.”

Among the humbler Worthies, at our feet Lying insensible to human praise, Love, or regret, whose lineaments would next Have been pourtrayed, I guess not; but it chanced That near the quiet church-yard where we sate A Team of horses, with a ponderous freight Pressing behind, adown a rugged slope, Whose sharp descent confounded their array, Came at that moment, ringing noisily.

« Here,” said the Pastor, a do we muse, and mourn The waste of death; and lo! the giant Oak Stretched on his bier;-that massy timber wain; Nor fail to note the Man who guides the team a

He was a Peasant of the lowest class : Grey locks profusely round his temples hung In clustering curls, like ivy, which the bite Of Winter cannot thin; the fresh air lodged Within his cheek, as light within a cloud; And he returned our greeting with a smile. When he had passed, the Solitary spake; —s A Man he seems of cheerful yesterdays And confident to-morrows, with a face Not worldly-minded; for it bears too much Of Nature's impress, gaiety and health, Freedom and hope; but keen, withal, and shrewd. His gestures note, and hark! his tones of voice Are all vivacious as his mien and looks.”

The Pastor answered. “You have read him well. Year after year is added to his store With silent increase: summers, winters—past, Past or to come; yea, boldly might I say, Ten summers and ten winters of a space That lies beyond life's ordinary bounds, Upon his sprightly vigour cannot fix The obligation of an anxious mind, A pride in having, or a fear to lose; Possessed like outskirts of some large Domain, By any one more thought of than by him Who holds the land in fee, its careless Lord! —Yet is the creature rational—endowed With foresight; hears, too, every Sabbath day, The Christian promise with attentive ear; Nor will, I trust, the Majesty of Heaven Reject the incense offered up by him, Though of the kind which beasts and birds present In grove or pasture; cheerfulness of soul, From trepidation and repining free. How many scrupulous worshippers fall down Upon their knees, and daily homage pay Less worthy, less religious even, than his!

• This qualified respect, the Old Man's due, ls paid without reluctance; but in truth,” (Said the good Vicar with a fond half-smile) • I feel at times a motion of despite Tow'rds One, whose bold contrivances and skill, As you have seen, bear such conspicuous part In works of havoc; taking from these vales, One after one, their proudest ornaments. Full oft his doings leave me to deplore Tall ash-tree sown by winds, by vapours nursed, In the dry crannies of the pendent rocks; Light birch, aloft upon the horizon's edge, A veil of glory for the ascending moon;

And oak whose roots by noontide dew were damped,
And on whose forehead inaccessible
The raven lodged in safety.—Many a Ship
Launched into Morecamb Bay, to him hath owed
Her strong knee-timbers, and the mast that bears
The loftiest of her pendants. He, from Park
Or Forest, fetched the enormous axle-tree
That whirls (how slow itself!) ten thousand spindles:–
And the vast engine labouring in the mine, -
Content with meaner prowess, must have lacked
The trunk and body of its marvellous strength,
If his undaunted enterprise had failed
Among the mountain coves.

Yon household Fir.
A guardian planted to fence off the blast,
But towering high the roof above, as if
Its humble destination were forgot;
That Sycamore, which annually holds
Within its shade, as in a stately tent |
On all sides open to the fanning breeze,
A grave assemblage, seated while they shear o
The fleece-incumbered flock;-the Joyful Elm, -
Around whose trunk the Maidens dance in May:-
And the Lord's OAk;—would plead their several rights
In vain, if He were master of their fate;
His sentence to the axe would doom them all.
—But, green in age and lusty as he is,
And promising to keep his hold on earth
Less, as might seem, in rivalship with men
Than with the forest's more enduring growth,
His own appointed hour will come at last:
And, like the haughty Spoilers of the world,
This keen Destroyer, in his turn, must fall.

“Now from the living pass we once again: From Age,” the Priest continued, a turn your thoughts, From Age, that often unlamented drops, And mark that daisied hillock, three spans long' —Seven lusty Sons sate daily round the board Of Gold-rill side; and when the hope had ceased Of other progeny, a Daughter then Was given, the crowning bounty of the whole; And so acknowledged with a tremulous joy Felt to the centre of that heavenly calm With which by nature every Mother's Soul Is stricken, in the moment when her throes Are ended, and her ears have heard the cry Which tells her that a living Child is born,-And she lies conscious, in a blissful rest, That the dread storm is weathered by them both. —The Father—Him at this unlooked-for gift A bolder transport seizes. From the side Of his bright hearth, and from his open door; Day after day the gladness is diffused To all that come, and almost all that pass; Invited, summoned, to partake the cheer Spread on the never-empty board, and drink Health and good wishes to his new-born Girl, From cups replenished by his joyous hand. —Those seven fair Brothers variously were moved Each by the thoughts best suited to his years: But most of all and with most thankful mind The hoary Grandsire felt himself enriched; A happiness that ebbed not, but remained To fill the total measure of the soul —From the low tenement, his own abode,

Whither, as to a little private cell,
He had withdrawn from bustle, care, and noise,
To spend the Sabbath of old age in peace,
Once every day he duteously repaired
To rock the cradle of the slumbering Babe:
For in that female Infant's name he heard
The silent Name of his departed Wife;
Heart-stirring music! hourly heard that name;
Full blest he was. ‘Another Margaret Green,
Oft did he say, “was come to Gold-rill side."
–Oh! pang unthought of, as the precious boon
Itself had been unlooked for;-oh dire stroke
Of desolating anguish for them all!
—Just as the Child could totter on the floor,
And, by some friendly finger's help upstayed,
Range round the garden walk, while She perchance
was catching at some novelty of Spring,
Ground-lower, or glossy insect from its cell
Drawn by the sunshine—at that hopeful season
The winds of March, smiting insidiously,
Raised in the tender passage of the throat
View less obstruction; whence—all unforewarned,
The Household lost their pride and soul's delight.
—But Time hath power to soften all regrets,
And prayer and thought can bring to worst distress
Due resignation. Therefore, though some tears
Fail not to spring from either Parent's eye
Oft as they hear of sorrow like their own,
Yet this departed Little one, too long
The innocent troubler of their quiet, sleeps
In what may now be called a peaceful trave.

• On a bright day, the brightest of the year, These mountains echoed with an unknown sound, A volley, thrice repeated o'er the Corse Let down into the hollow of that Grave, whose shelving sides are red with naked mould. Ye hains of April, duly wet this earth! Spare, burning Sun of Midsummer, these sods, That they may knit together, and there with Our thoughts unite in kindred quietness! Nor so the Valley shall forget her loss. Dear Youth, by young and old alike beloved, To me as precious as my own l–Green herbs May creep (I wish that they would softly creep) Over thy last abode, and we may pass Reminded less imperiously of thee;— The ridge itself may sink into the breast of earth, the great abyss, and be no more; Yet shall not thy remembrance leave our hearts, Tily image disappear!

The mountain Ash

No eye can overlook, when mid a grove
of yet unfaded trees she lifts her head
Decked with autumnal berries, that outshine
Springs richest blossoms; and ye may have marked
by a brook side or solitary tarn,
How she her station doth adorn;– the pool
Glows at her feet, and all the gloomy rocks
Are brightened round her. In his native Vale
Such and so glorious did this Youth appear;
A sight that kindled pleasure in all hearts
By his ingenuous beauty, by the gleam
of his fair eyes, by his capacious brow,
By all the graces with which Nature's hand
Had lavishly arrayed him. As old Bards

Tell in their idle songs of wandering Gods,
Pan or Apollo, veiled in human form;
Yet, like the sweet-breathed violet of the shade,
Discovered in their own despite to sense
Of Mortals (if such fables without blame
May find Chance-mention on this sacred ground)
So, through a simple rustic garb's disguise,
And through the impediment of rural cares,
In him revealed a Scholar's genius shone;
And so, not wholly hidden from men's sight,
In him the spirit of a Hero walked
Our unpretending valley.—How the coit
Whizzed from the Stripling's arm . If touched by him,
The inglorious foot-ball mounted to the pitch
Of the lark's flight, or shaped a rainbow curve,
Aloft, in prospect of the shouting field'
The indefatigable fox had learned
To dread his perseverance in the chase.
With admiration would he lift his eyes
To the wide-ruling eagle, and his hand
Was loth to assault the majesty he loved;
Else had the strongest fastnesses proved weak
To guard the royal brood. The sailing glead,
The wheeling swallow, and the darting snipe,
The sportive sea-gull dancing with the waves,
And cautious water-fowl, from distant climes,
Fixed at their seat, the centre of the Mere,
Were subject to young Oswald's steady aim.

• From Gallia's coast a Tyrant hurled his threats; Our Country marked the preparation vast Of hostile Forces; and she called—with voice That filled her plains and reached her utmost shores, And in remotest vales was heard—to Arms! —Then, for the first time, here you might have seen The Shepherd's grey to martial scarlet changed, That flashed uncouthly through the woods and fields. Ten hardy Striplings, all in bright attire, And graced with shining weapons, weekly marched, From this lone valley, to a central spot where, in assemblage with the Flower and Choice Of the surrounding district, they might learn The rudiments of war; ten-hardy, strong, And valiant; but young Oswald, like a Chief And yet a modest Comrade, led them forth From their shy solitude, to face the world, With a gay confidence and seemly pride; Measuring the soil beneath their happy feet Like Youths released from labour, and yet bound To most laborious service, though to them A festival of unencumbered ease; The inner spirit keeping holiday, Like vernal ground to sabbath sunshine left.

• Oft have I marked him, at some leisure hour, Stretched on the grass or seated in the shade Among his Fellows, while an ample \lap Before their eyes lay carefully outspread, From which the gallant Teacher would discourse, Now pointing this way and now that.— Here flows, Thus would he say, “the Rhine, that famous stream' Eastward, the Danube tow'rd this inland sea, A mightier river, winds from realm to realm;And, like a serpent, shews his glittering back Bespotted with innumerable isles. Ilcre reigns the Russian, there the Turk; observe

His capital city'—Thence—along a tract
Of livelier interest to his hopes and fears
Ilis finger moved, distinguishing the spots
where wide-spread conflict then most fiercely raged;
Nor left unstigmatized those fatal Fields
On which the Sons of mighty Germany
Were taught a base submission.— Ilere behold
A nobler race, the Switzers, and their Land;
Wales deeper far than these of ours, huge woods,
And mountains white with everlasting snow!'
—And, surely, he, that spake with kindling brow,
Was a true Patriot, hopeful as the best
Of that young Peasantry, who, in our days,
Have fought and perished for Helvetia's rights,
Ah, not in vain l—or those who, in old time,
For work of happier issue, to the side
Of Tell came trooping from a thousand huts,
When he had risen alone! No braver Youth
Descended from Judean heights, to march
With righteous Joshua; or appeared in arms
When grove was felled, and altar was cast down,
And Gideon blew the trumpet, soul-enflamed,
And strong in hatred of idolatry.”

This spoken, from his seat the Pastor rose, And moved towards the grave; instinctively His steps we followed ; and my voice exclaimed, • Power to the Oppressors of the world is given, A might of which they dream not. Oh! the curse, To be the Awakener of divinest thoughts, Father and Founder of exalted deeds, And to whole nations bound in servile straits The liberal Donor of capacities More than heroic! this to be, nor yet Ilave sense of one connatural wish, nor yet Deserve the least return of human thanks; Winning no recompense but deadly hate With pity mixed, astonishment with scorn',

When these involuntary words had ceased, The Pastor said, “So Providence is served ; The forked weapon of the skies can scnd Illumination into deep, dark Holds, Which the mild sunbeam hath not power to pierce. Why do ye quake, intimidated Thrones? For, not unconscious of the mighty debt Which to outrageous Wrong the Sufferer owes, Europe, through all her habitable seats, Is thirsting for their overthrow, who still Exist, as Pagan Temples stood of old, By very horror of their impious rites Preserved; are suffered to extend their pride, Like Cedars on the top of Lebanon Darkening the sun.—But less impatient thoughts, And love “all hoping and expecting all, This hallowed Grave demands; where rests in peace A humble Champion of the better Cause; A Peasant-youth, so call him, for he asked No higher name; in whom our Country showcô, As in a favourite Son, most beautiful. In spite of vice, and misery, and disease, Spread with the spreading of her wealthy arts, England, the ancient and the free, appeared, In him to stand, before my swimming eyes, Unconquerably virtuous and secure.

—No more of this, lest I offend his dust : Short was his life, and a brief tale remains.

• One summer's day—a day of annual pomp.
And solemn chase—from morn to sultry noon
His steps had followed, fleetest of the fleet,
The red-deer driven along its native heights
With cry of hound and horn; and, from that toil
Returned with sinews weakened and relaxed,
This generous Youth, too negligent of self,
Plunged—'mid a gay and busy throng convened
To wash the fleeces of his Father's flock—
Into the chilling flood.

Convulsions dire

Seized him, that self-same night; and through the space
Of twelve ensuing days his frame was wrench d
Till nature rested from her work in death.
—To him, thus snatch'd away, his Comrades paid
A Soldier's honours. At his funeral hour
Bright was the sun, the sky a cloudless blue—
A golden lustre slept upon the hills;
And if by chance a Stranger, wandering there,
From some commanding eminence had look d
Down on this spot, well pleased would he have seen
A glittering Spectacle; but every face
Was pallid, seldom hath that eye been moist
With tears—that wept not then; nor were the few
Who from their dwellings came not forth to join
In this sad service, less disturb’d than we.
They started at the tributary peal
Of instantaneous thunder, which announced
Through the still air the closing of the Grave;
And distant mountains echocq with a sound
Of lamentation, never heard before lo

The Pastor ceased.— My venerable Friend Victoriously upraised his clear bright eye; And, when that eulogy was ended, stood Enrapt, as if his inward sense perceived The prolongation of some still response, Sent by the ancient Soul of this wide Land, The Spirit of its mountains and its seas, Its cities, temples, ficlas, its awful power, Its rights and virtues—by that Deity Descending; and supporting his pure heart With patriotic confidence and joy. And, at the last of those memorial words, The pining Solitary turn'd aside, Whether through manly instinct to conceal Tender emotions spreading from the heart To his worn cheek; or with uneasy shame For those cold humours of habitual spleen, That fondly seeking in dispraise of Alan Solace and self-excuse, had sometimes urged To self-abuse, a not ineloquent tongue. —Right tow rā the sacred Edifice his steps Had beca directed; and we saw him now Intent upon a monumental Stone, Whose uncouth Form was grafied on the wall, Or rather seem'd to have grown into the side Of the rude Pile; as oft-times trunks of trees, Where Nature works in wild and craggy spots, Are seen incorporate with the living rock— To endure for aye. The Vicar, taking note Of his employment, with a courteous smile Exclaim d, “ The sagest Antiquarian's eye

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