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“Turn, gentle hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way, To where yon taper cheers the vale
With hospitable ray.
s« 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 dang'rous gloom; For yonder faithless phantom flies To lure thee to thy doom.
* Here to the houseless child of want
My door is open still;
I give it with good will.
“ Then turn to-night, and freely share
Whate'er my cell bestows; My rushy couch and frugal fare,
My blessing and repose.
“ No flocks that range the valley free
To slaughter I condemn:
I learn to pity them :
" But from the mountain's
side A guiltless feast I bring ; A scrip with herbs and fruits supply'd,
And water from the spring.
« Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;
All earth-born cares are wrong: Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long,"
Soft as the dew from heav'n descends,
His gentle accents fell:
And follows to the cell.
Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay ;
And strangers led astray.
No stores beneath its humble thatch
Requir'd a master's care;
Receiv'd the harmless pair.
And now when busy crowds retire
To take their ev'ning rest, The hermit trimm'd his little fire,
And cheer'd his pensive guest :
And spread his vegetable store,
And gaily prest, and smild; And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The ling'ring hours beguild,
Around in sympathetic mirth
Its tricks the kitten tries;
The crackling faggot flies.
But nothing could a charm impart
To soothe the stranger's woe; For grief was heavy at his heart,
And tears began to flow.
His rising cares the hermit spy'd,
With answ'ring care opprest : “ And whence, unhappy youth,” he cry'd,
The sorrows of thy breast ?
“ From better habitations spurn’d,
Reluctant dost thou rove;
Or unregarded love?
“ Alas! the joys that fortune, brings
Are trifling, and decay;
More trifling still than they.
" And what is friendship but a name,
A charm that lulls to sleep;
And leaves the wretch to weep?
" And love is still an emptier sound,
The modern fair-one's jest: On earth unseen, or only found
To warm the turtle's nest..
“ For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush, And spurn the sex,”
” he said : But while he spoke, a rising blush
His love-lorn guest betray'd.
Surpris'd he sees new beauties rise,
Swift mantling to the view;
As bright, as transient too.
The bashful look, the rising breast,
Alternate spread alarms:
A maid in all her charms.