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THE

HERMIT.

“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;
And though my portion is but scant,

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:
Taught by that Pow'r that pities me,

I learn to pity them :

" But from the mountain's

grassy

side A guiltless feast I bring ; A scrip with herbs and fruits supply'd,

And water from the spring.

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« 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:
The modest stranger lowly bends,

And follows to the cell.

Far in a wilderness obscure

The lonely mansion lay ;
A refuge to the neighb'ring poor,

And strangers led astray.

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No stores beneath its humble thatch

Requir'd a master's care;
The wicket, op'ning with a latch,

Receiv'd the harmless pair.

1

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 cricket chirrups in the hearth,

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 grieve for friendship unreturn'd,

Or unregarded love?

“ Alas! the joys that fortune, brings

Are trifling, and decay;
And those who prize the paltry things,

More trifling still than they.

" And what is friendship but a name,

A charm that lulls to sleep;
A shade that follows wealth or fame,

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;
Like colours o'er the morning skies,

As bright, as transient too.

The bashful look, the rising breast,

Alternate spread alarms:
The lovely stranger stands confest

A maid in all her charms.

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