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BY DR. PARNELL.
AR in a wild, unknown to public view, From youth to age, a rev'rend hermit grew; The mofs his bed, the cave his humble cell, His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well: Remote from man, with God he pass'd his days, Pray'r all his business, all his pleasure praise.
A life fo facred, fuch ferene repose, Seem'd heaven itself, till one fuggestion rose; That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey, This fprung fome doubt of providence's sway. His hopes no more a certain profpect boast, And all the tenor of his foul is loft: So when a smooth expanse receives imprefs'd Calm nature's image on its watʼry breast; Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow, And fkies beneath with anfw'ring colours glow; But if a ftone the gentle fea divide, Swift ruffling circles curl on ev'ry side; And glimm❜ring fragments of a broken fun, Banks, trees, and fkies, in thick diforder run.
To clear this doubt, to know the world by fight, To find if books or fwains report it right, (For yet by fwains alone the world he knew, Whose feet came wand'ring o'er the nightly dew) He quits his cell; the pilgrim-staff he bore, And fix'd the scallop in his hat before;
Then with the fun a rifing journey went,
The morn was wafted in the pathlefs grafs, And long and lonesome was the wild to pass; But when the fouthern fun had warm'd the day, A youth came pofting o'er a croffing way: His raiment decent, his complexion fair, And foft in graceful ringlets wav'd his hair. Then near approaching, Father, hail! he cry'd;' And, Hail, my fon, the rev'rend fire reply'd; Words follow'd words, from queftion anfwer flow'd, And talk of various kinds deceiv'd the road; Till each with other pleas'd, and loth to part, While in their age they differ, join in heart; Thus ftands an aged elm in ivy bound, Thus youthful ivy clafps an elm around.
Now funk the fun, the closing hour of day Came onward, mantled o'er with sober grey: Nature in filence bid the world repofe, When near the road a ftately palace rose : There by the moon, thro' ranks of trees they pass, Whofe verdure crown'd their floping fides of grass. It chanc'd the noble mafter of the dome Still makes his house the wand'ring ftranger's home; Yet ftill the kindness, from a thirst of praise, Prov'd the vain flourish of expensive ease. The pair arrive, the livery fervants wait, Their lord receives them at the pompous gate. The table groans with coftly piles of food, And all is more than hofpitably good.
Then led to reft, the day's long toil they drown,
The younger gueft purloin'd the glitt'ring prize,
Then walks with faintness on, and looks with fear:
While thus they pafs, the fun his glory fhrouds, The changing fkies hang out their fable clouds: A found in air prefag'd approaching rain, And beafts to covert fcud across the plain. Warn'd by the figns, the wand'ring pair retreat, To feek for fhelter at a neighb'ring feat.
'Twas built with turrets, on a rifing ground,
As near the mifer's heavy doors they drew,
With still remark the pond'ring hermit view'd
But now the clouds in airy tumults fly, The fun emerging opes an azure fky ; A fresher green the smelling leaves display, And glitt❜ring as they tremble, chear the day; The weather courts them from their poor retreat, And the glad mafter bolts the wary gate. While hence they walk, the pilgrim's bofom wrought With all the travail of uncertain thought; His partner's acts without their cause appear, 'Twas there a VICE, but feem'd a madness here. Detefting THAT, and pitying THIS, he goes, Loft and confounded with the various fhows.
Now night's dim fhades again involve the sky;
Hither the walkers turn their weary feet,