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Was busy in the distance, shaping things
path, Now faint,--the grass has crept o'er its grey
There, to and fro, she paced through many a
day Of the warm summer, from a belt of hemp That girt her waist, spinning the long drawn
thread With backward steps. Yet ever as there passed A man whose garments showed the soldier's
red, Or crippled mendicant in sailor's garb, The little child who sate to turn the wheel Ceased from his task; and she with faltering
voice Made many a fond enquiry; and when they, Whose presence gave no comfort, were gone by, Her heart was still more sad. And by yon gate, That bars the traveller's road, she often stood, And when a stranger horseman came, the latch Would lift, and in his face look wistfully : Most happy, if, from aught discovered there Of tender feeling, she might dare repeat The same sad question. Meanwhile her poor hut Sank to decay : for he was gone, whose hand, At the first nipping of October frost, Closed up each chink, and with fresh bands of
Chequered the green-grown thatch. And so
she lived Through the long winter, reckless and alone ; Until her house by frost, and thaw, and rain, Was sapped ; and while she slept, the nightly
damps Did chill her breast; and in the stormy day Her tattered clothes were ruffled by the wind; Even at the side of her own fire. Yet still She loved this wretched spot, nor would for
worlds Have parted hence; and still that length of road, And this rude bench, one torturing hope en
deared, Fast rooted at her heart : and here, my Friend, In sickness she remained ; and here she died; Last human tenant of these ruined walls."
The old Man ceased : he saw that I was
moved ; From that low bench, rising instinctively I turned aside in weakness, nor had power To thank him for the tale which he had told. I stood, and leaning o'er the garden wall, Reviewed that Woman's sufferings; and it
seemed To comfort me while with a brother's love I blessed her in the impotence of grief. Then towards the cottage I returned; ana traced Fondly, though with an interest more mild,
That secret spirit of humanity
wall, By mist and silent rain-drops silvered o'er, As once I passed, into my heart conveyed So still an image of tranquillity, So calm and still, and looked so beautiful Amid the uneasy thoughts which filled my mind, That what we feel of sorrow and despair From ruin and from change, and all the grief The passing shows of Being leave behind, Appeared an idle dream, that could not live Where meditation was. I turned away, And walked along my road in happiness."
He ceased. Ere long the sun declining shot A slant and mellow radiance, which began To fall upon us, while, beneath the trees, We sate on that low Bench : and now we felt,
Admonished thus, the sweet hour coming on.
TO THE DAISY.
** Her* divine skill taught me this,
That from every thing I saw
In youth from rock to rock I went,
Most pleased when most uneasy ;
Her much-loved Daisy !
* His muse.