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Detached from pleasure, to the love of gain
Superior, insusceptible of pride,
And by ambitious longings undisturbed ;
Men, whose delight is where their duty leads
Or fixes them ; whose least distinguished day
Shines with some portion of that heavenly lustre
Which makes the sabbath lovely in the sight
Of blessed angels, pitying human cares.
-And, as on earth it is the doom of truth
To be perpetually attacked by foes
Open or covert, be that priesthood still,
For her defence, replenished with a band
Of strenuous champions, in scholastic arts
Thoroughly disciplined ; nor (if in course
Of the revolving world's disturbances
Cause should recur, which righteous Heaven avert !
To meet such trial) from their spiritual sires
Degenerate ; who, constrained to wield the sword
Of disputation, shrunk not, though assailed
With hostile din, and combating in sight
Of angry umpires, partial and unjust;
And did, thereafter, bathe their hands in fire,
So to declare the conscience satisfied :
Nor for their bodies would accept release ;
But, blessing God and praising him, bequeathed
With their last breath, from out the smouldering flame,
The faith which they by diligence had earned,
Or, through illuminating grace, received,
For their dear countrymen, and all mankind. O high example, constancy divine !
Even such a Man (inheriting the zeal And from the sanctity of elder times Not deviating, a priest, the like of whom, If multiplied, and in their stations set, Would o'er the bosom of a joyful land Spread true religion and her genuine fruits) Before me stood that day; on holy ground Fraught with the relics of mortality, Exalting tender themes, by just degrees To lofty raised ; and to the highest, last; The head and mighty paramount of truths, Immortal life, in never-fading worlds, For mortal creatures, conquered and secured.
That basis laid, those principles of faith Announced, as a preparatory act Of reverence to the spirit of the place, The Pastor cast his eyes upon the ground; Not, as before, like one oppressed with awe, But with a mild and social cheerfulness ; Then to the Solitary turned, and spake.
“At morn or eve, in your retired domain, Perchance you not unfrequently have marked A Visitor-in quest of herbs and flowers;
Too delicate employ, as would appear,
For one, who, though of drooping mien, had yet
From nature's kindliness received a frame
Robust as ever rural labour bred.”
The Solitary answered : « Such a Form
Full well I recollect. We often crossed
.Each other's path ; but, as the Intruder seemed
Fondly to prize the silence which he kept,
And I as willingly did cherish mine,
We met, and passed, like shadows. I have heard,
From my good Host, that being crazed in brain
By unrequited love, he scaled the rocks,
Dived into caves, and pierced the matted woods,
In hope to find some virtuous herb of power
To cure his malady!”
The Vicar smiled,
• Alas! before to-morrow's sun goes down
His habitation will be here : for him
That open grave is destined.”
“ Died he then
Of pain and grief?” the Solitary asked,
“ Do not believe it; never could that be!”
“He loved,” the Vicar answered, “ deeply loved, Loved fondly, truly, fervently; and dared At length to tell his love, but sued in vain; Rejected, yea repelled ; and, if with scorn Upon the haughty maiden's brow, 'tis but
A high-prized plume which female Beauty wears
In wantonness of conquest, or puts on
To cheat the world, or from herself to hide
Humiliation, when no longer free.
That he could brook, and glory in ;-but when
The tidings came that she whom he had wooed
Was wedded to another, and his heart
Was forced to rend away its only hope ;
Then, Pity could have scarcely found on earth
An object worthier of regard than he,
In the transition of that bitter hour !
Lost was she, lost; nor could the Sufferer say
That in the act of preference he had been
Unjustly dealt with ; but the Maid was gone !
Had vanished from his prospects and desires ;
Not by translation to the heavenly choir
Who have put off their mortal spoils—ah no !
She lives another's wishes to complete,
Joy be their lot, and happiness,' he cried, 'His lot and hers, as misery is mine!'
Such was that strong concussion; but the Man Who trembled, trunk and limbs, like some huge oak By a fierce tempest shaken, soon resumed The steadfast quiet natural to a mind Of composition gentle and sedate, And, in its movements, circumspect and slow. To books, and to the long-forsaken desk, O'er which enchained by science he had loved
To bend, he stoutly re-addressed himself,
Resolved to quell his pain, and search for truth
With keener appetite (if that might be)
And closer industry. Of what ensued
Within the heart no outward sign appeared
Till a betraying sickliness was seen
To tinge his cheek; and through his frame it crept
With slow mutation unconcealable ;
Such universal change as autumn makes
In the fair body of a leafy grove
Discoloured, then divested.
'Tis affirmed By poets skilled in nature's secret ways That Love will not submit to be controlled By mastery :—and the good Man lacked not friends Whó strove to instil this truth into his mind, A mind in all heart-mysteries unversed. 'Go to the hills,' said one, 'remit a while * This baneful diligence :-at early morn * Court the fresh air, explore the heaths and woods; And, leaving it to others to foretell, calculations
the ebb and flow “Of tides, and when the moon will be eclipsed, you,
your own benefit, construct A calendar of flowers, plucked as they blow Where health abides, and cheerfulness, and peace.' The attempt was made ;—'tis needless to report How hopelessly ; but innocence is strong, And an entire simplicity of mind,