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His sole companion, and his faithful friend,
Whom he, in gratitude, let loose to range
In fertile pastures—was beheld with eyes
Of admiration and delightful awe,
By those untravelled Dalesmen. With less pride,
Yet free from touch of envious discontent,
They saw a mansion at his bidding rise,
Like a bright star, amid the lowly band
Of their rude homesteads. Here the Warrior dwelt;
And, in that mansion, children of his own,
Or kindred, gathered round him. As a tree
That falls and disappears, the house is gone ;
And, through improvidence or want of love
For ancient worth and honourable things,
The spear and shield are vanished, which the Knight
Hung in his rustic hall. One ivied arch
Myself have seen, a gateway, last remains
Of that foundation in domestic care
Raised by his hands. And now no trace is left
Of the mild-hearted Champion, save this stone,
Faithless memorial! and his family name
Borne by yon clustering cottages, that sprang
From out the ruins of his stately lodge :
These, and the name and title at full length,-
Sir Alfred Hrthing, with appropriate words
Accompanied, still extant, in a wreath
Or posy, girding round the several fronts
Of three clear-sounding and harmonious bells,
That in the steeple hang, his pious gift.”

“So fails, so languishes, grows dim, and dies,"
The grey-haired Wanderer pensively exclaimed,
“ All that this world is proud of. From their spheres
The stars of human glory are cast down ;
Perish the roses and the flowers of kings,
Princes, and emperors, and the crowns and palms
Of all the mighty, withered and consumed !
Nor is power given to lowliest innocence
Long to protect her own. The man himself
Departs; and soon is spent the line of those
Who, in the bodily image, in the mind,
In heart or soul, in station or pursuit,
Did most resemble him. Degrees and ranks,
Fraternities and orders-heaping high
New wealth upon the burthen of the old,
And placing trust in privilege confirmed
And re-confirmed-are scoffed at with a smile
Of greedy foretaste, from the secret stand
Of Desolation, aimed: to slow decline
These yield, and these to sudden overthrow :
Their virtue, service, happiness, and state
Expire; and nature's pleasant robe of green,
Humanity's appointed shroud, enwraps
Their monuments and their memory. The vast Frame
Of social nature changes evermore
Her
organs

and her members with decay
Restless, and restless generation, powers
And functions dying and produced at need, -
And by this law the mighty whole subsists :

With an ascent and progress in the main ;
Yet, oh! how disproportioned to the hopes
And expectations of self-flattering minds !

The courteous Knight, whose bones are here interred, Lived in an age conspicuous as our own For strife and ferment in the minds of men ; Whence alteration in the forms of things, Various and vast. A memorable age ! Which did to him assign a pensive lotTo linger ʼmid the last of those bright clouds That, on the steady breeze of honour, sailed In long procession calm and beautiful. He who had seen his own bright order fade, And its devotion gradually decline, (While war, relinquishing the lance and shield, Her temper changed, and bowed to other laws) Had also witnessed, in his morn of life, That violent commotion, which o’erthrew, In town and city and sequestered glen, Altar, and cross, and church of solemn roof, And old religious house-pile after pile; And shook their tenants out into the fields, Like wild beasts without home! Their hour was come; But why no softening thought of gratitude, No just remembrance, scruple, or wise doubt? Benevolence is mild; nor borrows help, Save at worst need, from bold impetuous force, Fitliest allied to

anger

and revenge.

But Human-kind rejoices in the might
Of mutability ; and airy hopes,
Dancing around her, hinder and disturb
Those meditations of the soul that feed
The retrospective virtues. Festive songs
Break from the maddened nations at the sight
Of sudden overthrow; and cold neglect
Is the sure consequence of slow decay.

Even,” said the Wanderer, “as that courteous Knight, Bound by his vow to labour for redress Of ail who suffer wrong, and to enact By sword and lance the law of gentleness, (If I may venture of myself to speak, Trusting that not incongruously I blend Low things with lofty) I too shall be doomed To outlive the kindly use and fair esteem Of the poor calling which my youth embraced With no unworthy prospect. But enough ;

– Thoughts crowd upon me—and 'twere seemlier now To stop, and yield our gracious Teacher thanks For the pathetic records which his voice Hath liere delivered ; words of heartfelt truth, Tending to patience when affliction strikes ; To hope and love ; to confident

repose In God; and reverence for the dust of Man.”

END OF THE SEVENTH BOOK.

THE EXCURSION.

BOOK VIII.

THE PARSONAGE.

VOL. VI.

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