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He did not think, as some have thought,
Whom honour never crown'd, The fame a father dearly bought,
Cou'd make the son renown'd.
He better thought, a noble fire,
Who gallant deeds had done, To deeds of hardihood shou'd fire
A brave and gallant son.
The fairest ancestry on carth
Without desert is poor ; And every deed of lofty worth
Is but a claim for more.
Sir ELDRED's heart was good and kind
Alive to Pity's call;
He lov'd, and felt for all.
When merit raised the sufferer's name,
He shower'd his bounty thex ; And those who could not prove that claim,
He fuccour'd still as men.
But sacred truth the Muse compels
His errors to impart ;
The fault of ELDRED's heart :
Tho' kind and gentle as the dove,
A: free from guile and art, And mild, and soft as infant love
The feelings of his heart.
Yet if the passions storm'd his soul,
By jealousy led on; The whirlwind
disdain'd controul, And bore his virtues down.
Not Thule's waves so wildly break
To drown the northern shore ; Nor Etna's entrails fiercer shake;
Or Scythia's tempefts roar,
As when on summer's sweetest day,
To fan the fragrant morn.
O’er fields of ripen'd corn ;
Deforms the ravag'd fields ;
And all reliftless yields.
Bat when, to clear his stormy breast,
The sun of reason shone,
then what anguish he betray'd !
His shame how deep, how true ! He vie:v d the waste his
had made, And shudder'd at the view.
The meek-ey'd dawn, in saffron robe,
Proclain' the opening day.
And hail the new-born May;
The birds their vernal notes repeat,
And glad the thick’ning grove,
With many a song of love ;
His morning vows to pay,
Who gave the goodly day.
That done he left his woodland glade,
And journey'd far away :
And thro’ the lone vale stray.
Within the bosom of a wood,
By circling hills embrac'd, A little, modeft mansion tood,
Built by the hand of taste.
While many a prouder caftle fell,
This safely did endure ; The house where guardian virtues dwell
Is facred, and secure.
Of Eglantine an humble fence
Around the mansion stood, Which charm'd at once the ravish'd sense,
And screen'd an infant wood.
The wood receiv'd an added
grace, As pleas'd it bent to look, And view'd its ever verdant face
Reflected in a brook.
The smallness of the stream did well
The master's fortunes shew;
From what a source they flow.
This mansion own's an aged Knight,
And such a man was he,
To tell what man shou'd be.
His youth in many a well fought field
Was train'd betimes to war ;
Was grac'd with many a scar.
The vigour of a green old age
His reverend form did bear; And yet, alas! the warrior fage
Had drain’d the dregs of care:
And forrow more than age can break,
And wound its hapless prey ; 'Twas sorrow furrow'd his firm cheek,
And turn'd his bright locks gray.
One darling daughter footh'd his cares,
young and beauteous dame; Sole comfort of his failing years,
And Birtha was her name,
Her heart a little sacred shrine,
Where all the Virtues meet ;
Had claim'd it for their feat.
She rear'd a fair and fragrant bower
Of wild and rustic taste, And there the screen'd each fav’rite flower
From every ruder blast.
And not a shrub or plant was there
But did some moral yield; For wisdom, by a father's care, Was found in
The trees whose foliage fell away,
And with the summer died,
Might lecture human pride.
And brav'd the wintry blast,
Which shall for ever jait.
He taught her that the gauc'i ft flowers
Were seldom fragrant found,
Lay useless on the ground.
While the sweet-scented rofe shall iait,
And boast its fragrant power, When life's imperfect day ie past,
and beauty's Morter hour.
And here the virgin lov'd to lead
Her inoffensive day,
And oft rerii'i to pray.
Embower'd the grac'd the woodland shades,
From courts and cities far, The pride of Caleconian maids,
The peerless northern star.
As lines that bright and blazing itar,
The glory of the night,
She sheds her filver light.
So Birtha shone :- But when she spoke
The Mufe herself was heard, As on the ravish'd air she broke,
And thus her prayer preferr'd.
66 O bless thy BIRTHA, Power Supreme,
16 In whom I live and move, " And bless me molt by blessing him
o Whom more than life I love.".