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Left upon a Seat in a Yew-tree, which stands near
the lake of Esthwaite, on a desolate part of the shore, commanding a beautiful prospect.
Nay, Traveller! rest. This lonely Yew-tree
stands Far from all human dwelling: what if here No sparkling rivulet spread the verdant herb ? What if the bee love not these barren boughs ? Yet, if the wind breathe soft, the curling waves, That break against the shore, shall lull thy
mind By one soft impulse saved from vacancy.
-Who he was That piled these stones, and with the mossy
sod First covered, and here taught this aged Tree With its dark arms to form a circling bower, I well remember.—He was one who owned No common soul. In youth by science rsed
And led by nature into a wild scene
Of lofty hopes, he to the world went forth
A favoured Being, knowing no desire
Which genius did not hallow; 'gainst the taint
Of dissolute tongues, and jealousy, and hate,
And scorn,-against all enemies prepared,
All but neglect. The world, for so it thought,
Owed him no service; wherefore he at once
With indignation turned himself away,
And with the food of pride sustained his soul
In solitude.-Stranger! these gloomy boughs
Had charms for him ; and here he loved to sit,
His only visitants a straggling sheep,
The stone-chat, or the glancing sand-piper :
And on these barren rocks, with fern and heath,
And juniper and thistle, sprinkled o’er,
Fixing his downcast eye, he many an hour
A morbid pleasure nourished, tracing here
An emblem of his own unfruitful life:
And, lifting up his head, he then would gaze
On the more distant scene,-how lovely 'tis
Thou seest,--and he would gaze till it became
Far lovelier, and his heart could not sustain
The beauty, still more beauteous! Nor, that
When nature had subdued him to herself,
Would he forget those Beings, to whose minds,
Warm from the labours of benevolence,
The world, and human life, appeared a scene
Of kindred loveliness : then he would sigh
Inly disturbed, to think that others felt
What he must never feel: and so, lost Man!
On visionary views would fancy feed,
Till his eye streamed with tears. In this deep
He died, this seat his only monument.
If Thou be one whose heart the holy forms, Of young imagination have kept pure, Stranger henceforth be warned; and know
that pride, Howe'er disguised in its own majesty, Is littleness; that he who feels contempt For any living thing, hath faculties Which he has never used; that thought with Is in its infancy. The man whose eye Is ever on himself doth look on one, The least of Nature's works, one who might The wise man to that scorn which wisdom holds Unlawful, ever. O be wiser, Thou ! Instructed that true knowledge leads to love; True dignity abides with him alone Who, in the silent hour of inward thought, Can still suspect, and still revere himself, In lowliness of heart.
THE OLD HUNTSMAN; WITH AN INCIDENT IN
WHICH HE WAS CONCERNED.
In the sweet shire of Cardigan,
Not far from pleasant Ivor-hall,
An old Man dwells, a little man,
'Tis said he once was tall.
Full five-and-thirty years he lived
A running Huntsman merry;
And still the centre of his cheek
Is blooming as a cherry.
No man like him the horn could sound,
And hill and valley rang with glee
When Echo bandied, round and round,
The halloo of Simon Lee.
In those proud days, he little cared
For husbandry or tillage ;
To blither tasks did Simon rouse
The sleepers of the village.
He all the country could outrun,
Could leave both man and horse behind ;
And often, ere the chase was done,
He reeled, and was stone-blind.
And still there's something in the world
At which his heart rejoices;
For when the chiming hounds are out,
He dearly loves their voices !
But, oh the heavy change !_bereft
Of health, strength, friends, and kindred, see!
Old Simon to the world is left
In liveried poverty.
His Master's dead, and no one now
Dwells in the Hall of Ivor;
Men, dogs, and horses, all are dead;
He is the sole survivor.
And he is lean and he is sick;
His body, dwindled and awry.
Rests upon ankles swoln and thick;
His legs are thin and dry.
One prop he has, and only one,
His wife, an aged woman,
Lives with him, near the waterfall,
Upon the village Common.
Beside their moss-grown hut of clay,
Not twenty paces from the door,
A scrap of land they have, but they
Are poorest of the poor.