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And, after greetings interchanged, and given
By Leonard to the Vicar as to one
Unknown to him, this dialogue ensued.

LEONARD.

come

You live, Sir, in these dales, a quiet life :
Your years make up one peaceful family;
And who would grieve and fret, if, welcome
And welcome gone, they are so like each other,
They cannot be remembered ? Scarce a funeral
Comes to this church-yard once in eighteen

months ;
And yet, some changes must take place among

you: And you, who dwell here, even among these

rocks,
Can trace the finger of mortality,
And see, that with our threescore years and ten
We are not all that perish. I remember,
(For many years ago I passed this road)
There was a foot-way all along the fields
By the brook-side-'tis gone-and that dark

cleft!
To me it does not seem to wear the face
Which then had.

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PRIEST.

Nay, Sir, for aught I know, That chasm is much the same

LEONARD.

But, surely, yonde.

PRIEST.

Ay, there, indeed, your memory is a friend That does not play you false. On that tall pike

(It is the loneliest place of all these hills) There were two springs which bubbled side by

side, As if they had been made that they might be Companions for each other : the huge crag Was rent with lightning-one hath disappeared; The other, left behind, is flowing still.* For accidents and changes such as these, We want not store of them ;-a water-spout Will bring down half a mountain; what a feast For folks that wander up and down like you, To see an acre's breadth of that wide cliff One roaring cataract !-a sharp May-storm Will come with loads of January snow, And in one night send twenty score of sheep To feed the ravens; or a shepherd dies By some untoward death among the rocks : The ice breaks up and sweeps away a bridgeA wood is felled :-and then for our own homes ! A child is born or christened, a field ploughed,

* This actually took place upon Kidstow Pike at the head of Haweswater.

A daughter sent to service, a web spun,
The old house-clock is decked with a new face;
And hence, so far from wanting facts or dates
To chronicle the time, we all have here
A pair of diaries,-one serving, Sir,
For the whole dale, and one for each fire-side-
Yours was a stranger's judgment: for histo-

rians,
Commend me to these valleys!

LEONARD

Yet your Church-yard Seems, if such freedom may be used with you, To say that you are heedless of the past : An orphan could not find his mother's grave: Here's neither head nor foot-stone, plate of

brass, Cross-bones nor skull,--type of our earthly

state Nor emblem of our hopes: the dead man's

home Is but a fellow to that pasture-field.

PRIEST.

Why, there, Sir, is a thought that's new to me! The stone-cutters, 'tis true, might beg their

bread If every English church-yard were like ours;

Yet your conclusion wanders from the truth :
We have no need of names and epitaphs;
We talk about the dead by our fire-sides.
And then, for our immortal part! we want
No symbols, Sir, to tell us that plain tale :
The thought of death sits easy on the man
Who has been born and dies among the moun.

tains.

LEONARD.

Your Dalesmen, then, do in each other's

thoughts
Possess a kind of second life: no doubt
You, Sir, could help me to the history
Of half these graves ?

PRIEST.

For eight-score winters past, With what I've witnessed, and with what I've

heard, Perhaps I might; and, on a winter-evening, If you were seated at my chimney's nook, By turning o'er these hillocks one by one, We two could travel, Sir, through a strange

round; Yet all in the broad highway of the world. Now there's a grave--your foot is half upon it, It looks just like the rest; and yet that man Died broken-hearted.

LEONARD.

'Tis a common case. We'll take another: who is he that lies Beneath yon ridge, the last of those three graves! It touches on that piece of native rock Left in the church-yard wall.

PRIEST.

That's Walter Ewbank, He had as white a head and fresh a cheek As ever were produced by youth and age Engendering in the blood of hale fourscore. Through five long generations had the heart Of Walter's forefathers o'erflowed the bounds Of their inheritance, that single cottageYou see it yonder !--and those few green fields. They toiled and wrought, and still, from sire to

son, Each struggled, and each yielded as before A little-yet a little--and old Walter, They left to him the family heart, and land With other burthens than the crop it bore. Year after year the old man still kept up A cheerful mind, -and buffetted with bond, Interest, and mortgages : at last he sank, And went into his grave before his time. Poor Walter! whether it was care that spurred

him God only knows, but to the very last

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