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'Turn, gentle Hermit of the dale, And guide my lonely way, To where yon taper cheers the vale With hospitable ray.
'For here, forlorn and lost I tread, With fainting steps and slow;
Where wilds, immeasurably spread, Seem lengthening as I go.'
'Forbear, my son,' the Hermit cries, 'To tempt the dangerous gloom;
For yonder faithless phantom flies
'Here to the houseless child of want
My door is open still; And though my portion is but scant,
I give it with good will.
'Then turn to-night, and freely share Whate'er my cell bestows;
My rushy couch and frugal fare,
1 See the Vicar of Wakefield, cap. viii. 'No flocks that range the valley free
To slaughter I condemn :2
I learn to pity them:
'But from the mountain's grassy side
A guiltless feast I bring;
And water from the spring.
'Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;
All earth-born cares are wrong: 3 Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long.'
Soft as the dew from heaven descends,
His gentle accents fell:
And follows to the cell.
Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay;
And strangers led astray!
No stores beneath its humble thatch
2 This imperfect rhyme is the only defect in this sweet and simple poem, with the exception perhaps of 'fault' and 'sought,' as rhyming sounds in a following stanza. 3 ' Man wants but little, nor that little long.'
Young's Night 4th.
The wicket opening with a latch,
And now, when busy crowds retire
To take their evening rest,
And cheer'd his pensive guest:
And spread his vegetable store,
And gaily prest and smil'd; And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The lingering hours beguil'd.
Around in sympathetic mirth
Its tricks the kitten tries;
The crackling faggot flies.
But nothing could a charm impart
To soothe a stranger's woe; For grief was heavy at his heart,
And tears began to flow.
His rising cares the Hermit spied, With answering care opprest:'And whence, unhappy youth,' he cried, The sorrows of thy breast?
'From better habitations spurn'd,
Reluctant dost thou rove?
Or unregarded love?
'Alas! the joys that fortune brings
Are trifling, and decay;
More trifling still than they.
'And what is friendship but a name,
A charm that lulls to sleep;
And leaves the wretch to weep?
'And love is still an emptier sound,
The modern fair one's jest: On earth unseen, or only found
To warm the turtle's nest.
'For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush,
And spurn the sex,' he said: But while he spoke, a rising blush
His lovelorn guest betray'd.
Surpris'd, he sees new beauties rise,
Swift mantling to the view;
As bright, as transient too.
The bashful look, the rising breast,
Alternate spread alarms:
A maid in all her charms.
'And, ah! forgive a stranger rude, A wretch forlorn,' she cried;'Whose feet unhallow'd thus intrude Where heaven and you reside.
'But let a maid thy pity share, Whom love has taught to stray;Who seeks for rest, but finds despair Companion of her way.
'My father liv'd beside the Tyne,
A wealthy lord was he; And all his wealth was mark'd as mine,
He had but only me.
'To win me from his tender arms
Unnumber'd suitors came;
And felt, or feign'd a flame.
'Each hour a mercenary crowd With rici est proffers strove :Among the rest young Edwin bow'd, But never talk'd of love.
'In humble, simplest habit clad, No wealth or power had he;Wisdom and worth were all he had, But these were all to me.