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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 time
When Nature had subdued him to herself
Would be forget those beings, to whose minds,
Warm from the labours of benevolence,
The world, and man himself, appeared a scene
Of kindred loveliness: then he would sigh
With mournful joy, 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 vale
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 him
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 move
The wise man to that scorn which wisdom holds
Unlawful, ever. O, be wiser thou !
Instructed that true knowiedge 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.
A Narration in Dramatic Blank Verse.
But that entrance, Mother !
Can no one hear? It is a perilous tale !
My husband's father told it me,
Poor old Leoni !-Angels rest his soul !
He was a woodman, and could fell and saw.
You know that huge round beam Which props the hanging wall of the old chapel ?
Beneath that tree, while yet it was a tree
He found a baby wrapt in mosses, lined
With thistle beards, and such small locks of wool
As hang on brambles. Well, he brought him home,
And reared him at the then Lord Velez cost.
And so the babe grew up a pretty boy,
A pretty boy, but most unteachable-
And never learnt a prayer, nor told a bead,
But knew the names of birds, and mocked their notes,
And whistled, as he were a bird himself :
And all the autumn 'twas his only play
To get the seeds of wild flowers, and to plant them
With earth and water, on the stumps of trees.
A Friar, who gathered simples in the wood,
A grey-haired man-he loved this little boy,
The boy loved him-and, when the Friar taught him,
He soon could write with the pen : and from that time,
Lived chiefly at the Convent or the Castle.
So he became a very learned youth.
But Oh! poor wretch !-he read, and read, and read,
'Till his brain turned-and ere his twentieth year,
He had unlawful thoughts of many things :
And though he prayed, he never loved to pray
With holy men, nor in a boly place
yet his speech, it was so soft and sweet,
The late Lord Velez ne'er was wearied with him.
And once, as by the north side of the Chapel
They stood together, chained in deep discourse,
The earth heaved under them with such a groan,
That the wall tottered, and had well-nigh fallen
Right on their heads. My Lord was sorely frightened ;
A fever seized him, and he made confession
Of all the heretical and lawless talk
Which brought this judgment: so the youth was seized
And cast into that cell. My husband's father
Sobbed like a child-it almost broke his heart :
And once as he was working in the cellar,
He heard a voice distin&tly; 'twas the youth's
a doleful song about green fields,
How sweet it were on lake or wild savannah,
To hunt for food, and be a naked man,
And wander up and down at liberty.