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His present blessings, and to husband up
The respite of the season, he, at least,
And 'tis no vulgar service, makes them felt.

Yet further. Many, I believe, there are
Who live a life of virtuous decency,
135 Men who can hear the Decalogue and feel
No self-reproach; who of the moral law
Established in the land where they abide
Are strict observers; and not negligent
In acts of love to those with whom they

Make slow to feel, and by sure steps resign 140 95 To selfishness and cold oblivious cares.

Among the farms and solitary huts,
Hamlets and thinly-scattered villages,
Where'er the aged beggar takes his rounds,
The mild necessity of use compels
100 To acts of love; and habit does the work
Of reason; yet prepares that after-joy
Which reason cherishes. And thus the soul, 145
By that sweet taste of pleasure unpursued,'
Doth find herself insensibly disposed
105 To virtue, and true goodness.

Some there are,
By their good works exalted, lofty minds,
And meditative, authors of delight
And happiness, which to the end of time
Will live, and spread, and kindle: even
such minds

110 In childhood, from this solitary being,

Or from like wanderer haply have received
(A thing more precious far than all that

Or the solicitudes of love can do!)
That first mild touch of sympathy and

115 In which they found their kindred with
a world

Where want and sorrow were. The easy


Who sits at his own door,- and, like the


That overhangs his head from the green


Feeds in the sunshine; the robust and young,

120 The prosperous and unthinking, they

who live

Sheltered, and flourish in a little grove Of their own kindred; -all behold in him A silent monitor, which on their minds Must needs impress a transitory thought 125 Of self-congratulation, to the heart

Of each recalling his peculiar boons,
His charters and exemptions; and, per-

Though he to no one give the fortitude
And circumspection needful to preserve




Their kindred, and the children of their blood.

Praise be to such, and to their slumbers peace!

-But of the poor man ask, the abject

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165 To breathe and live but for himself alone,
Unblamed, uninjured, let him bear about
The good which the benignant law of

Has hung around him: and, while life
is his,

Still let him prompt the unlettered villagers 170 To tender offices and pensive thoughts. - Then let him pass, a blessing on his head! And, long as he can wander, let him breathe

The freshness of the valleys; let his blood 15 Through beds of matted fern, and tangled

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Forcing my way, I came to one dear nook
Unvisited, where not a broken bough
Drooped with its withered leaves, un-
gracious sign

Of devastation; but the hazels rose
Tall and erect, with tempting clusters

A virgin scene!-A little while I stood,
Breathing with such suppression of the

As joy delights in; and with wise restraint
Voluptuous, fearless of a rival, eyed
The banquet;-or beneath the trees I sate
Among the flowers, and with the flowers
I played;

A temper known to those who, after long
And weary expectation, have been blest
With sudden happiness beyond all hope.
Perhaps it was a bower beneath whose

The violets of five seasons reappear, And fade, unseen by any human eye; Where fairy water-breaks' do murmur on Forever; and I saw the sparkling foam, 35 And-with my cheek on one of those green stones

That, fleeced with moss, under the shady trees,

Lay round me, scattered like a flock of

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Wasting its kindliness on stocks and stones,
And on the vacant air. Then up I rose,
And dragged to earth both branch and
bough, with crash

45 And merciless ravage: and the shady nook Of hazels, and the green and mossy bower, Deformed and sullied, patiently gave up Their quiet being: and unless I now Confound my present feelings with the past,

50 Ere from the mutilated bower I turned Exulting, rich beyond the wealth of kings, I felt a sense of pain when I beheld The silent trees, and saw the intruding sky.

Then, dearest maiden, move along these


55 In gentleness of heart; with gentle hand Touch-for there is a spirit in the woods.

1 ripples

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Three years she grew in sun and shower,
Then Nature said, "A lovelier flower
On earth was never sown;

This child I to myself will take;

5 She shall be mine, and I will make A lady of my own.

"Myself will to my darling be

Both law and impulse: and with me
The girl, in rock and plain,

25 What fond and wayward thoughts will slide 10 In earth and heaven, in glade and bower,

Into a lover's head!

"O mercy!" to myself I cried,

"If Lucy should be dead!"'

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Shall feel an overseeing power
To kindle or restrain.

"She shall be sportive as the fawn
That wild with glee across the lawn

15 Or up the mountain springs;
And hers shall be the breathing balm,
And hers the silence and the calm
Of mute insensate things.

"The floating clouds their state shall lend 20 To her; for her the willow bend; Nor shall she fail to see

Even in the motions of the storm
Grace that shall mould the maiden's form
By silent sympathy.

25 The stars of midnight shall be dear
To her; and she shall lean her ear

In many a secret place

Where rivulets dance their wayward round, And beauty born of murmuring sound 30 Shall pass into her face.

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25 And just above yon slope of corn
Such colors, and no other,

Were in the sky, that April morn,
Of this the very brother.

"With rod and line I sued1 the sport

30 Which that sweet season gave,

And, to the churchyard come, stopped short,

Beside my daughter's grave.

'Nine summers had she scarcely seen,
The pride of all the vale;

35 And then she sang;-she would have been A very nightingale,

"Six feet in earth my Emma lay; And yet I loved her more,

For so it seemed, than till that day 40 I e'er had loved before. '

"And, turning from her grave, I met,
Beside the churchyard yew,
A blooming girl, whose hair was wet
With points of morning dew.

45 "A basket on her head she bare;
Her brow was smooth and white:
To see a child so very fair,
It was a pure delight!

"No fountain from its rocky cave 50 E'er tripped with foot so free; She seemed as happy as a wave That dances on the sea.

"There came from me a sigh of pain Which I could ill confine;

55 I looked at her, and looked again:
And did not wish her mine!"

Matthew is in his grave, yet now,
Methinks, I see him stand,
As at that moment, with a bough
60 Of wilding in his hand.

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