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Over both minds, when they awhile had mark'd Exchange the shepherd's frock of native gray The visible quiet of this holy ground,

For robes with regal purple tinged ; convert And breathed its soothing air; the spirit of hope The crook into a sceptre :-give the pomp And saintly magnanimity; that, spurning

Of circumstance, and here the tragic muse The field of selfish difference, and dispute, Shall find apt subjects for her highest art. And every care which transitory things,

Amid the groves, beneath the shadowy hills, Earth, and the kingdoms of the earth, create, The generations are prepared; the pangs, Doth, by a rapture of forgetfulness,

The internal pangs are ready ; the dread strife Preclude forgiveness, from the praise debarr'd, Of poor humanity's afflicted will Which else the Christian virtue might have claim’d. Struggling in vain with ruthless destiny." There live who yet remember here to have seen “ Though,” said the priest in answer," these be Their courtly figures,-seated on the stump

terins Of an old yew, their favourite resting place. Which a divine philosophy rejects, But, as the remnant of the long-lived tree

We, whose establish'd and unfailing trust Was disappearing by a swift decay,

Is in controlling providence, admit They, with joint care, determined to erect, That, through all stations, human life abounds Upon its site, a dial, that might stand

With mysteries :-for, if faith were left untried, For public use preserved, and thus survive How could the might, that lurks within her, then As their own private monument; for this Be shown? her glorious excellence—that ranks Was the particular spot, in which they wish'd Among the first of powers and virtues-proved ? (And Heaven was pleased t’ accomplish the desire) Our system is not fashion' to preclude That, undivided, their remains should lie.

That sympathy which you for others ask; So, where the moulder'd tree had stood, was raised And I could tell, not travelling for my theme Yon structure, framing, with th' ascent of steps Beyond these humble graves, of grievous crimes That to the decorated pillar lead,

And strange disasters : but I pass them by, A work of art more sumptuous than might seem Loath to disturb what heaven hath hush'd in peace. To suit this place; yet built in no proud scorn Still less, far less, am I inclined to treat Of rustic homeliness: they only aim'd

Of man degraded in his Maker's sight To ensure for it respectful guardianship.

By the deformities of brutish vice : Around the margin of the plate, whereon

For, in such portraits, though a vulgar face The shadow falls to note the stealthy hours, And a course outside of repulsive life Winds an inscriptive legend.” At these words And unaffecting manners might at once Thither we turn’d, and gather'd, as we read, Be recognised by all-" “Ah! do not think," The appropriate sense, in Latin numbers couch'd. The wanderer somewhat eagerly exclaim'd, Time flies; it is his melancholy task

“ Wish could be ours that you, for such poor gain," To bring, and bear away, delusive hopes,

(Gain shall I call it ?-gain of what ?-for whom ?) And reproduce the troubles he destroys.

Should breathe a word tending to violate But, while his blindness thus is occupied,

Your own pure spirit. Not a step we look or Discerning mortal! do thou serve the will In slight of that forbearance and reserve Of time's eternal master, and that peace

Which common human-heartedness inspires, Which the world wants, shall be for thee confirm’d.” And mortal ignorance and frailty claim,

“Smooth verse, inspired by no unletter'd muse,” | Upon this sacred ground, if nowhere else.” , Exclaim'd the skeptic, “and the strain of thought " True,” said the solitary,“ be it far Accords with nature's language ; the soft voice From us to infringe the laws of charity. Of yon white torrent falling down the rocks Let judgment here in mercy be pronounced ; Speaks, less distinctly, to the same effect.

This, self-respecting nature prompts, and this If, then, their blended influence be not lost Wisdom enjoins; but, if the thing we seek Upon our hearts, not wholly lost, I grant,

Be genuine knowledge, bear we then in mind E'en upon mine, the more are we required How, from his lofty throne, the sun can fling To feel for those among our fellow men,

Colours as bright on exhalations bred
Who, offering no obeisance to the world,

By weedy pool or pestilential swamp,
Are yet made desperate by too quick a sense As by the rivulet sparkling where it runs,
Of constant infelicity,'-cut off

Or the pellucid lake.”
From peace like exiles on some barren rock,

“ Small risk,” said I, Their life's appointed prison; not more free * Of such illusion do we here incur ; Than sentinels, between two armies, set,

Temptation here is none to exceed the truth With nothing better, in the chill night air, No evidence appears that they who rest Than their own thoughts to comfort them. Say why Within this ground, were covetous of praise, That ancient story of Prometheus chain'd ? Or of remembrance even, deserved or not. The vulture—the inexhaustible repast

Green is the churchyard, beautiful and green, Drawn from his vitals ? Say what meant the woes Ridge rising gently by the side of ridge, By Tantalus entail'd upon his race,

A heaving surface-almost wholly free And the dark sorrows of the line of Thebes ? From interruption of sepulchral stones, Fictions in form, but in their substance truths, And mantled o'er with aboriginal turf Tremendous truths ! familiar to the men

And everlasting flowers. These dalesmen trust Of long past times, nor obsolete in ours.

The lingering gleam of their departed lives

To oral records and the silent heart;

In power of mind, and eloquent discourse. Depository faithful, and more kind

Tall was her stature ; her complexion dark Than fondest epitaphs : for, if that fail,

And saturnine ; her head not raised to hold What boots the sculptured tomb ? and who can Converse with heaven, nor yet deprest towards earth, blame,

But in projection carried, as she walk'd Who rather would not envy, men that feel For ever musing. Sunken were her eyes ; This mutual confidence; if, from such source, Wrinkled and furrow'd with habitual thought The practice flow,---if thence, or from a deep Was her broad forehead; like the brow of one And general humility in death?

Whose visual nerve shrinks from a painful glare Nor should I much condemn it, if it spring Of overpowering light. While yet a child, From disregard of time's destructive power, She, 'mid the humble flowerets of the vale, As only capable to prey on things

Tower'd like the imperial thistle, not unfurnish'd Of earth and human nature's mortal part.

With its appropriate grace, yet rather seeking Yet-in less simple districts, where we see To be admired, than coveted and loved. Stone lift its forehead emulous of stone

E'en at that age she ruled, a sovereign queen In courting notice, and the ground all paved Over her comrades; else their simple sports, With commendations of departed worth ;

Wanting all relish for her strenuous mind, Reading, where'er we turn, of innocent lives, Had crossd her, only to be shunnd with scorn. Of each domestic charity fulfill’d,

0! pang of sorrowful regret for those And sufferings meekly borne-I, for my part, Whom, in their youth, sweet study has enthralla, Though with the silence pleased that here prevails, That they have lived for harsher servitude, Among those fair recitals also range,

Whether in soul, in body, or estate !
Soothed by the natural spirit which they breathe. Such doom was her's; yet nothing could subdue
And in the centre of a world whose soil

Her keen desire of knowledge, nor efface
Is rank with all unkindness, compass'd round Those brighter images—by books imprest
With such memorials, I have sometimes felt, Upon her memory, faithfully as stars
It was no momentary happiness

That occupy their places—and, though oft
To have one enclosure where the voice that speaks Hidden by clouds, and oft bedimm'd by haze,
In envy or detraction is not heard ;

Are not to be extinguish’d, nor impair'd.
Which malice may not enter ; where the traces “ Two passions, both degenerate, for they both
Of evil inclinations are unknown;

Began in honour, gradually obtain'd Where love and pity tenderly unite

Rule over her, and vex'd her daily life ; With resignation; and no jarring tone

An unrelenting avaricious thrift; Intrudes the peaceful concert to disturb

And a strange thraldom of maternal love, Of amity and gratitude.”

That held her spirit in its own despite, “ Thus sanction'd,” Bound-by vexation, and regret, and scorn, The pastor said, “ I willingly confine

Constrain'd forgiveness, and relenting vows, My narratives to subjects that excite

And tears, in pride suppress'd, in shame conceal'dFeelings with these accordant; love, esteem, To a poor dissolute son, her only child. And admiration lifting up a veil,

Her wedded days had open’d with mishap, A sunbeam introducing among hearts

Whence dire dependence. What could she perform Retired and covert; so that ye shall have

To shake the burden off? Ah! there was felt, Clear images before your gladden'd eyes

Indignantly the weakness of her sex. Of nature's unambitious underwood,

She mused-resolved, adhered to her resolve ; And flowers that prosper in the shade. And when The hand grew slack in almsgiving, the heart I speak of such among my flock as swerved Closed by degrees to charity; heaven's blessing Or fell, those only will I single out

Not seeking from that source, she placed her trust Upon whose lapse, or error, something more In ceaseless pains and parsimonious care, Than brotherly forgiveness may attend;

Which got, and sternly hoarded each day's gain. To such will we restrict our notice-else

“ Thus all was re-establish'd, and a pile
Better my tongue were mute. And yet there are, Constructed, that sufficed for every end
I feel, good reasons why we should not leave Save the contentment of the builder's mind;
Wholly untraced a more forbidding way,

A mind by nature indisposed to aught
For strength to persevere and to support,

So placid, so inactive, as content; And energy to conquer and repel ;

A mind intolerant of lasting peace, These elements of virtue, that declare

And cherishing the pang which it deplored. The native grandeur of the human soul,

Dread life of conflict ! which I oft compared Are ofttimes not unprofitably shown

To th' agitation of a brook that runs In the perverseness of a selfish course :

Down rocky mountains—buried now and lost
Truth every day exemplified, no less

In silent pools, now in strong eddies chain'd, -
In the gray cottage by the murmuring stream But never to be charm’d to gentleness;
That in fantastic conqueror's roving camp, Its best attainment fits of such repose
Or 'mid the factious senate, unappallid

As timid eyes might shrink from fathoming.
While merciless proscription ebbs and flows. “A sudden illness seized her in the strength
There,” said the vicar, pointing as he spake, Of life's autumnal season. Shall I tell
“ A woman rests in peace ; surpass'd by few How on her bed of death the matron lay,

To providence submissive, so she thought; Now she is not; the swelling turf reports
But fretted, vex'd, and wrought upon-almost Of the fresh shower, but of poor Ellen's tears
To anger, by the malady that griped

Is silent; nor is any vestige left
Her prostrate frame with unrelaxing power, Of the path worn by mournful tread of her
As the fierce eagle fastens on the lamb ?

Who; at her heart's light bidding, once had moved She pray'd, she moan'd-her husband's sister In virgin fearlessness, with step that seem'd watch'd

Caught from the pressure of elastic turf Her dreary pillow, waited on her needs;

Upon the mountains gemm’d with morning dew, And yet the very sound of that kind foot

In the prime hour of sweetest scents and airs. Was anguish to her ears! And must she rule,' Serious and thoughtful was her mind; and yet, This was the dying woman heard to say

By reconcilement exquisite and rare, In bitterness, and must she rule and reign, The form, port, motions of this cottage girl Sole mistress of this house, when I am gone? Were such as might have quicken'd and inspired Sit by my fire-possess what I possessid

A Titian's hand, addrest to picture forth Tend what I tended-calling it her own! Oread or Dryad glancing through the shade Enough ;-I fear, too much. One vernal evening, What time the hunter's earliest horn is heard While she was yet in prime of health and strength Star:ling the golden hills. A wide spread elm I well remember, while I pass'd her door,

Stands in our valley, named the Joyful Tree ; Musing with loitering step, and upward eye From dateless usage which our peasants hold Turn’d towards the planet Jupiter that hung Of giving welcome to the first of May Above the centre of the vale, a voice

By dances round its trunk. And if the sky Roused me, her voice ; it said, 'that glorious star Permit, like honours, dance and song, are paid In its untroubled element will shine

To the Twelfth Night, beneath the frosty stars As now it shines, when we are laid in earth Or the clear moon. The queen of these gay sports, And safe from all our sorrows.' She is safe, If not in beauty yet in sprightly air, And her uncharitable acts, I trust,

Was hapless Ellen. No one touch'd the ground And harsh unkindnesses, are all forgiven;

So deftly, and the nicest maiden's locks Chough, in this vale remember'd with deep awe!” Less gracefully were braided ; but this praise,

Methinks, would better suit another place. The vicar paused; and toward a seat advanced, “ She loved, and fondly deem'd herself beloved. A long stone seat, fix'd in the churchyard wall; The road is dim, the current unperceived, Part shaded by cool sycamore, and part

The weakness painful and most pitiful,
Offering a sunny resting place to them

By which a virtuous woman, in pure youth,
Who seek the house of worship, while the bells May be deliver'd to distress and shame.
Yet ring with all their voices, or before

Such fate was hers. The last time Ellen danced, The last hath ceased its solitary knoll.

Among her equals, round the Joyful Tree, Under the shade we all sate down; and there She bore a secret burden; and full soon His office, uninvited, he resumed.

Was left to tremble for a breaking vow,“ As on a sunny bank, a tender lamb

Then, to bewail a sternly-broken vow, Lurks in safe shelter from the winds of March, Alone, within her widow'd mother's house. Screen'd by its parent, so that little mound It was the season sweet, of budding leaves, Lies guarded by its neighbour ; the small heap Of days advancing toward their utmost length, Speaks for itself ;-an infant there doth rest, And small birds singing to their happy mates. The sheltering hillock is the mother's grave. Wild is the music of the autumnal wind If mild discourse, and manners that conferr'd Among the faded woods; but these blithe notes A natural dignity on humblest rank !

Strike the deserted to the heart;-I speak If gladsome spirits, and benignant looks,

Of what I know, and what we feel within. That for a face not beautiful did more

Beside the cottage in which Ellen dwelt Than beauty for the fairest face can do :

Stands a tall ash tree; to whose topmost twig
And if religious tenderness of heart,

A thrush resorts, and annually chants,
Grieving for sin, and penitential tears

At morn and evening from that naked perch,
Shed when the clouds had gather'd and distain'd While all the undergrove is thick with leaves,
The spotless ether of a maiden life ;

A time-beguiling ditty, for delight
If these may make a hallow'd spot of earth Of his fond partner, silent in the nest.
More holy in the sight of God or man

Ah, why,' said Ellen, sighing to herself,
Then, o'er that mould, a sanctity shall brood “Why do not words, and kiss, and solemn pledge ;
Till the stars sicken at the day of doom.

And pature that is kind in woman's breast,
« Ah! what a warning for a thoughtless man, And reason that in man is wise and good,
Could field or grove, could any spot of earth,

And fear of Him who is a righteous judge,
Show to his eye an image of the pangs

Why do not these prevail for human life,
Which it hath witness'd ; render back an echo To keep two hearts together, that began
Of the sad steps by which it hath been trod! Their spring-time with one love, and that have need
There by her innocent baby's precious grave, Of mutual pity and forgiveness, sweet
Yea, doubtless, on the turf that roofs her own, To grant, or be received; while that poor bird
The mother oft was seen to stand, or kneel O come and hear him! thou who hast to me
In the broad day, a weeping Magdalene.

Been faithless, hear him, though a lowly creature


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One of God's simple children that yet know not Their slender means; so, to that parent's care The universal Parent, how he sings

Trusting her child, she left their common home As if he wish'd the firmament of heaven

And with contented spirit undertook
Should listen, and give back to him the voice A foster-mother's office.
Of his triumphant constancy and love ;

'Tis, perchance, The proclamation that he makes, how far

Unknown to you that in these simple vales His darkness doth transcend our fickle light! The natural feeling of equality “Such was the tender passage, not by me

Is by domestic service unimpair’d; Repeated without loss of simple phrase,

Yet, though such service be, with us, removed Which I perused, even as the words had been From sense of degradation, not the less Committed by forsaken Ellen's hand

Th’ungentle inind can easily find means To the blank margin of a valentine,

T'impose severe restraints and laws unjust, Bedropp'd with tears. 'Twill please you to be told which hapless Ellen now was doom'd to feel; That, studiously withdrawing from the eye For (blinded by an over-anxious dread Of all companionship, the sufferer yet

Of such excitement and divided thought In lonely reading found a meek resource ;

As with her office would but ill accord) How thankful for the warmth of summer days, The pair, whose infant she was bound to nurse, When she could slip into the cottage barn,

Forbad her all communion with her own; And find a secret oratory there ;

Week after week, the mandate they enforced. Or, in the garden, under friendly veil

So near! yet not allow'd, upon that sight Of their long twilight, pore upon her book

To fix her eyes—alas ! 'twas hard to bear! By the last lingering help of open sky,

But worse affliction must be borne-sar worse; Till the dark night dismiss'd her to her bed ! For 'tis Heaven's will-that, after a disease Thus did a waking fancy sometimes lose

Begun and ended within three days' space, Th’unconquerable pang of despised love.

Her child should die; as Ellen now exclaim'd, “ A kindlier passion opend on her soul

Her own-deserted child! Once, only once,
When that poor child was born. Upon its face She saw it in that mortal malady ;
She look'd as on a pure and spotless gift

And, on the burial day, could scarcely gain
Of unexpected promise, where a grief

Permission to attend its obsequies, Or dread was all that had been thought of-joy She reach'd the house-last of the funeral train; Far livelier than bewilder'd traveller feels And some one, as she enter'd, having chanced Amid a perilous waste, that all night long

To urge unthinkingly their prompt departure, Hath harass’d him-toiling through fearful storm, Nay,' said she, with commanding look, a spirit When he beholds the first pale speck serene Of anger never seen in her before, Of dayspring, in the gloomy east reveal’d,

Nay, ye must wait my time!' and down she sate And greets it with thanksgiving." • Till this hour,' | And by the unclosed coffin kept her seat Thus, in her mother's hearing Ellen spake, Weeping and looking, looking on and weeping, "There was a stony region in my heart;

Upon the last sweet slumber of her child, But He, at whose command the parched rock Until at length her soul was satisfied. Was smitten, and pour'd forth a quenching stream, “ You see the infant's grave; and to this spot, Hath softeu'd that obduracy, and made

The mother, oft as she was sent abroad, Unlook'd for gladness in the desert place,

And whatsoe'er the errand, urged her steps:
To save the perishing; and, henceforth, I look Hither she came; here stood, and sometimes knelt
Upon the light with cheerfulness, for thee, In the broad day—a rueful Magdalene!
My infant ! and for that good mother dear, So call her ; for not only she bewail'd
Who bore me,-and hath pray'd for me in vain ;-) A mother's loss, but mourn'd in bitterness
Yet vot in vain, it shall not be in vain.'

Her own transgression, penitent sincere
She spake, nor was th' assurance unfulfillid, As ever raised to heaven a streaming eye.
And if heartrending thoughts would oft return, At length the parents of the foster child,
They stay'd not long. The blameless in fant grew; Noting that in despite of their commands
The child whom Ellen and her mother loved She still renew'd and could not but renew
They soon were proud of; tended it and nursed, Those visitations, ceased to send her forth;
A soothing comforter, although forlorn ;

Or, to the garden's narrow bounds, confined.
Like a poor singing bird from distant lands; I fail'd not to remind them that they errid;
Or a choice shrub, which he, who passes by For holy nature might not thus be cross'd,
With vacant mind, not seldom may


Thus wrongd in woman's breast: in vain I Fair flowering in a thinly peopled house,

pleaded Whose window, somewhat sadly, it adorns. But the green stalk of Ellen's life was snapp'd, Through four months' space the infant drew its And the flower droop'd ; as every eye could see, food

It hung its head in mortal languishment. From the maternal breast; then scruples rose; Aided by this appearance, I at length Thoughts, which the rich are free from, came and Prevail'd ; and from those bonds released, she went cross'd

Home to her mother's house. The youth was fied; The sweet affection. She no more could bear The rash betrayer could not face the shame By her offence to lay a twofold weight

Or sorrow which his senseless guilt had caused; On a kind parent willing to forget

And little would his presence, or proof given


Of a relenting soul, have now avail'd;

This tale gives proof that Heaven most gently deals For, like a shadow, he was pass'd away

With such, in their amiction. Ellen's fate, From Ellen's thoughts; had perish'd to her mind Her tender spirit, and her contrite heart, For all concerns of fear, or hope, or love,

Call to my mind dark hints which I have heard Save only those which to their common shame, Of one who died within this vale, by doom And to his moral being appertain's :

Heavier, as his offence was heavier far. Hope from that quarter would, I know, have Where, sir, I pray you, where are laid the bones brought

Of Wilfred Armathwaite ?” The vicar answer'd, A heavenly comfort: there she recognised “ In that green nook, close by the churchyard wall, An unrelaxing bond, a mutual need:

Beneath yon hawthorn, planted by myself There, and, as seem'd, there only. She had built, In memory and for warning, and in sign Her fond maternal heart had built, a nest

Of sweetness where dire anguish had been known, In blindness all too near the river's edge ;

Of reconcilement after deep offence, That work a summer flood with hasty swell There doth he rest. No theme his fate supplies Had swept away; and now her spirit long'd For the smooth glozings of th’indulgent world; For its last flight to heaven's security.

Nor need the windings of his devious course The bodily frame was wasted day by day; Be here retraced; enough that, by mishap Meanwhile, relinquishing all other cares,

And venial error, robb'd of competence, Her mind she strictly tutor’d to find peace

And her obsequious shadow, peace

of mind, And pleasure in endurance. Much she thought, He craved a substitute in troubled joy ; And much she read; and brooded feelingly Against his conscience rose in arms, and, braving Upon her own unworthiness. To me,

Divine displeasure, broke the marriage vow. As to a spiritual comforter and friend,

That which he had been weak enough to do Her heart she open'd; and no pains were spared Was misery in remembrance ; he was stung, To mitigate, as gently as I could,

Stung hy his inward thoughts, and by the smiles The sting of self-reproach, with healing words. Of wife and children stung to agony. Meek saint! through patience glorified on earth! Wretched at home, he gain' no peace abroad; In whom, as by her lonely hearth she sate, Ranged through the mountains, slept upon the earth, The ghastly face of cold decay put on

Ask'd comfort of the open air, and found A sun-like beauty, and appear'd divine !

No quiet in the darkness of the night, May I not mention-that, within those walls, No pleasure in the beauty of the day. In due observance of her pious wish,

His flock he slighted: his paternal fields The congregation join'd with me in prayer Became a clog to him, whose spirit wish'd For her soul's good ? Nor was that office vain. To fiy, but whither! And this gracious church, Much did she suffer: but, if any friend,

That wears a look so full of peace and hope Beholding her condition, at the sight

And love, benignant mother of the vale, Gave way to words of pity or complaint,

How fair amid her brood of cottages ! She still'd them with a prompt reproof, and said, She was to him a sickness and reproach. • He who afflicts me knows what I can bear; Much to the last remain'd unknown: but this And, when I fail, and can endure no more, Is sure, that through remorse and grief he died; Will mercifully take me to himself.'

Though pitied among men, absolved by God, So, through the cloud of death, her spirit pass'd He could not find forgiveness in himself; Into that pure and unknown world of love

Nor could endure the weight of his own shame. Where injury cannot come :--and here is laid “ Here rests a mother. But from her I turn, The mortal body by her infant's side.”

And from her grave. Behold-upon that ridge, The vicar ceased ; and downcast looks made That, stretching boldly from the mountain side, known

Carries into the centre of the vale That each had listen'd with his inmost heart.

Its rocks and woods—the cottage where she dwelt For me, th' emotion scarcely was less strong And where yet dwells her faithful partner, left Or less benign than that which I had felt

(Full eight years past) the solitary prop When, seated near my venerable friend,

Of many helpless children. I begin Beneath those shady elms, from him I heard With words that might be prelude to a tale The story that retraced the slow decline

Of sorrow and dejection ; but I feel Of Margaret sinking on the lonely heath,

No sadness, when I think of what mine eyes With the neglected house to which she clung. See daily in that happy family. I noted that the solitary's cheek

Bright garland form they for the pensive brow Confess’d the power of nature. Pleased though sad, Of their undrooping father's widowhood. More pleased than sad, the gray-hair'd wanderer Those six fair daughters, budding yet-not one, sate ;

Not one of all the band, a full-blown flower! Thanks to his pure imaginative soul

Deprest, and desolate of soul, as once Capacious and serene, his blameless life,

That father was, and fill'd with anxious fear, His knowledge, wisdom, love of truth, and love Now, by experience taught, he stands assured, Of human kind! He was it who first broke That God, who takes away, yet takes not half The pensive silence, saying, “ Blest are they Of what he seems to take; or gives it back, Whose sorrow rather is to suffer wrong

Not to our prayer, but far beyond our prayer; Than to do wrong, although themselves have err'd. He gives it—the boon produce of a soil

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