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Written with a Slate-pencil, upon a Stone, the largest of a Heap lying near a

deserted Quarry, upon one of the Islands at Rydale.

STRANGER! this hillock of misshapen stones
Is not a ruin of the ancient time,
Nor, as perchance thou rashly deem’st, the Cairn
Of some old British Chief: 'tis nothing more
Than the rude embryo of a little Dome
Or Pleasure-house, once destined to be built
Among the birch-trees of this rocky isle.
But, as it chanced, Sir Willian having learned
That from the shore a full-grown man might wade,
And make himself a freeman of this spot

any hour he chose, the Knight forthwith Desisted, and the quarry and the mound


Are monuments of his unfinished task.-
The block on which these lines are traced, perhaps,
Was once selected as the corner-stone
Of the intended Pile, which would have been
Some quaint odd play-thing of elaborate skill,
So that, I guess, the linnet and the thrush,
And other little Builders who dwell here,
Had wondered at the work. But blame him not,
For old Sir William was a gentle Knight
Bred in this vale, to which he appertained
With all his ancestry. Then peace to him,
And for the outrage which he had devised
Entire forgiveness !---But if thou art one
On fire with thy impatience to become
An inmate of these mountains, --if, disturbed
By beautiful conceptions, thou hast hewn
Out of the quiet rock the elements
Of thy trim mansion destin'd soon to blaze
In snow-white splendour,-think again, and, taught
By old Sir William and his quarry, leave
Thy fragments to the bramble and the rose;
There let the vernal Slow-worm sun himself,
And let the Pied-breast hop from stone to stone.

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