Page images

Ring in the valiant man and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand;

Ring out the darkness of the land, Ring in the Christ that is to be.


“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

To lure thee to thy doom.

“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,

My blessing and repose.

“No flocks that range the valley free,

To slaughter I condemn;
Taught by that Power that pities me,

I learn to pity them.

“ But from the mountain's grassy side,

A guiltless feast I bring; A scrip, with herbs and fruits supplied,

And water from the spring. “Then, Pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego ;

All earth-born cares are wrong: Man wants but little here below,

Nor wants that little long.”
Soft, as the dew from heaven descends,

His gentle accents fell ;
The modest stranger lowly bends,

And follows to the cell.

Far in a wilderness obscure,

The lonely mansion lay;
A refuge to the neighbouring poor,

And strangers led astray.
No stores beneath its humble thatch

Required a master's care ;
The wicket, opening with a latch,

Received the harmless pair.
And now, when busy crowds retire,

To take their evening rest,
The hermit trimmed his little fire,

And cheered his pensive guest;
And spread his vegetable store,

And gaily pressed and smiled; And, skilled in legendary lore,

The lingering hours beguiled.
Around, in sympathetic mirth,

Its tricks the kitten tries.;
The cricket chirrups in the hearth;

The crackling faggot flies.


But nothing could a charm impart,

To soothe the 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 spurned

Reluctant dost thou rove?
Or grieve for friendship unreturned,

Or unregarded love?
“ Alas! the joys that fortune brings

Are trifling, and decay;
And those who prize the paltry things,

More trifling still than they.
“And what is friendship but a name :

A charm that lulls to sleep!
A shade that follows wealth or fame,

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 love-lorn guest betrayed.
Surprised, he sees new beauties rise,

Swift mantling to the view,
Like colours o'er the morning skies;

As bright, as transient too.

The bashful look, the rising breast,

Alternate spread alarms;
The lovely stranger stands confest

A maid in all her charms.

And, "Ah! forgive a stranger rude,

A wretch forlorn," she cried, “ Whose feet unhallowed thus intrude Where heaven and


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 lived beside the Tyne,

A wealthy lord was he; And all his wealth was marked as mine;

He had but only me.
“ To win me from his tender arms,

Unnumbered suitors came ;
Who praised me for imputed charms,

And felt, or feigned a flame.
“Each hour a mercenary crowd

With richest proffers strove ; Among the rest, young Edwin bowed,

But never talked of love.

“In humble, simplest habit clad,

No wealth nor power had he; Wisdom and worth were all he had;

But these were all to me.

"The blossom opening to the day,

The dews of heaven refined, Could nought of purity display,

To emulate his mind,

“The dew, the blossom of the tree,

With charms inconstant shine ; Their charms were his; but, woe to me,

Their constancy was mine! “For still I tried each fickle art,

Importunate and vain ; And, while his passion touched my heart,

I triumphed in his pain. “Till quite dejected with my scorn,

He left me to my pride; And sought a solitude forlorn,

In secret, where he died. “But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,

And well my life shall pay ; I'll seek the solitude he sought,

And stretch me where he lay. “And there, forlorn, despairing, hid,

I'll lay me down and die : 'Twas so for me that Edwin did,

And so for him will I.”

“Forbid it heaven !" the hermit cried,

And clasped her to his breast; The wondering fair one turned to chide

'Twas Edwin's self that prest! “Turn Angelina, ever dear,

My charmer, turn to see
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,

Restored to love and thee.
“Thus let me hold thee to my heart,

And every care resign ;
And shall we never, never part,

My life,-my all that's mine?

« PreviousContinue »