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Little Dan is unbreeched, he is three birth-days old; His Grandsire that age more than thirty times told; There are ninety good seasons of (air and foul weather Between them, and both go a-stealing together.
With chips is the Carpenter strewing his floor?
Is a cart-load of peats at an old Woman's door?
Old Daniel his hand to the treasure will slide;
And his Grandson's as busy at work by his side.
Old Daniel begins, he stops short—and his eye
Through the lost look of dotage is cunning and sly. 'Tis a look which at this time is hardly his own, But tells a plain tale of the days that are flown.
Dan once had a heart which was moved by the wires
Of manifold pleasures and many desires :
And what if he cherished his purse ? 'Twas no more
Than treading a path trod by thousands before.
'Twas a path trod by thousands; but Daniel is one
Who went something further than others have gone:
And now with old Daniel you see how it fares;
You see to what end he has brought his gray hairs.
The Pair sally forth hand in hand: ere the sun
Has peered o'er the beeches their work is beguu:
And yet, into whatever sin they may fall,
This Child but half knows it, and that not at all.
They hunt through the streets with deliberate tread, And each in his turn is both leader and led; . And, wherever they carry their plots and their wiles, Every face in the village is dimpled with smiles.
Neither checked by the rich nor the needy they roam ;
For gray-headed Dan has a daughter at home,
Who will gladly repair all the damage that's done;
And three, were it asked, would be rendered for one.
Old Man! whom so oft I with pity have eyed,
I love thee, and love the sweet Boy at thy side :
Long yet mayst thou live! for a teacher we see
That lifts up the veil of our nature in thee.
At Jedborough, in the course of a Tour in Scotland, my Companion and I
went into private Lodgings for a few days; and the following Verses were called forth by the character and domestic situation of our Hostess.
AGE! twine thy brows with fresh spring flowers!
And call a train of laughing Hours ;
And bid them dance, and bid them sing;
And Thou, too, mingle in the Ring !
Take to thy heart a new delight; }
If not, make merry in despite !
For there is one who scorns thy power.
But dance! for under Jedborough Tower
There liveth, in the prime of glee,
A Woman, whose years are seventy-three,
Apd she will dance and sing with thee.
Nay! start not at that Figure—there!
Him who is rooted to his chair!
Look at him-look again! for He
Hath long been of thy Family.
With legs that move not, if they can,
And useless arms, a Trunk of Man,
He sits, and with a vacant eye;
A Sight to make a Stranger sigh!
Deaf, drooping, that is now his doom :
His world is in this single room:
Is this a place for mirth and cheer?
Can merry-making enter here?
The joyous Woman is the Mate Of Him in that forlorn estate! He breathes a subterraneous damp; But bright as Vesper shines her lamp: He is as mute as Jedborough Tower; She jocund as it was of yore, With all its bravery on; in times, When, all alive with merry chimes, Upon a sun-bright morn of May, It roused the Vale to Holiday. I praise thee, Matron! and thy due Is praise ; heroic praise, and true! With admiration I behold Thy gladness unsubdued and bold:
Thy looks, thy gestures, all present
The picture of a life well-spent :
This do I see; and something more;
A strength unthought of heretofore!
Delighted am I for thy sake;
And yet a higher joy partake.
Our Human-nature throws away.
Its second Twilight, and looks gay ;
A Land of promise and of pride
Unfolding, wide as life is wide.
Ah! see her helpless Charge! enclosed
Within himself, as seems; composed;
To fear of loss, and hope of gain,
The strife of happiness and pain,
Utterly dead! yet, in the guise
Of little Infants, when their eyes
Begin to follow to and fro
The person that before them go,
He tracks her motions, quick or slow.
Her buoyant Spirit can prevail
Where common cheerfulness would fail:
She strikes upon him with the heat
Of July Suns; he feels it sweet;