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THE HERMIT.

Around in sympathetic mirth
A BALLAD. 1765.

Its tricks the kitten tries;

The cricket chirrups in the hearth; “ Turn, gentle hermit of the dale, And guide my lonely way,

The crackling faggot flies. To where yon taper cheers the vale

But nothing could a charm impart With hospitable ray.

To soothe the stranger's woe; « For here forlorn and lost I tread,

For grief was heavy at his heart, With fainting steps and slow:

And tears began to flow. Where wilds immeasurably spread,

His rising cares the hermit spy'd, Seem length’ning as I go.”

With answering care opprest: “ Forbear, my son,” the hermit cries,

“ And whence, unhappy youth,” he cry'd, “ To tempt the dangerous gloom;

“ The sorrows of thy breast? For yonder faithless phantom fies

« From better habitations spurn'd, To lure thee to thy doom.

Reluctant dost thou rove: “ Here to the houseless child of want

Or grieve for friendship unreturn'd,
My door is open still;

Or unregarded love?
And though my portion is but scant,
I give it with good will.

“ Alas! the joys that fortune brings,

Are trifling, and decay; “ Then turn to-night, and freely share

And those who prize the paltry things, Whate'er my cell bestows;

More trifling still than they.
My rushy couch and frugal fare,
My blessing and repose.

“ And what is friendship but a name,

A charm that lulls to sleep; “ No flocks that range the valley free,

A shade that follows wealth or fame,
To slaughter I condemn :

And leaves the wretch to weep?
Taught by that power which pities me,
I learn to pity them :

66 And love is still an emptier sound,

The modern fair-one's jest: “ But from the mountain's grassy

side

On earth unseen, or only found
A guiltless feast I bring;

To warm the turtle's nest.
A scrip with herbs and fruits supply'd,
And water from the spring.

“ For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush,

And spurn the sex," he said: “ Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;

But while he spoke, a rising blush
All earth-born cares are wrong:

His love-lorn guest betray'd.
Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long."

Surpris'd he sees new beauties rise,

Swift mantling to the view; Soft as the dew from heaven descends,

Like colours o'er the morning skies, His gentle accents fell!

As bright, as transient too. The modest stranger lowly bends,

The bashful look, the rising breast, And follows to the cell.

Alternate spread alarms: Far in a wilderness obscure

The lovely stranger stands confest, The lonely mansion lay;

A maid in all her charms. A refuge to the neighb'ring poor,

“ And, ah, forgive a stranger rude, And strangers led astray.

A wretch forlorn,” she cry'd; No stores beneath its humble thatch

“Whose feet unhallow'd thus intrude, Requir'd a master's care;

Where heaven and you reside. The wicket op'ning with a latch,

“ But let a maid thy pity share, Receiv'd the harmless pair,

Whom love has taught to stray;

Who seeks for rest, but finds despair
And now, when busy crowds retire
To take their evening rest,

Companion of her way.
The hermit trimm'd his little fire,

“ My father liv'd beside the Tyne, And cheer'd his pensive guest !

A wealthy lord was he;

And all his wealth was mark'd as mine, And spread his vegetable store,

He had but only me.
And gaily prest, and smild;
And, skill'd in legendary lore,

66 To win me from his tender arms, The lingering hours beguild.

Unnumber'd suitors came;

To pause

Bit me,

10. GOLDSMITH.)
Who prais'd me for imputed charms,

Against the houseless stranger shuts the door;
And felt, or feign'd a flame.

Or where Campania's plain forsaken lies,

A weary waste expanding to the skies; “ Each hour a mercenary crowd

Where'er I roam, whatever realms to see,
With richest proffers strove:

My heart untravellid fondly turns to thee:
Among the rest young Edwin bow'd,

Still to my brother turns with ceaseless pain, But never talk'd of love.

And drags at each remove a lengthening chain. “ In humble, simplest habit clad,

Eternal blessings crown my earliest friend, No wealth or power had he;

And round his dwelling guardian saints attend; Wisdom and worth were all he had,

Blest be that spot, where cheerful guests retire But these were all to me.

from toil, and trim their evening fire;

Blest that abode, where want and pain repair, “ The blossom opening to the day,

And every stranger finds a ready chair;
The dews of heaven refin'd,

Blest be those feasts with simple plenty crown'd, Could nought of purity display,

Where all the ruddy family around
To emulate his mind.

Laugh at the jests or pranks that never fail, * The dew, the blossoms of the tree,

Or sigh with pity at some mournful tale;
With charms inconstant shine;

Or

press the bashful stranger to his food, Their charms were his, but woe to me,

And learn the luxury of doing good.
Their constancy was mine.

not destin'd such delights to share“ For still I try'd each fickle art,

My prime of life in wandering spent and careImportunate and vain :

Impellid, with steps unceasing, to pursue And while his passion touch'd my heart,

Some fleeting good, that mocks me with the view; I triumph'd in his pain.

That, like the circle bounding earth and skies,

Allures from far, yet, as I follow, flies; “ Till quite dejected with my scorn,

My fortune leads to traverse realms alone,
He left me to my pride;

And find no spot of all the world my own.
And sought a solitude forlorn

Ev'n now, where Alpine solitudes ascend,
In secret, where he dy'd.

I sit me down a pensive hour to spend; “But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,

And, plac'd on high above the storm's career, And well my life shall pay;

Look downward where an hundred realms appear: I'll seek the solitude he sought,

Lakes, forests, cities, plains extending wide, And stretch me where he lay.

The

pomp of kings, the shepherd's humbler pride. "And there forlorn, despairing, hid,

When thus creation's charms around combine, I'll lay me down and die;

Amidst the store should thankless pride repine ? 'Twas so for me that Edwin did,

Say, should the philosophic mind disdain And so for him will I."

That good which makes each humbler bosom vain?

Let school-taught pride dissemble all it can, " Forbid it, heaven!” the hermit cry'd,

These little things are great to little man;
And clasp'd her to his breast:

And wiser he, whose sympathetic mind
The wondering fair-one turn’d to chide-

Exults in all the good of all mankind. (crown'd; 'Twas Edwin's self that prest.

Ye glittering towns, with wealth and splendour * Turn, Angelina, ever dear,

Ye fields, where summer spreads profusion round; My charmer, turn to see

Ye lakes, whose vessels catch the busy gale; Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,

Ye bending swains, that dress the flowery vale; Restor'd to love and thee.

For me your tributary stores combine: “ Thus let me hold thee to my heart,

Creation's heir, the world, the world is mine. And ev'ry care resign:

As some lone miser, visiting his store, And shall we never, never part,

Bends at his treasure, counts, recounts it o'er;

Hoards after hoard's his rising raptures fill, My life—my all that's mine?

Yet still he sighs, for hoards are wanting still: “No, never, from this hour to part,

Thus to my breast alternate passions rise, We'll live and love so true,

Pleas'd with each good that Heav'n to man supplies: The sigh that sends thy constant heart, Y

Yet oft a sigh prevails, and sorrows fall,
Shall break thy Edwin's too."

To see the hoard of human bliss so small;
And oft I wish, amidst the scene, to find

Some spot to real happiness consign'd,
THE TRAVELLER;

Where my worn soul, each wandering hope at rest,
OR, A PROSPECT OF SOCIETY. 1765.

May gather bliss to see my fellows blest. Remote, unfriended, melancholy, slow,

But where to find that happiest spot below, Or by the lazy Scheld, or wandering Po;

Who can direct, when all pretend to know?

The shudd'ring tenant of the frigid zone Or onward, where the rude Carinthian boor

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Boldly proclaims that happiest spot his own; Though poor, luxurious; though submissive, vain;
Extols the treasures of his stormy seas,

Though grave, yet trifling; zealous, yet untrue;
And his long nights of revelry and ease.

And even in penance planning sins anew. The naked negro, panting at the line,

All evils here contaminate the mind, Boasts of his golden sands and palmy wine,

That opulence departed leaves behind; Basks in the glare, or stems the tepid wave,

For wealth was theirs, not far remov'd the date, And thanks his gods for all the good they gave. When commerce proudly flourish'd through the Such is the patriot's boast, where'er we roam,

At her command the palace learn'd to rise, (state; His first best country, ever is at home;

Again the long-fall’n column sought the skies; And yet, perhaps, if countries we compare,

The canvas glow'd beyond ev'n nature warm, And estimate the blessings which they share, The pregnant quarry teem'd with human form. Though patriots flatter, still shall wisdom find Till, more unsteady than the southern gale, An equal portion dealt to all mankind;

Commerce on other shores display'd her sail; As different good, by art or nature given

While nought remain’d of all that riches gave, To different nations, makes their blessings even.

But towns unmann'd, and lords without a slave: Nature, a mother kind alike to all,

And late the nation found with fruitless skill, Still grants her bliss at labour's earnest call; Its former strength was but plethoric ill. With food as well the peasant is supply'd

Yet, still the loss of wealth is here supplied
On Idra's cliffs as Arno's shelvy side;

By arts, the splendid wrecks of former pride;
And though the rocky-crested summits frown, From these the feeble heart and long-fall’n mind
These rocks, by custom, turn to beds of down. An easy compensation seem to find.
From art more various are the blessings sent; Here may be seen, in bloodless pomp array'd,
Wealth, commerce, honour, liberty, content. The pasteboard triumph and the cavalcade;
Yet these each other's power so strong contest, Processions form’d for piety and love,
That either seems destructive of the rest.

A mistress or a saint in every grove.
Where wealth and freedom reign,contentment fails; By sports like these are all their cares beguil'd,
And honour sinks where commerce long prevails. The sports of children satisfy the child.
Hence every state to one lov'd blessing prone, Each nobler aim, represt by long controul,
Conforms and models life to that alone.

Now sinks at last, or feebly mans the soul;
Each to the fav'rite happiness attends,

While low delights, succeeding fast behind,
And spurns the plan that aims at other ends; In happier meanness occupy the mind:
Till carried to excess in each domain,

As in those domes, where Cæsars once bore sway,
This fav’rite good begets peculiar pain.

Defac'd by time and tott'ring in decay,
But let us try these truths with closer eyes, There in the ruin, heedless of the dead,
And trace them through the prospect as it lies: The shelter-seeking peasant builds his shed;
Here, for a while my proper cares resign'd,

And, wondering man could want the larger pile,
Here let me sit in sorrow for mankind;

Exults, and owns his cottage with a smile. Like yon neglected shrub at random cast,

My soul turn from them, turn we to survey That shades the steep, and sighs at every

blast. Where rougher climes a nobler race display, Far to the right where Apennine ascends, Where the bleak Swiss their stormy mansion tread, Bright as the summer, Italy extends ;

And force a churlish soil for scanty bread; Its uplands sloping deck the mountain's side, No product here the barren hills afford, Woods over woods in gay theatric pride;

But man and steel, the soldier and his sword. While oft some temple's mould'ring tops between No vernal blooms their torpid rocks array, With venerable grandeur mark the scene.

But winter lingering chills the lap of May; Could nature's bounty satisfy the breast,

No zephyr fondly sues the mountain's breast, The sons of Italy were surely blest.

But meteors glare, and stormy glooms invest. Whatever fruits in different climes are found,

Yet still, even here, content can spread a charm, That proudly rise, or humbly court the ground; Redress the clime, and all its rage disarm. Whatever blooms in torrid tracts appear,

Though poor the peasant's hut, his feasts though Whose bright succession decks the varied year;. He sees his little lot the lot of all; Whatever sweets salute the northern sky

Sees no contiguous palace rear its head

To shame the meanness of his humble shed; With vernal lives, that blossom but to die;

No costly lord the sumptuous banquet deal,

To make him loathe his vegetable meal ; Nor ask luxuriance from the planter's toil:

But calm, and bred in ignorance and toil, While sea-born gales their gelid wings expand,

Each wish contracting, fits him to the soil. To winnow fragrance round the smiling land.

Cheerful at morn, he wakes from short repose, But small the bliss that sense alone bestows,

Breathes the keen air, and carols as he goes;

With patient angle trolls the finny deep,
In florid beauty groves and fields appear,
Man seems the only growth that dwindles here.

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These here disporting own the kindred soil,

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And sensual bliss is all the nation knows.

Or drives his vent'rous ploughshare to the steep;
Or seeks the den where snow-tracks mark the way,

Contrasted faults through all his manners reign:

Brass

And drags the struggling savage into day.

Have led their children through the mirthful maze; At night returning, every labour sped,

And the gay grandsire, skilldin gestic lore, He sits him down the monarch of a shed ;

Has frisk'd beneath the burden of threescore. Smiles by his cheerful fire, and round surveys

So blest a life these thoughtless realms display, His childrens' looks, that brighten at the blaze; Thus idly busy rolls their world away: While his lov'd partner, boastful of her hoard, Theirs are those arts that mind to mind endear, Displays her cleanly platter on the board :

For honour forms the social temper here. And haply too some pilgrim, thither led,

Honour, that praise which real merit gains, With many a tale repays the nightly bed.

Or even imaginary worth obtains, Thus every good his native wilds impart, Here passes current; paid from hand to hand, Imprints the patriot passion on his heart;

It shifts in splendid traffic round the land: And ev'n those ills, that round his mansion rise, From courts to camps, to cottages it strays, Enhance the bliss his scanty fund supplies.

And all are taught an avarice of praise ; Dear is that shed to which his soul conforms, They please, are pleas’d, they give to get esteem, And dear that hill which lifts him to the storms; Till, seeming blest, they grow to what they seem. And as a child, when scaring sounds molest,

But while this softer art their bliss supplies, Clings close and closer to the mother's breast, It gives their follies also room to rise: So the loud torrent, and the whirlwind's roar, For praise too dearly lov'd, or warmly sought, But bind him to his native mountains more. Enfeebles all internal strength of thought;

Such are the charms to barren states assign'd; And the weak soul, within itself unblest, Their wants but few, their wishes all confin’d. Leans for all pleasure on another's breast. Yet let them only share the praises due,

Hence ostentation here, with tawdry art, If few their wants, their pleasures are but few; Pants for the vulgar praise which fools impart; For every want that stimulates the breast,

Here vanity assumes her pert grimace, Becomes a source of pleasure when redrest.

And trims her robe of frieze with copper lace; Whence from such lands each pleasing science flies, Here beggar pride defrauds her daily cheer, That first excites desire, and then supplies;

To boast one splendid banquet once a year; Unknown to them, when sensual pleasures cloy, The mind still turns where shifting fashion draws, To fill the languid pause with finer joy;

Nor weighs the solid worth of self-applause. Unknown those powers that raise the soul to flame, To men of other minds my fancy flies, Catch every nerve, and vibrate through the frame. Embosom'd in the deep where Holland lies. Their level life is but a mouldering fire,

Methinks her patient sons before me stand, Cnquench'd by want, unfann'd by strong desire ; Where the broad ocean leans against the land, Unfit for raptures, or, if raptures cheer

And, sedulous to stop the coming tide, On some high festival of once a year,

Lift the tall rampire's artificial pride. In wild excess the vulgar breast takes fire,

Onward methinks, and diligently slow, Till, buried in debauch, the bliss expire.

The firm connected bulwark seems to grow; But not their joys alone thus coarsely flow; Spreads its long arms amist the watery roar, Their morals, like their pleasures, are but low: Scoops out an empire, and usurps the shore: For, as refinement stops, from sire to son

While the pent ocean rising o'er the pile, Unalter'd, unimprov'd the manners run;

Sees an amphibious world beneath him smile ; And love's and friendship’s finely pointed dart The slow canal, the yellow blossom’d vale, Falls blunted from each indurated heart.

The willow tufted bank, the gliding sail, Some sterner virtues o'er the mountain's breast The crowded mart, the cultivated plain, May sit, like falcons cowering on the nest;

A new creation rescu'd from his reign. But all the gentler morals, such as play [way, Thus, while around the wave-subjected soil Through life's more cultur'd walks, and charm the Impels the native to repeated toil, These far dispers’d, on timorous pinions fly, Industrious habits in each bosom reign, To sport and Autter in a kinder sky.

And industry begets a love of gain. To kinder skies, where gentler manners reign, Hence all the good from opulence that springs, I turn; and France displays hier bright domain. With all those ills superfluous treasure brings, Gay sprightly land of mirth and social ease, Are here display'd. Their much-lov'd wealth imPleas’d with thyself, whom all the world can please, parts How often have I led thy sportive choir,

Convenience, plenty, elegance, and arts; With tuneless pipe, beside the murmuring Loire, But view them closer, craft and fraud appear, Where shading elms along the margin grew, Even liberty itself is barter'd here. And freshen'd from the wave the zephyr flew; At gold's superior charms all freedom flies, And haply, though my harsh touch fault'ring still, The needy sell it, and the rich man buys; But mock'd all tune, and marr'd the dancer's skill, A land of tyrants, and a den of slaves; Yet would the village praise my wondrous power, Here wretches seek dishonourable graves, And dance forgetful of the noon-tide hour.

And calmly bent, to servitude conform, Alike all ages. Dames of ancient days

Dull as their lakes that slumber in the storm.

Heavens! how unlike their Belgic sires of old ! Hence, should one order disproportion'd grow, Rough, poor, content, ungovernably bold;

Its double weight must ruin all below. War in each breast, and freedom on each brow; O then how blind to all that truth requires, How much unlike the sons of Britain now!

Who think it freedom when a part aspires! Fir'd at the sound, my genius spreads her wing, Calm is my soul, nor apt to rise in arms, And Aies where Britain courts the western spring; Except when fast approaching danger warms: Where lawns extend that scorn Arcadian pride, But when contending chiefs blockade the throne, And brighter streams than fam'd Hydaspis glide. Contracting regal power to stretch their owa, There all around the gentlest breezes stray,

When I behold a factious band agree There gentle music melts on every spray ;

To call it freedom when themselves are free; Creation's mildest charms are there combin'd, Each wanton judge new penal statutes drax, Extremes are only in the master's mind!

Laws grind the poor, and rich men rule the las; Stern o'er each bosom reason holds her state, The wealth of climes, where savage nations roan, With daring aims irregularly great:

Pillag'd from slaves to purchase slaves at home; Pride in their port, defiance in their eye,

Fear, pity, justice, indignation start, I see the lords of human kind pass by;

Tear off reserve, and bare my swelling heart; Intent on high designs, a thoughtful band,

Till half a patriot, half a coward grown, By forms unfashion’d, fresh from nature's hand: I fly from petty tyrants to the throne. Fierce in their native hardiness of soul,

Yes, brother, curse with me that baleful hour, True to imagin'd right above controul,

When first ambition struck at regal power ; While even the peasant boasts these rights to scan, And thus polluting honour in its source, And learns to venerate himself as man.

Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force. Thine, freedom, thine the blessings pictur'd here, Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore, Thine are those charms that dazzle and endear; Her useful sons exchang'd for useless ore ! Too blest indeed, were such without alloy;

Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste, But foster'd even by freedom ills annoy;

Like flaring tapers brightning as they waste; That independence Britons prize too high,

Seen opulence, her grandeur to maintain,
Keeps man from man, and breaks the social tie. Lead stern depopulation in her train,
The self-dependent lordling stands alone,

And over fields where scatter'd hamlets rose,
All claims that bind and sweeten life unknown; In barren solitary pomp repose ?
Here by the bonds of nature feebly held,

Have we not seen at pleasure's lordly call, Minds combat minds, repelling and repell’d. The smiling long-frequented village fall : Ferments arise, imprison'd factions roar,

Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd, Represt ambition struggles round her shore, The modest matron, and the blushing maid, Till over wrought, the general system feels

Forc'd from their homes, a melancholy train, Its motion stop, or frenzy fire the wheels.

To traverse climes beyond the western main; Nor this the worst. As nature's ties decay, Where wild Oswego spreads her swamps around, As duty, love, and honour fail to sway,

And Niagara stuns with thund'ring sound? Fictitious bonds, the bonds of wealth and law,

Even now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim straps Still gather strength, and force unwilling awe. Through tangled forests, and through dangerous Hence all obedience bows to these alone,

ways; And talent sinks, and merit weeps unknown ; Where beasts with man divided empire clain, Till time may come, when, stript of all her charms, And the brown Indian marks with murd'rous ain; The land of scholars, and the nurse of arms, There, while above the giddy tempest flies, Where noble stems transmit the patriot flame,

And all around distressful yells arise, Where kings have toil'd, and poets wrote for fame, The pensive exile, bending with his woe, One sink of level avarice shall lie,

To stop too fearful, and too faint to go, And scholars, soldiers, kings, unhonour'd die. Casts a long look where England's glories shine,

Yet think not, thus when freedom's ills I state, And bids his bosom sympathize with mine. I mean to flatter kings, or court the great;

Vain, very vain, my weary search to find Ye powers of truth, that bid my soul aspire, That bliss which only centres in the mind; Far from my bosom drive the low desire ;

Why have I stray'd, from pleasure and repose, And thou, fair freedom, taught alike to feel

To seek a good each government bestows: The rabble's rage, and tyrant's angry steel : In every government, though terrors reign, Thou transitory flower, alike undone

Though tyrant kings, or tyrant laws restrain, By proud contempt, or favour's fostering sun: How small of all that human hearts endure, Still may thy blooms the changeful clime endure; That part which laws or kings can cause or cure! I only would repress them to secure:

Still to ourselves in every place consign’d, For just experience tells, in every soil,

Our own felicity we make or find. That those who think must govern those that toil; With secret course, which no loud storms annoy, And all that freedom's highest aims can reach,

Glides the smooth current of domestic joy. Is but to lay proportion'd loads on each.

The listed axe, the agonizing wheel,

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