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IV. “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.
V. “Then turn, to-night, and freely share Whate'er my cell bestows— My rushy couch and frugal fare, My blessing and repose.
not for the busy disposition of some of your correspondents, the public should never have known that he owes me the hint of his ballad, or that I am obliged to his friendship and learning for communications of a much more important nature. I am,” etc. In 1775 Mr. Percy, on reediting his Relics of ancient English Poetry, gave this candid rejoinder, in a note to The Friar of orders gray : “As the foregoing song has been thought to have suggested to our late excellent poet, Dr. Goldsmith, the plan of his beautiful ballad of Edwin and Emma [Angelina] first printed [published] in his Vicar of Wakefield, it is but justice to his memory to declare that his poem was written first, and that, if there is any imitation in the case, they will be found both to be indebted to the beautiful old ballad, Gentle Herdsman, etc., printed in the second volume of this work, which the doctor had much admired in manuscript, and has finely improved.” He also observed, in a note to Gentle Herdsman : “Three of the following stanzas have been finely paraphrased by Dr. Goldsmith, in his charming ballad of Edwin and Emma.” [Angelina.] The stanzas to which he refers, as a paraphrase, are here numbered xxxiii.-xxxvi.
And water from the spring.
Nor wants that little long.”
This ballad was designed as a contrast to the fashionable verses of the time: “a combination of luxuriant images, without plot or connection; a string of epithets that improve the sound without carrying on the sense.” It seems to have been the especial favorite of its author. In conversation with Mr. Cradock, a short time before his decease, he exclaimed: “As to my Hermit, that poem, Cradock, can not be amended."
Soft as the dew from heaven descends,
The modest stranger lowly bends,
Far, in a wilderness obscure,
A refuge to the neighboring poor,
And strangers led astray.
No stores beneath its humble thatch
The wicket, opening with a latch,
Receiv'd the harmless pair.
And now, when busy crowds retire
The hermit trimm'd his little fire,
And cheer'd his pensive guest;
The cricket chirrups in the hearth,
The crackling fagot flies;
But, nothing could a charm impart
And tears began to flow.
xvi. His rising cares the hermit spied— With answering care oppress'd : “And whence, unhappy youth,” he cried,
“The sorrows of thy breast !
Or unregarded love?
xviii. “Alas! the joys that fortune brings Are trifling, and decay— And those who prize the paltry things More trifling still than they :
XIX. “And what is friendship but a name, A charm that lulls to sleep — A shade that follows wealth or fame,
But leaves the wretch to weep?
XX. “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.