« VorigeDoorgaan »
" 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 supply'd,
“ 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 heav'n descends,
His gentle accents fell:
And follows to the cell.
Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay;
And strangers led astray.
No stores beneath its humble thatch
Requir'd a master's care;
Receiv'd the harmless pair.
And now, when busy crowds retire,
To take their evening rest,
The Hermit trimm'd his little fire,
And cheer'd his pensive guest:
And spread his vegetable store,
And gaily prest, and smil'd;
And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The ling'ring hours beguil'd
Around, in sympathetic mirth,
Its tricks the kitten tries;
The cricket chirrups in the heart ;
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 spy'd,
With answering care opprest: 6 And whence, unhappy youth,” he cry'd,
« The sorrows of thy breast?
“ From better habitations spurn'd,
66 Reluctant dost thou rove;
“ Or grieve for friendship unreturn'd,
“ Or unregarded love?
66 Alas! the joys that fortune brings,
66 Are trifling, and decay; 66 And those who prize the paltry things,
6 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,
56 But 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 betray'd.
Surpris'd he sees new beauties rise,
Swift mantling to the view;