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THE

HERMIT.

TURN, gentle hermit of the dale,

And guide my lonely way,
To where yon taper cheers the vale

With hospitable ray.
· For here forlomand lost tread;

With fainting steps and slow; Where wildsaimingasurably spread,

Seem lengthening aw 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:

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• 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 trimm'd his little fire,

And cheer'd his pensive guest: And spread his vegetable store,

And gaily press'd, and smiled; And, skill'd 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,

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But nothing could a charm impart

To sooth 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 oppress'd: · And whence, unhappy youth (he cried),

The sorrows of thy breast?
• From better habitations spurn’d,

Reluctant dost thou rove;
Or grieve for friendship unreturn'd,

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 lovelorn guest betray'd.
Surprised he sees new beauties rise,

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

As bright, as transient too.

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The bashful look, the rising breast,

Alternate spread alarms:
The lovely stranger stands confessid

A maid in all her charms.
• And ah! forgive a stranger rude,

A wretch forlorn (she cried); Whose feet unhallow'd thus intrude Where heaven and

you

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 mark'd as mine,

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

Unnumber'd suitors came, Who praised me for imputed charms,

And felt, or feign'd a flame. • Each hour a mercenary crowd

With richest proffers strove; Among the rest young Edwin bow'd,

But never talk'd of love. • In humble, simplest habit clad,

No wealth or 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.

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• The dew, the blossoms 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 touch'd my heart,

I triumph'd 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 clasp'd her to his breast : The wondering fair one turn'd to chide,

'Twas Edwin's self that press’d. • 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!

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