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That least of all can ought--that ever owned
Yet further. Many, I believe, there are The heaven-regarding eye and front sublime Who live a life of virtuous decency, Which man is born to--sink, howe'er depressed, Men who can hear the Decalogue and feel So low as to be scorned without a sin;
No self-reproach ; who of the moral law Without offence to God cast out of view;
Established in the land where they abide Like the dry remnant of a garden-flower
Are strict observers; and not negligent Whose seeds are shed, or as an implement In acts of love to those with whom they dwell, Worn out and worthless. While from door to door, Their kindred, and the children of their blood. This old Man creeps, the villagers in him
Praise be to such, and to their slumbers peace ! Behold a record which together binds
-But of the poor man ask, the abject poor; Past deeds and offices of charity,
Go, and demand of him, if there be here Else unremembered, and so keeps alive
In this cold abstinence from evil deeds,
And these inevitable charities,
No-man is dear to man; the poorest poor
Long for some moments in a weary life Among the farms and solitary huts,
When they can know and feel that they have been, Hamlets and thinly-scattered villages,
Themselves, the fathers and the dealers-out Where'er the aged Beggar takes his rounds, Of some small blessings ; have been kind to such The mild necessity of use compels
As needed kindness, for this single cause, To acts of love; and habit does the work
That we have all of us one human heart. Of reason; yet prepares that after-joy
--Such pleasure is to one kind Being known, Which reason cherishes. And thus the soul, My neighbour, when with punctual care, each week By that sweet taste of pleasure unpursued, Duly as Friday comes, though pressed herself Doth find herself insensibly disposed
By her own wants, she from her store of meal To virtue and true goodness.
Takes one unsparing handful for the scrip
Of this old Mendicant, and, from her door
Returning with exhilarated heart, And meditative, authors of delight
Sits by her fire, and builds her hope in heaven. And happiness, which to the end of time Will live, and spread, and kindle: even such minds
Then let him pass, a blessing on his head ! In childhood, from this solitary Being,
And while in that vast solitude to which Or from like wanderer, haply have received The tide of things has borne him, he appears (A thing more precious far than all that books To breathe and live but for himself alone, Or the solicitudes of love can do !)
Unblamed, uninjured, let him bear about That first mild touch of sympathy and thought, The good which the benignant law of Heaven In which they found their kindred with a world Has hung around him: and, while life is his, Where want and sorrow were. The easy man Still let him prompt the unlettered villagers Who sits at his own door,—and, like the pear To tender offices and pensive thoughts. That overhangs his head from the green wall, - Then let him pass, a blessing on his head ! Feeds in the sunshine ; the robust and young, And, long as he can wander, let him breathe The prosperous and unthinking, they who live The freshness of the valleys; let his blood Sheltered, and flourish in a little grove
Struggle with frosty air and winter snows; Of their own kindred ;-all behold in him
And let the chartered wind that sweeps the heath A silent monitor, which on their minds
Beat his grey locks against his withered face. Must needs impress a transitory thought
Reverence the hope whose vital anxiousness Of self-congratulation, to the heart
Gives the last human interest to his heart. Of each recalling his peculiar boons,
May never House, misnamed of INDUSTRY, His charters and exemptions; and, perchance, Make him a captive !—for that pent-up din, Though he to no one give the fortitude
Those life-consuming sounds that clog the air, And circumspection needful to preserve
Be his the natural silence of old age ! His present blessings, and to husband up
Let him be free of mountain solitudes; The respite of the season, he, at least,
And have around him, whether heard or not, And 'tis no vulgar service, makes them felt. The pleasant melody of woodland birds.
For Adam was simple in thought; and the poor,
Few are his pleasures : if his eyes have now
Thus thirty smooth years did he thrive on his farm:
To the neighbours he went,-all were free with
their money ; For his hive had so long been replenished with
honey, That they dreamt not of dearth ;—He continued
his rounds, Knocked here--and knocked there, pounds still
adding to pounds.
THE FARMER OF TILSBURY VALE.
'Tis not for the unfeeling, the falsely refined,
He paid what he could with his ill-gotten pelf,
He dwells in the centre of London's wide Town;
You lift up your eyes!—but I guess that you frame
the green ;
'Mid the dews, in the sunshine of morn,—'mid the To London—a sad emigration I weenjoy
With his grey hairs he went from the brook and Of the fields, he collected that bloom, when a boy; That countenance there fashioned, which, spite of And there, with small wealth but his legs and his a stain
hands, That his life hath received, to the last will remain. As lonely he stood as a crow on the sands.
A Farmer he was; and his house far and near All trades, as need was, did old Adam assume,
Yet Adam was far as the farthest from ruin,
He seems ten birthdays younger, is green and is
Yet Adam prized little the feast and the bowl,— For he's not like an Old Man that leisurely goes
And you guess that the more then his body must stir.
In the throng of the town like a stranger he, When hailstones have been falling, swarm on
In close self-shelter, like a Thing at rest.
But lately, one rough day, this Flower I passed
And recognised it, though an altered form, And tears of fifteen will come into his eyes.
Now standing forth an offering to the blast,
And buffeted at will by rain and storm.
“ It doth not love the shower, nor seek the cold :
But its necessity in being old.
The sunshine may not cheer it, nor the dew; Where proud Covent-garden, in desolate hours
It cannot help itself in its decay;
And, in my spleen, I smiled that it was grey.
To be a Prodigal's Favourite-then, worse truth,
A Miser's Pensioner-behold our lot!
Age might but take the things Youth needed not !
THE SMALL CELANDINE.
The traveller would hang his wet clothes on a chair;
Let them smoke, let them burn, not a straw would There is a Flower, the lesser Celandine,
he care! That shrinks, like many more, from cold and rain ; For the Prodigal Son, Joseph's Dream and his And, the first moment that the sun may shine,
sheaves, Bright as the sun himself, 'tis out again !
Oh, what would they be to my tale of two Thieves !
He once had a heart which was moved by the wires
The little hedgerow birds,
That peck along the road, regard him not.
With thought.—He is insensibly subdued
Long patience hath such mild composure given, This child but half knows it, and that not at all. That patience now doth seem a thing of which
He hath no need. He is by nature led They hunt through the streets with deliberate tread, To peace so perfect that the young behold And each, in his turn, becomes leader or led;
With envy, what the Old Man hardly feels. And, wherever they carry their plots and their
wiles, Every face in the village is dimpled with smiles.
TRANSLATED FROM CHIABRERA.
Weep not, beloved Friends! nor let the air
O Thou who movest onward with a mind
PERHAPS some needful service of the State
THERE never breathed a man who, when his life
* Ivi vivea giocondo e i suoi pensieri
Erano tutti rose. The Translator had not skill to come nearer to his original.