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The world recedes; it disappears ! eze, leav'n opens on my eyes ! my ears
With sounds seraphic ring!
Lend, lend your wings ! I mount ! Ily!
D Grave! where is thy victory?
O Death! where is thy fting?
FAR in a wild, unknown to public view,
From youth to age a rev'rend Hermit grew;
The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell,
His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well :
Remote from man, with God he pass'd his days,
Pray'r all his business, all his pleasure praise.
A life so facred, such serene repose,
Seem'd heav'n itself, till one suggestion rose
That Vice should triumph, Virtue Vice obey;
This Sprung some doubt of Providence's sway:
His hopes no more a certain prospect boast,
And all the tenor of his soul is loft,
So when a smooth expanse receives imprest
Calm Nature's image on its watry breast,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow,
And skies beneath with answering colours glow :
But if a stone the gentle sea divide,
Swift ruffling circles curl on ev'ry side,
And glimm'ring fragments of a broken fun;
Banks, trees, and skies in thick disorder run.
To clear this doubt, to know the world by fight,
To find if books, or swains, report it right;
(For yet by Twains alone the world he knew,
Whose feet came wand’ring o'er the nightly dew ;)
He quits bis cell; the pilgrim-Itaff he bore ;
And fix'd the scallop in his hat before ;
Then with the rising fun a journey went,
Sedate to think, and watching each event.
The morn was wasted in the pathless grass, And long and Jonesome was the wild to pass ; But when the southern sun had warm'd the day, A youth came posting o'er, a crossing way; His raiment decent, his complexion fair, And soft in graceful ringlets wav'd his hair : Then near approaching, Father, hail !' he cry’d; And · Hail, my son ! the rey'rend fire reply'd : Words follow'd words, from question answer flow'd, And talk of various kind deceiv'd the road Till each with other pleas’d, and loth to part, While in their age they differ, join in heart. Thus stands an aged elm in ivy bound, Thus youthful ivy clasps an elm around.
Now funk the sun; the closing hour of day Came onward, mantled o'er with fober gray ; Nature in filence bid the world repose ; When near the road a stately palace rose: There, by the moon, thro' ranks of trees they pass, whose verdure crown'd their noping fides of grass. It chinc'd ihe wuble master of the dome ouill made his house the wand’ning stranger's home ;
* Yet till the kindness, from a thirst of praise,
Prov'd the vain flourish of expensive ease.
The pair arrive: the livery'd fervants wait ;
Their lord receives them at the pompous gate.
The table groans with costly piles of food,
And all i more than hospitably good.
Then led to rest the day's long toil they drown,
Do funk in sleep, and filk, and heaps of down.
At length 'tis morn, and at the dawn of day
Along the wide canal the zephyrs play ;
Fresh o'er the gay parterres the breezes creep,
And shake the neighbouring wood to banish fleep.
Up rise the guests, obedient to the call ;
An early banquet deck'd the splendid hall;
Pich, luscious wine a golden goblet gracid,
Which the kind master forc'd the guests to taste.
Then, pleas'd and thankful, from ihe porch they go';
And, but the landlord, none hd cause of woe :
His cup was vanila'd; for in secret guise
The younger guest purloin'd the glitt’ring prize,
As one that fpies a ferpent in his way, Glift'ning and balking in the summer ray, Disorder', ftops to shun the danger near, Then w.lks with faintness on, and looks with fear ; So feer the fire ; when, far upon the road, The shining spoil his wily partner show'd. He fopp'd with filence, walk'd with trembling heart, And much he wish'd, but durft nor ask to part: Murm’ring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard That gen'rous actions meet a base reward.
While thus they pass, the fun bis glory frouls, Tbe changing skies hang out sheir fable clouds à
A found in air presag'd approaching rain,
And beasts to covert fcud across the plain.
Warn'd by the signs, the wand'ring pair retreat.
To seek for shelter at a neighb’ring seat.
'Twas built with turrets on a rising ground,
And strong, and large, and unimprov'd around;
Its owner's temper, tim'rous and severe,
Unkind and griping, caus'd a desert there.
As near the miser's heavy door they drew,
Fierce rising gufts with sudden fury blew;
The nimble light’ning mix'd with show'rs began,
And o'er their heads loud rolling thunder ran.
Here long they knock, but knock or call in vain,
Driv'n by the wind, and batter'd by the rain.
At length some pity warm’d the matter's breast,
('Twas then his threshold first receiv'd a guest) :
Slow creaking turns the door with jealous care,
And half he welcomes in the shiv'ring pair ;
One frugal faggot lights the naked walls,
And nature's fervor through their limbs recals :
Bread of the coarsest sort, with meager wine,
(Each hardly granted), serv'd them both to dine ;
And when the tempest first appear’d to cease,
A ready warning bid them part in peace.
With still remark the pond'ring Hermit view'd,
In one fo rich, a life fu poor and rude ;
And why should such (within himself he cryod)
Lock the lost wealth a thousand want beside?
But what new marks of wonder foon take place
In ev'ry retiling feature of his face,
When from his veft the young companion bore
That cup the gen'rous landlord own'd before
And paid profusely with the precious bowl
The ftinted kindness of this churlith foul !
But now the clouds in airy tumult fly;
The fun emerging opes an azure sky;
A fresher green the linelling leaves display,
And, glittring as they tremble, cheer the day :
The weather courts them from the poor retreat,
And the glad master bolts the wary gale.
While hence they walk the Pilgrim's bosom wrought
With all the travail of uncertain thought :
His partner's acts without their cause appear ;
'Twas there a vice, and seem'd a madness here;
Detesting that, and pitying this he goes,
Lost and confounded with the various shows.
Now Night's dim fades again involve the iky;
Again the wand'rers want a place to lie ;
Again they search, and find a lodging nigh.
The soil improv'd around, the mansion neat,
And neither poorly low, nor idly great ;
It seem'd to speak the master's turn of mind,
Content, and not for praise but virtue kind.
Hither the walkers turn their weary feet,
Then bless the mansion, and the master greet.
Their greeting fair, beitow'd with modest guise,
The courteous master hears, and thus replies :
“ Without a vain, without a grudging heart,
To Himn who gives us all I yield a part;
From Him you come, for Him accept it here,
A frank and Tober, more than coftly cheer.”
He fpoke, and bid the welcome table spread,
Then talk'd of virtue till the time of bed;