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“ Turn, gentle hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way,
With hospitable ray.
" For here forlorn and lost I tread ;
With fainting steps and slow; Where wilds, immeasurably spread,
Seem lengthening as 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 ;
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;
I learn to pity them :
“ But from the mountain's grassy side
A guiltless feast I bring;
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 :
And follows to the cell,
Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay;
And strangers led astray.
No stores beneath its humble thatch
Required a master's care;
Received the harmless pair.
And now when busy crowds retire
To take their evening rest,
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 crackling faggot flies.
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 unregarded love?
“ Alas! the joys that fortune brings
Are trifling, and decay ;
More trifling still than they.