페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

BOOK THE FIFTH.

THE PASTOR.

Farewell deep Valley, with thy one rude House,
And its small lot of life-supporting fields,
And guardian rocks!—With unreverted eyes
I cannot pass thy bounds, attractive Seat!
To the still influx of the morning light
Open, and day's pure chearfulness, but veiled
From human observation, as if yet
Primæval Forests wrapped thee round with dark
Impenetrable shade; once more farewell
Majestic Circuit, beautiful Abyss,
By Nature destined from the birth of things
For quietness profound !

D D

Upon the side Of that green Slope, the outlet of the Vale, Lingering behind my Comrades, thus I breathed A parting tribute to a spot that seemed Like the fixed centre of a troubled World. And now, pursuing leisurely my way, How vain, thought I, it is by change of place To seek that comfort which the mind denies ; Yet trial and temptation oft are shunned Wisely; and by such tenor do we hold Frail Life's possessions, that even they whose fate Yields no peculiar reason of complaint Might, by the promise that is here, be won To steal from active duties, and embrace Obscurity, and calm forgetfulness. -Knowledge, methinks, in these disordered times, Should be allowed a privilege to have Her Anchorites, like Piety of old; Men, who, from faction sacred, and unstained By war, might, if so minded, turn aside Uncensured, and subsist, a scattered few Living to God and Nature, and content With that communion. Consecrated be

The Spots where such abide! But happier still
The Man, whom, furthermore, a hope attends
That meditation and research may guide
His privacy to principles and powers
Discovered, or invented; or set forth
Through his acquaintance with the ways of truth,
In lucid order; so that, when his course
Is run, some faithful Eulogist may say,
He sought not praise, and praise did overlook
His inobtrusive merit; but his life,
Sweet to himself, was exercised in good
That shall survive his name and memory.

Acknowledgments of gratitude sincere Accompanied these musings :—fervent thanks For my own peaceful lot and happy choice; A choice that from the passions of the world Withdrew, and fixed me in a still retreat, Sheltered, but not to social duties lost, Secluded, but not buried; and with song Cheering my days, and with industrious thought, With the ever-welcome company of books

By virtuous friendship's soul-sustaining aid,
And with the blessings of domestic love.

Thus occupied in mind I paced along,
Following the rugged road, by sledge or wheel
Worn in the moorland, till I overtook
My two Associates, in the morning sunshine
Halting together on a rocky knoll,
From which the road descended rapidly
To the green meadows of another Vale.

Here did our pensive Host put forth his hand In sign of farewell. Nay,” the Old Man said, “ The fragrant Air its coolness still retains; The Herds and Flocks are yet abroad to crop The dewy grass ; you cannot leave us now, We must not part at this inviting hour.” To that injunction, earnestly expressed, He yielded, though reluctant; for his Mind Instinctively disposed him to retire To his own Covert; as a billow, heaved Upon the beach, rolls back into the Sea.

-So we descend; and winding round a rock
Attain a point that shewed the Valley-stretched
In length before us; and, not distant far,
Upon a rising ground a grey Church-tower,
Whose battlements were screened by tufted trees.
And, tow'rds a chrystal Mere, that lay beyond
Among steep hills and woods embosomed, flowed
A copious Stream with boldly-winding course;
Here traceable, there hidden—there again
To sight restored, and glittering in the Sun.
On the Stream's bank, and every where, appeared
Fair Dwellings, single or in social knots;
Some scattered o’er the level, others perched
On the hill sides, a cheerful quiet scene,
Now in its morning purity arrayed.

As, ʼmid some happy Valley of the Alps," Said I, “ once happy, ere tyrannic Power Wantonly breaking in upon the Swiss,

, Destroyed their unoffending Commonwealth, A popular equality doth seem Here to prevail; and yet a House of State Stands yonder, one beneath whose roof, methinks,

« 이전계속 »