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A slow disease insensibly consumed
The powers of nature; and a few short steps
Of friends and kindred bore him from his home
(Yon Cottage shaded by the woody crags)
To the profounder stillness of the grave.
--Nor was his funeral denied the grace
Of many tears, virtuous and thoughtful grief;
Heart-sorrow rendered sweet by gratitude.
And now that monumental Stone preserves
name, and unambitiously relates
How long, and by what kindly outward aids,
And in what pure contentedness of mind,
The sad privation was by him endured.
-And yon tall Pine-tree, whose composing sound
Was wasted on the good Man's living ear,
Hath now its own peculiar sanctity :
And, at the touch of every wandering breeze,
Murmurs, not idly, o'er his peaceful grave.
Soul-cheering Light, most bountiful of Things! Guide of our way, mysterious Comforter ! Whose sacred influence, spread through earth and heaven, We all too thanklessly participate,
Thy gifts were utterly withheld from Him
Whose place of rest is near yon ivied Porch. .
Yet, of the wild brooks ask if he complained ;
Ask of the channelled rivers if they held
A safer, easier, more determined course.
What terror doth it strike into the mind
To think of One, who cannot see, advancing
Towards some precipice's airy brink !
But, timely warned, He would have stayed his steps;
Protected, say enlightened, by his ear,
And on the very brink of vacancy
Not more endangered than a Man whose
Beholds the gulph beneath.-No floweret blooms
Throughout the lofty range of these rough hills,
Or in the woods, that could from him conceal
Its birth-place; none whose figure did not live
Upon his touch. The bowels of the earth
Enriched with knowledge his industrious mind ;
The ocean paid him tribute from the stores
Lodged in her bosom; and, by science led,
His genius mounted to the plains of Heaven.
Methinks I see him—how his eye-balls rolled,
Beneath his ample brow, in darkness paired,
But each instinct with spirit; and the frame
Of the whole countenance alive with thought,
Fancy, and understanding; while the voice
Discoursed of natural and moral truth
With eloquence, and such authentic power,
That, in his presence, humbler knowledge stood
Abashed, and tender pity overawed.”
“ A noble—and, to unreflecting minds, A marvellous spectacle,” the Wanderer said, “ Beings like these present! But proof abounds Upon the earth that faculties, which seem Extinguished, do not, therefore, cease to be. And to the mind among her powers of sense This transfer is permitted,—not alone That the bereft may win their recompence; But for remoter purposes of love And charity ; nor last nor least for this, That to the imagination may be given A type and shadow of an awful truth, How, likewise, under sufferance divine, Darkness is banished from the realms of Death, By man's imperishable spirit, quelled.
Unto the men who see not as we see
Futurity was thought, in ancient times,
To be laid open, and they prophesied.
And know we not that from the blind have flowed
The highest, holiest raptures of the lyre;
And wisdom married to immortal verse?”
Among the humbler Worthies, at our feet
Lying insensible to human praise,
Love, or regret,whose lineaments would next
Have been pourtrayed, I guess not; but it chanced
That near the quiet church-yard where we sate
A Team of horses, with a ponderous freight
Pressing behind, adown a rugged slope,
Whose sharp descent confounded their array,
Came at that moment, ringing noisily.
“ Here," said the Pastor, “ do we muse, and mourn The waste of death; and lo! the giant Oak Stretched on his bier !--that massy timber wain; Nor fail to note the Man who guides the team."
He was a Peasant of the lowest class :
Grey locks profusely round his temples hung
In clustering curls, like ivy, which the bite
Of Winter cannot thin; the fresh air lodged
Within his cheek, as light within a cloud ;
And he returned our greeting with a smile.
When he had passed, the Solitary spake,
“ A Man he seems of cheerful yesterdays
And confident to-morrows, with a face
Not worldly-minded; for it bears too much
Of Nature's impress-gaiety and health,
Freedom and hope; but keen, withal, and shrewd.
His gestures note,—and hark! his tones of voice
Are all vivacious as his mien and looks."
The Pastor answered. “ You have read him well.
Year after year is added to his store
With silent iņcrease : summers, winters-past,
Past or to come; yea, boldly might I say,
Ten summers and ten winters of the
That lies beyond life's ordinary bounds,
Upon his sprightly vigor, cannot fix
The obligation of an anxious mind,
A pride in having, or a fear to lose;