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Possessed like outskirts of some large Domain,
By any one more thought of than by him
Who holds the land in fee, its careless Lord !
-Yet is the Creature rational-endowed
With foresight; hears, too, every Sabbath day,
The christian promise with attentive ear,
Nor disbelieves the tidings which he hears.
Meanwhile the incense offered up by him
Is of the kind which beasts and birds present
In grove or pasture; chearfulness of soul,
From trepidation and repining free.
How many scrupulous worshippers fall down
Upon their knees, and daily homage pay
Less worthy, less religious even, than his !
This qualified respect, the Old Man's due, Is paid without reluctance; but in truth” (Said the good Vicar with a fond half-smile) “ I feel at times a motion of despite Towards One, whose bold contrivances and skill, As you have seen, bear such conspicuous part In works of havoc; taking from these vales, One after one, their proudest ornaments.
Full oft his doings leave me to deplore
Tall ash-tree sown by winds, by vapours nursed,
In the dry crannies of the pendant rocks ;
Light birch, aloft upon the horizon's edge,
Transparent texture, framing in the east
A veil of giory for the ascending moon;
And oak whose roots by noontide dew were damped,
And on whose forehead inaccessible
The raven lodged in safety.—Many a ship
Launched into Morecamb bay, hath owed to him
Her strong knee-timbers, and the mast that bears
The loftiest of her pendants. Help he gives
To lordly mansion rising far or near;
The enormous wheel that turns ten thousand spindles,
And the vast engine labouring in the mine,
Content with meaner prowess, must have lacked
The trunk and body of their marvellous strength,
If his undaunted enterprize had failed
Among the mountain coves, or keen research
In forest, park, or chace. Yon household Fir,
A guardian planted to fence off the blast,
But towering high the roof above, as if
Its humble destination were forgot;
That Sycamore, which annually holds
Within its shade, as in a stately tent
On all sides open to the fanning breeze,
grave assemblage, seated while they shear
The fleece-incumbered flock;—the Joyful ELM
Around whose trunk the lasses dance in May ;-
And the Lord's OAK ;-would plead their several rights
In vain, if He were master of their fate.
Not one would have his pitiful regard,
For prized accommodation, pleasant use,
For dignity, for old acquaintance sake,
For ancient custom or distinguished name.
His sentence to the axe would doom them all!
age and lusty as he is
And promising to stand from year year,
Less, as might seem, in rivalship with men
Than with the forest's more enduring growth,
His own appointed hour will come at last;
And, like the haughty Spoilers of the world,
This keen Destroyer, in his turn, must fall.
Now from the living pass we once again; From Age,” the Priest continued,“ turn your thoughts ;
From Age, that often unlamented drops,
And mark that daisied hillock, three spans long.
-Seven lusty Sons sate daily round the board
Of Gold-rill side; and when the hope had ceased
Of other progeny, a Daughter then
Was given, the crown and glory of the whole!
Welcomed with joy, whose penetrating power
Was not unfelt amid that heavenly calm
With which by nature every Mother's Soul
Is stricken, in the moment when her throes
Are ended, and her ears have heard the cry
Which tells her that a living Child is born,
And she lies conscious in a blissful rest
That the dread storm is weathered by them both.
- The Father-Him at this unlooked-for gift
A bolder transport seizes. From the side
Of his bright hearth, and from his open door,
And from the laurel-shaded seat thereby,
Day after day the gladness is diffused
To all that come, and almost all that pass;
Invited, summoned, to partake the cheer
Spread on the never-empty board, and drink
Health and good wishes to his new-born Girl,
From cups replenished by his joyous hand.
-Those seven fair Brothers variously were moved
Each by the thoughts best suited to his years :
But most of all and with most thankful mind
The hoary Grand-sire felt himself enriched ;
A happiness that ebbed not, but remained
To fill the total measure of the soul!
-From the low tenement, his own abode,
Whither, as to a little private cell,
He had withdrawn from bustle, care, and noise,
To spend the Sabbath of old age in peace,
Once every day he duteously repaired
To rock the cradle of the slumbering Babe:
For in that female Infant's name he heard
The silent Name of his departed Wife;
Heart-stirring music! hourly heard that name;
Full blest he was, “ Another Margaret Green,”
Oft did he say,
was come to Gold-rill side." -Oh!
pang unthought of, as the precious boon Itself had been unlooked for ;-oh! dire stroke Of desolating anguish for them all!
-Just as the Child could totter on the floor, And, by some friendly finger’s help upstayed,