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Range round the garden-walk, whose low ground-flowers
Were peeping forth, shy messengers of spring,
Even at that hopeful time,-the winds of March,
One sunny day, smiting insidiously,
Raised in the tender passage of the throat
Viewless obstruction ; whence—all unforewarned,
The Household lost their hope and soul's delight.
- But Providence, that gives and takes away
By his own law, is merciful and just;
Time wants not power to soften all regrets,
And prayer and thought can bring to worst distress
Due resignation. Therefore, though some tears
Fail not to spring from either Parent's eye
Oft as they hear of sorrow like their own,
Yet this departed Little-one, too long
The innocent troubler of their quiet, sleeps
In what may now be called a peaceful grave.
On a bright day, the brightest of the year,
These mountains echoed with an unknown sound,
A volley, thrice repeated o’er the Corse
Let down into the hollow of that Grave,
Whose shelving sides are red with naked mold.
Ye Rains of April, duly wet this earth!
Spare, burning Sun of Midsummer, these sods,
That they may knit together, and therewith
Our thoughts unite in kindred quietness !
Nor so the Valley shall forget her loss.
Dear Youth! by young and old alike beloved,
To me as precious as my own!-Green herbs
May creep (I wish that they would softly creep)
Over thy last abode, and we may pass
Reminded less imperiously of thee ;-
The ridge itself may
sink into the breast
Of earth, the great abyss, and be no more ;
Yet shall not thy remembrance leave our hearts,
Thy image disappear. The mountain Ash,
Decked with autumnal berries that outshine
Spring's richest blossoms, yields a splendid show,
Amid the leafy woods; and ye
, By a brook side or solitary tarn, How she her station doth adorn,—the pool Glows at her feet, and all the gloomy rocks Are brightened round her. In his native Vale Such and so glorious did this Youth appear; A sight that kindled pleasure in all hearts
By his ingenuous beauty, by the gleam
Of his fair eyes, by his capacious brow,
By all the graces with which nature's hand
Had bounteously arrayed him. As old Bards
Tell in their idle songs of wandering Gods,
Pan or Apollo, veiled in human form;
Yet, like the sweet-breathed violet of the shade,
Discovered in their own despite to sense
Of Mortals, (if such fables without blame
May find chance-mention on this sacred ground)
So, through a simple rustic garb's disguise,
And through the impediment of rural cares,
In him revealed a Scholar's genius shone;
And so, not wholly hidden from men's sight,
In him the spirit of a Hero walked
Our unpretending valley.—How the coit
Whizzed from the Stripling's arm! If touched by him
The inglorious foot-ball mounted to the pitch
Of the Lark's flight,—or shaped a rain-bow curve,
Aloft, in prospect of the shouting field!
The indefatigable Fox had learned
To dread his perseverance in the chace.
With admiration he could lift his eyes
To the wide-ruling Eagle, and his hand-
Was loth to assault the majesty he loved ;
Else had the strongest fastnesses proved weak
To guard the royal brood. The sailing glead,
The wheeling swallow, and the darting snipe,
The sportive sea-gull dancing with the waves,
And cautious water-fowl, from distant climes,
Fixed at their seat—the centre of the Mere,
Were subject to young Oswald's steady aim.
From Gallia’s coast a Tyrant's threats were hurled; Our Country marked the preparations vast Of hostile Forces; and she called with voice That filled her plains and reached her utmost shores And in remotest vales was heard-to Arms! -Then, for the first time, here you might have seen The Shepherd's grey to martial scarlet changed, That flashed uncouthly through the woods and fields. Ten hardy Striplings, all in bright attire And graced with shining weapons, weekly marched, From this lone valley, to a central spot Where, in assemblage with the Flower and Choice Of the surrounding district, they miglit learn
The rudiments of war; ten-hardy, strong,
And valiant; but young Oswald, like a Chief
And yet a modest Comrade, led them forth
From their shy solitude, to face the world,
With a gay confidence and seemly pride;
Measuring the soil beneath their happy feet
Like youths released from labour and yet bound
To most labourious service, though to them
A festival of unencumbered ease;
The inner spirit keeping holiday,
Like vernal ground to sabbath sunshine left.
Oft have I marked him, at some leisure hour, Stretched on the grass or seated in the shade Among his Fellows, while an ample Map Before their eyes lay carefully outspread, From which the gallant Teacher would discourse, Now pointing this way and now that.—“ Here flows," Thus would he say, " the Rhine, that famous Stream! “ Eastward, the Danube tow'rds this inland sea, “ A mightier river, winds from realm to realm ;“ And, like a serpent, shews his glittering back
Bespotted with innumerable isles.