Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

66

“Forbear, my son,” the hermit cries,

“ To tempt the dangerous gloom ; For yonder phantom only flies

To lure thee to thy doom.
Here to the houseless child of want

My door is open still ;
And though my portion is but scant,

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 :
Taught by that Power that pities me,

I learn to pity them.
But from the mountain's grassy side

A guiltless feast I bring ;
A scrip with herbs and fruit supplied,

And water from the spring.

“ Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;

For 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 :
The modest stranger lowly bends,

And follows to the cell.

Far in the wilderness obscure

The lonely mansion lay:
A refuge to the neighb'ring poor,

And stranger led astray.

No stores beneath its humble thatch

Requir'd a master's care ;
The wicket opening with a latch

Receiv'd the harmless pair.
And now when busy crowds retire

To revels or to rest,
The hermit trimm'd his little fire,

And cheer'd his pensive guest;
And spread his vegetable store,

And gaily press’d and smild; And, skill'd in legendary lore,

The lingering hours beguild.
Around in sympathetic mirth

Its tricks the kitten tries;
The cricket chirps upon the hearth ;

The crackling faggot flies.
But nothing could a charm impart,

To soothe 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 habitation spurn'd,

Reluctant dost thou rove;
Or grieve for friendship unreturn'd,

Or unregarded love?
“Alas ! the joys that fortune brings

Are trifling, and decay; And those, who prize the paltry things,

More trifling still than they.

And what is friendship but a name,

A charm that lulls to sleep;
A shade that follows wealth or fame,

But leaves the wretch to weep? “ And love is still an emptier sound,

The modern fair one's jest: On earth unseen, or only found

To warm the turtle's nest.

“For shame, fond youth ; thy sorrows bush,

And spurn the sex,” he said: But while he spoke, a rising blush

His love-lorn guest betray'd.
Surpris'd! he sees new beauties rise,

Swift mantling to the view;
Like colours o'er the morning skies,

As bright, as transient too.
The bashful look, the rising breast,

Alternate spread alarms,
The lovely stranger stands confess’d

A maid in all her charms.

And, ah! forgive a stranger rude,

A wretch forlorn,” she cried ; “Whose feet unhallow'd thus intrude, Where heaven and

you

reside. “But let a maid thy pity share,

Whom love has taught to stray ;
Who seeks for rest, but finds despair

Companion of her way.
My father liv'd beside the Tyne;

A wealthy lord was he;
And all his wealth was mark'd for mine;

He had but only me.

" To win me from his tender arms,

Unnumber'd suitors came;
Who prais'd me for imputed charms,

And felt or feign'd a flame.
“Each hour the mercenary crowd

With richest presents strove: Among the rest, young Edwin bow'd,

But never talk'd of love.

“In humblest, simplest habit clad, No wealth nor power

had he: Wisdom and worth wore all he had ;

But these were all to me.

“ The blossom opening to the day,

The dew of heaven refin'd, Could nought of purity display,

To emulate his mind.

“The dew, the blossom on the tree,

With charms inconstant shine ; Their charms were his, but, woe is me!

Their constancy was mine. “For still I tried each fickle art,

Importunate and vain; And while his passion touch'd my heart,

I triumph'd in his pain.
“ Till, quite dejected with my scorn,

He left me to my pride ;
And sought a solitude forlorn,

In secret, where he died.
“ But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,

And well my
I'll seek the solitude he sought,

And stretch me where he lay.

life shall pay ;

“ And there forlorn, despairing, hid,

I'll lay me down and die ;
'Twas so for me that Edwin did,

And so for him will I.”

“ Forbid it, heaven,” the hermit cried,

And clasp'd her to his breast :
The wond'ring fair one turn'd to chide ;

'Twas Edwin's self that press’d.
Turn, Angelina, ever dear,

My charmer, turn to see
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,

Restor'd to love and thee.

“ Thus let me hold thee to my heart,

And every care resign:
And shall we never, never part,

My life my all that's mine?
No, never from this hour to part,

We'll live and love so true;
The sigh that rends thy constant heart,

Shall break thy Edwin's too."

[ocr errors]

XV. LAVINIA,

THE lovely young Lavinia once had friends ; And fortune smil'd, deceitful, on her birth : For, in her helpless years, depriv'd of all, Of ev'ry stay, save innocence and heav'n, She, with her widow'd mother, feeble, old, And poor, liv'd in a cottage, far retir'd Among the windings of a woody vale; By solitude and deep surrounding shades, But more by bashful modesty, conceal'd. Together, thus, they shunn'd the cruel scorn,

« ElőzőTovább »