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Another correspondent of yours accuses me of having taken a ballad, I published some time ago, VOL. I.
from one by the irgenious Mr. Percy. I do not think there is any great resemblance between the two pieces in question. If there be any, his ballad is taken from mine. I read it to Mr. Percy, some years ago; and he (as we both considered these things as trifies at best) told me with his usual good humour, the next time I saw him, that he had taken my plan to form the fragments of Shakespeare into a ballad of his own. He then read me his little Cento, if I may so call it, and I highly approved it. Such petty anecdotes as these are scarce worth printing: and, were it not for the busy difpofition of some of your correspondents, the public should never have known that he owes me the hint of his ballad, or that I am obliged to his friendship and learning for communications of a much more important nature.
* The Friar of Orders Gray, “ Reliq. of Anc. Poetry." vul. 1. p. 243•
H · E R
M I T.
L L A D.
URN, gentle Hermit of the dale,
" For here forlorn and lost I tread,
" With fainting steps and slow ;
" Seem length'ning as I go."
“ To tempt the dangerous gloom;
66 Here to the houseless child of want
My door is open ftill ; " And though my portion is but fcant,
“ 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 :
“ But from the mountain's grassy side
“ A guiltless feast I bring; “ A scrip with herbs and fruits supply'd,
“ And water from the spring.
“ Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego ;
“ All 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 :
And follows to the cell.
Far Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely manfion lay ;
And strangers led aftray!
No ftores beneath its humble thatch
Requir'd a master's care ;
Receiv'd the harmless pair.
And now, when busy crowds retire
To take their evening rest,
And chear'd his penfive guest:
And spread his vegetable store,
And gayly preft, and smil'd; And, kill'd in legendary lore,
The lingering hours beguild.
Around in fympathetic mirth
Its tricks the kitten tries;
The crackling faggot fies.
But nothing could a charm impart
To soothe a stranger's woe; For grief was heavy at his heart,
And tears began to low.