A tale of rural life, a tale of woes,

The orphan-babes, and guardian uncle fierce. O cruel! will no pang of pity pierce That heart by luft of lucre fear'd to stone! For fure, if aught of virtue last, or verse, To latest times fhall tender fouls bemoan, Thofe helpless orphan-babes by thy fell arts undone.


Behold, with berries fmear'd, with brambles torn
The babes now famifh'd lay them down to die.
'Midit the wild howl of dark fome woods forlorn,
Folded in one another's arms they lie;

Nor friend, nor firanger, hears their dying cry:

For from the town the man returns no more.' But thou, who Heaven's juft vengeance dareft defy, This deed with fruitlefs tears fhalt foon deplore, When Death lays waste thy house, and flames confume thy store.


A ftifled fimile of ftern vindictive joy

Brighten'd one moment Edwin's starting tear.—
But why fhould gold man's feeble mind decoy,
And Innocence thus die by doom severe ?
O Edwin! while thy heart is yet fincere,
Th' affaults of discontent and doubt repel :
Dark even at noon-tide is our mortal sphere;
But let us hope,- to doubt is to rebel,
Let us exult in hope that all fhall yet be well.


Nor be thy generous indignation check'd,
Nor check'd the tender tear to Mifery given;
From Guilt's contagious power fhall that protect,
This foften and refine the foul for heaven.

See the fine old ballad, called, The Children in the

But dreadful is their doom, whom doubt hath driven To cenfure Fate, and pious Hope forego: Like yonder blafted boughs by lightening riven, Perfection, beauty, life, they never know, But frown on all that pass, a monument of wo.


Shall he, whofe birth, maturity, and age,
Scarce fill the circle of one fummer-day,
Shall the poor gnat with discontent and rage
Exclaim, that Nature hattens to decay,
If but a cloud obftruct the folar ray,
If but a momentary fhower defcend!
Or fhall frail man Heaven's dread decree gainfay,
Which bade the feries of events extend

Wide through unnumber'd worlds, and ages without end!

One part, one little part, we dimly fean

Through the dark medium of life's feverish dream;
Yet dare arraign the whole ftupendous plan,..
If but that little part incongruous feem.
Nor is that part perhaps what mortals deem ;
Oft from apparent ill our bleffings rife.
O then renounce that impious felf-esteem,
That aims to trace the fecrets of the skies;
For thou art but of duft; be humble, and be wife.


Thus Heaven enlarged his foul in riper years. For Nature gave him ftrength, and fire, to foar, On Fancy's wing, above this vale of tears; Where dark cold-hearted feeptics, creeping pore Through microfcope of metaphyfic lore: And much they grope for truth, but never hit. For why? their powers, inadequate before, This art prepofterous renders more unfit ; Yet deem they darkness light, and their vain blunders


Nor was this ancient dame a foe to mirth. Her ballad, jeft, and riddle's quaint device Oft chear'd the shepherds round her focial hearth; Whom levity or fpleen could ne'er entice To purchafe chat or laughter at the price Of decency. Nor let it faith exceed, That Nature forms a ruftic tafte fo nice.Ah! had they been of court or city breed, Such delicacy were right marvellous indeed.


Oft when the winter ftorm had ceas'd to rave, He roam'd the fnowy waste at even, to view The cloud fupendous, from th' Atlantic wave High-towering, fail along the horizon blue: Where 'midft the changeful feenery ever new Fancy a thoufand wondrous forms defcries More wildly great than ever pencil drew, Rocks, torrents, gulfs, and fhapes of giant fize; And glittering cliffs on cliffs, and fiery ramparts rife.


Thence mufing onward to the founding fhore, The lone enthusiast oft would take his way, Liftening with pleafing dread to the deep roar Of the wild-weltering waves. In black array When fulphurous clouds roll'd on the vernal day, Even then he hafted from the haunt of man, Along the darkening wilderness to ftray, What time the lightening's fierce career began, And o'er heaven's rending arch the rattling thunder ran.


Refponfive to the fprightly pipe when all

In fprightly dance the village-youth were join'd,
Edwin, of melody aye held in thrall,
From the rude gambol far remote reclined,
Sooth'd with the foft notes warbling in the wind.
Ah then, all jollity feem'd noise and folly.

To the pure foul by Fancy's fire refined, Ah what is mirth but turbulence unholy, When with the charm compared of heavenly melancholy!


Is there a heart that mufic cannot melt?

Ah me! how is that rugged heart forlorn !
Is there who ne'er thofe myftic transports felt
Of folitude and melancholy born?

He needs not woo the Mufe; he is her scorn.
The fophift's rope
of cobweb he fhall twine;
Mope o'er the schoolman's peevish page; or mourn,
And delve for life, in Mammon's dirty mine;
Sneak with the fcoundrel fox, or grunt with glutton fwine.


For Edwin Fate a nobler doom had plann'd;
Song was his favourite and first pursuit.
The wild harp rang to his adventurous hand,
And languifh'd to his breath the plaintive flute,
His infant mufe, though artlefs, was not mute:
Of elegance as yet he took no care;
For this of time and culture is the fruit;
And Edwin gain'd at last this fruit so rare:
As in fome future verfe I purpose to declare.

Meanwhile, whate'er of beautiful, or new,
Sublime, or dreadful, in earth, fea, or sky,
By chance, or fearch was offer'd to his view,
He fcann'd with curious and romantic eye.
Whate'er of lore tradition could fupply
From Gothic tale, or fong, or fable old,
Rous'd hin still keen to listen and to pry.
At laft, though long by penury control'd,
And folitude, his foul her graces 'gan unfold.


Thus on the chill Lapponian's dreary land,
For many a long month loft in fnow profound,

When Sol from Cancer fends the feafon bland, And in their northern cave the storms hath bound; From filent mountains, ftraight, with ftartling found, Torrents are hurl'd; green hills emerge; and lo, The trees with foliage, cliffs with flowers are crown'd; Pure rills through vales of verdure warbling go; And wonder, love, and joy, the peafant's heart o'erflow.**


Here paufe my Gothic lyre, a little while. The leisure hour is all that thou canft claim. But if ***** on this labour fmile, New ftrains ere long shall animate thy frame: And his applause to me is more than fame For ftill with truth accords his tafte refined. At lucre or renown let others aim, I only wish to please the gentle mind, Whom Natures charms inspire, and love of humankind.

*Spring and Autumn are hardly known to the Laplanders. About the time the fun enters Cancer, their fields, which a week before were covered with fnow, appear of a fudden full of grafs and flowers. SCHEFFER'S Hiftory of Lapland, p. 61.

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