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III.

This fapient age disclaims' all clasic lore ;
Else I hould here in conning phrase display,
How forth The MINSTREL fared in days of yore,
Right glad of heart, though homely in array ;
His waving locks and beard all hoary grey :
And, from his bending fhoulder, decent hung
His harp, the sole companion of his way,

Which to the whistling wind refponfive rang :
And ever, as he went some merry lay he fung.

IV. Fret not yourselves, ye filken fons of pride, That a poor wanderer should inspire my ítrain, The Muses Fortune's fickle smile deride, Nor ever bow the knee in Mammon's fane; For their delights are with the village trai!), Whom Nature's laws engage, and Nature's charms : They hate the sensual, and (corn the vain ;'.

The parafite their influence never warms, Nor him whose fordid soul the love of wealth alarins,

V.
Though richest hues the peacock's plumes adorn,
Yet horror {creams from his discordant throat.
Rise, fons of harmony, and hail the morn.
While warbling larks on russet pinions foat;
Or feek at noon the woodland scene remote, ·
Where the grey linnets carol from the hill.
Olet them ne'er with artificial note,

To please the tyrant, ftrain the little bill,
Bat fing what heaven inspires, and wander where they

will.

VI.
Liberal, not lavish, is kind Nature's hand;
Nor was perfection made for man below.
Yet all her schemes with nicest art are piann'd,
Good counteracting ill, and gladness wo.
With gold and.gems is Chilian mountains glow,

If bleak and harren Scotia's hills arise ;
There plague and poison, luit and rapine grow;

Here peaceful are the vales, and pure the skies, And fieedom fires the foul, and sparkles in the eyes.

VII. Then grieve not, thou to whom the indulgent Muse Vouchsafes a portion of celeftial fire; Nor blame the partial Fates, if they refuse Th' imperial banquet, and the rich attire. Know thine own worth, and reverence the lyre. Wilt thou debase the heart which God refin'd; No; let the heaven-taught foul, to heaven aspire

To fancy, freedom, harmony, refgn'd;
Ambition's groveling crew for ever left behind.

VIII.
Canst thou forego the pure etherial foul
In each fine sense so exquisitely keen,
On the dull couch of Luxury to loll,
Stung with discale and stupified with spleen ;
Fain to implore the aid of Flattery's screen,
I ven from thyself thy loathsome heart to hide,
(The manfion then no more of joy serene)

Where fear, diftruft, malevolence, abide,
And impotent defire, and disappointed pride.

IX.
O how canst thou renounce the boundless store
Of charms which Nature to her vot'ry yields !
The warbling woodland, the resounding fore,
The pomp of groves, and garniture of fields ;
All that the genial ray of morning gilds,
And all that echoes't

to the song of even, All that the mountain's shelteriog bosom shields,

And all the dread magnificence of heaven, O how canit thou renounce, and hope to be forgiven !

X. These charms fall work thy soul's eternal health, And love, and gentleness, and joy, impart.

But these thou must renounce, if luft of wealth
E’er win its way to thy corrupted heart ;.
For, ah! it poisons like a scorpion's dart :
Prompting the ungenerous with, the felfish scheme.
The fern resolve, unmov'd by pity's smart,

The troublous day, and long distressful dream.Returð, my roving Muse, renew thy purposed theme.

XI. There lived in Gothic days, as legends tell, A shepherd-fwain, a man of low degree; Whole fares, perchance, in Fairyland might dwell, Sicilian groves, or vales of Arcady, But he, I ween, was of the north countrie #: A nation famed for song, and beauty's charms : Zealous, yet modeft, innocent though free;

Patient of toil:-ferene amidst alarm3 ; Joflexable in faith ; inviocible in arms.

XII.
The shepherd-Iwaio of whom I mention made,
On Scotia's mountains fed his little flock;
The fickle, fcythe, or plough, he never sway'd ;
An honeft heart was almost all his stock;
His drink, the living water from the rock :
The milky dams supplied his board and lent
Their kindly fleece to bafie winter's ihock;

And he, though oft with duft and sweet besprent, Did guide and guard their wanderings, whereloe'er they

went.

* There is hardly an ancient Ballad, or Romance, wherein a Minstrel or Harper appears, but he is characterized, by way of eminence, to have been “ Of the North countrie." It is probable that under this appellation were formerly comprehended all the provinces to the North of Trent.

Sce Percy's Efray on the English Minstrelu.

xit. From labour lealth, from health contentment springs. Contentment opes

the fonice of every joy.
He envieu not, he never thought of kiug$;
Nor from those appetite filtaind annoy,
Which chance may fruitrate, or indulgence cloy :
Nor fate his calm and humble hopes beguiled ;
He nour' ;10. cccreant friend, nor mitress coy,

For on his voi's the blameless Phæbe smiled,
And her alone he loved, and loved her from a child.

XIV.
No jealousy their dawn of love o'ercaft,
Nor biafted where their wedded days with frife;
Each feafon look'd delightful as it pass'd,
To the fond husband, and the faithful wife.
Beyond the lowly vale of shepherd life
They never roam'd; secure beneath the storm
Which in Ambition's lofty land is rife,
Where
peace

and lore are canker'd by the worm Of pride, each bud of joy induftrious to deform.

XV.
The wight whose tale these artless lines unfold,
Was all the offspring of this simple pair ;
His birth no oracle or feer foretold;
No prodigy appear'd in earth or air,
Nor aught that might a ftrange event declare.
You guefs each circumstance of Edwin's birtis;
The parent's transport, and the parent's care ;

The goffip's prayer, for wealth, and wit, and worth; And one long summer day of indolence and mirth.

XVI.
And yet poor Edwin was no vulgar boy ;
Deep thought oft feem’d to fix his infant eye..
Dainties he heeded not, nor gaude, nor toy,
Save one short pipe of rudelt minftrelsy.on
Silent when glad; affectionate, though shy ;--
And now his look was most demurely fad,

And now he laugh'd aloud, yet none koew sphy. T

The neighbours ftar'd and figh'd, yet bless'd the lad : Some deem'd hiin wondrous wife, and some beliei'd

him mad.

XVII.
But why should I his childish feats display?
Concourse, and noise, and toil he ever fied;
Nor cared to mingle in the clamourous fray
Of sqabbling imps'; but to the foreft sped,
Or roam'd at large the lonely mountain's head;
Or, where the maze of some bewilder'd stream
To decp untrodden groves bis footfteps led,

There wou'd he wander wild, till Phoebus' beam,
Shot from the weitern cliff, releas'd the

weary team.

XVIII.
Th'exploit of strength, dexterity, or speed,
To him nor vanity nor joy could bring.
His heart, from cruel sport eftranged, would bleed
To work the woc of any living thing,
By trap, or net; by arrow, or by fing ;
These he detested, these he scorn’d to wield
He wish'd to be the guardian, not the king,

Tyrant far less, or traitor of the field.
And sure the fylvan reign unbloody joy might yield.

XIX.
Lo! where the stripling, wrapt in wonder, roves.
Bencath the precipice o'erhung with pine ;
And fees on high, amidf th' encircling groves,
From cliff to cliff the foaming torrents shine :
While waters, woods, and winds, in concert join,
And Echo fwells the chorus to the skies,
Would Edwin this majeftic scene resign

For aught the huntsman's puny craft fupplies?
Ah! no: he better knows great Nature's charmi to prize,

XX.
And oft he traced the uplands to furvey,
When o'er she ky advanced the kindling dawo,

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