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covered to my daughter. He would, in a jesting manner, call her his little mistress, and when he bought each of the girls a set of ribands, hers was the finest. I knew not how, but he every day seemed to become more amiable, his wit to improve, and his simplicity to assume the superior airs of wisdom.
Our family dined in the field, and we sat, or rather reclined, round a temperate repast, our cloth spread upon the hay, while Mr Burchell gave cheerfulness to the feast. To heighten our satisfaction, two blackbirds answered each other from opposite hedges, the familiar red-breast came and pecked the crumbs from our hands, and every sound seemed but the echo of tranquillity. "I never sit thus," says Sophia, "but I think of the two lovers so sweetly described by Mr Gay, who were struck dead in each other's arms. There is something so pathetic in the description, that I have read it a hundred times with new rapture." "In my opinion," cried my son, "the finest strokes in that description are much below those in the Acis and Galatea of Ovid. The Roman poet understands the use of contrast better; and upon that figure, artfully managed, all strength in the pathetic depends.". “It is remarkable,” cried Mr Burchell, “that both the poets you mention have equally contributed to introduce a false taste into their respective countries, by loading all their lines with epithet. Men of little genius found them most easily imitated in their defects; and English poetry, like that in the latter empire of Rome, is nothing at present but a combination of luxuriant images, without plot or connection—a string of epithets that improve the sound without carrying on the sense. But perhaps, madam, while I thus reprehend others, you'll think it just that I should give them an opportunity to retaliate; and, indeed, I have made this remark only to have an opportunity of introducing to the company a ballad, which, whatever be its other defects, is, I think, at least free from those I have mentioned,"
"TURN, gentle Hermit of the dale,
For here forlorn and lost I tread,
Where wilds, immeasurably spread,
"Forbear, my son," the Hermit cries, "To tempt the dangerous gloom; For yonder faithless phantom flies
To lure thee to thy doom.
"Here to the houseless child of want
And though my portion is but scant,
"Then turn to-night, and freely share
"No flocks that range the valley free
"But from the mountain's grassy side
A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied,
"Then, pilgrim, turn; thy cares forego;
Soft as the dew from heaven descends,
Far in a wilderness obscure
No stores beneath its humble thatch
And now, when busy crowds retire
"Man wants but little, nor that little long." YOUNG's Night Thoughts.
The hermit trimm'd his little fire,
And cheer'd his pensive guest :
And spread his vegetable store,
And gayly press’d, and smiled; And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The lingering hours beguiled.
Its tricks the kitten tries,
The crackling fagot flies.
To soothe the stranger's wo;
And tears began to flow.
With answering care oppress'd:
“ The sorrows of thy breast ?
Reluctant dost thou rove?
Or unregarded love?
Are trifling and decay;
More trifling still than they.
A charm that lulls to sleep ;
But leaves the wretch to weep?
The modern fair one's jest; On earth unseen, or only found
To warm the turtle's nest.
“ For shame, fond youth, tlıy sorrows lush,
And spurn the sex,” he said ; But while he spoke, a rising blush
His love-lorn guest betray'd.
Swift mantling to the view;
As bright, as transient too.
And while his passion touch'd my heart,
I triumph'd in his pain :
He left me to my pride ;
In secret, where he died.
And well my life shall pay;
And stretch me where he lay.
“ And there, forlorn, despairing, hid,
I'll lay me down and die;
And so for him will 1."
“ Forbid it Heaven!" the Hermit cried,
And clasp'd her to his breast :
'Twas Edwin's self that pressid !
My charmer, turn to see
Restored to love and thee.
“ Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
And every care resign :
My life — my all that 's mine?
We'll live and love so true,
Shall break thy Edwin's too."
While this ballad was reading, Sophia seemed to mix an air of tenderness with her approbation. But our tranquillity was soon disturbed by the report of a gun just by us, and immediately after, a man was seen bursting through the hedge, to take up the game he had killed. This sportsman was the Squire's chaplain, who had shot one of the blackbirds that so agreeably entertained us.
So loud a report, and so near, startled my daughters ; and I could perceive that Sophia in the fright had thrown herself into Mr Burchell's arms for protection. The gentleman came up, and asked pardon for having disturbed us, affirming that he