Imatges de pÓgina

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,
And guide my lonely way,
To where yon taper cheers the vale
With hospitable ray.

For here forlorn and lost I tread,
With fainting steps and slow,

Where wilds, immeasurably spread,
Seem length'ning as I go."

"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
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 fruits supplied,
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:
The modest stranger lowly bends,
And follows to the cell.

Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay,
A refuge to the neighb'ring poor,
And strangers led astray.

No stores beneath its humble thatch
Required a master's care;
The wicket, opening with a latch,
Received the harmless pair.

And now, when busy crowds retire
To take their evening rest,

"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.
Around, in sympathetic mirth,

Its tricks the kitten tries,
The cricket chirrups on the hearth,

The crackling fagot flies.
But nothing could a charm impart

To soothe the stranger's wo;
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 habitations 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, tlıy sorrows lush,

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

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

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

As bright, as transient too.

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And while his passion touch'd my heart,

I triumph'd in his pain :
“ Till, quite dejectea 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 life shall pay;
I'll seek the solitude he sought,

And stretch me where he lay.

“ And there, forlorn, despairing, hid,

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

And so for him will 1."

“ Forbid it Heaven!" the Hermit cried,

And clasp'd her to his breast :
The wondering fair one turn’d to chide-

'Twas Edwin's self that pressid !
“ Turn, Angelina, ever dear,

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

Restored 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."

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

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