Imatges de pÓgina


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

Requir'd a master's care ;
The wicket, opening with a latch, ()

Receiv'd the harmless pair.


And now, when busy crowds retire

To take their evening rest, (3) The Hermit trimm'd his little fire,

And cheer'd his pensive guest;


And spread his vegetable store,

And gayly press’d, and smild; And, skill'd in legendary lore,

The ling’ring hours beguild.

(1) ["Far shelter'd in a glade obscure

The modest mansion lay."- First edit.) (2) [“ The door just opening with a latch."-Ibid. ] (3) [" And now, when worldly crowds retire

To revels or to rest."'-Ibid.)


Around in sympathetic mirth

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

The crackling faggot flies.


But nothing could a charm impart

To soothe the stranger's woe ; For grief was heavy at his heart,

And tears began to flow.")


His rising cares the Hermit spy’d,

With answ'ring care opprest : “ And whence, unhappy youth,” he cry'd,

“ 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 trifling things,

More trifling still than they.

(1) [“ But nothing mirthful could assuage

The pensive stranger's woe;
For grief haid seized his early age,

And tears would often flow."-First edit.)


“ 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, thy sorrows hush,

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

His love-lorn guest betray'd.(1)


Surpriz'd he sees new beauties rise,

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

As bright, as transient too.(2)


The bashful look, the rising breast, (3)

Alternate spread alarms :
The lovely stranger stands confest,

A maid in all her charms.

(1) (“The bashful guest betray’d.”-First edit.]
(2) [" He sees unnumber'd beauties rise,

Expanding to the view;
Like clouds that deck the morning skies,

As bright, as transient too." - Ibid.]
(3) { " Her looks, her lips, her panting breast," &c.-Ibid. 7


“ And, ah! forgive a stranger rude,

A wretch forlorn," she cried; " Whose feet unhallow'd thus intrude

Where Heaven and you reside.


“ But let a maid thy pity share,

Whom love has taught to stray: Who seeks for rest, but finds despair

Companion of her way. (1)


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My father liv'd beside the Tyne,

A wealthy lord was he;
And all his wealth was mark'd as mine;

He had but only me.


6. To win me from his tender arms,

Unnumber'd suitors came ;
Who prais'd me for imputed charms,

And felt, or feign'd a flame.

(1) [" Forgive, and let thy pious care

A heart's distress allay :
That seeks repose, but finds despair

Companion of the way.
“ My father liv'd, of high degree,

Remote beside the Tyne;
And as he had but only me,

Whate'er he had was mine.

“ To win me from his tender arms,

Unnumber'd suitors came;
Their chief pretence my flatter'd charms,

My wealth perhaps their aim."-First edit.]


“ Each hour a mercenary crowd

With richest proffers strove;
Amongst the rest young Edwin bow'd,

But never talk'd of love. (1)


“ In humble, simplest habit clad,

No wealth nor power had he ;
Wisdom and worth were all he had,

But these were all to me.(2)


56 And when beside me in the dale,

He carol'd lays of love,
His breath lent fragrance to the gale,

And music to the grove.(3)


“ The blossom opening to the day,
The dews of Heaven refin'd,
Could nought of purity display

To emulate his mind.(4)

(1) [" Among the rest young Edwin bow'd,

Who offer'd oply love." -First edit.) (2) ["A constant heart was all he had,

But that was all to me."-Ibid.) (3) (This stanza, which was written some years after the rest of the poem, was presented in manuscript by Goldsmith to Richard Archdal, Esq., of Ireland]

(4) (“Whene'er he spoke amidst the train,

How would my heart attend !
And till delighted even to pain,
How sigh for such a friend !

" And

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