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And thus polluting honour in its source,
Gave wealth to sway the mind with double force.
Have we not seen, round Britain's peopled shore,
Her useful sons exchanged for useless ore?
Seen all her triumphs but destruction haste,
Like flaring tapers brightning as they waste;
Seen opulence, her grandeur lo maintain,
Lead stern depopulation in her train,
And over fields where scatter'd hamlets rose,
In barren solitary pomp repose ?
Have we not seen at pleasure's lordly call,
The smiling long-frequented village fall ?
Beheld the duteous son, the sire decay'd,
The modest matron, and the blushing maid,
Forc'd from their homes, a melancholy train,
To traverse climes beyond the western main;
Where wild Oswego spreads b.er swamps around,
And Niagara stuns with thund'ring sound?
E’en now, perhaps, as there some pilgrim strays
Through tangled forests, and through dangerous ways;
Where beasts with man divided empire claim,
And the brown Indian marks with murd'rous aim;
There, while above the giddy tempest flies,
And all around distressful yells arise,
The pensive exile, bending with his woe,
To stop too fearful, and too faint to go,
Casts a long look where England's glories shine,
And bids his bosom sympathize with mine.
Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
That bliss which only centres in the mind:
Why have I stray'd from pleasure and repose,
To seek a good each goveroment bestows?
In every government, though terrors reign,
Though tyrant kings, or tyrant laws restrain,
How small, of all that human hearts endure,
That part which laws or kings can cause or cure.
Still to ourselves in every place consigned,
Our own felicity we make or find:
With secret course, which no loud storms annoy,
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy.
The lifted axe, the agonizing wheel,
Luke's iron crown, and Damien's bed of steel,
To men remote from power but rarely known,
Leave reason, faith, and conscience, all our own.
"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 lengthening as I go."
3. “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
A guiltless feast I bring;
A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied,
And water from the spring.
8. " 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
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,
The Hermit trimm'd bis little fire,
And cheer'd his pensive guest;
13. And spread his vegetable store,
And gayly press'd, and smil'd; And, skill'd in legendary lore, The ling'ring hours beguild.
14. 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 woé; For grief was heavy at his heart, And tears began to flow.
16. His rising cares the Hermit spy'd,
With answring 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 trilling, and decay;
And those who prize the trifling things,
More trising still than they.
“And what is friendsbip but a pame;
A charm that lulls to sleep;
A shade that follows wealth or fame,
But leaves the wretch to weep?