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And again, in the words of the hymn for the First Sunday after Easter :
“For oft, when summer leaves were bright,
In sunshine moments past,
Where Heaven my lot had cast.”
And in the hymn for All Saints' day :
“Why blow'st thou not, thou wintry wind,
Now every leaf is brown and sere,
The fading chaplet of the year?
How quiet shews the woodland scene !
Each flower and tree, its duty done,
Like weary men when age is won.”
Beneath the overshadowing boughs of these elm-trees is a gravel path surrounding an orchard and small paddock, from which it is fenced off by posts and chains. This path is said to have formed a favourite walk for the Poet, who thus refreshed himself from his studies under the cool shade of the lofty trees.
In his later life he used to speak of this walk as having afforded him much pleasure in his early days, and he compared it with his private walk at Hursley from the vicarage to the boys' schoolroom, under the noble trees which skirt Sir William Heathcote's park.
His father lived and died in this house, having found no difficulty in performing from thence his pastoral duty at Coln St. Aldwyn's, which is only about three miles distant.
“Spirit of gentleness ! Thou wast not made
To wrestle with an evil world, 'mid clash
(Thoughts in Past Years, p. 98.)