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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,
And every flower was bath'd in light,

In sunshine moments past,
My wilful heart would burst away
From where the holy shadow lay,

Where Heaven my lot had cast.”

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And in the hymn for All Saints' day :

“Why blow'st thou not, thou wintry wind,

Now every leaf is brown and sere,
And idly droops, to thee resign'd,

The fading chaplet of the year?


How quiet shews the woodland scene !

Each flower and tree, its duty done,
Reposing in decay serene,

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
Of passion's steely mail, and the loud din
Of spirits framed in iron mould; but He
Who bid thee sojourn here, hath haply sent
To show awhile, in live reality,
The loveliness of natures train'd for Heaven,
And fit thee by thine earthly pilgrimage
For thine enduring home.”

(Thoughts in Past Years, p. 98.)

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