« ПретходнаНастави »
Lonesome and lost: of whom, and whose past Intoxicating service ! I might say life,
A happy service ; for he was sincere (Not to forestall such knowledge as may be As vanity and fondness for applause, More faithfully collected from himself,)
And new and shapeless wishes, would allow, This brief communication shall suffice.
“ That righteous cause (such power hath freedom) “ Though now sojourning there, he, like myself, bound, Sprang from a stock of lowly parentage
For one hostility, in friendly league Among the wilds of Scotland, in a tract
Ethereal patures and the worst of slaves ; Where many a shelter'd and well-tended plant, Was served by rival advocates that came Bears, on the humblest ground of social life, From regions opposite as heaven and hell, Blossoms of piety and innocence.
One courage seem'd to animate them all: Such grateful promises his youth display'd : And, from the dazzling conquests daily gain’d And, having shown in study forward zeal,
By their united efforts, there arose He to the ministry was duly call'd ;
A proud and most presumptuous confidence And straight incited by a curious mind
In the transcendent wisdom of the age, Fill'd with vague hopes, he undertook the charge And her discernment; not alone in rights, Of chaplain to a military troop,
And in the origin and bounds of power Cheer'd by the Highland bagpipe, as they march'd Social and temporal; but in laws divine, In plaided vest,—his fellow countrymen.
Deduced by reason, or to faith reveal'd. This office filling, yet by native power
An overweening trust was raised; and fear And force of native inclination, made
Cast out, alike of person and of thing. An intellectual ruler in the haunts
Plague from this union spread, whose subtle bane Of social vanity—he walk'd the world,
The strongest did not easily escape : Gay, and affecting graceful gayety ;
And he, what wonder! took a mortal taint. Lax, buoyant-less a pastor with his flock How shall I trace the change, how bear to tell Than a soldier among soldiers-lived and roam’d That he broke faith with them whom he had laid Where fortune led :-and fortune, who oft proves In earth's dark chambers, with a Christian's hope ! The careless wanderer's friend, to him made known An infidel contempt of holy writ A blooming lady-a conspicuous flower,
Stole by degrees upon his mind; and hence Admired for beauty, for her sweetness praised ; Life, like that Roman Janus, double-faced ; Whom he had sensibility to love,
Vilest hypocrisy, the laughing, gay Ambition to attempt, and skill to win.
Hypocrisy, not leagued with fear, but pride. “For this fair bride, most rich in gifts of mind, Smooth words he had to wheedle simple souls Nor sparingly endow'd with worldly wealth But, for disciples of the inner school, His office he relinquish'd ; and retired
Old freedom was old servitude, and they From the world's notice to a rural home.
The wisest whose opinions stoop'd the least Youth's season yet with him was scarcely past, To known restraints : and who most boldly drew And she was in youth's prime. How full their joy, Hopeful prognostications from a creed, How free their love ! nor did that love decay, That, in the light of false philosophy, Nor joy abate, till, pitiable doom !
Spread like a halo round a misty moon, In the short course of one undreaded year
Widening its circle as the storms advance. Death blasted all.—Death suddenly o’erthrew “ His sacred function was at length renounced ; Two lovely children-all that they possess'd! And every day and every place enjoy'd The mother follow'd:-miserably bare
Th’unshackled layman's natural liberty ; The one survivor stood; he wept, he pray'd Speech, manners, morals, all without disguise. For his dismissal ; day and night, compell’d I do not wish to wrong him ;-though the course By pain to turn his thoughts towards the grave, Of private life licentiously display'd And face the regions of eternity.
Unhallow'd actions-planted like a crown
Upon the insolent, aspiring brow
'Mid such abasement, what he had received So lived he ; so he might have died.
From nature-an intense and glowing mind.
Wherefore, when humbled liberty grew weak,
As with a lover's passion. Yet his moods
And he continued, when worse days were come, Of golden expectations, and receiving
To deal about his sparkling eloquence,
That show'd like happiness : but, in despite
He neither felt encouragement nor hope :
For moral dignity, and strength of mind,
« But now,
Were wanting ; and simplicity of life;
Among the mountains ; never one like this;
With the few needful things that life requires. “ The glory of the times fading away,
In rugged arms how soft it seems to lie,
Man's only dwelling, sole appointed seat,
The common penalties of mortal life,
Sickness or accident, or grief, or pain. Of discontent, and inwardly opprest
On these and kindred thoughts intent I lay With malady-in part, I fear, provoked
In silence musing by my comrade's side, By weariness of life, he fix'd his home,
He also silent: when from out the heart Or, rather say, sate down by very chance,
Of that profound abyss a solemn voice, Among these rugged hills ; where now he dwells, Or several voices in one solemn sound, And wastes the sad remainder of his hours Was heard—ascending: mournful, deep, and slow In self-indulging spleen, that doth not want The cadence, as of psalms-a funeral dirge ; Its own voluptuousness ; on this resolved, We listen'd, looking down upon the hut, With this content, that he will live and die But seeing no one : meanwhile from below Forgotten,--at safe distance from a ' world The strain continued, spiritual as before. Not moving to his mind.'»
And now distinctly could I recognise
These serious words These words :-“Shall in the grave thy love be Closed the preparatory notices
known, That served my fellow traveller to beguile In death thy faithfulness ?”—“ God rest his soul !” The way, while we advanced up that wide vale. The wanderer cried, abruptly breaking silence,Diverging now (as if his quest had been
“ He is departed, and finds peace at last !" Some secret of the mountains, cavern, fall
This scarcely spoken, and those holy strains Of water-or some boastful eminence,
Not ceasing, forth appeard in view a band Renown'd for splendid prospect far and wide) Of rustic persons, from behind the hut We scaled, without a track to ease our steps, Bearing a coffin in the midst, with which A steep ascent; and reach'd a dreary plain, They shaped their course along the sloping side With a tumultuous waste of huge hill tops Of that small valley ; singing as they mored ; Before us ; savage region ! which I paced
A sober company and few, the men Dispirited: when, all at once, behold!
Bareheaded, and all decently attired! Beneath our feet, a little lowly vale,
Some steps when they had thus advanced, the dirge A lowly vale, and yet uplifted high
Ended ; and, from the stillness that ensued Among the mountains; even as if the spot Recovering, to my friend I said, “ You spake, Had been, from eldest time by wish of theirs, Methought, with apprehension that these rites So placed, to be shut out from all the world! Are paid to him upon whose shy retreat Urn-like it was in shape, deep as an urn;
This day we purposed to intrude.”—“ I did so, With rocks encompass’d, save that to the south But let us hence, that we may learn the truth : Was one small opening, where a heath-clad ridge Perhaps it is not he but some one else Supplied a boundary less abrupt and close : For whom this pious service is perform'd ; A quiet, treeless nook, with two green fields,
Some other tenant of the solitude.” A liquid pool that glitter'd in the sun,
So, to a steep and difficult descent And one bare dwelling; one abode, no more ! Trusting ourselves, we wound from crag to crag, It seem'd the home of poverty and toil,
Where passage could be won; and, as the last Though not of want: the little fields, made green Of the mute train, upon the heathy top By husbandry of many thrifty years,
Of that off-sloping outlet, disappear'd, Paid cheerful tribute to the moorland house. I, more impatient in my downward course, There crows the cock, single in his domain : Had landed upon easy ground; and there The small birds find in spring no thicket there Stood waiting for my comrade. When behold To shroud them ; only from the neighbouring vales An object that enticed my steps aside! The cuckoo, straggling up to the hill tops, A narrow, winding entry opend out Shouteth faint tidings of some gladder place. Into a platform--that lay, sheepfold wise,
Ah! what a sweet recess, thought I, is here ! Enclosed between an upright mass of rock Instantly throwing down my limbs at ease And one old moss-grown wall;-a cool recess, Upon a bed of heath ;-full many a spot
And fanciful! For, where the rock and wall Of hidden beauty have I chanced t'espy
Met in an angle, hung a penthouse, framed,
By thrusting two rude staves into the wall
No dearer relic, and no better stay,
Impure conceits discharging from a heart
“ For I have knowledge that you do not shrink Nor wanting ornaments of walks between, From moving spectacles ;-but let us on.” With mimic trees inserted in the turf,
So speaking, on he went, and at the word
Into the rough uncultivated ground,
I knew, from his deportment, mien, and dress, A book, that, in the midst of stones and moss That it could be no other ; a pale face, And wreck of party-colour'd earthenware
A tall and meagre person, in a garb Aptly disposed, had lent its help to raise
Not rustic, dull and faded like himself! One of those petty structures. “ Gracious heaven!” He saw us not, though distant but few steps ; The wanderer cried, “ it cannot but be his,
For he was busy, dealing, from a store And he is gone?” The book, which in my hand Upon a broad leaf carried, choicest strings Had open'd of itself, (for it was swoln
Of red, ripe currants ; gift by which he strove, With searching damp, and seemingly had lain With intermixture of endearing words, To the injurious elements exposed
To soothe a child, who walk'd beside him, weeping From week to week,) I found to be a work As if disconsolate.-" They to the grave In the French tongue, a novel of Voltaire,
Are bearing him, my little one,” he said, His famous optimist. “ Unhappy man!"
“ To the dark pit; but he will feel no pain ; Exclaim'd my friend : “here then has been to him His body is at rest, his soul in heaven.” Retreat within retreat, a sheltering place
More might have follow'd—but my honour'd Within how deep a shelter ! He had fits,
friend E'en to the last, of genuine tenderness,
Broke in upon the speaker with a frank And loved the haunts of children here, no doubt. And cordial greeting.–Vivid was the light Pleasing and pleased, he shared their simple sports, That flash'd and sparkled from the other's eyes : Or sate companionless ; and here the book, He was all fire: the sickness from his face Left and forgotten in his careless way,
Pass'd like a fancy that is swept away; Must by the cottage children have been found : Hands join'd he with his visitant,-a grasp, Heaven bless them, and their inconsiderate work! An eager grasp; and many moments' space, To what odd purpose have the darlings turn'd When the first glow of pleasure was no more, This sad memorial of their hapless friend !” And much of what had vanish'd was return'd,
“ Me,” said I,“ most doth it surprise to find An amicable smile retain'd the life Such book in such a place !"_“A book it is," Which it had unexpectedly received, He answered,“ to the person suited well,
Upon his hollow cheek. “ How kind,” he said, Though little suited to surrounding things ; “ Nor could your coming have been better timed: 'Tis strange, I grant ; and stranger still had been For this, you see, is in our narrow world To see the man who own'd it, dwelling here, A day of sorrow. I have here a charge"With one poor shepherd, far from all the world! And, speaking thus, he patted tenderly Now, if our errand hath been thrown away, The sunburnt forehead of the weeping childAs from these intimations I forbode,
“ A little mourner, whom it is my task Grieved shall I be-less for my sake than yours ; To comfort ;—but how came ye ?-if yon track And least of all for him who is no more.'
(Which doth at once befriend us and þetray) By this, the book was in the old man's hand; Conducted hither your most welcome feet, And he continued, glancing on the leaves
Ye could not miss the funeral train—they yet An eye of scorn. “ The lover,” said he, “ doom'd Have scarcely disappear’d.” “ This blooming child,” To love when hope hath fail'd him—whom no depth Said the old man," is of an age to weep Of privacy is deep enough to hide,
At any grave or solemn spectacle, Hath yet his bracelet or his lock of hair,
Inly distress'd or overpower'd with awe, And that is joy to him. When change of times He knows not why ;-but he, perchance, this day, Hath summond kings to scaffolds, do but give Is shed ling orphan's tears; and you yourself The faithful servant, who must hide his head Must have sustain a loss.”_" The hand of death,” Henceforth in whatsoever nook he may,
He answer'd, “ has been here ; but could not well A kerchief sprinkled with his master's blood, Have fall’n more lightly, if it had not fall’n And he too hath his comforter.
Upon myself.”—The other left these words Beyond all poverty how destitute,
Unnoticed, thus continuing.-Must that man have been left, who, hither driven, Flying or seeking, could yet bring with him Down whose steep sides we dropp'd into the vale,
“ From yon crag
We heard the hymn they sang—a solemn sound Answer'd the sick man with a careless voice Heard anywhere, but in a place like this
“ That I came hither; neither have I found 'Tis more than human! Many precious rites Among associates who have power of speech, And customs of our rural ancestry
Nor in such other converse as is here, Are gone, or stealing from us; this, I hope, Temptation so prevailing as to change Will last for ever. Often have I stopp'd
That mooil, or undermine my first resolve."When on my way, I could not choose but stop, Then speaking in like careless sort, he said So much I felt the awfulness of life,
To my benign companion,~" Pity 'tis
A few days earlier; then would you have seen
That seems by nature hollow'd out to be Its final home in earth. What traveller-who The seat and bosom of pure innocence, (How far soe'er a stranger) does not own
Are made of; an ungracious matter this ! The bond of brotherhood, when he sees them go, Which, for truth's sake, yet in remembrance too A mute procession on the houseless road;
Of past discussions with this zealous friend
And advocate of humble life, I now
By the example of his own pure course,
And that respect and deference which a soul Then, when the body, soon to be consign'd May fairly claim, by niggard age enrich'd Ashes to ashes, dust bequeath'd to dust,
In what she values most--the love of God Is raised from the church aisle, and forward borne And his frail creature, man:--but ye shall hear. Upon the shoulders of the next in love,
I talk-and ye are standing in the sun The nearest in affection or in blood;
Without refreshment!” Yea, by the very mourners who had knelt
Saying this, he led Beside the coffin, resting on its lid
Towards the cottage ;-homely was the spot; In silent grief their unuplifted heads,
And, to my feeling, ere we reach'd the door, And heard meanwhile the psalmist's mournful Had almost a forbidding nakedness; plaint,
Less fair, I grant, e'en painfully less fair, And that most awful scripture which declares Than it appear'd when from the beetling rock We shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed We had look'd down upon it. All within, Have I not seen ?-Ye likewise may have seen As left by the departed company, Son, husband, brothers—brothers side by side,
Was silent; and the solitary clock And son and father also side by side,
Tick'd, as I thought, with melancholy sound.Rise from that posture ;-and in concert move, Following our guide, we clomb the cottage stairs On the green turf following the vested priest, And reach'd a small apartment dark and low, Four dear supporters of one senseless weight, Which was no sooner enter'd than our host From which they do not shrink, and under which Said gayly, “ This is my domain, my cell, They faint not, but advance toward the
grave My hermitage, my cabin,-what you will Step after step-together, with their firm
I love it better than a snail his house. Unhidden faces; he that suffers most,
But now ye shall be feasted with our best.” He outwardly, and inwardly perhaps,
So, with more ardour than an unripe girl The most serene, with most undaunted eye! Left one day mistress of her mother's stores, 0! blest are they who live and die like these, He went about his hospitable task. Loved with such love, and with such sorrow My eyes were busy, and my thoughts no less, mourn'd!"
And pleased I look'd upon my gray-hair'd friend, “ That poor man taken hence to-day,” replied As if to thank him: he return'd that look, The solitary, with a faint, sarcastic smile
Cheerd, plainly, and yet serious. What a wreck Which did not please me,“must be deem'd, I fear, Had we around us ! scatter'd was the floor, Of the unblest; for he will surely sink
And, in like sort, chair, window-seat, and shelf, Into his mother earth without such pomp
With books, maps, fossils, wither'd plants and Of grief, depart without occasion given
flowers, By him for such array of fortitude.
And tufts of mountain moss: mechanic tools Full seventy winters hath he lived, and mark! Lay intermix'd with scraps
Some in disgrace, hung dangling from the walls.Without a hand to gather it.” At this
But speedily the promise was fulfill'd; I interposed, though loath to speak, and said, A feast before us, and a courteous host “ Can it be thus among so small a band
Inviting us in glce to sit and eat. As ye must needs be here? in such a place A napkin, white as foam of that rough brook I would not willingly, methinks, lose sight By which it had been bleach'd, o'erspread the board ; Of a departing cloud.”_''Twas not for love,” And was itself half cover'd with a load
Of dainties,-oaten bread, curd, cheese, and cream. Upon the laws of public charity.
The housewife, tempted by such slender gains
Open'd, as she before had done for me, Faintly reflected in a lingering stream;
Her doors t'admit this homeless pensioner ;
Which appetite required-a blind, dull nook
Il borne in earlier life, but his was now
Calm did he sit beneath the wide-spread tree
Of his old age; and yet less calm and meek.
Than slow and torpid ; paying in this wise
A penalty, if penalty it were, To glance an upward look on two huge peaks, For spendthrift feats, excesses of his prime. That from some other vale peer'd into this. I loved the old man, for I pitied him ! “ Those lusty twins,” exclaim'd our host, “ if here A task it was, I own, to hold discourse It were your lot to dwell, would soon become With one so slow in gathering up his thoughts, Your prized companions.-Many are the notes But he was a cheap pleasure to my eyes; Which, in his tuneful course, the wind draws forth Mild, inoffensive, ready in his way, From rocks, woods, caverns, heaths, and dashing And helpful to his utmost power: and there shores;
Our housewife knew full well what she possessid ! And well those lofty brethren bear their part He was her vassal of all labour, tillid In the wild concert-chiefly when the storm Her garden, from the pasture fetch'd her kine; Rides high; then all the upper air they fill And, one among the orderly array With roaring sound, that ceases not to flow, Or haymakers, beneath the burning sun Like smoke, along the level of the blast,
Maintaind his place: or heedfully pursued
His course, on errands bound, to other vales,
and learn Left them ungifted with a power to yield
For what reward! The moon her monthly round Music of finer tone; a harmony,
Hath not completed since our dame, the queen So do I call it, though it be the hand
Of this one cottage and this lonely dale,
It is most serious: persevering rain
Had fall’n in torrents; all the mountain tops
Was wholly ignorant that my ancient friend,
Had clomb aloft to delve the moorland turf
Lay at the mercy of this raging storm.
A fall of voice, • Inhuman !--said I, 'was an old man's life Regretted like the nightingale's last note,
Not worth the trouble of a thought ?-alas? Had scarcely closed this high-wrought rhapsody, This notice comes too late.' With joy I saw Ere with inviting smile the wanderer said, Her husband enter-from a distant vale. “Now for the tale with which you threaten'd us !” We sallied forth together; found the tools “ In truth the threat escaped me unawares; Which the neglected veteran had droppid, Should the tale tire you, let this challenge stand But through all quarters look'd for him in vain. For my excuse. Dissever'd from mankind, We shouted—but no answer! Darkness fell As to your eyes and thoughts we must have seem'd Without remission of the blast or shower, When ye look'd down upon us from the crag, And fears for our own safety drove us home. Islanders of a stormy mountain sea.
I, who weep little, did I will confess, We are not so ;-perpetually we touch
The moment I was seated here alone, Upon the vulgar ordinance of the world,
Honour my little cell with some few tears And he, whom this our cottage hath to-day Which anger and resentment could not dry. Relinquish'd, lived dependent for his bread All night the storm endured; and soon as help