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And now, when busy crowds retire,
To take their evening rest, The hermit trimm'd his little fire,
And cheer'd his pensive guest: And spread his vegetable store,
And gaily pressed and smiled; And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The lingering hours beguiled.
Around, in sympathetic mirth,
Its tricks the kitten tries;
The crackling faggot flies.
To soothe the stranger's woe:
And tears began to flow.
With answering care opprest; “And whence, unhappy youth,” he cried
“The sorrows of thy breast ?
From better habitations spurned,
Reluctant dost thou rove ?
Or unregarded love
Are trifling and decay ;
More trifling still than they.
A charm that lulls to sleep!
And 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.
Surprised, he sees new beauties rise,
Swift mantling to the view,
As bright, as transient, too.
Alternate spread alarms;
A maid in all her charms.
“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 :
Companion of her way.
A wealthy lord was he;
He had but only me.
To win me, from his tender arms,
Unnumbered suitors came;
Each hour a mercenary crowd
With richest proffers strove ; Amongst the rest young Edwin bow'd,
But never talked of love.
In humblest, simplest habit clad,
No wealth nor power had he; Wisdom and worth were all he had;
But these were all to me.
The blossom opening to the day,
The dews of heaven refined, Could nought of purity display,
To emulate his mind.
The dew, the blossoms of the tree,
With charms inconstant shine; Their charms were his; but, woe to me,
Their constancy was mine. For still I tried each fickle art,
Importunate and vain ;
I triumph'd in his pain.
He left me to my pride;
In secret, where he died !
But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
And well my life shall pay : Iill seek the solitude he sought,
And stretch me where he lay.
And there, forlorn, despairing, hid,
I'll lay me down and die: 'Twas so for me that Edwin did.
And so for him will I."
“Forbid it, Heaven !" the hermit cried,
And clasped her to his breast :
'Twas Edwin's self that prest!
My charmer, turn to see
Restored to love and thee.
Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
And every care resign;
My life—my all that's mine?
We'll live and love so true ;
A MORNING SONG.
ARK, hark! the lark at Heaven's gate sings,
And Phæbus 'gins arise,
The steeds to water at those springs
To ope their golden eyes ;