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III.

This fapient age disclaims' all clasic lore ;
Else I should here in conning phrase display,
How forth The MINSTREL fared in days of yore,
Right glad of heart, though homely in array ;
His waving locks and beard all hoary grey :
And, from his bending shoulder, decent hung
His harp, the sole companion of his way,

Which to the whistling wind responsive rang:
And ever, as he went some merry lay he fung.

IV. Fret not yourselves, ye filken fons of pride, That a poor wanderer should inspire my ítrain, The Muses Fortune's fickle smile deride, Nor ever bow the knee in Mammon's fane; For their delights are with the village trai!), Whom Nature's laws engage, and Nature's charms : They hate the sensual, and (corn the vain ;'.

The parafite their influence never warms, Nor him whose fordid soul the love of wealth alarins,

V.
Though richest hues the peacock's plumes adorn,
Yet horror {creams from his discordant throat.
Rise, fons of harmony, and hail the morn.
While warbling larks on rufset pinioas fioat;
Or feek at noon the woodland scene remote, ·
Where the grey linnets carol from the hill.
Olet them ne'er with artificial note,

To please the tyrant, ftrain the little bill,
Bat fing what heaven inspires, and wander where they

will.

VI.
Liberal, not lavish, is kind Nature's hand;
Nor was perfection made for man below.
Yet all her schemes with nicest art are piann'd,
Good counteracting ill, and gladness wo.
With gold and.gems is Chilian mountains glow,

If bleak and harren Scotia's hills arise ;
There plague and poison, luit and rapine grow;

Here peaceful are the vales, and pure the skies, And fieedom fires the foul, and sparkles in the eyes.

VII. Then grieve not, thou to whom the indulgent Muse Vouchsafes a portion of celeftial fire; Nor blame the partial Fates, if they refuse Th' imperial banquet, and the rich attire. Know thine own worth, and reverence the lyre. Wilt thou debase the heart which God refin'd; No; let the heaven-taught foul, to heaven aspire

To fancy, freedom, harmony, refgn'd;
Ambition's groveling crew for ever left behind.

VIII.
Canst thou forego the pure etherial foul
In each fine sense so exquisitely keen,
On the dull couch of Luxury to loll,
Stung with discale and stupified with spleen ;
Fain to implore the aid of Flattery's screen,
I ven from thyself thy loathsome heart to hide,
(The manfion then no more of joy serene)

Where fear, diftruft, malevolence, abide,
And impotent defire, and disappointed pride.

IX.
O how canst thou renounce the boundless store
Of charms which Nature to her vot'ry yields !
The warbling woodland, the resounding fore,
The pomp of groves, and garniture of fields ;
All that the genial ray of morning gilds,
And all that echoes't

to the song of even, All that the mountain's shelteriog bosom shields,

And all the dread magnificence of heaven, O how canit thou renounce, and hope to be forgiven !

X. These charms fall work thy soul's eternal health, And love, and gentleness, and joy, impart.

But these thou must renounce, if luft of wealth
E’er win its way to thy corrupted heart ;.
For, ah! it poisons like a scorpion's dart :
Prompting the ungenerous with, the felfish scheme.
The fern resolve, unmov'd by pity's smart,

The troublous day, and long distressful dream.Returð, my roving Muse, renew thy purposed theme.

XI. There lived in Gothic days, as legends tell, A shepherd-fwain, a man of low degree; Whose fares, perchance, in Fairyland might dwell, Sicilian groves, or vales of Arcady, But he, I ween, was of the north countrie #: A nation famed for song, and beauty's charms : Zealous, yet modeft, innocent though free;

Patient of toil:-ferene amidst alarm3 ; Joflexable in faith ; inviocible in arms.

XII.
The shepherd-swain of whom I mention made,
On Scotia's mountains fed his little flock;
The fickle, seythe, or plough, he never fway'd ;

;
An honeft heart was almost all his stock;
His drink, the living water from the rock :
The milky dams supplied his board and lent
Their kindly fleece to baffle winter's fhock;

And he, though oft with duft and sweet besprent, Did guide and guard their wanderings, whereloe'er they

went.

* There is hardly an ancient Ballad, or Romance, wherein a Minstrel or Harper appears, but he is characterized, by way of eminence, to have been “ Of the North countrie." It is probable that under this appellation were formerly comprehended all the provinces to the North of Trent.

See Percy's Efay on the English Minstrelu.

xii. From labounhealth, from health contentment springs. Contentment opes ile source of every joy. He envied not, he never thought of aius ; Nor from those appetita füntúil dannoy, Which chance may frustrate, or indulgence cloy: Nor fate his calm and humble hopes beguiled; He mourn'd no recreant friend, nor miitress coy,

For on his vows the blameless Phæbe smiled, And her alone he loved, and loved her from a child.

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XIV.
No jealousy their dawn of love o'ercaft,
Nor blafted where their wedded days with Arife;
Each feafon look'd delightful as it pass’d,
To the fond husband, and the faithful wife.
Beyond the lowly vale of shepherd life
They never roam'd; secure beneath the storm
Which in Ambition's lofty land is rife,
Where
peace

and love are canker'd by the worm Of pride, each bud of joy induftrious to deform.

XV.
The wight whose tale thefe artlefs lines unfold,
Was all the offspring of this simple pair ;
His birth no oracle or feer foretoid:
No prodigy appear'd in earth or air,
Nor aught that might a strange event declare.
You guefs each circumstance of Edwin's birth;
The parent's transport, and the parent's care ;

The gossip's prayer, for wealth, and wit, and worth; And one long summer day of indolence and mirth.

XVI.
And yet poor Edwin was no vulgar boy;
Deep thought oft feem'd to fix hie infant eye.
Dainties he heeded not, nor gaude, nor toy,
Save one short pipe of rudest minftrelfy.c.

Silent when glad; affectionate, though shy ; ; ;
And now his look was most demurely fad, 791 4:

And now he laugh'd aloud, yet none knew why. T

The neighbours ftard and figh’d, yet bless’d the lad : Some deem'd himn wondrous wise, and some believ'd

him mad.

XVII.
But why should I his childish feats display?
Concourse, and noise, and toil he ever fed ;
Nor cared to mingle in the clamourous fray
Of sqabbling imps'; but to the forett sped,
Or roam'd at large the lonely, mountain's head;
Or, where the maze of some bewilder'd ftream
To deep untrodden groves bis footfteps led,

There wou'd he wander wild, till Phoebus' beam,
Shot from the western cliff, releas'd the weary teaid.

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XVIII.
Th' exploit of strength, dexterity, or speed,
To him nor vanity nor joy could bring.
His heart, from cruel sport estranged, would bleed
To work the woc of any liviog thing,
By trap, or net ; by arrow, or by fling ;
These he detefted, these he scorn?d to wield
He wish'd to be the guardian, not the king,

Tyrant far less, or traitor of the field.
And sure the fylvan reign unbloody joy might yield.

XIX.
Lo! where the stripling, wrapt in wonder, roves
Beneath the precipice oferhung with pine ;
And fees on high, amidft th' encircling groves,
From cliff to cliff the foaming torrents shine :
While waters, woods, and winds, in concert join,
And Echo swells the chorus to the skies.
Would Edwin this majeftic scene resign

For aught the huntsman's pụny craft supplies ?
Ah! no: he better knows great Nature's charms to prize,

XX.
And oft he'traced the uplands to furvey,
When q'er the ky advanced the kindling dawo, --

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