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And often, ere the chase was done,
He reel'd and was stone-blind.
And still there's something in the world
At which his heart rejoices;
For when the chiming hounds are out,
He dearly loves their voices.
But O the heavy change ! — bereft
Of health, strength, friends and kindred, see
Old Simon to the world is left
In liveried poverty :
His master's dead, and no one now
Dwells in the Hall of Ivor;
Men, dogs, and horses, all are dead;
He is the sole survivor.
And he is lean and he is sick,
His body dwindled and awry
Rests upon ankles swoln and thick ;
His legs are thin and dry.
He has no son, he has no child;
His wife, an aged woman,
Lives with him, near the waterfall,
Upon the village common.
Beside their moss-grown hut of clay,
Not twenty paces from the door,
scrap of land they have, but they
Are poorest of the poor.
This scrap of land he from the heath
Enclosed when he was stronger ;
But what avails the land to them
Which he can till no longer ?
Oft, working by her husband's side,
Ruth does what Simon cannot do;
For she, with scanty cause for pride,
Is stouter of the two.
And, though you with your utmost skill
From labour could not wean them,
'T is little, very little, all
That they can do between them.
Few months of life has he in store
As he to you will tell,
For still, the more he works, the more
Do his weak ankles swell.
My gentle reader, I perceive
How patiently you ’ve waited,
And now I fear that you expect
Some tale will be related.
O reader ! had you in your
mind Such stores as silent thought can bring, O gentle reader ! you would find A tale in everything. What more I have to say is short, And you must kindly take it : It is no tale ; but should you think, Perhaps a tale you 'll make it.
One summer-day I chanced to see
This old man doing all he could
To unearth the root of an old tree,
A stump of rotten wood.
The mattock totter'd in his hand;
So vain was his endeavour
That at the root of the old tree
He might have work'd for ever.
'You 're overtask’d, good Simon Lee,
Give me your tool,' to him I said ;
And at the word right gladly he
Received my proffer'd aid.
I struck, and with a single blow
The tangled root I sever'd,
At which the poor old man so long
And vainly had endeavour'd.
The tears into his eyes were brought,
And thanks and praises seem'd to run
So fast out of his heart, I thought
They never would have done,
- I've heard of hearts unkind, kind deeds
With coldness still returning ;
Alas! the gratitude of men
Has oftener left me mourning.
HAVE had playmates, I have had companions
In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days; All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
I have been laughing, I have been carousing,
Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies ;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
THEN I have borne in memory what has tamed
Great nations; how ennobling thoughts depart When men change swords for ledgers, and desert The student's bower for gold,
some fears unnamed
I had, my Country ! - am I to be blamed ?
But when I think of thee, and what thou art,
Verily, in the bottom of my heart
Of those unfilial fears I am ashamed.
For dearly must we prize thee; we who find
In thee a bulwark of the cause of men ;
And I by my affection was beguiled :
What wonder if a Poet now and then,
Among the many movements of his mind,
Felt for thee as a lover or a child !
N Linden, when the sun was low,
And dark as winter was the flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
But Linden saw another sight,
When the drum beat at dead of night
Commanding fires of death to light
The darkness of her scenery.
By torch and trumpet fast array'd
Each horseman drew his battle-blade,
And furious every charger neigh'd
To join the dreadful revelry.
Then shook the hills with thunder riven; Then rush'd the steed, to battle driven; And louder than the bolts of Heaven
Far flash'd the red artillery,
But redder yet that light shall glow
On Linden's hills of stainéd snow;
And bloodier yet the torrent flow
Of Iser, rolling rapidly.
'T is morn; but scarce yon level sun Can pierce the war-clouds, rolling dun, Where furious Frank and fiery Hun
Shout in their sulphurous canopy.
The combat deepens. On, ye Brave
Who rush to glory, or the grave !
Wave, Munich, all thy banners wave,
And charge with all thy chivalry!
Few, few shall part, where many meet !
The snow shall be their winding-sheet,
And every turf beneath their feet
Shall be a soldier's sepulchre.