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The mattock tottered in his hand;
So vain was his endeavour,

That at the root of the old tree

He might have worked for ever.

"You're overtasked, good Simon Lee;
Give me your tool," to him I said;
And at the word, right gladly he
Received my proffered aid.

I struck, and with a single blow
The tangled root I severed,

At which the poor old man so long
And vainly had endeavoured.

The tears into his eyes were brought,
And thanks and praises seemed 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.


In the school of Hawkshead is a tablet, on which are inscribed in gilt letters, the names of the several persons who have been schoolmasters there since the foundation of the school, with the time at which they entered upon, and quitted their office. Opposite to one of those names, the Author wrote the following lines.

IF Nature, for a favourite child
In thee hath tempered so her clay,
That every hour thy heart runs wild,
Yet never once doth go astray,

Read o'er these lines; and then review
This tablet, that thus humbly rears

In such diversity of hue

Its history of two hundred years.

-When through this little wreck of fame,

Cipher and syllable! thine eye

Has travelled down to Matthew's name,
Pause with no common sympathy.

And if a sleeping tear should wake,
Then be it neither checked nor stayed :

For Matthew a request I make,

Which for himself he had not made.

Poor Matthew-all his frolics o'er-
Is silent as a standing pool;

Far from the chimney's merry roar,
And murmur of the village school.

The sighs which Matthew heaved were sighs
Of one tired out with fun and madness;
The tears which came to Matthew's eyes
Were tears of light, the dew of gladness.

Yet sometimes, when the secret cup
Of still and serious thought went round,
It seemed as if he drank it up-
He felt with spirit so profound.

-Thou soul of God's best earthly mould !
Thou happy soul ! and can it be

That these two words of glittering gold
Are all that must remain of thee?


WE walk'd along, while bright and red
Uprose the morning sun;

And Matthew stopped, he looked and said, "The will of God be done!"

A village schoolmaster was he,
With hair of glittering gray;
As blithe a man as you could see
On a spring holiday.

And on that morning, through the grass,

And by the steaming rills,

We travelled merrily, to pass
A day among the hills.

"Our work," said I, "was well begun ;

Then from thy breast what thought, Beneath so beautiful a sun,

So sad a sigh has brought ?"

A second time did Matthew stop;
And fixing still his eye

Upon the eastern mountain-top,

To me he made reply :

"Yon cloud with that long purple cleft
Brings fresh into my mind

A day like this, which I have left
Full thirty years behind.

"And just above yon slope of corn
Such colours, and no other,
Were in the sky that April morn,
Of this the very brother.

"With rod and line I sued the sport

Which that sweet season gave, And, coming to the church, stopped short Beside my daughter's grave.

"Nine summers had she scarcely seen, The pride of all the vale;

And then she sang :-she would have been A very nightingale !

"Six feet in earth my Emma lay;

And yet I loved her more,

For so it seemed, than till that day
I e'er had loved before.

“And turning from her grave, I met,
Beside the churchyard yew,

A blooming girl, whose hair was wet
With points of morning dew.

"A basket on her head she bare; Her brow was smooth and white;

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