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To see a child so very fair,
It was a pure delight!
"No fountain from its rocky cave
"There came from me a sigh of pain
I looked at her, and looked again,
Matthew is in his grave; yet now,
We talked with open heart, and tongue
A pair of friends, though I was young,
We lay beneath a spreading oak,
Beside a mossy seat;
And from the turf a fountain broke,
And gurgled at our feet.
"Now, Matthew!" said I, "let us match
This water's pleasant tune
With some old Border song or catch
"Or of the church-clock and the chimes
In silence Matthew lay, and eyed
The gray-haired man of glee :
"Down to the vale this water steers;
How merrily it goes!
'Twill murmur on a thousand years,
And flow as now it flows.
“And here, on this delightful day,
Beside this fountain's brink.
"My eyes are dim with childish tears, My heart is idly stirred,
For the same sound is in my ears
"Thus fares it still in our decay;
Mourns less for what age takes away
"The blackbird in the summer trees,
The lark upon the hill,
Let loose their carols when they please, Are quiet when they will.
"With nature never do they wage
Is beautiful and free;
"But we are pressed by heavy laws,
And often, glad no more,
We wear a face of joy because
"If there is one who need bemoan, His kindred laid in earth,
The household hearts that were his own, It is the man of mirth.
"My days, my friend, are almost gone, My life has been approved,
And many love me ; but by none
Am I enough beloved."
"Now both himself and me he wrongs,
The man who thus complains!
I live and sing my idle songs
"And, Matthew, for thy children dead I'll be a son to thee!"
At this he grasped my hand, and said, "Alas! that cannot be."
We rose up from the fountain-side,
Of the green sheep-track did we glide,
And, ere we came to Leonard's Rock,
WRITTEN WHILE SAILING IN A BOAT AT EVENING.
How richly glows the water's breast
Such views the youthful bark allure ;