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To see a child so very fair,
It was a pure delight !
“No fountain from its rocky cave
E’er tripped with foot so free; She seemed as happy as a wave
That dances on the sea.
“There came from me a sigh of pain
Which I could ill confine ;
-And did not wish her mine."
Matthew is in his grave ; yet now,
Methinks I see him stand
Of wilding in his hands.
We talked with open heart, and tongue
Affectionate and true ;
We lay beneath a spreading oak,
Beside a mossy seat ;
And gurgled at our feet.
“Now, Matthew !” said I, “let us match
This water's pleasant tune
That suits a summer's noon.
“ Or of the church-clock and the chimes
Sing here beneath the shade,
Which you last April made !”
In silence Matthew lay, and eyed
The spring beneath the tree ; And thus the dear old man replied, 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,
I cannot choose but think How oft, a vigorous man, I lay
Beside this fountain's brink.
“My eyes are dim with childish tears,
My heart is idly stirred,
Which in those days I heard.
“ Thus fares it still in our decay ;
And yet the wiser mind
Than what it leaves behind.
“ 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
A foolish strife : they see
Is beautiful and free;
“But we are pressed by heavy laws,
And often, glad no more,
We wear a face of joy because
We have been glad of yore.
"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
Upon these happy plains ;
“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,
And down the smooth descent Of the green sheep-track did we glide,
And through the wood we went;
And, ere we came to Leonard's Rock,
He sang those witty rhymes About the crazy old church-clock,
And the bewildered chimes.
WRITTEN WHILE SAILING IN A BOAT AT EVENING.
How richly glows the water's breast
Such views the youthful bark allure :