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But oh 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.
One prop he has, and only one, —
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,
A 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 to them avails the land
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,
'Tis 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 exp
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 every thing.
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 deed
With coldness still returning;
Alas ! the gratitude of men
Hath oftener left me mourning.

W. Wordsworth

CCLXIV THE OLD FAMILIAR FACES I 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.
I loved a Love once, fairest among women :
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her-
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.
I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man:
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly ;
Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces.
Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my childhood,
Earth seem'd a desert I was bound to traverse,
Seeking to find the old familiar faces.
Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces,
How some they have died, and some they have left

And some are taken from me; all are departed ;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

C. Lamb


As slow our ship her foamy track

Against the wind was cleaving,
Her trembling pennant still look'd back

To that dear isle 'twas leaving.
So loth we part from all we love,

From all the links that bind us ;
So turn our hearts, as on we rove,

To those we've left behind us !
When, round the bowl, of vanish'd years

We talk with joyous seeming-
With smiles that might as well be tears,

So faint, so sad their beaming ;

While memory brings us back again

Each early tie that twined us,
Oh, sweet's the cup that circles then

To those we've left behind us !
And when, in other climes, we meet

Some isle or vale enchanting,
Where all looks flowery, wild, and sweet,

And nought but love is wanting ;
We think how great had been our bliss

If Heaven had but assign'd us
To live and die in scenes like this,

With some we've left behin { us!
As travellers oft look back at eve

When eastward darkly going,
To gaze upon that light they leave

Still faint behind thcm glowing,-
So, when the close of pleasure's day

To gloom hath near consign'd us,
We turn to catch one fading ray
Of joy that's left behind us.

T. Moore


YOUTH AND AGE There's not a joy the world can give like that it

takes away When the glow of early thought declines in feeling's

dull decay ; 'Tis not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone,

which fedes so fast, But the tender bloom of heart is gone, ere youth

itself be past. Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of

happiness Are driven o'er the shoals of guilt, or ocean of excess : The magnet of their course is gone, or only points in

vain The shore to which their shiver'd sail shall never

stretch again.

Then the mortal coldness of the soul like death itself

comes down; It cannot feel for others' woes, it dare not dream its

own ; That heavy chill has frozen o'er the fountain of our

tears, And though the eye may sparkle still, 'tis where the

ice appears. Though wit may flash from fluent lips, and mirth

distract the breast, Through midnight hours that yield no more their

former hope of rest ; 'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruin'd turret wreathe, All green and wildly fresh without, but worn and

gray beneath. Oh could I feel as I have felt, or be what I have been, Or weep as I could once have wept o'er many a

vanish'd scene, As springs in deserts found seem sweet, all brackish

though they be, So midst the wither'd waste of life, those tears would flow to me!

Lord Byron


A LESSON There is a Flower, the lesser Celandine, That shrinks like many more from cold and rain, And the first moment that the sun may shinc, Bright as the sun himself, 'tis out again! When hailstones have been falling, swarm on swarm. Or blasts the green field and the trees distrest, Oft have I seen it muffled up from harm In close self-shelter, like a thing at rest. But lately, one rough day, this Flower I past, And recognized it, though an alter'd form, Now standing forth an offering to the blast, And buffeted at will by rain and storm.

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