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"Here to the houseless child of want
My door is open still;
I give it with good will.
“Then turn to-night, and freely share
Whate'er my cell bestows; My rushy couch and frugal fare,
My blessing and repose.
"No flocks, that range the valley free,
To slaughter I condemn; Taught by that Power that pities nie, · I learn to pity them.
“But from the mountain's grassy side
A guiltless feast I bring; A scrip with herbs and fruits supply'd,
And water from the spring.
" Then, Pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;
All earth-born cares are wrong: Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long."
Soft as the dew from heav'n descends,
His gentle accents fell;
And follows to the cell. . .
Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay, A refuge to the neighbouring poor,
And strangers led astray.
No stores beneath its humble thatch
Requir'd a master's care;
Receiv'd the harmless pair.
And now, when busy crowds retire
To take their evening rest, The Hermit trimm'd his little fire,
And cheer'd his pensive guest;
And spread his vegetable store,
And gaily prest, and smild, And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The ling’ring hours beguild.
Around in sympathetic mirth
Its tricks the kitten tries; The cricket chirrups in the hearth,
The crackling faggot fies.
But nothing could a charm impart
To sooth the stranger's woe; For grief was heavy at his heart,
And tears began to flow.
His rising cares the Hermit spy'd,
With answering care opprest; “And whence, unhappy youth,” he cry'd,
“The sorrows of thy breast?
"From better habitations spurn’d,
Reluctant dost thou rove;
Or unregarded love?
"Alas! the joys that fortune brings
Are trifling, and decay,
More triding still than they.
“And what is friendship but a name,
A charm that lulls to sleep;
And leaves the wretch to weep?
“And love is still an emptier sound,
The modern fair-one's jest, On earth unseen, or only found
To warm the turtle's nest.
“For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush,
And spurn the sex,” he said: But while he spoke, a rising blush,
His love-lorn guest betray’d.
Surpris'd he sees new beauties rise
Swift mantling to the view,
As bright, as transient too.
The bashful look, the rising breast,
Alternate spread alarms,
A maid in all her charms.
*** And, ah! forgive a stranger rude,
A wretch forlorn,” she cry'd, - Whose feet unhallow'd thus intrude
Where heaven and you reside.
" But let a maid thy pity share,
Whom love has taught to stray;
Companion of her way.
" My father liv'd beside the Tyne,
A wealthy lord was he;
He had but only me:
"To win me from his tender arms,
Unnumber'd suitors cane;
And felt, or feign'd, a flame,
• Each hour a mercenary crowd
With richest proffers strove; Among the rest young Edwin bow'd,
But never talk'd of love.
“ In humblest, simplest habit clad,
No wealth nor power had he; Wisdom and worth were all he had,
But these were all to me.
“The blossom opening to the day,
The dews of heaven refin’d,
To emulate his mind.
“The dew, the blossoms of the tree,
With charms inconstant shine;
Their constancy was mine.
“ For still I try'd each fickle art, ..
Importunate and vain;
I triumph'd in his pain:
« Till quite dejected with my scorn,
He left me to my pride;
In secret where he died.