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Or of the church-clock and the chimes
Sing here beneath the shade,
That half-mad thing of witty rhymes
Which you last April made !"
In silence Matthew lay, and eyed
The spring beneath the tree;
And thus the dear old Man replied,
The grey-haired man of glee:
“No check, no stay, this Streamlet fears ; 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,
For the same sound is in my ears
Which in those days I heard.
Thus fares it still in our decay :
And yet the wiser mind
Mourns less for what
The blackbird amid leafy trees,
The lark above 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
A happy youth, and their old age
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 be 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
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.
TO THE SPADE OF A FRIEND.
COMPOSED WHILE WE WERE LABOURING TOGETHER IN HIS
SPADE! with which Wilkinson hath tilled his lands,
And shaped these pleasant walks by Emont's side,
Thou art a tool of honour in my hands;
I press thee, through the yielding soil, with pride.
Rare master has it been thy lot to know;
Long hast Thou served a man to reason true;
Whose life combines the best of high and low,
The labouring many and the resting few;
Health, meekness, ardour, quietness secure,
And industry of body and of mind;
And elegant enjoyments, that are pure
As nature is ;—too pure to be refined.
Here often hast Thou heard the Poet sing
In concord with his river murmuring by;
Or in some silent field, while timid spring
Is yet uncheered by other minstrelsy.
Who shall inherit Thee when death has laid
Low in the darksome cell thine own dear lord ?
That man will have a trophy, humble Spade !
A trophy nobler than a conqueror's sword.
If he be one that feels, with skill to part
False praise from true, or, greater from the less,
Thee wili he welcome to his hand and heart,
Thou monument of peaceful happiness !
He will not dread with Thee a toilsome day-
Thee his loved servant, his inspiring mate !
And, when thou art past service, worn away,
No dull oblivious nook shall hide thy fate.
His thrift thy uselessness will never scorn ;
An heir-loom in his cottage wilt thou be :
High will he hang thee up, we'l pleased to adorn
His rustic chimney with the last of Thee !