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Is it that Man is soon deprest?
A thoughtless Thing! who, once unblest,
Or on his reason,
And Thou would'st teach him how to find
A hope for times that are unkind
Thou wander'st the wide world about,
Meek, yielding to the occasion's call,
Thy function apostolical
In the School of
is a tablet, on which are inscribed, in gilt letters, the Names of the several persons who have been School-masters there since the foundation of the School, with the time at which they entered upon and quitted their office. Opposite to one of those names the Author wrote the following lines.
[SUCH a Tablet as is here spoken of continued to be preserved in Hawkshead School, though the inscriptions were not brought down to our time. This and other poems connected with Matthew would not gain by a literal detail of facts. Like the Wanderer in "The Excursion," this School-master was made up of several both of his class and men of other occupations. I do not ask pardon for what there is of untruth in such
verses, considered strictly as matters of fact. It is enough if, being true and consistent in spirit, they move and teach in a manner not unworthy of a Poet's calling.]
IF Nature, for a favourite child,
Read o'er these lines; and then review
Its history of two hundred years.
-When through this little wreck of fame,
Has travelled down to Matthew's name,
And, if a sleeping tear should wake,
Poor Matthew, all his frolics o'er,
The sighs which Matthew heaved were sighs
Yet, sometimes, when the secret cup
-Thou soul of God's best earthly mould!
THE TWO APRIL MORNINGS.
WE walked along, while bright and red
And Matthew stopped, he looked, and said,
A village schoolmaster was he,
As blithe a man as you could see
On a spring holiday.
And on that morning, through the grass,
And by the steaming rills,
We travelled merrily, to pass
A day among the hills.
"Our work," said I, "was well begun, Then, from thy breast what thought, Beneath so beautiful a sun,
So sad a sigh has brought ?"
A second time did Matthew stop;
Upon the eastern mountain-top,
"Yon cloud with that long purple cleft
Brings fresh into my mind
A day like this which I have left
And just above yon slope of corn
With rod and line I sued the sport
Which that sweet season gave,
And, to the church-yard come, stopped short
Beside my daughter's grave.
Nine summers had she scarcely seen,
The pride of all the vale;
And then she sang ;-she would have been
A very nightingale.
Six feet in earth my Emma lay;
And yet I loved her more,
For so it seemed, than till that day
And, turning from her grave, I met,
A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet
A basket on her head she bare;
Her brow was smooth and white:
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,
And Matthew seventy-two.
We lay beneath a spreading oak,
Beside a mossy seat;
And from the turf a fountain broke,
And gurgled at our feet.