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Divorced from good--a spirit and pulse of
good, A life and soul, to every mode of being Inseparably linked. Then be assured That least of all can ought—that ever owned 80 The heaven-regarding eye and front sublime Which man is born to-sink, howe'er depressed, So low as to be scorned without a sin; Without offence to God cast out of view; Like the dry remnant of a garden-flower Whose seeds are shed, or as an implement Worn out and worthless. While from door to
door, This old Man creeps, the villagers in him Behold a record which together binds Past deeds and offices of charity, Else unremembered, and so keeps alive The kindly mood in hearts which lapse of years, And that half-wisdom half-experience gives, Make slow to feel, and by sure steps resign To selfishness and cold oblivious cares. Among the farms and solitary huts, Hamlets and thinly-scattered villages, Where'er the aged Beggar takes his rounds, The mild necessity of use compels To acts of love, and habit does the work Of reason; yet prepares that after-joy Which reason cherishes. And thus the soul, By that sweet taste of pleasure unpursued, Doth find herself insensibly disposed To virtue and true goodness.
Şome there are, 105 By their good works exalted, lofty minds And meditative, authors of delight And happiness, which to the end of time Will live, and spread, and kindle: even such
In childhood, from this solitary Being,
Yet further.-Many, I believe, there are Who live a life of virtuous decency, Men who can hear the Decalogue and feel 135 No self-reproach; who of the moral law Established in the land where they abide Are strict observers; and not negligent In acts of love to those with whom they dwell, Their kindred, and the children of their blood. Praise be to such, and to their slumbers peace !
But of the poor man ask, the abject poor ; 142 Go, and demand of him, if there be here In this cold abstinence from evil deeds, And these inevitable charities,
Wherewith to satisfy the human soul ?
155 Duly as Friday comes, though pressed herself By her own wants, she from her store of meal Takes one unsparing handful for the scrip Of this old Mendicant, and, from her door Returning with exhilarated heart, Sits by her fire, and builds her hope in heaven.
Then let him pass, a blessing on his head! And while in that vast solitude to which The tide of things has borne him, he appears To breathe and live but for himself alone, 165 Unblamed, uninjured, let him bear about The good which the benignant law of Heaven Has hung around him: and, while life is his, Still let him prompt the unlettered villagers To tender offices and pensive thoughts. —Then let him pass, a blessing on his head ! And, long as he can wander, let him breathe The freshness of the valleys; let his blood Struggle with frosty air and winter snows; And let the chartered wind that sweeps the
heath Beat his grey locks against his withered face. Reverence the hope whose vital anxiousness Gives the last human interest to his heart.
May never HOUSE, misnanied of INDUSTRY,
196 So in the eye of Nature let him die !
THE FARMER OF TILSBURY VALE.
'Tis not for the unfeeling, the falsely refined, The squeamish in taste, and the narrow of
mind, And the small critic wielding his delicate pen, That I sing of old Adam, the pride of old men.
He dwells in the centre of London's wide
5 His staff is a sceptre-his.grey hairs a crown; And his bright eyes look brighter, set off by
Of the unfaded rose that still blooms on his
'Mid the dews, in the sunshine of morn,-'mid
Of the fields, he collected that bloom, when a
boy; That countenance there fashioned, which, spite
of a stain That his life hath received, to the last will
A Farmer he was; and his house far and near Was the boast of the country for excellent
How oft have I heard in sweet Tilsbury Vale 15 Of the silver-rimmed horu whence he dealt his
Yet Adam was far as the farthest from ruin, His fields seemed to know what their Master
was doing; And turnips, and corn-land, and meadow, and
lea, All caught the infection—as generous as he. 20
Yet Adam prized little the feast and the bowl,—
For Adam was simple in thought; and the poor,
25 Familiar with him, made an inn of his door: He gave them the best that he had; or, to say What less may mislead you, they took it away.