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In the School of



is a tablet, on which are inscribed, in gilt letters, the names of the several persons who have been Schoolmasters 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.

IF Nature, for a favorite child,

In thee hath tempered so her clay,
That every hour thy heart runs wild,
Yet never once doth go astray,

Read o'er these lines; and then review
This tablet, that thus humbly rears,

In such diversity of hue,

Its history of two hundred years.

When through this little wreck of fame,
Cipher and syllable! thine eye

Has travelled down to Matthew's name,
Pause with no common sympathy.

And, if a sleeping tear should wake,
Then be it neither checked nor stayed:
For Matthew a request I make

Which for himself he had not made.

Poor Matthew, all his frolics o'er,

Is silent as a standing pool;

Far from the chimney's merry roar,
And murmur of the village school.

The sighs which Matthew heaved were sighs
Of one tired out with fun and madness;
The tears which came to Matthew's eyes
Were tears of light, the dew of gladness.

Yet, sometimes, when the secret cup
Of still and serious thought went round,
It seemed as if he drank it up,—
He felt with spirit so profound.

Thou Soul of God's best earthly mould!
Thou happy Soul! and can it be
That these two words of glittering gold
Are all that must remain of thee?




WE walked along, while bright and red
Uprose the morning sun;

And Matthew stopped, he looked, and said, "The will of God be done!"

A village schoolmaster was he,

With hair of glittering gray;

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;

And fixing still his eye

Upon the eastern mountain-top,

To me he made reply:

"Yon cloud with that long purple cleft

Brings fresh into my mind

A day like this which I have left

Full thirty years behind.

"And just above yon slope of corn

Such colors, and no other,

Were in the sky, that April morn,

Of this the very brother.

"With rod and line I sued the sport

Which that sweet season gave,


And, to the churchyard 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

I e'er had loved before.

"And, turning from her grave, I met, Beside the churchyard yew,

A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet

With points of morning dew.

"A basket on her head she bare;
Her brow was smooth and white:
To see a child so very fair,
It was a pure delight!

"No fountain from its rocky cave E'er tripped with foot so free; She seemed as happy as a wave

That dances on the sea.

"There came from me a sigh of pain

Which I could ill confine;

I looked at her, and looked again:
And did not wish her mine!"

Matthew is in his grave, yet now,
Methinks, I see him stand,
As at that moment, with a bough
Of wilding in his hand.





We talked with open heart, and tongue
Affectionate and true,

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.

"Now, Matthew!" said I, "let us match

This water's pleasant tune

With some old border-song, or catch

That suits a summer's noon;

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