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A summer forenoon-The Author reaches a ruined Cottage, upon a Common, and there meets with a revered Friend, the Wanderer, of whom he gives an account-The Wanderer, while resting under the shade of the trees that surround the Cottage, relates the History of its last Inhabitant.

'Twas summer, and the sun had mounted high:
Southward the landscape indistinctly glared
Through a pale steam; but all the northern downs,
In clearest air ascending, showed far off

A surface dappled o'er with shadows flung
From brooding clouds; shadows that lay in spots
Determined and unmoved, with steady beams
Of bright and pleasant sunshine interposed;
Pleasant to him who on the soft cool moss
Extends his careless limbs along the front
Of some huge cave, whose rocky ceiling casts

A twilight of its own, an ample shade,

Where the Wren warbles while the dreaming Man.

Half conscious of the soothing melody,
With side-long eye looks out upon the scene,
By power of that impending covert thrown
To finer distance. Other lot was mine;
Yet with good hope that soon I should obtain
As grateful resting-place, and livelier joy.
Across a bare wide Common I was toiling
With languid steps that by the slippery ground
Were baffled; nor could my weak arm disperse
The hosts of insects gathering round my face,
And ever with me as I paced along.

Upon that open level stood a Grove,

The wished-for port to which my course was bound.
Thither I came, and there, amid the gloom
Spread by a brotherhood of lofty elms,
Appeared a roofless Hut; four naked walls
That stared upon each other! I looked round,
And to my wish and to my hope espied
Him whom I sought; a Man of reverend age,
But stout and hale, for travel unimpaired.
There was he seen upon the Cottage bench,
Recumbent in the shade as if asleep;
An iron-pointed staff lay at his side.

Him had I marked the day before alone
And stationed in the public way, with face

Turned toward the sun then setting, while that staff
Afforded to the Figure of the Man
Detained for contemplation or repose,

Graceful support; his countenance meanwhile
Was hidden from my view, and he remained
Unrecognised; but, stricken by the sight,
With slackened footsteps I advanced, and soon
A glad congratulation we exchanged

At such unthought-of meeting.

For the night

We parted, nothing willingly; and now
He by appointment waited for me here
Beneath the shelter of these clustering elms.

We were tried Friends: amid a pleasant vale,
In the antique market village where were passed
My school-days, an apartment he had owned,
To which at intervals the Wanderer drew,
And found a kind of home or harbor there.
He loved me; from a swarm of rosy Boys
Singled out me, as he in sport would say,
For my grave looks too thoughtful for my years.
As I grew up, it was my best delight

To be his chosen Comrade. Many a time,

On holidays, we rambled through the woods:
We sate we walked; he pleased me with report
Of things which he had seen; and often touched
Abstrusest matter, reasonings of the mind,
Turned inward; or at my request would sing
Old songs
-the product of his native hills;
A skilful distribution of sweet sounds,
Feeding the soul, and eagerly imbibed
As cool refreshing Water, by the care
Of the industrious husbandman, diffused

Through a parched meadow-ground, in time of drought
Still deeper welcome found his pure discourse:
How precious when in riper days I learned
To weigh with care his words, and to rejoice
In the plain presence of his dignity!

Oh! many are the Poets that are sown

By Nature; Men endowed with highest gifts,
The vision and the faculty divine;

Yet wanting the accomplishment of Verse,

(Which, in the docile season of their youth,
It was denied them to acquire, through lack
Of culture and the inspiring aid of books,
Or haply by a temper too severe,

Or a nice backwardness afraid of shame,)
Nor having e'er, as life advanced, been led
By circumstance to take unto the height

The measure of themselves, these favored Beings,
All but a scattered few, live out their time,
Husbanding that which they possess within,

And go to the grave, unthought of. Strongest minds
Are often those of whom the noisy world
Hears least; else surely this Man had not left
His graces unrevealed and unproclaimed.
But, as the mind was filled with inward light,
So not without distinction had he lived,
Beloved and honored far as he was known.
And some small portion of his eloquent speech,
And something that may serve to set in view
The feeling pleasures of his loneliness,
His observations, and the thoughts his mind
Had dealt with -I will here record in verse
Which, if with truth it correspond, and sink
Or rise as venerable Nature leads,

The high and tender Muses shall accept

With gracious smile, deliberately pleased,


And listening Time reward with sacred praise.

Among the hills of Athol he was born;
Where, on a small hereditary Farm,

An unproductive slip of rugged ground,

His Parents, with their numerous Offspring, dwelt ĝ
A virtuous Household, though exceeding poor!
Pure Livers were they all, austere and grave,
And fearing God; the very Children taught

Stern self-respect, a reverence for God's word,
And an habitual piety, maintained

With strictness scarcely known on English ground.

From his sixth year, the Boy of whom I speak,
In summer tended cattle on the Hills ·

But, through the inclement and the perilous days
Of long-continuing winter, he repaired,
Equipped with satchel, to a School, that stood
Sole Building on a mountain's dreary edge,
Remote from view of City spire, or sound
Of Minster clock! From that bleak Tenement
He, many an evening, to his distant home
In solitude returning, saw the Hills
Grow larger in the darkness, all alone
Beheld the stars come out above his head,

And travelled through the wood, with no one near
To whom he might confess the things he saw.
So the foundations of his mind were laid.
In such communion, not from terror free,
While yet a Child, and long before his time,
He had perceived the presence and the power
Of greatness; and deep feelings had impressed
Great objects on his mind, with portraiture
And color so distinct, that on his mind
They lay like substances, and almost seemed
To haunt the bodily sense. He had received
A precious gift; for, as he grew in years,
With these impressions would he still compare
All his remembrances, thoughts, shapes, and forins
And, being still unsatisfied with aught

Of dimmer character, he thence attained

An active power to fasten images

Upon his brain; and on their pictured lines
Intensely brooded, even til they acquired

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