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Announcing immortality and joy
To the assembled spirits of the just,
From imperfection and decay secure.
- Thus soothed at home, thus busy in the field,
To no perverse suspicion he gave way,
No languor, peevishness, nor vain complaint:
And they, who were about him, did not fail
In reverence, or in courtesy; they prized
His gentle manners; and his peaceful smiles,
The gleams of his slow-varying countenance,
Were met with answering sympathy and love.
“At length, when sixty years and five were told,
A slow disease insensibly consumed
The powers of nature : and a few short steps
Of friends and kindred bore him from his home
(Yon Cottage shaded by the woody crags)
To the profounder stillness of the grave.
- Nor was his funeral denied the grace
Of many tears, virtuous and thoughtful grief;
Heart-sorrow rendered sweet by gratitude.
And now that monumental Stone preserves
His name, and unambitiously relates
How long, and by what kindly outward aids,
And in what pure contentedness of mind,
The sad privation was by him. endured.
- And yon tall Pine-tree whose composing sound
Was wasted on the good Man's living ear,
Hath now its own peculiar sanctity;
And, at the touch of every wandering breeze,
Murmurs, not idly, o'er his peaceful grave.
“Soul-cheering Light, most bo intiful of Things ! Guide of our way, mysterious Comforter
Whose sacred influence, spread through earth and
We all too thanklessly participate,
Thy gifts were utterly withheld from Him
Whose place of rest is near yon ivied Porch.
Yet, of the wild brooks ask if he complained;
Ask of the channelled rivers if they held
A safer, easier, more determined course.
What terror doth it strike into the mind
To think of One, who cannot see, advancing
Toward some precipice's airy brink!
But, tirely warned, He would have stayed his steps ;
Protected, say enlightened, by his ear,
And on the very edge of vacancy
Not more endangered than a Man whose eye
Beholds the gulf beneath. No floweret blooms
Throughout the lofty range of these rough hills,
Or in the woods, that could from him conceal
Its birth-place; none whose figure did not live
Upon his touch. The bowels of the earth
Enriched with knowledge his industrious mind;
The ocean paid him tribute from the stores
Lodged in her bosom; and, by science led,
His genius mounted to the plains of Heaven.
-Methinks I see him — how his eye-balls rolled
Beneath his ample brow, in darkness paired,
But each instinct with spirit: and the frame
Of the whole countenance alive with thought.
Fancy, and understanding ; while the voice
Discoursed of natural or moral truth
With eloquence, and such authentic power,
That, in his presence, humbler knowledge stood
Abashed, and tender pity overawed.”
A noble, and, to unreflecting minds.
A Inarvellous spectacle," the Wanderer said,
Beings like these present! But proof abounds Upon the earth, that faculties, which seem Extinguished, do not, therefore, cease to be. And to the mind among her powers of sense This transfer is permitted, not alone That the bereft their recompense may win; But for remoter purposes of love And charity; nor last nor least for this, That to the imagination may be given A type and shadow of an awful truth; How, likewise, under sufferance divine, Darkness is banished from the realms of Death, By man's imperishable spirit, quelled. Unto the men who see not as we see Futurity was thought, in ancient times, To be laid open, and they prophesied. And know we not that from the blind have flowed The highest, holiest, raptures of the lyre; And wisdom married to immortal verse ? »
Among the humbler Worthies, at our feet
Lying insensible to human praise,
Love, or regret,
whose lineaments would next
Have been portrayed, I guess not! but it chanced
That, near the quiet church-yard where we sate,
A Team of horses, with a ponderous freight
Pressing behind, adown a rugged slope,
Whose sharp descent confounded their array,
Came at that moment, ringing noisily.
“Here," said the Pastor, “ do we muse, and mourn The waste of death; and lo! the giant Oak Stretched on his bier that massy timber wain; Nor fail to note the Men who guides the team."
He was a Peasant of the lowest class :
Gray locks profusely round his temples hung
In clustering curls, like ivy, which the oite
Of Winter cannot thin; the fresh air lodged
Within his cheek, as light within a cloud;
And he returned our greeting with a smile.
When he had passed, the Solitary spake:
“ A Man he seems of cheerful yesterdays
And confident to-morrows, — with a face
Not worldly-minded, for it bears too much
Of Nature's impress, gayety and health,
Freedom and hope ; but keen, withal, and shrewd.
His gestures note,
and hark! his tones of voice Are all vivacious as his mien and looks."
The Pastor answered: 66 You have read him well.
Year after year is added to his store
With silent increase: summers, winters
Past or to come; yea, boldly might I say,
Ten summers and ten winters of a space
That lies beyond life's ordinary bounds,
Upon his sprightly vigor cannot fix
The obligation of an anxious mind,
A pride in having, or a fear to lose ;
Possessed like outskirts of some large Domain,
By any one more thought of than by him
Who holds the land in fee, its careless Lord !
Yet is the creature rational - endowed
With foresight; hears, too, every Sabbath day,
The Christian promise with attentive ear
Nor will, I trust, the Majesty of Heaven
Reject the incense offered up by him,
Though of the kind which beasts and birds present
In grove or pasture; cheerfulness of soul,
From trepidation and repining free.
How many scrupulous worshippers fall down
Upon their knees, and daily homage pay
Less worthy, less religious even, than his !
“This qualified respect, the Old Man's due,
Is paid without reluctance; but in truth,
(Said the good Vicar with a fond half-smile,
"I feel at times a motion of despite
Towrd's One, whose bold contrivances and skill,
As you have seen, bear such conspicuous part
In works of havoc ; taking from these vales,
One after one, their prondest ornaments.
Full oft his doings leave me to deplore
Tall ash-tree sown by winds, by vapors nursed,
In the dry crannies of the pendent rocks ;
Light birch aloft upon the horizon's edge,
A veil of glory for the ascending moon;
And oak whose roots by noontide dew were damped,
And on whose forehead inaccessible
The raven lodged in safety. Many a Ship
Launched into Morecamb Bay, to him hath owed
Her strong knee-timbers, and the mast that bears
The loftiest of her pendants ; He, from Park
Or Forest, fetched the enormous axle-tree
That whirls (how slow itself!) ten thousand spindles
And the vast engine laboring in the mine,
Content with meaner prowess, must have lacked
The trunk and body of its marvellous strength,
If his undaunted enterprise had failed
Among the mountain coves.
“ Yon household Fir,
A guardian planted to fence off the blast,
But towering high the roof above, as if
Its humble destination were forgot ;