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(The joys above are understood,
Know then-Who bow the early knee,
“But where's the passage to the skies?
While thus she spake, my looks express'd
My soul a fix'd attention gave;
I view'd the change with sweet surprise, men
THE HERMIT. Far in a wild, unknown to public view, From youth to age a reverend Hermit grew; The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell, His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well: Remote from man, with God he pass'd his
A life so sacred, such serene repose,
That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey, This sprung some doubt of Providence's sway: His hopes no more a certain prospect boast, And all the tenor of his soul is lost. So when a smooth expanse receives impress'd Calm nature's image on its wat'ry breast, Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow, And skies beneath with answering colours glow : But if a stone the gentle sea divide, Swift ruffling circles curl on every side, And glimmering fragments of a broken sun, Banks, trees, and skies, in thick disorder run.
To clear this doubt, to know the world by sight, To find if books, or swains, report it right, (For yet by swains alone the world he knew, Whose feet came wandering o'er the nightly dew) He quits his cell; the pilgrim-staff he bore, And fix'd the scallop in his hat before; Then with the sun a rising journey went, Sedate to think, and watching each event.
The morn was wasted in the pathless grass, And long and lonesome was the wild to pass ; But when the southern sun had warm’d the day, A youth came posting o'er a crossing way; His raiment decent, his complexion fair, And soft in graceful ringlets wav'd his hair. Then near approaching, Father, hail!' he cried : And, · Hail ! my Son, the reverend sire replied ; Words follow'd words, from question answer flow'd, And talk of various kind deceiv'd the road; Till each with other pleas'd, and loth to part, While in their age they differ, join in heart: Thus stands an aged elm in ivy bound, Thus youthful ivy clasps an elm around. VOL. ).
Now sunk the Sun; the closing hour of day Came onward, mantled o'er with sober gray; Nature in silence bid the world repose : * When near the road a stately palace rose : (pass, There by the moon through ranks of trees they Whose verdure crown'd their sloping sides of grass. It chanc'd the noble master of the dome Still made his house the wandering stranger's home: Yet still the kindness, from a thirst of praise, Prov'd the vain flourish of expensive ease. The pair arrive: the liveried servants wait: Their lord receives them at the pompous gate. The table groans with costly piles of food, And all is more than hospitably good. Then led to rest, the day's long toil they drown, Deep sunk in sleep, and silk, and heaps of down.
At length 'tis morn, and at the dawn of day Along the wide canals the zephyrs play: Fresh o'er the gay parterres the breezes creep, And shake the neighbouring wood to banish sleep. Up rise the guests, obedient to the call : An early banquet deck'd the splendid hall: Rich luscious wine a golden goblet grac'd, Which the kind master forc'd the guests to taste. Then pleas'd and thankful, from the porch they go; And, but the landlord, none had cause of wo: His cup was vanish'd : for in secret guise The younger guest purloin'd the glittering prize.
As one who spies a serpent in his way, Glistening and basking in the summer ray, Disorder'd stops to shun the danger near, Then walks with faintness on, and looks with fear: So spem’d the sire ; when, far upon the road, The shining spoil bis wily partner show'd.
He stopp'd with silence, walk'd with trembling
While thus they pass, the sun his glory shrouds,
As near the miser's heavy doors they drew, Fierce rising gusts with sudden fury blew; The nimble lightning mix'd with showers began, And o'er their heads loud rolling thunders ran. Here long they knock, but knock or call in vain, Driven by the wind, and batter'd by the rain. At length some pity warm'd the master's breast, · (Twas then his threshold first receiv'd a guest) Slow creaking turns the door with jealous care, And half he welcomes in the shivering pair; One frugal faggot lights the naked walls, And nature's fervour through their limbs recals : Bread of the coarsest sort, with meager wine, (Each hardly granted) serv'd them both to dine; And when the tempest first appear'd to cease, A ready warning bid them part in peace. - With still remark the pondering hermit view'd, In one so rich, a life so poor and rude;