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Whate'er of best thy Sire makes It was, in truth, a simple soul
With bold affection, pure and true,
Sometimes amid the glimmering meads They walked in August's genial eve, And marked above the mill-stream reeds
The myriad flies their mazes weave.
And 'twas once more the autumnal heaven
That saw the Fountain Spirit rise.
"Again the youth his fay besought A mortal's lot with him to share, For converse all of airy thought Contents but souls ensphered in air ; 16.
"And man will ask below the skies That breast may lean to beating breast, That mingling hands and answering
May halve the toil and glad the rest.
"I too,' she said, and saying darkened, Must speak to thee of certain doom, To thee for whom my deeps have hearkened,
And oft have felt unwonted gloom. 18.
"For thee my heart, so calmly blest, Has throbbed with keener hopes and joys;
My waves have sparkled unrepressed, And breathed for thee more vocal noise.
19. "Too fond has been our mutual love To last beneath yon clouded sun; And fate, that sternly sits above, Decrees our bliss already done. 20.
"At morn or eve thou must no more Return for commune sweet with me; My gaze on mortal eyes is o'er, Because it may not feed on thee.
21. "Thou must in other pathways roam, But sometimes think that once we met; I seek my lonely cavern home, There still to live, but not forget.'
"The tinkling words were hardly said, When sank the fountain's mournful
The youth, to grasp the form that fled, Sprang shrieking down the fatal water. 23.
66 Dear Jane, 'tis but a graceful story,
To soothe and not oppress the mind;
24. "And in the autumn's look I trace, I know not why, a threatening stare, Nor e'en thy dear and rosy face Can disenchant the spell-bound air.
"Yet well I know 'tis empty dream, And vainer still the legend's voice,
But when the waste has reached an end
The gains of thrift are coming in.
"And ever I have seen that they Who least had cause to fear the morrow, Have cheeriest walked the open way, Nor hung their heads in sorrow.
"Who does not feel how hard the thought
For one whose life must soon be o'er, That all his days have added nought, But still made less man's little store? 41.
"And therefore, Jane, I think it right That you should choose a gainful man, One working hard from morn till night, Gathering and hoarding all he can.
"Yet, mind you well, I do not say But Henry may your husband be; Though much I doubt if learning's pay Will keep a house from leanness free. 43.
"His health, by study much abused, Seems now, if well I mark, to pine; And then he has been always used To nurture delicate and fine. 44.
"His mother's stipend ceased with her,
"But stay till winter days be past,
Thus wandered round his maze of speech
The long-experienced man;
With eyes upon the table bent,
And when of sinking health he spoke, The lover's brow was flushed with red, While Jane turned white beneath the stroke,
With anguish more than dread.
But when the closing promise came, They both were comforted and cheered;
"What some within an hour would For, freed from strife, remorse, and
The wise man takes a day to win ;
The old man's eye no more they feared.