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What time the sea-birds to the marsh would come,
Besides these objects, there were places three,
A change of scene to him brought no relief;
Alone he was, the same dull scenes in view,
* The reaches in a river are those parts which extend from point to point. Johnson has not the word precisely in this sense ; but it is very common, and I believe used wheresoever a navigable river can be found in this country.
Though man he hated, yet employ'd alone
groan, Cursing the shoals that glided by the spot, And gulls that caught them when his arts could not.
Cold nervous tremblings shook- his sturdy frame, And strange disease-- he couldn't say the name; Wild were his dreams, and oft he rose in fright, Waked by his view of horrors in the night,Horrors that would the sternest minds amaze, Horrors that demons might be proud to raise : And though he felt forsaken, grieved at heart, To think he lived from all mankind apart; Yet, if a man approach’d, in terrors he would start.
A winter pass'd since Peter saw the town,
One, up the river, had a man and boat
Or that some power had chain’d him for a time,
This known, some curious, some in pity went,
Here when they saw him, whom they used to shun,
A priest too came, to whom his words are told;
shake, 56 And as he grinds his teeth, what noise they make ! “ How glare his angry eyes, and yet he's not awake: “ See! what cold drops upon his forehead stand, si And how he clenches that broad bony hand.”
The priest attending, found he spoke at times As one alluding to his fears and crimes :
“ It was the fall,” he mutter'd, “ I can show
father?—that old man will swear “ Against my life; besides, he wasn't there :“ What, all agreed ?-Am I to die to-day?
My Lord, in mercy, give me time to pray."
Then, as they watch'd him, calmer he became, And grew so weak he couldn't move his frame, But murmuring spake,—while they could see and hear The start of terror and the
“ I'll tell you all,” he said, “ the very day
My father's spirit—he who always tried “ To give me trouble, when he lived and died6 When he was gone, he could not be content. « To see my days in painful labour spent,
“ But would appoint his meetings, and he made 5. Me watch at these, and so neglect my trade.
« 'Twas one hot noon, all silent, still, serene, « No living being had I lately seen ; “ I paddled up and down and dipp'd my net, « But (such his pleasure) I could nothing get,“ A father's pleasure, when his toil was done, “ To plague and torture thus an only son ! " And so I sat and look'd
upon “ How it ran on, and felt as in a dream: 66 But dream it was not; no !-I fix'd my eyes “ On the mid stream and saw the spirits rise; “ I saw my father on the water stand, “ And hold a thin pale boy in either hand; “ And there they glided ghastly on the top “ Of the salt flood, and never touch'd a drop: “ I would have struck them, but they knew th’intent, 66 And smiled
oar, and down they went. “ Now, from that day, whenever I began “ To dip my net, there stood the hard old man“ He and those boys: I humbled me and pray'd
They would be gone ;—they heeded not, but stay’d: “ Nor could I turn, nor would the boat go by, “ But gazing on the spirits, there was I:
They bade me leap to death, but I was loth to die: