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For the Spot where the HERMITAGE stood on St. Herbert's
If thou in the dear love of some one friend
Hast been so happy, that thou know'st what thoughts
Will, sometimes, in the happiness of love
Make the heart sink, then wilt thou reverence
This quiet spot.
-St. Herbert hither came
And here, for many seasons, from the world
Remov'd, and the affections of the world
He dwelt in solitude. He living here,
This island's sole inhabitant! had left
A Fellow-labourer, whom the good Man lov'd
As his own soul; and when within his cave
Alone he knelt before the crucifix
While o'er the lake the cataract of Lodore
Peal'd to his orisons, and when he pac'd
Along the beach of this small isle and thought
Of his Companion, he had pray'd that both
Might die in the same moment. Nor in vain
So pray'd he :-as our Chronicles report,
Though here the Hermit number d his last days,
Far from St. Cuthbert his beloved friend,
Those holy men both died in the same hour.
For the House fan Outhouse) on the Island at Grasmere.
Rude is this Edifice, and Thou hast seen
Buildings, albeit rude, that have maintain'd
Proportions more harmonious, and approach'd
To somewhat of a closer fellowship
With the ideal grace. Yet as it is
Do take it in good part; for he, the poor
Vitruvius of our village, had no help
From the great city ; never on the leaves
Of red Morocco folio saw display'd
The skeletons and pre-existing ghosts
Of Beauties yet unborn, the rustic Box,
Snug Cot, with Coach-house, Shed and Hermitage.
It is a homely pile, yet to these walls
The heifer comes in the snow-storm, and here
The new-dropp'd lamb finds shelter from the wind.
And hither does one Poet sometimes row
His pinnace, a small vagrant barge, up-piled
With plenteous store of heath and wither'd fern,
A lading which he with his sickle cuts
Among the mountains, and beneath this roof
He makes his summer couch, and here at noon
Spreads out his limbs, while, yet unborn, the sheep
Panting beneath the burthen of their wool
Lie round him, even as if they were a part
Of his own household : nor, while from his bed
He through that door-place looks toward the lake
And to the stirring breezes, does he want
Creations lovely as the work of sleep,
Fair sights, and visions of romantic joy.
Let thy wheel-barrow alone.
Wherefore, Sexton, piling still
In thy bone-house bone on bone ?
'Tis already like a hill
In a field of battle made,
Where three thousand skulls are laid.
These died in peace each with the other, Father, Sister, Friend, and Brother.
Mark the spot to which I point!
From this platform eight feet square
Take not even a finger-joint :
Andrew's whole fire-side is there.