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• Is neither epitaph nor monument, • Tomb-stone nor name, only the turf we tread, • And a few natural graves.' To Jane, his wife, Thus spake the homely Priest of Ennerdale. It was a July evening, and he sate Upon the long stone-seat beneath the eaves Of his old cottage, as it chanced that day, Employ'd in winter's work. Upon the stone His wife sat near him, teasing matted wool, While, from the twin cards tooth'd with glit
tering wire, He fed the spindle of his youngest child, Who turn'd her large round wheel in the open
air With back and forward steps. Towards the
field In which the parish chapel stood alone, Girt round with a bare ring of mossy wall, While half an hour went by, the Priest had
Many a long look of wonder, and at last,
'Twas one well known to him informer days, A Shepherd-lad; who, lere his thirteenth year Had chang'd his calling; with the mariners A fellow-mariner, and so had fared Thro’ twenty seasons; but he had been rear'd Among the mountains, and he in his heart Was half a shepherd on the stormy seas. Oft in the piping shrouds had Leonard heard :The tones of water-falls, and inland sounds. Of caves and trees; and when the regular wind Between the Tropics fill'd the steady sail And blew with the same breath through days
and weeks, Lengthening invisibly its weary line Along the cloudless main, he, in those hours Of tiresome indolence would often hang Over the vessel's side, and gaze
gaze, And while the broad green wave and sparkling
foam Flash'd round him images and hues, that
wrought In union with the employment of his heart, He, thus by feverish pássion overcome, Even with the organs of his bodily eye, Below him, in the bosomn of the deep Saw mountains, saw the forms of sheep that
On verdant hills, with dwellings among trees, VOL. II.
And shepherds clad in the same country grey, Which he himself had worn. *
And now at length, From perils manifold, with some small wealth Acquir'd by traffic in the Indian Isles, To his paternal home he is return'd, With a determin'd purpose to resume The life which he liv’d there, both for the sake Of many darling pleasures, and the love Which to an only brother he bas borne In all his hardships, since that happy time When, whether it blew foul or fair, they two Were brother Shepherds on their native hills. -They were the last of all their race; and now, When Leonard had approach'd his home, his
heart Fail'd in him, and, not venturing to inquire Tidings of one whom he so dearly lov’d, Towards the Church-yard he had turn'd aside, That, as he knew in what particular spot His family were laid, he thence might leam If still his brother liv'd, or to the file Another grave was added.--He had found Another grave, near which a full half hour
* This description of the Calenture is stretched from an imperfect recollection of an admirable one in prose, by Mr. Gilbert, Author of the Hurricane.
He had remain'd, but, as he gaz'd, there grew
the vale he came that afternoon, Thro' fields which once had been well known
to him. And Oh! what joy the recollection now Sent to his heart! he lifted up his eyesig And lookinground he thought that he perceiy'd Strange alteration wrought on every side Among the woods and fields, and that the rocks, And the eternal hills themselves were chang'd.
By this the Priest whodown the field had come Unseen by Leonard, at the church-yard gate Stopp'd short, and thence, at leisure, limb by
limb, He scann'd him with a gay complacency. Aye, thought the Vicar, smiling to himself, 'Tis one of those who needs must leave the path Of the world's business, to go wild alone: His arms have a perpetual holiday; The happy man will creep about tbe fields Following his fancies by the hour, to bring Tears down his cheek, or solitary smiles Into his face, until the setting sun
Write Fool upon his forehead, Planted thus Beneath a shed that over-arch'd the
gate Of this rude church-yard, till the stars appear?d The good man might have commun’d with
himself, But that the Stranger, who had left the grave, Approach'd; he recogniz'd the Priest at once, And after greetings interchanged, and given By Leonard to the Vicar as to one Unknown to him, this dialogue ensued.
LEONARD. You live, Sir, in these dales a quiet life: Your years make up one peaceful family; And who would grieve and fret, if, welcome
And welcome gone, they are so like each other They cannot be remember'a. Scarce a funeral Comes to this church-yard once in eighteen
months; And yet, some changes must take place among
you; And you, who dwell here, even among these
rocks Can trace the finger of mortality, And see, that with our threescore years and ten We are not all that perish. I remember, For many years ago I pass'd this road, There was a foot-way all along the fields