Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

With Luke that evening thitherward he A kind and a good father: and herein walked;

I but repay a gift which I myself And soon as they had reached the place he Received at others' hands; for, though now stopped,

330

old And thus the old man spake to him:- Beyond the common life of man, I still 365 "My son,

Remember them who loved me in my To-morrow thou wilt leave me: with full youth. heart

Both of them sleep together: here they I look upon thee, for thou art the same lived, That wert a promise to me ere thy birth, As all their forefathers had done; and And all thy life hast been my daily joy. 335 when I will relate to thee some little part At length their time was come, they were Of our two histories; 't will do thee good not loath When thou art from me, even if I should To give their bodies to the family mould. 370 touch

I wished that thou should'st live the life On things thou canst not know of.-After they lived. thou

But 't is a long time to look back, my son, First cam’st into the world—as oft befalls | And see so little gain from threescore To new-born infants--thou didst sleep years. away

341 These fields were burdened when they Two days, and blessings from thy father's came to me; tongue

Till I was forty years of age, not more 375 Then fell upon thee. Day by day passed Than half of my inheritance was mine. on,

I toiled and toiled; God blessed me in my And still I loved thee with increasing love. work, Never to living ear came sweeter sounds And till these three weeks past the land Than when I heard thee by our own fire

was free. side

346 It looks as if it never could endure First uttering, without words, a natural Another master. Heaven forgive me, tune;

Luke, While thou, a feeding babe, didst in thy If I judge ill for thee, but it seems good joy

That thou should'st go." Sing at thy mother's breast. Month fol

At this the old man paused; lowed month,

Then, pointing to the stones near which And in the open fields my life was passed they stood, And on the mountains; else I think that Thus, after a short silence, he resumed: thou

351

“This was a work for us, and now, my Hadst been brought up upon thy father's son,

385 knees.

It is a work for me. But lay one stone But we were playmates, Luke: among Here, lay it for me, Luke, with thine own these hills,

hands. As well thou knowest, in us the old and Nay, boy, be of good hope;-we both may young

live
Have played together, nor with me didst To see a better day. At eighty-four
thou

355
I still am strong and hale;

do thou thy Lack any pleasure which a boy can know.” part,

390 Luke had a manly heart; but at these I will do mine. I will begin again words

With many tasks that were resigned to He sobbed aloud. The old man grasped thee; his hand

Up to the heights, and in among the And said, “Nay, do not take it so I see storms, That these are things of which I need not Will I without thee go again, and do speak.

360 All works which I

was wont to do Even to the utmost I have been to thee alone,

395

380

men

now

Before I knew thy face.—Heaven bless Came forth with wishes and with farewell thee, boy!

prayers, Thy heart these two weeks has been That followed him till he was out of beating fast

sight.

430 With many hopes; it should be so-yes- A good report did from their kinsman yes

come, I knew that thou could'st never have a Of Luke and his well doing: and the boy wish

Wrote loving letters, full of wondrous. To leave me, Luke: thou hast been bound news, to me

Which, as the housewife phrased it, were Only by links of love: when thou art throughout gone,

“The prettiest letters that were ever seen.” What will be left to us!—But I forget Both parents read them with rejoicing My purposes. Lay now the corner-stone, hearts.

436 As I requested; and hereafter, Luke, So, many months passed on: and once When thou art gone away, should evil again

405 The Shepherd went about his daily work Be thy companions, think of me, my son, With confident and cheerful thoughts; and And of this moment; hither turn thy thoughts,

Sometimes when he could find a leisure And God will strengthen thee: amid all hour

440 fear

He to that valley took his way, and there And all temptation, Luke, I pray that thou Wrought at the sheepfold. Meantime May'st bear in mind the life thy fathers Luke began lived,

410 To slacken in his duty; and at length Who, being innocent, did for that cause He in the dissolute city gave himself Bestir them in good deeds. Now, fare To evil courses: ignominy and shame 445 thee well

Fell on him, so that he was driven at last When thou return'st, thou in this place to seek a hiding-place beyond the seas.

There is a comfort in the strength of A work which is not here: a covenant

love; 'T will be between us; but, whatever fate 'T will make a thing endurable, which else Befall thee, I shall love thee to the last, 416 Would overset the brain, or break the And bear thy memory with me to the heart:

450 grave."

I have conversed with more than one who The Shepherd ended here; and Luke well stooped down,

Remember the old man, and what he was And, as his father had requested, laid Years after he had heard this heavy news. The first stone of the sheepfold. At the His bodily frame had been from youth to sight

age

454 The old man's grief broke from him; to Of an unusual strength. Among the rocks his heart

He went, and still looked up to sun and He pressed his son, he kissed him and cloud wept;

And listened to the wind; and as before And to the house together they returned. Performed all kinds of labor for his sheep, Hushed was that house in peace, or seem- And for the land his small inheritance. ing peace,

And to that hollow dell from time to time Ere the night fell;—with morrow's dawn Did he repair, to build the fold of which 461

425

His flock had need. 'T is not forgotten yet Began his journey, and when he had The pity which was then in every heart reached

For the old man—and 't is believed by all The public way, he put on a bold face; That many and many a day he thither And all the neighbors, as he passed their went,

465 doors,

And never lifted up a single stone.

wilt see

420

the boy

he seen

IO

There, by the sheepfold, sometimes was The jay makes answer as the magpie

chatters; Sitting alone, or with his faithful dog, And all the air is filled with pleasant noise Then old, beside him, lying at his feet.

of waters. The length of full seven years, from time to time,

470 All things that love the sun are out of He at the building of this sheepfold doors; wrought,

The sky rejoices in the morning's birth; And left the work unfinished when he died. The grass is bright with rain-drops;-on Three years, or little more, did Isabel

the moors Survive her husband: at her death the The hare is running races in her mirth; estate

And with her feet she from the plashy Was sold, and went into a stranger's hand. earth The cottage which was named The Evening Raises a mist, that, glittering in the sun, Star

476

Runs with her all the way wherever she Is gone-the ploughshare has been through

doth run. the ground On which it stood; great changes have been I was a traveller then

upon

the moor; 15 wrought

I saw the hare that raced about with In all the neighborhood:yet the oak is joy; left

I heard the woods and distant waters That grew beside their door; and the re- roar, mains

480 Or heard them not, as happy as a boy: Of the unfinished sheepfold may be seen The pleasant season did my heart employ: Beside the boisterous brook of Greenhead My old remembrances went from me Ghyll.

wholly; And all the ways of men so vain and mel

ancholy.

20

MY HEART LEAPS UP WHEN I But, as it sometimes chanceth, from the BEHOLD

might

Of joy in minds that can no further go, My heart leaps up when I behold As high as we have mounted in delight A rainbow in the sky: In our dejection do we sink as low,

25 So was it when my life began;

To me that morning did it happen so; So is it now I am a man;

And fears, and fancies, thick upon me So be it when I shall grow old, 5

came; Or let me die!

Dim sadness—and blind thoughts, I knew The child is father of the man;

not, nor could name. And I could wish my days to be Bound each to each by natural piety. I heard the sky-lark warbling in the sky;

And I bethought me of the playful hare: 30
Even such a happy child of earth am I;

Even as these blissful creatures do I RESOLUTION AND INDEPEND

fare; ENCE

Far from the world I walk, and from all

care; There was a roaring in the wind all night; But there may come another day to meThe rain came heavily and fell in floods; Solitude, pain of heart, distress, and But now the sun is rising calm and bright; poverty.

35 The birds are singing in the distant woods:

My whole life I have lived in pleasant Over his own sweet voice the stock-dove thought, broods;

5

As if life's business were a summer mood;

41

As if all needful things would come un- Himself he propped, limbs, body, and pale sought

face, To genial faith, still rich in genial good; Upon a long gray staff of shaven wood: But how can he expect that others should | And, still as I drew near with gentle Build for him, sow for him, and at his pace, call

Upon the margin of that moorish flood Love him, who for himself will take no Motionless as a cloud the old man stood; heed at all?

That heareth not the loud winds when they call,

76 I thought of Chatterton, the marvelous And moveth altogether, if it move at all.

boy, The sleepless soul that perished in his At length, himself unsettling, he the pond pride;

Stirred with his staff and fixedly did look Of him who walked in glory and in joy 45 Upon the muddy water, which he conned, Following his plough, along the mountain- As if he had been reading in a book: 81 side:

And now a stranger's privilege I took; By our own spirits are we deified: And, drawing to his side, to him did say We poets in our youth begin in glad “This morning gives us promise of a ness;

glorious day.” But thereof come in the end despondency and madness.

A gentle answer did the old man make, 85

In courteous speech which forth he Now, whether it were by peculiar grace, 50 slowly drew: A leading from above, a something given, And him with further words I thus beYet it befell, that, in this lonely place,

spake, When I with these untoward thoughts “What occupation do you there pursue? had striven,

This is a lonesome place for one like Beside a pool bare to the eye

of heaven I saw a man before me unawares:

55 Ere he replied, a flash of mild surprise The oldest man he seemed that ever wore Broke from the sable orbs of his yet vivid

eyes.

you.”

gray hairs.

[ocr errors]

As a huge stone is sometimes seen to lie His words came feebly, from a feeble
Couched on the bald top of an eminence; chest,
Wonder to all who do the same espy,

But each in solemn order followed each, By what means it could thither come, and With something of a lofty utterance whence;

60 dressed; So that it seems a thing endued with Choice word, and measured phrase, above sense:

the reach

95 Like a sea-beast crawled forth, that on a Of ordinary men; a stately speech; shelf

Such as grave Livers do in Scotland use, Of rock or sand reposeth, there to sun it- Religious men, who give to God and man self;

their dues.

Such seemed this man, not all alive nor He told, that to these waters he had come dead,

To gather leeches, being old and poor: 100 Nor all asleep-in his extreme old age: 65 Employment hazardous and wearisome! His body was bent double, feet and head And he had many hardships to endure: Coming together in life's pilgrimage; From pond to pond he roamed, from moor As if some dire constraint of pain, or to moor; rage

Housing, with God's good help, by choice
Of sickness felt by him in times long past, or chance;
A more than human weight upon his And in this way he gained an honest main-
frame had cast.

70
tenance.

105

II2

you do?

IO

121

The old man still stood talking by my “God,” said I, “be my help and stay side;

secure; But now his voice to me was like a stream I'll think of the leech-gatherer on the Scarce heard; nor word from word could lonely moor!”

140 I divide; And the whole body of the man did seem Like one whom I had met with in a dream;

YEW-TREES Or like a man from some far region sent, To give me human strength, by apt ad- There is a Yew-tree, pride of Lorton monishment.

Vale,

Which to this day stands single, in the My former thoughts returned: the fear midst that kills;

Of its own darkness, as it stood of yore; And hope that is unwilling to be fed; Not loth to furnish weapons for the bands Cold, pain and labor, and all fleshly ills; Of Umfraville or Percy ere they marched 5 And mighty poets in their misery dead. To Scotland's heaths; or those that Perplexed, and longing to be comforted, crossed the sea My question eagerly did I renew, 118 And drew their sounding bows at Azin“How is it that you live, and what is it cour,

Perhaps at earlier Crecy, or Poictiers.

Of vast circumference and gloom profound He with a smile did then his words repeat; | This solitary Tree! a living thing And said, that, gathering leeches, far and Produced too slowly ever to decay; wide

Of form and aspect too magnificent He travelled; stirring thus about his feet To be destroyed. But worthier still The waters of the pools where they abide. of note ‘Once I could meet with them on every Are those fraternal Four of Borrowdale, side;

Joined in one solemn and capacious But they have dwindled long by slow grove;

15 decay;

125 | Huge trunks! and each particular trunk Yet still I persevere, and find them where a growth I may.”

Of intertwisted fibres serpentine

Up-coiling, and inveterately convolved; While he was talking thus, the lonely Nor uninformed with Phantasy, and looks place,

That threaten the profane; a pillared The old man's shape, and speech, all shade, troubled me:

Upon whose grassless floor of red-brown In my mind's eye I seemed to see him hue, pace

By sheddings from the pining umbrage About the weary moors continually, 130 tinged Wandering about alone and silently. Perennially—beneath whose sable roof While I these thoughts within myself Of boughs, as if for festal purpose, decked pursued,

With unrejoicing berries-ghostly Shapes He, having made a pause, the same dis-May meet at noontide; Fear and trembling course renewed.

Hope,

26

Silence and Foresight; Death the Skeleton And soon with this he other matter And Time the Shadow;—there to celeblended,

brate, Cheerfully uttered, with demeanor kind, As in a natural temple scattered o'er But stately in the main; and when he With altars undisturbed of mossy stone, 30 ended,

136 | United worship; or in mute repose I could have laughed myself to scorn to To lie, and listen to the mountain flood find

Murmuring from Glaramara's inmost In that decrepit man so firm a mind.

20

caves.

« AnteriorContinuar »