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been told in the langniages of all civilized countries. But Parnell's is the most pleasing version of it we know. The undertone of thought and wonder, on the hermit's part, is well preserved ; the touches of scenery evince the author's taste for nature ; and even the sweet monotony of the versification (so like Pope's, that he has been invidiously said to have had a hand in it), is not unsuitable to the eremetical ground-work of the subject and the lesson of resignation.
Parnell was a gentle clergyman, who, with all his inculcations of patience and retirement, found it difficult to reconcile himself to a desolate spot in Ireland, and impossible (it is said) to bear the loss of his wife. We often preach what we cannot practise, not out of hypocrisy, but from opposing frailties and unavailing desire. Parnell admired his hermit the more, because he could not settle down to his solitude and his bin of water. There is a touching passage about him in one of the letters of Swift. Bolingbroke's second wife was like the one that Parnell had lost. The poor poet saw her, for the first time, on a visit at Bolingbroke's house; and when she came into the room, Swift says, he could not take his eyes off her, and seemed very melancholy.
AR in a wild, unknown to public view,
From youth to age a reverend hermit grew;
The moss his bed, the cave his humble cell,
His food the fruits, his drink the crystal well;
Remote from men, with God he pass'd his days,
Prayer all his business, all his pleasure praise.
A life so sacred, such serene repose,
Seemed heaven itself, till one suggestion rose ;
That vice should triumph, virtue vice obey,
some doubt of Providence's sway;
His hopes no more a certain prospect boast,
And all the tenor of his soul is lost.
So when a smooth expanse receives, impre
Calm Nature's image on its watery breast,
Down bend the banks, the trees depending grow,
And skies beneath with answering colors glow:
But if a stone the gentle sea divide,
Swift ruffling circles curl on every side;
And glimmering fragments of a broken sun,
Banks, trees, and skies, in thick disorder run.
To clear this doubt, to know the world by sight,
To find if books, or swains, report it right,
(For yet by swains alone the world he knew,
Whose feet came wandering o'er the nightly dew,)
He quits his cell; the pilgrim staff he bore,
And fix'd the scallop in his hat before ;
Then with the sun a rising journey went,
Sedate to think, and watching each event.
The morn was wasted in the pathless grass,
And long and lonesome was the wild to pass ;
But when the southern sun had warmed the day,
A youth came posting o'er a crossing way ;
His raiment decent, his complexion fair,
And soft in graceful ringlets wav'd his hair.
Then, near approaching, " Father, hail !" he cried,
And “Hail, my son," the reverend sire replied ;
Words followed words, from question answer flow'd,
And talk of various kind deceiv'd the road ;
Till each with other pleas'd, and loth to part,
While in their age they differ, join in heart.
Thus stands an aged elm, in ivy bound;
Thus youthful ivy clasps an elm around.
Now sunk the sun ; the closing hour of day
Came onward, mantled o'er with sober gray ;
Nature in silence bid the world repose,
When near the road a stately palace rose;
There, by the moon, through ranks of trees they pass,
Whose verdure crown'd their sloping sides of grass.
It chanc'd the noble master of the dome
Still made his house the wandering stranger's home;
Yet still the kindness, from a thirst of praise,
Prov'd the vain flourish of expensive ease.
The pair arrive; the liveried servants wait,
Their lord receives them at the pompous gate ;
The table groans with costly piles of food,
And all is more than hospitably good.
Then led to rest, the day's long toil they drown,
Deep sunk in sleep, and silk, and heaps of down.
At length 'tis morn, and at the dawn of day,
Along the wide canals the zephyrs play:
Fresh o'er the gay parterres the breezes creep,
And shake the neighboring wood to banish sleep.
Up rise the guests obedient to the call,
An early banquet deck'd the splendid hall;
Rich luscious wine a golden goblet grac'd,
Which the kind master forc'd the guests to taste.
Then pleas'd and thankful from the porch they go;
And, but the landlord, none had cause of woe:
His cup was vanished; for, in secret guise,
The younger guest purloin'd the glittering prize.
As one who spies a serpent in his way, Glistening and basking in the summer ray, Disorder'd stops to shun the danger near, Then walks with faintness on, and looks with fear; So seem'd the sire, when far upon the road The shining spoil his wily partner show'd. He stopp'd with silence, walk'd with trembling heart, And much he wish'd, but durst not ask to part;
Murmuring he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard
That generous actions meet a base reward.
While thus they pass, the sun his glory shrouds,
The changing skies hang out their sable clouds ;
A sound in air presag'd approaching rain,
And beasts to covert scud across the plain.
Warn'd by the signs, the wandering pair retreat
To seek for shelter at a neighboring seat.
'Twas built with turrets on a rising ground,
And strong, and large, and unimproved around;
Its owner's temper timorous and severe,
Unkind and griping, caused a desert there.
As near the miser's heavy doors they drew,
Fierce rising gusts with sudden fury blew;
The nimble lightning mix'd with showers began,
And o'er their heads loud rolling thunder ran.
Here long they knock, but knock or call in vain,
Driven by the wind, and batter'd by the rain.
At length some pity warm’d the master's breast
('Twas then his threshold first received a guest);
Slow creaking turns the door with jealous care,
And half he welcomes in the shivering pair:
One frugal fagot lights the naked walls,
And Nature's fervor through their limbs recalls ;
Bread of the coarsest sort, with
eager wine, *
(Each hardly granted) serv'd them both to dine;
And when the tempest first appear'd to cease,
A ready warning bid them part in peace.
With still remark the pondering hermit view'd, In one so rich, a life so poor and rude;
* The word eager is here used in its old sense of "sour"-aigre ; and if we interpret "wino” accordingly, "eager wine” should be vinegar-vin-aigre.
And why should such within himself, he cried,
Lock the lost wealth a thousand want beside ?
But what new marks of wonder soon took place
In every settling feature of his face,
When from his vest the young companion bore
the generous landlord own'd before, And paid profusely with the precious bowl The stinted kindness of his churlish soul !
But now the clouds in airy tumult fly;
The sun emerging opes an azure sky;
A fresher green the smiling leaves display,
And, glittering as they tremble, cheer the day;
The weather courts them from the
retreat, And the glad master bolts the wary gate.
While hence they walk, the pilgrim's bosom wrought
With all the travel of uncertain thought;
His partner's acts without their cause appear,
'Twas there a vice, and seemed a madness here;
Detesting that, and pitying this, he goes,
Lost and confounded with the various shows.
Now night's dim shades again involve the sky,
Again the wanderers want a place to lie;
Again they search, and find a lodging nigh.
The soil improv'd around, the mansion neat,
And neither poorly low, nor idly great,
It seem'd to speak its master's turn of mind,
Content, and not to praise, but virtue kind.
Hither the walkers turn their weary feet,
Then bless the mansion, and the master greet;
Their greeting fair, bestow'd with modest guise,
The courteous master hears, and thus replies :
“ Without a vain, without a grudging heart,
To him who gives us all, I yield a part;