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This generous Youth, too negligent of self,
Plunged—’mid a gay and busy throng convened
To wash the fleeces of his Father's flock-
Into the chilling flood. Convulsions dire
Seized him, that self-same night; and through the space
Of twelve ensuing days his frame was wrenched,
Till nature rested from her work in death.
To him, thus snatched away, his comrades paid
A soldier's honours. At his funeral hour
Bright was the sun, the sky a cloudless blue
A golden lustre slept upon the hills ;
And if by chance a stranger, wandering there,
From some commanding eminence had looked
Down on this spot, well pleased would he have seen
A glittering spectacle; but every face
Was pallid: seldom hath that eye been moist
With tears, that wept not then; nor were the few,
Who from their dwellings came not forth to join
In this sad service, less disturbed than we.
They started at the tributary peal
Of instantaneous thunder, which announced,
Through the still air, the closing of the Grave;
And distant mountains echoed with a sound
Of lamentation, never heard before !"

The Pastor ceased. My venerable Friend
Victoriously upraised his clear bright eye;
And, when that eulogy was ended, stood
Enrapt, as if his inward sense perceived
The prolongation of some still response,
Sent by the ancient Soul of this wide land,
The Spirit of its mountains and its seas,
Its cities, temples, fields, its awful power,

Its rights and virtues—by that Deity
Descending, and supporting his pure heart
With patriotic confidence and joy.
And, at the last of those memorial words,
The pining Solitary turned aside;
Whether through manly instinct to conceal
Tender emotions spreading from the heart
To his worn cheek ; or with uneasy shame
For those cold humours of habitual spleen
That, fondly seeking in dispraise of man
Solace and self-excuse, had sometimes urged
To self-abuse a not ineloquent tongue.
-Right toward the sacred Edifice his steps
Had been directed; and we saw him now
Intent upon a monumental stone,
Whose uncouth form was grafted on the wall,
Or rather seemed to have grown into the side
Of the rude pile; as oft-times trunks of trees,
Where nature works in wild and craggy spots,
Are seen incorporate with the living rock-
To endure for aye. The Vicar, taking note
Of his employment, with a courteous smile
Exclaimed-

“The sagest Antiquarian's eye
That task would foil;" then, letting fall his voice
While he advanced, thus spake: “Tradition tells
That, in Eliza's golden days, a Knight
Came on a war-horse sumptuously attired,
And fixed his home in this sequestered vale.
'Tis left untold if here he first drew breath,
Or as a stranger reached this deep recess,
Unknowing and unkuown. A pleasing thought
I sometimes entertain, that haply bound

To Scotland's court in service of his Queen,
Or sent on mission to some northern Chief
Of England's realm, this vale he might have seen
With transient observation; and thence caught
An image fair, which, brightening in his soul
When joy of war and pride of chivalry
Languished beneath accumulated years,
Had power to draw him from the world, resolved
To make that paradise his chosen home
To which his peaceful fancy oft had turned.

Vague thoughts are these; but, if belief may rest Upon unwritten story fondly traced From sire to son, in this obscure retreat The Knight arrived, with spear and shield, and borne Upon a Charger gorgeously bedecked With broidered housings. And the lofty SteedHis sole companion, and his faithful friend, Whom he, in gratitude, let loose to range In fertile pastures—was beheld with eyes Of admiration and delightful awe, By those untravelled Dalesmen. With less pride, Yet free from touch of envious discontent, They saw a mansion at his bidding rise, Like a bright star, amid the lowly band Of their rude homesteads. Here the Warrior dwelt; And, in that mansion, children of his own, Or kindred, gathered round him. As a tree That falls and disappears, the house is gone; And, through improvidence or want of love For ancient worth and honourable things, The spear and shield are vanished, which the Knight Hung in his rustic hall. One ivied arch

Myself have seen, a gateway, last remains
Of that foundation in domestic care
Raised by his hands. And now no trace is left
Of the mild-hearted Champion, save this stone,
Faithless memorial ! and his family name
Borne by yon clustering cottages, that sprang
From out the ruins of his stately lodge :
These, and the name and title at full length,-
Sir Alfreð krthing, with appropriate words
Accompanied, still extant, in a wreath
Or posy, girding round the several fronts
Of three clear-sounding and harmonious bells,
That in the steeple hang, his pious gift."

“So fails, so languishes, grows dim, and dies,” The grey-haired Wanderer pensively exclaimed, “ All that this world is proud of. From their spheres The stars of human glory are cast down; Perish the roses and the flowers of kings, Princes, and emperors, and the crowns and palms Of all the mighty, withered and consumed! Nor is power given to lowliest innocence Long to protect her own. The man himself Departs ; and soon is spent the line of those Who, in the bodily image, in the mind, In heart or soul, in station or pursuit, Did most resemble him. Degrees and ranks, Fraternities and orders-heaping high New wealth upon the burthen of the old, And placing trust in privilege confirmed And re-confirmed-are scoffed at with a smile Of greedy foretaste, from the secret stand Of Desolation, aimed: to slow decline

These yield, and these to sudden overthrow:
Their virtue, service, happiness, and state
Expire; and nature's pleasant robe of green,
Humanity's appointed shroud, enwraps
Their monuments and their memory. The vast Frame
Of social nature changes evermore
Her organs and her members, with decay
Restless, and restless generation, powers
And functions dying and produced at need,
And by this law the mighty whole subsists :
With an ascent and progress in the main ;
Yet, oh ! how disproportioned to the hopes
And expectations of self-flattering minds !

The courteous Knight, whose bones are here interred, Lived in an age conspicuous as our own For strife and ferment in the minds of men; Whence alteration in the forms of things, Various and vast. A memorable age ! Which did to him assign a pensive lot To linger ’mid the last of those bright clouds That, on the steady breeze of honour, sailed In long procession calm and beautiful. He who had seen his own bright order fade, And its devotion gradually decline, (While war, relinquishing the lance and shield, Her temper changed, and bowed to other laws) Had also witnessed, in his morn of life, That violent commotion, which o'erthrew, In town and city and sequestered glen, Altar, and cross, and church of solemn roof, And old religious house--pile after pile; And shook their tenants out into the fields,

VOL. VL

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