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As all their Forefathers had done; and when
At length their time was come, they were not loth
To give their bodies to the family mould.
I wish'd that thou shouldst live the life they lived:
But 'tis a long time to look back, my Son,
And see so little gain from threescore years.
These fields were burthen'd when they came to me;
Till I was forty years of age, not more
Than half of my inheritance was mine.
I toil'd and toild; God bless'd me in my work,
And till these three weeks past the land was free.
It looks as if it never could endure
Another Master. Heaven forgive me, Luke,
If I judge ill for thee, but it seems good
That thou shouldst go.”

At this the old Man paused; Then, pointing to the stones near which they stood, Thus, after a short silence, he resumed:

This was a work for us; and now, my Son,
It is a work for me. But, lay one stone,
Here, lay it for me, Luke, with thine own hands.
Nay, Boy, be of good hope; — we both may live
To see a better day. At eighty-four
I still am strong and hale; - do thou thy part;
I will do mine. - I will begin again
With many tasks that were resign’d to thee:
Up to the heights, and in among the storms,
Will I without thee go again, and do
All works which I was wont to do alone,
Before I knew thy face. - Heaven bless thee, Boy!
Thy heart these two weeks has been beating fast
With many hopes; it should be so, — yes — yes,
I knew that thou couldst never have a wish
To leave me, Luke: thou hast been bound to me
Only by links of love: when thou art gone,
What will be left to us? - But I forget
My purposes. Lay now the corner-stone,
As I requested; and hereafter, Luke,
When thou art gone away, should evil men
Be thy companions, think of me, my Son,
And of this moment; hither turn thy thoughts,
And God will strengthen thee: amid all fear
And all temptation, Luke, I pray that thou
Mayst bear in mind the life thy Fathers lived,
Who, being innocent, did for that cause
Bestir them in good deeds. Now, fare thee well!

When thou return’st, thou in this place wilt see
A work which is not here: a covenant
'Twill be between us; but, whatever fate
Befall thee, I shall love thee to the last,
And bear thy memory with me to the grave.'

The Shepherd ended here; and Luke stoop'd down,
And, as his Father had requested,
Laid the first stone of the Sheep-fold. At the sight
The old Man's grief broke from him; to his heart
He press’d his Son, he kissed him and wept;
And to the house together they return'd.
Hush'd was that House in peace, or seeming peace,
Ere the night fell: with morrow's dawn the Boy
Began his journey, and when he had reach'd
The public way, he put on a bold face;
And all the neighbours, as he pass’d their doors,
Came forth with wishes and with farewell prayers,
That follow'd him till he was out of sight.

A good report did from their Kinsman come,
Of Luke and his well-doing and the Boy
Wrote loving letters, full of wondrous news,
Which, as the Housewife phrased it, were throughout
“The prettiest letters that were ever seen.”
Both parents read them with rejoicing hearts.
So, many months pass'd on: and once again
The Shepherd went about his daily work
With confident and cheerful thoughts; and now
Sometimes when he could find a leisure hour
He to that valley took his way, and there
Wrought at the Sheep-fold. Meantime Luke began
To slacken in his duty; and, at length,
He in the dissolute city gave himself
To evil courses: ignominy and shame
Fell on him, so that he was driven at last
To seek a hiding-place beyond the seas.

There is a comfort in the strength of love;
'Twill make a thing endurable, which else
Would overset the brain, or break the heart:
I have conversed with more than one who well
Remember the old Man, and what he was
Years after he had heard this heavy news.
His bodily frame had been from youth to age
Of an unusual strength. Among the rocks
He went, and still look'd up to Sun and cloud,
And listen’d to the wind; and, as before,
Perform'd all kinds of labour for his sheep,

And for the land, his small inheritance.
And to that hollow dell from time to time
Did he repair, to build the Fold of which
His flock had need. 'Tis not forgotten yet
The pity which was then in every heart
For the old Man; and 'tis believed by all
That many and many a day he thither went,
And never lifted up a single stone.

There, by the Sheep-fold, sometimes was he seen
Sitting alone, or with his faithful Dog,
Then old, beside him, lying at his feet.
The length of full seven years, from time to time,
He at the building of this Sheep-fold wrought,
And left the work unfinish'd when he died.
Three years, or little more, did Isabel
Survive her Husband: at her death th' estate
Was sold, and went into a stranger's hand.
The Cottage which was named the EVENING STAR
Is gone; the ploughshare has been through the ground
On which it stood; great changes have been wrought
In all the neighbourhood: yet the oak is left
That grew beside their door; and the remains
Of the unfinish'd Sheep-fold may be seen
Beside the boisterons brook of Green-head Ghyll. [1800.

THE BROTHERS.
“THESE Tourists, Heaven preserve us! needs must live
A profitable life: some glance along,
Rapid and gay, as if the earth were air,
And they were butterflies to wheel about
Long as the Summer lasted: some, as wise,
Perch'd on the forehead of a jutting crag,
Pencil in hand and book upon the knee,
Will look and scribble, scribble on and look,
Until a man might travel twelve stout miles,
Or reap an acre of his neighbour's corn.
But, for that moping Son of Idleness,
Why can he tarry yonder ? — In our church-yard
Is neither epitaph nor monument,
Tombstone 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 sate near him, teasing matted wool,
While, from the twin cards tooth'd with glittering wire,
He fed the spindle of his youngest child,
Who, in the open air, with due accord
Of busy hands and back-and-forward steps,
Her large round wheel was turning. 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 sent
Many a long look of wonder: and at last,
Risen from his seat, beside the snow-white ridge
Of carded wool which the old man had piled
He laid his implements with gentle care,
Each in the other lock’d; and, down the path
That from his cottage to the church-yard led,
He took his way, impatient to accost
The Stranger, whom he saw still lingering there.

'Twas one well known to him in former days,
A Shepherd-lad; who ere his sixteenth year
Had left that calling, tempted to entrust
His expectations to the fickle winds
And perilous waters; with the mariners
A fellow-mariner; - and so had fared
Through 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 waterfalls, 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

and gaze;
And, while the broad blue wave and sparkling foam
Flash'd round him images and hues that wrought
In union with th' employment of his heart,
He, thus by feverish passion overcome,
Even with the organs of his bodily eye,
Below him, in the bosom of the deep,
Saw mountains; saw the forms of sheep that grazed
On verdant hills, - with dwellings among trees,

And shepherds clad in the same country grey
Which he himself had worn.

And now at last,
From perils manifold, with some small wealth
Acquired by traffic ʼmid the Indian Isles,
To his paternal home he is return'd,
With a determined purpose to resume
The life he had lived there; both for the sake
Of many darling pleasures, and the love
Which to an only brother he has 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 so long and dearly loved,
He to the solitary church-yard turn’d;
That, as he knew in what particular spot
His family were laid, he thence might learn
If still his Brother lived, or to the file
Another grave was added. - He had found
Another grave, near which a full half-hour
He had remain'd; but, as he gazed, there grew
Such a confusion in his memory,
That he began to doubt; and even to hope
That he had seen this heap of turf before,
That it was not another grave; but one
He had forgotten. He had lost his path,
As up the vale, that afternoon, he walk'd
Through fields which once had been well known to him:
And 0, what joy this recollection now
Sent to his heart ! he lifted up his eyes,
And, looking round, imagined that he saw
Strange alteration wrought on every side
Among the woods and fields, and that the rocks
And everlasting hills themselves were changed.

By this the Priest, who down the field had come
Unseen by Leonard, at the church-yard gate
Stopp'd short; and thence, at leisure, limb by limb
Perused him with a gay complacency.
Ay, 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 the fields,

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