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[THE young man whose death gave occasion to this poem was named Charles Gough, and had come early in the spring to Paterdale for the sake of angling. While attempting to cross over Helvellyn to Grasmere he slipped from a steep part of the rock where the ice was not thawed, and perished. His body was discovered as is told in this poem. Walter Scott heard of the accident, and both he and I, without either of us knowing that the other had taken up the subject, each wrote a poem in admiration of the dog's fidelity. His contains a most beautiful
"How long didst thou think that his silence was slumber,
I will add that the sentiment in the last four lines of the last
A BARKING Sound the Shepherd hears,
He halts-and searches with his eyes
Among the scattered rocks:
And now at distance can discern
The Dog is not of mountain breed;
Nor is there any one in sight
It was a cove, a huge recess,
That keeps, till June, December's snow;
A silent tarn* be'ow!
Far in the bosom of Helvellyn,
From trace of human foot or hand.
There sometimes doth a leaping fish
Thither the rainbow comes-the cloud-
Not free from boding thoughts, a while
Nor far had gone before he found
* Tarn is a small Mere or Lake, mostly high up in the mountains,
From those abrupt and perilous rocks
He instantly recalled the name,
And who he was, and whence he came;
On which the Traveller passed this way.
But hear a wonder, for whose sake
A lasting monument of words
This wonder merits well.
The Dog, which still was hovering nigh,
This Dog, had been through three months' space
A dweller in that savage place.
Yes, proof was plain that, since the day
When this ill-fated Traveller died,
The Dog had watched about the spot,
Or by his master's side:
How nourished here through such long time
ODE TO DUTY.
[THIS Ode is on the model of Gray's Ode to Adversity, which is copied from Horace's Ode to Fortune. Many and many a time have I been twitted by my wife and sister for having forgotten this dedication of myself to the stern law-giver. Transgressor indeed I have been, from hour to hour, from day to day: I would fain hope however, not more flagrantly or in a worse way than most of my tuneful brethren. But these last words are in a wrong strain. We should be rigorous to ourselves and forbearing, if not indulgent, to others, and, if we make comparisons at all, it ought to be with those who have morally excelled us.]
'Jam non consilio bonus, sed more eò perductus, ut non tantum rectè facere possim, sed nisi rectè facere non possim.'
STERN Daughter of the Voice of God!
O Duty! if that name thou love
When empty terrors overawe;
From vain temptations dost set free;
And calm'st the weary strife of frail humanity!
There are who ask not if thine eye
Be on them; who, in love and truth,
Where no misgiving is, rely
Upon the genial sense of youth:
Glad Hearts! without reproach or blot;
Who do thy work, and know it not:
Oh! if through confidence misplaced
They fail, thy saving arms, dread Power! around them
Serene will be our days and bright,
And happy will our nature be,
And they a blissful course may hold
Yet seek thy firm support, according to their need.
I, loving freedom, and untried;
if I may.
Through no disturbance of my soul,
Stern Lawgiver! yet thou dost wear