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النشر الإلكتروني

Tbe HERMIT Bor.

By A. S. COTTLE.

A forest's deep gloom was the poiseless retreat

From the follies and vices of life,
Of a sage whose tired heart could in unison beat,
To no joy of the living, save fellowship sweet

With one only companion, his wife.

Long time here they lived, in this desolate nook,

Forgotten their woes as a dream ; Green herbs were their food, and their drink the clear brook, That by their lone cot its meandering took ;

Their bed was the flag of the stream.

Heaven sent them a boy, only pledge of their love;

But denied him a mother to know ;. 'Twas her last fondest wish that her infant might prove Seclusion's sure blessings, nor ever remove

To a world of temptation and woe.

Death came and beneath the tall grass was she laid,

That waved by the side of the cot. Here the good man his visits at morn and eve paid, Her grave

with sweet flowrets he duly array'd, And it seem'd to asswage his hard lot.

To his wife's last injunction the father long true,

Each inquisitive sally withstood; His son, now a youth, thought no other but two, Himself, and his father, the vital air drew ;

And the world was compris'd in a wood.

They roved thro' the thickets and glades all the day,

And reposed when the shadows fell fast : Ere the sun drank the dew from the glittering spray, In the early grey dawn they together would stray,

To seek for their blameless repast.

At noon, as it droop'd on the heath that was nigh, The sage

mark'd the violet and said, Just so when the sun of prosperity's high, Does virtue first blossom, then wither and die,

For want of obscurity's shade.

But see, cried the youth, yon grey Alder beneath,

One, beauteous in hue and in form ; Yet it can't be compared with the flower on the heath, For it scents not the air with its odorous breath,

Tho' defended from sunshine and storm.

The father stood musing in conscious surprise,

At the lore which simplicity taught :
Yet trembled for fear of the doubtful disguise,
Which hides even truth from the ken of the wise ;

And puzzles the tremulous thought.

But my boy still in secret, he cried, will I try,

From the waste of existence to save; Where the phantoms of pleasure dance thick to the eye, But the wretch who pursues them, as luring they fly,

Often finds but a treacherous grave.

Still this wide-spreading wood shall protection afford,

From man, vile associate man ! Kind nature still cater our homely-spread board; Still fór winter the fruits of rich Autumn we'll hoard;

And the brook shall replenish our can.

Full oft had the year made the forest bough bare,

When the good man grew faint with disease : 'Twas then he first trusted his son from his care, Alone thro' the forest, to find for him there,

Some simples his anguish to ease.

Ah ! luckless the time, that all wild with dismay

Thou rovest adventurous alone! No medicine fond youth ! did thy searches repay, That might ease of his anguish thy father that day,

'No herb that would soften thine own.

To the forest's green verge all unknowing he came,

Where two females first met his young sight : Unusual commotion then shot thro' his frame, He felt a new passion he could not well name,

And pined for some unknown delight.

They vanish'd, and back to his far-distant home,

He wanderd in pensive surmise ; The herbs from his scrip, to his father were shown : But O! cried the Youth, as he fetch'd a deep groan,

What vision has dazzled mine eyes?

Some vision, I fear son, that bodes thee no good!

But prithee the wonder declare. Two lovely white forms pass'd the tree where I stood, And glided so softly away in the wood,

They seem'd to dissolve in the air.

Ah! talk not so fondly of what thou hast seen,

They are fairies that haunt the wood side ! Ah! shun them as serpents that coil on the green, Or they'll wound thee with arrows tormenting and keen,

Then sorely thy sufferings deride.

Dear Youth ! thou hast seen me all sorrowful steal

To the hillock beside our low Cot;
My days are departing too truly I feel !
Thy kindness avails not—thy herbs will not heal!

O lay me to rest in that spot.

But remember my counsel when silent and low,

All remembrance of me may subside : Onever ! no never beyond the wood go, And shun as thou shunnest thy bitterest foe;

The fairies that haunt the wood side!

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