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Trembling in silence all his deeds we saw, His look a mandate, and his word a law; Severe his voice, severe and stern his mien, And wondrous strict he was, and wondrous wise I

ween.

Even now, through many a long, long year, I trace The hour when first with awe I viewed his face;

Even now recall my entrance at the dome, —
'Twas the first day I ever left my home!
Years intervening have not worn away
The deep remembrance of that wretched day,
Nor taught me to forget my earliest fears,
A mother's fondness and a mother's tears;
When close she pressed me to her sorrowing
heart,

As loath as even I myself to part;
And I, as I beheld her sorrows flow,
With painful effort hid my inward woe.

But time to youthful troubles brings relief, And each new object weans the child from grief. Like April showers the tears of youth descend; Suddenly they fall, and suddenly they end, And fresher pleasure cheers the following hour, As brighter shines the sun after the April shower.

Methinks even now the interview I see,
The mistress's glad smile, the master's glee;

Much of my future happiness they said, Much of the easy life the scholars led, Of spacious play-ground and of wholesome air, The best instruction and the tenderest care; And when I followed to the garden-door My father, till through tears I saw no more, How civilly they soothed my parting pain! And never did they speak so civilly again.

Why loves the soul on earlier years to dwell, When Memory spreads around her saddening spell;

When discontent, with sullen gloom o'ercast,
Turns from the present, and prefers the past?
Why calls reflection to my pensive view
Each trifling act of infancy anew,

Each trifling act with pleasure pondering o'er,
Even at the time when trifles please no more ?
Yet is remembrance sweet, though well I know
The days of childhood are but days of woe;
Some rude restraint, some petty tyrant, sours
What else should be our sweetest, blithest
hours:

Yet is it sweet to call those hours to mind,
Those easy hours, for ever left behind,
Ere care began the spirit to oppress,
When ignorance itself was happiness.

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Such was my state in those remembered years, When two small acres bounded all my fears;

VOL. II.

S

And therefore still with pleasure I recall

The tapestried school; the bright, brown-boarded hall;

The murmuring brook, that every morning saw
The due observance of the cleanly law;
The walnuts, where, when favor would allow,
Full oft I went to search each well-stripped bough;
The crab-tree, which supplied a secret hoard
With roasted crabs to deck the wintry board:
These trifling objects then my heart possessed,
These trifling objects still remain impressed;
So, when with unskilled hand some idle hind
Carves his rude name within a sapling's rind,
In after-years the peasant lives to see
The expanding letters grow as grows the tree;
Though every winter's desolating sway
Shake the hoarse grove, and sweep the leaves away,
That rude inscription uneffaced will last,
Unaltered by the storm or wintry blast.

Oh, while well pleased the lettered traveller roams
Among old temples, palaces, and domes;
Strays with the Arab o'er the wreck of time,
Where erst Palmyra's towers arose sublime;
Or marks the lazy Turk's lethargic pride,
And Grecian slavery on Ilyssus' side,
Oh, be it mine, aloof from public strife,
To mark the changes of domestic life,
The altered scenes where once I bore a part,
Where every change of fortune strikes the heart!

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As when the merry bells with echoing sound
Proclaim the news of victory around,
Rejoicing patriots run the news to spread
Of glorious conquest and of thousands dead,
All join the loud huzza with eager breath,
And triumph in the tale of blood and death;
But if, extended on the battle-plain,

Cut off in conquest, some dear friend be slain,
Affection then will fill the sorrowing eye,
And suffering Nature grieve that one should
die.

Cold was the morn, and bleak the wintry blast
Blew o'er the meadow, when I saw thee last.
My bosom bounded as I wandered round
With silent step the long-remembered ground,
Where I had loitered out so many an hour,
Chased the gay butterfly, and culled the flower,
Sought the swift arrow's erring course to trace,
Or with mine equals vied amid the chase.
I saw the church where I had slept away
The tedious service of the summer day;
Or, hearing sadly all the preacher told,
In winter waked and shivered with the cold.
Oft have my footsteps roamed the sacred ground
Where heroes, kings, and poets sleep around;
Oft traced the mouldering castle's ivied wall,
Or aged convent tottering to its fall;

Yet never had my bosom felt such pain,
As, Corston, when I saw thy scenes again;

For many a long-lost pleasure came to view, For many a long-past sorrow rose anew; Where whilom all were friends I stood alone, Unknowing all I saw, of all I saw unknown.

There, where my little hands were wont to rear
With pride the earliest salad of the year;
Where never idle weed to spring was seen,
Rank thorns and nettles reared their heads ob-
scene.

Still all around and sad, I saw no more
The playful group, nor heard the playful roar;
There echoed round no shout of mirth and glee;
It seemed as though the world were changed like
me!

Enough! it boots not on the past to dwell:
Fair scene of other years, a long farewell!
Rouse up, my soul! it boots not to repine;
Rouse up! for worthier feelings should be thine.
Thy path is plain and straight; that light is

given;

Onward in faith, and leave the rest to Heaven.

OXFORD, 1794.

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