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Did glitter in the yellow moon-beam! Well
It is a father's tale: But if that Heaven
Should give me life, his childhood shall grow
Familiar with these songs, that with the night He may associate joy! Once more farewell Sweet Nightingale! once more, my friends! farewell.
BY Derwent's side my Father's cottage stood, (The Woman thus her artless story told) One field, a flock, and what the neighbouring flood
Supplied, to him were more than mines of gold.
Light was my sleep; my days in transport roll'd:
With thoughtless joy I stretch'd along the shore
My father's nets, or watched, when from the
High o'er the cliffs I led my fleecy store,
A dizzy depth below! his boat and twinkling
My father was a good and pious man,
An honest man, by honest parents bred,
And I believe that, soon as I began
To lisp, he made me kneel beside my bed,
And in his hearing there my prayers I said;
And afterwards, by my good father taught,
I read, and loved the books in which I read;
For books in every neighbouring house I sought, And nothing to my mind a sweeter pleasure brought.
Can I forget what charms did once adorn My garden, stored with peas, and mint, and thyme,
And rose and lilly for the sabbath morn;
The sabbath bells, and their delightful chime; The gambols and wild freaks at shearing time; My hen's rich nest through long-grass scarce espied;
The cowslip-gathering at May's dewy prime; The swans, that, when I sought the waterside
From far to meet ine came, spreading their snowy pride?
The staff I yet remember which upbore
The bending body of my active Sire;
His seat beneath the honeyed Sycamore
When the bees hummed, and chair by winter
When market morning came, the neat attire With which, though bent on haste, myself I deck'd;
My watchful dog, whose starts of furious ire
When stranger passed, so often I have check'd; The red-breast known for years, which at my casement peck'd.
The suns of twenty summers danc'd along,-
Ah! little marked, how fast they rolled away:
Then rose a mansion proud our woods among,
And cottage after cottage owned its sway;
No joy to see a neighbouring house, or stray
Through pastures not his own, the master took;
My Father dared his greedy wish gainsay,
He loved his old hereditary nook,
And ill could I the thought of such sad parting brook.
But, when he had refused the proffered gold,
To cruel injuries he became a prey,
Sore traversed in whate'er he bought and sold;
His troubles grew upon him day by day:
Till all his substance fell into decay.
His little range of water was denied;*
All but the bed where his old body lay,
All, all was seized, and weeping, side by side,
We sought a home where we uninjured might
* Several of the Lakes in the North of England are let out to different Fishermen, in parcels marked out by imaginary lines drawn from rock to rock.
Can I forget that miserable hour,
When from the last hill top, my Sire surveyed,
Peering above the trees, the steeple tower,
That on his marriage-day sweet music made?
Till then he hoped his bones might there be laid
Close by my mother in their native bowers:
Bidding me trust in God, he stood and prayed,
I could not pray:-Through tears that fell in
Glimmer'd our dear lov'd home, alas! no longer ours!
There was a youth whom I had loved so long
That when I loved him not I cannot say;
'Mid the green mountains many and many a song
We two had sung,` like little birds in May:
When we began to tire of childish play
We seemed still more and more to prize each
We talked of marriage and our marriage day;'
And I in truth did love him like a brother,
For never could I hope to meet with such
His father said, that to a distant town.
He must repair, to ply the artist's trade.
What tears of bitter grief till then unknown!
What tender vows our last sad kiss delayed!
To him we turned; we had no other aid.