« PreviousContinue »
So passed another day, and so the third:
Recovery came with food: but still, my brain
These things just served to stir the torpid sense, Nor pain nor pity in my bosom raised! Memory, though slow, returned with strength; and thence
Dismissed, again in open day I gazed
At houses, ' men, and common light, amazed; The lanes I sought, and as the sun retired, Came, where, beneath the trees a faggot blazed;
The wild brood saw me weep, my fate enquired, And gave me food, and rest, more welcome, more desired.
My heart is touched to think that men like these, The rude earth's tenants, were my first relief. How kindly did they paint their vagrant ease! And their long holiday that feared not grief; For all belonged to all, and each was chief. No plough their sinews strained; on grating road
No wain they drove, and yet, the yellow sheaf In every vale for their delight was stowed; For them, in nature's meads, the milky udder flowed.
Semblance, with straw and pannier'd ass, they made
Of potters wandering on from door to door: But life of happier sort to me pourtrayed, And other joys, my fancy to allure;
The bag-pipe dinning on the midnight moor In barn uplighted, and companions boon, Well met from far, with revelry secure,
In depth of forest glade, when jocund June Rolled fast along the sky his warm and genial
But ill it suited me, in journey dark
To charm the surly house-dog's faithful bark,
What could I do, unaided and unblest?
With tears whose course no effort could confine,
I lived upon the mercy of the fields,
Foregone the home delight of constant truth, And clear and open soul, so prized in fearless youth.
Three years a wanderer, often have I view'd, In tears, the sun towards that country tend Where my poor heart lost all its fortitude: And now across this moor my steps I bendOh! tell me whither-for no earthly friend Have I. She ceased, and weeping turn'd
As if because her tale was at an end
She wept;-because she had no more to say Of that perpetual weight which on her spirits lay.