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They started at the tributary peal
Of instantaneous thunder, which announced,
The Pastor ceased.—My venerable Friend, Victoriously upraised his clear bright eye; And, when that eulogy was ended, stood Enrapt, as if his inward sense perceived The prolongation of some still response, Sent by the ancient Soul of this wide land, The Spirit of its mountains and its seas, Its cities, temples, fields, its awful power, Its rights and virtues-by that Deity Descending, and supporting his pure heart. With patriotic confidence and joy. And, at the last of those memorial words, The pining Solitary turned aside; Whether through manly instinct to conceal Tender emotions spreading from the heart To his worn cheek; or with uneasy shame For those cold humors of habitual spleen That, fondly seeking in dispraise of man Solace and self-excuse, had sometimes urged To self-abuse a not ineloquent tongue. -Right toward the sacred Edifice his steps. Had been directed; and we saw him now Intent upon a monumental stone, Whose uncouth form was grafted on the wall, Or rather seemed to have grown into the side Of the rude pile; as oft-times trunks of trees, Where nature works in wild and craggy spots,
Are seen incorporate with the living rock-
"The sagest Antiquarian's eye That task would foil;" then, letting fall his voice While he advanced, thus spake: “Tradition tells That, in Eliza's golden days, a Knight Came on a war-horse sumptuously attired, And fixed his home in this sequestered vale. "T is left untold if here he first drew breath, Or as a stranger reached this deep recess, Unknowing and unknown. A pleasing thought I sometimes entertain, that haply bound To Scotland's court in service of his Queen, Or sent on mission to some northern Chief Of England's realm, this vale he might have seen With transient observation; and thence caught An image fair, which, brightening in his soul When joy of war and pride of chivalry Languished beneath accumulated years, Had power to draw him from the world, resolved To make that paradise his chosen home To which his peaceful fancy oft had turned.
Vague thoughts are these; but, if belief
The Knight arrived, with spear and shield, and borne Upon a Charger gorgeously bedecked
With broidered housings. And the lofty SteedHis sole companion, and his faithful friend,
Whom he, in gratitude, let loose to range
In fertile pastures-was beheld with eyes
By those untravelled Dalesmen. With less pride, Yet free from touch of envious discontent,
They saw a mansion at his bidding rise,
Of their rude homesteads. Here the Warrior dwelt;
Raised by his hands. And now no trace is left
'So fails, so languishes, grows dim, and dies," The grey-haired Wanderer pensively exclaimed, "All that this world is proud of. From their spheres The stars of human glory are cast down; Perish the roses and the flowers of kings
Princes, and Emperors, and the crowns and palms
The courteous Knight, whose bones are here in-
Lived in an age conspicuous as our own
Various and vast. A memorable age!
And shook their tenants out into the fields,
But why no softening thought of gratitude,
No just remembrance, scruple, or wise doubt?
Save at worst need, from bold impetuous force
Is the sure consequence of slow decay.
Even," said the Wanderer, "as that courteous