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Farewell to the Valley-Reflections.-A large and populous vale described.-The Pastor's Dwelling, and some account of him.--Church and Monuments-The Solitary musing, and where.-Roused.-In the Churchyard the Solitary communicates the thoughts which had recently passed through his mind.-Lofty tone of the Wanderer's discourse of yesterday adverted to.-Rite of Baptism, and the professions accompanying it, contrasted with the real state of human life.Apology for the Rite.-Inconsistency of the best men.-Acknowledgment that practice falls far below the injunctions of duty as existing in the mind.-General complaint of a falling off in the value of life after the time of youth.-Outward appearances of content and happiness in degree illusive.-Pastor approaches.-Appeal made to him. -His answer.-Wanderer in sympathy with him.-Suggestion that the least ambitious inquirers may be most free from error.--The Pastor is desired to give some portraits of the living or dead from his own observation of life among these Mountains-and for what purpose.-Pastor consents.-Mountain cottage.-Excellent quality of its Inhabitants.-Solitary expresses his pleasure; but denies the praise of virtue to worth of this kind.-Feelings of the Priest before he enters upon his account of persons interred in the Churchyard.-Graves of unbaptized Infants.-Funeral and sepulchral observances, whence.-Ecclesiastical establishments, whence derived.-Profession of belief in the doctrine of Immortality.
"FAREWELL, deep Valley, with thy one rude
And its small lot of life-supporting fields,
And guardian rocks!-Farewell, attractive seat!
Open, and day's pure cheerfulness, but veiled
Primeval forests wrapped thee round with dark
By Nature destined from the birth of things
Upon the side Of that brown ridge, sole outlet of the vale Which foot of boldest stranger would attempt, Lingering behind my comrades, thus I breathed A parting tribute to a spot that seemed Like the fixed centre of a troubled world. Again I halted with reverted eyes; The chain that would not slacken, was at length Snapt,—and, pursuing leisurely my way, How vain, thought I, is it by change of place To seek that comfort which the mind denies ; Yet trial and temptation oft are shunned Wisely; and by such tenure do we hold, Frail life's possessions, that even they whose fate Yields no peculiar reason of complaint
Might, by the promise that is here, be won
-Knowledge, methinks, in these disordered times,
Men, who, from faction sacred, and unstained
That meditation and research may guide
His privacy to principles and powers
Acknowledgments of gratitude sincere Accompanied these musings; fervent thanks For my own peaceful lot and happy choice; A choice that from the passions of the world Withdrew, and fixed me in a still retreat; Sheltered, but not to social duties lost, Secluded, but not buried; and with song Cheering my days, and with industrious thought; With the ever-welcome company of books; With virtuous friendship's soul-sustaining aid, And with the blessings of domestic love.
Thus occupied in mind I paced along,
Here did our pensive Host put forth his hand In sign of farewell. "Nay," the old Man said,
"The fragrant air its coolness still retains ;
So we descend and winding round a rock
"As mid some happy valley of the Alps,"
Save for yon stately House beneath whose roof