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Tradition says, this Baron great,
Walked in a wood to meditate:
(The wood, I understand, was that
Near which our Vicar pondering sat,)
When, as he turned to view an oak,
Late shattered by the lightning's stroke,
A wild-cat of unusual size,
Upon the Baron fiercely flies :
Brave as he was, the shock surprised,
And all his senses paralyzed :
Quick to his throat the savage flew,
And thence large bloody torrents drew,
Ere the defender's hand could clasp,
Its furred neck in stifling grasp.
At length, with all his strength he tore,
From throat distained with purple gore,
The ravenous beast; and tries to throw,
His foe on pointed crag below.
But as the creature made a bound,
And fell uninjured on the ground,
The Baron's hands a branch obtain,
Ere it begun the attack again;-
With many a heavy battering blow,
He soundly beats his fallen foe :
But ere he can the work complete,
He 's forced to make a slow retreat.
For as the bloody torrents flow,
Weaker and weaker grows each blow.
The cat, in turn, his foe
And vigorously the fight renews:-
The Baron tries with branch of oak,
To give the foe a mortal stroke;
But in his feeble nerveless arm,
The weapon does but little harm;
The furious beast doth onward press,
And still the Baron's strength grows less.
Thus slow retreating, they maintain
The fight, across the spacious plain,
Until the church approaching nigh;
To this the Baron tries to fly.
The cat (as if aware his foe
Would thence escape, as weak and slow
He staggered on,) couched on the ground,
Prepared to give the final wound.
The Baron clearly saw that life,
Unless he could sustain the strife,
Must end upon a new attack.-
Then, leaning on the porch his back,
He grasps the bough with both his hands,
And for the foe prepared he stands.
He, rushing on, receives a blow,
That quickly lays him gasping low;
And after many attempts to rise,
He crawls within the porch, and dies.
The victor followed, but to lie
Adown upon the ground, and die.
For scarce had he the porch attained,
When death another victim gained.
And still the tesselated floor
Shews traces of the purple gore
Of both the Baron and his foe;-
At least tradition says 'tis so:
And on his marble tomb displayed,
Full length his effigy is laid ;
While at his feet, lies large as life,
The cat, which caused the mortal strife.
But to return.--Our Vicar still
Enraptured, looks from Hangman Hill,
And new delights his bosom fill :
For as he turns his searching eye
Towards the verdant pastures nigh,
Through which meandering Don, in slow
Majestic pace, is seen to flow;
And on whose bosom, many a sail,
Filled by the Zephyr's gentle gale,
Glides smoothly down the lowly vale;
He sees, tinged by the solar fire
With glowing red, his village spire.
The weathercock above the trees,
Veering with every passing breeze,
And glittering in the mid-day rays,
His face of burnished gold displays.
Emotions, not to be repressed,
And yet unspeakable, possessed,
At such a sight, the Vicar's breast.
Happy” he cries, “ that bounteous Heaven, “To me so great a boon hath given! “ There let me grateful live in peace, « Till fleeting life's pulsations cease. “There virtue's maxims faithful teach, "Nor fail to practise what I preach, “ And bring my people to the way, “Which leads to realıns of endless day; “That when the shepherd's flock is told, “None may be wanting in the fold !”