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While thus they pass, the fụn his glory shrouds,
The changing skies hang out their fable clouds;
A found in air prefag'd approaching rain,
And beasts to covert fcud a-cross the plain.
Warn'd by the figns the wand'ring pair retreat,
To seek for shelter at a neighbouring feat ;
'Twas built with turrets, on a rifing ground,
And strong, and large, and unimprov'd around ;
Its owner's temper, tim'rous and fevere,
Unkind and griping, caus'da defart there.
As near the Mifer's heavy doors they drew,
Fierce rifing gusts with fudden fury blew;
The nimble light’ning mix'd with show’rs began,
And o'er their heads loud rolling thunder ran.
Here long they knock, but knock or call in vain
Driv'n by the wind, and batter'd by the rain. .
At length fome pity warm’d the master’s breast,
(’Twas then, his threshold first receiv'd a guest.)
Slow creaking turns the door with jealous care,
And half he welcomes in the shiv'ring pair ;
One frugal faggot lights the naked walls,
And nature’s fervor thro’ their limbs recalls :
Bread of the coarsest fort, with eager wine,
(Each hardly granted) ferv'd them both to dine ;
And when the tempest first appear’d to cease,
A ready warning bid them part in peace.
With still remark the pond'ring Hermit view'd
In one fo rich, a life fo poor and rude ; -
And why shou’d fuch, (within himself he cry'd)
Lock the loft wealth a thousand want befide ?
But what new marks of wonder foon took place,
In every settling feature of his face !
When from his vest the young companion bore
That cup, the generous landlord own’d before,
And paid profufely with the precious bowl
'The stinted kindness of this churlish foul.
But now the clouds in airy tumults fly,
The fun emerging opes an azure sky ;
A fresher green the smelling leaves display,
And glitt'ring as they tremble, cheer the day ;
The weather courts them from the poor retreat,
And the glad master bolts the wary gate.
- With all the travel of uncertain thought;
His partner's aćts without their cause appear, 'Twas there a vice, and seem'd a madness here : Detesting that, and pitying this he goes, Loft and confounded with the various shows. Now night's dim fhades again involve the sky ; Again the wand’rers want a place to lie, Again they search, and find a lodging nigh. } The foil improv'd around, the manfion neat, And neither poorly low, nor idly great : . It seem'd to speak its master's turn of mind, Content, and not for praise, but virtue kind. Hither the walkers turn with weary feet, Then bless the mansion, and the master greet : . Their greeting fair, bestow'd with modest guife, The courteous master hears, and thus replies:
Without a vain, without a grudging heart,
To him who gives us all, I yield a part;
From him you come, for him accept it here,
A frank and fober, more than costly cheer.
Then talk'd of virtue 'till the time of bed ;
When the grave houshold round his hall repair,
Warn’d by a bell, and close the hours with pray’r. .
At length the world renew'd by calm repose
Was strong for toil, the dapple morn arose ;
Before the Pilgrims part, the younger crept
Near the clos’d cradle where an infant flept,
And writh’d his neck : the landlord's little pride,
Q strange return ! grew black, and gasp'd, and dy’d.
Horror of horror ! what ! his only fon !
How look'd our Hermit when the faćt was done ?
Not hell, tho’ heli's blackjaws in funder part,
And breathe blue fire, could more aflault his heart.
Confus’d, and struck with filence at the deed,
He sties, but trembling fails to fly with speed.
His steps the youth pursues ; the country lay
Perplex’d with roads, a fervant show'd the way :
A river cross'd the path ; the pastage o'er
Was nice to find ; the fervant trod before ;
Long arms of oaks an open bridge supply'd,
And deep the waves beneath the bending glide.
The youth, who feem'd to watch a time to fin,
Approach'd the careless guide and thrust him in ;
Plunging he falls, and rifing lifts his head,
Then fiashing turns, and finks among the dead.
Wild, sparkling rage inflames the father's eyes,
He bursts the bands of fear, and madly cries,
Detested wretch ! but fcarce his speech began,
When the strange partner feem'd no longer man :
His youthful face grew more ferenely sweet ;
His robe turn’d white, and flow'd upon his feet ;
Fair rounds of radiant points invest his hair ;
Celestial odours breathe thro' purpled air;
And wings, whose colours glitter'd on the day,
Wide at his back the gradual plumes display.
The form etherial bursts upon his fight,
And moves în all the majesty of light,
Tho' loud at first the Pilgrim's paffion grew,
Sudden he gaz'd, and wist not what to do :
Surprize in fecret chains his words fufpends,
And in a calm his fettling temper ends.
But filence here the beauteous Angel broke,
(The voice of musick ravish'd as he spoke.)
Thy pray’r, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown,
In sweet memorial rife before the throne:
These charms, success in our bright region find,
And force an Angel down, to calm thy mind:
For this commisfion'd, I forsook the sky ;
Nay, cease to kneel – Thy fellow-servant I.
Then know the truth of government divine,
And let these scruples be no longer thine.
The Maker justly claims that world he made,
In this the right of Providence is laid ;
Its facred Majesty thro' all depends
On using second means to work his ends :
’Tis thus, withdrawn in state from human eye,
The pow’r exerts his attributes on high,
Your aćtions ufes, nor controuls your will,
And bids the doubting fons of men be still. -
What strange events can strike with more surpriz
Than those which lately struck thy wond'ring eyes
And still he welcomes, but with lefs of cost.
The mean, suspicious wretch, whose bolted door
Ne'er mov’d in duty to the wand'ring poor ;
With him I left the cup, to teach his mind
That heav'n can bless, if mortals will be kind,
Conscious of wanting worth, he views the bowl,
And feels compaffion touch his fordid foul.
Thus artists melt the fullen ore of lead,
With heaping coals of fire upon its head;
In the kind warmth the metal learns to glow,
And loofe from dross the filver runs below.
Long had our pious friend in virtue trod,
But now the Child half wean’d his heart from God;
(Child of his age) foi him he liv'd in pain,
And measur’d back his steps to earth again :
To what excesses had his dotage run ?
But God, to fave the father, took the fon. - |
To all but thee, in fits he seem'd to go, - -
And 'twas my ministry to deal the blow.
The poor fond parent, humbled in the duft, 1
Now owns in tears the punishment was just. |
But how had all his fortunes felt a wrack,
Had that false fervant fped in safety back,
This night his treafur'd heaps he meant to steal,
And what a fund of charity would fail !
Thus heav'n instrućts thy mind : this tryal o'er,
Depart in peace, refign, and fin no more. -
On founding pinions here the youth withdrew,
The fage stood wond'ring as the Seraph flew.
Thus look'd ELis HA, when to mount on high,
His master took the chariot of the sky ;
The fiery pomp ascending left the view,
The prophet gaz'd, and wish'd to follow too.
The bending Hermit here a prayer begun,
Lord ! as in heav'n, on earth thy will be done.
Thenglađly turning, fought his ancient place,
And pass'd a life of piety and peace.
We shall conclude this chapter with Mr. Gay's Tale of the apparition ; which, tho' written in the burlesque manner, with fuch exquisite humour, and just and pleafant raillery, is conformable to the rules here laid down
A true Story of an AP PAR IT Ion, by Mr. GAY,