Puslapio vaizdai

Three months with one, and six months with another,
And wanted neither food, nor clothes, nor love;

And many, many happy days were his.
But, whether blithe or sad, 'tis my belief
His absent Brother still was at his heart.
And, when he dwelt beneath our roof, we found
(A practice till this time unknown to him)
That often, rising from his bed at night,

He in his sleep would walk about, and sleeping

He sought his brother Leonard. — You are moved! Forgive me, Sir: before I spoke to you,

I judged you most unkindly.


How did he die at last?


But this Youth,

One sweet May-morning,

(It will be twelve years since when Spring returns,)
He had gone forth among the new-dropped lambs,
With two or three companions whom their course
Of occupation led from height to height
Under a cloudless sun-till he, at length,
Through weariness, or haply, to indulge
The humor of the moment, lagged behind.
You see yon precipice; — it wears the shape
Of a vast building made of many crags;
And in the midst is one particular rock
That rises like a column from the vale,

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Whence by our shepherds it is called, THE Pillar.
Upon its aëry summit crowned with heath,

The loiterer, not unnoticed by his comrades,
Lay stretched at ease; but, passing by the place
On their return, they found that he was gone.
No ill was feared; till one of them by chance
Entering, when evening was far spent, the house
Which at that time was James's home, there learned
That nobody had seen him all that day:

The morning came, and still he was unheard of':
The neighbors were alarmed, and to the brook
Some hastened; some ran to the lake: ere noon
They found him at the foot of that same rock
Dead, and with mangled limbs. The third day after
I buried him, poor Youth, and there he lies!
Leonard. And that, then, is his grave! Before
his death

You say that he saw many happy years?

Priest. Aye, that he did

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And all went well with him?Priest. If he had one, the youth had twenty homes. Leonard. And you believe, then, that his mind was

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Priest. Yes, long before he died, he found that time

Is a true friend to sorrow; and unless

His thoughts were turned on Leonard's luckless fortune, He talked about him with a cheerful love.

Leonard. He could not come to an unhallowed end! Priest. Nay, God forbid! - You recollect I mentioned

A habit which disquietude and grief

Had brought upon him; and we all conjectured
That, as the day was warm, he had lain down

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On the soft heath, and, waiting for his comrades, He there had fallen asleep; that in his sleep

He to the margin of the precipice

Had walked, and from the summit had fallen headlong:
And so no doubt he perished. When the Youth
Fell, in his hand he must have grasped, we think,
His shepherd's staff; for on that Pillar of rock
It had been caught midway; and there for years
It hung; and mouldered there.

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The Priest here ended

The Stranger would have thanked him, but he felt
A gushing from his heart, that took away
The power of speech. Both left the spot in silence;
And Leonard, when they reached the church-yard gate,
As the Priest lifted up the latch, turned round, —
And, looking at the grave, he said, "My Brother!"
The Vicar did not hear the words: and now,
He pointed towards his dwelling-place, entreating
That Leonard would partake his homely fare:
The other thanked him with an earnest voice;
But added, that the evening being calm,
He would pursue his journey. So they parted.

It was not long ere Leonard reached a grove
That overhung the road: he there stopped short,
And, sitting down beneath the trees, reviewed
All that the Priest had said: his early years
Were with him:- his long absence, cherished hopes,
And thoughts which had been his an hour before,
All pressed on him with such a weight, that now,
This vale, where he had been so happy, seemed
A place in which he could not bear to live:
So he relinquished all his purposes.

He travelled back to Egremont; and thence,
That night he wrote a letter to the Priest,
Reminding him of what had passed between them;
And adding, with a hope to be forgiven,
That it was from the weakness of his heart
He had not dared to tell him who he was.

This done, he went on shipboard, and is now
A Seaman, a grey-headed Mariner.


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