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There, by the moon, through ranks of trees they pa
At length 'tis morn, and at the dawn of day
As one who spies a serpent in his way, Gliftning and balking in the summer ray, Disorder'd, stops to thun the danger near, Then walks with faintness on, and looks with fear So seem'd the fire, when far upon the road The thining spoil his wily partner show'd. He stopp'd with filence, walk'd with trembling heart And much he wilh'd, but durft not ask to part: Murmuring, he lifts his eyes, and thinks it hard That gen'rous actions meet a base reward.
While thus they pafs, the sun his glory shrouds, The changing skies hang out their fable clouds ; A found in air prefag'd approaching rain, And beasts to covert scud across 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 rising ground, And strong, and large, and unimprov'd around; Its owner's temper, tim'rous and severe, Unkind and griping, caus'd a desert there.
As aear the miser's heavy doors they drew,
With still remark the pondering hermit view'd,
But now the clouds in airy tumult Ay;
While hence they walk, the pilgrim's bofom wrought
Now night's dim shades again involve the sky;
Hither the walkers turn with weary feet, Then bless the mansion, and the matter greet. Their greeting fair, beltow'd with modest guise, The courteous mafter hears, and thus replies :
“Without a vain, without a grudging heart, To him, who gives us all, I yield a part ; From him vou come, for him accept it here, A frank and. sober, more than colly cheer." He spoke, and bid the welcome table spread, Then talk'd of virtue till the time of bed : When the grave household round his hall repair, Wara'd by a bell, and clofe the hours with prayer.
At length the world, renew'd by calm repose, Was strong for toil; the dappled morn arole : Before the pilgrims part, the younger crept Near the clor'd cradle, where an infant slept, And writh'd his neck; the landlord's little pridet O frange return! grew black, and gafp'd, and died. Horror of horrors ! what! his only fon ! How look'd our hermit when the fact was donc ! Not hell, tho’ hell's black jaws in sunder part, And breathe blue fire, could more affault his heart.
Confus'd and struck with filence at the deed, He flies ; but, trembling, fails to Ay with speed. His steps the youth pursues; the country lay Perplex'd with roads ; a servant fhow'd the way : A river cross'd the path ; the passage o'er Was nice to find ; the servant trod before : Long arms of oaks an open bridge fupply'd, And deep the waves beneath the bending branches glide. The youth, who seem'd to watch a time to fin, Approach'd the carelefs guide, and thruf him in : Plunging he falls, and rising lifts his head ; Then Aashing turns, and finks amongst the dead.
Wild sparkling rage infames the father's eyes ; He bursts the bands of fear, and madly cries ; “ Detested wretch !" But fcarce his speech began, When the Arange partner seem'd no longer man. His youthful face grew more serenely fweet ; His robe turn'd white, and Aow'd upon his feet ; Fair rounds of radiant points inveft his hair ; Celestial odours breathe through purpled air ; And wings whose colours glitter'd on the day, Wide at his back their gradual plumes display.
The form ethereal bursts upon his fight,
Tho' loud at first the pilgrim's passion grew,
“Thy pray'r, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown,
“ The great vain man, who far'd on costly food,
“ The mean suspicious wretch, whose bolted door
“Long had our pious friend in virtue trod ; But now the child half wean'd his leart from God: Child of his age, for 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 save the father, took the son. 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, Now owns in tears the punishment was just. But how had all his fortunes felt a wrack, Had that false servant fped in safety back! This night his treasur's heaps he meant to steal, And what a fund of charity would fail ! Thus Heav'n instructs thy mind : this trial o'er, Depart in peace, resign, and fin no more.”
On sounding pinions here the youth withdrew; The fage stood wond ring as the feraph flew. Thus look'd Elisha, 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 heaven, on earth thy will be done. Then, gladly turning, sought his ancient place ; And pass'd a life of piety and peace. PARNELL
The love of the world detected.