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Half-veiled in vapoury cloud, the silver steam
Said I, “ The music and the sprightly scene Invite us; shall we quit our road, and join These festive matins ?”—He replied, “ Not loth To linger I would here with you partake, Not one hour merely, but till evening's close, The simple pastimes of the day and place. By the fleet Racers, ere the sun be set, The turf of yon large pasture will be skimmed ; There, too, the lusty Wrestlers shall contend : But know we not that he, who intermits The appointed task and duties of the day, Untunes full oft the pleasures of the day ; Checking the finer spirits that refuse To flow, when purposes are lightly changed ? A length of journey yet remains untraced : Let us proceed.” Then, pointing with his staff Raised toward those craggy summits, his intent He thus imparted :
“In a spot that lies Among yon mountain fastnesses concealed, You will receive, before the hour of noon,
Good recompense, I hope, for this day's toil,
Though now sojourning there, he, like myself, Sprang from a stock of lowly parentage Among the wilds of Scotland, in a tract Where many a sheltered and well-tended plant, Bears, on the humblest ground of social life, Blossoms of piety and innocence. Such grateful promises his youth displayed : And, having shown in study forward zeal, He to the Ministry was duly called ; And straight, incited by a curious mind Filled with vague hopes, he undertook the charge Of Chaplain to a military troop Cheered by the Highland bagpipe, as they marched In plaided vest,--his fellow-countrymen. This office filling, yet by native power And force of native inclination made An intellectual ruler in the haunts Of social vanity, he walked the world, Gay, and affecting graceful gaiety ; Lax, buoyant-less a pastor with his flock Than a soldier among soldiers-lived and roamed Where Fort led :—and Fortune, who oft proves
The careless wanderer's friend, to him made known
For this fair Bride, most rich in gifts of mind, Nor sparingly endowed with worldly wealth, His office he relinquished ; and retired From the world's notice to a rural home. Youth's season yet with him was scarcely past, And she was in youth's prime. How free their love, How full their joy! 'Till, pitiable doom ! In the short course of one undreaded year Death blasted all. Death suddenly o’erthrew Two lovely Children-all that they possessed ! The Mother followed :- miserably bare The one Survivor stood, he wept, he prayed For his dismissal, day and night, compelled To hold communion with the grave, and face With pain the regions of eternity. A An uncomplaining apathy displaced This anguish ; and, indifferent to delight, To aim and purpose, he consumed his days, To private interest dead, and public care. So lived he; so he might have died.
To the wide world's astonishment, appeared
A glorious opening, the unlooked-for dawn,
That righteous cause (such power hath freedom) bound,
courage seemed to animate them all :
Deduced by reason, or to faith revealed.
His sacred function was at length renounced; And every day and every place enjoyed The unshackled layman's natural liberty; Speech, manners, morals, all without disguise. I do not wish to wrong him; though the course