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To slaughter I condemn;
A guiltless feast I bring;
All earth-born cares are wrong: Man wants but little here below, Nor wants that little long.'
His gentle accents fell:
The lonely mansion lay,
Requir'd a master's care;
To take their evening rest,
13. And spread his vegetable store,
And gayly press'd, and smil'd; And, skill'd in legendary lore, The ling'ring hours beguil'd.
14. Around in sympathetic mirth
Its tricks the kitten tries,
To soothe the stranger's woe; For grief was heavy at his heart, And tears began to flow.
16. His rising cares the Hermit spy'd,
With answ'ring care opprest: * And whence, unhappy youth,” he cry’d, “The sorrows of thy breast?
Reluctant dost thou rove?
Are trisling, and decay;
A charm that lulls to sleep;
But leaves the wretch to weep?
20. "And love is still an emptier sound,
The modern fair one's jest: On earth unseen, or only found To warm the turtle's nest.
21. “For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush,
And spurn the sex,” he said; But while he spoke, a rising blush His love-lorn guest betray'd.
Swift mantling to the view;
Alternate spread alarms:
A wretch forlorn,” she cried; "Whose feet unhallow'd thus intrude
Where Heaven and you reside.
Uunumber'd suitors came;
With richest proffers strove; Amongst the rest young Edwin bow'd,
But never talk'd of love.
“In humble, simplest habit clad,
No wealth nor power had he; Wisdom and worth were all he had,
But these were all to me.
“And when beside me in the dale,
He carold lays of love,
The dews of Heaven refin'd, Could nought of purity display To emulate his mind.
32. “The dew, the blossom on the tree,
With charms inconstant shine; Their charms were his, but woe to me! Their constancy was mine.
33. “For still I tried each fickle art,
Importunate and vain; And while his passion touch'd my heart,
I triumph'd in his pain.
34. “Till quite dejected with my scorn,
He left me to my pride; And sought a solitude forlorn, In secret, where he dy'd.
35. “But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
And well my life shall pay; I'll seek the solitude he suught, And stretch me where he lay.
36. “And there forlorn, despairing, hid,
I'll lay me down and die; 'T was so for me that Edwin did;
And so for him will I.”
“Forbid it Heaven!” the Hermit cry'd,
And clasp'd her to his breast : The wond’ring fair one turn’d to chide, 'T was Edwin's self that prest.
My charmer, turn to see
And ev'ry care resigu:
We 'll live and love so true; The sigh that rends thy constant heart,
Shall break thy Edwin's too."