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It was a cove, a huge recess,

That keeps, till June, December's snow;

A lofty precipice in front,

A silent tarn below;

Far in the bosom of Hellvellyn,

Remote from public road or dwelling,

Pathway, or cultivated land;

From trace of human foot or hand.

There sometimes doth a leaping fish
Send through the tarn a lonely cheer;
The crags repeat the raven's croak,
In symphony austere;
Thither the rainbow comes, the cloud—
And mists that spread the flying shroud,
And sunbeams; and the sounding blast,
That if it could would hurry past;
But that enormous barrier holds it fast.

Not free from boding thoughts, awhile
The shepherd stood ; then makes his way
O'er rocks and stones, following the dog
As quickly as he may;
Nor far had gone before he found
A human skeleton on the ground:
The appalled discoverer with a sigh
Looks round to learn the history.

From those abrupt and perilous rocks

The man had fallen, that place of fear!

At length upon the shepherd's mind

It breaks, and all is clear:

He instantly recalled the name,

And who he was, and whence he came;

Remembered too the very day

On which the traveller passed that way.

But here a wonder for whose sake

This lamentable tale I tell!

A lasting monument of words

This wonder merits well.

The dog, which still was hovering nigh,

Repeating the same timid cry,

This dog had been through three months' space

A dweller in that savage place.

Yes, proof was plain that since the day
When this ill-fated traveller died,
The dog had watch'd about the spot,
Or by his master's side:

How nourished there through that long time,
He knows Who gave that love sublime;
And gave that strength of feeling great,
Above all human estimate.



Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue,
Nor swifter greyhound follow,

Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman's hallo',

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursed with tender care,

And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild Jack-hare.

Though duly from my hand he took

His pittance every night, He did it with a jealous look,

And, when he could, would bite.

His diet was of wheaten bread,

And milk, and oats, and straw; Thistles, or lettuces instead,

With sand to scour his maw.

On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,

On pippins' russet peel,
And, when his juicy salads fail'd,

Sliced carrot pleased him well.

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,

Whereon he loved to bound, To skip and gambol like a fawn,

And swing his rump around.

His frisking was at evening hours,

For then he lost his fear,
But most before approaching showers,

Or when a storm drew near.

Eight years and five round-rolling moons

He thus saw steal away, Dozing out all his idle noons,

And every night at play.

I kept him for his humour's sake.

For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts, that made it ache,

And force me to a smile.

But now beneath his walnut shade

He finds his long last home,
And waits, in snug concealment laid,

Till gentler Puss shall come.

He, still more aged, feels the shocks

From which no care can save, And, partner once of Tiney's box,

Must soon partake his grave.


Our bugles sang trace—for the night-cloud had lower'd,
And the sentinel stars set their watch in the sky;

And thousands had sunk on the ground overpower'd,
The weary to sleep, and the wounded to die.

When, reposing that night on my pallet of straw,
By the wolf-scaring faggot that guarded the slain,

At the dead of the night, a sweet vision I saw,
And thrice ere the morning I dream'd it again.

Methought from the battle-field's dreadful array,
Par, far I had roam'd on a desolate track;

'Twas autumn—and sunshine arose on the way

To the home of my fathers, that welcomed me back.

I flew to the pleasant fields, traversed so oft

In life's morning inarch, when my bosom was young;

I heard my own mountain-goats bleating aloft,

And knew the sweet strain that the corn-reapers sung.

Then pledged we the wine cup, and fondly I swore,
From my home and my weeping friends never to part;

My little ones kiss'd me a thousand times o'er,
And my wife sobb'd aloud in her fulness of heart.

"Stay, stay with us! rest! thou art weary and worn!" And fain was their war-broken soldier to stay;

But sorrow return'd with the dawning of morn,
And the voice in my dreaming ear—melted away!



In her ear he whispers gaily,
," If my heart by signs can tell,
"Maiden, I have watched thee daily,

"And I think thou lov'st me well."

She replies, in accents fainter,

"There is none I love like thee."

He is but a landscape painter,

And a village maiden she.

He to lips that fondly falter,

Presses his without reproof;

Leads her to the village altar,

And they leave her father's roof.

"I can make no marriage present;

"Little can I give my wife:

"Love will make our cottage pleasant,

"And I love thee more than life."

They by parks and lodges going,

See the lordly castles stand:

Summer woods about them blowing,

Made a murmur in the land.

From deep thought himself he rouses,

Says to her that loves him well,

"Let us see these handsome houses

"Where the wealthy nobles dwell."

So she goes, by him attended,

Hears him lovingly converse,

Sees whatever fair and splendid

Lay betwixt his home and hers;

Parks with oak and chestnut shady,

Parks and ordered gardens great,

Ancient homes of lord and lady,

Built for pleasure and for state,

All he shows her makes him dearer:

Evermore she seems to gaze

On that cottage growing nearer,

"Where they twain will spend their days.

O, but she will love him truly!

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