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These, that exalt the soul to solemn thought,
And heavenly musing. Welcome kindred glooms !
Congenial horrors, hail! With frequent foot,
Pleas’d, have I in my cheerful morn of life,
When, nurs’d by careless solitude, I livd,
And sung of nature with unceasing joy.
Pleas'd have I wand'red through your rough domain :
Trod the pure virgin snows, myself as pure;
Heard the winds roar, and the big torrent burst;
Or seen the deep fermenting tempest brew'd,
In the grim ev'ning sky. Thus pass’d the time,
Till, through the lucid chambers of the south,
Look'd out the joyous Spring, look'd out, and smild.
Douglas' account of himself.
Y name is Norval. On the Grampian Hills
My father feeds his flocks; a frugal swain
Whose constant cares were to increase his store,
And keep his only son, myself, at home.
For I had heard of battles, and I long'd
To follow to the field some warlike lord :
And heav'n soon granted what my sire deny’d.
This moon, which rose last night, round as my shield,
Ilad not yet fill’d her horns, when by her light,
A band of fierce barbarians, from the hills
Rush’d, like a torrent, down upon the vale,
Sweeping our flocks and herds. The shepherds fled
For safety and for succour. I alone,
With bended bow and quiver full of arrows,
Hover'd about the enemy, and mark'd
The road he took; then hasted to my friends,
Whom, with a troop of fifty chosen men,
I met advancing. The pursuit I led,
'Till we o’ertook the spoil encumber'd foe.
We fought-and conquer’d. Ere a sword was drawn,
An arrow, from my bow, had pierc'd their chief,
Who wore, that day the arms which now I wear.
Returning home in triumph, I disdain'd
The shepherd's slothful life: and having heard,
That our good king had summon’d his bold peers,
To lead their warriors to the carron side,
1 left my father's house, and took with me,
A chosen servant to conduct my steps
Yon trembling covýard who forsook his master.
Journeying with this intent I pass’d these towers ;
And heaven directed, came this day, to do
The happy deed, that gilds by humble name.
Douglas' Account of the Manner in which he learned the Art
ENEATH a mountain's brow, the most remote
And inaccessible by shepherds trod,
In a deep cave dug by no mortal hand,
A hermit liv'd; a melancholy man,
Who was the wonder of our wand'ring swains,
Austere and lonely, cruel to himself
Did they report him; the cold earth his bed,
Water his drink, his food the shepherd's alms.
I went to see him and my heart was touch'd
With reverence and with pity.
Mild he spake.
And, entering on discourse, such stories told,
As made me oft revisit his sad cell.
For he had been a soldier in his youth;
And fought in famous battles, when the peers
Of Europe, by the bold Godfredo led,
Against the usurping infidel display'd
The blessed cross and won the Holy Land.
Pleas’d with my admiration, and the fire
llis speech struck from me, the old man would shake
Ilis years away, and act his young encounters :
Then having shewn his wounds, he'd sit him down,
And all the live-long day discourse of war.
To help my fancy, in the smooth green turf
lle cut the figures of the marshall’d hosts ;
Describ'd the motions, and explain'd the use,
Of the deep column, and the lengthen'd line,
The square, the crescent, and the phalanx firm:
For all that Saracen or Christian knew
Of war's vast art, was to this hermit known.
Returning homeward by Messina's port,
Loaded with wealth and honours bravely won,
A rude and boisterous captain of the sea
Fasten’d a quarrel on him. Fierce they fought;
The stranger fell, and with his dying breath
Declar'd his name and lineage! Mighty God!
The soldier cry'd, my brother ! O! my brother!
They exchang'd forgiveness :
And happy in my mind, was he that died :
For many deaths has the survivor suffer'd,
In the wild desert on a rock he sits,
Or on some nameless stream's untrodden banks,
And ruminates all day his dreadful fate.
At times, alas! not in his perfect mind!
Holds dialogues with his lov'd brother's ghost! And oft each night forsakes his sullen couch, To make sad orisons for him he slew.
Baucis and Philemon.
N ancient times, as story tells,
And stroll about; but hide their quality,
To try good people's hospitality.
It happen'd on a winter night,
As author's of the legend write,
Two brother hermits, saints by trade,
Taking their tour in masquerade,
Disguis'd in tatter'd habits, went
To a small village down in Kent;
Where, in the stroller's canting strain,
They begg’d from door to door, in vain ;
Try'd ev'ry tone might pity win,
But not a soul would let them in.
Our wandering saints, in woeful state,
Treated at this ungodly rate,
Hlaving through all the village pass'd,
To a small cottage came at last,
Where dwelt a good old honest yeoman,
Call’d in the neighbourhood, Philemon;
Who kindly did these saints invite
In his poor hut to pass the night;
And then the hospitable sire
Bid goody Baucis mend the fire;
While he from out the chimney took
A flitch of bacon, off the hook,
And freely from the fattest side,
Cut out large slices to be fry'd:
Then stept aside to fetch them drink,
Filld a large jug up to the brink;
And saw it fairly twice go round;
Yet (what is wonderful) they found,
'Twas still replenish'd to the top,
As if they had not touch'd a drop.
The good old couple were amaz'd
And often on each other gaz’d;
For both were frightend to the heart,
And just began to cry-What art?
Then softly turn’d aside to view,
Whether the lights were turning blue,
The gentle pilgrims, soon aware on't,
Told them their calling and their errand; "Good folks you need not be afraid;
We are but saints, the hermits said; 6 No hurt shall come to you or yours ; • But for that pack of churlish boors, Not fit to live on Christian ground,
They, and their houses shall be drown'd; While you shall see your cottage rise, And grow a church before your eyes.'
They scarce had spoke, whèn fair and soft, The roof began to mount aloft; Aloft rose ev'ry beam and rafter: The heavy wall clim'd slowly after. The chimney widen’d and grew higher, Became a steeple with a spire. The kettle to the top was hoist; With upside down doom'd there to dwell, 'Tis now no kettle but a bell. A wooden jack, which had almost Lost by disuse, the art to roast, A sudden alteration feels, Increas'd by new intestine wheels; And strait against the steeple rear'd, Became a clock, and still adherd, And now in love to household cares, By a shrill voice the hour declares, Warning the housemaid not to burn The roast-meat which it cannot turn. The easy chair began to crawl, Like a huge snail along the wall; There, stuck aloft in public view And with small change, a pulpit grew. A bed-stead of the antique mode, Made
of timber many a load,
Such as our ancestors did use,
Was metamorphos'd into pews;
Which still their ancient nature keep,
By lounging folks dispos’d to sleep.
The cottage by such feats as these,
Grown to a church by just degrees,
The hermits then desir'd their host
To ask for what they fancied most.
Philemon, having paus'd a while,
Return'd them thanks in homely stile;
Then said _My house has grown so fine,
Methinks I still would call it mine:
I'm old, and feign would live at ease
· Make me the parson if you please.'
He spoke--and presently, he feels
His grazier's coat fall down his heels :
He sees, yet hardly can believe,
About each arm, a pudding sleeve;
His waistcoat to a cassock grew;
And both assum'd a sable hue;
But, Being old, continu'd just
As thread-bare, and as full of dust;
His talk was now of tithes and dues,
He smoak’d his pipe, and read the news;
Knew how to preach old sermons next;
Vamp'd in the preface and the text;
At christ’nings, well could act his part,
And had the service all by heart;
Found his head fill'd with many a system :
But classic authors-he ne'er miss'd 'em.
Thus having finish’d up a parson,
Dame Baucis next they play'd their face on.
Instead of homespun coifs, were seen,
Good pinners, edg'd with colberteen;
Her petticoat transform’d apace,
Became black satin, flounc'd with lace.
Plain Goody would no longer down;
"Twas madam, in her grogram gown,
Philemon was in great surprise,
And hardly could believe his eyes,
Amaz'd to see her look so prim,
And she admir'd as much at him.
Thus happy in their change of life,
Were, several years this man and wife;
When on a day (which prov'd their last
Discoursing o'er old stories past,
They went by chance, amidst their talk,
To the church-yard to take a walk,
When Baucis hastily cried out,
• My dear I see your forehead sprout.'
• Sprout ! quoth the man, 'what's this you tell us !
I hope you don't believe me jealous;
But, yet, methinks, I feel it true;
And really, yours is budding too-
Nay, now I cannot stir
* It feels as if 'twere taking root;'
Description would but tire my muse,
M short they both were turn’d to-yews,