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"Here to the houseless child of want My door is open still;
And though my portion is but scant, I give it with good will.
"Then turn to-night, and freely share
"No flocks, that range the valley free, To slaughter I condemn;
Taught by that Power that pities me, I learn to pity them.
"But from the mountain's grassy side A guiltless feast I bring;
A scrip with herbs and fruits supply'd, And water from the spring.
"Then, Pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego; All earth-born cares are wrong:
Man wants but little here below,
Soft as the dew from heav'n descends, His gentle accents fell;
The modest stranger lowly bends,
And follows to the cell.
Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay,
A refuge to the neighbouring poor, And strangers led astray.
No stores beneath its humble thatch
Requir'd a master's care;
And now, when busy crowds retire
And spread his vegetable store,
Around in sympathetic mirth
But nothing could a charm impart
To sooth the stranger's woe; For grief was heavy at his heart,
And tears began to flow.
His rising cares the Hermit spy'd,
With answering care opprest;
"And whence, unhappy youth," he cry'd, "The sorrows of thy breast?
"From better habitations spurn'd,
Or grieve for friendship unreturn'd,
"Alas! the joys that fortune brings
And those who prize the paltry things,
"And what is friendship but a name,
A shade that follows wealth or fame,
"And love is still an emptier sound,
To warm the turtle's nest.
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.
Surpris'd he sees new beauties rise
The bashful look, the rising breast,
And, ah! forgive a stranger rude,
"But let a maid thy pity share, Whom love has taught to stray; Who seeks for rest, but finds despair Companion of her way.
My father liv'd beside the Tyne,
A wealthy lord was he;
And all his wealth was mark'd as mine, He had but only me:
"To win me from his tender arms,
Unnumber'd suitors came;
Who prais'd me for imputed charms, And felt, or feign'd, a flame.
"Each hour a mercenary crowd
With richest proffers strove; Among the rest young Edwin bow'd, But never talk'd of love.
"In humblest, simplest habit clad,
"The blossom opening to the day,
"The dew, the blossoms of the tree,
With charms inconstant shine;
Their charms were his; but, woe to me, Their constancy was mine.
"For still I try'd each fickle art,
Importunate and vain;
And, while his passion touch'd my heart, I triumph'd in his pain:
"Till quite dejected with my scorn,
He left me to my pride;
And sought a solitude forlorn,
In secret where he died.