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Help did she give at need, and join'd
The Wharfdale peasants in their prayers.
At length, thus faintly, faintly tied
To earth, she was set free, and died.
Thy soul, exalted Emily,
Maid of the blasted family,
Rose to the God from whom it came !
In Rylstone church her mortal frame
Was buried by her mother's side.
Most glorious sunset !- and a ray Survives -- the twilight of this day ; In that fair creature whom the fields Support, and whom the forest shields ; Who, having fill'd a holy place, Partakes, in her degree, Heaven's grace ; And bears a memory and a mind Raised far above the law of kind; Haunting the spots with lonely cheer Which her dear mistress once held dear ; Loves most what Emily loved most — The inclosure of this churchyard ground; Here wanders like a gliding ghost, And every Sabbath here is found : Comes with the people when the bells Are heard among the moorland dells, Finds entrance through yon arch, where way Lies open on the sabbath day ; Here walks amid the mournful waste Of prostrate altars, shrines defaced, And floors encumber'd with rich show Of fretwork imagery laid low; Paces softly, or makes halt, By fractured cell, or tomb, or vault, By plate of monumental brass Dim gleaming among weeds and grass, And sculptured forms of warriors brave ; But chiefly by that single grave, That one sequester'd hillock green, The pensive visitant is seen.
THE WHITE DOE OF RYLSTONE.
There doth the gentle creature lie
With those adversities unmoved ;
Calm spectacle, by earth and sky
In their benignity approved !
And aye, methinks, this hoary pile,
Subdued by outrage and decay,
Looks down upon her with a smile,
A gracious smile, that seems to say,
'Thou, thou art not a child of Time,
But daughter of the Eternal Prime !'
'THESE tourists, heaven preserve us! needs must live
A profitable life : some glance along,
Rapid and gay, as if the earth were air,
And they were butterflies to wheel about
Long as the summer lasted : some, as wise,
Upon the forehead of a jutting crag
Sit perch'd, with book and pencil on their knee,
And look and scribble, scribble on and look,
Until a man might travel twelve stout miles,
Or reap an acre of his neighbour's corn.
But, for that moping son of idleness —
Why can he tarry yonder ? — In our churchyard
Is neither epitaph nor monument,
Tombstone nor name — only the turf we tread
And a few natural graves.' To Jane, his wife,
Thus spake the homely priest of Ennerdale.
It was a July evening; and he sate
Upon the long stone seat beneath the eaves
of his old cottage, - as it chanced that day,
Employed in winter's work. Upon the stone
His wife sat near him, teasing matted wool,
While, from the twin cards, tooth'd with glittering wire,
He fed the spindle of his youngest child,
Who turn'd her large round wheel in the open air
With back and forward steps. Towards the field
In which the parish chapel stood alone,
Girt round with a bare ring of mossy wall,
While half an hour went by, the Priest had sent
* This poem was intended to conclude a series of pastorals, the scene of which was laid among the mountains of Cumberland and Westmorland. I mention this to apologise for the abruptness with which the poem begins.