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Slow creaking turns the door with jealous care,
And half he welcomes in the shiv’ring pair ;
One frugal faggot lights the naked walls,
And nature's fervor thro' their limbs recalls :
Bread of the coarest fort, with eager wine,
(Each hardly granted) serv'd them both to dine ;
And when the tempeft first appear'd to cease,
A ready warning bid them part in peace.
With still remark the pond'ring Hermit view'd,
In one so rich, a life so poor and rude ;
And why shou'd such, within himself he cry'd,
Lock the loft wealth a thousand want beside ?
But what new marks of wonder soon took place,
In ev'ry settling feature of his face ;
When from his vest the young companion bore
That cup, the gen'rous Landlord own'd before,
And paid profusely with the precious bowl
The stinted kindness of this churlish foul.
But now the clouds in airy tumult fly, The sun emerging opes an azure sky;
A fresher green the smelling leaves display,
And glitt'ring as they tremble, chear the day :
The weather courts them from the poor retreat,
And the glad master bolts the wary gate.
While hence they walk, the Pilgrim's bosom
With all the travel of uncertain thought; [wrought,
His partner's acts without their cause appear,
'Twas there a vice, and feem'd a madness here:
Detesting that, and pitying this he goes,
Loft and confounded with the various fhows.
Now night's dim (hades again involve the sky,
Again the wand'rers want a place to lye,
Again they search, and find a lodging nigh.
The soil improv'd around, the mansion neat,
And neither poorly low, nor idly great:
It seem'd to speak its master's turn of mind,
Content, and not for praise, but virtue kind.
Hither the walkers turn with weary feet, Then bless the manfion, and the master greet :
Their greeting fair, bestow'd with modest guise,
The courteous mafter hears, and thus replies :
Without a vain, without a grudging heart,
To him who gives us all, I yield a part ;
From him you come, for him accept it here,
A frank and sober, more than costly cheer.
He spoke, and bid the welcome table spread,
Then talk'd of virtue till the time of bed,
When the grave houshold round his hall repair,
Warn’d by a bell, and close the hours with pray's.
At length the world renew'd by calm repose Was strong for toil, the dappled morn arose; Before the Pilgrim's part, the younger crept, Near the clos'd cradle where an infant slept. And writh'd his neck : the Landlord's little pride, O strange return! grew black, and gafp’d, and dy’d. Horror of horrors ! what! his only fon! How look'd our Hermit when the fact was done ? Not hell, tho' hell's black jaws in sunder part, And breathe blue fire, cou'd more assault his heart.
Confusd, and struck with silence at the deed,
He fties, but trembling fails to fly with speed.
His steps the Youth pursues; the country lay
Perplex'd with roads, a fervant show'd the way:
A river cross’d the path; the passage o'er
Was nice to find; the servant rode before ;
Long arms of oaks an open bridge supply'd,
And deep the waves beneath the bending glide.
The Youth, who seem'd to watch a time to fin,
Approach'd the careless Guide, and thrust him in;
Plunging he falls, and rising lifts his head,
Then flashing turns, and sinks among the dead.
Wild, sparkling rage inflames the father's eyes,
He bursts the bands of fear, and madly cries,
Detested wretch-But scarce his speech began, ,
When the strange partner seem'd no longer man:
His youthful face grew more serenely sweet ;
His robe turn'd white, and flow'd upon his feet;
Fair rounds of radiant points invest his hair ;
Celestial odours breathe thro' purpled air ;
And wings, whose colours glitter'd on the day,
Wide at his back their gradual plumes display.
The form etherial bursts upon his fight,
And moves in all the majesty of light.
Tho’loud at first the Pilgrim's passion grew,
Sudden he gaz'd, and wist not what to do ;
Surprize in secret chains his words suspends,
And in a calm his settling temper ends.
But filence here the beauteous Angel broke,
(The voice of music ravish'd as he spoke.)
Thy pray'r, thy praise, thy life to vice unknown,
In sweet memorial rise before the throne :
These charms, success in our bright region find,
And force an Angel down, to calm thy mind;
For this commission'd, I forsook the sky,
Nay, cease to kneel. Thy fellow- servant I.
Then know the truth of government divine, And let these scruples be no longer thine.
The Maker justly claims that world he made, In this the right of providence is laid ;