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"Nine summers had she scarcely seen,

The pride of all the vale;

And then she sang;-she would have been

A very nightingale.

"Six feet in earth my Emma lay;

And yet I loved her more,

For so it seemed, than till that day

I e'er had loved before.

"And, turning from her grave, I met
Beside the church-yard Yew

A blooming Girl, whose hair was wet
With points of morning dew.

"A basket on her head she bare; Her brow was smooth and white:

To see a Child so very fair,

It was a pure delight!

"No fountain from its rocky cave

E'er tripped with foot so free;

She seemed as happy as a wave

That dances on the sea.

"There came from me a sigh of pain

Which I could ill confine;

I looked at her and looked again:

-And did not wish her mine."

Matthew is in his grave, yet now
Methinks I see him stand,

As at that moment, with his bough
Of wilding in his hand.




We talked with open heart, and tongue Affectionate and true;

A pair of Friends, though I was young,

And Matthew seventy-two.

We lay beneath a spreading oak,

Beside a mossy seat;

And from the turf a fountain broke,

And gurgled at our feet.

"Now, Matthew! let us try to match

This water's pleasant tune

With some old Border-song, or Catch

That suits a summer's noon.

"Or of the Church-clock and the chimes

Sing here beneath the shade,

That half-mad thing of witty rhymes

Which you last April made!"

In silence Matthew lay, and eyed

The spring beneath the tree;

And thus the dear old man replied,

The gray-haired man of glee:

"Down to the vale this water steers,

How merrily it goes!

'Twill murmur on a thousand


And flow as now it flows.

"And here, on this delightful day, I cannot choose but think

How oft, a vigorous man, I lay

Beside this Fountain's brink.

66 My eyes are dim with childish tears,

My heart is idly stirred,

For the same sound is in my ears

Which in those days I heard.

"Thus fares it still in our decay:

And yet the wiser mind

Mourns less for what age takes away

Than what it leaves behind.

"The Blackbird in the summer trees,

The Lark upon the hill,

Let loose their carols when they please,

Are quiet when they will.

"With Nature never do they wage

A foolish strife; they see

A happy youth, and their old age

Is beautiful and free:

"But we are pressed by heavy laws;

And often, glad no more,

We wear a face of joy, because

We have been glad of yore.

"If there is one who need bemoan

His kindred laid in earth,

The household hearts that were his own,

It is the man of mirth.

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