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That at the root of the old tree
He might have work'd for ever.

"You 're overtask'd, good Simon Lee,
Give me your tool,' to him I said ;
And at the word right gladly he
Received my proffer'd aid.
I struck, and with a single blow
The tangled root I sever'd,
At which the poor old man so long
And vainly had endeavour'd.

The tears into his eyes were brought,
And thanks and praises seem'd to run
So fast out of his heart, I thought
They never would have done,

I've heard of hearts unkind, kind deeds
With coldness still returning ;
Alas! the gratitude of men
Has oftener left me mourning.

W. Wordsworth

CCXX

THE OLD FAMILIAR FACES

I

HAVE had playmates, I have had companions

In my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days; All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have been laughing, I have been carousing, Drinking late, sitting late, with my bosom cronies ; All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I loved a Love once, fairest among women :
Closed are her doors on me, I must not see her –
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

I have a friend, a kinder friend has no man:
Like an ingrate, I left my friend abruptly;
Left him, to muse on the old familiar faces.

Ghost-like I paced round the haunts of my childhood,
Earth seem'd a desert I was bound to traverse,
Seeking to find the old familiar faces.

a

Friend of my bosom, thou more than a brother,
Why wert not thou born in my father's dwelling ?
So might we talk of the old familiar faces.

How some they have died, and some they have left me,
And some are taken from me ; all are departed;
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.

C. Lamb

CCXXI

THE JOURNEY ONWARDS

AS

S slow our ship her foamy track

Against the wind was cleaving,
Her trembling pennant still look'd back

To that dear isle ’t was leaving.
So loth we part from all we love,

From all the links that bind us;
So turn our hearts, as on we rove,

To those we've left behind us !

When, round the bowl, of vanish'd years

We talk with joyous seeming -
With smiles that might as well be tears,

So faint, so sad their beaming ;
While memory brings us back again

Each early tie that twined us,
O, sweet 's the cup that circles then

To those we've left behind us !

And when, in other climes, we meet

Some isle or vale enchanting,
Where all looks flowery wild and sweet,

And nought but love is wanting ;
We think how great had been our bliss

If Heaven had but assign'd us
To live and die in scenes like this,

With some we've left behind us !

As travellers oft look back at eve

When eastward darkly going,
To gaze upon that light they leave

Still faint behind them glowing, –
So, when the close of pleasure's day

To gloom hath near consign'd us,
We turn to catch one fading ray
Of joy that's left behind us.

T, Moore

CCXXII

YOUTH AND AGE

THE

HERE 'S not a joy the world can give like that it

takes away

When the glow of early thought declines in feeling's

dull decay ;

'T is not on youth's smooth cheek the blush alone which

fades so fast, But the tender bloom of heart is gone, ere youth itself

be past.

Then the few whose spirits float above the wreck of

happiness Are driven o'er the shoals of guilt or ocean of excess : The magnet of their course is gone, or only points in

vain The shore to which their shiver'd sail shall never stretch

again.

Then the mortal coldness of the soul like death itself

comes down; It cannot feel for others' woes, it dare not dream its own; That heavy chill has frozen o'er the fountain of our tears, And though the eye may sparkle still, 't is where the

ice appears.

Though wit may flash from fluent lips, and mirth dis

tract the breast, Through midnight hours that yield no more their former

hope of rest; 'Tis but as ivy-leaves around the ruin'd turret wreathe, All green and wildly fresh without, but worn and gray

beneath.

O could I feel as I have felt, or be what I have been, Or weep as I could once have wept o'er many a vanish'd

scene, As springs in deserts found seem sweet, all brackish

though they be, So midst the wither'd waste of life, those tears would flow to me!

Lord Byron

CCXXIII

A LESSON

THERE

"HERE is a flower, the Lesser Celandine,

a That shrinks like many more from cold and rain, And the first moment that the sun may shine, Bright as the sun himself, 't is out again !

When hailstones have been falling, swarm on swarm,
Or blasts the green field and the trees distrest,
Oft have I seen it muffled up from harm
In close self-shelter, like a thing at rest.

But lately, one rough day, this flower I past,
And recognized it, though an alter'd form,
Now standing forth an offering to the blast,
And buffeted at will by rain and storm.

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I stopp'd and said, with inly-mutter'd voice,
'It doth not love the shower, nor seek the cold;
This neither is its courage nor its choice,
But its necessity in being old.

‘The sunshine may not cheer it, nor the dew;
It cannot help itself in its decay ;
Stiff in its members, wither'd, changed of hue,'
And, in my spleen, I smiled that it was gray.

To be a prodigal’s favourite — then, worse truth,
A miser's pensioner - behold our lot !
O Man ! that from thy fair and shining youth
Age might but take the things Youth needed not !

W. Wordsworth

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