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EDWIN AND ANGELINA.

A BALLAD.

1 "TURN, gentle hermit of the dale,
2 " And guide my lonely way,
3 "To where yon taper cheers the vale,
4 " With hospitable ray.
5 "For here forlorn and lost I tread,
6 " With fainting steps and slow;
7 "Where wilds immeasureably spread,
8 " Seem lengthening as I go. "
9 "Forbear, my son," the hermit cries,
10 "To tempt the dangerous gloom;
11 " For yonder phantom only flies
12 "To lure thee to thy doom.
13 "Here to the houseless child of want,
14 " My door is open still;
15 "And though my portion is but scant,
16 " I give it with good will.
17 "Then turn to-night, and freely share
18 " Whate'er my cell bestows;
19 "My rushy couch, and frugal fare,
20 " My blessing and repose.
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21 "No flocks that range the valley free,
22 " To slaughter I condemn;
23 "Taught by that power that pities me,
24 " I learn to pity them.
25 "But from the mountain's grassy side,
26 " A guiltless feast I bring;
27 "A scrip with herbs and fruits supply'd,
28 " And water from the spring.
29 "Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forego;
30 " For earth-born cares are wrong:
31 "Man wants but little here below,
32 " Nor wants that little long. "
33 Soft as the dew from heav'n descends,
34 His gentle accents fell:
35 The grateful stranger lowly bends,
36 And follows to the cell.
37 Far shelter'd in a glade obscure
38 The modest mansion lay;
39 A refuge to the neighbouring poor,
40 And strangers led astray.
41 No stores beneath its humble thatch
42 Requir'd a master's care;
43 The door just opening with a latch,
44 Receiv'd the harmless pair.
45 And now when worldly crouds retire
46 To revels or to rest,
47 The hermit trimm'd his little fire,
48 And cheer'd his pensive guest:
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49 And spread his vegetable store,
50 And gayly prest, and smil'd;
51 And skill'd in legendary lore,
52 The lingering hours beguil'd.
53 Around in sympathetic mirth
54 Its tricks the kitten tries;
55 The cricket chirrups in the hearth;
56 The crackling faggot flies.
57 But nothing could a charm impart
58 To soothe the stranger's woe;
59 For grief was heavy at his heart,
60 And tears began to flow.
61 His rising cares the hermit spy'd,
62 With answering care opprest:
63 "And whence, unhappy youth," he cry'd,
64 "The sorrows of thy breast?
65 "From better habitations spurn'd,
66 " Reluctant dost thou rove;
67 "Or grieve for friendship unreturn'd,
68 " Or unregarded love?
69 "Alas! the joys that fortune brings,
70 " Are trifling and decay;
71 "And those who prize the paltry things,
72 " More trifling still than they.
73 "And what is friendship but a name,
74 " A charm that lulls to sleep;
75 "A shade that follows wealth or fame,
76 " But leaves the wretch to weep?
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77 "And love is still an emptier sound,
78 " The haughty fair one's jest:
79 "On earth unseen, or only found
80 " To warm the turtle's nest.
81 "For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush,
82 " And spurn the sex, "he said:
83 But while he spoke a rising blush
84 The bashful guest betray'd.
85 He sees unnumber'd beauties rise,
86 Expanding to the view;
87 Like clouds that deck the morning skies,
88 As bright, as transient too.
89 Her looks, her lips, her panting breast,
90 Alternate spread alarms:
91 The lovely stranger stands confest
92 A maid in all her charms.
93 And, "Ah, forgive a stranger rude,
94 " A wretch forlorn, "she cry'd;
95 " Whose feet unhallow'd thus intrude
96 "Where heav'n and you reside.
97 "But let a maid thy pity share,
98 " Whom love has taught to stray;
99 "Who seeks for rest, but finds despair
100 " Companion of her way.
101 "My father liv'd beside the Tyne,
102 " A wealthy lord was he;
103 "And all his wealth was mark'd as mine,
104 " He had but only me.
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105 "To win me from his tender arms,
106 " Unnumber'd suitors came;
107 "Who prais'd me for imputed charms,
108 " And felt, or feign'd a flame.
109 "Each morn the gay phantastic crowd
110 " With richest proffers strove:
111 "Among the rest young Edwin bow'd,
112 " But never talk'd of love.
113 "In humble, simplest habit clad,
114 " No wealth nor pow'r had he;
115 "A constant heart was all he had,
116 " But that was all to me.
117 "The blossom opening to the day,
118 " The dews of heav'n refin'd,
119 "Could nought of purity display,
120 " To emulate his mind.
121 "The dew, the blossom on the tree,
122 " With charms inconstant shine;
123 "Their charms were his, but woe to me,
124 " Their constancy was mine.
125 "For still I try'd each fickle art,
126 " Importunate and vain;
127 "And, while his passion touch'd my heart,
128 " I triumph'd in his pain.
129 "'Till, quite dejected with my scorn,
130 " He left me to my pride;
131 "And sought a solitude forlorn,
132 " In secret, where he dy'd.
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133 "But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
134 " And well my life shall pay;
135 "I'll seek the solitude he sought,
136 " And stretch me where he lay.
137 "And, there forlorn despairing hid,
138 " I'll lay me down and die:
139 "'Twas so for me that Edwin did,
140 " And so for him will I. "
141 "Thou shalt not thus," the hermit cry'd,
142 And clasp'd her to his breast:
143 The wond'ring fair one turn'd to chide;
144 'Twas Edwin's self that prest.
145 "Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
146 " My charmer, turn to see,
147 "Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,
148 " Restor'd to love and thee.
149 "Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
150 " And ev'ry care resign:
151 "And shall we never, never part,
152 " O thou my all that's mine. "
153 "No, never, from this hour to part,
154 " We'll live and love so true;
155 "The sigh that rends thy constant heart,
156 " Shall break thy Edwin's too.

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About this text

Title (in Source Edition): EDWIN AND ANGELINA. A BALLAD.
Themes: retirement; rural life; happiness; contentment; money; wealth
Genres: ballad metre
References: DMI 31045

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Source edition

The Miscellaneous Works of Oliver Goldsmith, M.B. Containing all his Essays and Poems. London: printed for W. Griffin, Catherine-street, in the Strand, 1775, pp. []-188. [8],iv,[1],10-200p. ; 8⁰. (ESTC T146118; OTA K113624.000)

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