[Page 42]

WRITTEN IN THE HERMITAGE AT BRAID

1 Once, weary of the busy town,
2 And with poetic ardour fir'd,
3 I left it with a scornful frown,
4 To yon sweet hermitage retir'd.
5 I set me on a mossy stone
6 Beside the softly filling stream;
7 So charm'd to find myself alone,
8 It only seem'd a pleasant dream.
9 When, lo! from yon surrounding shades,
10 Through which the waters glide along,
11 Step'd forward two as lovely maids
12 As e'er were fam'd in poet's song.
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13 The one magestic, graceful, gay,
14 Commanded more than mortal air;
15 Her meaning eyes were bright as day;
16 In glossy ringlets wav'd her hair.
17 Her dress, the purest simple white,
18 No gaudy ornament did show;
19 She seem'd array'd in robes of light,
20 More spotless than the new fall'n snow.
21 The other like her sister seem'd,
22 But shone with an inferior air;
23 From her mild eyes no raptures stream'd,
24 But modest pleasure sparkled there.
25 A serious settled look of peace
26 In all her gentle form appear'd;
27 And something which could never cease
28 To make that gentle form endear'd.
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29 On me she turned her smiling eyes,
30 Which sparkl'd then with love and joy:
31 Be what I am, she sweetly cries,
32 And nothing shall your bliss destroy.
33 The other sternly thus reply'd:
34 'Twould be a crime to copy thee,
35 Unless he leave a world of pride,
36 Or wander through that world with me.
37 My name is Virtue! fear not, then,
38 In my rough paths on earth to stray;
39 I'll guide you from the wiles of men;
40 I'll lead you to the realms of day.
41 And this fair virgin is Content,
42 Which you, I hope, will shortly be.
43 If that's your wish, in time repent,
44 Disdain the world, and follow me.
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45 I rose, and, with a beating heart,
46 Clasp'd blooming Virtue to my breast:
47 By heav'n, we never more shall part!
48 I sigh'd, I wept, and closer prest.
49 Your path may lie through care and strife;
50 E'en through these paths I'll follow you,
51 Till, at the farthest verge of life,
52 I bid this vale of tears adieu.

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Title (in Source Edition): WRITTEN IN THE HERMITAGE AT BRAID
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Genres: occasional poem

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Carmichael, Miss (Rebekah) (fl. 1790-1806). Poems. Edinburgh: Peter Hill, 1790, pp. 42-45. 92p. (ESTC T104666) (Page images digitized from a copy at University of California Libraries — third-party rights apply.)

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