« PreviousContinue »
As if they had been made that they might be
By some untoward death among the rocks :
The old house cloth is deck'd with a new face;
And hence, so far from wanting facts or dates
To chronicle the time, we all have here
A pair of diaries, oné serving, Sir,
For the whole dale, and one for each fire-side, Your's was a stranger's judgment: for historians Commend me to these vallies.
Yet your church-yard
Seems, if such freedom may be used with you,
say that you are heedless of the past.
Here's neither head nor foot-stone, plate of brass,
Why there, Sir, is a thought that's new to me. The Stone-cutters, 'tis true, might beg their bread If every English church-yard were like ours:
your conclusion wanders from the truth.
We have no need of names and epitaphs,
Who has been born and dies among the mountains:
Your dalesmen, then, do in each other's thoughts
Possess a kind of second life: no doubt
You, Sir, could help me to the history
Of half these Graves?
With what I've witness'd, and with what I've heard, Perhaps I might, and, on a winter's evening,
If you were seated at my chimney's nook
By turning o'er these hillocks one by one,
We two could travel, Sir, through a strange round, Yet all in the broad high-way of the world.
Now there's a grave-your foot is half upon it,
It looks just like the rest, and yet that man
"Tis a common case,
We'll take another: who is he that lies
Beneath yon ridge, the last of those three graves ;It touches on that piece of native rock
Left in the church-yard wall.
That's Walter Ewbank.
He had as white a head and fresh a cheek
You see it yonder, and those few
They toil'd and wrought, and still, from sire to son,
Each struggled, and each yielded as before
A little-yet a little-and old Walter,
A chearful mind, and buffeted with bond,
Interest and mortgages; at last he sank,
He had the lightest foot in Ennerdale :
But these two Orphans !
Orphans! such they were--