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Written with a Slate-pencil, upon a Stone, the largest of a heap lying near a deserted Quarry, upon one of the Islands at Rydale.
Stranger ! this hillock of misshapen stones
At any hour he chose, the Knight forthwith Desisted, and the quarry and the mound Are monuments of his unfinished task.The block on which these lines are traced, perhaps, Was once selected as the corner-stone Of the intended Pile, which would have been Some quaint odd play-thing of elaborate skill, So that, I guess, the linnet and the thrush, And other little Builders who dwell here, Had wondered at the work. But blame him not, For old Sir William was a gentle Knight Bred in this vale, to which he appertained With all his ancestry. Then peace to him, And for the outrage which he had devised Entire forgiveness ! But if thou art one On fire with thy impatience to become An inmate of these mountains, if, disturbed By beautiful conceptions, thou hast hewn Out of the quiet rock the elements
Of thy trim mansion destined soon to blaze
In the School of is a Tablet, on which are inscribed, in gilt letters, the names of the several persons who have been Schoolmasters there since the foundation of the School, with the time at which they entered upon and quitted their office. Opposite one of those names the Author wrote the following lines.
If Nature, for a favourite Child
every hour thy heart runs wild, Yet never once doth go astray,
Read o'er these lines; and then review
-When through this little wreck of fame,
And, if a sleeping tear should wake,
Poor Matthew, all his frolics o'er,
The sighs which Matthew heaved were sighs