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The FOUNTAIN,

A Conversation.

We talked with open heart, and tongue
Affectionate and true;
A pair of Friends, though I was young,
And Matthew sev

eventy-two.

We lay beneath a spreading oak,

Beside a

mossy

seat ;

And from the turf a fountain broke,
And gurgled at our feet.

“ Now, Matthew! let us try to match
This water's pleasant tune
With some old Border-song, or Catch
That suits a summer's noon.

" Or of the Church-clock and the chimes

Sing here beneath the shade,
That half-mad thing of witty rhymes

last April made!”

Which you

In silence Matthew lay, and eyed
The spring beneath the tree ;
And thus the dear old man replied,
The gray-haired man of glee:

« Down to the yale this water steers,

How merrily it goes !
'Twill murmur on a thousand years,
And flow as now it flows.

« And here, on this delightful day,

I cannot choose but think

How oft, å vigorous man, I lay
Beside this Fountain's brink.

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My eyes are dim with childish tears, My heart is idly stirred, For the same sound is in my ears Which in those days I heard.

« Thus fares it still in our decay :
And yet the wiser mind
Mourns less for what

age

takes away Than what it leaves behind.

« The Blackbird in the summer trees,
The Lark upon the hill,
Let loose their carols when they please,
Are quiet when they will.

" With Nature never do they wage
A foolish strife; they see
A happy youth, and their old age
Is beautiful and free :

“But we are pressed by heavy laws;
And often, glad no more,
We wear a face of joy, because
We have been glad of yore.

« If there is one who need bemoan

His kindred laid in earth,
The household hearts that were his own,

It is the man of mirth.

“ My days, my Friend, are almost gone, My life has been approved, And many

but by none Am I enough beloved."

love me ;

Now both himself and me he wrongs, The man who thus complains ! I live and sing my

idle

songs Upon these bappy plains,

" And, Matthew, for thy Children dead I'll be a son to thee !" At this he grasped his hands, and said " Alas! that cannot be.”

We rose up from the fountain-side ;

And down the smooth descent

Of the green sheep-track did we glide; And through the wood we went;

And, ere we came to Leonard's Rock,
He sang those witty rhymes
About the crazy old church clock
And the bewildered chimes.

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