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I have conversed with more than one who well
Remember the old Man, and what he was
Years after he had heard this heavy news.
His bodily frame had been from youth to age
Of an unusual strength. Among the rocks
He went, and still looked up to sun and cloud,
And listened to the wind; and, as before,
Performed all kinds of labor for his sheep,
And for the land, his small inheritance.
And to that hollow dell from time to time
Did he repair, to build the Fold of which
His flock had need. 'Tis not forgotten yet,
The pity which was then in every heart
For the old Man—and 'tis believed by all

and many a day he thither went, And never lifted up a single stone.

There, by the Sheepfold, sometimes was he seen Sitting alone, or with his faithful Dog, Then old, beside him, lying at his feet. The length of full seven years, from time to time, He at the building of this Sheepfold wrought, And left the work unfinished when he died. Three ars, or little more, did Isabel Survive her Husband: at her death the estate Was sold, and went into a stranger's hand. The Cottage which was named THE EVENING STAR Is gone—the plowshare has been through the ground On which it stood; great changes have been wrought In all the neighborhood:—yet the oak is left That grew beside their door; and the remains Of the unfinished Sheepfold may be seen Beside the boisterous brook of Greenhead Ghyll.

William Wordsworth 23


A brother noble,
Whose nature is so far from doing harms,
That he suspects none; on whose foolish honesty
My practice may ride easy.

King Lear, Act i, Sc. 2.

He lets me feed with hinds,
Bars me the place of brother.

As You Like It, Act i, Sc. i.

'Twas I, but 'tis not I: I do not shame To tell you what I was, being what I am.

Ib., Act iv, Sc. 3.


'HAN old George Fletcher, on the British coast,

Dwelt not a seaman who had more to boast;
Kind, simple, and sincere—he seldom spoke,
But sometimes sang and chorused, Hearts of Oak;
In dangers steady, with his lot content,
His days in labor and in love were spent.

He left a son so like him, that the old
With joy exclaimed, “ 'Tis Fletcher we behold";
But to his brother when the kinsmen came,
And viewed his form, they grudged the father's name.

George was a bold, intrepid, careless lad,
With just the failings that his father had;
Isaac was weak, attentive, slow, exact,
With just the virtues that his father lacked.

George lived at sea; upon the land a guest-
He sought for recreation, not for rest;
While, far unlike, his brother's feebler form
Shrank from the cold, and shuddered at the storm;
Still with the seaman's to connect his trade,
The boy was bound where blocks and ropes were made.
i George, strong and sturdy, had a tender mind,
And was to Isaac pitiful and kind,

A very father, till his art was gained,
And then a friend unwearied he remained:
He saw his brother was of spirit low,
His temper peevish, and his motions slow;
Not fit to bustle in a world, or make
Friends to his fortune for his merit's sake:
But the kind sailor could not boast the art

Of looking deeply in the human heart;
/Else had he seen that this weak brother knew

What men to court, what objects to pursue;
That he to distant gain the way discerned,
And none so crooked but his genius learned.

Isaac was poor, and this the brother felt;
He hired a house, and there the landsman dwelt;
Wrought at his trade, and had an easy home,
For there would George with cash and comforts come;
And when they parted, Isaac looked around,
Where other friends and helpers might be found.

He wished for some port-place, and one might fall. He wisely thought, if he should try for all; He had a vote-and, were it well applied, Might have its worth—and he had views beside; Old Burgess Steel was able to promote An humble man who served him with a vote; For Isaac felt not what some tempers feel, But bowed and bent the neck to Burgess Steel; And great attention to a lady gave, His ancient friend, a maiden spare and grave: One whom the visage long and look demure Of Isaac pleased-he seemed sedate and pure; And his soft heart conceived a gentle flame For her who waited on this virtuous dame: Not an outrageous love, a scorching fire, But friendly liking and chastised desire;

And thus he waited, patient in delay,
In present favor and in fortune's way.

George then was coasting-war was yet delayed,
And what he gained was to his brother paid;
Nor asked the seaman what he saved or spent:
But took his grog, wrought hard, and was content;
Till war awaked the land, and George began
To think what part became a useful man:
"Pressed, I must go; why then, 'tis better far
At once to enter like a British tar,
Than a brave captain and the foe to shun,
As if I feared the music of a gun.”
“Go not!” said Isaac—“You shall wear disguise.”
“What!” said the seaman, “clothe myself with lies? ”
"O! but there's danger.”—“Danger in the fleet?
You cannot mean, good brother, of defeat;
And other dangers I at land must share-
So now adieu! and trust a brother's care.”

Isaac awhile demurred—but, in his heart, So might he share, he was disposed to part: The better mind will sometimes feel the pain Of benefactions— favor is a chain; But they the feeling scorn, and what they wish disdain ;While beings formed in coarser mold will hate The helping hand they ought to venerate; No wonder George should in this cause prevail, With one contending who was glad to fail: "Isaac, farewell! do wipe that doleful eye; Crying we came, and groaning we may die. Let us do something 'twixt the groan and cry: And hear me, brother, whether pay or prize, One-half to thee I give and I devise;

For thou hast oft occasion for the aid
Of learned physicians, and they will be paid:
Their wives and children men support, at sea,
And thou, my lad, art wife and child to me:
Farewell!—I go where hope and honor call,

Nor does it follow that who fights must fall.” 1.

Isaac here made a poor attempt to speak,
And a huge tear moved slowly down his cheek;
Like Pluto's iron drop, hard sign of grace,
It slowly rolled upon the rueful face,

Forced by the striving will alone its way to trace. I. Years fled—war lasted—George at sea remained,

While the slow landsman still his profits gained:
An humble place was vacant; he besought
His patron's interest, and the office caught,
For still the virgin was his faithful friend,
And one so sober could with truth commend,
Who of his own defects most humbly thought,
And their advice with zeal and reverence sought:
Whom thus the mistress praised, the maid approved,
And her he wedded whom he wisely loved.

No more he needs assistance—but, alas!
He fears the money will for liquor pass;
Or that the seaman might to flatterers lend,
Or give support to some pretended friend:
Still he must write—he wrote, and he confessed
That, till absolved, he should be sore distressed;
But one so friendly would, he thought, forgive
The hasty deed-heaven knew how he should live;
“But you,” he added, “as a man of sense,
Have well considered danger and expense:
I ran, alas! into the fatal snare,
And now for trouble must my mind


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