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Next Camus, reverend sire, went footing slow,
His mantle hairy, and his bonnet sedge, Inwrought with figures dim, and on the edge
Like to that sanguine flower inscribed with woe.
Sleek Panopé with all her sisters played.
It was that fatal and perfidious bark,
Built in the eclipse, and rigged with curses dark,
That sunk so low that sacred head of thine.
Ah! Who hath reft (quoth he) my dearest pledge?
Last came, and last did go,
(The golden opes, the iron shuts amain)
He shook his mitred locks, and stern bespake;
How well could I have spared for thee, young swain,
Enow of such as for their bellies' sake Creep, and intrude, and climb into the fold?
Of other care they little reckoning make,
Than how to scramble at the shearer's feast,
And shove away the worthy bidden guest; Blind mouths! that scarce themselves know how to hold
A sheep-hook, or have learned aught else the least
That to the faithful herdman's art belongs!
What recks it them? What need they? They are sped;
And when they list their lean and flashy songs
Grate on their scrannel pipes of wretched straw,
The hungry sheep look up, and are not fed,
But swoln with wind, and the rank mist they draw,
Rot inwardly, and foul contagion spread; Besides what the grim wolf with privy paw
Daily devours apace, and nothing said; But that two-handed engine at the door
Stands ready to smite once, and smite no more.
Return, Alpheus, the dread voice is past,
That shrunk thy streams; return, Sicilian Muse,
Lovely all times she lies, lovely tonight.
Only, methinks, some loss of habit's power
Befalls me wandering through this upland dim.
Once passed I blindfold here, at any hour,
Now seldom come I, since I came with him.
That single elm-tree bright Against the west-I miss it! is it gone?
We prized it dearly; while it stood, we said,
Our friend, the Scholar-Gypsy, was not dead;
While the tree lived, he in these fields lived on.
And that sweet City with her dreaming spires, She needs not June for beauty's heightening.
Too rare, too rare, grow now my visits here!
But once I knew each field, each flower, each stick,
And with the country-folk acquaintance made
By barn in threshing-time, by newbuilt rick.
Here, too, our shepherd-pipes we first assayed.
Ah me! this many a year My pipe is lost, my shepherd's holiday. Needs must I lose them, needs with heavy heart
Into the world and wave of men
But Thyrsis of his own will went away.
It irked him to be here, he could not rest.
He loved each simple joy the country vields,
He loved his mates; but yet he could not keep,
For that a shadow lowered on the
Here with the shepherds and the silly sheep.
Some life of men unblest
He knew, which made him droop, and filled his head.
He went; his piping took a troubled sound
Of storms that rage outside our happy ground;
He could not wait their passing, he is dead.