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CCLXVIII

CITY AND COUNTRY

Ye hermits blest, ye holy maids,

The nearest Heaven on earth,

Who talk with GOD in shadowy glades,

Free from rude care and mirth;

To whom some viewless teacher brings

The secret lore of rural things,

The moral of each fleeting cloud and gale,

The whispers from above, that haunt the twilight vale:

Say, when in pity ye have gazed

On the wreathed smoke afar,

That o'er some town, like mist upraised,

Hung hiding sun and star,--

Then as ye turn'd your weary eye

To the green earth and open sky,

Were ye not fain to doubt how Faith could dwell

Amid that dreary glare, in this world's citadel?

209

But Love's a flower that will not die

For lack of leafy screen,

And Christian Hope can cheer the eye

That ne'er saw vernal green;

Then be ye sure that Love can bless

E'en in this crowded loneliness,

Where ever-moving myriads seem to say,

Go--thou art nought to us, nor we to thee--away!

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