Animal Tranquillity and Decay, a Sketch



The little hedge-row birds
That peck along the road, regard him not.
He travels on, and in his face, his step,
His gait, is one expression; every limb,
His look and bending figure, all bespeak 5
A man who does not move with pain, but moves
With thought.—He is insensibly subdued
To settled quiet: he is one by whom
All effort seems forgotten; one to whom
Long patience hath such mild composure given, 10
That patience now doth seem a thing of which
He hath no need. He is by nature led
To peace so perfect, that the young behold
With envy, what the Old Man hardly feels.
—I asked him whither he was bound, and what 15
The object of his journey: he replied
That he was going many miles to take
A last leave of his Son, a Mariner,
Who from a sea-fight had been brought to Falmouth,
And there was dying in an hospital.20