COMPOSED NEAR CALAIS, ON THE ROAD LEADING TO ARDRES, AUGUST 7, 1802
JONES! as from Calais southward you and I
Went pacing side by side, this public Way
Streamed with the pomp of a too-credulous day,
When faith was pledged to new-born Liberty:
A homeless sound of joy was in the sky:
From hour to hour the antiquated Earth
Beat like the heart of Man: songs, garlands, mirth,
Banners, and happy faces, far and nigh!
And now, sole register that these things were,
Two solitary greetings have I heard,
"Good-morrow, Citizen!" a hollow word,
As if a dead man spake it! Yet despair
Touches me not, though pensive as a bird
Whose vernal coverts winter hath laid bare.
3 14th July 1790.
14 'Jones! as from Calais southward.'
(See Dedication to Descriptive Sketches.)
This excellent Person, one of my earliest and dearest friends,
died in the year 1835. We were undergraduates together of the same
year, at the same college; and companions in many a delightful
ramble through his own romantic Country of North Wales. Much of
the latter part of his life he passed in comparative solitude,
which I know was often cheered by remembrance of our youthful
adventures, and of the beautiful regions which, at home and
abroad, we had visited together. Our long friendship was never
subject to a moment's interruption,--and, while revising these
volumes for the last time, I have been so often reminded of my
loss, with a not unpleasing sadness, that I trust the Reader will
excuse this passing mention of a Man who well deserves from me
something more than so brief a notice. Let me only add, that
during the middle part of his life he resided many years (as
Incumbent of the Living) at a Parsonage in Oxfordshire, which is
the subject of the sonnet entitled "A Parsonage in Oxfordshire."