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
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 has such mild composure given,
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
The object of his journey; he replied
“Sir! I am going many miles to take
A last leave of my son, a mariner,
Who, from a sea-fight has been brought to Falmouth,
And there is dying in an hospital.”
From Lyrical Ballads by Samuel Taylor Coleridge & William Wordsworth.